Governor Biographies

Here is some information about our Governors; further biographies will be added in due course:-

Lee Hodgkinson (Chair & Foundation Governor)

I have lived in Speldhurst for 12-years, following a lengthy spell working overseas, and have been a Foundation Governor since 2017. I am passionate about serving on the Board of Governors, where I find the learning curve a challenging but rewarding experience. I hope to use the skills and expertise I have developed over 30-years in the financial services industry, to help the school realise the full potential of its staff and students.

 

 

  Sara Andrew (Vice Chair & LEA Governor)

I became a governor at Speldhurst more than 10 years ago after my two daughters’ enjoyable and successful time there. The school gave them a good foundation both as individuals and academically. As a governor, I hope to help maintain and develop this education for future generations of pupils. As an award-winning radio producer and journalist, mainly for BBC Radio 4, I believe I can help ‘open the door’ to the world beyond Speldhurst as well as bringing the excellent work of the school to the attention of the local community. (eg: Parish magazine column, articles in the local press). Throughout my journalistic career, spanning more than 35 years, I have also worked for TV and written for newspapers.  I still write occasionally for the Times Education Supplement mainly on the use of ICT and mobile technology in the classroom and contribute education features to BBC radio, whilst many of my documentaries also give a ‘voice’ to young people.  I also lecture/mentor media students and other radio professionals including a workshop at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago.

 

Andrea Burgess (Foundation Governor)

I have lived in Speldhurst for 30 years. I first became involved with Speldhurst School when my elder son began there in September 1989, to be followed by my younger son 4 years later.  I was an active member of the PTA for some years and primarily became involved with the Governing Body as a Parent Governor.  I have always been very interested in education, having worked for 20 years as a secondary school teacher of Modern Languages.  Following that I became involved with the introduction of French to several local primary schools, including Speldhurst.  I now work in church administration.

 

Al Ferguson (Parent Governor)

As a former primary school teacher in middle management, and being married to an early years expert, I’ve always had a passion for seeing children thrive in a school environment. When my youngest, Ted, joined Speldhurst in 2018 it was clear to me that he had joined a school that also believed firmly in seeing children thrive. 

 

Since leaving the profession to pursue my own business in digital marketing, I have always felt as though I would like to still utilise my training, experience and knowledge of what it’s like to be a teacher and becoming a governor allows me to do just that. I hope to be able to bring both the perspective of teacher & parent to the role and be a support to the teaching staff to continue developing the outstanding school that is Speldhurst.

 

 Stephanie Hayward (Headteacher)

I have been the Headteacher at Speldhurst CEP School since September 2010. Prior to that I worked at Southborough CEP School which is very close in location and has a similarly distinctive Christian character. I have been delighted by the warm, family atmosphere, close community links and polite, well-motivated pupils at Speldhurst School. We are blessed with an excellent team of teachers and teaching assistants, together with a very proactive governing body which makes education at the school really enjoyable. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be the Headteacher of such a fabulous school. My husband and I live in Tunbridge Wells with our two daughters, Laura and Ellie and a small menagerie of animals. It is a joy to drive through the stunning countryside to Speldhurst each day; it really is an idyllic setting. As a small, village primary school, Speldhurst provides the diversity and challenge I sought when moving to headship and I feel sure that we will continue to be a thriving part of the local community for many years to come.

 

Dan Pollen (Foundation Governor)

As a teacher, and being married to a teacher,  I have a passion for education. We live in the village and our two children, Esme and Jasper both attend Speldhurst School.  Being a Governor at the school will allow me to support the school and ensure it continues to provide a great environment for children to learn and  continues to provide an excellent education to all of the children. 

 

Susannah Wesson (Foundation Governor)

I moved to the area in 2013. I am married to Ed, and my husband and I are both in the teaching profession, at secondary level. We have two daughters, Molly and Ella, and live in Speldhurst. I was appointed to the governing body in Spring 2016, a few months after my elder daughter started in Reception. I am enjoying the challenge of seeing the workings of a school from a different perspective, and hope to be able to make a positive contribution to the life of the school.

 

Douglas Wren (Foundation Governor)

I moved to the village in 2002 and am the Rector at St Mary’s. I’ve been continuously a Foundation Governor at Speldhurst School and, before that, West Kingsdown Primary since 1994. I’ve no idea how many meetings that adds up to, but it does mean that the young children I first saw have now got their own children! I’m married to a teacher who was until recently Director of Sixth Form in a school in Dagenham. We have two grown up children, one of whom lives in Amsterdam. I love Speldhurst School, it’s a real joy to play a small part in the life of such a caring and creative community.

 

Helen Yates (Parent Governor)

I live in Langton Green, am married with two children - a daughter who is now at Bennett School and a son who is in Crispin Class.  I am heavily involved with the PTA and for the last 5 years have been their treasurer. I am a qualified accountant with 20+ years working in industry. I became a parent governor in 2015 as I wanted to support the school in being the best it can be and supporting our children to achieve their potential. It is important to create an environment where each child is valued and develops their own self esteem and confidence, so they can excel both academically, socially and creatively.