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Governing Body

Role of governors and the governing body

What is a governing body?

A school's governing body is a legal entity known as a corporate body. It has a legal existence separate from that of its individual members.  The Governing Body is not responsible for the day to day running of the school but works with the senior leadership team to define strategy, manage finances and robustly review pupil progress and safeguarding matters.

What are governors?

Governors are a group of elected or appointed individuals who collectively are the corporate body

Individual governors have no power or right to act on behalf of the governing body.

  • Except where the whole governing body has delegated a specific function to that individual or where regulations specify a function is to be exercised in a particular way.

Individual governors are generally protected from personal liability as a result of the governing body's decisions and actions provided they act honestly, reasonably and in good faith

Delegated functions:

A governing body can delegate any of its statutory functions to the headteacher, a committee of governors or an individual governor.

  • They must be reviewed annually by the governing body
  • Any action taken or decision made as a result must be reported to the governing body

Our Governing Body are:

Summary of Constitution
Position Name
Chair of Governors Jane Burnett
Clerk Ms Sarah Collins
Vice Chair of Governors Mr Ian Bryan
Name Post Appointed Expiry
Mrs Lison Smart Associate Member 05/05/2017 04/05/2021
Mr Simon Thurston Associate Member 05/05/2017 04/05/2021
Mrs Deborah Ongley Associate Member 19/09/2017 18/09/2021
Ms Hilary Barton Co-opted Governor 23/11/2017 22/11/2021
Mrs Norma Turner Co-opted Governor 19/09/2017 18/09/2021
Miss Emma Hogg Co-opted Governor 01/04/2016 31/03/2020
Mr Ian Bryan Co-opted Governor 17/11/2016 16/11/2020
Rev Martin Harper Foundation Ex-Officio Governor 01/04/2016 31/03/2041
Kate Sims Foundation Governor 01/04/2016 31/03/2020
Dr Alan Lloyd Smith Foundation Governor 01/04/2016 31/03/2020
Jane Burnett LA Governor 01/04/2016 31/03/2020
Mrs Marie-Claire Erith Parent Governor 01/04/2015 31/03/2019
Carolyn Weston Staff - Headteacher Ex-Officio Governor 01/09/2017 31/08/2042
Jane Nash Staff Governor 20/04/2016 19/04/2020

Jane Burnett


Jane Burnett MA  :   Chair of Governors

Email: chair@beckleypeasmarshschoolsfederation.co.uk


A geography graduate and a trained teacher/school counsellor from Durham University, Jane spent 25 years working across the country in the teaching profession, culminating in headship.  Jane achieved an MA in Education Leadership in the mid-1980s.   Following headship Jane set up her own education consultancy and worked freelance in schools, specialising in leadership development and school improvement until she chose to semi -retire in 2016 , choosing to continue to work on small projects of interest to her.  She was an accredited performance management consultant, leadership coach and trained as an Ofsted Inspector. Over the years Jane has worked for many different organisations including the DfE, NCSL, LSC and several independent school associations.  Jane currently practices as an Executive Leadership Coach for a number of private clients on a regular basis. Jane has a number of volunteer roles including a school governor in Kent and membership of the Independent Monitoring Board of East Sutton Women’s Prison. In her spare time Jane and her husband farm a small herd of alpacas on the Kent/Sussex border. The reason Jane is a governor is her strong interest in education and her desire to continue to support local schools in offering her skills and experience to help them to flourish.


Ian Bryan


Ian Bryan is a recently appointed Governor, having previously been a Governor at Rye College.  Born in Sussex, he has lived in Peasmarsh for the past four years.  A graduate of the Open University and Post Graduate of Birkbeck College, he started his working life in the Education Department of West Sussex County Council before moving to become, for the next 21 years, an Official of the House of Commons as a Member of the Clerk of the House Department.  Leaving to join the UK water sector, he set up and was CEO to both its national training organisation and an awarding body for vocational qualifications. 
Having had the opportunity to travel widely in his career and since retirement, Ian fully understands how a good grounding in education is necessary for children to succeed in life and hopes to contribute to that end for the Beckley and Peasmarsh schools.

Alan Lloyd-Smith


Alan Lloyd-Smith is a recently appointed Foundation Governor to the school having previously been a Governor at Wittersham Primary School and at Rye College.  Alan was born in Sussex and has lived in Wittersham for over 30 years and has a developed interest in education and community issues.  He has been a General Practitioner in Tenterden for 36 years (retiring from practice in 2014) and he hopes this background may give  him some understanding of the needs of a rural community such as Beckley. He has three adult children and five grandchildren living locally.  He would like to do his best to ensure that Beckley is a successful and happy school.

