Governing Body


The Governing Board consists of two committees. These are:

  • Resources Committee
  • Teaching and Learning Committee

In order to fulfil their duties, the Govering Board meet in the following ways:

  • Termly Full Govering Board meetings
  • Half-termly Resource, and Teaching and Learning Committee meetings
  • Bi-annual Governor Visit Days
  • Termly subject specific meetings

The Govering Board is represented by parents, the Headteacher, the Staff, members of the local community and the Local Authority. They are all committed to the further development of the school and the achievement of the children who attend.

If you are interested in becoming a School Governor, please contact the clerk to the Governing Body or speak to the Headteacher.

The role of the governing body

The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 sets out the role of the Governing Board. It states that:

The Governing Board should focus strongly on three core functions:

  • Setting the vision and strategic direction of the school;

  • Holding the headteacher to account for its educational performance;

  • And ensuring financial resources are well spent

Further details of the roles and responsibilities of the Governing Board can be found here:

School Governance Regulations 2013 departmental advice | PDF

Governing Body Declaration Register Dec 2020

Governing Body Declaration Register Nov 2019


Becoming a Governor

Becoming a governor is a significant commitment and requires real commitment, time and effort.

A governor plays an extremely important part in formulating and driving forward the strategic direction of the school. 

Governors are responsible for ensuring the safety of our children, parents and staff at all times.

Governors are expected to fully engage in the work of the Governing Board; behaving in a respectful, positive and supportive manner with children, parents, staff and other governors.

Governors can also expect to experience great personal satisfaction in knowing that they are playing an essential part in the school’s continuous improvement.

The current members of the governing body are as follows:

Venessa Nicholas   

Type of Governor:  Headteacher

Term of office start date:  26th February 2015​


Geoff Carruthers – Chair and Co-opted Governor

Date appointed: 17 July 2021

Term of Office: 4 years


My youngest child graduated from Derwentwater Primary School in 2015 and I have recently been appointed as Chair of Governors, I am also Chair of the Resources Committee. I have spent most of my professional career as an IT consultant and a company director, but I also worked briefly as a high school mathematics teacher.  I value Derwentwater and its place in our community and am committed to helping achieve excellent outcomes for all of its students.




Alister French – Vice Chair and Parent Governor

Date appointed: 27 November 2018

Term of Office: 4 years


I have two children at Derwentwater and was elected as a Parent Governor at the end of 2018. In my professional life I am a partner in a strategy consultancy with a focus on retailers and other consumer-facing businesses. Before starting that a decade ago, I completed my PhD in organic chemistry with research on the engineering of antibody based drugs.

Acton has been my home since 2010 and I look forward to working with the other governors to support the leadership of our school in their work that is so vital to the vibrancy and growth of this place.




Rachel Brewer - Co-opted Governor

Date of appointment - 18 July 2019

Term of Office - Four Years

​I have two young children and am currently taking an extended maternity leave. Prior to that I spent ten years working as a secondary school music teacher across three London state schools, most recently as Head of Music at Vyners Academy in Hillingdon.  I have also taught maths and worked as a visiting instrumental teacher, as well as spending two years teaching English in Japan.  Although I am new to school governance I am looking forward to using my experiences in education to help me succeed in the role of co-opted governor.



Aizad Hussain - Co-opted Governor

Date of appointment - 18 December 2019

Term of office - Four Years

I run a Heathrow and Peterborough based logistics, e-commerce and freight business with other members of my family.  I enjoy the service industry as it gives an opportunity to create value-added solutions for clients and service-partners and with the continued expansion of the online world, this presents the business with great opportunities and challenges for many years to come.

Separately to Sprint, I am also co-Founder and Trustee of the Ar-Rahman Primary School and Sadat Trust, the family’s charity which focuses on sponsoring and charitable giving in developing countries.  I am also Treasurer of the Acton Mosque which serves approximately 1,000 attendees.  I have lived in Acton all his life and am married with three children.




Caroline Gammage - Co-opted Governor

Date Appointed - 18 May 2020

Term of Office - Four Years


I have two goddaughters at Derwentwater Primary School in Year 2 and Year 5, and when visiting the school, I have always been charmed by what is so obviously a caring and welcoming culture. In my professional life, I have spent 20 years at Saatchi & Saatchi communications agency, where I gained experience in developing brand strategies and communication plans,  managing P&L’s, driving operational efficiency and mentoring.  

I have lived in the local area since 2006 and am passionate about the vibrancy and diversity of our community.  I was elected Governor in May 2020 and am looking forward to working with the other Governors to help support the leadership team drive the best possible outcomes for the children of Derwentwater.



Nick Jones - Co-opted Governor

Date Appointed - 18 May 2020

Term of Office - Four Years

I am Rector of Acton for the Church of England with responsibility for St Mary's and All Saints churches.  I have held this post for five years.  I joined the Governing Board in January 2016 and am governor for Safeguarding.  I am also a governor for Ark Acton Academy.  Prior to coming to London, I have lived and worked in Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Northern Nigeria including a spell as a school chaplain and a period working for HM Prison Service.  I have been involved with school governance since the min-Nineties.  My wider interests include Mental Health and Restorative Justice.  I am married with four adult children and five grandchildren.




Sally Forge - Parent Governor

Date of Appointment - 24 November 2020

Term of Office - Four years

Following a career in technology communications, working as a PR consultant, then as a corporate external relations and citizenship communications manager, I currently work as a government digital communications project manager. 






Julia Elvidge - Associate Governor

Date of Appointment - 9 December 2020

Term of Office - Four years

I have one child at Derwentwater in reception and our second will join in a couple of years.    I have worked as a primary school teacher since 2010 and have recently taken a career break to focus on family and my work as a hypnobirthing teacher.  I am passionate about education and inspiring a love of learning in children, as well as empowering children with tools to build high self-esteem and resilience.   We have lived in Acton since 2014 and we love the strong sense of community at Derwentwater.





Zac Ghaffar - Parent Governor

Date of Appointment - 24 November 2020

Term of Office - Four years

I have 2 children currently in Derwentwater Primary School, a boy and a girl in years 4 and 2 respectively. I grew up in Reading and moved to London in 2001 when I came to study Business Computing Systems. My work at present is in Business Intelligence, consulting largely for NHS organisations in building data platforms and solutions. I have lived in Acton since 2015 and love the area for its vibrancy and strong sense of community. I am also an U9s coach for local Rugby club Wasps FC. Becoming a parent governor for me is an opportunity to ensure children at the school get the best possible learning experience and the opportunities available to us in achieving this are fully utilised.