School Gateway

Hillbrook Primary School

Be Responsible · Be Resilient · Be Reflective

Meet The Governors

Craig Rajgopaul - Chair of Governors
Partnership Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

"I grew up in Edinburgh, but have lived in London since 2002. I work as a barrister who specialises in employment, education and commercial law, but have also worked with autistic children since 1995.

 My long-standing interest in special educational needs has previously seen me teach at a special needs school in Japan, take on the role of governor at a special needs school in Wandsworth, and also volunteer to make an appearance for parents in special educational needs and disability tribunals.

I have a nephew with Down's syndrome and a partner called Prat." 

Debbie Hart - Headteacher

Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee & Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I am originally from the East Midlands and moved to London in 2007 with my husband Daniel. I have been a Head teacher since 2002 in a variety of schools and Hillbrook is my 5th Headship. I joined the School in September 2017 and have loved leading such a busy, creative and inspiring school. No two days are ever the same and I am lucky to work alongside a passionate and dedicated team of professionals who only want the very best for our children here at Hillbrook.

I live in Putney and really enjoy making the most of being in London!"


Hasib Dewan - Vice Chair of Governors
Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


“I was delighted to join Hillbrook Primary. I’m so pleased to be part of a school in an area close to my heart, as I was born in St Georges Hospital and grew up in Colliers Wood, just down the road!

I currently work as a Consultant in the City specialising in Technology and Business transformation, but I’ve always been passionate about education. Before working in the City, I worked for a university 2011 to 2016, I’ve been a governor for another school, and have volunteered for the Merton Youth Justice Service for over 5 years, supporting young people who had committed a crime in the local area.

I love playing rugby at the weekend, and during the week am trying my hand at learning Spanish (though not very well!)” 

Heather de Mello

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Chair of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I was born in Malta and moved around the UK as a child due to my father’s work. I came to London in 1976 to train as a social worker and although I intended to stay for just a few years, never left. I’ve lived in Tooting since 1981 – enjoying the vibrancy and diversity - and live close to Hillbrook school.

I worked as a Local Authority social worker for 36 years, 30 of these working for Wandsworth Council, latterly moving into management roles until retiring in October 2016. 

I hope the skills and experience developed throughout my career plus life experiences that I bring, will contribute positively to the governor role at Hillbrook school."

Jamie Bean 

Partnership Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Chair of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


"I have been the head teacher of Wallington County Grammar School since 2016. I was Chair of Governors for Carew Academy special school for five years before joining Hillbrook . I facilitate the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership for the National Institute of Education and am a member of the steering committee for the Grammar School Heads Association.  

I have one daughter that currently attends Hillbrook school in Key Stage 1 and my younger daughter will be joining Hillbrook Nursery next year."


Michael Brown 

Elected Parent Governor 
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


“I was born and raised in Belfast before leaving to read English Literature at the University of St Andrews, departing with a Masters degree and (little did I know then) my future wife. From there, I moved to South West London where I’ve been juggling the equally challenging yet rewarding roles of actor and stay-at-home parent.

It was a real honour to be elected as a parent governor in 2018 and it is a position I have enjoyed tremendously thus far. It’s not my job to speak on the Hillbrook parents’ behalf as such, but I can certainly bring a parental perspective to all the issues discussed and the strategic decisions made and, in that sense, I hope I can do you proud.

In my spare time (which is in limited supply) I enjoy cinema, pub quizzes and watching my beloved Fulham Football Club.”

Mae Christie

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I was born and raised in the deep south of the United States in Louisiana, studied politics at university and worked in the legal profession in Washington, DC before going forward to become a minister. I trained for priestly ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge, matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge. 

I enjoy football, music, cooking and politics." 

Sophy Hare 

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I have taught in schools in South London for the past 18 years, I am currently Assistant Head, Special Educational Needs Coordinator and I lead on English as an Additional Language and Ethnic Minority Achievement at Granton Primary School in Streatham. I have worked at Granton for the last ten years in a variety of roles within the Senior Leadership Team.

I have a passion for supporting children to achieve their full potential, and I see my role as a Governor at Hillbrook as another way of helping children to do this.

 Currently I am also working with the Lambeth Schools Partnership to help facilitate their English as an Additional Language Primary Forum. Previously, I have run The Global Learning Programme helping to lead 16 schools in my network and was one of the runners up for their Global Educator of the Year Award. I completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination in 2012 at UCL, and have enjoyed continuing to learn more about this area of education ever since though a wide range of courses, and first-hand experience of working with children.

