Welcome to our Governors’ section.
Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.
We have also provided a Register of Governor Interests and an Annual Statement of Issues for your information.
Mr Paul Edwards (foundation governor)
Mrs Frankie Simmonds (Parent governor)
Mrs Karin Corrigan (Parent governor)
Governor Pen Profiles
Katherin Daking (Chair of Governors)
Term of Office 9/5/16 - 8/5/19
I joined the governing body of Harrietsham School as a Foundation Governor. This means that I have been appointed by the Diocese and I will have special interest in the continuing Christian ethos of the school.
Until recently I was teaching Child Care in a Further Education college. I am keen to see children enjoy reading and for this reason I volunteer for Beanstalk in a local school. During my time as Governor I hope to be able to contribute to the success of the school by providing support for all the teaching staff as they work towards producing happy and successful young people.
Joel Mitchell (Vice Chair of Governors)
Term of Office 3/10/17 - 2/10/20
I'm Joel and I've been Chair of Governors since September 2016. I'm a Co-opted Governor and am dad to Jasper and Emilia who are both at the school. I became a school Governor as I’m really keen to support my local school and getting involved in the running of it seemed like an excellent way to do that. I thoroughly enjoy it; it’s not always easy but it’s important and rewarding. My day job sees me help run a railway as Director of Operations and Customer Experience. I also volunteer as a Director for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) and I’m involved with the running of Maidstone Rugby Club’s under 8s side.
Term of Office 1/1/19 - 31/12/21
I have been involved with Harrietsham School since moving to the village in 1996, and my two children joined the school, increasing the schools role to 72! In those days I was simply a parent but also an active member of the PTFA.
In 2000 I became a full time Year4/5 teacher at the school. In the same year I was elected to be Teacher Governor, a role I held until retiring from full time teaching in 2013. However, I very much wanted to stay involved with the school and became a co – opted Governor.
I see the Governing Body as being part of the strategic leadership of the school. It is a role that requires governors to question, challenge, support, monitor and evaluate as we work together for the overall good of the school and the community that it serves.
Term of Office 24/6/16 - 23/6/19
I moved to Harrietsham in 2014 and joined the Governing Body as the LA governor in June 2016. As a retired Primary School teacher I have very much enjoyed being part of our local school and have consequently stayed on for another term of office. I have also helped at Guides and now I am enjoying being part of Rainbows where I have had the pleasure of meeting some of our pupils in a different environment.
During my long and varied teaching career, I have taught all year groups across the primary years; working in Surrey, The Borough of Bromley and Kent. My husband and I moved to Maidstone over twenty years ago and when our children were small I taught part term and have been at Harrietsham since September 2007. Although teaching is a challenging job I have never regretted my career decision.
I love being outside, walking and enjoying the countryside and I also get a buzz from singing, having been in choirs and choral groups since the age of 7.
I am passionate about the education and nurture of our children and I am extremely proud to be leading this school.
Revd John Huggins
Term of Office 30/10/17
I joined the Governing Body as an Ex-Officio Foundation Governor after being licensed to be Priest-in-Charge of Len Valley Benefice, which includes Harrietsham. I have a background in leadership within science and industry, and am of course trained in pastoral care and child development and spirituality. In my previous post, I was chair of Governors of a small village school and took particular interest in monitoring EYFS. I look forward to helping the school continue to build on their school vision of quality teaching within a Christian ethos.
Mr Paul Edwards
Term of Office 12/07/19
As a parent of 2 children at Harrietsham School, I have a vested interest in the school becoming the very best it can be for my own children and those of the wider community.
As a co-opted governor, I bring my professional skills and experience that I have gained in over thirty years working for a global defence contractor. I have a background of management, auditing and business improvement.
My understanding of quality assurance processes in business will support the school in reaching an outstanding Ofsted judgement.
I believe that the heart of any community is the school and the education and nurture of our young people.
Mr Cliff Parker
"I’m proud parent to a daughter in year 1, and recently to 2 twin boys born in June of 2019.
One of the reasons my wife and I moved to Harrietsham in 2012, was the feeling of community the village had, and we wanted to be able to give back some of our time and experience to the community. Joining in November 2018 as a parent governor was a perfect opportunity to do so, and it’s been a great experience so far.
I work in IT as a project manager, working with clients to help them on their large transformation projects. I’ve also managed teams in the past, so I’m able to bring that experience to the table to help drive the school forward.
I had the pleasure of working with the PTFA, the school and the children during spring 2019 to help raise funds for the PTFA to use to help and benefit our children. I was blown away by the support from the local community and the children themselves. Understanding we all need to work together is key in helping our children thrive and flourish."
Mrs Frankie Simmonds
I am mum to Luca who is in year 6 and has loved his journey with Harrietsham School. Luca has been lucky to have access to great teaching staff and learning support. He recently attended the residential at Swattenden which he really enjoyed and was privileged to be able to attend.
I became a parent governor in order to enable the school, its pupils and wider community get the best from each other. We live in a world of constant change and I want to make sure that any changes that impact our school and its community as it grows are positive and strong.
I’m Karin, I’m a parent to a child in the school. I have always taken a keen interest in the school and have aimed to participate where possible. I offer a parent’s perspective as well as using some of the skills and knowledge from my career, I’m a paediatric nurse and currently manage a specialist children’s service in the NHS and liaise regularly with schools on health issues.
I have been a parent of children at Harrietsham School for the last 8 years. I have a vested interest in both the school and the local parent community. This interest led me to take on the role of parent governor. One of my children is now at secondary school, while the other is working her way up through the school.
Over these years, I have become very familiar with the workings of the school both as a parent and also as a member of the PTFA. During my last 3 years on the PTFA I took on the role of treasurer.
This experience within the school setting, alongside my finance background, has enabled me to take on the role of Finance Governor, which is a challenge I enjoy.
My focus is wanting to take on a more active role to help the school achieve its goals on an academic and pastoral level, making it a successful environment where pupils, staff and parents work together and want to be a part of its community.
As governors, we are volunteers made up of parents, staff, members of the local community, and members appointed by the local authority and the Head Teacher.
The governing body has overall responsibility for managing the school and are involved in setting the strategic direction of the school, including; policies, reviewing the school budget and achievement of objectives.
Governors are not involved in the day to day running of the school – this is the responsibility of the headteacher. Our role is sometimes described as a ‘critical friend’; this means not to criticize the head or the school. Instead we try to ask useful questions to challenge and gain a greater understanding of the school and to ensure continuous improvement.
Being a governor requires time and commitment but it is very rewarding.
The full governing body meets three times a year: one evening in September and two full day meetings in January and May. These are held during school times so observations/monitoring can take place. This method has proved very successful as governors are experiencing school first-hand which helps enormously. These monitoring visits help us to appreciate and understand the workings of the school. We do not make judgments about the quality of teaching or the progress of individual children.
We also have 2 committees which meet between the Full Governing Body meetings to discuss more in-depth matters.
Strategy – The strategy committee discusses in detail School Improvement, Performance Data, Policies, Curriculum
Resources – The resources committee looks after the Budgets, Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety
All governors are volunteers and whilst we bring our own unique skills and knowledge to the governing body we do not know everything! We are keen to ensure that we have up to date knowledge to fulfil our roles and therefore we undertake training sessions provided by Kent County Council and attend Governor briefings.