George Eliot Primary School

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Welcome to our Governors’ section. 


Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


The role of the Governing Body


School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. Every state school in England has a Governing Body. Time and again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing body.


Governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. The key functions of the Governing Body are to:


  • set the aims and objectives for the school;
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives;
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives;
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives; and
  • be a source of challenge and support to the Headteacher (a ‘critical friend’).


Governors appoint the Headteacher and are involved in the appointment of other senior staff. Governors also set the school’s budget, working closely with the Headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources. The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the Governing Body.


For more information about the role of school governors, see the DFE website related to the roles and competencies of a school governors.


Introduction to our Governing Body


George Eliot Primary School governors include volunteers from the local community with useful skills and experience to offer, elected parent governors, the Headteacher and a member of school staff, elected by their colleagues. Our shared commitment is to ensuring that our school makes best possible use of all the resources available to us (both human and financial) for the benefit of the children whose education is entrusted to us, enabling every child to learn and make progress, to the fullest extent possible, each academic year.


We carry out our responsibilities by examining data about children’s progress and achievement, always seeking to ensure that the progress made by children in our school compares favourably with the progress being made by children of the same age at primary schools in London and across the country. In doing so, we also look at particular groups of children, to ensure that both boys and girls, children of all ethnic and socio economic backgrounds, and children with special educational needs are making good progress. We also work to ensure that the school provides a safe, welcoming, supportive and happy environment in which children enjoy learning.


The Governing Body is responsible, with the Headteacher, for the School Development Plan in which the school sets out its targets for continuous improvement and development, and how those targets will be met. We are also responsible for the school’s various policies.


It is also part of our role to ensure that the school actively seeks, and takes account of, the views of pupils, parents and the local community.


The Governing Body is responsible for holding the Headteacher to account, and also for ensuring that the school as a whole is accountable to parents and the local community.


To that end, we seek to be transparent in everything we do (subject, of course, to respecting confidentiality).

You can contact any member of the Governing Body via the school office or by emailing the Clerk to the Governing Body:


We very much welcome parents’ comments and suggestions (though please bear in mind that the Governing Body’s role is a strategic one, and we cannot deal with issues regarding individual children except in certain very specific circumstances).


Nick Novak (Chair of Governors) Jo Naussbaum (Vice-chair)


Meet our Governors


Nick Novak – Chair of Governors – Co-opted

Nick lives locally and is a community governor. With over 13 years’ experience in education technology, Nick specialises in working with schools, organisations and local governments to deploy innovative, data-driven solutions at scale. He is currently a member of the leadership team at a local education organisation.


Jo Nussbaum – Vice Chair of Governors – Co-opted

Jo became a co-opted governor at George Eliot in March 2014 and is currently chair of the Children, Families and Community Committee. She was born in Islington and after studying Theology at Exeter University she returned to London as a communications consultant.


Naomi Leaver – Executive Head teacher

I have over 20 years’ experience in education in a variety of settings including mainstream and specialist provision. In 2013, I completed my training as a registered OFSTED inspector. I have had seconded roles with the local authority and worked with schools, across the Tri-borough, requiring support. I have been the Head teacher of Robinsfield, another Westminster school, since 2009. I am delighted that George Eliot and Robinsfield can work closely in partnership to ensure the best possible education for all of our wonderful children.


Lee Duffy – Head of School

I have worked in London schools for a number of years now in a variety of roles to ensure that all children in my care receive a high-quality education. Prior to becoming Head of School, I have worked with many colleagues across a range of schools to support their understanding of assessment and improving teaching and learning. I am fully committed to ensuring that George Eliot Primary School continues to make rapid improvements in every area of our work, ensuring the best possible outcomes for each pupil in our school.


Efe Acaroglu – Co-opted Governor

My name is Efe Acaroglu. I am a community governor. My background is in finance and I have spent over 25 years in different roles in Banking. I am committed to working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and other governors to help to give students the best opportunities to thrive in their education. I love doing and watching sports.


Suleiman Osman – Parent Governor

I am thrilled to be elected as parent governor at George Eliot Primary School. Three of my children are attending and one finished last year. They have had a great time since they started attending from nursery and I have been around many years at the school. I have seen many changes that our school has been through. This is my school as well as my children’s school and I am delighted to be part of the Curriculum, Standards and Inclusion team who are making sure that the school provides, gives the children the best education and also success at the end of their primary school. I have been actively involved in education for many years. I was the founder of a community organisation which is still running and provides after school clubs for many years that help many children and helping other people as well as been the board of director of charity organisations for many years.


Dmitri Van Zwanenberg – Parent Governor

I was elected to the board in 2016. I have lived locally for years and grew up in Kilburn and Cricklewood. I work as a musician. I have one child at the school and feel strongly that I want to contribute to the school’s success. I wish to ensure the very best experiences for all pupils attending the school both now and in the future.


Catherine Hughes – Clerk to the Governing Body

Cathi is responsible for advising on legal aspects of the governing body’s role, arranging and preparing documents for meetings, maintaining records and attending and writing minutes of meetings.




Governing Body Membership


Governors’ Pecuniary Interests


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  • NW8 0NH
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