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Who We Are

Stephen Benjamin - Co-opted Governor

Stephen joined the Governing Body in March 2018 when he was appointed as a co-opted Governor. He is a member of both the Business Committee and Health, Safety, Premises and Safeguarding Committee.

Stephen has worked in the residential and commercial property sector from 1971 to the present day, progressing through various companies to the role of Chief Executive then Chairman of a large firm of consultant surveyors and valuers.

With one of his fellow directors, in 2003, he founded his present company which still operates in the commercial sector, but now finds that he has sufficient spare time to offer something back to the community.

Stephen has two children; a son who is a partner in a City law firm and a daughter who works in media and communications. He has lived in West Wimbledon and Raynes Park since 1982 and as a local resident, is keen to see Raynes Park High school continue to be at the forefront of Merton schools, under its existing strong leadership.

Tracey Benzecry - Co-opted Governor

More information coming soon

Olivia Brooks - Parent Governor

 

Olivia joined the Governing Body in November 2017 when she was elected as a parent Governor.

She worked in the corporate sector as a marketing executive but moved to a career in education after the birth of her three children.

Olivia now works as a student empowerment champion for a Federation of 7 Primary schools. She works with staff and students to develop empowerment strategies for learning both in and out of the classroom.  She is passionate about equipping children with the skills they will need to thrive in the uncertain workplace, where many jobs will become obsolete (replaced by robots) and new roles will be created.

As a parent Governor, Olivia hopes to build on the links already made between staff and parents. She is a strong advocate of student empowerment and student and parent voice and is keen to help the school drive development in these areas.

Hamish Dowlen - Co-opted Governor

Hamish joined the Governing Body in March 2011 as a Local Authority Governor.  He was elected onto the newly constituted Governing Body as a co-opted Governor in July 2015. He is Chair of the Business Committee and is Link Governor for MFL and Creative and Performing Arts..

Hamish has worked for the past eleven years as a reinsurance consultant, both in the City of London and in Munich, Germany. He holds a master of arts degree in Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge University.

He is particularly interested in educational matters, having worked during his gap year at a specialist music school in Kent. His main interests are playing the piano, travelling in Eastern Europe and classic cars.

Kirsten Heard - Headteacher

Kirsten began as Headteacher in September 2015. She joined us from The Green School in Isleworth where she was Deputy Headteacher with an interest in inclusion.

She is Sociology graduate and her PGCE specialism was RE. She is committed to securing the very best outcomes for all RPHS students.

Samantha Kuti - Staff Governor

Samantha joined the Governing Body in March 2019 as a staff Governor and is a member of the Standards & Quality Committee.

Samantha has worked at Raynes Park High School for 16 years and is currently the Head of the Access Centre - an Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) for students with a primary diagnosis of Autism and an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Samantha has taught Maths at Raynes Park High School for 16 years and continues to do so, while also being committed to delivering an outstanding provision for students with Autism and is currently working towards gaining the National Autistic Society (NAS) accreditation for the Access Centre and the wider school.

Moira McGarr - Co-opted Governor

Moira was elected co-opted Governor in July 2015. She has lived in Raynes Park for 8 years and has one child. Prior to being a Homemaker, Moira worked in senior roles within Human Resources, predominantly in the business to business service sector.

Moira is keen to participate in her local community, utilising her professional skills to support the continuing success and future development of Raynes Park High School. She is very excited about her new role and the challenges it will bring. in her spare time she loves walking her dog, visiting national trust places and reading or watching murder mysteries.

Dean Murphy - Parent Governor

More information coming soon

Graham Orpwood - Co-opted Governor

Graham joined the Governing Body as an Associate Member in September 2016, and then became a Co-opted Governor in April 2017.  He is a member of the Standards & Quality Committee and Link Governor for Science.

A lifelong educator, Graham has been a science teacher at primary, secondary and tertiary levels in both England and Canada.  For the past 30 years he has also been a researcher and teacher educator, with special interests in curriculum, assessment and numeracy.

With a BSc and MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in education, Graham is a Professor Emeritus at York University in Toronto.

Michael Ross - Co-opted Governor (Chair 2018-19)

Mike joined the Governing Body in December 2012 and was elected onto the newly reconstituted Governing Body as a co-opted Governor in July 2015.

Mike is a member of the Premises, Health, Safety & Safeguarding Committee and the Business Committee. He is the Link Governor for Business, Economics and Law.

 He has lived in Merton Park for 30 years with his partner and their two sons, one of whom attends RPHS.

Until his retirement, Mike was Chief Executive of the Residential Property Tribunal Service, a non-Departmental public body. He has a background in corporate planning, finance and change management. After graduating in Modern History at Oxford, he had a varied career history working in Government, ranging from Head of Training at the Department of the Environment to management of the national resurvey of listed buildings and sponsorship of the London Zoo. He has been a magistrate for 38 years and is Chairman of the Morden Girls Football League.

Alison Rowett - Parent Governor

Alison joined the Governing Body in April 2014 as a parent Governor.

Alison is a science graduate and has a background in the provision of data for the NHS, a great asset in understanding the data aspects of the work of the Governing Body and in supporting and challenging the information provided for Governors by the school. She serves on the Standards and Quality Committee and is Link Governor for Science, Humanities and Sociology.

Marina Szanto - Co-opted Governor

Marina joined the Governing Body in December 2010 and was elected onto the newly constituted Governing Body as a Co-opted Governor in July 2015. She is Link Governor for Safeguarding, Children in Care and Pupil Premium.

Marina has a wide range of experience across the Secondary Education sector.  her career as a Senior Leader spans 5 London Local Authorities over 25 years. This includes as a Headteacher in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Her most recent experience prior to retirement was as an Education Consultant supporting schools that were underperforming.

Marina has an MA in Education and Social Policy and is committed to local community schools delivering and outstanding educational experience to its local young people.

Kara Thwaites - Parent Governor

 

More information coming soon

Margaret Tulloch  - Local Authority Governor

Margaret is a Governor appointed by the local authority, and has been a governor since 1986. Her son was a pupil at the school when it was a boys’ school.  Margaret sits on the Premises, Health, Safety & Safeguarding Committee and Business Committee and is Link Governor for Equalities, SEN, More Able and Admin including Leisure.

Nationally Margaret was on the National Executive of the Campaign for State Education (CASE) from 1988 to 2004, for most of that time as Secretary. For several years she was a trustee of the Advisory Centre for Education, including 9 years as Chair. She is a trustee of the research charity Research and Information on State Education (RISE) and secretary of Comprehensive Future, a campaign aiming to end selection on ability and aptitude.