School Governors

What are School Governors?

Why have them?

Every school in the country has a Governing Body. Governors come from all walks of life bringing a wide range of experience to the school, including business and finance, parenting experience, further and higher education and administrative expertise. Parent Governors are an important component in achieving an effective and well-balanced governing body. They contribute to the strategic direction of the school and have an effective input toward to the educational achievements of its pupils. A governing body’s overriding responsibility is to work in partnership with the Headteacher to promote continuous improvement in the performance of the school. Aligned to its improvement role, the governing body is there to be a ‘critical friend’ who can provide the right balance between supporting and challenging the performance of both the Headteacher and senior leadership team.

What do they do?

  • Attend regular meetings to discuss and agree the vision, ethos and direction of the school
  • Agree the School Improvement Plan and monitor progress against it.
  • Visit the school to monitor the plan in action, meeting with staff and pupils
  • Take on specific link responsibilities for areas such as curriculum, health and safety, finance, special needs, safeguarding, early years, equality and diversity
  • Ensure the staff have the resources and support they need to do their jobs well by careful monitoring of the budget and the impact of expenditure.
  • Engage in training and research to ensure current legislation and good practice is being followed
  • On occasions serve on panels for appointments or disciplinary matters

Accountability and guidelines.

The Governing Body of a school is accountable for its performance, its finances and the safety and well-being of pupils and staff. The roles and responsibilities of governing bodies are clear in law and there is a defined distinction between the responsibilities and powers of the Headteacher and those of the governors. To ensure clarity and transparency all governors are required to declare any business or pecuniary interests to ensure there are no conflicts. The school holds a record of governor’s business interests that is updated annually alongside a standing agenda item that requires governors to declare any business or pecuniary interests against any agenda item. One governor is currently a governor at both Herne Bay Infant and Herne Bay Junior School, which assists the schools in working together. 


We are pleased and proud to be school governors and thus to make a positive contribution to our school community. We visit the school regularly and get involved with many aspects of school life. The Full Governing Body (FGB) meets formally each term (six times a year) to discuss progress with the school improvement plan and discuss monitoring visits we have made during each term in line with our designated areas for which we are responsible. The Finance Committee has three formal meetings per year and is involved with monthly monitoring of the school’s budget. It reports back to the FGB where some tough decisions sometimes need to be made about balancing the resources for the school and the nursery. We try to make ourselves known to parents and carers by attending school events and adding to weekly newsletters. Do come and say hello if you spot us wearing a governor lanyard.


Bernadette Lax  Type of Governor:Headteacher Governor

About myself: I have three children in their 30s, two live abroad, we keep in touch via Facetime and visit each other in the holidays. This year I had my first skiing lesson whilst visiting my eldest in Switzerland- an exercise in perseverance! I love to be outdoors and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, a walk or run along the seafront. In the warmer months swimming in the sea here in East Kent especially at Walpole Bay Tidal pool. Beach barbeques and picnics watching the sunset is another favourite way to relax. I am a keen gardener and have a collection of succulents that I became interested in when living in West Cornwall during my first Headship. I meditate almost everyday, it keeps me calm and helps me to appreciate how wonderful life is.

What I bring to the role: I keep the governors informed of all aspects of school life and respond to their questions and challenges which ensures we get the very best education for the children.

Viv Hayward: Chair of Governors: Coopted

Area Of Responsibility: Leadership and Management, English.

About myself: I have three grandchildren under 3 who I adore.I Enjoy singing, playing the guitar, swimming and learning something new.
What I bring to the role: A lifetime in education including 2 headships and several years as a School improvement Advisor in Kent. Having seen many changes and been involved with over 50 different schools. I bring a balanced overview. Above all I believe learning should be fun

Kate Amos: Vice-chair of Governors: Local Authority

Area of responsibility: Safeguarding, Early Years, Finance

What I bring to the role: Having a connection to Herne Bay Infants School over many, many years as a pupil, teacher, parent and governor, the well-being of the school is very important to me.

Sophie Gollop Parent Governor

Area of responsibility: Maths, Science, Equality & Diversity.

About myself: Parent of two (both at HBIS at the time of writing). Passionate about diversity, equality and the planet we live on. I like wearing trainers and listening to electronic dance music.

What I bring to the role: An eye for detail and progressive approach whilst always observing best practice. In addition to the role I’m a Compliance Consultant in the lighting industry, business owner and an investor.

Liza Dalton: Staff Governor Area of Responsibility: Class teacher, Year Group Co-ordinator and Science Subject Leader

About myself: I am the parent to three grown up sons and two step children. My interests include two border terriers whom I love dearly, crocheting, watching films and enjoying meals out.

What I bring to the role: I have been an infant school teacher for 7 years now. I can share my experiences of the classroom and consider how decisions made or discussed will impact on both staff and children.

Richard Martindale: Finance Team

About myself: I am a parent to four children all of whom have attended HBIS (one currently).  I work for an organisation delivering financial education in the UK and internationally from GCSE equivalent qualifications through to degree programmes and professional development.

What I bring to the role: I have worked in education for nearly 20 years and currently have responsibility for leading organisational operations.  Experience in q​uality assurance and audit also mean I have a keen eye for detail and evaluating effective implementation of policy.

Rob Newman: Co-opted Governor

Tyrone Winn: Finance Team