RAMA VENCHARD : Chair of Governors


Chair of Governors

Having worked in the retail, hospitality and banking sectors for over 20 years, Rama has run his own project management consultancy supporting schools and colleges for over 15 years.  He is the Chair of Trustees of an academy trust of 20 primary schools and the Vice Chair of Trustees on a family board of 15 special schools and 7 college centres for young adults with SEND.  He has over 10 years of governance experience and is a member of the NGA’s National Leaders of Governance Advisory Panel and a member of the DfE’s new London Regional Director’s Advisory Board.  His passions are music, food and the company of good friends. Please contact the Chair of Governors here: [email protected]



Jonathan trained as a doctor in Manchester, and after medical and surgical posts, he moved to London in 2000 to work as a Psychiatrist. He has held posts across London in a variety of settings, working with people from all walks of life and of all ages and backgrounds, and has been an NHS Consultant in community adult psychiatry since 2008.. He has experience in treating depressive, psychotic and anxiety conditions and with medical legal work. Jonathan practices in Private Psychiatry in Harley Street and in Mill Hill and although he has limited direct experience working with people with special needs his work as a psychiatrist gives him some understanding of mental health in general and the role that plays in the wellbeing of the students, families and carers and staff alike.
RON BROWN : Governor



Ron is a senior professional and specialist in Adult and Children's Social Care, Health and SEND delivery, who has worked extensively in local government, not for profit organisations and commercial organisations. Originally qualifying as a social worker, followed by an MBA in Corporate Finance, Ron has over 30 years’ experience in the care sector where he has specialised in learning disability and autism. He has a strong track record of performance across a number of very challenging operating environments where he has achieved turnaround by targeting care quality and practice improvement alongside commerciality. He is currently Director of Care at HSN Care Ltd. Ron’s previous roles include Director of Services and Nominated Individual at Norwood, Head of Service (Integrated Learning Disability Service) at the London Borough of Hackney and Principal Consultant (Capita Procurement Solutions) Capita Ltd.



Rabbi Andrew Davis has been teaching Jewish Studies full time in secondary schools since September 2005. He is currently Deputy Headteacher of Yavneh College and the Executive Director of Jewish Life of the Yavneh Schools. He has a BA and MA in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education and is currently studying for his PhD at the UCL Institute of Education. He received his Semicha from Yeshivat Pirchei Shoshanim and Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg in 2008.  He is also a Pikuach Section 48 Inspector and member of the Reshet Jewish Youth Advisory Board.



Steven is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He spent virtually his entire career working as an investment manager. He spent over 20 years at Liverpool Victoria (LV=) where he ran the investment subsidiary for many years. He was a Director of the Group and was heavily involved in their mergers and acquisition activity. He retired from LV in 2010.He spent about a year consulting before he was hired to set up an investment management company for Tesco’s staff pension fund which had almost 100 people working in it by the time he retired (again) in 2021.He has been Chairman, Treasurer and Warden of Pinner Synagogue and was on the Investment and Burial Committees of the United Synagogue for many years. He was also a member of the Investment Committee of the Alzheimer’s Society for nine years.He is currently an Independent Member of the Investment Committee of St James’s Place and a non-executive director of Edge Future Capital, a venture capital investment management company.
PAUL HODGKINSON : Associate Governor


Associate Governor

Paul started working at Youth Challenge Pupil Referral Unit in 1997 and held numerous positions there. He started as a voluntary mentor before becoming a class teacher and eventually the Teacher in Charge in 2003. During his time as Teacher in Charge, Youth Challenge was twice judged to be Outstanding by Ofsted. Paul became the Manager of the Bolton Pupil Referral Service in 2010 and supervised the federation of all of Bolton’s PRUs. In 2014 he also become the Interim Executive Headteacher of Lever Park School where he worked with the staff team on a Rapid Improvement Plan which eventually resulted in the School being moved out of Special Measure. In 2016 he became the new Executive Principal of the Bolton Impact Trust. In total, Paul’s Schools and Academies have been judged Outstanding by Ofsted on eight separate occasions.
Paul has advised the DfE, Local Authorities and Schools on Leadership, Behaviour Management Strategy, Alternative Provision and Special School funding and Governance. He also recently co-chaired the Foundation for Education Development’s AP/SEND Council. Paul currently sits on three School Trust Boards and is also the Chair of Trustees for a local charity which supports young adults with Special Educational Needs.



Per was born in Sweden and moved with his late wife and his children to the UK in 1985. He was working in the computer industry for 40 years until his retirement in 2012. During the last 10 years of his career he specialized in contract management in the Financial sector. Per has been involved with the Board of Management of his local synagogue for 30 years with various responsibilities including Health & Safety for approximately 3 years. He is also the Deputy National Chairman for a Cultural Society for elderly.
SAMUEL ZIFF : Governor



Samuel started his career at J.P. Morgan Cazenove working in the UK Industrials Corporate Finance team for 4 years. Following that he joined Oldfield Partners where he co-manages the global equity income portfolio and contributes to the overall investment selection. He has helped support a number of causes over the years – notably raising money for Nightingale House and Teenage Cancer Trust as well as mentoring young adults from foster homes.



Kirsten is Headteacher at Wolfson Hillel Primary School and acting CEO of the Jewish Community Academy Trust. Prior to this she was Deputy Head at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School. In the previous 10 years Kirsten was the London Regional Adviser for the DfE supporting on school improvement, behaviour and attendance and Healthy Schools. Kirsten also ran her own successful education consultancy for 11 years; advising schools across all 33 London boroughs, Kent and Essex. She has two children,her eldest son has atypical ASD and severe dyslexia and is schooled in a designated special provision attached to a mainstream secondary school.
Jane Rome : Governor

Jane Rome


Jane Rome is Managing Director at Insight Strategy Limited, a retail management consultancy specialising in consumer and market research for the retail sector. The company also delivers strategic brand positioning and buying and merchandising training working with several HE institutions and well-known retail brands. Jane is a NED for a Promotional Marketing company where she mentors the senior management team and is also a mentor for the charity G2G and a judge for the Young Enterprise Scheme.
MARK COHEN : Parent Governor


Parent Governor

Mark works as an IT Consultant for a global engineering firm leading a team of 30, advising clients on all aspects of IT and technology in their new building design & construction projects, he has responsibility for all areas of running the business unit including HR, finance, and project delivery.
ALI DURBAN : Governor & Trustee


Governor & Trustee

Ali is the Co-Founder of Gesher School. She has over 10 years’ experience working education, specifically in SEND and prior to this worked for 20 years in Marketing. In addition to this, she sits on the education steering panel for the new Autism Centre of Excellence, led by Sir Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. Ali has a lived experience of SEND and navigating the education system; through her work with Gesher she has been working to create a new approach to educating children and young people with SEND, who are traditionally underserved and marginalised by the current system in the UK.
SARAH SULTMAN : Governor & Trustee


Governor & Trustee

Formerly worked in the city for 12 years in fund/portfolio management for Life Assurance Companies. She left to start up her own art company and consultancy which she ran for five years until the birth of her third child. As a result of his diagnosis of Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyspraxia.  Sarah began to research the educational provision on offer to her and her son and this led to the journey with Ali and the creation of Gesher. Sarah has always been very active and involved in both in her local Jewish community and the wider Jewish community and believes passionately that all children, regardless of any diagnosis should have the right to access a Jewish education and communal activities and events whilst having their SEN needs met.