Our Governors

What is a Governing Body? 

The government requires that each school has a management team made up of the various stakeholders that the school serves, parents, local authority, staff, community and diocese.  This is the Governing Body and governors are elected or appointed to work in partnership with the headteacher to raise standards of achievement in the school.  The main functions of a governing body are to provide a strategic view, to act as a critical friend and to ensure accountability.

How do our Governors work?

Full Governing Body meetings are held four times each year. There are two Governors’ committees which each meet once a term and report to the Full Governing Body:

Finance and Resources (FR): looks at buildings, the School’s budget, staffing resources, health and safety etc.

Learning and Teaching (LT): focuses on the children’s progress and attainment in learning (including those with special educational needs), the quality of teaching and the curriculum.

Governors also have a monitoring role and will visit school and may talk to different members of staff, visit classrooms, talk to children and look at their work in order to gauge how well things are going. They may also attend school events such as assemblies and fund raising and be involved in staff recruitment.

To be able to carry out their roles effectively Governors undertake regular training, either as a whole group or individually.

Where non-attendance at meetings is recorded below, apologies and reasons for absence have been accepted by those governors present and all the meetings have been quorate. 

Who are our Governors?

We have a friendly and supportive governing body that takes its responsibilities seriously and enjoys being actively involved in the life of the school.

Patricia Ann Hand (Pat), appointed by St Michael’s Parochial Church Council (PCC). Chair of Governors: sits on Learning and Teaching and Finance and Resources Committees; Responsible Governor for Training. Register of interests: none relevant. 4 year term ends: November 2020. I became a Governor in November 2012 and was recruited through the website School Governors One Stop Shop. I moved to Dorking when our children were small and am now a grandparent with a keen interest in education. I have professional qualifications in education and management, and extensive experience of learning and development in a range of organisations.

Paula Bliss, Executive Head, Ex-officio Govenor

Patrick Francis Benjamin Tatham (Ben), Local Authority Governor (nominated by Surrey County Council and appointed by the Governing Body). Sits on Finance and Resources Committee; Lead Governor for Premises, Health and Safety. Register of interests: Trustee of Mickleham Village Hall Charity. 4 year term ends: September 2024. I have been a Local Authority appointed Governor for many years. I was Chairman of Governors from 2002 to 2013 and I am now the Lead Governor on buildings and maintenance.

Linda Joan Packman. It is a privilege to work as part of the team of Governors at St Michael’s which I joined in January 2016. I have lived in the area for many years but only moved locally two years ago. I have nothing to declare with regard to the Register of Interests. Initially my appointment was with a Finance and Resource responsibility and then in May as a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee with a special interest in promoting the Early Years. My experience in schools, spanning a long career and my continuing interest in all things educational enables me to use that to benefit others and to encourage future success by visiting the school to liase with staff. Now retired at home in Westhumble I serve on the Resident’s Maintenance committee and volunteer at Polesden Lacey each week.

Marisa Serafina Piggott, Staff Governor. Sits on Learning and Teaching Committees; (Jointly) responsible for Admissions to the School. Register of interests: Member of Support Staff. 4 year term ends: September 2023. I have worked at St Michael’s since 2001 as School Secretary. I am part of the Health and Safety Committee.

Simon Ward, I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2018, live in Mickleham and am also a parent of children at St Michael’s. I am the Head of the Field Studies Council East Region and oversee Juniper Hall, having worked in the education/charity sector since 2003. I am a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Biology. I am also a governor at Therfield Secondary School.

Christine Smyth I became a foundation governor in January 2019 and I have been bringing my therapy dog Trumpers to read with the children every week since February 2018. In my career I was a primary school headteacher and a Church Schools inspector. I spent twenty three years as the headteacher of a Church of England primary school in Surrey and began my second career as a part-time Adviser for the Diocese of Southwark, in the Autumn 2013, using my experience as an inspector and headteacher. I have also been a governor of an outstanding Catholic Secondary school.

Justin Turner I have been a Parent Governor since early 2021 and have over 17 years of experience in accounting and
corporate finance in the financial services industry. A member of the Chartered Institute of Management
Accounting (CIMA), I took over as the Chair of the Finance and Resource Committee at the start of the
2021/2022 academic year. I live locally in Dorking and have been fortunate enough to have had both of
my children start their school life at St Michael’s.

Greg Watts I have been an Associate Governor since March 2021.  My son currently attends the school, and my daughter will hopefully do so in 18 months time.  I have lived in the area since 1996, and run a small Architect’s practice based in Leatherhead that undertakes all its work locally too.  I am community minded, and keen to get involved and bring any expertise in relation to the buildings and facilities that I can.  I have been assigned special responsibility to support History and Geography.

