The Governing Body

As the Governing Body of Edmund Waller we care passionately about the education that is offered to our children. We believe that if everyone works together – staff, parents, governors, the local community and the children, the school will provide a stimulating and caring environment that supports our children’s learning and wellbeing.

We are accountable to parents, pupils, the community, the Local Authority and Ofsted for the school’s performance.

What we are responsible for

The Governing Body at Edmund Waller has a number of responsibilities included in our annual work programme.
For example, we are responsible for:

  • Working with the Senior Leadership team to develop and monitor the School Development Plan. This is the plan that decides the school’s priorities for each year so that we can all find ways to improve and develop the work of the school
  • Looking at the school’s performance data and comparing it with past performance, national averages and similar schools. This means we know if the school is continuing to get even better or where we might need to focus resources
  • Making sure that the school is evaluating its performance and, where needed, making changes to improve performance of all children in the school
  • Overseeing the school’s work with children who need extra help, such as Disadvantaged and Looked-After Children or those with Special Educational Needs. We review whether those children are getting the right help and what difference it’s making for them
  • Reviewing the school’s budget to make sure that it’s being spent to help improve the children’s performance and wellbeing, with particular focus on the Pupil Premium budget that the school receives to improve outcomes for Disadvantaged and Looked-After children.
  • Making sure the school has all the necessary policies in place, for example an Anti-Bullying policy or a Safeguarding Children policy. We also review these regularly to make sure they are up to date.

This isn’t a complete list but it gives an idea of some of the things we do. What we’re NOT responsible for is the day to day running of the school. That is the job of the Headteacher, the two Assistant Headteachers and the Business Manager, who together are known as the Senior Leadership Team. Governors should act as the ‘critical friend’ of the Senior Leadership Team.

How we are organised

We meet formally eight times a year as a Governing Body and have a work programme to make sure we consider the right things at the right times during the year. For example, we oversee and challenge the budget to ensure that it is being spent in the most effective way to help all children learn. We monitor the progress and achievement of all children and oversee decisions about changes to the curriculum. We all attend all meetings. In addition, there are many further visits and meetings during the year which relate to our specific Link Governor roles.

Who we are

We have twelve people on our Governing Body:

  • 1 x Headteacher
  • 1 x Staff governor
  • 1 x Local Authority governor
  • 3 x Parent governors
  • 6 x Co-opted governors (selected for particular skills or experience needed by the Body)

The staff governor is elected by the staff and normally serves for 4 years.
The parent governors are elected to serve the Governing Body by parents of the school and normally serve for 4 years.
The co-opted governors are invited onto the Governing Body, by the Governing Body, to add areas of expertise and to represent the local community. We use skills audits to ascertain the requirements and expertise required.
A full list of the governors as well as information about their appointment, committee membership, attendance, and the Register of Business interests is available below.

Colleen Boxall – Headteacher

Vacancy – Staff Governor

Gail Exon – Local Authority (Link Governor for Safeguarding, Looked After Children and Child Protection)

Gail Exon ewgov “I am a former Headteacher of an outstanding church primary school in Lewisham and I’ve also worked in school improvement as a mentor to head teachers. As a National Leader of Governance I’ve been in a good position to work with the Governing Body at Waller to find ways being a really effective governing body. I’m the Diocesan representative on Lewisham’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee.”

Arjun Medhi – Parent (Link Governor for Resources, Health & Safety, Premises)

“I was elected as Parent Governor in May 2016. I have previously held senior positions in Central Government and the private sector. I have written publications about the problems of fraud, bribery and corruption in the financial services and the football industry. I want to contribute to this fantastic school, be part of its community and make a difference. I hope to do this by bringing my experience of Board and Audit Committees and skills in finance, risk, and governance to School’s Governing Body”

Rhea Ghosal – Co-opted (Link Governor for Finance and Resources)

Rhea ewgov “I joined Edmund Waller as a governor in July 2019 and am excited to be a part of this community. I work within corporate development at Anglo American plc, a global mining company. Previously, I worked at Ernst and Young’s financial services practice where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. I bring experience in strategy, finance, risk management and financial audits. I grew up in three very different countries (India, Singapore and the UK), which has given me a unique perspective on education. I aim to support the school in managing its resources to maximise the children’s learning opportunities.”

David Kenington – Parent (Link Governor for Resources, Health & Safety, Premises)

Dk ewgov “I became a parent governor in June 2019 and my son and daughter attend the school. I am an academic researcher, undertaking post-graduate research University College London, focused on energy use in buildings and its impact on climate change. I also work as a researcher for central Government departments, focused on evaluating energy and climate change policies. I bring a broad range of skills (strategy, communications, business planning, HR and finance) generated from leading a research business and academic research activities. I have a passion for education and sustainability, and will bring these skills to help the school become even more fantastic than it already is.”

