We have a fantastic team of governors at BEYA, who bring an incredible breadth of skill to our nurseries. They have an important role in providing strategic leadership and accountability. Their role is to set the aims and objectives for BEYA, set the policies and targets to meet them, and monitor and evaluate the progress BEYA is making towards reaching them. The BEYA governing body is a source of support and challenge to Caron Rudge and Kelly Brooker, our Executive Headteachers, and senior leadership team to ensure and bring about the absolute best for children and families.
Our current governors are:
Gerald Mehrtens (Chair) – Co-opted Governor
Gerald has previously worked in local government for the majority of his career, of which 30 years have been in education services across a number of London boroughs, in leadership roles ranging from Early Years, through to post 16 and Adult Learning.
Until January 2022 Gerald was the Director for Academy Development for the City of London Corporation, leading on the establishing and expansion programme of City academies, now a multi-academy trust of 10 schools. From 2010 Gerald was Head of the Education and Early Years’ Service for the City of London Corporation, a high performing service responsible for all education statutory duties. Gerald’s previous work has seen him play leading roles in a range of capital programmes, including schools and children’s centres, the transformation of early years’ services from six Local Sure Start Programmes, to 16 children’s centres covering a whole authority, and development of post 16 training and into employment opportunities for school leavers and long term unemployed with employers.
Gerald has extensive experience of head teacher recruitment and of working collaboratively with head teachers, governors, parents and the local community. He also has extensive experience of capital schools expansion and overseeing school finances. Gerald has been a governor and/or chair of governors for a number of schools from primary through to Sixth Form.
Mary Groom (Vice Chair) – Co-opted Governor
Mary Groom is recently retired as solicitor, partner and Head of the Education Group at law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite London LLP. A specialist in company, charity and education law, she developed the Education Group at BWB which was rated in the top tier of the legal directories. A particular area of interest arising from her work with schools is the importance of the provision of high quality early education for all.
Mary was legal adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools, Nursery and Reception Classes, which grew out of a round table hosted by her law firm. She continues to support its work and the development of a system leader role for maintained nursery schools.
Mary has extensive experience as governor of schools and as director, company secretary, trustee and professional advisor of national and local social enterprises and charities. She has taken on a number of voluntary roles in retirement, including the chair of Mulberry Schools Foundation, a charity based in Tower Hamlets. She lives in Barnet and knows the communities served by the BEYA schools.
Mary enjoys choral singing, theatre, walking, playing tennis and the company of her five very young grandchildren.
Caron Rudge – Executive Headteacher (1 day)
Caron considers it a real joy and a privilege to have worked with children and families, in the field of early education , throughout her entire thirty seven year career. There was something new to learn every day and no two days were ever the same!
Caron was the Executive Headteacher of Barnet Early Years Alliance from September 2015 to August 2021 and prior to this the Headteacher of Brookhill Nursery School. Caron has previously been a Headteacher in Islington, a Deputy Headteacher in Haringey and an Early Years consultant in Hertfordshire. Caron has extensive experience of working in both schools and children’s centres.
Caron currently works for one day each week for BEYA and studies horticulture at Capel Manor College. Caron has three grown up children and lives with her partner, Ben.
Kelly Brooker – Executive Headteacher (4 days)
Kelly is the Co-Executive Headteacher of Barnet Early Years Alliance. She has been part of BEYA for 10 years. Kelly holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood and has spent her entire career working in the field of Early Years Education. Kelly is committed to working with children and families, ensuring that young children receive the highest quality Early Education and a happy childhood.
Kelly’s previous roles include working as an Early Years consultant and an Ofsted Inspector. In these roles Kelly worked to support settings to improve practice. Kelly is a visiting scholar at the University of Middlesex where she teaches on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training programme. Her particular areas of research include children’s Early Literacy skills and observing to understand children through the Tavistock method of Observation. Kelly considers herself an advocate for play based learning to support children’s learning, well-being and happiness.
Anna Theodoulou – Co-opted Governor
Anna is a Co-opted Governor and is currently employed as the School Business Manager at BEYA; she has held this post since September 2017. Prior to this Anna held the post of Administrator of Hampden Way and upon Federation became the Admissions Administrator within BEYA.
Anna is a parent of two boys who previously attended Hampden Way Nursery School. Anna is currently studying for a diploma in School Business Management – Level 4.
Nick Mahony – LA Governor
Nick Mahony is a social researcher who has worked at The Open University, Birkbeck and UCL as well as on projects with charities and local authorities. He currently works half the week with Young Barnet Foundation supporting capacity building and community development for a network of over 200 not-for-profit organisations that work with children and young people in Barnet. For the other half of the week Nick works as a freelance social researcher, supporting a range of community development and social research projects across the country.
Asja Raskovic – C0-opted Governor
Asja is an Outreach Worker at BEYA Children’s Centre. She has over 25 years’ experience supporting families with children under 5 and considers it a joy and privilege.
Asja has a BA in Early Childhood Studies from London Metropolitan University and a level 4 Diploma in Adult Teaching from South Bank University.
In her spare time, Asja enjoys reading, walking, playing piano and the company of her granddaughters.
Janine Medway-Smith – Staff Governor
Janine joined BEYA in September 2015 as an Early Years Educator. She went on to complete her teacher training to become an Early Years Teacher and is currently the Assistant Head at Hampden Way Nursery, studying for her NPQSL. Janine started her journey in Early Years Education almost 20 years ago as a Registered Childminder before working in a PVI nursery.
Janine’s children attended Brookhill nursery, where she was a parent governor for 4 years. She also attended Brookhill as a child (many years ago!) Janine had a previous 15 year career working as an Art Editor for women’s magazines. She has four children, a golden retriever and loves hiking in the Lake District.
Fumiyo Welsby – Parent Governor
Fumiyo has been a co-opted governor for BEYA since March 2019. All three of her daughters have attended Hampden Way Nursery School; the youngest is now in Ruby Room.
Currently, Fumiyo is on a career break and is a full-time mum whilst she focuses on raising her young children. She previously used to work in academic research, specializing in epidemiology and medical statistics.
Carol Levy – Co-opted Governor
After leaving school I initially trained as a hairdresser then completed Teacher training and, since qualifying in 1974 I have spent my whole career in special education. I first taught in a school in a ‘subnormality’ hospital in Herts in one of the earliest special schools. I moved to Mapledown School in Barnet when it was an all-age school then onto Whitefield School in Waltham Forest and worked for many years as Head of the Nursery Observation Centre there.
I returned to Barnet and Northway School in 2005 as Assistant then Deputy Head. My experience has been primarily classroom based with nursery and Reception aged pupils with a range of special needs and increasingly with pupils with ASD. I have been involved in outreach to mainstream schools, parent support and CPD and have a particular interest in the development of communication.
I am married with three grown up children and am a special guardian for my five year old grandson. With my husband I have been involved with the Chain of Hope charity for nearly twenty years as a host family for children who come to the UK for heart surgery.
Elaine Kelly – Parent Governor
Elaine became a parent governor in 2021. Her younger son attends Hampden Way and her older son attended Hampden Way before moving on to primary school. Both have attended holiday provision at St Margaret’s and then Brookhill.
Elaine is an economic researcher and works in public policy. Previous work has included projects for the Department for Education, the Education Endowment Foundation and the Children’s Commissioner. The focus of her current work is on health and social care. She has extensive experience in data analysis and working with policymakers.
Hannah Patel – Parent Governor
Kristina Stradina – Parent Governor