Who are Thornhill’s Governors?

(Listed alphabetically)

Ylva Baeckstrom


Governor type: Parent governor

Term of office: 20 February 2017 to 19 february 2021 

With 2 children at Thornhill I am well connected to its diverse community. Like so many of us I am committed to securing excellent educational outcomes for all children and feel privileged to be able to contribute to Thornhill’s success. I work at King’s Business School where I lecture in finance and conduct research in behavioural finance. Also a psychotherapist I have a small practice dedicated to relationship therapy. I further serve as a trustee at Citizens Advice in Camden. It is my aim to bring useful skills to Thornhill’s governing body and to be approachable for parents and carers in their journey through our school.

Joshua Carrington

Committees: Personnel, Resources and Community

Governor type: Local Authority Governor (and Chair of Personnel Committee)

Term of office: 19 July 2016 to 18 July 2020

I am a project manager for a trade union, with a remit to lead on using digital technology to better represent and serve workers in the health and education sectors. Previously, I worked in politics, which inspired me to get more involved in my local community. 

 I act as Chair of the Personnel committee, as well as sitting on Resources & Community committee.


Jonathan Dickie

Committees: Resources and Community

Governor type: Co-opted governor (and Chair of Resources and Community Committee)

Term of office: 25 August 2015 to 24 August 2019

I have been part of the Governing Body since March 2014. I was keen to volunteer as a governor and to offer my skills towards the school, as I have always had a keen interest in education and learning. I have been very fortunate to end up at such a fantastic school with an outstanding ethos and values.

I act as Chairperson of the Resources & Community Committee – the Committee has a wide-ranging remit and meets at least twice a term to discuss matters largely outside the classroom including health & safety, finances, infrastructure, attendance and behaviour. The Committee is tasked with approving the budget along with building works – so whenever new toilets or pipes are installed you can be sure it would have been discussed in depth!

My professional background is as a Chartered Accountant and I have previous experience working as both auditor and strategy consultant (and prior to this as a forensic scientist). Away from work, I have a love of sports (both playing and following) and have a lifelong fascination of the world resulting in a never-ending list of places I’m desperate to visit.

Collette Kerrigan

Governor type: Co-opted governor

Term of office: 18 July 2017 to 17 July 2021


I’m proud to be able to support my local community as a School Governor and to help make a positive contribution to children’s lives. Primary school education gives children the invaluable opportunity to reach their potential and I am committed to supporting Thornhill with this mission. 

Working as a corporate lawyer in the city of London, my professional experience can be applied in a way that helps the Governing Body to meet the various challenges and issues that the school may face. Personally, my hobbies include anything outdoors or on the water – from running and swimming to skiing and sailing. 

I feel privileged to contribute to the success of such a unique school and am excited about what the future holds, both for Thornhill and its pupils!


Oscar Lancaster

Committees: Learning and Teaching

Governor type: Co-opted governor (and Chair of Learning and Teaching Committee)

Term of office: 25 August 2015 to 24 August 2019

 I have been a governor at Thornhill for five years. It has been a privilege to be part of the Thornhill community and to support the school over its recent past.

As Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee, we take a keen interest in all aspects of pupil learning at Thornhill; from supporting the special and creative learning ethos at Thornhill – that I always think is brilliantly encapsulated in the school motto, “Help Yourself and Others to Learn”; to ensuring that ethos and culture translates into effective delivery of the curriculum and great attainment and progress for all pupils; and that teaching is of the highest possible quality.

I live in Islington, and for around ten years, I worked as a science researcher in London universities, and I particularly enjoy getting my head round the pupil attainment data at the school. I have recently returned to being a mature medical student.

Lisa McCrindle

Committees: Learning and Teaching, Resources and Community, Personnel

Governor type: Co-opted governor (and Chair of Governors)

Term of office: 25 August 2015 to 24 August 2019

I joined Thornhill’s Governing Body as I wanted to get involved and support the Islington community. I have spent my career working in the field of children and families policy including education, early years, family support and child protection and am passionate about ensuring that children are provided the best start in life. 

As Chair I work in Partnership with the headteacher and the governing body to make key decisions about the running of the school, including how to spend the school budget; developing the school’s aims and policies; and deciding upon the future development of the school. Thornhill Primary is a fantastic school and its strength comes from the pupils, parents, staff and community. I am proud and privileged to be able to contribute to its continued growth and development.

In my day job I am Policy Manager at the NSPCC and previously worked in research and evaluation of programmes and provision to support children and families. I have a love of the outdoors enjoying sailing, skiing and walking which gives me the chance to explore great places at home and abroad.

