What is the Governing Board?
All schools in England have a Governing Board which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, to ask questions, ultimately to represent the school community.
The Governing Board works in close partnership with the headteacher, staff and the local authority. Whilst the headteacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.
The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The chair and vice-chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year. All staff can make nominations and vote whether vacancy is for a teacher or support staff member. Governors are responsible for the finance and fabric of the school and general policy matters, whether in relation to the educational programme or otherwise, and are ultimately accountable for disciplinary matters relating both to the pupils and teachers. Much of the work of the Governing Board is done by committees. The Committees meet at least once a term.
The committees are;
- Curriculum & Standards Committee
- Staffing and Pay Committee
- Admissions and Pupils Committee
- Jewish Studies Committee
- Finance & Premises Committee
Contact with the Governors is via the school (email@example.com) where emails will be forwarded to the Governing Board Clerk where appropriate or you can write to our Chair of Governors:
Mr Darren Simons c/o Sinai Jewish Primary School
The Sinai Governors are…
Chair & Vice Chairs
Mr Darren Simons
Chairman of the Governing Board
Darren Simons (Chair of Governors) was elected Parent Governor in 2016 and was then appointed Co-Opted Governor in January 2020. He was appointed Chair of the Governing Board in 2020, having previously been Chair of the Finances & Resources committee. His role also covers School Data, helping to challenge the school in terms of its attainment and progress metrics. Professionally, Darren works in fintech sales operations, and always welcomes the chance to go back his techie roots. He is also a part-time photographer. He is married to Melissa and has one daughter at Sinai and one who graduated from Sinai.
Joint Vice Chair of Governors
Rosalind Goulden joined the governing board of Sinai in September 2011 as a United Synagogue Foundation Governor, shortly after her retirement as a headteacher of an independent Jewish Primary School. Having been a Jewish educator for many years, it was a natural move for her to chair the Jewish Studies committee, bringing her accumulated experience and enthusiasm for the Jewish educational provision to the school. In January 2014 Rosalind took over the chairing of the Curriculum Committee, reviewing the teaching and learning in all curriculum areas. She served as Chair of Governors, from December 2017 – September 2020. Rosalind is determined to ensure the children at Sinai have the best we can provide. She takes great pleasure from visiting the school and observing the good behaviour and focussed learning, knowing that this is a result of the broad and stimulating curriculum and dedicated and enthusiastic teaching provided throughout the school. She is the Governor responsible for both Safeguarding and Jewish Studies.
Mr Mark Jacobs
Joint Vice Chair
Mark Jacobs is Joint Vice Chair at Sinai and has been a member of the Governing Board since May 2018, having previously Chair the Admissions Committee. Mark has two daughters currently at Sinai. He is a qualified solicitor and has been working as an in-house lawyer at an investment bank since 2014. Between 2007 and 2014 Mark worked as a solicitor at an international law firm based in the City of London. Mark previously served on the Board of Governors at a further education college and chaired its audit committee.
Dan Grossman is currently an Assistant Head at Channing in Highgate, in his fourth year as the Director of Science, Technology and Engineering. He is also the school’s Online Safety Officer and leads the school’s 4-18 whole school Digital Strategy. Dan is Chair of the Curriculum & Standards Committee. He is married to Katie, and has two children at Sinai.
Caroline Laitman has been a foundation governor at Sinai for over 20 years having started as the parent in charge of security the day her now 30 year old started school! All 3 of her children attended Sinai , her youngest leaving in 2005. Throughout her time on the Governing Board her responsibilities have included Chair of Premises, Health and Safety and interim Vice Chair. As a parent at the school she headed up the PSA for 14 years helping to raise over £180,000.
Deborah Kester was appointed Foundation Governor in 2016 and was Chair of the Staffing & Pay Committee for several years. Professionally she heads up the HR function at Firefly Captial. Deborah holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and a MA in Human Resources Management. She has 3 children, Her older two are at secondary school but who attended Sinai. Her youngest son is currently in year 5 at Sinai.
Deborah Azagury-Slattery was appointed Foundation Governor in December 2017, has chaired the school Parent/Staff Association (Sinai PSA) since 2017 and was elected Chair of the Admissions & Pupils Committee in September 2023. She has headed projects such as the Sinai “Library Bus” by working with Metroline to secure the school a bus to renovate and become the new school library. She has also worked to secure a number of grants for the SEN department and other wellbeing projects at Sinai. In both her Foundation Governor role and PSA Chair role, Deborah concentrates her efforts on fundraising for Sinai and Community engagement. Professionally Deborah has a background in Event Management and Luxury Event Sales. She is married to Julian and they have 2 boys, her oldest son previously attended Sinai and is now at Kisharon school and her youngest is in year 5 at Sinai and the whole family thoroughly enjoys being part of the Sinai community. She also volunteers at ORT to facilitate their "Young Entrepreneurship” programs in Jewish schools around the world and at the National Autistic Society to increase awareness and understanding around the autism spectrum.
