Letter from the Co-Chairs of Governors


We have recently been elected Co-Chairs of the Governing body. Claire was previously the Chair of Governors and this new job-share brings even greater capacity to the leadership of the school.

For many years our school has provided a rich, creative curriculum, with excellent teaching supporting outstanding academic results. We want to carry on doing this, not only at our physically-enlarged school but also by continuing to work with other Southwark schools. We also want to become a leader in pastoral support for our children, bringing in the very latest expert thinking on mental health and on how to create a happy learning environment. And above everything, we value our diverse school community and the way parents and teachers work together to create caring and responsible global citizens.

If you would like to contact us, please email the school office or leave a note at school marked ‘for the attention of the Chair of Governors’.

Claire Maugham and Rebecca Kaloo


Who are our governors?

The governing body of Charles Dickens Primary School is composed in the following way:

  • Authority/Co-opted governors – appointed by governors
  • Parent governors – elected by Parents
  • Foundation governors – appointed by governers following nominations from the parent body (in the first instance)
  • Staff governors – elected by Staff
  • Headteacher – ex officio by virtue of their office

Committee membership list

Committee meeting attendance

Governing body meeting attendance

Register of business interests 2017/2018

Claire Maugham (Co-Chair of Governors)

Claire Maugham

Co-Chair of Governors

Start date: 11th December 2015

End date: 10th December 2019

Committee membership: Children, Families and Community, Curriculum and Standards

Claire is the Chair of Governors at the school.

Outside school, Claire is communications director for the national smart meter roll-out campaign. She has three daughters, all of whom are currently at Charles Dickens.

Rebecca Kaloo (Co-Chair of Governors)

Rebecca Kaloo

Co-Chair of Governors

Start date: 11th October 2016

End date: 10th October 2020

Committee membership: Resources, Curriculum and Standards.

Rebecca is a learning and development specialist with a focus on designing and delivering business and finance learning solutions. Having qualified as a chartered accountant, she has spent the last 18 years working with multinationals to develop organisational and individual skills to improve business performance.

Rebecca has been a Charles Dickens parent for many years and an active member of both the PTA and Parent Forum. She is keen to support the school as it expands to include more local children.

Laura Johnson - Vice Chair

Laura Johnson

Vice Chair of Governors

Start date: 11th December 2015

End date: 10th December 2019

Committee membership: Children, families and community

Laura Johnson is a parent governor and was elected in December 2015. Both Laura’s sons have attended Charles Dickens, as did Laura as a child.
Laura has experience working in Southwark schools in a supporting role to senior management and currently works for the National Education Union.
Laura hopes to use her skills and experience to support Charles Dickens School as it continues to grow and excel.

Cassie Buchanan (Headteacher)

Cassie Buchanan


Start date: 8th December 2014

Committee membership:Children, Families and Community, Curriculum and Standards, Resources

Cassie joined Charles Dickens Primary School in 2007 and is the Headteacher.

Cassie has led the school to ensure that outstanding levels of learning are achieved each year for all pupils. Cassie is responsible for whole school improvement and the performance management of all teachers. Cassie is married with three children aged 7, 5 and 1.

Andrew Mayer (Local authority governor)

Andrew Mayer

Local authority governor

Start date: 14th July 2016

End date: 13th July 2020

Committee membership: Curriculum and Standards, Resources

As Deputy Chair of Governors, and a governor at Charles Dickens since 2004, Andy supports the work of the Chair and also has responsibilities on the Resources and Curriculum committees ensuring excellence is rewarded and that the school can invest in future growth. Outside school Andy is the UK head of public affairs for a major manufacturing and science company and previously worked for the Absolute Return for Kids education charity and several major corporations with a focus on environmental services. He is married with one hyperactive daughter who attends Charles Dickens Primary.

Emma Gleadhill (Co-opted Governor)

Emma Gleadhill

Co-opted Governor

Start date: 25th March 2014

End date: 24th March 2018

Committee membership: Curriculum and Standards

Emma is very proud to be serving as a community governor at the Charles Dickens School – a real beacon of excellence in the area she has lived in for over ten years. As a practicing teacher for over 17 years Emma has wide ranging experience of secondary school life. She has been a Pastoral Deputy Head in a leading independent school for six years and followed this up with an MA in child development at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, a world leading institution specialising in child and adolescent mental health.

As governor with responsibility for Safeguarding both at Charles Dickens and a secondary academy, Emma aims to support the school in best practice in the ways schools support children and families. As well as teaching part time, she also works part time as an education consultant, providing training to Heads of Year, teachers and School leaders on the emotional sides of school life.

As parent of a child in year 3, Emma is able to reflect with humour on how difficult it is to get it right all the time!

Linda Taylor (Staff Governor)

Linda Taylor

Staff Governor

Start date: 24th February 2014

End date: 23rd February 2018

Committee membership: Resources

Linda has been a Staff Support Governor for 5 years with commitments to health and safety within school.

Linda has been a member of staff at Charles Dickens Primary School since 1998. She is currently a higher level teaching assistant. She became the Staff Support Union Rep in 2006 and enjoys supporting the support staff at school. She felt it would be a positive and challenging experience to become a part of the governing Body at Charles Dickens Primary School. This has proved to be correct and she is enjoying supporting the school in its continuation to move forward.

Matthew Harris (Partnership Governor)

Matthew Harris

Partnership Governor

Start date: 8th December 2014

End date: 7th December 2018

Committee membership: Resources

Matthew was invited to join the Governing Body in 2012 as he brings a wealth of legal expertise. Matthew is a solicitor at Waterfront Solicitors ( a local firm) where he specialises in Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution.
Matthew is currently supporting the school with the building expansion works which commenced in September 2015.

