Our Governing Board
The Governing Board is an overarching body for the Cornerstone Federation which consists of The Bay All-Through School and Niton Primary School. It consists of 18 governors currently made up of: 4 Foundation Governors, 2 Parent Governors, 1 Staff Governor, 1 Local Authority Governor, the Executive Headteacher and 9 co-opted Governors. This committed team of Governors brings with them a wide range of skills and expertise and make a valuable contribution to our group of schools.
What is the role of the Governing Board?
The Governing Board at The Cornerstone Federation provides strategic leadership and accountability. It has three key functions:
- Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and making sure money is well spent
- Holding the Executive Headteacher and Heads of School to account for the educational performance of the schools and their pupils
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
The Governors set the aims and objectives for the schools and the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the schools are making and act as a source of challenge and support to the Executive Headteacher. In action, this means:
- Appointing and performance reviewing the Executive Headteacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay
- Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
- Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community
- Sitting on panels and making decisions about areas such as pupil exclusions and attending hearings
- Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
- Looking at data and evidence to ask questions and have challenging conversations about the school
Our Governors adopt the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. They also understand that they need to be prepared to have courageous conversations; an enquiring mind; the ability to challenge the status quo; be collaborative to build strong relationships with all stakeholders; committed to developing their skills as a Governor and be creative and innovative.
All Governors serve a term of office of up to four years.
Being a school Governor can be a very rewarding role. If you would like to find out more please do not hesitate to contact us at – email@example.com
Meet the Governors
Lisa Croke B.Ed. (Hons), MA, NPQH – Co-opted Governor and Chair of Governors
I was appointed as Chair of Governors for the Cornerstone Federation in March 2020 and join a dedicated team of Governors who bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise. My background is in education, serving as a teacher for 33-years, a Headteacher at The Beacon School in Banstead, Surrey and more recently I lead The Hamble School in Southampton. Having recently semi – retired, I wanted to continue to make a contribution to the education of young people on the Isle of Wight and believe it is a great privilege to be carrying out this role. Our Governing Body has three core strategic functions in relation to the schools within the Cornerstone Federation:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding the Executive Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the students and the performance management of staff and,
- Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and ensuring money is well spent.
My role as Chair is to facilitate the Governing Body to work as a team to achieve these important strategic functions and ensure that the views of staff, students, parents and the local community inform our decision making.Education has the power to change children’s lives and our common goal as a Governing Body is to facilitate every child within the Federation to reach their academic and personal potential in order that they can achieve their ambitions, make a positive contribution to society and lead happy and fulfilling lives.
John Poerscout-Edgerton – Co-opted Governor
Hello. My name is John Poerscout-Edgerton. As the proud parent of four children, two of them being at secondary school, one being a movie casting director and the eldest being the financial director of a multi-national company, I understand the importance of providing the best possible education, and therefore the best possible opportunities, for the students in our care.
Having spent my adult life helping and educating people, nearly 10 years as a Metropolitan Police officer and 25 years as a teacher, I really feel I have the life skills to help all of the community that is the All-Through School; The Bay CE School.
I have a Bachelor of Education (Hons.) degree from Southampton University and also a certificate in further professional studies from Portsmouth University. During my 25 years of teaching I have worked in the primary, middle and secondary phases, been seconded by the local authority as an advisory teacher and was head of mathematics at Sandham Middle School for 10 years.
Since 2002 I have been chairman of the Wight Island Players, a local amateur dramatics group, putting on annual pantomimes and have also used my acting skills to help with learning experiences in schools.
Duncan Mills – Executive Headteacher
My name is Duncan Mills and I am the Executive Headteacher of the Cornerstone Federation. The Governors of The Bay CE and Niton Primary Schools appointed me as the Executive Headteacher of both schools in July 2016.
I have been a Headteacher since 1999, in five different schools, working in the London Borough of Barnet for most of my teaching career before relocating to the Island with my family. I feel extremely privileged to be working with both schools that have such talented staff, wonderful children and supportive parents and governors. I am committed to working to ensure that pupils across the Federation have access to a nurturing environment where they feel safe, a stimulating curriculum, high quality teaching and exciting extra-curricular opportunities available to them to enable them to be the best they can be to prepare them for the future.
‘WHAT IS AN EXECUTIVE HEADTEACHER?’