Mark Jacobs is Joint Vice Chair at Sinai and has been a member of the Governing Board since May 2018. Mark has two daughters currently at Sinai. He is a qualified solicitor and has been working as an in-house lawyer at an investment bank since 2014. Between 2007 and 2014 Mark worked as a solicitor at an international law firm based in the City of London. Mark previously served on the Board of Governors at a further education college and chaired its audit committee.
Rosalind Goulden (Joint Vice Chair of Governors) joined the governing board of Sinai in September 2011as a United Synagogue Foundation Governor, shortly after her retirement as a headteacher of an independent Jewish Primary School. Having been a Jewish educator for many years, it was a natural move for her to chair the Jewish Studies committee, bringing her accumulated experience and enthusiasm for the Jewish educational provision to the school. In January 2014 Rosalind took over the chairing of the Curriculum Committee, reviewing the teaching and learning in all curriculum areas. She served as Chair of Governors, from December 2017 – September 2020. Rosalind is determined to ensure the children at Sinai have the best we can provide. She takes great pleasure from visiting the school and observing the good behaviour and focussed learning, knowing that this is a result of the broad and stimulating curriculum and dedicated and enthusiastic teaching provided throughout the school. She is the Governor responsible for both Safeguarding and Jewish Studies.
Adam Goldman was appointed as a Foundation Governor in January 2022, is member of the JS Committee and became Chair of the Finance & Premises Committee in September 2023. He is a qualified chartered accountant working for a global sports data and technology business, having previously spent six years working in audit. Prior to this, he volunteered for many years with Norwood in their care homes as well as helping to fundraise as part of the Young Norwood Finance Committee.
Paula Margolis was appointed as a Foundation Governor at Sinai in November 2022 and sits on the Admissions & Pupils and Staffing & Pay Committees. Paula is a qualified solicitor and works as a Corporate Affairs Lawyer at a global dispute resolution law firm where she previously specialised in life sciences and products law litigation for 11 years. Paula is married to David and they have two children at Sinai.
Local Authority Governor
Michael Maurice has been a local authority governor since 2012. He is a local Conservative Councillor for Kenton Ward, London Borough of Brent. He is an electronics engineer by profession and runs his own business servicing vintage hi fi and audio systems. He is married to Alison and both children attended Sinai.
Juliette Lipshaw is a past Sinai pupil herself and has served as a Governor since her own children also attended the school. Prior to working at Sinai she Chaired the Curriculum Committee. Juliette is passionate about education and strives for academic excellence. She has previously taught at multicultural schools across Hillingdon and Harrow and worked as an Assistant Head in two Primary Schools before becoming Deputy Head at Sinai in 2014. She took up the post as Headteacher in January 2017 and was awarded the National Professional Qualification for Headship in June 2017.
Dan Stevens was elected as a Parent Governor in January 2020. He currently sits on the Curriculum & Standards Committee and the Finance & Premises Committee, which he was Chair of for two years; he also works closely with the school on their use of technology from an educational and business perspective. Dan has spent more than 25 years working in technology risk management and cyber security and is currently the Head of Internal Audit at Lilium; he also holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Business Computing Systems. Dan's youngest son currently attends Sinai, with three others that have left and are now at JFS.
Colin Enlander was elected Parent Governor in October 2020 and became Chair of the Staffing & Pay Committee in September 2023. He is also a member of the Admissions & Pupils Committee. Colin has spent the past 15 years working as a Reward Consultant providing guidance on ensuring fair pay and benefits, governance and policy application within both the Retail and Pharmaceutical Industry. Colin has two sons currently at Sinai who he enjoys playing and watching sports with.
Claire Gough graduated from Reading University in 2000 with a BA Ed with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and joined Sinai in 2005. She was appointed Deputy Headteacher in 2018 but her previous responsibilities include EYFS Leader, Maths Leader and Assistant Headteacher. She was also awarded Teacher of the Year in 2009. One of her main roles is Assessment Leader, ensuring that all the children are tracked and making progress. She enjoys travelling, cooking, reading and spending time with her 2 young children.
Caroline Laitman – Governor responsible for SEND
Deborah Azagury-Slattery – Governor responsible for Health & Safety and Pupil Premium
Michael Maurice – Governor responsible for Equalities
Rosalind Goulden – Governor responsible for Safeguarding & Child Protection and Safer Recruitment
Colin Enlander – Governor responsible for PE & Sports Premium
Darren Simons – Governor responsible for Assessment
Mark Jacobs – Governor responsible for GDPR
Our Governing Board is made up of a group of wonderful volunteers ranging in age from early 30s to retirement age. We have a good balance of male and female representatives and across multiple faiths including Jewish and Hindu as well as atheist/agnostic. Our Governors work across many sectors including: Technology, Finance, Law, Accountancy, Human Resources, Education, Hospitality and Local Government. We welcome Governors of all experience and of all faiths and none.