Letter from the Chair of Governors

For many years our school has provided a rich, creative curriculum, with excellent teaching supporting outstanding academic results. We want to carry on doing this, not only at our physically-enlarged school but also by continuing to work with other Southwark schools. We also want to become a leader in pastoral support for our children, bringing in the very latest expert thinking on mental health and on how to create a happy learning environment. And above everything, we value our diverse school community and the way parents and teachers work together to create caring and responsible global citizens.

If you would like to contact me, please email the school office or leave a note at school marked ‘for the attention of the Chair of Governors’.

Paola Wilson

What do the Governors do?

Each school in The Charter Schools Educational Trust has a local governing body (LGB) composed of a group of volunteers drawn from the community, each bringing a range of skills, expertise and professional experience. Our Governors provide essential links between the school, parents/carers, the local community and the Trust Board, which is ultimately responsible to the Department of Education for the performance of all its schools.

More information about The Charter Schools Educational Trust can be found by visiting

Local governors work with staff and parents to provide the best possible framework for educating our students. They are involved in all aspects of school life and meet regularly with the school’s leadership teams.

Governors fulfil their responsibilities by:

  • Holding the school’s leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the school. Governors create robust accountability for the schools leadership team through rigorous analysis of performance data and financial information.
  • Setting the school’s vision and the strategy for achieving this vision. The school’s vision centres on pupil progress and achievement. Working with senior leaders, the governors agree key priorities and key performance indicators against which progress towards achieving the vision can be measured.
  • Ensure the school’s financial success and probity. The governing board must ensure that the budget that the school receives is managed effectively, and with regard to value for money.

Governors are appointed by the Trustees except for parent governors, who are elected by parents and carers, and staff governors, who are elected by all school staff.

Who are our governors?

Paola Wilson (Parent Governor (Chair))

Paola Wilson

Parent Governor (Chair)

Start Date: 4th December 2023

End Date: 3rd December 2027

Paola Wilson campaigned for the successful opening of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Borough Academy. From 1995 to 2010 she worked as a barrister, specialising principally in criminal and human rights public law. She liaises voluntarily with parents and carers on local issues about community and youth projects.

Her son attended Charles Dickens for his primary education.

Michael Eggleton (Ex-offico (Headteacher))

Michael Eggleton

Ex-offico (Headteacher)

Start Date: September 2021

End Date:

Michael is the headteacher and is responsible for the day-to-day running of Charles Dickens Primary School and Nursery. He began his teaching career as a trainee in 2004 and has been teaching ever since. During his career, he has held leadership, governor and trustee positions in schools across London and Surrey. In his time at Charles Dickens Primary School, he has introduced and championed a wellbeing curriculum and mental health support for all children, which has had a significant influence on life at the school and has been adopted by other schools across the country.

Louise Worley (Elected Staff Governor)

Louise Worley

Elected Staff Governor

Start Date: 25th September 2020

End Date: 24th September 2024

Louise has worked at Charles Dickens Primary School since 2003. She is passionate about Charles Dickens and has lived and worked in SE1 her whole life.

Sasha Gay-Smith (Governor)

Sasha Gay-Smith


Start Date: 3rd February 2021

End Date: 2nd February 2025

Sasha’s experience in the charity sector spans 13 years supporting those most in need, to help with the building of stronger diverse communities. Sasha is the founder of a community interest company supporting disadvantaged young people to develop in character and self sufficiency, to drive the building of social, educational and economic development. It is with these skills and experiences that she aims to contribute to the excellent building of Charles Dickens local governing body. Sasha is a parent to a teenage son.

Deborah Lipszyc (Governor)

Deborah Lipszyc


Start Date: 3rd February 2021

End Date: 2nd February 2025

Deborah grew up in Belgium, is a dual (French and English) qualified solicitor specialised in real estate finance and works in a City-based law firm. She gave monthly free legal advice from 2020 to 2021 in Lewisham.  She lives locally to Charles Dickens with her husband and two children.

