Welcome from the Governors

Jonathan Duff, Chair of Governors

On behalf of the governing body, welcome to Blanche Nevile school.

The governors’ role is to ensure that Blanche Nevile provides a safe, secure, and nurturing environment in which our pupils are able to achieve their full potential both academically and emotionally.

We work in partnership with the headteacher and leadership team to set the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school; we approve the school’s policies and oversee the school budget.

Our governing body has members both deaf and hearing. There can be up to 11 governors at any time, including two parents, a member of staff, a governor appointed by the local authority, the headteacher and six ‘co-opted’ members from a variety of backgrounds.

Parent governors are elected and ensure that the views and interests of parents are represented. We are always happy to hear from parents that might be interested in joining us.

All governors give their time freely and details of who we are can be seen below. If you would like to contact me, or one of the others governors, please contact the school office.

I am delighted to be working with such a committed and talented group of people at Blanche Nevile School.

Governor Biographies

Jonathan Duff, Chair of Governors

Jonathan has been a governor since July 2014 and became Chair of Governors in January 2016.

Jonathan joined the civil service in 2001 and has spent most of his career in the Department for Education. He is currently a Deputy Director in the Regional Schools Commissioner’s office for South-East England and South London, working with school leaders to raise standards by developing academy sponsorship and multi-academy trusts; by opening excellent new provision and by challenging underperformance. (Please note that Haringey local authority and Blanche Nevile School are outside of Jonathan’s area of responsibility).

Previously, Jonathan worked on reforms to legislation and support for young people with special educational needs, as part of the 2014 Children and Families Act. It was his experience of working on SEN policy that made him want to become a governor at a special school and he volunteered through a charity called the School Governor One-Stop Shop (SGOSS – www.sgoss.org.uk).

Jonathan has also worked on reforms to teachers’ pay, qualifications delivery, policy relating to the Citizenship curriculum and in roles directly supporting Ministers. Before joining the civil service, he worked for local government. He lives locally in north London.

Peter Harrington

Peter Harrington joined the governing body in September 2015. Peter sits on the Resources Committee and became Vice Chair in February 2017.

Peter works as a consultant in international development and energy and is a Fellow at Harvard University’s Centre for International Development. He has worked around the world, primarily in Africa, advising governments on public policy issues including education. Peter has volunteered with SEN children throughout his life and spent several years at the UK think tank Demos, where he developed a strong interest in education and SEN issues. He lives in nearby Crouch End.


Michael Modell

Michael Modell

Michael has been a governor at Blanche Nevile for the past 9 years.

Michael’s professional background was medical academia. He was a general practitioner for thirty years at the James Wigg Practice in the Kentish Town Health Centre. The James Wigg is a large multi-ethnic practice, which pioneered the concept that primary care should be provided by a team made up of health professionals from many different disciplines, not just doctors. His particular focus as a GP was on the health and welfare of children.

Michael was also a member of the Department of Primary Care at University College, and responsible for teaching medical students about the practice of medicine in the community, outside teaching hospitals. He was Acting Head of that Department for 2 years before he retired in 2002. After he retired he first became a governor at a secondary school for boys with behavioural difficulties and later joined Blanche Nevile. He is also a trustee of a charity dedicated to providing support for carers who look after a relative or friend at home.

Michael and his wife have lived in the same house in Haringey for almost 50 years, now sharing it with their daughter and her family. Two of their grandchildren went to the same school (Highgate Primary) as their children in the 1970s.

Kathy Riddle

Kathy Riddle

Kathy has been a governor since October 2012 and is Chair of the Resources Committee.

Kathy studied Science at University and has worked in university research and industry, and has also run a wine shop. She currently enjoys gardening and garden design. She has also done voluntary adult literacy work, helping adults of all ages (including those with learning difficulties) to improve their literacy skills/learn to read. Kathy also has an allotment and is the Treasurer of their Allotment Society.


Jo Allen

Jo Allen

Jo joined the governing body in October 2013 as a staff governor.

Jo has been a teacher at Blanche Nevile since September 2007. She is responsible for teaching science and has a senior role with responsibility for assessment data and timetabling.

