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.

Vice Chair,

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


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

Our family joined Elm Grove in 2012, my son has now moved on and my daughter is in year 4. I have been an active member of the PTA for a number of years and also worked with the school to create a steering group to support the adoptive parents within the school. I am the family event organiser for Brighton and Hove Families Through Adoption, helping to provide peer-to-peer post adoption support. I also sit as a service user advisor on the council’s PIC panel, working to improve support in education settings for children with trauma and attachment needs.  Being the SEN link governor is something close to my heart as I have personal experience of  the challenges schools face in meeting the many and varied needs of vulnerable children.


Record of Attendance Elm Grove FGB 2019-2020

Elm Grove Primary School Governing Body


Name Role Term of office Appointed by Original appt date
Chris Adams Co-opted governor 04.03.19-3.04.23 Governing body 04.03.19
Tammy Bowles Staff governor 17.01.20-16.01.24 Elected by staff 17.01.20
Diana Boyd Chair, Co-opted governor 16.09.20- 15.09.24 Governing body 16.09.16
Natalie Dodds Parent governor 03.06.19-2.06.23 Governing body 03.06.19
Laura Haynes-Copp Co-opted governor 03.06.19-2.06.23 Governing body 03.06.19
Phil Kelly Co-opted governor 20.11.17-19.11.21 Governing body 20.11.17
Chris McNeill Co-opted governor 13.07.19-12.07.23 Governing body 13.07.15
Hugh Mehta Vice Chair, Parent governor 22.11.17-21.11.21 Elected by parents 22.11.17
Emma Sutton Parent governor 11.06.18-10.06.22 Elected by parents 11.06.18
Louise Willard Head teacher governor 03.09.14- ongoing Member by virtue of office 03.09.14

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
Sue Margolis Co-opted governor 20.07.18-19.07.22 Governing Body 29.03.21 20.07.18
Leigh Ward LA governor 25.04.19-24.04.23 Local Authority 30.11.20 25.04.19

Register of interests 2020/21


Name                                       Relevant business interests Any other educational establishments governed Relationships with school staff
Chris Adams Full time employment with Madgex Ltd, Brighton, BN1 4AA.

Treasurer and director of Elm Grove Out of School Club

None Parent
Diana Boyd None None None
Natalie Dodds None None Parent
Phil Kelly None None None
Laura Haynes None None Parent
Sue Margolis None None None
Chris McNeill None Governor at Carlton Hill Primary None
Hugh Mehta None None Married to teacher at Elm Grove
Emma Sutton None None Parent
Leigh Ward Director of Finance & Operations, Brighton Girls GDST None None
Louise Willard None None Headteacher 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. The Vice Chair is Hugh Mehta.

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

Record of Attendance Elm Grove FGB 2020-21

Minutes of meetings:

Full Governing Board Finance & Premises Teaching & Learning (2019-20)
13.05.21 FGB minutes
25.03.21 FGB minutes Finance & Premises Minutes 20.04.21 TLS Terms of Reference 2019_20
14.01.21 FGB minutes Finance & Premises Minutes 23.02.21
01.12.20 FGB minutes Finance & Premises Minutes 06.10.20
24.09.20 FGB minutes Finance & Premises Minutes 07.05.20 06.02.20 TLS Minutes Elm Grove
20.07.20 FGB minutes Finance & Premises Minutes 11.02.20 03.12.19 TLS minutes Elm Grove
24.06.20 FGB minutes Finance & Premises Minutes 14.11.19
21.05.20 FGB minutes
27.04.20 FGB minutes
02.04.20 FGB minutes
04.03.20 FGB minutes
Upcoming Events
  1. NEW Parents Coffee Morning

    September 29
  2. NEW Parents Coffee Mornning

    September 30
  3. School Disco

    October 14
  4. Prospective Parent Tour

    October 14 @ 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
  5. Non-Uniform Day

    October 15