Governing Body of Quintin Kynaston

The Governing Body consists of a total of 15 governors; drawn from parents, staff, members of the local community and governors nominated by the local education authority.

It exists to provide strategic direction for the school, and to ensure that the school is providing a high standard of education for its students. The governors work to support and challenge the school as it works towards its aims and priorities.

Governors are unpaid volunteers who act as individuals in what they believe to be the best interests of the school – they do not ‘represent’ a particular constituency. The full Governing Body meets six times a year and there is also a number of committees that meet regularly.

What do school governors do?

  1.    Oversee the budget
  2.    Oversee the school curriculum
  3.    Help recruit staff
  4.    Monitor the performance of the school, e.g. in examinations and key stage tests
  5.    Advise on school policies and procedures
  6.    Provide a vital means for parents and the community to get their views heard by the Governing Body as a whole

Appointed By Trust Members

Mouhammed was appointed school governor at QK in June 2015. He has extensive experience in the field of finance having led a number of teams and departments at some of the largest global banks. He is passionate about education and supports a number of charities by fundraising and supporting their day-to-day activities. He is a former QK student and joined as a governor to help the school where he spent eight years as a student. He enjoys working with the school’s leadership team to improve governance and overall performance, and working with the students to provide mentorship and support to help them fulfil their potential.

Originally from Manchester, I have lived and worked in central London since 1973. I graduated in Mathematics from UCL, trained at the Institute of Education and qualified as a secondary school teacher at Holland Park School. Prior to and during university I trained and worked as a computer analyst and programmer.

For a number of years I pursued parallel careers of school teaching, computing consultancy and university research and lecturing. My various activities converged on a full time academic career in 1985 when my school-motivated research in mathematics and language morphed into a ten year MoD funded research project in Artificial Intelligence.

At the University of Westminster, I have recently moved on from 15 years of managing various academic departments in Mathematics and Computing to develop my faculty’s international and UK collaborations.

I was keen to carry on my connection with schools and became a governor at QK, a school historically linked with my University, in 1994, staying the course with colleagues to provide some stabilising continuity supporting the school through radical changes to school status, an ambitious new build and a range of other leadership and management challenges.

My abiding passion is providing all young people with the educational opportunities to make the best of themselves.

For over 20 years I have lived in St John’s Wood and enjoyed being part of the area’s dynamic and diverse community. I have worked in Investment Banking IT (Front Office, Risk and Governance functions) for the past 16 years and prior to that I worked as a Biochemical Engineer in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry. My work has taken me across Europe, India and New York. I hold B.Eng and PhD degrees from University College London and an Executive MBA from CASS Business School (City University).

I am also on the Board for SHAK (South Hampstead and Kilburn Partnership Community Trust) a charity supporting Adult Learning and Youth Work.

I enjoy spending my spare time as a career coach and mentor. My spare time allows me to enjoy my passion for films and recently I completed a short course on Documentary Film Making.

Co-opted Governors

I first became a school governor after attending a talk by SGOSS, an organisation which aims to place professionals in governor vacancies throughout the UK.  I was immediately drawn by the prospect of using my professional skills to help schools best deliver their educational programme – I passionately believe that every child has a part to play in the future of this country, and deserves the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential.  I have joined the governing body of QK after serving seven years as a governor of the Federation of Westminster Special Schools.

Outside of my work as a governor, I am a solicitor specialising in employment law.  I am also mad about cooking (so much so that I have set up a catering business as a sideline) and, to try to make up for all that eating, going to the gym.

Previously a banker my career saw me working in New York, Paris and London but I decided to leave the City and develop a second career in Education.  I joined the QK governing body in June 2013 and I use experience gained to contribute towards supporting the efficient running of the school and I am also the Chair of the Wellbeing Committee.

I am also a school governor at Westminster Special Schools and a local representative at Beachcroft School, which is adjacent to QK. It is exciting to be part of the substantial positive impact QK’s new premises will have on the entire school community.

Helen has a degree in Mathematics & Aero Engineering (Manchester University), is a chartered accountant, an MBA (INSEAD), and is a successful entrepreneur. She is a local resident and an active businesswoman with a proven track record as Chief Executive, Finance Director, Non Executive Chair, and Board member in the corporate sector. She has a portfolio of roles including Treasurer and FRC Chair of a global charity promoting postgraduate education.

A passion for education of both herself and others has been a key focus throughout Helen’s career. When asked to join the governing body of QK in 2016, Helen gladly accepted the role knowing she would be working alongside a very experienced Chair and part of a diverse Board of Governors. In addition, the QK values of Aspiration, Resilience and Community are aligned with her personal ethos.

Drawing on her background in team building, personnel & leadership dynamics, and knowledge of corporate governance, Helen hopes QK can benefit from her experience, strengthen its governance and increase the breadth of pupil achievement.

Helen has been a mentor in an entrepreneurship programme in North London schools and was impressed by the positive impact it had on the students. The programme built their self-confidence, inspired them to higher achievements and opened their minds to new career prospects.

A qualified yoga teacher, Helen believes in encouraging ethical behaviour, and is an advocate of diversity and inclusion in all areas of life.

Headteacher Governor

This is my second headship, I have been a headteacher since March 2006, a senior member of staff since September 2000 and a teacher since 1995. My career started in Manchester where I taught for five years, having attended university there for four years. In between those periods I completed teacher training in Leicester. I moved to London in 2000 to take up post as assistant headteacher in a school in Edmonton before moving to Tottenham as a deputy headteacher and later headteacher in the same school. I became the headteacher at Quintin Kynaston in January 2014 which is when I became a staff governor.

