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Meet the Governors

Rodney Allen - Chair of Governors and Community Governor


I moved to St Albans in 2012 with my wife and our 10 month old daughter, who is now a student at Mandeville Primary School.  I grew up in West London, but fell in love with Herts when I attended the University of Hertfordshire, graduating with a BSc (Hons) Chemistry.


I am currently a Reading Tsar with Year 3 and find this role incredibly rewarding, as I get the chance to see the progression of the children in Swans and Swallows as their confidence with language grows.  


In my professional life I am a Sales Director of a Medical Devices company, but have a background in IT and a love of all gadgets!


I am pleased and proud to join the Governing Board at Mandeville and I look forward to working with the other Governors over the coming years.



Meg Catterfeld - Community Governor



I joined as a Community Governor in September, 2014.  Originally from New York, I moved to England in 2000 after meeting my English husband  in Frankfurt, Germany.  I’ve been in St Albans for 10 years and have 2 children who attend a local primary school.


I’m a Chartered Accountant and have worked in Project Management or as a Finance Director for most of  my  career with PwC and Thomson Reuters.


 Recently I started helping in my children’s school (including being a netball coach!) and was excited about the opportunity of being a Governor at Mandeville Primary School.  The school has an amazing feeling  and a palpable buzz about it.   I’m looking forward to working with my fellow governors,  the teachers as well as incorporating parent and students opinions, to help continually improve the children’s education and  attainment – on both a collective and individual basis.


In my spare time, I enjoy running, reading, cooking and spending time with my family.


Cathy Longhurst - Head Teacher



I came to Mandeville in 2001 after teaching in London in the early part of my career and have lived in St Albans since then with my family. I was appointed as the leader of the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and then became Deputy Head Teacher in 2005. As the school is a designated ‘National Support School’ I was asked to support a local school in challenging circumstances in February 2012 and enjoyed four terms as acting head teacher there before coming back to Mandeville as the substantive head teacher in September 2013. 


I am so proud of being part of Mandeville’s journey to success. The school has almost quadrupled in size since I started teaching here and is unrecognisable from the school it was then. We have achieved so many great things in that time, including the slightly disruptive but very worthwhile £5.5 million building project and an outstanding Ofsted.


I love the diversity that the children and families bring to Mandeville and the importance that we place on developing the whole child whilst not taking our focus away from continually striving to raise standards. Mandeville is such a happy environment for everyone who learns and works here, both children and adults, and every day presents a new and exciting challenge. That’s why I have stayed so long!


Laura Williams - Staff Governor



I became a governor in September 2015 after joining Mandeville in September 2013 as the Year 6 class teacher and Assistant Headteacher with a responsibility for Key Stage 2. The following year I moved to teach in Nursery and took the role of  Early Years and Foundation Stage leader. It was a big change that I welcomed and an excellent opportunity to learn! I have become passionate about early education and using children's interests to achieve their next steps. I am extremely proud of the EYFS unit and team and believe we provide outstanding provision for our children. I love that every day is different and totally led by the children and I really value the opportunity to have a role in setting children up on their educational journey. 


I undertook my teacher training in Essex after completing a Psychology degree at Nottingham University. Prior to moving to Mandeville, I spent 5 years teaching at St Peter's just half a mile away. I predominantly taught in Key Stage 2 and was on the senior leadership team with a responsibility for teaching and learning across the school. During this time, I also did a Masters in Education. 


In September 2015, I became the acting Deputy Headteacher and SENCo which became my substantive role in June 2016. It has been a fantastic opportunity and I have thoroughly enjoyed increasing my knowledge and understanding of inclusion and SEND within education.


In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and being active.


Julie Hollerton - Community Governor


I joined the Governing Body in July 2015.  I have lived in St Albans for 20 years and for eight years was a Governor at another local primary school.  Now that my daughters are settled in secondary education, I am looking forward to being a member of the school community.  I am inspired by the school’s ambition to provide the best of opportunities for every pupil and the dedication given to this aim.  I hope my contributions will support the school in ensuring that every child can make the most of their individual talents and benefit from the ethos the school creates.


After studying chemistry and gaining a PhD, I had a number of roles in multinational organisations, eventually specialising in Organisational Development consulting.  I am a Chartered Chemist and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


As often as I can, I love to be outdoors (dog walking, star gazing and camping especially) and have recently qualified as a Duke of Edinburgh Awards Assessor.  Indoors, I enjoy making jewellery and reading.


Hannah Lowey - Staff Governor


I have just started as the new staff governor. I studied Social Psychology at Loughborough University with little intention of getting into education. My initial focus was on criminal psychology. However, my interest was soon captured by developmental psychology and a particular course on thought, language and autism. I began my Mandeville career as a year 1 teaching assistant in 2012. It was my experience in that role which inspired me to become a teacher. I was amazed by the many ways this school works to promote and develop children as individuals and knew I had landed on the right path. After completing my PGCE at Plymouth university I was thrilled to come back to Mandeville as a class teacher.


