Potten EndChurch of England Primary School

Growing, Laughing, Learning, Succeeding together through faith

Governor Bios & Responsibilities

Simon Barnard


Chair of Governors


Having been a resident of Potten End since 1988, I looked forward to becoming more involved in village life following my retirement from a stressful international career at the end of 2008. Since that time I have been involved in both the Parish and Parochial Church Councils, but working at the school – firstly as a volunteer and then as a Governor – has been (and continues to be!) the most thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable experience of them all.

Working with an inspirational and totally committed Headteacher, great teachers and support staff and, of course, our wonderful children, is an absolute privilege. In my own small way, I hope to continue to assist in the development and success of our wonderful village primary school and its young students.

Denise Kennedy


Head Teacher Governor


I am delighted to join the governing body as Head Teacher after having previously been the Principal at a local primary school for 5 years. I have worked on numerous governing bodies throughout the last 15 years, in leadership roles as well as a parent governor. I am really looking forward to working with the children, staff and families within the school community. I enjoy and thrive on the challenge that comes with every aspect of school life and am passionate about high quality education and each and every child reaching their full potential. Nothing but the best is good enough.

Marianne Barker


Co-Opted Governor


I have been a Community Governor in the school for 6 years. I am a mother of two children and a property lawyer. Within the Board of Governors, I sit on the Premises and Policy Committees and I am the Link Governor to the early year’s provision. As governors, it is our responsibility to consider the general direction of the school and how it should best develop. We work with the Head Teacher and are encouraged to question and challenge key decisions in order to ensure our standards live up to the expectation of the school’s community. I am proud of the school’s achievements and am committed to ensure the school and its children can reach their full potential

Melanie Hall


Teaching Staff Governor


I have taught Reception at Potten End School since 2013 and currently lead our Early Years Foundation Stage; during my time at Potten End I have been involved in the exciting challenges that have taken us from a First School to a Primary school.


I am passionate about education and giving children the best start possible, ensuring they become happy and well rounded members of our school community.


I am inspired by the educational ethos of Forest school that focuses on developing children’s personal, social and emotional development through regular outdoor experiences.

Steve Cutler


Co-opted Governor


Hello my name is Steve and I am just starting out as a co-opted governor for Potton End Church of England School.


I have two girls in the school who are both very happy and are doing very well. We have been part of the school for 6 years now.


I have been volunteering in Nursery and Year 1 for a few years which I really enjoy. I will now be taking an active role in the IT for the school to make sure things are running smoothly, and I am looking forward to this new challenge.


My background has been IT and Technical Engineering, which will stand me in good stead for the governor role of IT.

Chris Eaton


Co-opted Governor


I joined the governing board in September 2018 and have 3 children in the school who have all attended both the preschool in the village and the nursery school. I grew up in Berkhamsted and have been living in the village since 2006.


I hold one of the Co-opted governor positions and have also been given the duty of Link Governor for Attendance.


My background is in I.T. managing large scale change in business computer systems in areas such as logistics and reporting, and for the last 5 years within finance business systems and operational reporting

Maura Gillespie


Vice-Chair of Governors


My day job is Head of Advocacy for the British Heart Foundation and I am embarking on studying for an MBA. I have 2 children at the school and I am proud to be a Parent Governor and bring my work skills to the mix of skills on the Board of Governors. Potten End C of E Primary School is a very special school, with a great ethos. I enjoy working with the Head Teacher and the Governors to maintain, and where possible improve the standards of the School.

Gail Batchelder


LEA Governor


I was born and raised in South Wales; I moved to Berkhamsted when I married Mark in 1978. I soon secured a teaching post and began my time in Dacorum, teaching in Nash Mills School. Since then I have taught in several other schools in the Borough, taking time out to raise our three children.


I joined Potten End School in January 2006, teaching Year 2 and was responsible for teaching P.E. throughout the school. I enjoyed Potten End School enormously; the children, the ethos, the staff – it is a very special establishment!


I retired from teaching in 2014, Potten End School being the last in a teaching career which spanned some five decades! I wish it had been my first school!


As a Governor, I am so happy to be able to spend time with the children, to help and to see the school continue to thrive and enhance the learning of children in its care.

Emma Harris


Foundation Governor


I am delighted to be joining Potten End Governors as a Foundation Governor and looking forward to help support and encourage links between our wonderful school and Holy Trinity Church. I am on the Parochial Church Council and also run much of the youth work including Little Lambs (our baby & toddler group), Trinity Kids (our Sunday School) and of course our very popular Messy Church alongside Penny and Beverley. As a faith school I am glad to be able to act as a link between the church and school.


I am married to Jay and we have 2 sons, Noah, who is in Year 1 as well as our baby, Isaac (who will also be coming to the school in a few years’ time) and I work as a Freelance Digital Consultant and live in Gadebridge.


I am committed to supporting our community and by becoming a Foundation Governor to supporting both Mr Morris and the rest of the teaching staff to continue to improve the love of learning and development of our children at the school.

Ann Hingston


Clerk to the Governing Board


I became Clerk to the Governing Board in May 2014, and my role involves taking the minutes of the Governor Meetings, maintaining the database and assisting the Governing Board in matters of policy and legislation.


I am currently a Teaching Assistant in Class 6, and have previously been a Teaching Assistant in Year 5, Nursery and Reception. I have three children, who have all previously loved being at Potten End First School, and I was the Chair of the Friends of the School for three years.


If you have any questions or queries for the Governors, then please email me at and I will gladly forward them on.

Revd Joe Roberts


Foundation Ex-Officio Governor


Hi, my name is Joe and I am on the governing board because I am the vicar of Holy Trinity Church right across the road from the school! I am very keen in not just developing links between the school and the church but also in encouraging everyone in their flourishing in life. I also feel called to make faith ‘real’ for people and for the church and school in Potten End to be the beating heart of love and learning in the community. I am a strong advocate of virtue and character development and my MA dissertation was on a Christian virtue approach to video gaming.


I am married to Jaime and I have two children, who are at the school. I’ve had various jobs before ordination, from being a cathedral verger, parish administrator, security guard, cleaner and publican.


The school is in a really exciting place, with much to celebrate, give thanks for and look forward to. It is great to be joining, journeying and encouraging the school at this thrilling juncture.

Robert Dale


Parent Governor


I am excited to be joining the Board of Governors as a Parent Governor. I have two boys currently at the school in Year 2 and Reception, and a daughter who will hopefully join the school in a couple of years’ time when she is old enough. This means that I will be involved in the school as a parent for many years, so I have a strong desire to do my part in making our fabulous school the best it can be.


Outside of school I grew up in Hemel Hempstead and after a few years away moved back in 2003. I work in London for a global IT outsourcing and consultancy organisation as an Enterprise Architect. This has given me a wide range of skills and experiences across commercial, financial, technical and managerial functions which I hope to be able to use in my role as a governor.

Jamie Lam


Parent Governor


Hi I’m Jamie. My wife and I have a son that’s just started at the school and another that will hopefully join in a few years. I’ve lived in Hertfordshire all of my life and spent my formative years in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted. I’ve held several IT roles at the same company since completing my undergraduate studies in 2006.


I believe passionately in the importance of early years education and how developing curiosity and a love of learning at a young age can have a positive impact throughout life. As a parent governor I hope to use my time and experience to serve the educators and support staff, to enable them to maintain the school ethos and continually improve for the benefit of the pupils and community.