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

Emma Sutton

My daughter started Elm Grove in 2007 and my youngest child is now at the school, so I have had a connection with Elm Grove for a long time. I have worked as a Business Consultant in the Financial sector, an Account Manager in the Charity sector and am now in the Welfare team of a College for primarily international students.
I hope to bring experience from the sectors I have worked in, as well as my experience as an Elm Grove parent over many years, to help the school continue to provide a safe, nurturing and rewarding educational experience for the children in our community.

Parent Governor

Hugh Mehta

My eldest daughter joined Elm Grove in 2014 and my youngest started in reception in 2018. In my day job I manage big partnerships and projects for international charities – I’m currently with Sightsavers after long stints with WWF and UNICEF. As a governor I’m enjoying the opportunity to play a more active role with the school and my local community.

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

Chris Adams

I’ve been a parent at the school for the last 6 years with my eldest just leaving year 6 and my youngest still within year 4. I’ve worked and lived locally in the community for the previous 13 years. Having worked closely with the school in his role as one of the Directors of the Out of School club, and as a Senior Leader in a local digital company I want to bring my experience of Leadership and Management to support the school leadership team make the tough but strategic decisions to ensure the success and continue growth of our amazing school.

Parent Governor

Natalie Dodds

I have 3 young children, the eldest of which is at Elm Grove. I have worked for Children & Family services for the last 9 years, including as a Family Outreach Worker, a Co-ordinator for Children & Family Centres and most recently as an Early Years & Childcare Advisor.  I hope that both my personal and professional experiences can support me to contribute effectively to the Governing Body of our school, to best meet the needs of the children and families within our community

Staff Governor

Tammy Bowles

Co-opted Governor

Diana Boyd

I am a co-opted governor, with particular expertise in special educational needs. I am Vice-Chair of the Parent Carer’s Council (PaCC), representing parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities in Brighton and Hove. I also volunteer in various roles, including as an Amaze Face2Face befriender. All three of my children attended Elm Grove.

Local Authority Governor

Leigh Ward

I joined the Elm Grove governing body in April 2019. I have been Director of Finance & Operations at Brighton Girls GDST since September 2014. This is a wide ranging senior role in the school with responsibility for all non-teaching areas including Finance, Compliance (including Health & Safety and Inspection) and Policy, Estate Management and Governance. Prior to this, I worked in higher education institutions across the UK in a range of management roles.
I hope to be able to use my experience and knowledge to help Elm Grove Primary to continue to provide a great environment for its pupils and staff.

Co-opted Governor

Phil Kelly

I live in the community and catchment area of Elm Grove and have been a staff governor on three occasions as well as being a parent governor at my children’s school.  A career working in a multidisciplinary team setting has developed my expertise and understanding of how schools can become successful communities, with relationships between adults and children being fundamental to effective learning. This guiding principal has been underpinned by a strong skill set in behaviour management techniques, restorative justice, mentoring as well as an understanding of SEN provision.

Co-opted Governor

Laura Haynes-Copp


Co-opted Governor

Sue Margolis

I worked as a Social Worker in Children’s Services and Youth Offending Teams, where I was the Education Officer, for many years. I now do the administration for my husband’s IT Consultancy and gained the AAT Book keeping qualification to fulfil the requirements of this position. I have been a Governor and found the position challenging, fascinating and very rewarding. The importance of education is a key element of my life experience. I am particularly committed to optimising educational opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Record of Attendance Elm Grove Governors 2018-2019

Elm Grove Primary School Governing Body


NameRoleTerm of officeAppointed byOriginal appt date
Chris AdamsCo-opted governor04.03.19-3.04.23Governing body04.03.19
Tammy BowlesStaff governor17.01.20-16.01.24Elected by staff17.01.20
Diana BoydCo-opted governor16.09.16 – 5.09.20Governing body16.09.16
Natalie DoddsParent governor03.06.19-2.06.23Governing body03.06.19
Laura Haynes-CoppCo-opted governor03.06.19-2.06.23Governing body03.06.19
Phil KellyCo-opted governor20.11.17-19.11.21Governing body20.11.17
Sue MargolisCo-opted governor20.07.18 – 9.07.22Governing body20.07.18
Chris McNeillCo-opted governor13.07.15-12.07.19Governing body13.07.15
Hugh MehtaParent governor22.11.17-21.11.21Elected by parents22.11.17
Emma SuttonParent governor11.06.18-10.06.22Elected by parents11.06.18
Louise WillardHead teacher governor03.09.14- ongoingMember by virtue of office03.09.14
Leigh WardLA governor25.04.19-24.04.23Local Authority25.04.19

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
Dave BoyleCo-opted governor16.11.16-15.11.20Governing body02.04.1916.11.16
Kieron LillisCo-opted governor23.05.16-05.03.21Governing body12.03.1923.05.16
Nadia AtkinsStaff governor20.11.17-19.11.21Staff20.09.1920.11.17

Register of interests 2019/20

NameRelevant business interestsAny other educational establishments governedRelationships with the school staff including spouses,partners and relatives
Chris AdamsFull time employment with Madgex Ltd, 1 Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA

Treasurer and director of Elm Grove Out of School Club

Diana BoydNoneNoneNone
Natalie DoddsNoneNoneParent
Phil KellyNoneNoneNone
Laura HaynesNoneNoneParent
Sue MargolisNoneNoneNone
Chris McNeillNoneGovernor at Carlton Hill PrimaryNone
Hugh MehtaNoneNoneParent
Emma SuttonNoneNoneParent
Leigh WardDirector of Finance & Operations, Brighton Girls GDSTNoneNone
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 – Hugh Mehta
  • Teaching, Learning and Standards committee – Chair – Diana Boyd
  • Staff, Appraisal and Pay committee – Chair- Chris McNeill

Record of Attendance Elm Grove Governors 2018-2019

Minutes of meetings:

Full Governing BoardFinance & PremisesTeaching & Learning
21.05.20 FGB minutesFinance & Premises ToR & Work Plan 2019-20TLS Terms of Reference 2019_20
27.04.20 FGB minutesFinance & Premises Minutes 07.05.20
02.04.20 FGB minutesFinance & Premises Minutes 11.02.20
04.03.20 FGB minutesFinance & Premises Minutes 14.11.1906.02.20 TLS Minutes Elm Grove
14.01.20 FGB minutes03.12.19 TLS minutes Elm Grove
Upcoming Events
  1. Y6 Transition Day

    July 3
  2. PTA- Reception Cake Stall

    July 17 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  3. Last Day of School-End Of Term

    July 21
  4. Inset Day

    July 22
  5. Summer holidays

    July 23 @ 8:00 am - September 2 @ 5:00 pm