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Governor Vacancy Information

Welcome to our Governors’ section. 

Here you will find information about the role of the governing body, details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


The Role and Responsibilities of the Governing Body

Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school. They are also a key part of the overall system for school accountability. Governing bodies have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring that resources are used well to give every child the best possible education.


In all schools, governing bodies have three core strategic functions:
a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
b. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.


These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools that came into force in September 2013 and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies.

In practice, governors are a group of volunteers who include parents, staff and members of the local community who act collectively to make decisions that matter to the school and are motivated to do the best for the children of the school.


Governing bodies help set the school’s aims and values. They also make decisions on matters such as performance targets, school policies, and the school’s single plan.  They oversee the use of the school’s budget and have responsibility to obtain value for money for that budget. They are responsible for the appointment of the headteacher.  In addition, governors monitor, support and challenge the headteacher and staff on how well those policies and targets are followed through. They do this by visiting the school, getting to know its strengths and weaknesses, and asking useful questions that foster an ethos of continuous improvement.


When to contact the Governors?

Should there ever be things you’d like to raise, please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to receive your comments and feedback. Many of us are regularly in and around the school, and several of us are often in the playground at drop-off and pick-up times. Alternatively, please feel free to leave a message with the office.


If you have any concerns that you have raised with the school and you do not feel they have been dealt with accordingly then please contact Victoria Sullivan at

Meet the team


Victoria Sullivan

Chair of Governors

My name is Victoria, and I am your Chair of Governors. I joined the Governing Body as a parent governor in March 2019 after being the Secretary of the Friends fundraising committee since 2015. My daughter is in Robin class (year 5) and my son in Year 9 at JFAN. As the Chair of Governors I am responsible for making sure the whole governing body is effective and we have great relationships with the school and all our stakeholders. I am also the lead governor for safeguarding and SEND at our school. I recently returned to employment as a People & Culture Director for a local horticultural company, after running my own HR consultancy business for the last 8 years. I am passionate about the impact strategy and leadership can have on organisations, including schools.  In my spare time I love baking cakes and brownies, and dancing to a good disco tune. I'm known to like a glass of wine or cider too!


Mark Johnson

Co-opted Governor 

Mark grew up around Saffron Walden, went to university in York and then lived in Somerset before returning to Essex. He has worked in and around the public sector since 2008 and is a chartered public finance accountant. Mark became a governor at Newport in 2016 and has served on the Resources and Standards Committee.  Mark lives with his wife and their young son in Bishop’s Stortford, where he is also a governor of a Church of England primary school. Having enjoyed his time at school, Mark is keen to play his part in enabling children at Newport to get the best out of their time at school.


Amy Cockerill
Co-opted Governor 

I have been a governor at Newport Primary School since 2020 when lockdown led me to search for a new challenge. As a secondary school teacher, I was keen to learn more about primary education and to use some of the transferable skills I have gained through my career. I have held a number of roles in education, including Head of Department, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and Director of Studies. I am now Assistant Head and Designated Safeguarding Lead at a large independent school. As well as sitting on the Standards Committee I was pleased to take on the role of Wellbeing Governor as the health and happiness of children and staff is the first step in enabling everyone to achieve their best. 



Allen Takawira

Co-opted Governor

Moving to Bishops Stortford in 2018, I saw the opportunity to become a governor as a great way to integrate myself into the local community and give back to the educational system I benefitted from. I am an Accountant by profession, currently working for a manufacturing company in the Utilities sector. In my spare time I’m a keen distance runner, and regularly compete in various races throughout the country.




Hannah Parker

Parent Governor

Hannah joined the Governing Body as a parent governor after relocating with her family from London to the village of Widdington in April 2021 and has two children at Newport Primary School. Hannah is currently the Head of Human Resources for a Private Equity company where she oversees people strategy and operations for the European business. She has developed particular passion and expertise in talent management, performance management and organisation culture topics and hopes to be able to bring some of her expertise to support the team at Newport Primary School. Hannah holds a BA hons in History and a MSC in Human Resources Management. When not working, Hannah enjoys spending precious time with family exploring the delights of the North Essex countryside (still a novelty and joy after 20 years in London!).


Hilary Waite

Staff Governor

My name is Hilary Waite and I am a single mum with twin boys who have just left school after passing their A levels. One plans a    career in the forces, after a year out and the other is off to Uni in Leeds after his year out. I have been on the teaching staff at Newport since September 2020 and am now enjoying the role of Staff Governor. I have a Masters in Education and qualified as a teacher in July 2018 after working part-time in a school whilst bringing up my boys. Previously, I had a 20 year career in the city as a commodity broker. I am passionate about language and how the way we structure language can have such a strong impact. In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym and walking my English Pointer- Norman and I love walking in the Lake District going north whenever the opportunity arises.




Rob Graves

Co-opted Governor

Rob joined our Governing Body in October 2023 as a co-opted governor. He is a qualified accountant who enjoyed a long international career with 3M, a US based multinational manufacturing company. For the last 16 years Rob served as a non-executive director on the boards of a number of NHS Trusts in Gloucestershire where he lived until recently. He was also a member of the governing body of his local primary school for 12 years.

Rob believes very strongly in the importance of contributing to community and having now moved to this area, is keen to take on this role where his knowledge and experience can be useful in helping this school thrive.


Layla Price

Parent Governor

Layla joined the Governing Body in the summer 2023 where she recognised the opportunity to become more involved in the exciting developments of the school. Layla has seen the school change over a number of years, having had two older children go through the school some years ago and a daughter presently in year 3. What remains consistent is the unique nature of Newport Primary School as a safe, inclusive and exciting place to learn. 

As a Deputy Headteacher in a local secondary school, Layla has had experience of a number of school priorities, including teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment, special educational needs and student wellbeing. Layla is currently the Designated Safeguarding Lead in her own setting, leading the pastoral provision for all students. 

Declaration of pecuniary and personal interests