School Gateway

Hillbrook Primary School

Be Responsible · Be Resilient · Be Reflective

Meet The Governors

Craig Rajgopaul - Chair of Governors
Partnership Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

"I grew up in Edinburgh, but have lived in London since 2002. I work as a barrister who specialises in employment, education and commercial law, but have also worked with autistic children since 1995. My long-standing interest in special educational needs has previously seen me teach at a special needs school in Japan, take on the role of governor at a special needs school in Wandsworth, and also volunteer to make an appearance for parents in special educational needs and disability tribunals. I have a nephew with Down's syndrome and a partner called Prat." 

Debbie Hart - Headteacher

Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee & Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

"I am originally from the East Midlands and moved to London in 2007 with my husband Daniel. I have been a Head teacher since 2002 in a variety of schools and Hillbrook is my 5th Headship. I joined the School in September 2017 and have loved leading such a busy, creative and inspiring school. No two days are ever the same and I am lucky to work alongside a passionate and dedicated team of professionals who only want the very best for our children here at Hillbrook. I live in Wimbledon and really enjoy making the most of being in London!"

 

Hasib Dewan - Vice Chair of Governors
Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

 

“I was delighted to join Hillbrook Primary. I’m so pleased to be part of a school in an area close to my heart, as I was born in St Georges Hospital and grew up in Colliers Wood, just down the road!

I currently work as a Consultant in the City specialising in Technology and Business transformation, but I’ve always been passionate about education. Before working in the City, I worked for a university 2011 to 2016, I’ve been a governor for another school, and have volunteered for the Merton Youth Justice Service for over 5 years, supporting young people who had committed a crime in the local area.

I love playing rugby at the weekend, and during the week am trying my hand at learning Spanish (though not very well!)” 

Julian Bennet

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Chair of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

"I was born in Hong Kong but have always considered south London to be my home, and finally followed up on that when I moved to Hillbrook Road, about 100 yards from the school doors, in 2012. I am passionate about education at the local level as I've seen the impact great teachers and staff can have on children's upbringing. By day I work in the City of London as a private equity professional investing in technology companies, and by night (alongside Hillbrook!) I am on the board of trustees of Concern Worldwide (a charity focused on international development and aid relief) and on the board of The Foundry, a provider of visual FX software to the post-production industry. I love to swim, cycle and play rugby in my spare time (though not necessarily at the same time...)"

Ed Davies

LA Governor appointed by Wandsworth
Chair of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I was appointed governor by the local authority, and have been the Chair of the Curriculum Committee since 2010. I work as a barrister and specialise in company and commercial law. I am also a member of the Erskine Chambers in Lincoln's Inn. I live in Tooting with my family, and enjoy sport - particularly rugby and the triathlon."

Helen Barnett

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

“I was born and raised in Lancashire but moved to South-West London in October 2001.  I lived in Tooting for over 10 years and am a mother to two daughters, both of which attend Hillbrook.  As the SEN Assistant at the school, I believe my position as a parent and a member of staff offers valuable insight into how Hillbrook should be managed to benefit of all the school’s community.”

Michael Brown 

Elected Parent Governor 
Member of Curriculum and Learning Committee

 

“I was born and raised in Belfast before leaving to read English Literature at the University of St Andrews, departing with a Masters degree and (little did I know then) my future wife. From there, I moved to South West London where I’ve been juggling the equally challenging yet rewarding roles of actor and stay-at-home parent.

 

It was a real honour to be elected as a parent governor in 2018 and it is a position I have enjoyed tremendously thus far. It’s not my job to speak on the Hillbrook parents’ behalf as such, but I can certainly bring a parental perspective to all the issues discussed and the strategic decisions made and, in that sense, I hope I can do you proud.

 

In my spare time (which is in limited supply) I enjoy cinema, pub quizzes and watching my beloved Fulham Football Club.”

Mae Christie

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

"I was born and raised in the deep south of the United States in Louisiana, studied politics at university and worked in the legal profession in Washington, DC before going forward to become a minister. I trained for priestly ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge, matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge. I enjoy football, music, cooking and politics." 

Conrad Dawson

Elected Parent Governor
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

"I have been a parent governor at the school since 2020 having served in the same role for a number of years at Tooting Primary School. Two of my three children attend Hillbrook with the third in secondary at Graveney. The whole family are big advocates of the school and I feel privileged to work with the fantastic leadership team to help get the best results for all our children.

