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The Governing Board

The Governing Board oversees the work of our school. The Full Governing Board when at capacity will have 14 members including a staff governor, parent governors, foundation governors, a local authority governor and co-opted governors made up as follows:

· Four parent governors who are elected by the parent body and must be the parent or carer of a child attending the school at the time of their appointment. They should keep in touch with other parents but make up their own minds on how to vote on any specific issue;

· One Staff governor elected by their colleagues;

· One Local education authority governor appointed by East Sussex County Council;

· Two foundation governors appointed by the Diocese of Chichester;

· Four co-opted governors appointed by the governing body based on their skills and experience;

· The Headteacher is an ex officio governor which means that he is appointed as a result of the position he holds; and

· The Vicar of St Peter and St Paul, Wadhurst parish church is also an ex officio governor.

Associate Members of the Governing Board are appointed by the Governing Board to provide specific skills which may, from time-to-time, be needed to help the governors discharge their responsibilities.

The Governing Board has many different responsibilities, but primarily it must promote high standards of academic achievement and help ensure that the school is a safe and happy place for its pupils. It helps to do this in many different ways, including setting school budgets, ensuring the National Curriculum is taught to all pupils, setting targets for achievement, monitoring information about the quality of teaching in the school and comparing results with other schools and dealing with parental complaints and concerns and making regular monitoring visits. It also takes a long-term, strategic look at how the school should develop, and always welcomes the opinions of and representations from, parents, staff, pupils and the local community.

The governors work is divided between meetings of the Full Governing Board (FGB), which are attended by all governors, and the Resources, Staffing and Pay committee not all governors are members of this committee.

Please note however any questions about the day-to-day operation of the school, or any complaints, should first be directed to your child's class teacher, phase leader, or the headteacher.

Meet the Governors

Full Governing Board


Christopher Fox

Co-opted Governor & Chair of Governors

Terms of Office:

Parent governor:  09/1999-9/2003, 09/2003-9/2007

Community governor: 2007-2011

Co-opted governor: 2012-2014, 09/09/14 - 08/09/18, 19/07/2018 - 18/07/2022

Appointed by: FGB

Committee membership: Resources Staffing and Pay Committee (Chair)

Link Governor role: Sports Premium

Email: cfox@wadhurstpri.e-sussex.sch.uk


Ian Fitzgerald

Co-opted Governor

Terms of Office:

Foundation governor: 2011-2015 and 2015-2018

Co-opted governor: 15/10/19-14/10/23

Appointed by: FGB

Committee membership: Resources Staffing and Pay Committee



Mark Thorn

Co-opted Governor

Terms of Office:

Parent governor: 2007-2011 and 2011-2015

Co-opted governor: 19/07/18 - 18/07/22

Appointed by: FGB

Committee membership: Resources Staffing and Pay Committee

Link Governor role: Safeguarding


Jennifer Davidson

Parent Governor

Term of Office: 19/10/18 - 18/10/22

Elected by: Parents

Committee membership: Resources Staffing and Pay Committee (Vice-Chair)

Link Governor role: Information Governance


Sarah Herman                                                                                                                                  Parent Governor

Term of Office: 19/10/18 - 18/10/22

Elected by: Parents

Link Governor role: SEND



Katy Baker

Parent Governor

Term of Office: 01/12/2020-30/11/2024

Elected by: Parents [N.B. subject to clear DBS check]


Susan Cresswell

Parent Governor

Term of Office: 01/12/2020-30/11/2024

Elected by: Parents 


Lindsay Pamphilon

Local Authority Governor

Terms of Office: 07/09/16 - 06/09/20 and [ESCC confirmed second term on 19/11/2020 awaiting FGB approval]

Appointed by: East Sussex County Council

Link Governor role: Data


Joanne Musgrave

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 2011-2015, 14/12/15 - 13/12/19, 10/12/20-9/12/2024

Appointed by: Diocese of Chichester

Link Governor role: Health and wellbeing


Miquela Walsh

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 10/12/2020-9/12/2024

Appointed by: Diocese of Chichester 



Rev Paul Ratcliff

Ex Officio - Vicar of St Peter and St Paul, Wadhurst parish church

Appointed: 13/3/2019


David Hemsley

Ex Officio - Headteacher

Appointed: 05/09/19

All Committees and Teams


Lydia Thompson

Staff Governor – Deputy Headteacher

Term of Office: 12/02/20-11/02/24

Appointed by: Staff




1 x Co-opted Governor


Governors who have left in the last 12 months

Graham Wells

Co-opted Governor

Stepped down on 24 September 2020


Clerk to Governors

Lorna Buckwell

Appointed: December 2019

Email: clerk@wadhurstpri.e-sussex.sch.uk


Paul Ratcliff

I’m a Londoner by birth and my first career was as a research scientist, working for 21 years firstly as a space scientist at the University of Kent and then for the Ministry of Defence developing tanks. In 2009 I left that work to became a vicar, originally serving in rural Kent. I came to Wadhurst in January 2019 as the new vicar, and that made me also Ex-Officio Foundation Governor at the school with responsibility for helping the school in the areas of RE and school ethos.

I came with some experience of school governance having served for over six years on the governing body of the Church of England primary school in my previous parish, where I was the Safeguarding Governor. I view working with schools as one of the most stimulating aspects of my role in the community and I thoroughly enjoy coming in to the school to take weekly Acts of Worship (which I usually do with my wife, Heather), and on other occasions such as helping with science week.