Joanna McMahon – Parent Link Governor for SEND & Inclusion, and Governing Body Development)

Jo Mc ewgov “I became a parent governor in the summer of 2018; both my daughters attend this school. I have worked for London Ambulance in the Clinical Education and Standards team for the last 16 years and have recently moved to Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust to become part of the Business Development and Strategy Team. I hope to use my skills to enhance the work of the governing team in supporting Edmund Waller to create bigger and better opportunities for all pupils”

Trish Dooley – Co-opted (Link Governor for Maths & Curriculum)

TrishBW ewgov “I am a co-opted governor and feel very privileged to be working with and representing Edmund Waller School. I am a former deputy head teacher of 4 large London secondary schools, one in the neighbouring borough of Greenwich. I was originally a maths teacher and am now retrained as a leadership coach. I do much of my coaching in education, though not exclusively, coaching leaders at all levels. I remain passionate about education and am an advocate for ensuring all young people access the best opportunities a school can offer.​”

Jacob Sakil – Co-opted (Link Governor for Pupil Premium and SEND)

Jacob ewgov “I’ve been a co-opted governor since July 2017. I’m a local youth worker and local university MA student and former young mayor of Lewisham. I bring a wealth of experience in working with young people both locally and nationally and in community engagement. I’m passionate about supporting the development of EW school. I’m especially interested in making sure there is fair access to opportunities for all children even those who experience barriers and disadvantages.”

Catherine Steinmann – Co-opted (Vice Chair and Link Governor for Pupil Premium)

Catherine Steinmann ewgov “I have been a governor at Edmund Waller since December 2011 when my daughters attended this school. I have a background in journalism, music publishing and concert production and am currently completing an MSc in Speech & Language Therapy at City, London University. My aim as a governor is to see the children at our school make excellent progress via a creative curriculum within a vibrant and nurturing school community”

Sile Stuttard – Co-opted (Vice Chair, and Link Governor for SEND & Inclusion)

“I was the Chair of Governors for over five years. I have eight children who have all been through or still attend this school. Originally I trained as a lawyer and have also worked in marketing. I am a studio coordinator, archivist and researcher for the artists Anthony Caro and John Hoyland. I try and use my knowledge of governance, skills in team working, managing meetings, decision making and communications to help the Governing Body function as effectively as possible.”

Kate Franklin – Co-opted (Chair)

Kate  ewgov “I have been a governor at Edmund Waller since November 2017 and Chair of Governors since October 2018. Both of my two daughters attend the school. I am a self-employed workplace coach and consultant and I bring experience in strategic HR and leadership to my role.   I’m enjoying using this experience to help our fantastic school through the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

How to contact us

Governors are pleased to hear views and ideas and can be contacted via the school office.

We are on the school gate at each of the school fairs and we have a presence at parent’s evenings. Please come and say hello.

Governors’ Details

Each governor who has served at any point over the past 12 months

C. Boxall*HeadteacherN/AN/AN/A
G. ExonLALA27/02/184 – 26/02/22N/A
D. AbsolomStaffStaff01/05/184 – 30/04/22Resigned February 2020
D. KeningtonParentParents05/06/194 – 04/06/23N/A
A. MedhiParentParents01/07/164 – 30/06/20N/A
Z. FatamaParentParents29/06/184 – 28/06/20Resigned March 2019
J. M. McMahon ParentParent29/06/184 – 28/06/20N/A
V. RyfCo-optedGB12/12/172 – 11/12/19Resigned Nov 2018
S. StuttardCo-optedGB12/12/172 – 11/12/19 re-appointed 01/10/19N/A
C. SteinmannCo-optedGB12/12/172 – 11/12/19 re-appointed 01/10/19N/A
P. StephenCo-optedGB12/12/172 – 11/12/19Resigned June 2019
K. FranklinCo-optedGB03/10/172 – 02/10/19 reappointed 01/10/19N/A
T. DooleyCo-optedGB12/06/182 – 11/06/20 N/A
J. SakilCo-optedGB17/07/182 – 16/07/20 N/A
R. GhosalCo-optedGB16/07/192 – 15/07/21N/A
  • Mrs Boxall is the Headteacher and takes this sole position on the governing body.


NAME02/10/182711/1812/02/1926/03/1930/ 04/1911/06/1916/07/19
D. KeningtonAppointed 05/0619XY
Z. FatamaYYYResigned 03/19
V. RyfYResigned 11/18
S. StuttardNYXYYNY
C. SteinmannYYYYXYY
P. StephensYYNNNResigned 06/19
R. GhosalAppointed 16/07/19Y
K. FranklinYYYYYYY


C. Boxall EHT N/A N/A N/A None HT – Edmund Waller School
G. Exon LA LA 4 – 19/04/22 N/A None SDBEMAT
D. Absolom Staff Staff 4 – 30/04/22 N/A None Employed by the School – AHT
A. Medhi Parent Parents 4 – 30/06/20 N/A None Santander – Anti Bribery & Corruption Manager
J. M. McMahon Parent Parents 4 – 28/06/20 N/A None Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust – Business Manager
S. Stuttard Co-opted GB 2 – 11/12/19 N/A Vice Chair None
C. Steinmann Co-opted GB 2 – 11/12/19 N/A Vice Chair Music Publisher
K. Franklin Co-opted GB 2 – 02/10/19 N/A Chair Director – White & Lime
T. Dooley Co-opted GB 2 – 11/06/20 N/A None Leadership Coach
J. Sakil Co-opted GB 2 – 16/07/20 N/A None None