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Meet our Governors

Tara Ford, Head Teacher Governor

First elected as a governor in September 2011, re-appointed co-opted governor in April 2015 for a term of 4 years, resigned as co-opted governor and reinstated as the Head Teacher governor on 1st September 2017.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following areas of the School Development Plan:

  • Embed a value based system through and alongside the holistic development of our school community
  • Focus on health and well-being of our school community to enable them to become responsible, respectful and active citizens

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Tara started teaching at Stepgates Community School during the academic year 2005/2006, having previously taught in various maintained schools across the primary age range, in September 2010 she became the Deputy Head Teacher and in September 2017 she took up the post of Head Teacher. Tara was born at St Peter’s Hospital and has lived locally all her life. She graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Education, completed a Mathematics Specialist Course at Brighton University and her NPQH through the National College of Teaching and Leadership.

In her spare time she enjoys camping with her family and friends, going to the theatre and attending England Rugby games – when she can get tickets!

Michael Pope, Chair of Governors

Appointed Local Authority Governor 5th October 2020 for a 4 year term of office, previously elected Parent Governor on 29th March 2017 for a 4 year term.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following areas of the School Development Plan :

  • Provision of a broad, sequential, aspirational and balanced curriculum
  • Focus on the health and well-being of our school community to enable them to become responsible, respectful and active citizens.

Responsibility for 'Children who are Looked After' and Class Governor for Owls Class. A member of the Head Teacher Performance Review Panel and the Finance Committee.

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I was born and raised in Woking and moved to Chertsey 4 years ago with my wife and 2 children. My eldest child currently attends Stepgates and also went to Sunbeams Nursery and my wife has worked at Stepgates for 9 years in total.

In my career I have worked in a number varying roles mainly in the IT industry, from Business Analyst to my current role of Product and Business Manager however, I started my work life as a pub landlord. With technology and computing becoming a more vital part of education I want to be able to help the school with my experience of new technologies and support the school as much as I can. I firmly believe in the ethos of the school; it was one of the main reasons I wanted to join the Governing Body.

I am a keen football supporter and love spending time with my family and friends at the weekend.

Lisa Jeffries, Vice Chair of Governors

Appointed Co-opted Governor in November 2019 for a term of 4 years, appointed by the Full Governing Body. Elected Vice Chair of Governors on 29th September 2020.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following areas of the School Development Plan:

  • Focus on the health and well-being of our school community to enable them to become responsible, respectful and active citizens 
  • Raise the profile of Mathematics, developing pupils understanding in fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem solving across the curriculum.

Member of the Pay Committee and the Finance Committee, Class Governor for Butterflies and School Council Governor.

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I was born and raised in North Yorkshire, attended university in Sheffield and then moved to the South East to take up a position in the NHS. I met my husband in Chertsey, married and settled down here and now my two children attend Stepgates School.

I have worked in Health and Social care for over 20 years holding leadership positions  with both commissioning and provider organisations including experience in good governance, strong leadership, operational delivery, Human Resources and strategic planning.  My current role focuses on providing improvement support to spread and deliver good practice across NHS services in South East Coast.

I am delighted to be appointed in the role of school governor and hope to support the school and its staff to continue improve the education and experience of the students attending Stepgates Community School. 

John Gillard

First appointed as a Governor in September 2009. Re-appointed Co-opted Governor in March 2019 for a further term of 4 years. Appointed by Full Governing Body.

Previous Chair of Resources Committee, member of the Pay Committee and Class Governor for Hawks Class.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following area of the School Development Plan:

  • Provide a broad, sequential, aspirational and balanced curriculum.

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Born in Hampton Court and then lived in Surrey where I gained my education in Molesey and at Kingston College. In 1967, I emigrated to New Zealand for a total period of 12 years.  Upon my return I lived in Middlesex then moved back to Surrey and then two years in Earls Barton in Northamptonshire, before finally returning to Chertsey, where I have lived for the past 20 years. I am now retired having finished my career as a Company Director; my background is engineering related to the construction industry. My other interests are in Amateur Dramatics for a local group based in Addlestone, where I am the treasurer and occasionally do still tread the boards.

As a school governor I am very keen in helping the governing body to support the school, through the Head teacher and the staff.  I currently visit school every Wednesday afternoon to help with reading in Year 3.

I most enjoy time with my friends and my two daughters. I’m a keen cyclist, weather permitting, and enjoy the occasional game of golf, again weather permitting!  Reading is also another passion together with overseas travel.

Mark Nuti

Co-opted governor, first appointed by the Full Governing Body in January 2015, re-appointed for a further term of 4 years in March 2019.

Member of the Pay Committee and governor with joint responsibility for the following area of the School Development Plan:

  • Embed a value based system through and alongside the holistic development of our school community.

Class Governor for Kites Class.

