Gumley House School FCJ

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Our Governors

A school’s Governing Body is there to provide oversight of the management and operation of the school.

The governors help the school take a strategic view of its activities and bring experience and expertise from other walks of life into the school.

This section will tell you how the school’s governance is structured, who the governors are, how they are appointed and elected, what they do, what their legal duties are and how you can contact them or seek to get involved as a governor yourself. 

Governors are appointed by the FCJ Educational Trust.  Sr Brenda Wallace fcJ PhD OBE is the Schools Officer of the FCJ Educational Trust.

Each Governor has a four year term of office (not including the Headteacher).

Chair of Governors: Mrs Christine Grindrod

Contact via the Clerk to the Governors: 

T: 020 8568 8692
F: 020 8758 2674

The role of the Governing Body

Governors are responsible for overseeing the management side of a school: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable the school to run as effectively as possible, working alongside Mr Byrne and Senior Leaders and supporting teachers to provide excellent education to children.

Being a school governor is a commitment to attending governing body meetings which consider issues such as setting the school vision, mitigating financial risk and scrutinising educational outcomes. They are also involved in the school community, acting as critical friends to the headteacher and senior leaders. Governors bring a wide range of skills and expertise from their professional lives to the governing board and schools benefit greatly from working with skilled volunteers, for example anyone with experience of finance, law, premises management or human resources.

Setting Strategic Direction
Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers in every school. Along with the Head Teacher, it is the job of a governing body to set the school’s aims and objectives around how the school will develop and improve. They set policies, formulate plans and agree targets to help the school achieve these objectives, as well as regularly reviewing their strategic framework in light of that progress.

Supporting the Head and Senior Leadership Team
Whilst governors do not get involved in the day to day operational running of the school, the governing body is there to support and challenge the school’s senior leadership team. By doing so, they support the Headteacher in securing the best possible outcomes for pupils.  By challenging key decisions and asking pertinent questions about the school’s performance data, governors aim to guarantee high standards in education.

Ensuring financial probit
Governing bodies have a strategic role in the financial management of schools. Their key responsibilities include, setting financial priorities, a financial plan and the annual budget. They also decide on how the school’s delegated budget should be spent in accordance with the statutory curriculum requirements.

MEMBERS OF The Governing Body (from Sept 2023)

Mr S Byrne, Headteacher and Accounting Office (appointed September 2020)
Mr Byrne represents Gumley House School FCJ and has declared no other business interest. He attends all Governors sub-committees and involves himself in the general purposes of all aspects of the school.

Mrs C Grindrod, Chair of Governors (appointed October 2021 )
Christine has declared no other business interest. She involves herself in the general purposes of the school. She also attends and chairs the Curriculum and Standards sub-committee. Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Mrs E Higgins, Joint Vice-Chair of Governors (appointed September 2022)
Liz has declared no other business interest. She attends and chairs the Finance & Personnel sub-committee and involves herself in the general purposes of the school. Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Mrs G Ioannides, Joint Vice-Chair Member of the Governing Body (October 2021)
Georgina has declared no other business interest and involves herself in the general purposes of the school. She attends the Finance & Personnel sub-committee. Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Mr J Hannon,  Member of the Governing Body (appointed September 2023)
John has declared no other business interest. He attends the Finance & Personnel sub-committee and involves himself in the general purposes of the school. Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Sr B Halligan fcJ, Foundation Governor (appointed September 2023)
Sr. Brigid represents the FCJ Educational Trust of which she is a Trustee. She is also a member of the FCJ Order (and former Executive Headteacher of Bellerive School FCJ, Liverpool). She attends the Finance & Personnel sub-committee and involves herself in the general purposes of the school. Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Ms D Toussaint,  Member of the Governing Body (appointed April 2020)
Debra has declared no other business interest and involves herself in the general purposes of the school. She attends the Curriculum and Standards sub-committee. Attendance:- 1/2 meetings, 50%

Mr A Nair, Parent Governor (appointed December 2021)
Avanish has declared no other business interest and involves himself in the general purposes of the school. Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Miss N Alcendor, Parent Governor (appointed December 2021)
Naomi has declared no other business interest and involves herself in the general purposes of the school. Attendance:- 0/2 meetings.

