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The Governors of the School have a range of duties and responsibilities laid down in education and charity law. These range over most aspects of school life, from student admissions and staff appointments to the finances and educational provision of the School. Governors are nominated by the United Synagogue (our Foundation Body) and Brent Local Education Authority. Parents and staff are entitled to elect representatives to the Governing Body. The Headteacher sits ex officio as a member of the Governing Body.
The Governing Body has a number of standing committees:
- Admissions – chaired by Mark Hurst
- Curriculum and Students Wellbeing, Attendance and Behaviour (CSWAB) jointly chaired by Naomi Newman and Kathy Schindler
- Finance and Premises chaired by John Cooper
- Personnel and Pay (GSCF as a sub-group) chaired by Richard Martyn
- Jewish Studies Committee chaired by Rabbi Dr Rafi Zarum
- Attendance & Behaviour: Naomi Newman
- Health & Safety: Andrew Moss
- Pupil Premium: Julia Alberga
- Safeguarding: Charlotte Benjamin
- Security: Mark Hurst
- SEND: Anne Shisler
- Sixth Form: Kathy Schindler
- Student Fund Grants: Richard Martyn
- Governor Training: James Lake
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MEET THE GOVERNORS
United Synagogue Appointees
CHAIR OF GOVERNORS
Andrew is a management/strategy consultant in the sports, media and entertainment industries. A fully qualified solicitor, Andrew left the City for the world of sports business. He has been a local authority (Brent) governor and Chairman since 2009 and works with a number of schools in Brent on effective governance, strategy and leadership. Less well known – for several years, Andrew was a football commentator on Capital Gold Radio – one of Jonathan Pearce’s roving reporters. Andrew cycles everywhere in London and plays tennis and golf competitively (ish!).
JOINT VICE-CHAIR OF GOVERNORS
Charlotte became a parent governor in 2015 and a foundation governor in July 2018. She chairs the Curriculum, Student Wellbeing and Behaviour Committee (CSWAB) and is the link governor for safeguarding. Her eldest child has just graduated from the sixth form and her other 3 children are at JFS. Professionally she is a GP partner in Hendon and the Chair of Barnet CCG commissioning health care for Barnet. This has won her a national accolade from Pulse Magazine as a ‘local hero’, for her work increasing NHS funds for patients with mental health problems and leading on work redesigning mental health services across Barnet.
JOINT VICE-CHAIR OF GOVERNORS
Mark has been a governor since 2017 and currently chairs the Admissions Committee. He has been involved in his shul community for many years, at various points serving as gabbai (warden), sitting on the board of management and helping to run the care and welfare group.
Mark is a lawyer specialising in commercial real estate. He has three children working their way through JFS.
John is a chartered accountant and a lecturer. For many years he was a director of BPP, the professional education company. Currently, he provides training courses in taxation to professional firms. John is vice-president of the Jewish Lads’ & Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) and is trustee and treasurer of Raphael – The Jewish Counselling Service.
Rabbi Daniel Epstein
Rabbi Epstein, the US appointed Rabbi governor, has been serving the Cockfosters & N. Southgate United Synagogue together with his wife Ilana, since June 2014. He moved to Israel in 1998, where he established a PR firm, subsequently fundraised for The Arad Foundation, Pelech Jerusalem High School for Girls and was CEO of Sunrise Israel, a year-round programme for Jewish and Israeli Arab children with cancer, while studying for rabbinical ordination in Jerusalem, which he received in 2012. Rabbi Epstein is involved in interfaith dialogue, adult education, mental health awareness in the community and he is a rabbinic educator on the Holocaust Education Trust’s “Lessons from Auschwitz” programme. He was educated in Chemistry and Management Science at Imperial College London, and at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel.
Naomi has taught in many Jewish primary schools, both as a secular and Jewish Studies teacher, and worked as project manager for the JSCP (Jewish Studies Curriculum Partnership).
In recent years she has completed an MSc in Special and Inclusive Education and an OCR Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) and has been working in a special unit in a secondary school. She was previously a Foundation Governor of the Independent Jewish Day School.
Kathy joined JFS in 1980 as a student and graduated from the 6th Form 7 years later. She returned to JFS as a teacher four years later after completing her University studies. Kathy spent 16 happy years teaching at JFS and is delighted to be back as a Foundation Governor.
Professionally, Kathy works as an independent educational consultant, supporting school departments across the country with their teaching and learning strategies. She also trains teachers for a leading Exam Board, having assisted in writing the new A’ Level specification and co-written accompanying text books. In addition, Kathy is also Assistant Principal Examiner for that Board and works as a private tutor. Kathy is married with two grown up children and is a member of Stanmore United Synagogue.
Anne is a specialist teacher, with particular interest in Dyslexia and Assessment. She was the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at City of London School for Girls for almost 12 years until 2012.
