Southgate School


Name Position Term of Office Committee  
Mr Martin Lavelle                        Headteacher N/A Full Governing Body, Staffing & Curriculum, Resources Committee Img 6651
Mrs Christine Shields Chair of Governing Body 06/07/2015 - 05/07/2019 Full Governing Body, Resources Committee (Chair) and Staffing and Curriculum Committee Img 6689
Dr. Russell Silk Vice Chair 06/07/2015 - 05/07/2019 Full Governing Body, Staffing and Curriculum and Resources Committee Img 6692
Dr. Jennie Somerville Trust Appointed Governor  30/06/2016 - 29/06/2021 Full Governing Body Photo coming shortly
Mr Mervin Cato Trust Appointed Governor 07/12/2015 - 06/12/2019 Full Governing Body
Ms Santosh Kumar Co-opted Governor 23/05/2017 - 22/05/2021 Full Governing Body  Santosh kumar
Mr Simon Collyer  Co-opted Governor  11/10/2017 - 10/10/2021 Full Governing Body  Simon c 2
Mr Paul Stranks Parent Governor 23/05/2017 - 22/05/2021 Full Governing Body Paul stranks photo
Miss Jennifer Presland Staff Governor 27/09/2016 - 26/09/2021 Full Governing Body
Img 7522
Mr Barry Scott Staff Governors 22/02/2017-21/02/2022 Full Governing Body Photo coming shortly

Governor Profiles

Dr Russell Silk

I joined the Governing Body over fifteen years ago as a Parent Governor when my son Matthew attended the school.  As a Co-opted Governor I am currently Vice Chair.  Over the years I have served the Governing Body in various capacities including Chair of Governors and Chair of Curriculum and Staffing Committee.  

Now retired I spent most of my career as a BT Manager primarily responsible for managing technical areas in the field of satellite communications. This included establishing technical policy and representing the company in international bodies.  I latterly acted  as business development manager for new satellite commercial opportunities which frequently meant I dealt with UK and EU government agencies. I graduated from Sussex University with a Mathematical Physics degree and my PhD was from Leicester University in Astrophysics.

Ms Christine Shields

Initially elected as a parent governor when my son joined Southgate School in 2002, I am now a community governor with responsibility for resources, discipline and safeguarding. I chair the finance and discipline committees. I am also an independent panellist helping the local authority with admissions appeals.

I run an economics consultancy, providing independent analysis for business on the global economy, economic policy and country risk. Prior to that, I worked for over twenty years in the City, for Royal Bank of Scotland and then Standard Chartered Bank, specialising in global economics and country risk.

I have travelled extensively, especially in Asia, and am a regular conference speaker and commentator on country risk issues. My degrees, BSc (Econ) and MSc (Econ), are both from the LSE, where I studied after working in UK government service and running my own accounts consultancy.  I live in East Barnet with my insurance broker son.

Mr Mervin Cato

I work as head of Alternative Provision in the borough; working with children who are not in main stream education; vulnerable young people of secondary age who find it hard to engage with learning. I have worked in education for 13 years

I also work on a voluntary basis with Rudolph Walker, organising an annual drama award competition across 5 boroughs involving different secondary schools. This project has been really successful in engaging students from across London to prepare and perform their own plays at the Millfield Theatre.

I really appreciate the importance of family values, and the need to support young people to achieve the very best that they can.

Mr Paul Stranks

I am a qualified graphic designer with many years experience in marketing, communication, strategic management and team leadership. Originally from Devon, I moved to London on graduating from art college and have lived in Enfield for over 25 years. In 1987 I started work as a publicity executive in the marketing department of Thorn EMI Lighting at their factory on the A10 which was the start of a career spanning 29 years. Ultimately managing an international team, frequently travelling in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, I retired from my role as Global Marketing Director in 2016 and now work from home as a freelance consultant and graphic artist. I became a Parent Governor in June 2017.

My work experience has required me to be an expert communicator both externally and internally at all levels of international management, including writing, preparing presentations and public speaking. I was responsible for the activity planning, target setting and monitoring of a substantial budget which was reported monthly. I believe that the increasing pressure on a good school to continually improve performance in the face of tightening budgets requires a strong combination of business acumen combined with first rate teamwork and communication skills.

I live in Winchmore Hill with my wife and daughter.

Ms Santosh Kumar 

I have been a children’s lawyer for over 20 years representing children and parents all over London. I also have extensive management (including financial) experience as a partner in a law firm.

I am passionate about education and each child receiving the very best education and creating opportunities for each child to excel, I believe we only get one chance to get it right.  Every day in my work I see what a difference committed teachers and outstanding schools can make in transforming the lives of children and their future prospects.

I have lived in Southgate for 13 years and have a daughter in year 9. I am an active member of the local community and committed to supporting the school to meet the challenges to come and achieve its full potential to excel.


Mr Simon Collyer 

I am a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. I have worked in accounting and tax for the past 24 years. I trained in audit and accounting and then moved into corporate tax consultancy. I have then worked in various in house tax departments of major international groups advising on tax issues and latterly specialising in the area of tax reporting, which involves calculating a group’s global tax charge, taking this through audit and communicating to stakeholders.

My work has given me expertise in accounting as well as in the calculation and presentation of financial numbers. I believe in giving all young people the best opportunities to achieve their potential. I hope I can use my knowledge and skills to assist the school is getting the most out of its limited financial resources.

I have lived in Enfield for the past 22 years.

To contact a Governor, please email:

Governors 2016/2017 who have now resigned from their positions:-

Mr Steven Dennis
Cllr Edward Smith 
Mrs Amanda Garner
Mr Gordon Stubberfield