Shadow Governing Board
Patricia Metham – Interim Chair and Co-opted Governor
After 20 years as a teacher and subject leader (English & Drama), I became headteacher in 1986 of a small school in West Sussex. Five years later, I moved to be head of a large all-through school in Ashford, Kent, and from there to be Head of Roedean School in Brighton. While at Ashford and Roedean, I was on various national education committees. From Roedean, I moved, with my husband, to Thailand as Principal of a large, three-campus international school, teaching the English National Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate. While in Thailand, I was Special Adviser to the Thai government on working with gifted and talented pupils. When I returned to England in 2005, I became one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and from 2012 to 2014 was Ofsted’s national lead for English and literacy. Since 2014 I have been an independent education consultant, working largely with schools in East Sussex.
Ross Settles – Vice-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.
Pip Gasson – Co-opted Governor
I worked in secondary schools for 34 years as a teacher of sciences, head of year, head of 6th form and a deputy head, latterly as deputy head/vice principal of the Hastings Academy from 2008 to 2013. I was acting principal from 2010 to 2011 while the substantive principal led the academisation process. Following my early retirement in 2013, I worked as the part time, interim head teacher in 2 local primary schools including at St. Michael’s. I have previously served as a primary school governor, trust member of a secondary academy with 6th form, and was a trustee of the Rye Academy Trust until July 2019. I am a founder member and trustee of a free special school in the pre-opening phase, being opened by a parent group in Hastings. My whole career has been in the maintained sector and I remain determined that all children and young people should be able to thrive and succeed in our schools.
Tim Rowbottom – 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.
Should you wish to contact the Governing Body, please approach the school office or email the Interim Chair at email@example.com