Sarah Herman

I am a Parent Governor with responsibility for SEND. I have been a governor at the school since 2018. I live in Wadhurst and have two children that attend the school.

I have worked in education for 13 years. I am currently a reception class teacher at a school in Tunbridge Wells. In the past I have been part of the extended leadership team of the school, with responsibility for Maths.

I have a particular interest in outdoor learning/forest school which first developed after visiting a school in Norway. I am an advocate of learning through play and the importance of focusing on children’s wellbeing and involvement in learning to ensure all children reach their full potential

Mark Thorn

I am a co-opted governor having originally been appointed as a parent governor when all three of my children attended Wadhurst Primary School. Over the years it has been my privilege to serve in various Governor groups, committees and to have previously been chair of governors.

I have an interest in welfare issues at school and am keen that Wadhurst Primary School continues to play a strong part in our community.

Katy Baker

I’m a mum of three little ones and our eldest daughter started Reception at Wadhurst Primary in 2020.  We recently located to Cousley Wood from London (via Tunbridge Wells) and we are really enjoying settling into East Sussex life. With our children set to be pupils of the school over the next few years, I’m really keen to be involved and do all I can to be an active part of our school and Governing board, which is why I am so pleased to be a newly appointed parent Governor of the school. 

Outside of being a Mum, I have a professional career spanning over 20 years in PR and Publicity, working to devise, implement and deliver full spectrum marketing and communications strategies for brands, influencers and high profile celebrities.

Following the birth of my first born, I retrained as a hypnobirthing teacher where I support and educate pregnant people to prepare for the births of their babies.  I have my own business, The Birth Thing, and I’ve spent the past five years building up a community to support expectant and new parents as they transition into parenthood.  I host regular meet ups and support groups, as well as teaching my antenatal courses.

As a daughter of a recently retired primary school headteacher, education has been a big part of my life. I have always admired my mother’s passion and commitment as a teacher and now I have children of my own, I can understand the fundamental importance of primary education even more. My short experience of our school so far has inspired me to want to be more involved in supporting the school to achieve our collective goals as I can already see what a huge role it will play in our family’s life and every other family who chooses Wadhurst Primary School.  I’m excited to see the school grow and evolve over the next few years and hope to use some of my experience and enthusiasm to support the school where I can.

Jennifer Davidson

I am a mother to lively twin boys, who are currently in year 4. My family and I have lived in the area for over 12 years, and love the Wadhurst community.

I have worked as a lawyer in Government for 14 years in the Cabinet Office, Department for Education, Department for Culture Media and Sport, and am currently a senior commercial legal advisor to Defra. I think that Wadhurst Primary is a special school, with a wonderful caring, and nurturing environment.

I am passionate about inclusion, and want all children to have the opportunity to thrive and discover their unique talents.

Jo Musgrave

I have been a Foundation Governor since 2012 and am currently chair of the Teaching Learning Committee.

I’ve had a varied career in education working as a teacher and leader in primary schools and children’s centres, both in the UK and overseas. My particular interest is in early childhood development and literacy which has led me to work as a local authority advisor and for Ofsted. When I became a parent, I took a break from teaching but did not give up learning, studying for a Masters degree. I also help run Jellybeans, the toddler group for Wadhurst church.

I have a young son who loves being at Wadhurst Primary.

Miquela Walsh

I am a newly appointed Foundation Stage Governor which means that I attend the local Church and support the school in considering the spiritual development for our children as part of a holistic education and develop our connections with the local community.

I am a Doctor in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology and have worked as an Educational Psychologist across the South East for nearly a decade. I am interested in the connections, relationships and systems that we are all part of and how we can support children in a whole range of ways to thrive and feel confident within their own individuality. I am very excited to be joining the Wadhurst Governing Body and hope to support the school to continue to be a valuable part of the village and provide an excellent education, in the broadest sense of the word, to our children.

I have two young children who keep me on my toes, I help with Jellybeans, the parent and toddler group run by the church, I am involved in local Friends of the Earth climate change activism and love music.

Chris Fox

I have been a Governor at Wadhurst Primary since 1999 when my 2 daughters were at the school and I was elected as a parent Governor. I am currently Chair of the Governing Body, I have been one previously and I have also chaired the Finance, Resources and Staffing Committee for longer than I care to remember.

Outside of this, I run my own wine business supplying local pubs and restaurants. I am also a Level 3 Cricket Coach and work for the ECB tutoring, assessing, mentoring and developing cricket coaches. I fulfil a similar role for UK Coaching across a range of sports activities.

Even after all this time, I still retain a commitment and enthusiasm to try to help the children of Wadhurst get the best possible start to their education and broader life opportunities the school offers.

Lindsay Pamphilon

I am a mother of three children all of whom have attended Wadhurst Primary school. I work as a Vice Principal in an FE College and have been involved in education for more than 20 years.

We are hugely fortunate to have a primary and secondary school in Wadhurst and I really enjoy the opportunity to play a role supporting the school

Susan Cresswell

I am a newly appointed parent governor and am excited to have this opportunity to support the school during and after the pandemic. As part of my role, I have joint responsibility for pupil progress and curriculum delivery.

I have one child in the school and another due to start in the Nursery.

As a primary school teacher of 14 years I have worked in Early Years and Key Stage One in private and state schools.  I have a particular interest in mental health and well-being, yoga and mindfulness as well as aspirations to ensure all children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

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