The Governing Team is composed of educationalists with years of experience, private sector professionals, civil servants and local parents. They have a record of excellence and of dedication to the service of our community.
Role of the Governors
The role of governors can be distilled in to the following three objectives, as set out in the Governors’ Handbook:
1. Set the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction: governors work in partnership with the Headteacher to agree the strategic priorities, aims and objectives for the school and sign off the policies, plans and targets for how to achieve them. They check on progress and review regularly the strategic framework for the school in the light of that progress.
2. Hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils: one of the most significant decisions a governing body makes is the selection, appointment and performance management of the Headteacher, whose leadership they support and strengthen. Governors also hold the Headteacher and other senior school leaders to account for improving school performance by, for example, asking questions, examining data and appointing external specialist advisors.
3. Oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent: governors check on the allocation of resources according to strategic priorities, on the full use of all assets and efficient use of all our financial resources, always focusing on value for money.
The Full Governing Board met six times last year, three times this year and will be meeting four times next year. Minutes of the Full Governing Board and the most recent review of its work are published on the Parent VLE and are available to all on request.
Governors also operate via the work of committees, which meet prior to each Full Governing Board Meeting.
The Governor Committees are;
- Education Committee
- Finance and General Purposes Committee
- Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee
- Pay Committee
The Chair of Governors and Chair of the Education Committee each have at least a weekly meeting with the Headteacher, and the Chair of the Finance and General Purpose committee meets weekly with the School Business Manager. Governors frequently visit the school and Parent Governors offer parent surgeries.
If you have any questions about the work of governors please contact the Chair of Governors, Nicolas Tiffou, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair of Governors
Nicolas is the Chair of Governors and is one of the original founders of Thomson House School. He is the Chair of the Finance and General Purpose Committee, a member of the Community Engagement and Fundraising Committee and of the Pay Committee. Nicolas graduated in maths and physics at the prestigious Ecole des Mines de Paris where he then obtained an MSc in Engineering. Nicolas has had a 20-year long career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, becoming Managing Director. He recently worked in India as advisor to the Chief Executive of Save the Children and he is Chair of the Leadership and Management Committee of a primary school in Brentford. He is a parent of four children.
Vice-Chair of Governors
Chair of Education Committee
Tanya, one of the original founders of Thomson House School, is the Vice-Chair of Governors and the Chair of the Education Committee.
A graduate of Queen's University, where she also trained as a teacher, Tanya has extensive international teaching experience, acquired in public and private settings in North America, New Zealand, India and the UK. Tanya has recently founded The Independent School in London, where she is Principal and she previously was Deputy Head of Seniors at The Harrodian School, where she lead the senior school’s pastoral programme. She is a passionate softball player.
Lucie has 25 years teaching experience in the UK, Europe and Asia in co-educational, maintained and independent schools within the 3 to 13 age range. She was headmistress of Cameron House School for 9 years, an independent school in Chelsea which aims ‘to help every one of its children to attain his or her personal best in a loving, affirming and encouraging atmosphere’. She has been a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools committee and she an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Apart from serving on the Full Governing Board, Lucie is also the chair of Thomson House’s Education Committee.
Will is the Senior Attorney at Skype, part of Microsoft Corporation.
Having graduated from Bristol University and completed his legal practice studies with a commendation, Will has extensive legal experience, acquired also in his years at city firm Norton Rose and as an in-house lawyer at British Telecom.
Will serves on the Full Governing Board, and he is a member of the Finance and General Purpose Committee. Will is a local resident and a parent of two children.
Maxine is Head of St Paul’s Juniors in Barnes.
Having graduated from QMC, London and completed her PGCE in Lincoln Maxine taught in the maintained sector in Kingston and Richmond before moving to work in independent schools. She has taught across the entire primary age range and still enjoys teaching regularly. Maxine lives in Sheen and has three children, two of whom are still school age.
Smita is the UK’s Deputy Head of Mission in Morocco, deputy to the Ambassador.
Prior to that, she was the Foreign Office’s Deputy Head of the Arab Partnership Department, working on the Arab Spring. After graduating from Merton College, Oxford, and gaining an MA in International Relations at the London School of Economics, Smita worked in the city for Monitor Strategy Consultancy, before moving into public service first at George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and then at the Department for International Development, with which she served in Iraq and Jerusalem.
After graduating from Sheffield University and undertaken post-graduate studies at Cambridge University, Antonia pursued a career in financial and legal recruitment, before founding her own legal recruitment firm, which she has been running since 2003.
Antonia has been a long-time supporter of Thomson House and serves on the Full Governing Board as well as chairing the Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee and serving on the Education Committee.
A long-time supporter of Thomson House (one of his children was a pupil in the school’s first cohort), Steven Bastian is one of our two Parent Governors. Steven sits on the Finance and General Purpose Committee and is also the link governor for PE.
Steven is originally from Australia, where he graduated from Monash University in Melbourne. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Steven has worked in finance departments of large multi-nationals in the telecommunications and media sectors. A keen runner, Steven completed the ‘most-gruelling ultra-marathon in the world’, the Marathon des Sables.
Rich Harris is currently serving on the Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee, and he has four children, three attending Thomson House.
Rich worked in advertising, and then education as an educational NGO director, an admissions officer at one of America's top boarding schools, and director of communications at Woodland School. Rich is a Morehead Scholar graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an MA from Stanford University.
Finola Lang has recently joined the governing team as a parent governor. Finola grew up locally in Barnes where she attended St Osmund's, Bute House and St Paul's Girls' School. She has two children attending Thomson House.
Finola graduated from the University of Cambridge in Natural Sciences before completing a post-graduate degree in Science Communication at Imperial College, London. Finola has a long-standing passion for science and education. Finola worked at the BBC creating educational science programmes before working at FutureLearn, an online learning company. She has also taught English to school children in Poland, Turkey and Japan (as part of the JET scheme).
Founding Members of Stamp Education Trust and Thomson House School
The following members of the Trust were part of the original founding team of Thomson House. Though not involved in the everyday running of the school, they still play a key advisory role as members of Stamp Education Trust.
Andrew was Educated at Blackpool Grammar School, the Royal Academy of Music, Manchester and London Universities and Jesus College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and Trinity College, London and an Honorary Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Andrew has an extensive experience in education including at Grey Coat Hospital, South Hampstead High School, and The Harrodian School, where he is currently Principal. Andrew has been Chairman of both the City of London School for Girls and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and is currently Chairman of the Montessori St Nicholas Charity. He has been an Alderman since 2001 and has served on many of the committees of the Corporation of London. He is currently Sheriff of the City of London.
Matteo is one of the founders of Thomson House. Matteo studied in Milan and at St Edward’s School, Oxford, before graduating in Classics from Balliol College, Oxford University.
After working in television, Matteo became a Classics teacher at The Harrodian School, where he then became Head of the Prep School. Matteo has worked with Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem, the only Arab-Hebrew bilingual school in Israel, and he is collaborating with the Custody of the Holy Land on founding a museum in Jerusalem. He is studying for an MA at the Institute of Education, University of London.