Below you will see our Governing Body, together with information about them and their roles.
Wendy Mason (Chair of Governors)
I have been a governor since 2007 and Chair of the governing body since December 2019. As Chair I have a wide involvement with the school including helping steer its strategic direction, governing body management and membership, ongoing review of policies and reports, and support to staff and student hearings. I am a member of both the Finance & Resources and the Students & Standards committees.
I have my own architectural practice based in east London working mostly within the education sector. I raised my three, now grown-up, children in Hackney and the youngest attended Haggerston’s 6th form.
I was originally appointed to the governing body as an architect to help steer the school through the completion of its BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programme. Since then, I have widened my involvement across all aspects of the school and have been pleased to play a part with its continuing success.
I am passionate about Haggerston’s inclusive educational environment which ensures that every student is able to achieve to their very best ability. I am now privileged to chair a diverse and stimulating group of governors who work hard to challenge, promote and support the school community.
Ciara Emmerson (Headteacher)
I am very proud to have been headteacher of Haggerston School since 2017. I feel privileged to work in Hackney and to serve our diverse and dynamic community. Originally from Wales, I graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in English Literature and then I trained to be a teacher through Bristol University. I started my career as an English Teacher at Stoke Newington School many years ago and held middle and senior leadership roles in schools in Tower Hamlets and Haringey before returning back to Hackney to take up my first Headship. My career history reflects my commitment to comprehensive education and I believe strongly that educational excellence remains the most powerful tool to address social disadvantage.
Marisol Grandon (Parent Governor)
I became a parent governor in December 2020. I sit on the Students & Standards Committee and I have the following link responsibilities: Quality of Education: Intent/ Curriculum / Homework/ SMSC Curriculum / Diversity/ Anti-Racism / Faculty Team Development/ Sixth Form Standards and Culture/ Humanities Faculty.
I am a mother of two and run my own digital communications business for global, social issues called Unfold Stories. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I worked for 10 years in central UK government, mostly at the Department for International Development. I started my career as a journalist after graduating with a modern languages degree from east London’s Queen Mary and Westfield College.
I became a governor because I want all Haggerston students to thrive and succeed. I really believe in the power of our school community. As a parent governor, I am a critical friend and ardent supporter of all the students and staff. The raw talent and sheer strength of character pouring out of the school is a huge motivation. I’m interested in:
- helping to connect Haggerston to creative, financial, and academic sectors in London and internationally
- digital literacy and the emerging field of tech ethics
- student happiness / wellbeing
- sustainability, equality, inclusion
- connecting with opportunities in Hackney, which is alive with creativity.
Doy Owino-Townsend (Parent Governor)
I have been a parent governor since September 2021 and my link responsibilities cover Inclusion and Wellbeing & Mental Health. I am also a member of the Students and Standards Committee.
I became a primary school Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Co-ordinator in 2011 and, more recently, became a member of the Senior Leadership Team, as Inclusion Manager & Deputy Safeguarding Lead.
Having worked as a teacher in Hackney for many years, I feel privileged to have been able to work alongside experienced, passionate and committed colleagues to ensure the best outcomes for our pupils. As a parent, I hope to see those same skills and qualities working to ensure the best outcomes for my own child, and all pupils, at Haggerston and I believe that being a governor offers a unique opportunity to continue to work within our community to help achieve this.
Bhaavin Wallia (Co-opt Governor)
I have been a co-opted governor at Haggerston School since September 2020. I’m a member of the Resources Committee and Link Governor for finance, procurement, data privacy & premises. I read law at University College London before working as a Research Assistant for a Court of Appeal judge. I have since worked as a management consultant advising a variety of organisations, specialising in strategy & operations. I live locally in Hackney and care deeply about the local community, education sector, and equality of opportunity
Geoff Nicholas (Co-opt Governor)
I have been a co-opted governor since December 2018. I am currently one of two vice-chairs of the governing board and the chair of the Finance & Resources committee.
I am a partner in a City law firm, which has been involved with Haggerston for many years, helping the school in various different ways. At my firm I am one of the partner leads for both our Black African and Social Mobility networks. I am passionate about ensuring equal opportunities for all, whatever a person’s background.
My experience of the educational sector includes membership of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee of Oxford University. Until recently, I was also a non-executive director of the body that regulates the solicitor’s profession in England and Wales. I look to use this experience on the governing board of Haggerston, to ensure good governance and bring strategic thought to the management and future direction of the school in the interests of all its stakeholders, whether pupils, parents, teachers or other staff members.
