To contact our governing body please telephone the school office on 020 7435 9797 or write to Chair of Governors c/o Fitzjohn's Primary School, 86a Fitzjohn's Ave., London NW3 6NP.
In December 2018, Ofsted wrote this about our Governors:
Governors are committed to the school's success and collectively have a range of expertise and skills. Through regular visits to the school, and through reports they received form school leaders and from external agencies including the local authority, they have a detailed knowledge of the school. They use this information to monitor the impact of the work of school leaders on pupils' outcomes. This enables them to offer sharp and timely support to the leadership team.
In November 2014, Ofsted wrote this about our Governing Body:
The governance of the school:
|Information on GB Membership November 2021||[pdf 188KB]|
|Terms of Reference FINAL||[pdf 179KB]|
I love my job. Every day I get to come into work and hopefully change someone's life for the better. There can be nothing more satisfying.
As well as wanting the best academic standards for all of our children, I also want Fitzjohn’s to be a place that children love to come. Schools are much more than places of academic learning. They are places that create great human beings – if we do that then that’s our job done.
As the children will tell you, I am a life-long Beano fan and a magician. I am a hugely proud member of The Magic Circle, the world’s most exclusive magic club.
As Head I am also a member of the governing body. It is my role to advise the governing body of current academic standards and challenges we might face.
The Head of each school is ex officio a staff governor, but he or she can decline to take up the position. Should they decide not to become a member of the governing body, their place is left vacant.
It is up to the governing body as a whole whether the Headteacher has voting rights.
I joined Fitzjohn's as Clerk to the Governing Body in May 2013 having worked for Local and National Organisations for many years in the Governance field as a Chartered Secretary. Over the past 8 years I have worked in a number of positions as Clerk to Governing Body/Company Secretary to Academy Trusts/ Free School Trusts and have enjoyed working with all the different schools across all phases. Each school is very different but I can say that Fitzjohn’s is the nicest and most welcoming school I have worked in. Not only that but their governance practice is also outstanding as evidenced in the last Ofsted report, a Governing Body who is supportive but also prepared to challenge the Headteacher and his excellent staff team to ensure the best outcomes for the school
I am also a specialist youth magistrate and sit on two children services boards as well as the Advisory Committee responsible for recruiting magistrates across all of London .You could say the courtroom and the classroom are important places for me.
Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair
I initially became a parent governor at Fitzjohn's because I wanted to be more involved with the school that my son was attending. I wanted to see how decisions were made and why, and to offer any help I could to make the school as good as it could be. I firmly believe that with education you can change the world! My oldest son is now at university, and I am now the Vice Chair of Governors after serving as Chair for over 6 years
My background is in Physics and Maths – I did my degree as a mature student and single mother. Before that I worked in a casino, although I initially trained as a ballet dancer. I've been working as a software developer for Legal & General Investment Management for over ten years. I have an interest in neurodiversity and equality.
I am the Deputy Head and Inclusion Manager at Fitzjohn’s. I’ve been working alongside Rob in this role since January 2008, and have always attended all governing body meetings as an associate governor. Since our re-constitution in January 2015, I have become a co-opted governor which has given me voting rights for the first time.
It is my responsibility to make the governing body aware of how we maintain and develop our inclusive practices, through development sessions, meeting with the SEN Governor and information in the head’s half termly report to the Governing Body.
It is a pleasure to be on the governing body, particularly now that we have developed a more streamlined structure to meetings, that allows us more time to focus on our main purpose – helping the school to move forward and improve so that it is a place where ‘everyone can succeed.’
Christina Pappas Kohle
and a son at Fitzjohn's Primary School. I became a Parent Governor because I have a keen interest in education and believe in the ability of community schools to empower children to succeed. I have over 25 years of international finance experience, focusing on communication and infrastructure development projects in Europe, the Middle East and most recently Africa.
I have a BA in Political Science from Binghamton University and an MSc in Government from the London School of Economics.