My daughter is currently in Key Stage One at Hillbrook and my son will join Hillbrook when he is old enough!"


Riz Khan 

Elected Parent Governor 

Member of Curriculum, Community & Parents Committee


"I grew up in Fiji and New Zealand and have settled in London since the year 2000.  My background in Law and Commerce has given me many opportunities over the years. My husband, Hussein and myself have a successful photography & cinematography business.

When I am not at work, I enjoy contributing to my community in various voluntary roles. I am a long standing reading volunteer for Learn To Love To Read, the reading charity that seeks to encourage a love of reading in primary schools. I am also the Chair of Hillbrook’s Parents, Friends & Teachers Association (PFTA) which raises valuable funds to enhance Hillbrook students school experiences, both academic and social as well as increase Hillbrook’s visibility in the community.   

My two sons, one of whom is autistic, attend Hillbrook so I am very invested in the school experience for them and all students alike."


Siobhan McSorley

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body

Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I grew up in Derby and went to university in Sheffield to study a degree in Fine Art. Once I graduated, I moved to Manchester and then Brighton where I completed a PGCE to become a primary school teacher.

 After teaching in Sussex for 2 years, I moved to London in 2017 and have worked at Hillbrook ever since. I have taught in KS2 and was Head of Year 1 before taking on the role of Art Teacher across the school.

I love working at Hillbrook and am proud to be part of our diverse and energetic school community. I enjoy going to exhibitions and music gigs as well as exploring London and places further afield."


Catherine Meaden 

Elected Parent Governor 
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee


"I have lived in Wandsworth for over 20 years and in Tooting since 2016. I love the cultural diversity of Tooting and the community spirit which I see come to life at Hillbrook. It's one of the reasons that I chose Hillbrook for my son. 

 My professional background is in communications, policy and public engagement with over 25 years experience across a range of organisations and topics. I advise on media relations as well as specialising in explaining complex information in a digestible way to the public. I'm also a trained facilitator for carrying out focus groups and listening exercises such as Citizen's Juries."


Parimal Patel

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee

"I have lived in Wandsworth for the majority of my life, attending Ravenstone Primary School in Balham and Chestnut Grove Secondary School. I currently reside in Tooting with my family; including 2 children, who I am proud to say both attended Hillbrook School.

 As a governor, I sit on the Finance and Personal Committee and am fully dedicated in ensuring Hillbrook gets best value. I work for Wandsworth Council as a Business Manager and believe that I am ideally placed to not only understand the concerns of fellow parents but also have a greater awareness of local issues that may impact our children’s welfare.

I am always keen to hear of any ideas that parents may have, so please feel free to contact me whenever you see me in the playground." 

Maria Patrao 

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


"I grew up in Portugal and moved to London in 2013 to work in Finance, which I have now been doing for over 10 years. Coming from a small city in Portugal, I firmly believe that my education empowered me to have an international career that I am proud of and which suits my aspirations - and that education is the best tool you can give any child to help them pursue their potential.

While living in Lisbon, I was a volunteer tutor for children who could not afford one; in London, I have also been a mentor with The Amos Bursary, an organization seeking to empower young British people of African and Caribbean heritage to fulfil their academic and career potential.

I currently work as a financial investor into software businesses across Europe, and in that capacity I have until recently been on the Board of Directors of an education technology safeguarding business that helps schools like Hillbrook keep children safe both online and offline in the school environment."


Michael Smith

Local Authority Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee

"I was born in London and I have lived in Tooting for 23 years and have been a Hillbrook Road resident for 14 years. 

 I started a career in banking before moving to the airline industry where I have been flying for 24 years. I am a member of the friends of Tooting Common and believe in creating a harmonious natural and built environment to enable a good place for children to grow and learn.

In my spare time I enjoy gardening as well as walking and travelling to new places. I am a keen historian and enjoy learning all that I can about the history of places around me." 


Kelly Stanley 

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Curriculum, Community and Parents Committee and Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


"I joined Hillbrook in 2014 when I first moved to London and have loved working at Hillbrook ever since. We are an incredibly diverse, inclusive school with a fantastic team of staff and supportive families.  

 I have held several different roles over the last ten years and am currently Deputy Head and Inclusion Manager. I live in Earlsfield with my husband and daughter and it has been wonderful to really become part of the community. I still bump into some of the children I used to teach in KS1 coming out of their secondary schools now!"