I am proud of what Haggerston has already achieved and ambitious for its future, serving a richly diverse community.
Nat Goodden (Co-opt Governor)
Starting as a parent governor in 2018, I’m now a co-opted member of the governing body, currently one of its two vice-chairs, and chair of its Students and Standards committee.
I’ve had intertwined careers as an artist and academic. My first degree was in sculpture, and my masters in interactive computing. I’ve taught in art and design higher education in the UK, Europe and Australia, have led undergraduate and postgraduate Fine Art courses, and am now engaged as a university research supervisor, specialising in cross-disciplinary practices. As an artist, I always say that I make situations rather than things.
I believe that everything is interesting, academically and otherwise, and that life can be an adventure. I love cycling, languages, reading, thinking, travel, and anything involving manual skills. As a governor, I want to help Haggerston in its ambitions to be the best school it can, always sustained by its humane ethos and care for the individual.
Nelly Ngugi (Co-opt Governor)
Nelly Ngugi is a co-opted governor and was appointed to the governing board in October 2021. She is a member of the Resources Committee, and link governor for Quality of Education (Impact).
Nelly is an investor at a sustainability focused private equity fund, where she invests in technology differentiated companies contributing to decarbonisation. Prior to that, she spent three years as an M&A investment banker at Lazard. Nelly graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Finance, Accounting and Management.
Nelly is passionate about high quality state education and in defining outcomes for students in more than just examination grades. She became a governor at Haggerston School due to its ethos on fostering students’ creativity and character.
Matt Wojtyniak (Co-opt Governor)
I have been a governor since Oct 2021. I am the link governor for Quality of Education, specifically linked to 6th Form and focusing on careers, marketing and the Computing & Business Faculty. I attend the Student and Standards committee.
I have worked in the education sector throughout my career, within a range of types of provision (SEN learners, a London prison, adult education, work-based learning and 16-18 academic and vocational curriculum), but most extensively within the Further Education sector. I am currently the Assistant Principal at City and Islington College, and look after the Angel Campus (consisting of a 6th Form and the Centre for Applied Sciences).
I am a passionate advocate for education and the transformative power it can have on young people and their lives. Having experience of London 16-18 provision I aim to provide support to Haggerston school, particularly to the A-level provision, to support the senior leadership team at the school in ensuring students achieve to the best of their ability.
Maurizio Isabella (Co-opted Governor)
I joined as coop-governor in November 2022 and I am currently a member of the students and standard committee. I was born in Northern Italy, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and have spent most of my adult life in the UK.
After finishing my history PhD at Cambridge I worked in Brussels in European affairs for 5 years. I have been teaching at Queen Mary university of London, where I am now professor of Modern History, for 18 years. In my life and in my work as a historian and teacher, I have been curious about exploring different cultures and countries, and exchanges and interactions among them. In the last 10 years have spent long periods of research and teaching in the USA, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece. In the summer, I love visiting the islands of the Aegean and currently learning modern Greek.
I am excited about the multicultural nature of Haggerston School, an institution that shares the same values as the university where I work, and the same ambition to make a substantial impact on the lives of its students by delivering first-class education. As a governor I hope to support staff, teachers and students to achieve their aspirations and choose the best possible career paths, including those to study in excellent universities.
Shereece Harry (Staff Governor)
I have been a teacher for over 15 years and joined Haggerston School as Head of Sixth Form in 2019, having worked previously in other Inner London schools. Teachers join this profession as they recognise the impact positive outcomes can have on a young person’s life chances. They want to provide opportunities for students to support their growth and development so they can leave school with all of the attributes to deal with our changing world. My current role as Deputy Headteacher allows me to directly impact our young people by overseeing our curriculum. However, becoming a Co-opted Governor provides me with even more opportunities to work alongside staff, parents and our local community to achieve this goal.
Alice Roberts (Staff Governor)
I have been a member of Haggerston teaching staff since July 2020, currently working as the Head of Social and Computer Science and have been a staff governor since October 2022.
I have previously worked in secondary schools in Tower Hamlets and Camden and am committed to working to improve student outcomes and opportunities, particularly focusing on students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am passionate about the work that teachers do to improve our students’ life chances, through outstanding curriculum and high quality teaching and learning. My role allows me to have a direct impact on students, whilst also supporting to develop staff members in my team.
Being a staff governor allows me to represent the staff body in the governing body, working with other governors to continue to support Haggerston in developing and reaching our ambitions as a school.
Here are our documents containing further information on the governors roles for you to view.
Governing Board Minutes 2022/2023
Full Governing Board
Students and Standards Committee