Meet the Governors

Our governors are committed to working hard to ensure the best for all pupils at Hernhill. They can be contacted directly by leaving a note/letter at the school office or via email

All our governors are appointed for a 4 year term of office.

The Hernhill governing body consists of 14 governors;

  • 2 parent governors
  • 1 local authority governor
  • 1 staff governor
  • 6 co-opted governors
  • 3 foundation governors
  • 1 headteacher governor

The governing body meets 4 times per school year with additional committee meetings. There are 3 committees - Resources / Learning & Development / Christian Distinctiveness.

 Our governors

Mrs Helen Figgis                                              

LA Governor               (Chair of Governors and Chair of Distinctiveness Ctte)           

Re-appointed November 2022 (original  appointment 2004)

I have been a governor for the last nineteen years and was part of the move from the old school to the new building in 2004. I have been chair of governors since 2005. I am a country person, enjoy sport and I have two grown up children, one of whom attended Hernhill when they were younger. I have had close links with community all of my life.  It is a privilege to work with keen and motivated staff who are all eager to provide the best for the children here at Hernhill. 


Mrs Sarah Alexander                                     


Appointed September 2016

I became headteacher of Hernhill CE Primary School in September 2016. I am passionate about providing every child with the best opportunities so that they can achieve to their fullest potential. I am very proud to lead such a hard-working and dedicated team of staff who go ‘above and beyond’ every day. Our core Christian values of compassion, forgiveness, resilience, respect and truthfulness are at the heart of all that we do.


Mrs Suzanne Carroll                                      

Staff Governor                               

Re-appointed December 2020 (original appointment January 2017)

I qualified as a teacher in 1996 and have been teaching at Hernhill Church of England Primary School since September 2009. I joined the Governing Body nearly seven years ago and I am now in my second term, currently a part of the Distinctiveness Committee. It is a privilege every day to be a part of this school and work with such wonderful children, and their parents, alongside such highly committed, caring and motivated staff and governors.


Revd. Cathrine Ngangira                                              

Foundation Governor

I am the Priest-in-Chareg of the Benefice of St Michael's Hernhill, Boughton with Dunkirk and Graveney with Goodnestone. The position includes the Governor position at Hernhill school. I was born in Zimbabwe and moved over to the UK in 2016 to be part of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace in London. Ordination followed some years later. God has brought me to Hernhill and I look forward to being part of the school community.


Mrs Liz Bisbrown                                             

Foundation Governor                     

Re-appointed March 2021 (original appointment April 2017)

I was delighted to be asked by St Michael’s Church PCC to become a Foundation Governor, as I have taken early retirement from my work as an optometrist, so I have plenty of time to commit to the role. I feel that it is important that the school maintains its Christian ethos and continues to be both thriving and welcoming. My own three children are now in their early 20’s but they all remember their years at Hernhill School with great fondness and I would love to think that future generations will feel the same.


Mrs Lisa Alexander-Bailey                         

Foundation Governor                 

Re-appointed January 2021 (original appointment August 2011)

I was elected onto the Governing body as a Local Authority governor in 2011, which following the reconstitution subsequently changed to become a co-opted governor. I have worked for the last 21 years with KCC within the social services, education and property units. My role is varied as I cover all schools within the Kent County Council maintained area (excluding Medway) – which has meant that I deal with maintenance  programmes; asset rationalisation of buildings;  building projects; expansion of schools;  relocation of schools;  pupil referral units etc thus ensuring that the built environment for education is suitable and fit for purpose. I have three children and am also a Sunday School teacher at our local church. I am also a governor at Barton Manor Secondary School in Canterbury.


Mrs Amy Merritt                                          

Parent Governor                         

Appointed November 2023.

I work in children’s services for Kent County Council.  One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to listen to and understand different people’s experiences. I’m passionate about making time and space for everyone’s voice to be heard. I have experience in working with schools and families and in managing projects. Over the last 15 years in my job, I’ve also learned a lot about how we can make best use of (often limited) resources to support children, families and communities. I currently have two girls in the juniors at Hernhill. 


Mrs Jess Yeldon                                         

Parent Governor                               

Appointed December 2022

I currently have a daughter in the infants. I also have two sons who are both in secondary school, but spent their entire primary career at Hernhill. This is my 10th year here with 6 more to go! I was an active member of the PTAFA for 6 years and spent three of them as Co chair, so I have been heavily involved in school life to date. Before becoming a mother I was a secondary school English teacher so have always a keen interest in Education. In fact I completed my Masters in Dickens and Victorian Literature just after my daughter was born. I have always been interested in becoming a Governor, and now that I am back at the school it seemed like the perfect time to join, as I going to be here for a significant time going forward.


