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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 record 2022/2023

Attendance record 2023/2024

Who are our School Governors?

LOUISE DONNO - Co-opted / Safeguarding Governor / 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.

PATRICIA WHITELEY - 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.

JODIE PHILP - Staff Governor

I have been a member of the team for a number of years. My role in school is the Deputy Headteacher and Early Years Foundation Stage Lead. I also teach in the Grey Dolphins (reception class) two days a week. 

My role on the governing body is to represent the school staff. 



I have loved being a part of this school for the last six years.  My two daughters have now moved onto the Junior School and I currently have a son, Jack, in year 1.

I became involved with the League of Friends upon joining the school and have co-chaired for the last three years.

I love this opportunity to be a Parent Governor, to support Mrs Harvey and the Governing Body in striving to uphold the schools vision and values, and the opportunity to deliver the best possible education and development of social skills in a safe and caring environment.

I believe my previous job as an Insurance Underwriter in Lloyds of London has provided me with many skills including budgeting, strategic planning, managing resources and relationships.

Lloyds of London being the last face to face market place, I feel I have good communication skills and work well within a team.  My job demanded an ability to also create solutions for when there are divergent opinions.

I am really passionate about children’s education and future, keeping strong ties with the local community and its families.

It is a privilege to be part of this team.


I am a parent of two boys, one of which is in year 1, and one who will be starting at the school in September 2022. This stands me in a very good position to add value and critical opinion as a School Governor, as I will be a parent at the school for the next 4 years.

I am currently on a break from my career as an Accountant while my children are young, and believe that I have the time and dedication to give to this position. In my profession you are held accountable for how money is spent, in a very clear and transparent approach which is transferrable to this role.

My husband and I have lived in Ingatestone village for 9 years now, and know many local residents and parents of children at the village schools. I would hope to act as a representative of them all in this post, aiming to build upon the school's great reputation within our local community. We can improve on the school’s communication with parents/ carers, and inclusion of all children from varying backgrounds and abilities.

In summary, I believe that all of our children deserve an excellent education, provided by enthusiastic, trained staff and a strong leadership team that I would love to join.


With my daughter becoming a dolphin this year (2021) and my son due to start in 2024, I'm glad to have the opportunity of being a School Governor so I am able to contribute to the schools continued success. I have a keen interest in education and ensuring children get the best education available to them. I understand the importance of a good education and believe these first 3 years help pave the way to children being successful in life.  Having been to 2 different primary schools as a child, it was clear how a good school can make all the difference and help children not only in academics but also in building confidence and self-belief.

My current role as an IT Product Owner has built on my prioritisation, negotiation and communication skills as well as managing brainstorming sessions to find the best solution for the requirements we receive. I feel the skills I've gained in my career are transferable to the role as a Parent Governor.

I look forward to understanding how the running of the school works so I can help in the direction and future strategy of the school to ensure it remains outstanding.

NEIL TAGGART - Executive Headteacher


I have a genuine interest in the well-being and development of students and would very much like to contribute positively to the school community. 

My ability to communicate effectively is a crucial asset as a School Governor. I possess the knack for listening attentively and articulating ideas clearly, which are vital for engaging with parents, teachers, and students. I have extensive experience in decision-making roles and currently hold a leadership role as a Sub Officer with London Fire Brigade.

Furthermore, I have willingness to learn and adapt, strong ethical principles, an open mind and a commitment to upholding the school's values. 

Overall, communication skills, leadership experience, commitment to learning, and diverse background make me a strong candidate for a School Governor, poised to contribute meaningfully to the school's development and success.


I believe my working skill set and experience would complement many of the attributes required to be an effective Governor for the school. 

My son, Max, is currently in his second year at the school which has given me the opportunity to get accustomed to the workings of the school from a parent's perspective. To date I have been impressed with the level of open communication and opportunities to participate in the additional activities the school provides.

My career has mainly involved me project managing multimillion-pound construction projects throughout the UK. Part of the role requires me leading multiple packages of technical design and construction from concept to completion. Engaging with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and managing budgets, change and risk are just some of my day-to-day responsibilities which I believe would support me in providing added value in the role as Governor and in turn the school.


I have a daughter in Year 1 and another who’ll start in 2025. Supporting the success of the school and contributing to the children reaching their potential whilst enjoying their time at school and feeling part of a nurturing community is something I’m passionate about.

I qualified as a solicitor in 2009. I then joined the Financial Ombudsman Service, becoming an ombudsman in 2013. The main function of an ombudsman is to make fair and impartial decisions. I’m presented with complaints about businesses relating to a variety of financial matters and I weigh up both sides, ask for more information where needed and decide whether the business complained about acted fairly.

I’m looking forward to using my skills and experience to support and challenge the school leaders in my role as a governor.

Current Vacancies

There are no vacancies on the Governing Board.





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