Ruth Schocken Katz
Parent Governor and Chair
I am a parent governor and have two daughters who were at Fitzjohn's but have now moved on to secondary school. I became a governor as it was important for me to support the school that I love in whichever way I can. Additionally, I wanted to be a role model for my daughters and take an active role which has an impact on our community.After serving as Vice Chair for a number of years I was honoured to be elected Chair of the Governing Body in October 2021
As well as coaching, I run my own film production company () which helps individuals and small companies or organisations tell their stories through film. Each film we make as a true collaboration with our clients - a journey of discovery - so that the experience is empowering and creative for all of us. Joining the governing body, allows me to work as a team member in another capacity that has an impact both on my family and my community.
I hold a Coach Practitioner accreditation by the EMCC, an MA in Filmmaking from the London Film School and a BA in English Literature and Drama from Queen Mary, University of L Townsend London.
I have lived locally since 1974.
I have been on the governing body at Fitzjohn's since my own children attended the school in the 1980's.
I have worked in local government, supporting the voluntary sector and as an organiser of a community centre in Camden.
Between 1997and 2013 I worked in Kensington and Chelsea within the Language Development Service as a teacher and an Active Teacher Consultant, providing strategic support for ethnic minority pupils, including those developing English as an Additional Language.
Now retired, I take an active part in the local community and continue my interest in education policy and practice. I question the wisdom of many recent education reforms which have ushered in a more constricted, less imaginative system, lacking in democratic accountability.
I hope to continue to support the inclusive, broad educational offer at Fitzjohn’s. It is a school rooted in its community with policies and practices that support the social and emotional well-being of pupils and staff.
I was one of the first parent governors when I was elected. Prior to that date parents had not been represented on the Governing Body. One of my reasons for becoming a governor was because I believe that children benefit from the involvement of their parents in their school. I have three daughters, who are now adults, and they have all done well following their education at Fitzjohn’s. I was vice-chair of governors for a number of years and chair for four years. I now chair the Education Committee of the Governing Body
My career was in university administration and I have considerable experience in the governance of educational institutions. I was involved in the drafting and interpreting of instruments of government (Acts of Parliament, Royal Charters and Statutes, and Memoranda and Articles of Association) for the Colleges and Institutions of the University of London and for obtaining the approval of Parliament and/or the Privy Council. I have also acted as secretary/clerk to University statutory bodies, including the academic governing body, the Senate. During the last dozen years of my working life I was Head of Academic Policy in the Medical Faculty which was responsible for the education and training of doctors, dentists, vets and pharmacists and the University’s interface with the NHS. I have also done editorial work and job evaluation.
I have spent over three decades lecturing in various universities in Britain and overseas.
As a boy, I attended Fitzjohn's, I live in the area and my daughter is at the school.
My parents were both school teachers in Camden.
Being a governor means I can help a school that does great things.
Ella Salter (Parent Governor)
Anya Smirnova (Parent Governor)
My family has lived in Hampstead since 2008 and my two sons are at Fitzjohn's Primary School. I love that in Fitzjohn's the focus is on children growing into great human beings and that the academic learning is just a part of good schooling. I believe this is the way to prepare our kids for a rapidly-changing world. As a multicultural family, we also love being part of the Fitzjohn's international community.
I became a Parent Governor to support our wonderful school with my skills, enthusiasm and a fresh, newbie view on the British school system. Personally, I want to better understand the education system and I learn best by taking part (the level of training school governors get is impressive!).
Andrea lives (relatively) locally in Kentish Town. During Lockdown 1, she was prompted to apply for a school governor role to contribute towards her local community and a cause which she feels strongly about, being education. She is a property solicitor by day, grew up in Barnet, north London, and is grateful for the educational opportunities that she had. Outside of work, Andrea enjoys the company of her friends and family, the occasional gym class and, prior to lockdown, would frequently attend Camden Leaseholder Forum meetings as an observer