 

I am from near Bristol originally but have lived in London for over 20 years with the vast majority of that time right here in Tooting. My day job is as a software engineer for a large European bank in London but I am at school several times a week for drop off and pick up and I'm always happy to chat with other parents at the gates.

 

Away from work and school I also work with the local scout group and run some local social media. In my free time I enjoy running, cycling and mountain biking, messing about with computers as well as trips to the pub and generally being out and about in beautiful Tooting - and of course magical adventures with the kids."

 

Matt Foster

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body

Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

 

 “I grew up in Hull (East Yorkshire), moved to London to study in 2012 and have now lived in Wandsworth for the past couple of years. I have a real interest in education and the impact that it can have on a child’s future. I work as a family solicitor, specialising in relationship breakdown, financial arrangements and private children law. In my spare time I enjoy running, reading and attending live music events.” 

Alice Himsworth
Elected Staff Governor
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

"
I’m originally from Pembrokeshire, West Wales where I grew up on the family farm. After a stint of travelling when I finished my PGCE, I moved to Tooting and secured my first teaching job at Hillbrook. 6 years later and I’m still here! I love working in such a diverse community and enjoy that no two days are the same in my role. I have worked in a number of different year groups across the school and have recently completed my fourth year as Head of Year. As a new Governor, I look forward to being able to contribute further towards positive change throughout the school. Outside of school I enjoy keeping fit, reading and travelling."



Riz Khan 

Elected Parent Governor 
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

 

"I was born in Fiji and lived in New Zealand before moving to London. I have previously worked as a Solicitor and for Domestic Violence Agencies. Currently, my husband and I are self employed and run a photography business. 

 

I was delighted to be elected as a Parent Governor in 2018 and have thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility of this role. 

 

I am extremely enthusiastic about my relationship with Hillbrook. Both my children attend the school, one in Nursery and the other in Year 1. I enjoy meeting other parents and carers during the school day as well as at the weekly Wednesday "Parent Time" meetings and through PFTA fund raising activities.

 

 In my free time I enjoy playing Badminton and going on nature walks with my family."

Heather de Mello

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

"I was born in Malta and moved around the UK as a child due to my father’s work. I came to London in 1976 to train as a social worker and although I intended to stay for just a few years, never left. I’ve lived in Tooting since 1981 – enjoying the vibrancy and diversity - and live close to Hillbrook school. I worked as a Local Authority social worker for 36 years, 30 of these working for Wandsworth Council, latterly moving into management roles until retiring in October 2016.  I hope the skills and experience developed throughout my career plus life experiences that I bring, will contribute positively to the governor role at Hillbrook school."

 

Victoria Morgan

Partnership Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

"I was born and raised in Bristol, moving to London when I was 18. I have lived in Wandsworth for over 3 years and am thrilled to be part of Hillbrook School's governing body. I am the Head of Assessment at Pearson, a worldwide education organisation. I am passionate about how education and assessment can improve the lives of young people."

Parimal Patel

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

"I have lived in Wandsworth for the majority of my life, attending Ravenstone Primary School in Balham and Chestnut Grove Secondary School. I currently reside in Tooting with my family; including 2 children, who I am proud to say both attend Hillbrook School.

As a governor, I sit on the Finance and Personal Committee and am fully dedicated in ensuring Hillbrook gets best value. I work for Wandsworth Council as a Business Manager and believe that I am ideally placed to not only understand the concerns of fellow parents but also have a greater awareness of local issues that may impact our children’s welfare.

I am always keen to hear of any ideas that parents may have, so please feel free to contact me whenever you see me in the playground." 

Kelly Stanley

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body

Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee & Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

 

"I am originally from South Yorkshire and completed my first few years’ teaching in Leeds before moving to London in 2014. I joined Hillbrook when I moved to London and have held several different roles over the last 6 years, including class teacher, SENCO and now Deputy Head. I love being a part of our wonderfully diverse and vibrant school community and working hard to ensure that Hillbrook continues to be a fantastic place to be for staff to work and children to learn.

 

When I’m not at work, I enjoy reading, cooking and going for my walks with my dog Marley – who is also our school therapy dog!"