Previously Jo taught all areas of science to GCSE standard and ‘A’ level chemistry at Fortismere School – Blanche Nevile’s partnership school. She started as a newly qualified teacher and gained promotion to become head of science. During her time at Fortismere she taught a number of Blanche Nevile students and supported the then science teacher. It was this work that made her want to change direction and train as a Teacher of the Deaf.

Jo has also worked as a science laboratory technician in a three different schools in Enfield and Haringey. It was during this time Jo gained vocational qualifications and the qualifications needed to become a teacher all through day release study.

Jane Atkinson


Jane joined Blanche Nevile Secondary Department in 2013 as our BSL teacher (for secondary students) and staff.

Jane teaches BSL at all levels from Level 1 to Level 6. Jane has worked for   Signamic as an assessor and teacher for Level 3   and Level 6 BSL.  Jane   has also worked as a journalist and a professional photographer,  as  well as being a presenter for BSL Zone for television, reporting on Deaflympics in 2013.

Jane has used her photographic skills to take  photos of our school for the new website!

Jane has a full timetable for teaching all secondary students BSL  and after school, she teaches staff who are preparing for their   Level 3 and 6 BSL exams. In addition, Jane also   teaches  Fortismere students Level 1 BSL as part of their enrichment programme.

In 2014, Jane organised a Blanche Nevile Deaf Role Models Conference and invited a range of Deaf professionals to run workshops for our students, explaining how they progressed their careers. Jane has worked alongside actors from Deafinitely Theatre, bringing professional drama to Blanche Nevile School.

Jane is also involved at national level in working with Signature to plan and prepare for the introduction of GCSE in BSL.  To add to her repertoire of skills, Jane has recently started to teach cookery to a group of students at the school!

William Dean

Following the retirement of Veronica Held at Easter 2017, William Dean is interim headteacher of Blanche Nevile until 1 September 2017, when Geraldine Santiago takes up her post. William is also headteacher of our partner school, Highgate Primary School. The governors will work with William to ensure continued high standards, and William will report to governors regularly on the curriculum, budget, resources and progress against the school development plan. When he’s not in school or at governors meetings he’ll either be in his garden, walking Cosmo, watching cricket or, if he’s really lucky, in his caravan.

Paul Matewele

Paul Matewele

Paul Matewele joined the governing body in July 2015 as a parent governor.

He is currently working as a lecturer and personal academic tutor at London Metropolitan University. He joined the university in September 1989. He has over 25 years experience in higher education.

Prior to joining London Metropolitan University, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Manchester University.

He has also worked in the NHS pathology laboratories carrying out laboratory diagnosis of infections.

Uzma Naseer

Uzma Mohammed

Uzma joined the governing body as a Parent Governor in July 2016 and is currently on the Curriculum Committee. Uzma is also on the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny panel for Haringey Council as a Parent Governor. Uzma has one child that attends Blanche Neville Primary School. She is currently employed by the Department for Work and Pensions and previously worked for a property research company as a Software Developer. Uzma studied Computing and Mathematical Sciences at London Metropolitan University and is currently in the process of setting up her own knitting and crochet business.

Tarhe Ibehre

Tare Ibehre

Tarhe joined the governing body at Blanche Nevile in July 2016 as the Local Authority governor and has the interim responsibility for Safeguarding/E-Safety. Tarhe has extensive safeguarding experience.


Nina Morgan

Nina Morgan

Nina’s professional background is in Local Government finance and she is a fully qualified accountant. Nina has worked at both Hammersmith and Fulham and Haringey Councils as a Finance Manager specialising in Housing, Regeneration and Children’s services. She specialises in supporting Service Managers to monitor their budget and develop action plans to ensure their cash limit is not exceeded. Nina recently left the council and is now a Business Manager at a local primary school.

Nina has lived in Muswell Hill for the past 18 years and her children went to Muswell Hill Junior school and Fortismere secondary school.

Nina is also the Treasurer for her local Women’s Institute and Neighbourhood Watch.

If you would like to learn more about the governors, please see the links below:

Governors Roles 2017

Governor Register of Interests 2016-17

Governors Attendance 2015-16

Governors Attendance 2016-2017

Resources Committee

Terms of Reference Curriculum Committee


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