Shulamit Ambalu (Parent Governor)

Shulamit Ambalu

Parent Governor

Start date: 12th February 2015

End date: 11th February 2019

Committee membership: Children, Families and Community

Shulamit joined the Governing Body in 2015 as she wanted to want to help the school to stay close to those core values that are so important, keeping the interests of our children and our community always at heart.

Her career as a community rabbi in Hackney has given her years of experience in working with volunteers to build a strong community based on shared values. She aims to help the governing body to become even stronger, to make good, open and transparent decisions, and to build trust with parents and staff.

Jemima Rhy-Evans (Deputy Headteacher)

Jemima Rhys-Evans

Associate Member

Start date: 3rd March 2016

End date: 2nd March 2020

Academic – Deputy Headteacher at Charles Dickens Primary School

Michael Eggleton (Deputy Headteacher)

Michael Eggleton

Associate Member

Start date: 3rd March 2016

End date: 2nd March 2020

Pastoral – Deputy Headteacher at Charles Dickens Primary School

Michael has been a teacher for over 10 years and has worked in schools both in London and Surrey. He has spent the last four years as a member of the Senior Leadership Team. His current role is that of Deputy Headteacher (Pastoral). His responsibilities include day to day running of the school and developing strategic aims alongside the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher (Academic). He ensures the school is inclusive and proactive in responding to individual children’s needs. Michael leads on the pastoral elements of the school, including pupil wellbeing. He leads this by ensuring that every child receives weekly lessons on positive mental health and access to additional support when required.

Michael is married with a son. In his spare time he enjoys running and sailing.

Miaomiao Yu (Parent Governor)

Miaomiao Yu

Parent Governor

Start date: 14th December 2016

End date: 13th December 2020

Committee Membership: Curriculum and Standards; Children, Families and Community

I am mum to a rambunctious little boy at Charles Dickens. I’m also a musician and an immigrant. I love the fact that Charles Dickens is an inner-city London school with a multicultural student body, and I am passionate about celebrating our community’s differences as well as commonalities. As a child I lived on 3 continents, and struggled to understand and find my own identity. I want to help my children and the children of Charles Dickens to grow up to be citizens of the world.

I have been a professor of piano at Guildhall School of Music and Drama for the past decade, and have experience seeing things from both the teacher’s as well as parent’s perspective. I have received many awards for my career as a pianist, but I am extremely proud of receiving the Action for Children’s Arts award for my work as the founder of the classical concert series Bach to Baby. The aim of the series is to create a future where children can enjoy great live music from their very earliest moments. I’m a firm believer that creativity and emotional wellbeing are integral parts of children’s academic success. To that end, I’m proud to serve on the Curriculum and Standards as well as the Children, Families and Community committees at Charles Dickens.

Simon Gleadhill (Partnership Governor)

Simon Gleadhill

Partnership Governor

Start date: 9th December 2016

End date: 8th December 2020

Committee membership: Resources

Hello, I’m Simon and I’m serving as a partnership Governor. I’ve lived in the area for over 15 years and I’m proud to be a parent at the school. I can see the great work that’s being done here, and I hope I can contribute to that by using my finance and accountancy skills to help with the work of the Resources Committee.

Ran Holst (Parent Governor)

Ran Holst

Parent Governor

Start date: 9th December 2016

End date: 8th December 2020

Parent Governor: Resource department & Children and Families Committee.

Ran joined the Governor Body in July 2017 as a parent governor, having previously been an associate member. She is an EU citizen who has lived in the UK for over 20 years. As a parent of two children at the school, she is exceptionally grateful for our diverse and brilliant school, its powerful ethos and everything it achieves for its children and the wider community. 

She is a trustee for the newly launched ‘Children Book Project’ that redistributes books to children. At school, she spent time every week in year 2016/17 as a reader helper. She is an active PTA member. 

For 18 years Ran worked as Executive Producer and Head of Commercial Film Production. The role demanded significant communication, budgeting, flexibility and project management. She plans to use her skills to help the committees that she is attached to as well as further the work of the Governor Body.

She is a big supporter of the important RULER work that has been implemented throughout the school. She aims to promote and support this work and further a shared language and openness about how to handle and understand feelings.

Daniel Efunnuga (Parent Governor)

Daniel Efunnuga

Parent Governor

Start date: 28th February 2017

End date: 27th February 2021

I’m pleased to be able to contribute as a parent governor within Charles Dickens where the children benefit from a vibrant academic and social experience. Currently, I form part of the Curriculum and Standards Committee and will bring my experience within Further Education and the Awarding Body sectors. Given today’s pace of change within the Department for Education, I hope to be able to offer the operational support that will help the school to thrive through this rapid change.

The following governors have been in post in the last 12 months.

  • Nik Nicol – Parent Governor – 14/12/16 – 22/2/17 (resigned)
  • David Moore – Parent Governor – 11/12/15 – 10/5/17 (resigned)
  • Zoe Lillitos – Partnership Governor – 8/12/14 – 1/9/17 (resigned)
  • Carolyn Forsyth – Co-opted Governor – 11/12/15 – 1/9/17 (resigned)
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What do the Governors do?

The governors have a strategic role supporting and challenging the headteacher. Governors work as a team, in the best interests of the children and the school, to raise educational standards. More specifically, they:

  • Appoint the headteacher, who has day to day responsibility for everything that happens in a school and is accountable to them
  • Agree how the school’s money is allocated
  • Agree policies about the way the governing body and the school work
  • Ensure new initiatives and guidelines from the Department for Education and the education authority are put in place

The full governing body usually meets at least once a term in addition to meeting in smaller committees. Most of the governors’ work is done in committee meetings when financial, staffing, curriculum and premises issues are discussed in detail. These committees meet at least twice a term and more when there are pressing issues such as building works.