Our Governing Body is made up of a group of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who care deeply about Joy Lane Primary School, each offer their time to help the schools Leadership team and staff to continuously seek the optimum environment for our children to thrive, providing them with the best school experience and outcomes at this stage of their learning journey.
Governors are responsible for setting the Vision, Mission and Ethos of the school and to oversee the implementation in the process commonly known as a 'critical' friend. This translates to supporting the Leadership team in their efforts while providing appropriate strategic challenge to help ensure the best chance success.
The Governors undertake their role using the following mechanisms:
- Full Governing Body Meetings to consider proposals, initiatives, reports, school data analysis and other feedback from the Leadership team on the progress of our pupils.
- Two smaller more focused Committee’s meet and report back the Full Governing Body Meetings.
- Learning and Development - with a focus on children’s progress and attainment, and most importantly wellbeing
- Resources and Premises - with a focus on the schools financial position, and the schools physical infrastructure (buildings and grounds etc.) and how they can be best utilised and accessed by the schools community.
- Governor school visits allow governors to meet with the children and staff to better understand the day-to-day life of the school and see first-hand how the decisions approved during governor meetings are impacting on the children's progress.
- The Chair and Vice Chair of Governors maintain correspondents and meet regularly with the Executive Headteacher and Head of School to stay informed of day-to-day issues and provide a sounding board when required.
Letters from our Governors
Please click here for key Governor Information (Term of office, business interests, responsibilities and attendance.)
Meet the Governors
Chris Graves - Chair of Governors
Originally a parent governor when my four, now adult, children attended Joy Lane School I returned to the school and was appointed as a Local Authority governor in 2010. I was elected joint Vice Chair at the Full Governing Body meeting in September 2017 and subsequently elected Chair of Governors in September 2018.
Now retired my work background is administration, working in the NHS both Acute and Community services.
Being a school governor is both challenging and rewarding as we strive to meet government initiatives in an environment which is constantly changing. I am committed to Joy Lane school and hope I am able to contribute in a positive way toward helping our pupils experience the best possible start to their future and with ‘a love of learning’.
Mrs Sheena Strudley - Vice Chair
I have been a governor at Joy Lane Primary School since the amalgamation of the two schools (Joy Lane Infant School and Joy Lane Junior School ) in 2007. I am currently Vice-Chair of Governors and am also the SEND Governor.
My background is in teaching and, before my retirement, I spent fifteen years as a member of the Specialist Teaching Service advising and supporting schools on working with children who had difficulties with language and communication with a specialist field of Autism.
I also worked for Kent Music School teaching choral singing.
I love working with Joy Lane to support high quality education for all children. It is a privilege to be involved with such a dedicated and highly skilled staff.
I have been a Civil Servant for over 20 years. I currently work for an executive agency of the Department for Education on the development of new schools across the South of England. Previous roles for DfE have included leading school performance improvement work in London and working for the SEN and Disability Tribunal on the extension of its remit to include disability discrimination claims. My son attends Joy Lane and I am delighted to be part of its team. The dedication of the staff and Governors here shows the minute you walk through the door.
My name is Michelle Newman. I am a busy mum of three girls all of whom have attended Joy Lane School. I have been involved with the Governing Body for a number of years working closely and supporting the dedicated staff, and helping to oversee and assure the best possible education for the children. I’m also a member of The Friends of Joy Lane helping to raise funds that enrich our children’s whole school experience.
Sue Lindgren - Co-opted Governor
I have recently joined the school as a governor. I have worked in finance for a number of years and have over thirty year’s experience working with schools. I have always enjoyed working with schools and want to share my knowledge and skills within the community.
I find it a privilege to work with such a dedicated and professional team who are all ensuring that Joy Lane provides the best quality education to the children in the school.
Helen Polley - Vice Chair
I joined as a parent Governor in 2017. I am a local lady who attended Joy Lane as a pupil when I was 5! I have my own business and two children at the school. As a Governor I am looking forward to giving something back to the school.
Robert Hassell - Parent Governor
I joined as a parent Governor in 2018. I have lived in Whitstable for over 15 years and have two children at the school. I am a Health and Safety professional who is keen on getting things right and enabling the school to give the pupils the best opportunities that it can.
I joined the governing body in May 2019 and wanted to share the skills acquired from 25 years spent in the teaching profession. I am currently working at a school in Canterbury, which involves managing the pastoral care of a 3-18 school, in addition to a variety of leadership challenges. Prior to this, I was a residential housemistress, responsible for the academic and pastoral well-being of 50 teenage girls. With a degree in English, my formative teaching years were spent overseas in Turkey, Botswana and Japan, before settling in Canterbury in 2001. I am delighted to have joined Joy Lane Primary School and look forward to becoming involved in such a dynamic and caring learning environment.
