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.
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 joined the governing body in September 2015 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.
Kathryn joined Blanche Nevile School as a Primary Class Teacher in 2015 and within a year was promoted to Senior Teacher. Kathryn has taught Years 3, 4 and 5 in the Primary department, as well as leading classes in the mainstream partnership school, Highgate Primary.
Before becoming part of the Blanche Nevile team, Kathryn worked in a mainstream school in North London for 10 years where she taught Years 2 to 6 and enjoyed responsibilities such as Key Stage Manager and Science Leader.
This year Kathryn has taken up her new role in Primary as Acting Assistant Headteacher. She actively promotes Blanche Nevile and the excellent relationship with Highgate Primary.
Kathryn’s qualifications include BA (Hons), PGCE and MA in Education and she is incredibly proud to have passed her BSL Level 3.
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!
Geraldine’s twenty three years teaching experience as a qualified teacher have enabled her to work with children and young people aged from 3-25, as well as adults. Her career has included roles as: Class Teacher, ELKLAN tutor, Early Years Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator, Advisory Teacher for Learning and Behaviour Support, Inclusion Manager and Special Educational Needs Coordinator for a Junior School, Key Stage 3 Coordinator for Years 7, 8 and 9, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher.
Geraldine has completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and an MA in Education. She has worked extensively in primary schools, secondary schools and most recently as a Deputy Headteacher at Shaftesbury High School; an ‘outstanding’ special educational needs and disabilities high school in the London Borough of Harrow for students aged 11-19. In November 2015, Geraldine was invited to Estonia by their Ministry of Education to talk about the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice, provision for students with SEND and parental engagement and involvement.
As Headteacher, Geraldine endeavours to extend her skills, knowledge and expertise to achieve the best possible outcomes and post-16 opportunities for the children and young people of Blanche Nevile School. As a Mum of three daughters, Geraldine appreciates the privileges of parenthood and how they are complemented by everyone we share our children’s journeys with.
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 joined the governing body as a Parent Governor in July 2016. 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 Nevile 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 joined the governing body at Blanche Nevile in July 2016 as the Local Authority governor, and is our lead safeguarding governor. Tarhe has extensive safeguarding experience, having worked as a frontline social worker in Haringey for 10 years and for the NSPCC.
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.
Kate completed her M.A linguistics at UCL in September 2006, prior to which she studied Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol, which led her to become interested in sign linguistics and sign language research. In 2013, Kate completed an MSc in Psychology Research Methods at UCL.
Kate works as a Research Associate on the Language Attitudes project, exploring the opinions of the British Deaf Community on BSL and SSE, looking at how different factors such as age, gender and education may have an impact on language attitude. Kate has previously worked on Specific Language Impairment in BSL and looked at the language and Identity of young deaf people in different educational settings. Kate teaches basic sign linguistics and sign language acquisition and has worked with NDCS to deliver training for family support workers.
Ruth Griffiths is Executive Chair of The British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT). Ruth worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years, notably building the BBC’s subtitling, Sign Language interpretation and audio description services. After leaving Red Bee Media in 2006, Ruth worked on research and consultancy projects, in both the access and translation arenas, before joining BSLBT in 2009.
If you would like to learn more about the governors, please see the links below: