Governing Body

Ley Hill School Governing Body


Ley Hill School's Governing Body is made up of four elements - school staff, parents, local authority representatives and volunteers from the local community.


Governors act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school, asking challenging questions about performance and using their skills and experience to support the school in addressing its development needs. Together, we support the school's staff and pupils and identify priorities for improvement, ensuring decisions have the desired effect and are aligned with the school’s vision.


Governors give their time voluntarily and do so out of their commitment to Ley Hill School, the local community and to educational standards. Governors attend regular meetings and make visits to the school to ensure that successes are celebrated and areas of concern acted upon.


The Governing Body at Ley Hill School follows a circle model, working as a ‘whole team’. It has resolved to conduct all its business as a full Governing Body, and to work collectively without committees. The Governing Body meets six times per year formally, with one of these meetings dedicated solely to a review of the budget in the spring term. The remaining meetings are spread evenly across the year.


The purpose of Ley Hill School governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. The Ley Hill School Governing Body has three strategic core functions:

  • Ensuring 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.


In addition, as outlined by the National Governance Association, the Governing Body will ensure the voices of stakeholders are heard.


An agenda for each meeting will include all the tasks which the governing body is required to consider according to the Ley Hill governance calendar of activities and ToR (Terms of Reference). The Governing Body will confirm that all activities arising from the calendar have taken place during the business of the meeting, which will be recorded in the minutes. This means that governors have up to date information regarding the school and can offer timely support and challenge, as well as act should the need arise.


The Ley Hill Governing Body will delegate monitoring activities to ‘monitoring pairs’ or ‘individuals’. This could apply to statutory functions, and/or the priorities of the School Plan. In each case where a function has been delegated there is a statutory duty to report any action or decision to the Governing Body at the next meeting.


In order to ensure effective monitoring, Link Governors are assigned to monitor subjects, in particular those which have been identified as strategic priorities in the School Development Plan (SDP), as well as: whole school Teaching and Learning, Safeguarding, SEND, Health & Safety, and Finance. Governors will report back to the Governing Body, by completing Monitoring Reports and/or by giving verbal feedback at the next meeting which will be minuted.


There is an established Pay Panel, and provision is also made for governors to form committees to deal with Pupil Discipline and Exclusion, Staff Dismissal, Barring of a Parent from the School Premises, Applications for Special Leave, Complaints, Grievances, Pay Appeals and the Headteacher's Performance Review.


Agreed minutes from Governing Body meetings are open to scrutiny and interested parties are welcome to consult the Governing Body either in writing or in person.


Please find below our Terms of Reference and details of how our Governing Body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


Jenni Denial – Co-chair [co-opted]

I joined the Governing Board as a co-opted Governor in 2021, although I also have two children at Ley Hill School. I have 18 years’ experience teaching in large comprehensive secondary schools in London. I started as a Teacher of Languages, later becoming the Head of Modern Foreign Languages and then took on the role of Assistant Headteacher six years ago. As well as teaching GCSE and A level French, in my capacity as Assistant Headteacher I was initially Head of Key Stage 3 and I currently lead whole school Quality of Education, Teaching and Learning, Continuing Professional Development and Key Stage 2 - 3 Transition.  I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead. 


Alison Rainey – Co-Chair [co-opted]

I joined the governing board in September 2022 as an associate governor, moving more recently in March 2023 to become a co-opted governor.  I also have a child at the school.  I am an HR professional with over 20 years of generalist Human Resources experience. I am a chartered fellow of the CIPD and currently work as a People and Corporate Affairs Director for a large global corporation. 


Ellen Gaunt – Vice Chair [co-opted]

I have a daughter of 28, a son of 24 and three step-sons; 30, 26 and 23. I previously worked in state primary schools, initially in Early Years and later in pastoral care and safeguarding. I now work for Children’s Services in one of the Safeguarding Teams working directly with vulnerable children and families. My interests are walking and enjoying this beautiful area, spending time with family and friends, meals out, and cycling, when the weather is good enough! I am pleased to be able to be able to contribute to the local community as part of the Governing body supporting the school, having moved to the area from North-West London in early 2021.


