Message sent from:
Fryerning Lane, Ingatestone, Essex, CM4 0DF Tel. 01277 352 803 / Fax. 01277 356 397


What does a School Governor do?

Governors have three main roles:

  • To provide strategic direction for the school
  • To act as a critical friend to the headteacher
  • To ensure accountability

They also carry out a number of other important duties, which include:

  • Determining how the school's budget is spent
  • The appointing and dismissing of staff
  • Hearing appeals and grievances
  • Forming policy on the school's curriculum and collective worship
  • Setting standards for pupils' behaviour and discipline
  • Making sure school buildings are welcoming and safe
  • Setting and monitoring the school's aims and policies  

We meet as a full governing body 4 times a year to ensure all decisions made are as up to date as possible to continue the “outstanding” standards at the school.

Attendance log 

Who Are Our School Governors?

Louise Donno - Chair of Governors 

I believe a child’s education is crucial to their later academic achievements, their development of social skills as well as other important life skills. I am very passionate about education and children's development and want to know that the school I trust to bring out the best in my children, is able to do so without difficulty. As an ex-pupil, I knew there was nowhere else I would rather send my own children when the time came. Currently, my Daughter is in Year 1 and my Son is in Year 4 at the Juniors. I grew up in Ingatestone, attended all three schools and was part of the local community in various guises!

I currently work for the Ambulance Service but have worked in Finance, Insurance, IT and Sales.  This means that I am fortunate that my work life has prepared me for the occasions when difficult conversations need to be had; co-operation, diplomacy and compromise may be necessary and a fair and empathetic approach might be needed. Being a Governor at this wonderful School is en exciting and rewarding role which I thoroughly enjoy and will work at with energy and enthusiasm; supporting the staff and fellow Governors to ensure Ingatestone Infants maintain its high standards, and meet any future challenges.

Mr Stuart Desmond - Parent Governor

Profile to follow. 

Mrs. Patricia Whiteley - Vice Chair and Local Authority Governor

I have been a Governor for several years and I immensely enjoy my role as Vice Chair. My responsibilities are for early years, computing and supporting the Head Teacher and staff. Children’s education, well-being and development to great adults is very important to me. Two of my children are in secondary school and my eldest is a teacher, which gives me a range of perspectives to bring to the governing body. When I am not being a parent, I run my own development training and executive coaching business and raise money as vice chair of the PTA at New Hall School.

Mrs Marisa Read - Staff Governor

Through my career I have taught in classrooms across the world including Canada, Australia, rural Fiji and now England and I have acquired a vast range of valuable experiences, knowledge and skills throughout my journey. I first joined Ingatestone Infant School as a class teacher in 2016 and have recently taken on the role of staff governor in 2018.

In my role as a governor I feel involved in our vision moving forward and have enjoyed being a part of school improvement decisions. I love the school, staff, our children and I am passionate about providing them with a happy, safe and enriching environment where they can be inspired to learn and encouraged to reach their full potential.

Mr Sebastian Burrows - Co-Opted Governor

I have been a Governor at our wonderful school since 2015. I bring to the Governing Board my experience as a practising family lawyer at a leading regional firm and my experience as a father of three. Two of our children have been pupils at the school. 

As a Family Law solicitor, my work involves all aspects of major challenges that families face. Core to the legal principles in this professional field is that children come first. Their emotional, educational and physical needs are paramount. As a father this is particularly relevant and as a Governor, I am able to apply this focus directly and actively. 

Ingatestone Infants School is exceptionally fortunate to have a staff of formidably dedicated and talented teaching and support staff. It is plain to see the direct effect of their energy and sensitivity in all the pupils, without exception. 

To be able to contribute to the performance of the school via the governing body is very rewarding indeed not least when all the governors share a passion for the school and the ever growing success and achievements of its pupils. 

The huge political and fiscal pressures on small schools are plain to see nationally. Ingatestone Infant School carves a path through the Educational World, constantly maintaining its outstanding Ofsted ranking, by developing and perfecting teaching methods to ensure that the children thrive. The solid foundations to their whole education, given to the children at Ingatestone Infants School, is obvious while they are pupils but also clear as they progress to Junior School and beyond. 

Ms Sarah Jones - Parent, SEND Governor 

I’m delighted to join the school as a Parent Governor and be part of the team developing the school’s vision and strategy. I have been a parent at the school for over 3 years; my daughter Poppy has recently joined the Junior school in year 3 and my son Louie is currently a Grey Dolphin. As a parent I believe in the importance of education and the way it is provided.

I have had a 14 year career in public service at the BBC World Service and more recently joined Warner Music. My core skills are business strategy, contract negotiation and personal development for teams.

I love the school and, during a recent career break, very much enjoyed supporting the staff and League of Friends in helping with class room prep, class trips, school events and arts and crafts. I am passionate about making a difference to the local community and am looking forward to helping the school provide a happy, safe, inspiring environment where both children and staff are fully supported and enabled to thrive.

Mrs Joanna England - Parent, Health & Safety and Safeguarding Governor 

I was elected as parent governor in 2017 and currently have one son at this school in Year 1. My oldest son is at the Junior School and my daughter is still at home.

I feel passionately about primary school education, wanting to help the school maintain it's high standards and meet future challenges. I feel I understand the requirements of the role, and, as I am at the school gates daily, know I am approachable and accessible to other parents. 

I have always worked within nursing, this job means that I have always worked directly with people. I've learnt the value of being kind and direct, being held accountable for my decision making, challenging respectfully and clearly. Always ensuring  to work as part of a team and help maintain the dignity  of others. 

Like all parents I want the best for my children and I believe that we need to support the school, but at times we also need to question the way things are done. As a governor, I hope to develop an understanding of how things works and have the opportunity to make a difference. 

Dr Leila Fonseca - Co-opted Governor

I have been a co-opted governor at Ingatestone Infant school since 2019.  I have two children, one of whom is a pupil at the school.  My background is in scientific education, research and policy development.  I enjoy teaching, having worked as a lecturer in marine biology and on a range of education initiatives for all ages.  I am familiar with committee work; have experience in the development of national policies and strategies; and in the management of programmes, teams and budgets, which I use in my role as a school governor. 

Our small village school has seen some major challenges recently.  As ever, the passion, resilience and dedication of the staff has shone through.  I am committed to supporting the school, in maintaining these high standards, in an impartial and thorough way.

How to get in touch

If you would like to talk to anyone regarding the role of the governing body please contact the school office.

Hit enter to search