Mrs Kelly Lasarow                                  

Co-opted Governor                     

Appointed December 2022

I am a Chartered Wealth Manager (CISI & CII) with 18 years in Banking and Private Client Wealth Management. My Chartered Qualifications include Economics, Corporate Governance, Board Structures, ESG investment, Tax & Trust Planning to name a few. I took all of these exams in my own time to further develop my skills. We are blessed with 3 wonderful boys under 5, our eldest is at Hernhill with our two younger boys to follow. Giving our children the best start in life is top of our priority list and I am passionate about supporting the development of ours and fellow parents children.


Mr Craig Scandrett                                           

Co-opted Governor       (Vice Chair and Chair of Resources Ctte)               

Re-appointed September 2022 (original appointment September 2018)

I was appointed as a co-opted governor in September 2018 and am currently the link governor for Worship as well as being a member of the Resource Committee.  I have one child at the school. As a qualified chartered accountant, my finance expertise helps me assist the school in successfully maintaining budgetary control of its resources.  I am currently employed by a company that clears unexploded remnants of war around the world, and this work to create a better future mirrors my desire to help the school give its pupils a bright future, by allowing all of the children the opportunity to achieve their full potential. 


Mrs Fiona Palmer                                              

Co-opted Governor               (Chair of Learning & Development Ctte)

Re-appointed March 2023 (original apppointment March 2019)

I am the link governor for SEN and Inclusion, as well as Chair of the Learning and Development Committee. I have one daughter at Hernhill, therefore I am passionate about supporting the school to help every child flourish. I come from a background. I worked within various primary schools for 18 years, as a mainstream teacher, SENCO and special needs teacher. I am keen to use my experience to support this amazing school in its ongoing journey.

Mrs Liz Wright                                                      

Co-opted Governor                                 

Appointed December 2020

I was appointed as a co-opted governor in December 2020. I am the link governor for the Creative Curriculum and a member of the Christian Distinctiveness Committee. I currently work part-time as a TA at St Edmund’s School in Canterbury. Prior to having my family, I worked as a HR Consultant in a number of different sectors.  My family moved to the area over four years ago and have been warmly welcomed into the village. As a governor I want to contribute to the Hernhill community, who have been so kind to us, by supporting and assisting the school, which is at the heart of this lovely community.


Ms Lucy Duff                                                    

Co-opted Governor                                 

Appointed December 2023

I am a Hernhill parent with a son in year R. As a Constructed Textiles graduate and musician, I have a creative approach to strategizing and problem solving which has led me to my current role as Area Manager for Kent Music, a music education charity and lead partner of the Music Education Hub for Kent. Previously I worked as a TA and Music HLTA at a primary school, planning and delivering the music curriculum and extra-curricular activities. I am passionate about enabling all pupils to access diverse, creative and authentic learning experiences.


Mr Nik Bell                                                   

Co-opted Governor                                 

Appointed December 2023

I am a current lead teacher of a secondary school within Canterbury and a parent at Hernhill. With my personal experiences with dyslexia, I strive to make sure every child feels like they can access everything within the school’s environment and their educational journey. I firmly believe every child has a right to a brilliant education and I am excited to work with the support of the community and all the fantastic staff to ensure we provide this.

 What do governing bodies do? 

 The school’s governing body is responsible overall for the conduct of the school and must lead the school with a view to promoting high standards of achievement. It should fulfil its functions in a strategic way. Broadly speaking governing bodies have responsibilities in the following areas:

  • Ensuring the school’s clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff, and,
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

How are governing bodies made up?

Governing bodies were required to undergo a process of re-constitution before September 2015. This was to ensure they have a dynamic governing body which is no larger than it needs to be, with governors who are actively contributing the relevant skills and experience. They are:

  • Parent governors - elected by other parents at the school;
  • A staff governor - elected by teachers and support staff working at the school;
  • The Headteacher;
  • A local authority governor - nominated by the local authority; appointed by the governing body
  • Co-opted governors - chosen and appointed by the governing body; and
  • Foundation governors at church schools - appointed by the diocesan boards and church authorities.

Relevant business and financial Interests 

For academic year 2022-2023

For academic year 2021-2022 


Governing Body Diversity data

Diversity data 2023-24 - anonymised


Governors who have served over the past 12 months

  • Mrs Emily Andrews. Parent governor. Appointed October 2020. Stood down July 2023.
  • Mrs Alison Soltani-Davies. Parent governor. Appointed October 2020 stood down November 2022.
  • Mr David Dowle. Co-opted governor. Appointed December 2021, stood down September 2022.