We received some lovely comments from parents, carers and pupils on May 20th which was Thank a Teacher Day - "Thank you to all the staff at Niton Primary, but especially Mr Woodhouse, Mrs Tapper, Mrs Reddecliff and Mrs B. Ellen and Polly are missing school so much." - "A huge thanks to everyone working so hard at Niton. A special shout out to Mr Woodhouse who has been there constantly on google classroom to help when needed and for setting such brilliant and fun lessons! The phone call home too was really appreciated and made M’s day to speak with him! It’s really lovely to be part of such a caring school." - "Thank you to all the staff who are working hard to keep our kids safe and for providing work and support during this tough time. A special thanks to Mrs Martin, Noah’s teacher." - "A massive thank you to all the staff at Niton who make life so special and memorable for all children. Thank you also for your support during the current period, you're all doing a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. On a personal note, a big thanks to Mrs Patching. Jack says- "Thank you Mrs Patching for all you've done and for setting us some really nice work" " - "Thank you to Mrs Martin and Mrs Glover for their continued support. “I miss my friends, Mrs Martin and Mr Wheeler” from Dan." - "Thank you to everybody at Niton Primary who help and support our family. "Mrs Patching will always be my favourite teacher, but Mr Woodhouse is pretty cool too! Mrs Turner is always really smiley and I miss seeing her" from Bea. "I want to say thank you to Mrs Patching, love Annie" and finally "Mrs Wall was a brilliant teacher and always so kind to me" from an ex pupil." - "Thank you Mrs Patching for your continued support, encouragement and hard work, not only at this time but from September. Noah has benefitted hugely from your guidance, as I’m sure many others have and for this we will always be grateful. Keep smiling." - "We’re lucky with such fab teachers and support staff at our lovely school - thank you all." - "Thank you to all at Niton Primary School, especially Mrs Patching and Miss Burton for their hard work and support. The kids miss you lots!" - "Every teacher - past and present, for both of my children have been brilliant, and I’m grateful to them all. However Mrs Glover still holds the record for James’ favourite teacher EVER!" - "Thank you to Mr Woodhouse and Mrs Fuller for your great support & resources for Kai and Zac during this difficult time." - "Thank you to all the teachers and support staff." - "Thank you Mrs Martin, Mrs Patching, all teachers and all Niton Primary amazing caring staff for looking after our learning and wellbeing from Matteo and Marco." - "Thanks to all the staff at Niton Primary, especially Miss Burton for keeping the class busy during lockdown."

2021- 22 Class names are based on inspirational people (current or historical) who link to and are an inspiration to our school values.

Please click on the class names below to find out more about these inspirational individuals and to find out what’s been going on in the class groups.




Year 1

The Queen

Year 2


Year 3


Year 4


Year 5


Year 6



We are currently recruiting Governors!

If you would like to be part of our Governing Board and would like to find out more, please contact the Clerk at gov.clerk@bayceschool.org

or click HERE for an application form

Please return your form to the school office marked FAO: Clerk to the Governing Board or email it to gov.clerk@bayceschool.org

Thank you

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 15 governors currently made up of: 3 Foundation Governors, 2 Parent Governors, 1 Staff Governor, 1 Local Authority Governor, the Executive Headteacher and 7 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 – gov.clerk@bayceschool.org

Meet the Governors

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.


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.

VACANCY – Local Authority Governor

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.

Peter Higgin – Parent Governor and Chair of Governors

I have been a parent governor since 2019 and took on the role of Chair in 2021.

I have 20 years experience of working in education, theatre and creative approaches to education. I split my time between London and the Island working for an immersive theatre company called Punchdrunk Enrichment, where I am Artistic Director and joint CEO. I believe strongly in the transformative power of the arts to unlock our innate creativity and curiosity. I place particular importance on ensuring an equitable approach and am passionate about access, inclusion and diversity. I understand first hand the importance of a strong education as a foundation for your future and have my experiences at Sandown High School to thank for that.

Originally from Knighton, I now live in Ventnor with my family. Our two sons attend Niton Primary School. In my spare time I enjoy surfing, gardening, running, cycling and spending time with family and friends.

