Whitehall Park school is part of a family of 10 schools in London and Berkshire supported by Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET). BPET is responsible for the core education vision of the schools and to encourage the highest standards of attainment and achievement, behaviour and learning, and quality of teaching and curriculum. To assist BPET in this, each school appoints a sub-committee of local advisors called Local Advisory Board or LAB.
My name is Julie Foster and, as Chair of Whitehall Park School’s LAB, I would like to introduce myself and the other members and explain how we support, challenge and contribute to the success of our school. We are a mixture of parents and members of the local community who are committed to the development of Whitehall Park School.
We make sure that the school has the right strategies and priorities in place to achieve its vision to Learn, Enjoy and Succeed. As part of this, we work closely with the Headteacher Ms Hatch and the Senior Leadership Team to monitor progress and strengthen policies so that the school continues to challenge itself to provide the best environment for its pupils. We have regular meetings with Ms Hatch and we conduct visits to the school to ensure that plans are being put into effect. By working in close partnership with the school and BPET, our role is to hold the school to account and make sure that it continues to improve and to provide the highest standards of educational and learning experience for our children.
If you have any questions about what we do, do ask the school office to put you in touch with me.
Julie Foster, Chair of the LAB.
Julie Foster, Chair of the Local Advisory Board
Julie believes that all children should be given the opportunity to thrive, succeed and achieve their maximum potential to create a better and inclusive society. Her role is to guide the members in their governance of the school. Now retired, Julie was Headteacher of Russet House School (for nursery and primary-aged children with autism). During her time there, the school was rated as ‘outstanding’ in three successive Ofsted inspections. She has also taught in mainstream primary schools. Julie has lived locally for over 40 years so has a strong knowledge of and appreciation for local issues, changes and initiatives. Both her (now adult) children attended local primary and secondary schools. She has a particular remit on the LAB for special educational needs and safeguarding.
Catherine Noah, Vice Chair of Local Advisory Board
Catherine brings invaluable experience as a director (retired) in the public sector, with a focus on human resources and commercial finance in the transport industry. She is well versed in scrutinising staffing levels and organisation along with training, apprenticeships, employee relations and the subsequent financial management. Her role on the LAB as a community member is with a special interest in reading and writing. She knows the area very well having lived in Islington for more than 25 years. She is currently the director and chair of a residents management company.
Rachael Jones, Community Member
Rachael’s two children went to Whitehall Park School and her family was part of the first intake in 2014. She was an active part of the Parent Teacher Community Association and loved being involved as the school grew. She lives locally and is passionate about nurturing the WPS’s place in the local community. Rachael works as a chief marketing officer so brings her wealth of marketing experience to her role on the LAB. In addition, she was a keen footballer and loves keeping fit and holds a strong belief in the role exercise and sport can play in helping children feel good about themselves. She has a specific remit on the LAB to support the school’s PE curriculum.
Matthew Foley, Community Member
Matthew is Deputy Principal at Highgate Junior School, an independent co-ed school in Highgate. He brings his expertise to the LAB with more than 25 years’ experience and says that it is a privilege to be able to support Whitehall Park School by bringing together the best of the state and independent sectors. As a community member his focus is on the science curriculum.
Liz Fay, Parent Member
Liz’s son is a pupil at the school and she has been part of the Parent Teacher Community Association since 2015. Her daughter completed Year 6 in 2021 and is now at the local secondary school. Liz lives with her family in Crouch End and works in travel PR with many years’ experience in professional communications, both in the public and private sector. Her role on the LAB is as a parent member, whilst also supporting on communications where needed. She is an avid fan of art and the creative arts so has a brief to support its curriculum implementation around the school.
Clare Costello, Parent Member
Clare is a parent member with a daughter in Year 4. Clare has been working in schools for over 15 years holding roles in SEND, inclusion, post-16 provision and senior leadership in three settings. She is a History and Politics teacher by trade and holds a keen interest in developing positive behaviour and relationships which she is passionate about. She has recently been awarded her NPQH and has been nominated for the Senior Leadership Team of the year award. Clare supports Whitehall Park in promoting positive relationships and behaviour. She lives locally with her family and two cats.
Joanna Dirmikis, Parent Member
Joanna has two children at the school. She particularly loves the multicultural environment of Whitehall Park which reflects the rich and cultural diversity of London. In her view, no other local school offers this in the way that WPS does, celebrated at events such as the international evening with its incredible mix of cuisines, costumes and multicultural history. Joanna and her family live in Crouch Hill. She is a barrister with nearly 20 years’ experience and, as a LAB member, has a special focus on maths in her role.
Eve Naftalin, Parent Member
Eve is mum to four children, all of whom have been at Whitehall Park School for the entirety of their primary school adventures. She is very invested in the school having been part of the WPS community since 2016 and, as a member of the LAB, is pleased to be able to amplify the voice of the parent body to the school and to the trust. She has a special interest in music education and personal development in her role as a parent member. Away from family life, she works as a lawyer and in her spare time she loves meeting friends, reading and doing Pilates.
Richard Crompton, BPET Director of Operations
Richard has been with BPET since 2021 and leads the corporate service functions that support the trust’s schools, including Whitehall Park. This includes the facilities, IT, data, HR, legal and compliance, health & safety and contract management. He has worked in the education sector for five years and prior to BPET, he worked for the David Ross Education Trust as Head of Estates, Facilities and Operations. He lives in Hertfordshire with his partner, two young children and their dog. His role on the LAB is to represent the trust.
The described functions have been delegated to the LAB by the BPET’s Board of Trustees, which is the maintaining authority for our school. Read more on BPET’s governance structure and how this oversees the strategic governance of Whitehall Park School.
To contact Whitehall Park School’s Local Advisory Board please email the school office.