What do school governors do?

Governors work with senior leaders in the strategic development of the school and in raising standards of achievement. Duties include setting the school’s vision, aims and objectives, approving the school budget and appointing the headteacher.

Governors must both support and challenge the headteacher, so need to gain an understanding of the school’s overall performance in order to explain its decisions and actions. They do this by attending regular meetings, carrying out school visits and meeting with senior leaders. They also attend training in order to keep up to date with the requirements of their role. Governors work as a team and make collective decisions.

If you are interested in becoming a school governor, please contact the Clerk to Governors for more information:

Meet our Governors


Louise Willard

I have been Head Teacher at Elm Grove Primary School since September 2014. It is my second headship, prior to this I was the Head Teacher at Carlton Hill Primary School for 7 years. I trained in Brighton and qualified as a teacher in 1982. I have taught across the primary age range since then in 9 primary schools in Brighton, East Sussex and Australia.

Parent Governor

Catriona Lane

I am a parent of a Yr1 pupil and a deputy head at another local primary school. I have been teaching for 21 years and worked in the Local Authority as a Behaviour and Inclusion Advisor. I also run Brighton Food Tours company. I am very pleased to be able to support the school and the parent community by taking on this role. Elm Grove is a fantastic school and is well supported by the parent/carers and PTA. I look forward to being part of this community for a long time and watching it grow and develop through joint partnership between staff and parents/carers.

Parent Governor


Co-opted Governor

Chris McNeill

I joined the Governing Body at Elm Grove as a Co-opted Governor in September 2015. I have also been a governor at Carlton Hill Primary School since I retired from a career in primary education in 2010. During this career I have taught in Australia, Brighton and East Sussex and have been a headteacher in West Sussex.

Co-opted Governor

Kieron Lillis

I became a Co-opted Governor in May 2016. I’ve been working in engineering, estates and facilities management in major performing arts organisations for over 20 years and I’m very happy to bring this experience to the Governing Body. I have two daughters in the school who are very much enjoying the Elm Grove experience.

Staff Governor

Nadia Atkins

Parent Governor

Diana Boyd

I became parent governor in November 2012. My first child started Elm Grove in 2006, and my youngest is currently in year 5. I work as Vice-Chair of the Parent Carer’s Council (PaCC), representing parents and carers of disabled children in Brighton and Hove. I also volunteer in various roles, including as a Scope Face2Face befriender, supporting parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Local Authority Governor

Jenny Clifton

My background is in children’s social care and professional education. Given my experience in safeguarding work, I have a particular interest in supporting the school in promoting the wellbeing of our children, which is so closely linked to their learning. When my children were small I enjoyed being involved in their schools as a parent and I now value greatly the opportunity to contribute to the Elm Grove community.

Co-opted Governor

Ketan Patel

I am a Director & a Financial Director within my profession.My expertise is predominantly within strategies for both organic and inorganic growth. This would include furthering revenue streams, efficiency drives and utilising all resourcing.
I care about improving Elm Grove and the children’s educational attainment. I would like to to contribute to the local community and also I can work corporately and value the contributions of other people who may hold alternative views to my own.

Co-opted Governor

Dave Boyle

I’m a parent of two kids at Elm Grove. Our eldest started in 2012 and our youngest will leave in 2023, so I understand the school and the education system a lot more than I did, and I’m really looking forward to playing a role to help the school navigate the many challenges it faces as it tries to give kids a good education. My background is in community engagement and fundraising.

Elm Grove Primary School Governing Body

NameRoleTerm of officeAppointed byOriginal appt date
Nadia AtkinsStaff governor20.11.17 – 19.11.21Elected by staff20.11.17
Diana BoydCo-opted governor16.09.16 -15.09.20Governing body16.09.16
Dave BoyleParent governor03.11.16 – 02.11.20Governing body03.11.16
Jenny CliftonLA governor06.03.17-05.03.21Governing body06.03.17
Phil KellyCo-opted governor20.11.17 -19.11.21Governing body20.11.17
Catriona LaneParent governor18.03.16 – 17.03.20Elected by parents18.03.16
Kieron LillisCo-opted governor23.05.16 – 22.05.20Governing body23.05.16
Chris McNeillCo-opted governor13.07.15 – 12.07.19Governing body13.07.15
Hugh MehtaParent governor22.11.17-21.11.21Elected by parents22.11.17
Ketan PatelCo-opted governor03.11.16 – 02.11.20Governing body03.11.16
Louise WillardHead teacher governor03.09.14 – ongoingMember by virtue of office03.09.14

In the past 12 months we have also had the following members on our governing body:

Name Role Term of office Appointed by Resigned Original appt date
Lucy RobertsCo-opted governor09.06.15 – 08.06.19Governing body10.07.1730.01.12
Theresa YoungStaff governor13.07.15 – 12.07.19Elected by staff10.07.1713.07.15
James WaringStaff governor07.07.13 – 06.07.17Elected by staff06.07.1730.05.12
Emily MilnerParent governor22.11.13 – 21.11.17Elected by parents21.11.1722.11.13
Jackie HoltCo-opted governor12.07.16 – 11.07.20Governing body21.09.1612.07.16
Fiona MorrisCo-opted governor13.07.15 – 12.07.19Governing body15.09.1613.07.15

Register of interests 2017/18

NameRelevant business interestsAny other educational establishments governedRelationships with the school staff including spouses,partners and relatives
Nadia AtkinsNoneNoneMember of staff
Diana BoydNoneNoneNone
Dave BoyleNoneNoneNone
Jenny CliftonNoneNoneNone
Phil KellyNoneNoneNone
Catriona LaneOwner at Brighton Food ToursDeputy head at Carden Primary SchoolNone
Kieron LillisNoneNoneNone
Chris McNeillNoneGovernor at Carlton Hill PrimaryNone
Hugh MehtaNoneNoneNone
Ketan PatelNoneNoneNone
Louise WillardNoneNoneHeadteacher at Elm Grove Primary

Full Governing Body Meetings

The full governing body meets once or twice a term. At these meetings, the governing body carries out its 3 core functions, as identified by the Department for Education in the Governance Handbook.

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic vision
  • holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent

The current chair of governors is Diana Boyd.

Some functions are delegated to committees. Elm Grove Primary School has three committees.

  • Finance and Premises committee – Chair – Dave Boyle
  • Teaching, Learning and Standards committee – Chair – Diana Boyd
  • Staff, Appraisal and Pay committee – Chair- Chris McNeill
Upcoming Events
  1. Last day of the half term

    October 19
  2. Autumn half term

    October 22 - November 2
  3. School starts again after half term

    November 5
  4. PTA Event Monsters and Aliens Discos KS2 Years 3-4

    November 8 @ 5:15 pm - 6:30 pm
  5. PTA Event Monsters and Aliens Disco KS2 Y5-6

    November 8 @ 6:45 pm - 8:00 pm