Local Advisory Board and Members

Governance for Watling Park School

From September 2018, the Local Governing Board will be replaced with a Local Advisory Board following a review of the Governance structure across all schools in the Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET).

Watling Park School’s local governance is overseen by the Local Advisory Board (LAB) which has a strong focus on three strategic functions:

  • Setting the vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school, within the overall vision of the Trust.
  • Holding the Headteacher and senior leadership team to account for the educational performance of the school, its pupils and the performance management of staff; and
  • Ensuring investment in educational improvement is value for money and having an impact.

These functions have been delegated to the LAB by the BPET Board, which is the maintaining authority for the school.  Visit the BPET website for information on BPET’s governance structure and how this oversees the strategic governance of Watling Park School.

Free Schools are schools funded by the government with the freedom to govern independently – but all are accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. To share resources and best practice, Watling Park benefits from the Trust – a network of schools under one legal body.

BPET responsibilities are set out in the two key following documents that are contracts between BPET and Secretary of State for Education:

  • Master Funding Agreement – a contract with BPET, as a multi academy sponsor
  • Supplementary Funding Agreement– a sub contract of the above for Watling Park School

The delegation for Watling Park School is set out in the BPET Scheme of Delegation.  To support BPET Local Advisers, all are provided with the BPET Local Advisory Board Handbook that sets out the terms of reference and structure, along with a code of conduct for BPET Local Advisers.

This means that Watling Park School’s Local Advisers are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and high educational aspirations to meet the needs of the local community.

In keeping with the BPET vision of developing autonomous schools, there is extensive local choice about the structure, size and operation of each LAB. The following decisions set the limits on this local choice:

  • The LAB must operate within the BPET structure, and must remain within the overall vision, ethos and strategic direction of the Trust
  • The Chair of each LAB is appointed by the BPET Board, serving at the pleasure of the BPET Board
  • The Chair and Headteacher together use a skills-based approach to appointing the local advisers, each to serve for a four-year term.
  • There must be a minimum of two parent advisers, but there is no maximum
  • The suggested size of an LAB is 6-10

The LAB meets four times a year.

All Local Advisers are required to complete a Declaration of pecuniary and personal interest every academic year.  For 2018/17 declarations, click here.

Governor newsletter – Spring 2018

Current Local Advisers

Dhanmita Boodhna – Chair of Local Advisory Board

Dhanmita has worked for over 10 years in the event industry and has been integral in launching and establishing GFC Media Group as a business. Now working as a consultant, she specialises in launching start-ups, recruitment and HR, business development and event management.

Having a keen interest in the community, Dhanmita was appointed to the Governing Board in the summer of 2015 and elected to Chair of Governors in September 2016. She felt the experience she had gained in the private sector would lend themselves to helping launch a new school in the area. Her daughter now attends Watling Park. Dhanmita accepted the role of LAB Chair from September 2018.

Anna Mechlinska – Adviser

Anna is a founding parent and has two boys now enrolled in Watling Park. Anna became a Parent Governor in 2015, with a background in the hospitality industry, and ran a business for 4 years.  Anna has a strong commitment to lifelong learning, and is now enrolled in further education herself as she changes her career to the legal profession.

“Wherever possible I support the school on a voluntary basis to ensure the provision for children is as good as it can be. I want to help ensure that all the children in Watling Park receive quality education in a safe and happy environment”.

Yaacov Goldin –
Adviser – appointed January 2018

Yaacov Goldin is a Primary School teacher at a school based in Edgware. Currently, he is the head of PE & Computing as well as a class teacher. He brings his knowledge of primary education to the Local Advisory Board. Yaacov was also nominated in the PAJES teacher awards for two years running.
Yaacov has always had a passion for education and this has come from all the summers and winter spent as a leader on youth camps. He attained a BA (Hons) degree in Business Management from Westminster University and completed his PGCE in 2014. In his spare time, Yaacov is a qualified football referee and football coach as this is a big passion for him.


Sharma Ruddock – Adviser – elected Sept 2017

Sharma Ruddock was elected as Parent Governor for Watling Park School in 2017. Sharma has one child at Watling and is a working parent and works as a Business Change Adviser for a housing association.  Originally from Manchester but ventured to London in 2009, Sharma now lives close to the school.

Sharma says “My aim as Parent Adviser is to ensure every child’s experience at Watling Park is positively happy, safe and supported in receiving the best possible education. I will help to do this by supporting the school’s ethos to Learn, Enjoy and Succeed”.

Caroline Gerstein – Adviser – appointed January 2018

Caroline has worked at North London Collegiate School for 20 years. She is a Junior School Deputy Head and is in charge of the Early Years and Key Stage One.

Caroline has a real passion for child development and a commitment to offering the children she works with the best possible education.  As a mother of three now-adult daughters, she says that ‘education was the best gift we could give our children to help them build their own futures.’

She is excited to be a part of Watling Park and was attracted to the role as the aims and ethos of the school reflect her own values. Caroline hopes that her experience as an educator and parent will enable her to make a valuable contribution to the school.

The clerk to the LAB is to be confirmed.

Governor Appointment and Attendance Record

All schools are required to publish each governors appointment date, type of governor, term of office and attendance record.

LGB Meeting 1 – 10th October 2017

LGB Meeting 2 – 12th December 2017

LGB Meeting 3 – 30th January 2018

LGB Meeting 4 – 20th March 2018

Below is a table that outlines the attendance record of Watling Park governors for 2017-18.

GovernorsTypeDate appointed/resignedMeetings attendedOut of a total of
Dhanmita BoodhnaChair 1 Sept-15 - present44
Anna MechlinskaParent20 Sept 15 - present34
Mark GreatrexCommunity - Trust Rep1 Sept-15 - present34
Alyson ShannonCommunity1 Sept 17 - 20 March 1844
Sonia Mallick
Acting Headteacher
Staff 1 Sept 17 - present44
Eve WatsonStaff1 Sept 17 - present34
Sharma Ruddock Parent1 Sept 17 - present44
Yaacov GoldinCommunity 1 Jan 18 - present33
Caroline GersteinCommunity1 Jan 18 - present22
Laura Collinson
Deputy Headteacher
Non-voting observer24


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