Shadow Governing Board
Ross Settles – Chair and Co-opted Governor
I am now retired from teaching, having taught Years 6-8 in the independent sector. For many years I held senior management posts with responsibility for the school curriculum and staff training. I also served as a team inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, and am currently a GCSE assistant examiner. I played for Sidley CC in the Sussex League, and for MCC, so am particularly passionate about cricket, but also literature and the arts in general. Having recently been vice-chair of governors at a Hastings primary school, I am looking forward to supporting St. Michael’s as a member of its board.
Tim Rowbottom – Vice-Chair and Local Authority Governor
I live in Rye with my partner and small daughter, having moved to the area in 2017. I care deeply about the education that my daughter and others like her will receive. Growing up in a rural area presents brilliant opportunities, but significant challenges too. I am dedicated to doing whatever I can to improve the experiences and life chances of all our children, and to ensuring they receive the best possible start in their critical formative years.
Professionally, I am a communications adviser and speechwriter in the financial services industry. Prior to that, I spent more than a decade as a consultant helping business and government to get along.
This is my second spell as a school governor. I previously served a four-year term at a primary school in north London, two of which were spent as vice chair. While Hackney and Playden are two very different places, they share many challenges around funding, inspection and a highly fluid policy environment. I hope that my experience in these areas can contribute to helping St Michael’s be the best school it can possibly be.
Cherane Marshall – Headteacher ex-officio
Having had a varied career as a PR & Marketing Manager, then Podiatrist in the NHS, I took a career break to raise my children, eventually retraining as a teacher in 2008. I have experience of teaching across all phases of primary education, from Early Years to Year 6. I took up the Head of School position at St. Michael’s in 2016 and was appointed Headteacher in January, 2018. I have previously served on the board of Governors at another Sussex primary school.
Claire Harwood – Staff governor
Having been teaching for nearly 20 years across all key stages and in a range of primary schools across London, Kent and East Sussex, my career culminated in joining St. Michael’s as the Early Years class teacher in 2016. I am now the Senior Teacher and Deputy Safeguarding Lead in the school and I look forward to serving the school on a more strategic level as the Staff Governor.
James Bennett – Parent Governor
I have lived with my wife and two children in Rye since 2012. Our son Alife goes to St. Michael’s school, Playden and we are hoping that our daughter will go to the school too. We believe it is a fantastic establishment and are very pleased with our choice of school. When I have had the opportunity to attend assembly or spend time in the playground, I am always impressed with how well-mannered and good natured the children are.
I am a Consultant Anaesthetist for East Sussex Healthcare, which includes the two acute hospitals: The Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital. I specialise in anaesthesia for colorectal cancer surgery, joint replacement and acute pain management. I also work at the Spire Sussex, the Benenden hospital and the Horder Centre, Crowborough.
This is my first role as a school governor. I appreciate that there is a steep learning curve, but I am fully focused and committed to give my very best for the school as a governor, as a parent who cares for my children’s education, and more importantly for the local community. All children are entitled to the support, tools and resources to not just be ready for secondary school, but also to be prepared for what lies beyond the education system. To reach their potential whatever that may be, and for them to be happy with that. I feel St. Michael’s school is the perfect setting to nurture this and am passionate about supporting the school.
There are similarities in how the education system and the NHS are structured. One of the fundamental core values for a doctor is patient centred care. My motivation and drive in becoming a school governor is to ensure that everything that we decide to do for the future of St. Michael’s is pupil-focused. To maintain the warm, caring, inspirational environment that has allowed Alfie to develop in a manner that my wife and I are very proud of.
I am but one parent with my own set of views and visions for the school. I need to know your beliefs, concerns and opinions to truly represent the parent body of St. Michael’s. I want to collaborate with you all to ensure we have a voice to be heard at the board meetings.
Shona Bishop – Co-opted Governor
Having moved to Rye from London in Summer 2019 (and with my son at st Michael’s), I am proud to take on one of the governor roles at this school. Having previously been a governor at my son’s nursery in London I found the experience insightful and rewarding and look forward to contributing to the school and hopefully benefiting the wider local community.
Professionally I worked for a number of years in fashion marketing and truly believe in the importance of nurturing creativity in children. I now work at Google and hope that my day to day experience lends itself to bringing innovation and expansive thinking to the governing board to help provide the best education to all these brilliant human beings at St Michael’s.
Sophie Smith – Parent Governor
I moved to Camber with my husband in 2014. We were expecting when we moved to the area so knew little about schools and thinking about them still seemed a long way off when you have just a bump. However fast forward 4 years and having looked at other schools in the area it was Playden that gave us that ‘feeling’ when we looked around, so we were over-the-moon when our bump-turned-son got a place to start in 2019.
I have background that includes a creative aspect – studying performance arts for my degree, however I have spent my working life as an organiser, to be more specific as a Project Manager, coordinating projects in different sectors including working with young Great British athletes in the lead up to 2012 coordinating school visits to encourage school-age children to do more sport, then for a website company project managing website builds for estate agents and then since 2014 working alongside my husband growing our holiday letting business, so I have experience in coordinating lots of complex projects and working with people from many walks of life.
I believe in using the skills you have to play some sort of active part in society and I am the current chairperson of the local residents association and have sat on the board of parents at Beckley Preschool when our son was in attendance there and I have in the past few years got involved in various fundraising projects.
Alongside my work I am an avid runner and a passionate advocate of the importance physical activity has on mental health and wellbeing as well as how education and educational establishments play an integral and important role (alongside parents and guardians) in helping our young people grow into well-rounded, empathetic, healthy, curious, resilient and above all kind individuals and I want to play my part in helping Playden continue the wonderful work it already clearly does in supporting our children to fulfil their potential.
Jim Maxim – Co-opted Governor
I have been in the teaching profession for twelve years and have now entered my third year in senior leadership at Rye College, at which my primary responsibilities include curriculum development, teaching and learning, quality assurance and teacher training.
I take the education of all young people incredibly seriously, and am fully invested in ensuring that the children of Rye receive the best possible education. I am looking forward to being involved in the governance of Playden, and working with the governing and staff bodies throughout the next academic year (and beyond).
Should you wish to contact the Governing Body, please approach the school office or email the Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org