Our Governors

Governors link the school with the community, and play a key role in the effectiveness of the school.  The governing board’s job is to look at all aspects of the school’s performance and ensure it is achieving its full potential as well as working with the Principal and Senior Team to provide strategic leadership and accountability.

Governors core strategic functions are:

a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
b. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The Principal is an ex-officio governor by virtue of office.  Co-opted governors and associate members are appointed by the governing board, the staff governor is elected by other staff members and parent governors are elected by parents/carers of children at the school.

All Governors are bound by the Governors Code of Conduct.

The Governing Body of Swiss Cottage School, Development and Research Centre have adopted the Code of Conduct of the NGA (National Governors Association).

The term of office for all categories of governor is a fixed period of 4 years.

Governor Documents

Financial benchmarking for Swiss Cottage School, DRC URN 100096 is located on the Schools Financial Benchmarking Website here:



Total Number of School Employees with Gross Annual Salary above £100,000: 

 £100,000-110,000: 1


Meet the Governors

Jonathan Hilliard

Chair of Governors / Safeguarding, Health & Safety Governor

QC – Wilberforce Chambers, Trustee Swiss Cottage School Charity

Tina Murray

Vice Chair of Governors / Inclusion Support Team Manager, Brent Council

Previous Head of School and SENCo at Barham Primary School with 20 years in the education sector. 2019 Pearson Gold National Teaching Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education. Currently, the Inclusion Support Team manager at Brent council. Offering guidance, challenge and support to all primary and secondary schools in Brent (including Alternative provision) to reduce the risk of permanent exclusions. This involves working with multiagency groups supporting schools with behaviour policies and strategies.

Vijita Patel

Principal and Ex-Officio Governor

25 years in the education sector and designated National Leader of Education Member of Camden Schools Forum and Camden Local Outbreak Engagement Board Expert Advisory Group: Department for Education Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy; SEN & Disability Board of Trustees for Swiss Cottage School Charity, Special Olympics Great Britain, Varkey Foundation, Artists in Residence

Mustapher Botchway

Co-opted Governor

Trader in the Energy markets with previous experience in Investment Banking, working in Fixed Income markets. Fundraised for a number of charities including the Cottman Foundation and the Rainbow Trust.

Brian Butterworth

Chair of Development & Research Committee

Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Neuropsyschology, UCL. Currently developing assessments and interventions for dyscalculia. Adviser on dyscalculia to the Council of Science and Technology and the Government Office of Science in the UK, and to the Government of Singapore. British Academy (Fellow), British Psychological Society (Fellow).

Colin Reader

Chair of Finance Personnel and Premises Committee

Retired Company Finance Director. Chair of Governors at Kentish Town Church of England Primary School

Andrea Zisman

Parent Governor / Chair of Provision and Wellbeing Committee

Professor of Computer Science at the Open University with 20 years experience as an academic and researcher. I have experience in serving in oversight boards, committees and panels for university departments, international academic conferences, academic and governmental research funding organisations, research journals and HR. I am a member of the Swiss Cottage School family since September 2018 when my child with disabilities joined the school. You can always try to contact me for a chat and exchange of experiences.

Maria Schultz

Co-opted Governor

Parent Participation Practitioner for the KIDS Charity (Advocacy and Parent Participation) and Co-Chair Camden Special Parents Forum. Member of NNPCF, Camden Autism Partnership board, Camden Local Offer steering group, Camden Inclusive Employment Forum and Camden Parents Reference Group for Schools Transport. Previous 8 years of experience in intensive care nursing and 6 years in NHS Project management (Royal Free Hospital).

Karen Rodrigues-Ayers

Parent Governor / Vice Chair of Provision and Wellbeing Committee

I manage the Portage Home based learning team in Camden. My specialisms are working with children with complex health and physical needs, those with visual and hearing impairments as well as children with autism. I wouldn't have found this pathway if it wasn't for my 16 year old daughter. We became officially part of the Swiss Cottage family at her transition from primary for year 7. You can always find me at the school gate dropping off and picking up if you want to talk. Charities I am affiliated to: Kids & NPA

Ed Pitcher

Staff Governor / Vice Chair of Development & Research Committee

12 years in education technology across all education sectors I create and mobilise Swiss Cottage School’s digital technology strategy working as part of the leadership team. I am responsible for designing and implementing digital technologies and data services for all stakeholders. Member of the National Edtech Advisory Forum

Matt Granados

Staff Governor

Teacher and Leader of Semi-Formal Pathway in Lower School at Swiss Cottage School, with 10 years experience working with children and young adults with SEND. Charity work includes Mothers2Mothers, who reduce perinatal transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

Michael Burke

Clerk to the Governors

Nearly 40 years working in education in a variety of roles including the last 28 as the Director of Finance and Administration in two large secondary schools in Lambeth. Now partially retired Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of School Business Leaders and of the Royal Society of Arts.


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