Paulette Stubbings - Co-opted Governor
I became Vicar of St Alphege Seasalter in October 2018. I've lived in Kent for most of my life and Whitstable for the past sixteen years and am married with two daughters. I'm delighted to have recently joined the Governing Body - we have strong links in the church with parents and families from Joy Lane School, and I am already impressed with the dedication and determination of the Governing Body to support and enable staff and children to constantly improve and flourish within the highly challenging landscape of education policy and funding. It's a privilege to join in with that work.
Debra Hines - Executive Headteacher & Teacher Governor
I first became a Staff Governor during my first teaching post at Reculver CEP School, twenty years a ago. I have worked at Joy Lane for over ten years and my main role as Governor is to support and work closely with Governors to Ensure that the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined and ensure that the schools financial resources are allocated effectively. Joy Lane is unique in that besides the Mainstream School, the Governing Body manage a private Nursery, a specialist provision for children on the autistic spectrum and a community swimming pool. I report directly to all Governors on the educational performance of all aspects of the wider school and the internal organisation of which l am routinely challenged. All governors have the joint interest of improving educational opportunities and life chances for all children in a working partnership with parents and carers.
I have been teaching for just over twenty years and have been a Headteacher for fifteen years. During my career I have had the opportunity to lead classes at every primary phase working at a large three-form primary school and as Head of a small rural primary; my time at Joy Lane has been extremely rewarding as l have seen the school grow from 168 children to over 600 children today.
I sit on the Strategic Board of the East Kent Learning Alliance (EKLA), at Teaching School; I lead the strategic development of continuing professional development and support the specialist leaders of education across East Kent. I am a representative and Vice-Chair of the East Kent Association of Headteachers and l am a mentor and facilitator of the Headteacher Induction programme for Kent. I enjoy working collaboratively with my Colleague Headteachers¹ across Whitstable and Herne Bay (Coastal Alliance Co-Operative Trust). All of the working partnership exist because of and for improving life chances for children and ensuring that our Teachers have adequate training and resources to do so.
It is a privilege to be the Headteacher of Joy Lane Foundation Primary School and l am proud to work alongside such consummate professionals who ensure that Joy Lane children have exciting learning opportunities both in and outside the class to help them make the most of their time at Joy Lane. I am very proud of how every child is a credit to our School and to their parents and carers.
Mark Ashley Jones - Head of School & Associate Governor
I have been part of the Governing Body at Joy Lane Primary School for the last 10 years and my main role as Head of School is to work closely with fellow Governors to report on standards at the school. I give regular updates on the progress and attainment of all pupils as well as informing Governors of the wonderful experiences the children have at Joy Lane Primary School. We also discuss the areas we need to improve on and have challenging conversations about the operational running of the school. I am married to a Primary School Headteacher and have three boys who attend a local secondary school.
More about me!
My teaching career spans 23 years during which time I have been a class teacher in 3 different year groups, phase leader and Science subject leader at a four form entry Junior School in Thanet.
I was appointed Deputy Headteacher and class teacher at Joy Lane Primary School in 2008 and then Head of School in 2014. The school is now a three form entry all-through primary school with over 600 children and 100 staff working with children of all ages, abilities and needs.
I completed the Aspiring Senior Leaders’ Programme during the academic year 2008-2009 and passed the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers in 2013. I am currently a coach and mentor for the NPQML and NPQSL leadership programmes, as well as completing sponsor comments for 10 colleagues during the last 4 years with each leadership participant successfully gaining their qualification.
I am currently an Operational Board member and EKLA NPQML facilitator and for the last three cohorts and very much enjoy the challenging and professional conversations that ensue amongst colleagues and participants.
Joy Lane is a nationally recognised Inclusive School with high standards and expectations for the whole school community and I strongly believe that children’s well-being and progress is at the heart of everything the team do at school.
‘Life-long learning’ is our core business and whether you are a pupil, teacher, middle or senior leader we aim to equip everyone within the learning community so they can adapt to situations as they meet them and subsequently move forwards with confidence.
Grace Clemo - Staff Governor
I first arrived at Joy Lane 7 years ago as student and have not looked back since! Over the years I have enjoyed teaching in Key Stage One, of which I am currently Phase Leader following the completion of my NPQML leadership qualification in 2015. In addition to this role I lead Mathematics across the school by driving forwards innovative teaching and learning in this curriculum area. I am also the student mentor for Schools Direct and Canterbury Christ Church students on placement at Joy Lane. This is a great opportunity for me to support new colleagues as they begin their journey into primary teaching and it is a role I thoroughly enjoy.
I have also recently completed a Master’s degree in Education which allowed me to drive forward my professional development and further ignite my passion for teaching.
Last year I had the opportunity to join the Governing Body as a staff Governor. This was a brand new role to me and a welcome challenge. My role is to be an advocate for the children of Joy Lane and use my working knowledge of our school to drive forward vision and improvement.