Sara Andrew ( LEA Governor)
I became a governor at Speldhurst more than 15 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 40 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 including a series ' The Secret History of a School' with former education secretary Alan Johnson 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 and present/mentor the next generation of young feature makers in a series called 'New Storytellers' on Radio 4. I am currently working on a new contemporary history series for Radio 4 called ' History on the Edge' and have recently trained as a Samaritan.
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.
Victoria Dobney (Parent Governor)
As a former primary school teacher and a current teacher and project manager in further education, I feel as though my experience within education makes me ideal for parent governor. Having been an editor at a children’s publishing company as well also highlights my attention to detail and understanding of educational development. My roles within this field included being intrinsic in developing a Hi-Lo reading scheme and non-fiction texts.
Reading has always been a passion of mine and whilst teaching, so much so that I created a blog reviewing and recommending books that the children and I worked with read.
Although primary education is curriculum bound, primary schools provide so much more than what the government lays out. It is a community; an extended family and I would feel very proud and privileged to contribute more to this very special school.
Paul Youens (Parent Governor)
My profession is Corporate Affairs; which focuses heavily on stakeholder communications and organisational governance. I work with or advise at Exec / Board level for companies, and my background is in investor relations and financial communications - which includes financial reporting and the assessment and scrutiny of financial performance. I've also extensive internal communications experience, which includes managing interactions and comms to team members.
Both my parents worked in education – one as a maths teacher and the other as the librarian – for our local college for their whole careers. It's a key area I've always had an interest in. When I qualified in snow sports coaching I greatly enjoyed the varied teaching elements and taking school groups on the mountains.
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.
Jamie Macpherson (Chair Pay Appeals Committee & Foundation Governor)
I have lived in Speldhurst since 2017 and have two daughters at the school (with a third looking forward to joining them in 2023). My wife plays an active role with the PTA, through which we have seen something of the productive and happy relationship that exists between the school and the local community. I wish to see our excellent school, and all the children who attend it, prosper; and I will contribute my skills and experience - some gained in legal practice - towards the school's good governance and continued success.
Matt Brown (Chair of SIAMS Committee & Foundation Governor)
Since joining the School Governing board in 2017 I have had the privilege of getting to know the inner workings of the school and meeting and getting to know some of the dedicated staff who have taught all four of our children, the eldest, Maddy & Penny, have now moved on to secondary school with Sam and Rebecca still enjoying Speldhurst. I work in the technology sector, and am responsible for developing the design of large data centre infrastructure projects across Europe. Lel, my wife, has recently joined the school staff as a Teachers assistant in year R. With this combination of being a parent, work experience and now staff life insights, I hope to be able to help make balanced decisions with the team as we strive to provide the environment in which our children can "grow into all God wants us to be".
Dan Pollen (Deputy Chair of Governors & 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 (Chair L&D Committee & 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 (Chair of Governors, Resources, Pay Committees) & Parent Governor
I live in Langton Green, am married with two children who are both now at secondary school after being at Speldhurst. I was heavily involved with the school PTA having held roles of Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair. I am a qualified accountant with 25+ 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.