Sr Anouska Robinson-Biggins fcJ (appointed October 2022)
Anouska represents the FCJ Educational Trust as a member of the FCJ Order.  She has declared no other business interest and involves herself in the general purposes of the school.  Attendance:- 2/2 meetings, 100%

Introducing our Governors


Christine has dedicated her career to education, having worked in the sector for 39 years in a variety of roles. Her last full-time post was as Deputy Headteacher in an Ofsted 'Outstanding' rated Catholic school, and she continues to be heavily involved in CPD, teacher training and recruitment throughout her career.


These skills, as well as her personal connection to Gumley House through her daughter, who is a Gumley alumna, allow Christine to make well-informed decisions for the future of the school.


"My vision is for Gumley to be the very best school it can be, ensuring the future happiness of its students by equipping them with the skills, education and values that give them choices in their future."


When asked to join the governing body by the previous Headteacher at Gumley, Liz felt it was time to give something back to the school that had been home to her and her two daughters.

As a chartered accountant, Liz’s financial background allied with her deep rooted understanding of the school as an alumna puts her in the perfect position to make strategic decisions for the benefit of the school and its community.

"I love the fact that the school focuses on educating the whole person. Girls are offered the chance to excel academically and flourish in a wide range of extracurricular activities. I also love the collegiate feel of the school.  The school’s ethos encourages tolerance and kindness and the girls demonstrate a level of acceptance and support for each other which, when I talk to others with experience of similar schools, appears to be exceptional."

Liz’s vision is to continue the long Gumley House tradition of educating girls to become responsible, successful citizens who look outwards to see what they can contribute to society.


Georgina chose to join the Gumley House governing board after her eldest daughter joined the school in September 2015. She was driven to get closer to the school in order to use her considerable skills and experience to drive the school forward. Georgina has sent all three of her daughters to Gumley House and has a keen interest in ensuring the exceptional pastoral care remains exceptional.  "This ensures every student is treated as an individual; they are nurtured and reach their full potential".


All our governors bring a lot to the school, and Georgina’s 18 years of experience in Student Recruitment and talent development at KPMG make her an ideal governor, applying her leadership and career coaching skills for the benefit of our students and staff. Georgina plays an active role in developing our current staff and helps the recruitment process, so we can attract the highest calibre staff to Gumley House.


Chair of Governors John Hannon joined the governing body in 2015 with the goal of making the school financially independent and to put in place measures to maintain solvency without sacrificing its ethos.

As Head of Operations for numerous investment management companies, John has significant experience of process management, budgeting and control, and applies these skills to his role at the school.

John’s three daughters enjoyed successful school careers at Gumley, and he felt that the marriage of spiritual and pastoral care with academic rigour and achievement made the school stand out from its local competition.


Deborah represented the parents of our Gumley Girls before being re-elected as a foundation governor at Gumley House. As a teacher with over 20 years’ experience, she is able to bridge the gap between the staff and parent communities at Gumley, bringing a different perspective to school governance at the school.


The governing body are always looking to push Gumley House on to bigger and better things, and Deborah’s vision for the school is for every member of the school community to achieve personal and academic excellence.

Statutory Governance Information

Gumley House Convent School FCJ is single-academy trust within the FCJ Educational Trust, and part of the Diocese of Westminster.

A Board of Governors governs the school and is legally responsible for it. The Board is the key decision-making body and has three core governance functions: setting the direction of the trust; holding executive leaders to account for educational performance and ensuring money is well spent.

Local governors, appointed or elected from different parts of our school community, serve on our local governing body. The Chair of the Governing Body is Christine Grindrod. To get in touch with the Chair, contact Christine Grindrod, Gumley House School FCJ Governing Body, St. John's Road, Isleworth TW7 6XF or (FAO Christine Grindrod).

The local governing body meets four times a year to conduct business. Some aspects of its work are carried out by sub-committees or by link governors who visit our schools to focus on particular areas.

The information below includes statutory information in regard to governors meetings and activities.


We must ensure that our decisions are free from personal bias and do not unfairly benefit any individual or company connected with the trust. To that end, directors and local governors must register their personal and business interests at the start of the year and declare potential conflicts of interest if they arise.

Register of Business Interests for the Governing Body.


The Register of local governor attendance at Governing Body meetings is published here at and updated termly.

Full Governing Body Meeting Attendance

Finance & Personnel Committee Attendance


The powers, constitution and proceedings for the local governing body are set out formally in a Scheme of Delegation and Delegation Matrix.  The terms upon which the school is funded are set out in a funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education. 

Renumeration over £100,000 details can be found on Financial Information

Governing Body Information

Scheme of Delegation

Committee Membership

Governance Structure

Funding Agreement

Articles of Association