Joanna Michaelides

Committees: Resources and Community

Governor type: Parent governor

Term of office: 24 November 2015 to 23 November 2019

I am a parent governor with two daughters at the school, Martha in year 6 and Maddie in year 4. I feel passionately about Thornhill – it’s a wonderful place with a great ethos and strong sense of community.

My professional background is business development and marketing communications in global law firms, where I worked for 15 years. I am now self-employed, working on projects in the legal and property sectors. I have been involved in setting up the Thornhill Foundation, to help to minimise the negative impact of government funding cuts. I also work with our fabulous PTA to bring disco to Thornhill!


Kira Philips

Committees: Learning and Teaching

Governor type: Parent governor

Term of office: 24 November 2015 to 23 November 2019

I have had three sons attend Thornhill School, and have been part of the school community for seven years.

Before having children I was a Documentary Director, focusing on Social Affairs issues. I am now training to become a Magistrate at Highbury Corner. Having Co-Chaired the PTA for two years, I am delighted to have joined the Governing Body, where I look forward to contributing to the school over this exciting and challenging period of transition.

My hobbies and interests include films, reading, music, travelling and cooking.


Paul RobinsonPaul Robinson

Committees: Resources and Community, Learning and Teaching

Governor type: Staff governor

Term of office: 11 March 2016 to 10 March 2020

Tanya Spencer

Committees: Resources and Community, Personnel

Governor type: Co-opted governor

Term of office: 17 July 2018 to 17 July 2021

I am a new governor. I joined Thornhill because of its strong values. Previously I volunteered with A level students helping them get experience of the world of work through mentors and internships. I have spent 15 years in HR in Financial Services. Currently I work with Global Banking and Markets Technology as their Global HR Lead. I am passionate about providing an environment for learning and continuous improvement. In my spare time I study couture millinery. 


Paul Symes

Committees: Learning and Teaching, Personnel

Governor type: Co-opted governor

Term of office: 25 August 2015 to 24 August 2019

I am Head of Visual Presentation at Fortnum & Mason, which amongst other things such as the production of exterior events, includes layout of the sales floors, the design of the stores famous window and interior displays, and that management of substantial budget and a creative team.

I sit on the Learning and Teaching committee and I wanted to be a school governor so that I could use some of my free time to help the young people who will shape the future. It was the art teacher at my junior school who encouraged me to continue studying creative subjects, at a time when a creative career wasn’t taken seriously, hence I owe my success to the teachers at my school.

Visiting galleries and exhibitions is part of my job, so I tend to avoid them at weekends. I’m fascinated by gadgets and electronics, so I spend some of my spare time with a soldering iron and a pile of electronic components building electronic circuits. Last year I built my own valve amplifier and I’m currently designing constructing my own home automation system!

One of my ambitions is to learn how to plaster walls & ceilings, it’s a skill that has always fascinated me.

Dave Twisleton-Ward

Committees: Resources and Community

Governor type: Co-opted governor (formerly Parent governor from 14 November 2012 to 12 November 2016)

Term of office: 28 March 2017 to 27 March 2021

I have two daughters at Thornhill, in year six and year one. I was a parent governor on the Resources and Community Committee for four years, with link responsibility for Health & Safety. At the end of my term I was invited to continue my role as a co-opted governor. I also act as DJ for the school discos, which is great fun!

I have worked at University College London since 2002, providing technical support to the Computer Science department and Engineering Faculty, as well as acting as Safety Officer for the department. Having a wide set of interests (and an ability to absorb trivia, which is great for quizzes), I am involved in the department’s Women in STEM activities, teaching support, outreach to schools and am currently studying IT service management.

queraltQueralt Vila Canal

Committees: Resources and Community

Governor type: Co-opted governor

Term of office: 22 March 2016 to 21 Mar 2020

I firmly believe that quality education is the cornerstone of society as it gives our young people a solid foundation to build a successful future regardless of their background. I became a co-opted governor at Thornhill this year, so I could put my professional skills as well as my personal experience at the service of the school and make a positive long-lasting impact on our future generations. I currently sit on the Resources and Community committee. 

I was born and raised in Barcelona, lived in Switzerland for a few years and have lived in London for the past five years. I have over 10 years of experience in the Insurance industry in a variety of management roles and I’m currently working as a consultant in this field. I love reading, skiing and travelling.

I am delighted to be part of Thornhill’s strong, dynamic and engaged community and I am privileged to support the development of the school’s inspirational vision and approach to learning.