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Meet the Governors

The Kemnal Academies Trust

Smarden Primary School is an academy as part of The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT).


TKAT is a multi-academy trust established as a company limited by guarantee, whose constitution, functions and rules of operation are set out in its Articles of Association. The Articles give TKAT the authority to delegate certain functions and powers to Local Governing Bodies via their Scheme of Delegation.


Click on this link for more information on TKAT Governance:

Pluckley Church of England & Smarden Primary Schools Joint Governing Body

The Governing Body is responsible for providing confident, strategic leadership and creating robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.

The Governing Body is a unified body and all governors are jointly responsible for both Pluckley and Smarden. The Joint Governing Body has three core functions:

• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

• Holding the senior leadership team to account for the educational performance of the schools and their pupils, and the performance management of staff;

• Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and making sure money is well spent.

Who are the governors?

Thomas Dixon - Chair of Governors / Parent Governor

Lucy Farrington - Vice Chair, Appointed Governor - Responsible for Safeguarding, and Health & Safety

Melanie Smith - Executive Head Teacher Governor

Elizabeth Bloom - Foundation Governor

Paul Brooker - Appointed Governor

Vicky Carmichael - Parent Governor - Responsible for Pupil Premium / SEND

Claire Neall - Parent Governor

Richard Finlinson - Appointed Governor

Annie Fowler - Parent Governor – Responsible for Looked After Children

Heidi Nesbit - Staff Governor

The governors of Smarden and Pluckley meet as a full governing body five times a year. They receive reports on the performance of both schools from the Head Teacher, and consider monitoring reports produced by individual governors on all aspects of the life of both schools, including pupil progress, attainment, behaviour, and wellbeing, as well as the ethos and values of the schools.

The governors are judged by Ofsted, alongside the Head Teacher and her team, for the quality of Leadership and Management at both schools.


There are various categories of governor. Parent governors and staff governors are elected by the parents and staff respectively to offer their particular skills and perspectives. Appointed governors are drawn from other parts of the Smarden and Pluckley communities to provide connections with the wider world and additional professional skills and experiences, while Foundation governors have particular responsibility for the Christian ethos of the school at Pluckley, and the ‘REFLECT’ values across both schools.


All governors are volunteers and give up a considerable amount of time in the service of the schools.


What do Governors do?

The day to day running of the schools is the responsibility of the Head Teacher and her team of teaching and support staff.

Governors, on the other hand, are asked to think about the strategic vision of the schools and to challenge and support the staff in their work by undertaking regular monitoring and scrutiny.

The monitoring programme is agreed by the Head Teacher and the governors, who regularly visit both schools and see how policies are carried out in practice.

Areas which have been monitored in the last year, with challenges sometimes made to current practice, include:

British Values (Feb 2016)

Breakfast Club (April 2016)

Finance (quarterly meetings)

Progress (May 2016)

Preparation for SIAMS, Anglican Church inspection (May 2016)

Presentation and Display (June 2016)

Community activities (Jan to June 2016)

Pupil Voice (March and May 2016)

English, Grammar and Punctuation (March and May 2016)

SATS experience for Year 6 (May 2016)

Pupil Premium (November 2016)

Special Educational Needs and Disability (November 2016)

Spelling (November 2016)

Most Able (November 2016)

Assemblies (November 2016)


The areas being monitored vary at different times, with the changing requirements and priorities of the schools, and in line with the School Improvement Plan. A vital area, already mentioned, is finance, which is reviewed regularly by a dedicated Finance Committee, with figures and information provided by the Business Manager and TKAT.


Governors also help run clubs, and attend assemblies and school functions.


Clerking and secretarial support is currently provided by Elizabeth Rice

She can be contacted via Smarden Primary School on 01233 770316

Picture 1 The Governors saying goodbye to Stephanie Atkins
Picture 2 Stephanie Atkins with Thomas Dixon