Governors' Impact Statement
As school governors, we are responsible for the strategic direction and the financial performance of Mathilda Marks-Kennedy. We challenge and monitor the School’s Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team. Within this remit, we meet as a full governing body once a term, contribute to the school improvement plan and regularly oversee various aspects of the school through, for example learning walks, and meetings of four specific committees:
(i) Curriculum, with a Jewish Studies working party;
(ii) Finance and General Purposes (and premises and security working parties);
(iii) Personnel; and
The Governing Body comprises relevant skills and expertise; our governors work in fields such as law, accountancy, education and communication. Keen to improve and keep our skills updated, we also regularly attend professional governor training. We volunteer our time and energy to promote the School’s vision to the best of our ability, while adhering to our inclusive ethos. Indeed, we aim to drive best practices throughout the school in order to match our aspiration that each child receives the best education to enable him or her to fulfil his or her potential.
The Governing Body
The Governing Body is chaired by Ali Gurfinkel and the Vice-Chair is Aaron Livingston. The Governing Body comprises seven Foundation Governors, including the Chair. There is also a Local Authority appointed Governor, two Parent Governors (elected by the parents), a Staff Governor and one co-opted Governor.
Mrs Dunstan, as Headteacher, is a Governor ex-officio. In addition, there are currently seven Associate Members of the Governing Body who lend their expertise to the School and attend Governing Body meetings but do not have full voting rights. When Mr Smerin commences as Deputy Headteacher in September, he will also attend Governing Body meetings in a similar capacity to an Associate Governor.
Please click here to view the Governing Body Committee Membership and Register of Business Interests
Please click here to access the MMK Governing Body Code of Conduct. Please click here to view the Governing Body Committee Meeting Attendance
Chair of Governors, appointed January 2017Ali Gurfinkel has over 20 years of experience working in the financial services sector, and until recently worked as an economic editor in the country-risk assessment department for a leading global ratings and business information company.
As Chair of Governors, Ali has a broad and strategic overview of the workings of the governing body and school thanks to her weekly meetings with Mrs Dunstan, her membership of each of the governors’ committees and her weekly visits to MMK to practice Hebrew reading with pupils.
She has two children: one daughter who attends JFS and one son at Rimon.
Vice Chair of Governors, Foundation Governor, appointed May 2012
Aaron is a qualified chartered accountant and school finance director with a blend of professional services, business advisory and FTSE 100 corporate experience in transactions and change management.
Aaron is a member of the Finance and Personnel committees and is driven to support MMK's continuing ability to deliver a comprehensive provision combined with its unique nurturing and caring environment for all pupils, balancing delivery with value for money in an ever tightening financial environment for small schools.
Aaron grew up in Glasgow and has two children at MMK. He is a long-time leader and supporter of the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade, involved with the training and development of young leaders.
Foundation Governor, Chair of Curriculum Committee, appointed October 2013
Sara has been a secondary school English teacher for the past 18 years and currently teaches at North London Collegiate School in Edgware.
Sara chairs the Curriculum Committee. As a mother of four children she is committed to supporting the school in providing every child with the best possible educational opportunities. She and her family have been residents of Mill Hill for over a decade and are members of Mill Hill United Synagogue.
Foundation Governor, Chair of Finance & General Purposes Committee, appointed May 2018
Richard is a Chartered Accountant with 45 years professional experience working as a partner in a Chartered accountants practice until his recent retirement.
He was dealing with audit, accounts, tax and giving financial advice to owner managed businesses.
Richard is married to Elaine and has 3 daughters and 3 step daughters all with their own families.
Richard has 2 grandchildren at MMK and lives in Stanmore and is a member of Stanmore United Synagogue.
Area of interest: Governance and finance, Premises
Areas of responsibility: Chair of Finance Committee
Foundation Governor, appointed May 2018
Eleanor was previously a barrister specialising in criminal defence and retired from the bar to bring up her four children all of whom went to a Jewish primary school and are now in Immanuel and JFS. Eleanor serves on the Curriculum Committee and is link governor for Jewish Studies.
Eleanor is on the board of management at Kinloss Shul with particular involvement in youth and education and hopes to bring some of that experience to various aspects of MMK life.
Foundation Governor, Chair of Personnel Committee, appointed October 2017
Having gained a degree in Psychology, Lindy has been involved in Primary education since embarking on a career in teaching over 30 years ago.
Her initial teaching focus was in the Foundation Stage and KS1 in two schools, and she was appointed as Head of KS1 when joining Wolfson Hillel Primary School in 1993. In addition, she also took on the role of Head of the Foundation Stage. She was appointed as Deputy Head Teacher at Wolfson Hillel Primary School in 1998 and managed all areas of the school, including acting as Head Teacher as well as Head of Jewish Studies for a short period. She held the post of Deputy Head until she retired in 2012.
Lindy has also been actively involved in teacher training programmes for over 20 years and has visited MMKS in this capacity on many occasions in the past.
