Who are Thornhill’s Governors?

(Listed alphabetically)

Ylva Baeckstrom

Committees: Learning and Teaching, Resources and Community

Governor type: Parent governor (and Chair of Governors)

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.

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, 25 August 2019 – 24 August 2023

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.

Lisa McCrindle

Committees: Learning and Teaching, Resources and Community, Personnel

Governor type: Co-opted governor (and Vice 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 Vice 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.


Kira Philips

Committees: Learning and Teaching

Governor type: Co-opted governor

Term of office: 24 November 2015 to 23 November 2019, 10 December 2019 to 9 December 2023

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 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 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, 25 August 2019 to 24 August 2023

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.