Debbie Turner I became a Governor in 2020 and sit on the Learning and Teaching Committee, with special interest in SEND and PHSE curriculums.  I live locally with my husband and two children, both of whom loved their time at St Michael’s. I am delighted to continue to support the school, its staff, the pupils and their families in my role as a St Michael’s Governor.  



No. on Governing Body – ­12          

(Quorum for GB – At least half, rounded up to a whole number, of the governing body, excluding vacancies)

St Michael’s C of E (A) Infant School, Mickleham

Business, Pecuniary & Governance Interests 2021-2022

Name Current parent? Related to staff? Governor at another school? Relevant business /pecuniary interests? Details
Paula Bliss (Headteacher)NoNoYesYesHeadteacher at Newdigate C o f E Infant School
Pat Hand (Joint Chair)NoNoNoYesDorking Allotment Holders Ass (Secretary)
Linda PackmanNoNoNoNo 
Marisa PiggottNoNoNoYesEmployed by the school.  Safeguarding Representative at Our Lady and St Peter’s Catholic Church in Leatherhead
Christine SmythNoNoNoYesTherapy Dogs Nationwide – Visiting Volunteer/Temperament Assessor.   Endurance GB South East – Membership Secretary
Ben TathamNoNoNoYesMickleham Village Hall Committee – Chair.   Mickleham and Westhumble Local History Group – Chair.  Henry Smith Charity – Trustee.  Friends of Box Hill – President.  Westhumble Residents’ Association – President.  Mickleham Parish Magazine – wife is editor.  Dorking Museum Local History Group – self and wife members.  Dorking Arts Group – self and wife members.  Pilgrims Road Trust – self and wife members.
Debbie TurnerYesNoNoNoWife of Justin Turner
Justin TurnerYesNoNoNoHusband of Debbie Turner
Simon Ward (Joint Chair)YesNoYesYesChief Executive Officer – Royal Entomological Society.   Governor – Therfield Secondary School, Leatherhead.   Trustee – Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.   Wife – Assistant Director of Music at Surbiton High School (until April 2022), Director of Music at Tormead School (from April 2022) and Chair of St Michael’s Community Nursery (until Oct 2021).
Gregg WattsYesNoNoNo 

Ex Governors

Tour Ala resigned as Foundation Governor on 27 September 2021

Karina Thomas resigned as Foundation Governor on 21 November 2020

Michelline Smith resigned as Parent Governor on 20 August 2020

John Harkin resigned as Ex Officio Governor 04 June 2020

John Martin Banfield resigned as Foundation Governor 31 August 2019.

Jeremy Michael Smith resigned as Headteacher in August 2017.  Meeting attendance 2015/16:  Full Governing Body – 6/7; Learning and Teaching – 3/3; Finance and Resources – 3/3; School Community and Communications – 3/3

Tracey Jane Meredith Bass resigned as Parent Governor December 2017.
Meeting attendance 2016/17: Full Governing Body – 6/7; School Community and Communications – 3/3.

Duncan Campbell Irvine resigned as Foundation Governor December 2017. Meeting attendance 2016/17: Full Governing Body – 4/7.

Sue Tanton resigned as Clerk to the Governors December 2017.

Becoming a Parent Governor

A vacancy for a parent governor will become available when a term of office expires after four years or if a parent governor resigns. At this point the school will write to parents and carers explaining the role and the skills ideally required, and asking for nominations. If there are more nominations than posts, then an election is held. Candidates are asked to write a short supporting statement and parents and carers are able to vote for the candidate they prefer.

Governors’ Effectiveness Statement

Governors’ Effectiveness Statement 2022

Governing Body Minutes

Minutes of the 2nd Autumn Term Meeting 03 December 2018

Minutes of the 1st Autumn Term Meeting 24 September 2018

Minutes of the Summer Term Meeting 09 July 2018

Minutes of the Spring Term Meeting  19 March 2018

Minutes of the meeting 1st Autumn Term Meeting 13 September 2017

Minutes of the Summer Term Meeting 10 July 2017

Minutes of  the Spring Term Meeting 20 March 2017

Minutes of the 2nd Autumn Term Meeting 5th December 2016

Minutes of the 1st Autumn Term Meeting 19th September 2016

Minutes of the Summer Term Meeting 18th July 2016

Minutes of the Spring Term Meeting 21st March 2016

Minutes of the 2nd Autumn Term Meeting 7th December 2015

Minutes of the  1st Autumn Term Meeting 14th September 2015

Minutes of the Summer Term Meeting 13th July 2015

Minutes of the Spring Term Meeting 23rd March 2015