Teaching Commission

A new independent commission is working to help shape the future of teaching in Hammersmith & Fulham for local young residents.

The Teaching Commission is made up of residents, volunteers, local teachers and education experts.

It will help H&F Council in its mission to make H&F the best borough for teaching in London - from nursery right through to further education.

With teacher recruitment and retention becoming more challenging across London, we want to find innovative new ways to ensure our local students continue to be taught and supported by the very best teachers and school staff throughout their years in education.

The commission will:

  • Understand the crucial questions it needs to ask in order to explore the challenges impacting the recruitment and retention of teachers both locally and nationally
  • Examine the teaching landscape within Hammersmith & Fulham and its impact for the future
  • Bring a broad range of expertise to questions about teacher recruitment and retention in H&F 
  • Gather evidence through primary and secondary research to inform the debate
  • Produce a set of recommendations for the council

The Teaching Commission is chaired by Denise Fox, a lifelong Fulham resident who has been teaching in the borough for the last 40 years. She is currently the headteacher at Fulham Cross Girls school in Munster Road.

“It is an honour to be involved in this commission,” said Denise.

“The commission will look at imaginative and innovative ways to attract, support and retain teachers who wish to work in this amazingly vibrant and diverse borough. We want to make sure every child in H&F has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

H&F Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Larry Culhane said: “While educational outcomes in Hammersmith & Fulham are some of the best in the country, there are many challenges facing the profession. This commission will give us the insight we need to help overcome them and ensure that our children continue to be inspired by incredible, dedicated staff long into the future.”

The commission will produce a set of recommendations for the council.

The commissioners

Denise Fox

Denise Fox (Chair) 

Denise, who has lived in Fulham all her life, has been teaching in Hammersmith and Fulham for 40 years. She trained at Roehampton University before beginning her career at Hurlingham Girls’ School (now Hurlingham Academy) in 1976. She then moved to her current school, Fulham Cross Girls in 1985 where she is now the headteacher. Amongst her many achievements, Denise was awarded the TES Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 recognising her lifelong dedication to improving young people’s lives and empowering tomorrow’s women.  

Lord Jim Knight

Lord Jim Knight 

A former UK Minister for Schools, member of the Privy Council and the House of Lords. Jim is the Chief Education Adviser at TES Global advising on key strategic partnerships. He successfully founded the TES Institute in 2014, a global teaching community which is the fifth largest qualifier of teachers in the UK. He is also a visiting Professor at the Knowledge Lab of the UCL Institute of Education as well as Honorary President of COBIS, on the Global Advisory Council for BETT, Chair of Whole Education, advises the London School of Commerce and is working with the social impact agency Purpose on teaching climate change. 

Professor Lindsey MacMillan

Professor Lindsey Macmillan

Lindsey is a Professor of Economics and Director of the UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, working to design and inform evidence-led education policy and wider practice to equalise opportunities across the life course. 

She has published work on topics relating to educational inequalities including the impact of selective schooling systems on social mobility, understanding the improved performance of London pupils, and the characteristics and outcomes of those who undermatch in higher education. 

Alongside her academic publications, Lindsey works closely with government and third sector organisations including the Department for Education and the Social Mobility Commission. 

Asma Benhenda

Asma Benhenda 

Asma is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities. Her research focuses on education and labour economics. Building on the findings of her PhD thesis completed at the Paris School of Economics, Asma is focusing her research on the issue of teacher shortage and its consequences for educational inequalities.

Her current research includes impact evaluations of teacher retention policies in England and France. Asma is strongly interested in the broad research agenda addressing inequalities and social justice in economics, but also in sociology, history, law, and psychology. 

Dr Graeme Atherton

Dr Graeme Atherton 

Graeme has been working in access to higher education and social mobility for nearly 20 years and has led regional, national and international initiatives to increase opportunity in higher education. A

fter six years leading Aimhigher work in London, he founded and now leads both AccessHE and NEON, working to widen access to higher education in England. He holds Visiting Professorships at Amity Business School and Sunway University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is a member of the Board of the National Union of Students (NUS) and has produced over 200 conference papers and publications in this field.

Graeme has previously supported H&F Council to set up the Primary Learning Partnership and has helped to evaluate the peer review process.   

Michelle Copeland

Michelle Copeland 

Michelle is an English teacher at Phoenix Academy and has lived in Hammersmith & Fulham all her life. Having started her career in city-based recruitment, Michelle moved to education in 2015 and was a part of the turnaround team at Phoenix Academy which saw the school transformed from an inadequate OFSTED rating to being judged a ‘good’ school during their last inspection.

Michelle is truly passionate about education and how it can be used as a tool for social mobility. Her ethos is that social class or background should never be a barrier to learning and academic achievement. Michelle has a passion for ensuring disadvantaged students achieve in education and she really wants to make a difference in the lives of young people in Hammersmith & Fulham.

Alongside her teaching role, Michelle is the Phoenix Academy SENDCO and is highly experienced in ensuring that suitable provision is offered to all students with additional needs. Michelle’s interest in joining the commission stems from a desire to ensure that local students are taught by the best teachers possible and that the best teachers stay in our borough.

Michelle truly understands the pressures that working teachers face on a day-to-day basis and she is interested in developing innovative ways for our schools to recruit and retain excellent teaching staff which will mean that all young people in our borough receive an outstanding education. 

Dave Collins

David Collins 

Dave began his teaching career in 2001 working in Hampshire at a large junior school teaching Year 6 pupils. He worked at three schools in Hampshire, always teaching within Key Stage Two, before coming out of the classroom to be a deputy head within a federation of schools.  His first headship was in his last school in Hampshire, in a one-form entry primary school. After six years, he moved to Hammersmith as headteacher at Brackenbury Primary in 2016. Dave enjoys working in schools undergoing necessary improvement work alongside coaching and mentoring other teachers and leaders and working collaboratively as part of a network of schools. 

For further information on the Teaching Commission, please contact hannah.parrott@lbhf.gov.uk 

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