Louise Valota [co-opted]

Originally from Harrow, I now live in Chesham Bois with my husband and two young children. I have a BSc (Hons) in Maths with Economics from Exeter University and a BA (Hons) in French Studies from the University of London, as well as a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.  Although I qualified as a teacher, I spent the first eleven years of my career working in Event Management at the QEII Centre London and then at the Barbican Centre. Having started a family in 2014, I retrained as a childminder in 2015 which I did until 2021, as well as working for a local estate agency. Once my children were in full-time education I went back to an office environment and now work from a Multi Academy Trust with schools across the Hillingdon borough.


Jeffrey Eales [co-opted]

I have two daughters in their late 20s.  I have worked in Media for 43 years and I’m now the Director of Advertising Systems Strategy for Sky. Representing my company, I sit on the Board of Clearcast who regulates all TV commercials transmitted in the UK according to the OFCOM Broadcast Licence code. My interests are in the performing arts and I run New Penny Theatre Company which involves directing, designing and building the sets and the bit I love the most is acting in our comedy shows and making people laugh!  We perform regularly at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham and I also help with the “Ley Hill Luvvies” productions each year held at the village hall, raising money for charity. My partner Sandy and I live in Crabtree Farm just opposite Ley Hill School and we regularly welcome all the pupils to come and explore the wildlife here, learn more about nature and see our animals. We are working hard to develop the farm to enable us to host Ley Hill Village events and for more charity groups to also visit and enjoy the space in the future. 


Beth Clements [parent]

I have run my own Executive Coaching business for the last 10 years. I specialise in working with leaders in Financial Services, Banking, Asset Management, Financial Trading, Professional Services, Accountancy, Legal, Technology, Retail & E-Commerce, Energy & Utilities, and Renewable Energy. Prior to this I was a Drama Therapist managing the Creative Therapies Team at Centrepoint. I managed a caseload of young people who were experiencing mental health issues. I was responsible for their wellbeing and helping them to integrate back into society when possible. 


Thea Spiers [parent]

I joined the board of governors as a parent governor in Spring 2021. I am a professional violinist and started my career working in the orchestra of a national opera company in Leeds. I then moved down to London to start a busy freelancing career in the orchestras of London, playing with the likes of Sting, the Jacksons, and at the Last Night of the Proms. Alongside professional orchestras, I have worked on many outreach and educational projects. At the same time, I started my job as a visiting violin teacher in Wycombe Abbey, I tutor at many summer schools. With my background in the profession and working in education, I am excited to work alongside the music lead to provide any support that I can. My interests outside of work are growing vegetables and gardening, and hiking anywhere possible!


Sandy Mullins [associate]

I started my career working for Designers Guild in London after finishing my degree in Printed Textiles and later joint owned a sport, power kite and kite buggy shop in Old Amersham. I have always enjoyed working with people and especially children which led me to start my own business ‘Popstars Academy’ providing children’s dance classes and ‘Popstar Parties’ for individual parties and corporate events and which I later franchised across the UK.

I am very interested in all aspects of exercise and have taught fitness along-side my other work for the last 35 years, including aerobics classes in Ley Hill Village Hall many years ago!

I love art, travel, gardening and cooking, but I am currently enjoying our many projects at Crabtree Farm, where I live with Jeff who is also a governor. We are working hard to re-establish the farm with a view to adding more animals to our existing collection of alpacas, horses, chickens and pet pigs and also rejuvenating Crabtree Wood which is open to everyone. As we are just opposite Ley Hill School, we regularly welcome all the pupils to come and explore the wildlife here, learn more about nature and see the animals. We hope to host Ley Hill Village events and for more charity groups to also visit and enjoy the space in the future.


Governor Meeting Attendance 2022-23

Governor attendance record 2022

If you should like to bring anything to our attention, please do so via the the school office, marking the message for attention of the Governing Body or through our direct email address (