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Curwen Primary School


Local Advisory Board

Curwen Primary School has an active governing body. We act as “a critical friend” to the school, providing strategic governance to ensure that all children receive the best possible education. The governing body meets as a whole group each term and delegates its business to a range of committees, where appropriate.

The Trust will make available for public inspection copies of agendas, minutes and reports for our meetings including the Trust Board and any of the LAB committees.  Please contact the Trust’s Company Secretary at

What do we do

The governing body has an important part to play in raising school standards through its three key roles:

  • setting strategic direction
  • ensuring accountability
  • monitoring and evaluating school performance

We have responsibility together with the leadership team for agreeing the policies for the general running of the school. Our role is crucial:

  • We fulfil statutory duties to ensure that the school is a safe, healthy and an inclusive environment
  • We provide support and challenge to the leadership team of the school on all issues that affect the learning and welfare of our pupils

The governing body is drawn from the staff of the school, the Local Education Authority, parents and the wider community that our school serves. The usual term of office is four years but many governors stand for re-election and serve more than one term.

Who are we 

Mr Paul Harris 

TTLT Cheif Executive Officer- He is currently the Executive Head Teacher of four schools, of which he led to outstanding with Ofsted, as well as one nursery and children’s centre, all within the London Borough of Newham. 

Paul is passionate about ensuring that all children are given the very best life chances and has a proven track record of tackling key contextual issues to lead schools rapidly and sustainably to being outstanding in all categories.

Named Head Teacher of the Year in 2015, Paul is also a National Leader in Education (NLE) and school improvement advisor working with schools in challenging circumstances. Paul is a regular speaker at educational events, particularly after his involvement as a member of the DfE’s Rochford Review.


Ms Joan Spencer - Chair of Governors

Joan was previously Parent Governor at Curwen School and has worked with children and young people for over 25 years in a variety of settings, currently working in a  local secondary School as a Behaviour & Inclusion Support Officer providing support for students who are facing barriers to learning, such as behaviour, attendance and SEN in order to identify appropriate interventions which will assist them to reach their full potential. Previous to this, Joan worked in the Borough of Newham as an Education Welfare Officer for 7 years working in partnership with a caseload of primary and secondary schools including looked after child protection.  Joan is passionate about the role of parents in supporting their child’s education and strives to promote this to parents as the child’s primary educator.


Mrs Kate Mansfield

Head of School - Kate has worked at Curwen Primary School since doing her initial teacher training here more than ten years ago. She has enjoyed the journey at Curwen as the school has grown from a 2-form to a 4-form entry and gone from strength-to-strength.



Miss Carly Tully

Since starting at Curwen 6 years ago as a support assistant in class, Carly has worked as a PE assistant. For the last few years she has been the Extended Schools Lead and is now the current PE Lead and a TeamUp Ambassador. Outside of school, she currently manages the U14 girls at Dagenham and Redbridge FC. Due to the dropout in girls sports across the country, it is now Carly's main focus to engage as many girls as possible to participate in sport and has become a prime goal of hers to achieve.


Ms Swasthi Mahabeer

Swasthi  came to Curwen Primary School as an Overseas Trained Teacher from South Africa and has served as a Staff Governor for over 10 years as well as being the Safeguarding Link Governor.  She is also the PPA Leader, teaching across the school from Nursery to Year 6 as well as the school’s Health & Safety Manager and  has seen the school grow both in size and academically, and saying no two years or terms have been the same. Outside of school, Swasti’s interests include music concerts, visiting galleries and museums and also reading.



Mr Shaba Ali 

I've lived in Plaistow for over 30 years, attended Curwen in the 90s and still have very fond memories of my time there. Now my daughter, family and friends attend the school.

I've worked for 10 years as a charity fundraiser, now a carer for the elderly.

Moreover, I plan outcomes of council funding of 25K with the community neighbourhood's team and Councillor Joy Laguda. I work closely with Mayor Rokshana on various projects and sit on the council resident's boards and forums.

I am passionate about the wellbeing of our community, I regularly hold BBQs, litter picks and street parties and also volunteer to feed the homeless. 


Ms Justyna Tosun

Justyna is a finance professional with extensive experience in data analytics and business management. 

She believes that all children deserve an opportunity to achieve their full potential and she feels very privileged to be a School Governor at Curwen.

In her free time Justyna is a passionate fundraiser and devoted baker. 





Mrs Juliana Olayinka

Juliana Olayinka is a broadcast journalist and communications consultant with over 15 years of industry experience. She is a graduate from the University of Arts and holds a postgraduate degree in Global Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London. 

She has contributed to output in the world’s leading newsrooms including Bloomberg, BBC, Thomson Reuters and ITN.  

Juliana is passionate about the learning outcomes of children. As somebody who was born, raised, and educated in Newham she is familiar with the difficulties that some young people may face from less privileged backgrounds. Juliana will use her communication skills to achieve the desired outcomes of the school. 


Ms Paula Jeffers 

Paula recently retired after 37 years from a senior position in the financial services industry, namely Deloitte LLP in London.

In addition to her finance and business development experience, Paula also has a great understanding of mentoring and coaching, leadership, strategy and training.

As a Trustee at TTLT, Paula aims to contribute energy, enthusiasm, a ‘get involved’ approach and time to devote in getting to know all the schools within the trust and its communities.


Ms Helen Lam - Vice Chair

Co-Op member Helen became a Governor of Curwen in September 2021. She is a business professional, with experience in both the public and private sectors. She brings strong communication, project management and team working skills to the role of governor, as well as a commitment to serving her community. Helen also is Chair of Governors for Rebecca Cheetham, and a company board member of another trust in East London.  Professionally, she works as Head of Social Impact for Marsh Ltd (insurance and risk management sector)

Mr Harrison Sandy Shiner 

Harrison, who prefers to go by Sandy, became a Governor of Curwen in 2022. Professionally, he has worked in various Finance roles within Markel Corporation, a large property & casualty insurance company headquartered in America. Sandy and his wife moved from the U.S. to London in early 2019 to experience a new culture and work at the international branch of Markel, while also travelling as much as possible. He brings a different perspective from his US background, strong budgeting & finance skills, and a strong commitment to his community.

Name Governor Role Term of Office Declarations of Interests
Paul Harris Executive Headteacher Not recorded Held
Kate Mansfield Head of School Not recorded Held
Joan Spencer Chair of Governors (Co-opted Member)

Start Date: 10/03/2020

End Date: 09/03/2024

Helen Lam Vice Chair (Co-opted Member)

Start Date: 05/10/2021

End Date: 04/10/2025

Carly Tully Staff Governor

Start Date: 01/02/2022

End Date: 31/01/2026

Harrison Shiner Co-opted Member

Start Date: 18/10/2022

End Date: 17/10/2026

Juliana Olayinka Parent Governor

Start Date: 13/12/2021

End Date: 12/12/2025

Justyna Tosun Co-opted Member

Start Date: 06/10/2020

End Date: 05/10/2024

Paula Jeffers Board Appointed

Start Date: 16/11/2021

End Date: 15/11/2025

Shaba Ali Parent Governor

Start Date: 28/09/2020

End Date: 27/09/2024

Swasthi Mahabeer Board Appointed

Start Date: 21/09/2021

End Date: 20/09/2025