Father Martin Harper


Father Martin was inducted as Rector of Brede and Udimore in July 2008. His initial career was as a Quantity Surveyor and, during this time, he was ordained as a Deacon in 1985 and a Priest in 1986. He qualified and went into teaching from 1995 until 2008.
Martin is a member of the Scout Fellowship and also serves on the Board of the Fellowship of St Nicholas. He has also recently been made a Director of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust.

Kate Sims


Kate has lived in Rye for the past 16 years having spent most of her career in senior roles in global banking and reinsurance in London, as well as spells in South Africa and Australia.  She is currently a Director of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust and a member of the Chichester Diocesan Synod and has previously been a member of the Chichester Diocesan Board of Finance.   Kate worships locally and has links to a school in Uganda. She is a founding trustee of the Rye Community Shop, which she recently helped to set up as a local charity, serving Rye and District.  After years as Head of Futures and Cost Control at an international bank, she studied for a Diploma in Landscape & Amenity Horticulture and has a RHS certificate in Planting and Garden Design.  Following retirement from the city, she pursued her love of gardening by working for some time for Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter.

Hilary Barton


For 16 years, I worked at the Institute of Education project managing the admin team working on NCTL leadership programmes – NPQH for the whole of that time, and then on various other programmes culminating in the redesigned NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML with IOE Leadership CoLab. I worked with many school leaders as both facilitators and participants, and learned how good leadership aligned with quality first teaching can transform the life chances of children. This has fostered a continuing interest in education and I have been glad to be able to use my knowledge as a governor.

I believe strongly in community engagement and think we should all contribute in some way to the area in which we live. I also have a passionate belief in the power of education to improve life chances for children. This combined with my knowledge of education and school leaders, led me to volunteer as a governor 8 years ago as my “payback” to the community that supports me and to be able to use my knowledge and experience in an area that is important to me.

Norma Turner


Norma has been teaching for 47 years in many local primary schools and also a local secondary school, working with pupils aged from 4 to 16.

Over the years she worked for East Sussex County Council as a Leading Literacy Teacher training Teachers and Teaching Assistants, running courses and supporting teachers in their primary schools with the teaching of English.

She has been a department Head for English, RE, History and PE, organised the local netball tournaments and had a particular interest in SEN pupils, English and Dyslexia.

She became a Dyslexia Specialist Teacher in 2002 and achieved her NPQH in 2004.

During her time she bid and obtained many grants for her school, wrote a school brochure for parents on how to support their children with Reading, organised Family Learning Reading clubs, recruited and trained adult volunteers to support pupils with Literacy, organised a Parent Forum, Able Writers days for the Gifted and Talented pupils in the local area, was responsible for Ethnic minorities and worked with the local Community to both raise her school profile and monies for her school. She also worked in collaboration with a Rye Church to write a simple child’s guide to the church.

For the last 10 years of her teaching she was also part of the management team in a large local Primary School.

Having retired in 2008, she was asked to work in 4 local Primary Schools on the “Making Good Progress” initiative which, because of its success, then led on to her working both as a Supply Teacher and a Specialist Teacher of Dyslexia supporting Dyslexic pupils on a one-to- one basis until July 2017.

In her spare time she belongs to the local National Trust Group, tends to her garden, enjoys reading, going to the cinema, walks many miles and attends Zumba, Yoga and Dance classes locally.

Jane Nash


Jane has been teaching for more years than she cares to remember!   Graduating from university with a Degree in Education, majoring in Maths and Art, Jane has taught across the whole of the primary age range 4-11 years.

Jane enjoys working with children and in her ‘spare’ time runs a cub pack and trains both adults and children in kayaking and canoeing!

Emma Hogg


Emma has been working at Peasmarsh school since April 2010 and has been a teacher for 9 years.  She has experience of teaching year 1-6.  In September 2015, she started her qualification to become the SENCO at Peasmarsh which she finished in August 2016.

Marie-Claire Erith


Marie-Claire has been a parent at Beckley School for 9 years and currently has a child in year 4.  She is interested in securing the future of both schools and improving their links with the community.  Marie-Claire strongly believes in the value of small rural schools.

Deborah Ongley


Deborah has lived in Beckley for 39 years and has two children – one at Beckley School the other at Beckley Preschool .  She runs a small cleaning company based in Beckley.

Deborah is the Vice Chair of Beckley Parish Council, Committee member of Beckley Preschool and the  village hall.  Her passion for the village shows in her commitments to all these organisations.

By being involved with Beckley and Peasmarsh schools it would be in her interest to help achieving the best future for our children in these rural communities.

Sarah Collins Clerk to the Governors


Sarah Collins recently moved from Essex to East Sussex where her son attended Beckley School for his last year in Primary School.  Whilst her son attended Beckley Primary she volunteered for the Beckley School Association as a Class Representative and is also now running the Northiam 1st Cubs pack.  Sarah has over 10 years of experience working as a Project Manager managing projects in both commercial and public sectors and has joined the Beckley Peasmarsh Governing Body as Clerk to the Governors.  

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