I am extremely passionate about improving the life chances of young people and inspiring them to do great things with their lives. My role as a governor enables me to work alongside professionals from other fields and learn from their expertise. Personally I am equally fanatical and despairing of the football team I support, and spend all the time this job allows with family and friends.

LA Governor

Associate Governors

I was raised in an environment where education, learning new skills, and being involved in the community were all valued and encouraged.  I studied Interior Design at the University of Maryland before qualifying professionally through examination.  My career has always focused on the client facing side of the Design process.  Upon moving to the UK, I pursued first my Diploma in Marketing from the CIM and then my Masters in Business through Henley Management College.  I teach Interior Design for Rhodec International Design School and work with businesses planning new office environments.

I enjoy being a Governor as it involves commitment to the school and community.  Having been brought up through the state school system I believe fully in the necessity of excellent, inclusive community-centered schools that provide all students with the opportunity to pursue their passions and interests to the highest level possible.  It is through this that we can create a prosperous, successful society that has room for all people.

I am an Uzbek-Afghan refugee from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. We have two sons – one in Year 9 and another starting at QK in September.

Elected as a Parent Governor in a Westminster primary school (2008-12), I am currently serving my third term as an elected P/G Representative on Westminster Council’s Children, Sport & Leisure Policy & Scrutiny Committee.  I have been a Parent Governor in QK since 2013 and currently chair the Curriculum and Achievement Committee.

My professional background is in Association Management.  I have worked for the NHS in Palliative Care Medicine for nearly 20 years as an Information Systems Developer.

Being a parent and a governor is a pleasure and a privilege.  With a career in not-for-profit organisations and IT, I hope my contributions at QK and Westminster, as a critical friend, help in making the vital and irreplaceable experience of the children’s schooling years one of ambitious aspiration and achievement as well as unforgettable moments of friendships and fun.

I love playing tennis.  I am also interested in photography, cinema, English Renaissance drama, Persian music and poetry.  I studied English Literature at University with a specialism in Modernism and Contemporary Literature.  I regularly attend two seminar groups in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Parent Governor

As the parent of a Year 7 student I have joined the QK Governing Body to support the school and make it an even better learning environment. I have lived in West London for over twenty years. Professionally I began my career in IT, moving into media and recently I graduated from Birkbeck University with a degree in Law and now I volunteer my legal skills at the local Citizens Advice Bureau in Kilburn, as well as the Free Representation Unit.

Having recently completed a French foundation, I am about to embark on a language course in Arabic to widen my language skills.

Due to my background in IT and in my role as a parent governor I am keen to ensure students get the most from ICT to support their learning, communication and as future members of the nation’s workforce

Staff Governors

I first taught Design and Technology at Quintin Kynaston as a student teacher at the end of the last century and started working full time at the school in 2001 and have been here ever since. In that time I have been a classroom teacher, a tutor, and did a four year stint as staff representative for the National Union of Teachers. I have been on the governing body for six years and am currently in charge of vocational education.

For over 10 years I worked as a primary school governor and Chair of a Latin American Educational Saturday School in Lambeth and 5 years as primary school governor. Being a teacher at QK and committed to education it was a natural thing to want to be a governor here.

I started my professional career as a Journalist, Graphic Designer, Managing and Marketing Director, Administrator and Finance Officer, Finance Manager, Sales and Marketing Executive and Business Consultant for small businesses before deciding to become a teacher. I have been teaching for 12 years, starting as a teaching assistant in 2001 and then qualifying in 2003.

I am passionate about the education of students with English as an Additional Language; in fact I would like to pursue a PhD in EAL, write a good EAL guidebook, and then retire. I believe in a free, egalitarian and quality education for all. I have an Outstanding Achievement Award for my MA Ed. Research.

Personally I enjoy studying, reading, being a dad and sport, particularly squash.

If time allows I like to volunteer to drive the school bus, run study clubs and collect good quality second hand clothes for children in Africa. I particularly enjoy funding the education of a child in Haiti as I get thank you letters.  I am in the process of setting up an educational trust to support the education of poor children in Chile.

Becoming a teacher is the best thing I ever did!


Clerk to Governing Body


Membership of Governors’ Committees

Resources Committee

Curriculum & Achievement Committee

Dr. Somaiya Siddiqi (Chair) Aki Turan
Michael Chudy (Deputy Chair) Liam McGillicuddy (SLT: in attendance)
Ian Atkinson (SLT: in attendance) David Bennett (SLT: in attendance)
Alex Atherton (Headteacher) Katie Carr (SLT: in attendance)
Ross McGill (SLT: in attendance) Amanda Raggett (SLT: in attendance)
Patrick Lees (Chair of Governors) Tina Ward (SLT: in attendance)
Twyla Howse Patrick Lees (Chair of Governors)
Aki Turan Dr. Somaiya Siddiqi
Walter Castro Twyla Howse
Helen C Stevens Miriam Celina Smith-Ihionvien
Cllr. Ruth Bush Helen C Stevens
Cllr. Ruth Bush

Wellbeing Committee

Audit Committee

Brian Daly (Chair) Mouhammed Choukeir (Chair)
Celeste Fay (SLT: in attendance) Brian Daly
Patrick Lees (Chair of Governors) Dr. Somaiya Siddiqi
Martin Stone
Mouhammed Choukeir
Miriam Celina Smith-Ihionvien
Michael Chudy