I am currently teaching in year 4 and am very much enjoying life in KS2. One of my big passions is drama and the theatre, which I am able to share with our pupils through teaching Enrichment to years five and six. As a passionate conservationist and scuba diver I am also the schools Global Learning Development Officer. This role involves running the schools Eco-Warrior team and engaging with a network of other schools to further our integration of the Universal Sustainable Development Goals into our curriculum. This covers areas such as environmental awareness and human rights.


In my spare time I like to be outdoors and finding adventure as well as working with a local Refugee charity. I also really enjoy cooking. You can find me most lunchtimes eying up others people’s food and trying to discover new recipes.


Sarwar Shamsher - Community Governor


I joined Mandeville as a community governor in November 2015. This came about after

my three daughters, in years 1, 4 and 5, joined Mandeville at the start of 2015 academic year after we moved into the area from Welwyn Garden City. My wife and I were highly impressed by what we saw and learned during our visit to the school, prior to deciding that Mandeville was the right school for our daughters to attend. 


In terms of my background, I was born in Bangladesh and arrived in the UK in 1985, along with my mother and 3 brothers, to join my father who spent most of his life living and working here in England. As a 15-year-old, I attended Verulam school for a brief period of time as I was struggling to make sense of a whole new language, education system and in fact, a whole new world around me. Immediately after Verulam, I assumed employment in an Indian restaurant on the advice of my father and worked sincerely for many years before attending Oakland’s College to study GCSEs and A levels on a part-time basis whilst keeping my evening job at the restaurant. Thereafter, I embarked onto an undergraduate degree course in Mechanical Engineering to quench my thirst for Mathematics and Physics. I graduated in 1998, and then worked in the engineering industry for 3 years before quitting to join Middlesex University to undertake a PGCE.  I obtained my first job as a teacher of mathematics at Marlborough School in 2002, and I am currently working at Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School as Subject Leader for Mathematics.


I am a father of five girls; my oldest daughter is in year 9 at St Albans Girls’ School and obviously three attending Mandeville as I mentioned above. My youngest daughter is a year old, and she cannot already wait to join her sisters at Mandeville. In my spare time, I am involved with community work. I currently co-chair FACE (Faith and Cultural Enterprise), a voluntary orgaisation set up by the St Albans District Council, to promote community integration and cohesion within the district of St Albans.


I am absolutely delighted to be able be part of Mandeville as a parent and governor. As a governor, along with my colleagues in the governing body, I shall indeed endeavor for Mandeville to achieve its vision to offer an outstanding education to its pupils.


Yvonne Tomlins - Parent Governor




I was elected as parent governor in October 2016. I am really excited about being part of such a great team and in having a part in influencing and supporting the development of our school.


I moved from London to St Albans in September 2016, although I had been involved in the community for a couple of years prior to this.


When my two children joined the school, I was immediately impressed by the dedicated team and wonderful opportunities our children have. Having served as a governor in my previous school for 3 years I jumped at the chance to get involved at Mandeville when the possibility came up.


I am passionate about the quality of our children's schooling and want to ensure that every child is able to access the best education and opportunities possible and that every child is able to achieve there full potential.


I bring with me over 20 years experience in early years, which include having worked as a day nursery manager, a recruitment manager for a chain of nurseries and having volunteered within the community running toddler groups, kids church groups and working as a safeguarding officer. I now volunteer as a DBS recruiter and children's leader for Vineyard Church and with the Make Lunch St Albans charity, providing free hot meals for children during in school holidays.


I feel privileged to be part of the school community and be able use my skills to make a difference.


Penny Slater - Community Governor



I joined the governing body in September 2016 and knew straight away that I had made the right decision. It is wonderful to be working with people who are so dedicated to ensuring that the children at Mandeville are encouraged and supported to be happy and successful in their learning.


I am passionate about education. I have worked in the profession for over 15 years after I first developed a fascination with learning whilst studying for my degree in psychology. In this time, I have been a class teacher, a SENCo, and an English subject leader. I also spent three years working as a Deputy Headteacher at an Outstanding primary school in Hertfordshire. Currently, I am the Deputy Lead Adviser for English for the UK’s largest schools’ owned company, Herts for Learning. In this role, I support primary schools in Hertfordshire and beyond to raise their standards in reading and writing.


I believe wholeheartedly in the power of education to enrich and transform lives. Most importantly, I believe that the best learning occurs when children are smiling and so for me, education must be engaging and exciting. So, let the fun begin…

Prinz Nagalingam - Parent Governor



I am a Civil Servant based in St Albans.


I was schooled in Hertfordshire before spending 16 years studying and working in Yorkshire. I have been a St Albans resident since 2012 and have two children who attend Mandeville.


I joined the PTA when my eldest son started in Reception and have seen first hand the passion and high regard in which the school is held by both parents and teachers alike. I am very proud to be a Parent Governor and will do all I can to help the school achieve and set new goals in the coming years.


I am also a Youth Hockey Coach for Welywn Wasps and a Beaver Leader for the St Albans 4ths.