She has experience as a school governor in her previous school and is delighted to be take on the role of Personnel Governor at MMKS. She welcomes the opportunity to be involved in school life and to support the important work of the Governing Body.
Foundation Governor, Chair of Admissions Committee, appointed March 2009
Richard Sultman is a solicitor at an international law firm, where he specialises in UK and international tax matters -- mostly for businesses but also for some not-for-profit organisations.
He takes a keen interest in all legal matters affecting the School and he chairs the Admissions Committee. He also has a particular interest in disability and special educational needs, and he supports the School's Special Needs Co-ordinator on certain matters.
Richard currently has one child at the School, but at various times he has had two others at the School. He is a member of the local community and sees the huge benefits to that community provided by a local school with the many qualities of MMK.
Foundation Governor, appointed January 2018
Zoe is the Founder of Employees Matter, the largest provider of employee engagement seminars and webinars in the UK. Zoe works with a wide range of clients across all sectors. Last year she joined forces with Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn to start This Can Happen, a corporate mental health conference.
Having owned a nursery in Harpenden for a short time, Zoe developed an interest in safe guarding and learning. Zoe sits on the Curriculum committee.
She has two children who are both at senior school. They both had a wonderful primary education at a very similar school to MMK and Zoe looks forward to being part of the governing body to give back so that many more children can benefit from the warm and loving ethos of MMK.
Local Authority Governor, appointed October 2015
Deborah Cohen is an education consultant. She worked in Barnet for 26 years, latterly as an advisory teacher supporting schools across the borough and parents of children with special educational needs.
Deborah serves on the Curriculum sub-committee and has special responsibility for both Special Educational Needs and Safeguarding.
Deborah is also responsible for the monitoring of Pupil Premium.
Deborah fully endorses the ethos of MMK as an inclusive school with high expectations of all children, both academically and personally.
Parent Governor, appointed September 2015
Katherine is a solicitor specialising in Employment Law. She is 11 years' qualified and works for an international law firm advising on a broad range of employment law matters (both contentious and non-contentious) although has recently moved into a Practice Management role.
Katherine is married to Elliot and they have two children at MMK and are members of Mill Hill Synagogue. Katherine is a member of the Personnel Committee and also assists with MMK's fundraising initiative.
Parent Governor, appointed October 2016
Julie Kangisser is Managing Director of Think Communications which helps purpose-driven businesses and charities to communicate ideas and campaign on the issues they wish to address.
In addition to bringing a parental viewpoint to the Governing Body, she also supports all the committees on communicating relevant updates to parents and is involved in a fundraising initiative to mark the School's forthcoming 60th anniversary.
Julie has two children at the school and wishes to continue to see the school provide an enriching and supportive community for all its pupils.
Co-opted Governor, appointed October 2015
Rachel is a teacher at MMK who specialises in Jewish Studies, Music and PSHE. She has over 13 years' experience in formal education and has been involved in informal education since she was a teen.
Rachel sits on the Jewish Studies committee. She is also interested in performance and trains and accompanies the children for school shows and special events where they go out to represent our school.
Rachel wishes to be a voice for staff and pupils at the Governance meetings and would like to present a clear, practical picture of the day to day running of the school, when the governors are discussing possible changes and ideas.
Staff Governor, appointed October 2015
Dina is a teacher at MMK. She joined the school in 2010 and has since carried out many roles and responsibilities, aside from class teacher, including science and maths subject leadership, Key Stage 2 coordinator and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Dina has been involved in informal and formal Jewish education for many years, long before joining MMK.
Dina sits on the Curriculum committee. She ensures that she brings a staff perspective to the governing body, ensuring all staff have a voice.
Rabbi Malcolm Herman
School Principal, appointed September 2016
Rabbi Malcolm Herman LLB (Hons) is the Associate National Director of seed - the leading organisation in the UK, specialising in Jewish family education. Malcolm spent almost ten years studying in Yeshiva. He also holds a law degree from the London School of Economics. His first position was as the Community Director of the Whitefield Synagogue in Manchester. He joined seed as Director of Programmes in 2001. He was appointed Associate National Director in 2014.
The goal of seed is to equip parents with the ability to raise children with self-belief and genuine Jewish values, and Malcolm’s arrival at the organisation in 2001 acted as a major catalyst for the organisation’s expansion. In particular, he designed and implemented seed’s pioneering network of educational programmes for parents in Jewish primary schools. To date, he has educated thousands through lectures, workshops and seminars, giving parents wide-ranging practical skills based on principles of Torah.
Malcolm is a highly sought-after speaker across the UK and beyond, adept at presenting authentic concepts in an accessible manner and known for inspiring audiences with both humour and wisdom. As well as devising and delivering unique and creative programmes, Malcolm’s down-to-earth style and expertise draws many parents to seek his personalised advice on a one-to-one basis.
Area of interest and responsibility: Jewish Studies