Kara Hall – Parent Governor

Hello. I was appointed as Parent Governor in October 2020 and feel very privileged to be able to do this role.  I am mum to two girls whom I am immensely proud of, one at primary and one at secondary school.

For the past 20 years, I have been working at a further education college in a variety of roles ranging from a lecturer in media and journalism to a Sector lead for the Creative Industries and now my current role is a Learning and Development Manager. My role focuses on developing teaching and learning across the college and it is something I am very passionate about.

I feel we are so lucky to live on this beautiful island and find that long walks by the sea with my family and our dog, Meggie are the perfect tonic to the challenges of a busy work life.

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.


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.


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.


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.    



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.


Richard Wade – Co-opted Governor 

I hold degrees from Cranfield (MBA) and Cambridge (MA) with a part-time online MSc course at Strathclyde 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. 

Twenty one years ago, my American wife, who completed her PhD at Brighton, introduced us to the Isle of Wight and nine 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.

Robert Thompson – Co-opted Governor

Born in Watford and then moving north to Lancaster for most of his childhood Rob graduated from Reading with a Film and Drama degree in 1987. He qualified as a drama teacher soon after leading to a successful thirty year career working in secondary schools in Milton Keynes, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and Hampshire.
In education he held a variety of roles leading several departments and arts faculties and then promoted to senior roles with whole school responsibility for SEND/Inclusion, Teaching/Learning and Business Specialism. He has learnt that successful learning is a nuanced activity best served by forging respectful, strong and mutually beneficial relationships. Understanding the learner is imperative to quality outcomes.
Since leaving education Rob created, owned and ran an independent record label for three years. He is currently involved in school and arts governance and developing theatre and music projects. Rob is married to Kate, a retired primary teacher and they have three grown up children, all brought up on the Island where they attended Newchurch, Lake and Sandown schools. Marathon running keeps him occupied at present.

Ian Lovell – Co-opted Governor

Hello, my name is Rev. Ian Lovell and I was appointed as a Co-opted Governor in November 2021. I am currently the Baptist Minister of Salendine Nook Baptist Church, Huddersfield.
I left the Isle of Wight in 2019 in order to take on the role that I now have in Huddersfield.
Some of you will know that I have had a long association with the Cornerstone Federation involving both Niton Primary and The Bay C.E. School. I was a Governor at both schools and was formally Chair of Governors for about 9 years.
I have been married for over 30 years and have 5 sons, 2 daughter in laws, 1 grandson, and a 5 year old Labrador.
I have extensive governance experience and am looking forward to once again working alongside both schools in the Cornerstone Federation. My passion is to see both schools thrive and continue to become the outstanding schools that they can be.
I am also Vice-Chair of Governors at Newsome Academy in Huddersfield, where I am currently a Parent Governor.

Matt Purvis – Co-opted Governor

Vacancy – Co-opted Governor

Our Current Governing Board

Forename Surname Category Expiry
Duncan Mills Executive Headteacher Ex-officio
Anna Payne Staff 10/06/25
Vacancy Local Authority
Peter Higgin Parent – Chair 26/02/23
Kara Hall Parent – Vice Chair 23/09/24
Mark Williams Foundation Ex-officio
Jonathan Hall Foundation Ex-officio
Carolyn Corbett Foundation 28/04/24
Sarah McCarthy-Fry Co-opted 24/04/22
Richard  Wade Co-opted 10/09/23
Sally Jones Co-opted 20/07/24
Robert Thompson Co-opted 11/10/25
Ian Lovell Co-opted 04/11/25
Matt Purvis Co-opted 14/02/26
Vacancy Co-opted

Governing Board Meetings.

For copies of the minutes of any of the Governing Board meetings please contact the Clerk to the Governors, gov.clerk@bayceschool.org  or call us on 01983 403284 and we will arrange for a copy to be issued.

Governance Documentation

Please click here to view Governor Pecuniary & Business Interests

Please click here to view Governor Attendance for the academic year September 2020 – July 2021

Please click here to view the Structure of the Governing Board (inc. leavers)

Please click here to view the structure of the committees of the Governing Board 20-21

Please click here to view the Governors Allowances Policy .

Please click here to view an up to date record of Governor Training.

Please click here to view our Instrument of Governance.

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