Tim Kipps (Governor)

Tim Kipps


Start Date: July 2021

End Date: July 2025

I’ve worked in information security for over twenty years, most of which were spent as managing director of a cyber security company. I’m now an advisor to a start-up which aims to help parents keep their children safe online. At the beginning of the first lockdown, I was part of the Covid Mutual Aid leadership team, a voluntary organisation which helped to get food and medicine to vulnerable people.

During that time I also assisted in a project to provide secure and reliable laptops to Charles Dickens pupils so that they could access remote learning.

Aggie Mesmain (Staff Governor)

Aggie Mesmain

Staff Governor

Start Date: 19th July 2022

End Date: 18th July 2026

I have been working at Charles Dickens for 36 years, in both Nursery and Reception classes and I also ran the after school provision for over 20 years.

I am now head of Pastoral care and Early Help, supporting children and their families to access the right support in school and externally.
As part of the safeguarding team, I liaise with children services and a variety of other services to meet the needs of our families.

As part of the senior leadership team, I help to oversee the smooth running of the school, working with the staff to support the children through their journey at Charles Dickens. Although I was a staff governor at Charles Dickens over 20 years ago, I feel that the educational services have changed over the years, and I want to explore other ways of helping our children and families.

Marcus Lyon (Foundation/Trust Governor)

Marcus Lyon

Foundation/Trust Governor

Start Date: 19th July 2022

End Date: 18th July 2026

Marcus Lyon is a British artist best known for his extensive, research-based work creating Human Atlases that explore community through photographic portraits, oral histories, and DNA mapping.

Outside the art world, Lyon is a determined social entrepreneur & an active public speaker. Lyon is a TED speaker and has served on the boards of the global leadership social enterprise Leaders’ Quest, the art institution Somerset House and is an ambassador for Black Leaders Detroit.

He and his family have lived at The Elephant & Castle for 30 years.

Charlene Clotworthy (Appointed Governor)

Charlene Clotworthy

Appointed Governor

Start Date: 19th July 2022

End Date: 18th July 2026

Charlene has always had a passion for education and has over 15 years of experience working with children and young people.

Charlene also has experience in youth work and early years; she was a former teacher in childcare and health and social care. Charlene currently works as a SENCo, curriculum lead and teaching and learning lead in an alternative provision.

Charlene became a governor to play a part in the primary school’s central role in a child’s development, not just for the early years but also into their futures. Charlene is delighted to have been given the opportunity to support the school and its children in her role as a governor.

Robert Beveridge (Parent governor)

Robert Beveridge

Parent governor

Start Date: July 2023

End Date: July 2027

Robert was born and raised in South London, and works across London as a self–employed heating engineer.

He has served the community by actively supporting his local tenant/resident association and running a DIY club. He has previous experience of volunteering as a trustee, and secretary, for a local charity.

Robert has a child at Charles Dickens, and one that has now moved on to secondary education. Over the years his children have been at the school, Robert has made himself available for school trips, PTA, and other school events.

Robert aims to use his role as a parent governor to ensure that all children at the school enjoy as positive and high quality experience as his family have.

The following governors have been in post in the last 12 months.

  • Rebecca Kaloo (Appointed Governor (Chair)) – 1st July 2020 – 22nd November 2021
  • Ritika Singh (Governor) – 3rd February 2021 – December 2021
  • Ran Holst (Elected Parent Governor) – 14th July 2017 – 13th July 2021
  • Linda Taylor (elected Staff Governor) – 1st July 2020 – 27th February 2022
  • Matthew Harris (Appointed Governor) – 1st July 2020 – 7th December 2022
  • Jemima Rhys Evans (LGB Adviser) – 1st July 2020 – 1st July 2022
  • Daniel Efunnuga (Appointed Governor) – 1st July 2020 – 1st July 2023

Raising a concern with the school:

If you have any matters that you wish to raise with the school our complaints policy details how to do this.

You can also write to the Chair of Governors at:

Charles Dickens Primary School, Toulmin St, London SE1 1AF