An Executive Headteacher is a strategic role. I provide strategic leadership across both schools, which secures success and continuous improvement, ensuring high quality education for all pupils and the highest standards of learning and achievement.
I work closely with the Senior Team and Governors to make decisions, monitor the effectiveness of the provision and implement improvements. I spend part of each week at each school, although these days change week by week. I am always keen and happy to speak with parents. If you would like to make an appointment, please contact the school office at Niton or The Bay.
Sally Jones – Co-opted Governor.
I started working at The Bay in 2012 as School Business Manager after taking time off with my 2 children. Prior to that, I worked for a Building Society for 20 years in a variety of roles up and down the country, before returning to the Island with my family. I am responsible for the non-teaching element at The Bay which includes financial management, HR, personnel, catering, premises, communications, website and the office support of the school. I am also responsible for the financial management of Niton Primary. I think I am extremely lucky to be able to combine my professional experience with my interest in making a difference to children’s education at 2 fabulous schools. When I am not in school, I am with my family who is made up of my husband, my 2 children, the dog and me.
Anna Payne – Staff Governor
My name is Anna Payne. I have been married for 30 years and have 2 children, and 3 grandchildren. Over my time working at school, I have grown and developed in ways that I never thought possible.
I am the Staff Governor for the Cornerstone Federation and am in my first term of office. I sit on the Standards, Provision & Partnership committee. My link subject is EYFS where I monitor and visit Reception class during each term. The ethos in school is a happy one; it is paramount that this is reflected within our children, and it is a vital part of our role as governors to find a way in which all children can Believe, Inspire and Excel.
I feel privileged to be able to contribute towards shaping and securing the future of education for children, parents and carers within the community of the Sandown Bay area, with the new All-Through School opening in September; I look forward to the challenges ahead.
Carolyn Corbett – Foundation Governor
I moved to the Island with my family 19 years ago for my husband’s job, and until my retirement, I worked as a school librarian. We have 1 grandson who attends an island primary school. At present I am on the Standards, Provision and Partnership committee. Since becoming a Foundation Governor, it has been my privilege to see The Bay CE Primary and Niton Primary become the Cornerstone Federation serving the communities of Sandown and Niton.
As we become an All-Through School in September, there will be new challenges and opportunities, which I look forward to being a part of.
Rev. Mark Williams – Foundation Governor
Hello, I am the Reverend Mark Williams and am the vicar at Christ Church, Sandown and at St Paul’s in Shanklin. I moved to the Island with my family to take up post here at the beginning of August 2018. We have three children; our daughter will soon be attending the all through school. My involvement with the school means that I am often taking collective worship at the school on a Monday or am at Christ Church when the year groups come for collective worship there. I was a governor at previously on the mainland and gained valuable experience there. I look forward to continue serving the Cornerstone Federation.
Vicki Sitch – Co-opted Governor
As a self-employed business consultant for ten years, I have been able to lead large programmes of change, predominantly in the public sector; both Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and the Department for Work and Pensions have used my services. I also support a smaller private sector business. Before becoming self-employed I worked for Deloitte; a consulting firm.
My 2 daughters attend Niton Primary School after a relocation to the island from Guilford 3 years ago. We moved here as a family for a better work-life balance and to spend more time together as a family unit. My husband and I recently launched a glamping business at our home, Sibbecks Farm, and really enjoy encouraging more families to explore the beautiful Isle of Wight.
I initially applied to become a governor in order to make a positive impact within the local community as well as having the opportunity to learn about the education sector. I believe that my skills in change, leadership and management help me in being a governor; a role that requires us to check and then challenge.
Julie Sutch – LA Governor
I completed my education at Sandown High School and at the IOW College, I completed a Hotel Reception Course and a B-Tec Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management Operations course. I moved to London in 1987 and worked as an Estate Agent for eleven years before moving into Local Government for twelve years where I have a background in Economic Development and Regeneration focusing on Quality and Communications, Business and Marketing and Social Media and Town Centre Management before I moved back to the Island in 2011.
I have one son who attended The Bay CE Primary School and is now at Sandown Bay Academy soon to be The Bay Church of England School. I retrained as a Teaching Assistant and volunteered and worked at The Bay CE Primary school for four years. My passion in life, other than my son, is Portsmouth Football Club, where we are both avid fans and season ticket holders.
