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Rathfern Primary School has a dynamic and engaged Governing Body who oversee the strategic direction for the school. The Governing Body is made up of parents, community volunteers, staff (including the Head) and representatives from the Local Education Authority.

Offering advice and guidance

Our parent and community governors have a range of different backgrounds and experience and bring many beneficial persepctives to the life of the school. The role of the Governing Body is to act as a supportive but ‘critical friend’ offering advice and guidance to ensure the school:

  • has clear aims and objectives
  • teaches the key objectives of the curriculum
  • reports National Curriculum assessment results to parents
  • strives to reach performance targets
  • plans the repair and maintenance of school buildings
  • manages the school budget

The Governing Body also appoints the Head Teacher and Deputy Head and approves and monitors the School Improvement Plan. The Governing Body meet at least once a term and has a Chair, Vice Chair and various sub committees. The Chair of Governors can be contacted by using our contact form.

Chair of Governors

Rosemary Benson – Rathfern Vice Chair of Governors

Rosemary Benson

SEN Governor

Read more…

I am the Chair of Governors and former parent at Rathfern. I started on the Board in 2010 as a Parent Governor and served as co-Vice Chair of Governors, Chair of Learning, Achievement and Community Committee, Safeguarding Link Governor and a Training Link Governor. My daughter is now in Year 11 at secondary school and still talks about her time at Rathfern, including her friends and teachers, the learning experiences and trips and all of the sporting and music opportunities (especially drumming with Remi!). She has continued with singing and playing the trumpet and started playing bassoon at secondary. My particular interest is helping to ensure that the Governing Board supports the schools management and teaching teams to ensure that Rathfern continues as an Outstanding School for each one of the children. In my role as Governor I draw on skills from my work life, where I am a Staff Development Manager at a University, such as Learning & Development, Equality & Diversity, Health & Wellbeing and Performance Management. I am also keen to ensure that the whole parent body can be involved in the school.

  • Appointed by which body? Parent body
  • Term of office: 4 years to 16th December 2018
  • Names of any committees served on:
  • Details of any associate members - None
  • Connections to any other educational establishments or governing bodies you may have: London Metropolitan University
  • Relationships with any governors or school staff: None

Vice Chair of Governors

Rhian Douglas – Rathfern Local Authority Governor

Rhian Douglas

Safeguarding Governor

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Rhian has been a Governor at Rathfern since 2012, and is currently a member of the Finance sub-committee.  She's passionate about pupils having access to a broad curriculum and wide range of experiences and is particularly interested in the important role of sport and exercise in the lives of young people from all backgrounds, and a school's role in promoting healthy lifestyles.  She's worked in education management for almost 20 years, across government, charities and higher education and is particularly interested in system leadership across the schools' sector and the role of regulation in education.

Staff Governors

Naheeda Maharasingam – Rathfern Staff Governor

Naheeda Maharasingam


Read more…

I have been the Headteacher of Rathfern since 2007 and am delighted at the positive changes that have taken place. Children are at the heart of all our efforts to ensure they are safe, happy and effective learners. We believe that when children learn to learn they will achieve highly and not fear learning struggles. We have a growth mindset believing all children are capable of succeeding.

Co-Opted Governors

Carley Eaton

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I am a chartered accountant and I currently work as an Internal Audit Director at a bank based in Canary Wharf. I am also a mum of two boys aged 4 and 1.  I will bring my finance skills and experience to the Governing Body to help ensure the school is operated in a financially responsible manner.

I am passionate about learning and especially about making learning fun and engaging for all ages. My hope is that Rathfern children will have a ‘love of learning’ that stays with them for a lifetime.


Janet Benefo

Health & Safety

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I am a Co-opted Governor and have been in this role since 2017 I am also on the Health and Safety and Finance committees. I am a parent of a child who has recently left Rathfern Primary School for Secondary School (July 2019).
I am a professionally qualified civil engineer with over 20 years of experience in industry designing, building and maintaining structures. I have constructed bridges over live railway lines, re-built roads to resolve flooding issues and supervised construction of multi-storey buildings overseas.
I am very passionate about health, safety and welfare which is an important factor not only in the civil engineering industry but in every aspect of life.
I believe that with good planning, preparation and programming value for money can be achieved in the quality of education that is delivered to the children as well as the wellbeing of the staff to enable them to deliver high standards of teaching.
I am very pleased to be on the Health and Safety committee as well as the Finance committee and believe that I can provide a valuable contribution in ensuring that Rathfern school is a safe place for all and that our children get the best value education.