Between 1993 and 2000 she worked for Bournemouth Education Authority in the Learning Support Unit. Previously Anne worked in the Special Needs Department in Sinai School. In the communities of Kenton, Bournemouth and the New West End, she combined her teaching and family commitments with her role as a minister’s wife and Rebbetzen.
Richard is a business consultant, having held senior roles within large companies in diverse areas . A Governor of both Secondary and Primary Schools since 1979, a Brent Councillor from 1982 to 1990, he was chair of Governors at a primary School in Roe Green. He serves on many committees but concentrates on finance and premises. He is married with three adult children, his wife is a Primary School teacher and son is a secondary School teacher.
Julia is project manager for the JLC led Community Wellbeing Project which is a community wide approach to positive wellbeing and will provide opportunities for children and young people to develop coping strategies and resilience tools to ensure that they have the capacity to grow and flourish into happy, confident individuals.
Prior to this she was founder and director of the ORT JUMP programme which enables Year 12 students to be mentored by someone who is already established in a career they are interested in. JFS first piloted the scheme 9 years ago and has been successfully offering the programme in the sixth form since then. Prior to that she worked for Jewish Women’s Aid, educating students in the issues surrounding domestic abuse in the community. She has a particular interest in SEN.
Caroline Bunder (nee Westbrook) has been a governor since 2018. She has over 25 years experience in journalism, working across print, broadcast and online, specialising in arts and entertainment. For the past six years Caroline has worked for Metro Online, the website of the free daily newspaper, and is currently assistant SEO Editor (TV). Formerly Caroline was reviews editor at film magazine Empire, and later worked for the BBC website. In addition, she was a co-founder of the websites SomethingJewish, Jewish.net and Jewish.co.uk in the early 2000s, as well as being a contributing editor to the short-lived free Jewish magazine JLifestyle. Caroline, is a member of Brondesbury Park Synagogue, and has a daughter currently in year 8 at JFS. She has a particular interest in anti-bullying initiatives as well as student wellbeing.
David, a former pupil of JFS, is a Chartered accountant currently running a corporate cost reduction consultancy and a small property investment company with the flexibility to engage in governor responsibilities during the day as well as evenings. He has been a gabbai (warden) at Mill Hill United Synagogue and is currently a volunteer at The Paperweight Trust. His 3 children have all attended JFS.
Adam, a former JFS pupil and Deputy Head Boy, was called to the bar in 1997 and is now the Director of Legal for The Sun newspaper. He was formally at the Telegraph and the Mail Group. His expertise and experience is in reputation management, in particularly, the issues surrounding free speech. During his 19 years working for the three largest newspaper groups he is quite used to dealing with high stake, crisis management issues.
He has a son, and following the family tradition he is currently working his way through JFS.
Adam is a also director of the London Press Club, sits on the board of the Jewish News newspaper, is a director of BICOM, and is on the executive boards of the Society of Conservative Lawyers and Conservative Friends of Israel. He is a former President of the Cambridge Union.
James is an Associate Senior Leader as well as being Professional Coordinator Mentor, and Head of Politics at JFS.
He read Law at Durham University, during which time he took a sabbatical year to be the JCR President of his college, St. John’s.
After his undergraduate he moved to London to complete his PGCE at the Institute of Education – UCL, specialising in Citizenship. Having completed his NQT year at Queen’s Park Community School, also in Brent, he commenced work at JFS.
Michael is a secondary school history teacher who currently works at City of London School for Girls’, a leading independent girls’ school where he is responsible for the online safety provision for staff, parents and pupils. He is Assistant Head of Senior School where he is responsible for the pastoral care and academic progress of pupils in Years 9 to 11. Michael plays a leading role in formulating the strategy for how the Senior School runs. He also oversees a team of Form Tutors as part of his role. Michael has also mentored newly qualified teachers in the past and plays an active role in leading on pedagogical change within the History Department to enhance the quality of education.
Previously Michael worked across Jewish secondary schools, having worked in the SEN department at JCoSS where he was a key worker as well as doing part of his teacher training at Yavneh College. Michael has recently completed his MA in Education Management with a focus on school leadership and quality of teacher appraisals, having also achieved further qualifications in leadership, coaching and speech and language.
Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum
Rabbi Zarum is the Dean of the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS). He is a senior lecturer on the BA and MA Jewish Education degree courses at LSJS, as well as their Teacher Training programmes. He is a consultant and educational advisor for a number of Anglo-Jewish education-based institutions, including JFS.
Rabbi Zarum is passionate about Jewish education and the systematic teaching of traditional Jewish texts. Through the Board of Deputies, he has recently been giving lectures to teachers in Catholic schools about the teaching of Judaism for the new GCSE Religious Studies