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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.


Simon Bishop - Maths, SEN, Pupil Premium

I joined the Governing Body in Autumn Term 2021.  I am originally from Cannock in Staffordshire, but I have lived in Botley for more than thirty years.  I am married and have two daughters, who both attended Ley Hill School.

I worked as an actuary on London for a long time, before giving that up to work in schools.  I first worked at Heritage House in Chesham, as a teaching assistant, and then trained as a secondary school Maths teacher.  I have now worked at all levels in school, including senior management, in four different local authorities.  My main experience has involved working with students with severe special needs, particularly autism.

I became a governor because I know the key role that Ley Hill School plays in the local community, and my girls enjoyed their time there.  My main interest as a governor is in ensuring equality of opportunity for all students.   As a new governor, I have been particularly struck by how supportive all of the staff have been to me.


Beth Clements - English, Personal Development, Behaviour and Attitudes

My family recently moved to Chesham from Islington, London. Teddy is in Year Three at Ley Hill and Isla is in Nursery and moving into Reception in September 2021. 

A bit about me – 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 – (the leading London charity for homeless young people aged 16-25yrs old). 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.

I am really looking forward to supporting Mrs Roberts, the staff and Ley Hill School in its success as it is a fantastic school.


Jenni Denial - Co-Chair, Teaching and Learning and Modern Foreign Languages

I have recently joined the Governing Board as a Co-Opted Governor, although I also have two children at Ley Hill School, one in Yr 1 and the other in Year 3, which has led to me working alongside FOLHS this academic year in order to organise community events and raise funds for the school.

I have 15 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 four 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 Teaching and Learning, Continuing Professional Development and Key Stage 2 - 3 Transition.  I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead. 

I am looking forward to the opportunity to work alongside Mrs Roberts and the Governing Board and use my experience and skills for the benefit of  the Ley Hill School community.


Jeffrey Eales - Vice-Chair, History, Geography, Religious Education, Personnel and Finance

I have two daughters, 25 & 26 years old.  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.

With my partner Sandy we have recently moved into 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.

I am delighted to be a governor of Ley Hill School and welcome the opportunity to be part of the governing board. 


Charley Edwards - Co-Chair, Health & Safety,  Information Technology, GDPR and Early Years Foundation Stage

I joined Ley Hill school Governor’s as a co-opted Governor after my son started in the nursery. 

I have a corporate background in analytics and transformation where I programme managed the delivery of multiple million pound programmes of transformation for the MOD, held accountability for managing all the core central IT systems for easyJet and implemented a new way of working for a newly established Tesco support centre.

I made the personal decision to retrain from my corporate consulting background to become a School Business Manager. I was fortunate enough to volunteer at a new free school in Berkshire, working with the teams to set the school operation up for its first intake: valuable experience in understanding how a school operates and the challenges it faces, particularly with COVID.

More recently I joined a local secondary school as the SENCO Manager which has given me a new take on school operations and the needs of children, something I am personally invested in; supporting all children's needs, including their mental health, is paramount to all children in achieving their potential.

I look forward to working with the rest of the Governing Body to ensure we give every pupil at Ley Hill School the best opportunity.


Gina Mortali - Staff Governor

I’m the Staff Governor,  Year 1 teacher and Computing and DT coordinator.  I’ve been a teacher for almost 20 years teaching in both KS1 and KS2, in various different schools.  At university, I studied BA Hons Performing Arts, majoring in music. I have a passion for music and drama and enjoy singing and playing the piano. I was the music coordinator for many years, leading the school choir, organising the school music evening and leading the Speech Festival.

I love teaching but started this career later on in life previously having been a successful professional singer performing all over the world for various theatre companies and Italian TV.  I have 2 lovely teenage daughters and live locally.  I’m a cycling widow which means I have some free time on a Sunday morning to mark my books!  My parents are from Sicily and my interests include listening to music, films, painting, embroidery, reading, zoology and boxing. I love the community I have got to know at Ley Hill and enjoy being part of the governing board.


Sandy Mullins - Art, Training Coordinator, Personnel, Design Technology and Student Council

I feel very honoured to be a governor of Ley Hill School, being the third generation of my family to be born here in Chesham. I have two daughters, 25 & 22 years old and a very close extended family.

I started my career working for Designers Guild in London after obtaining a BA Hons 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 horses, chickens and micro 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.

I will work hard to support the staff and children and hope that I can be an asset to the school and governing board.


Thea Spiers - Music and Physical Education

My son started reception in 2020 and I joined the board of governors as a parent governor in Spring 2021, overseeing music and SEND. I am looking forward to working with the board to support the teachers, and help the development of the children.

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 veg and gardening, and hiking anywhere possible!


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.