Details of the Governing Body

Governing Body Structure



updated July 2019

Governor places 12
Headteacher 1
Staff 1
Appointed by the London Borough of Lewisham 1
Elected parents of pupils attending the school 3
Co-opted 6

Chair Of The Governing Body

Rosemary Benson

Committee Structure

The Governing Body operates a Finance Committee Chair: Carley Eaton .

Pupil Discipline / Staff Grievance / Staff Discipline / Staff Discipline Appeal / Pay Appeal / Complaints Panels

These meet as and when required, with a minimum of three eligible governors, who are selected according to the following criteria:

The three members can be selected based on:

  • Availability.
  • Fair representation as far as possible in terms of balance (gender, race).
  • No previous knowledge of the case.
  • If it was regarding a staff member no staff member on the committee.
  • If more than three members were available then they would be chosen in alphabetical order by the Chair and with the advice of the Headteacher.

Governor’s Details

(for each governor who has served at any point over the past 12 months)

Full Name Category Appointed by Date of Appointment Term of Office Date Resigned Responsibilities
No. Years  End Date
Co opted GB 13/12/18 4 12/12/22 Chair
Rhian Douglas Local authority GB 5/12/16 4 6/12/20 Vice Chair
Janet Benefo Co opted GB 19/7/17 4 18/7/21 Health & Safety
 Magda Branker Co opted GB 19/7/17 4 18/7/21 Looked After Children and Safeguarding
Co opted GB 25/03/15 N/a N/a 13 March 2018
Kate Burls Parent Parents 1/03/19 4 28/2/23
Co opted GB 10/02/15 4 9/02/19 09 February 2019
Chantelle Daley Staff Staff 16/10/18 4 15/10/22 Assistant Head
Cheryl Greene Parent Parents 5/12/17 4 4/12/21
Staff Staff 9/2/16 N/A N/A 31 August 2018 Deputy Headteacher
Parent Parents 16/12/14 4 15/12/18 15 December 2018
Headteacher N/A N/A N/A N/A Headteacher
Jane Temple Parent Parents 5/12/17 4 4/12/21
Carley Eaton Co-opted GB 16/10/18 4 15/10/22 Chair of Finance Committee
Colum Mackey Co opted GB 16/10/18 N/A 15/10/22 Vice – Chair of Finance Committee
Seonaidh McIntyre-Stephen Co-opted GB 18/7/18 4 17/7/22 Special Educational Needs & Disability

* N/A means ‘not applicable’ because the person is a member of the senior leadership team and therefore the information does not apply.

Governors’ Attendance At Governing Body Meetings 2016/17

Name Governing body meetings attended
Rosemary Benson 6 of 6
Cheryl Greene 3 of 6
Janet Benefo 6 of 6
Seonaidh McIntyre-Stephen 3 of 6
Rhian Douglas 6 of 6
Kate Burls 3 of 3       appointed 01/03/2019
Carley Eaton 6 of 6
Colum Mackay 6 of 6
 Magda Branker-Olojugba 5 of 6
Chantelle Daley 6 of 6
Vaishali Londhe 2 of 6 . Term ended 15/12/2018
Naheeda Maharasingam 6 of 6
Jane Temple 3 of 6

 Finance Committee Meetings 2018/19

Name 16 Oct 2018 18 Dec 2018 12 Feb 2019 02 Apr 2019 23 Apr 2019 17 July 2019
Rosemary Benson
Rhian Douglas
Carley Eaton
Colum Mackey N
Naheeda Maharasingam

Y = attended   N = did not attend   A = did not attend apologies accepted

Learning and Achievement Committee (abolished 10 February 2015)

Name 09-Oct-14
Rosemary Benson
James Hasler
Naheeda Maharasingam
Sarah-Jane Pendleton


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