Rev Jonathan Hall – Foundation Governor
I am married, with two grown up sons. We enjoy family times together, especially if it involves walking our black Labrador! I have worked as a warden in an Abbeyfield Home and then as a Personnel Officer in Local Government and the Health Service. Since Ordination, I have been involved in ministry in parishes and in prison and hospital chaplaincy, both on the Isle of Wight and the mainland. Having been a governor in five previous schools, I am really looking forward to playing an active part in the life of The Cornerstone Federation at this exciting time.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry – Co-opted Governor
Hello, I am the Finance & IT Director for GKN Aerospace based in East Cowes. Alongside that, I also chair the Employment & Skills Board of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
I moved to the Isle of Wight 6 years ago from Portsmouth where I was the local MP between 2005 & 2010. During my parliamentary career I was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools & Learning.
I live with my husband in Shanklin. We have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. In my spare time I enjoy walking the dog, tap dancing, musical theatre and singing in the church choir.
Anthony Freelove – Parent Governor
I have lived on the Isle of Wight since 1967 and in Sandown since 2016. I’am 53 years old, divorced and have a daughter currently in year 10 at The Bay CE School. I attended Sandown High School from 1978-1983 and have a keen interest in the school.
I have a background in Banking, Accounting and Law with an interest in Information Technology. I am educated to advanced diploma level in Law and work at Terence Willey & Co in Ryde. I take an interest in politics and current affairs. My hobbies include photography, history and travel. I am a good team player and problem solver. I look forward to making a contribution in my role as a Governor to the future of The Bay CE School and indeed the Cornerstone Federation.
Peter Higgin – Parent Governor
I grew up on the Island and went to Sandown High School. I am a parent governor and my son attends Niton Primary School. I have 20 years experience of working in theatre and creative approaches to education. I split my time between London and the Island working for an immersive theatre company called Punchdrunk, where I am joint CEO. I believe strongly in the transformative power of the arts to unlock our innate creativity and curiosity. I enjoy living on our beautiful Island and enjoy surfing, gardening, running, cycling and spending time with family. I look forward to supporting the Cornerstone Federation in my role as a Parent Governor.
Debbie Andre – Co-opted Governor
I am a parent of two lovely children, but they are no longer living at home. My youngest was educated at secondary level on the island and is now at university. I have a background in working with young people as a guardian for International students so have previously worked with secondary schools across the island. I have a keen interest in raising educational standards through good governance and am looking forward to working collectively with my fellow governors, teachers, parents and the pupils themselves to give them the best possible chance of achieving their full potential.
Wendy Phillips – Co-opted Governor
Originating from Warrington, Cheshire I relocated to the Island 15 years ago with my husband and twin daughters and settled in Sandown.
With a background in Project Management, Business Risk Management and Advisory Services Management, as a Level 6 qualified Careers Adviser I now work for Education Development Trust as a Relationship Manager across the South of England embedding quality Careers Services into schools. I have always believed that sound Careers Advice and Guidance should be at the heart of a good education; it has the power to inspire and motivate a child to achieve in life.
I am excited to be part of the Cornerstone Federation and help make a difference to young people’s education.
Richard Wade – Co-opted Governor
I hold degrees from Cranfield (MBA) and Cambridge (MA), with current work at Portsmouth University. My career covered financial markets in the USA, France, the Middle East and Africa. A fascinating decade at the National Audit Office involved working closely with Parliament.
In London, my children attended a French Lycee – another form of all through school. My volunteer activities included service as a young officer in the Queen’s Own Yeomanry and, as a member of the Consistoire, teaching Sunday School in London’s last Huguenot church. The oldest of six grandchildren from this previous marriage studies at Warwick University.
Nineteen years ago, my American wife, who completed her PhD at Brighton, introduced us to the Isle of Wight and seven years ago we made our home here. I am a strong believer in the necessity of achieving the best educational outcomes for the children of Niton and Sandown, in order to maximise their potential and benefit their community.
Our Current Governing Board
Governing Board Meetings.
For copies of the minutes of any of the Governing Board meetings please contact the Clerk to the Governors, firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01983 403284 and we will arrange for a copy to be issued.