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Mark Nuti first became a governor in January 2015. Mark is your local Councillor for the Chertsey Meads Ward. He has lived in Chertsey for over 20 years and likes to get involved in the local community including being Secretary of Chertsey Cricket Club , Chairman of Chertsey Junior Football Club and holds positions on many other committees and trusts. Mark has worked in many different fields from Finance to Directing and performing in many West End Theatres, he now works for himself as a domestic engineer. 

Maria Lye

Resigned as a co-opted governor on 21/01/22.

Maria was first appointed by the Full Governing Body on 24th January 2017 for a term of 4 years. Re-appointed by the Full Governing Body for a further 4 years on 26th November 2020.

Laura Conn

Co-opted governor, first appointed by the Full Governing Body in 2017,  re-appointed on 14th September 2021 for a further term of 4 years.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following areas of the School Development Plan:

  • Provision of a broad, sequential, aspirational and balanced curriculum 
  • To raise the profile of mathematics, developing pupils understanding in fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem-solving across the curriculum.

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I was born and raised in Ealing, West London and moved to the local area in 2012.  I have been teaching since across the primary phases since 2005 and have been Deputy Headteacher at Stepgates Community School since September 2017. 

As a teacher, I have a particular passion for Mathematics and oversee the provision of this subject throughout the school. 

In my spare time, I love spending time with my daughter, husband and extended family, making memories.

As a governor and member of the teaching staff at Stepgates, I am committed to helping all of our pupils to succeed in all areas and pride myself on encouraging children to recognise their self-worth and full potential.   

Etty Isaac

Appointed Parent Governor by the governing body of Stepgates Community School on 26th June 2018 for a term of 4 years.

Governor with responsibility for SEND, Child Protection, Safeguarding and the Single Central Record.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following area of the School Development Plan:

  • School's Value System and the holistic development of our school community.

Class governor for Falcons.

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I was born and raised in Israel, after finishing my national service as a First Lieutenant in the Military Police, I temporarily relocated to England for two years for my work as a Security Profiler for El Al, the Israeli Airline. That was 17 years ago.

I now live in West Byfleet with my husband Cliff and our three children. All are pupils in Stepgates.

My experience as a parent here at Stepgates has been so overwhelmingly good that I decided I would like to be a part of this wonderful family.

After regularly volunteering at Stepgates since Feb 2018, I took the opportunity to make a larger contribution by joining the Governing Body in June 2018.

I hope that being a volunteer, a governor and a parent at the school, will provide me with a balanced insight that will be of benefit to our children and our school. 

Jodie Brough

Appointed staff governor by the staff at Stepgates on 15th May 2019 for a term of 2 years, re-appointed May 2021 for a further two year term.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following areas of the School Development Plan:

  • Provision of a broad, sequential, aspirational and balanced curriculum 
  • Embed a value based system through and alongside the holistic development of our school community

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As a Stepgates parent and member of the local community, Jodie is delighted to now be on the teaching staff at Stepgates. Her experience in education (18 years) has been quite varied and extensive, covering all Key Stages as well as different leadership roles. As a result of this, she hopes to bring a wide range of ideas to the vision of Stepgates Community School, whilst supporting and considering the best decisions for all key stakeholders in leading Stepgates towards being an Outstanding School. Most importantly, she understands what the needs are within the curriculum and beyond so that our children are at the heart of every decision made.

In her spare time, Jodie enjoys swimming and dancing and if lucky, skiing!

Anna Scorer

Parent governor, elected by parents on 24th November 2020 for a 4-year term of office.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following area of the School Development Plan:

  • To provide a broad, sequential, aspirational and balanced curriculum.

Class Governor for Grasshoppers.

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I was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia. I jet setted off on my travels to Europe when I was 21. After exploring many European cities I came to the UK to visit family and work temporarily.

I met my husband to be and 22 years later I am still here!

We were lucky to have a 3-year stint in Australia together running our own restaurant which was an incredible experience.

I am now happily settled in Chertsey with my husband and daughter who is a pupil at Stepgates.

I work for a tour operator who has a sailing centre in the Balearic Islands. I promote and sell their holidays and as a family have been lucky enough to enjoy one or two as well.

People know me for my patience, gentle nature and attention for detail. My family think I can be stubborn, but I prefer tenacious.

I look forward to contributing to governance and school life at Stepgates.

Michael Birch

Appointed by the Full Governing Body on 30th March 2021 for a term of 4 years.

Governor with joint responsibility for the following area of the School Development Plan:

  • To embed a value based system through and alongside the holistic development of our school community.

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I was born and raised in Staffordshire and following university moved to London. I met my wife whilst working in London, and we moved to Chertsey 5 years ago. We have one child who attends Stepgates.

I work in marketing and have had an interesting career to date starting off working in PR for Madame Tussauds for a number of years. I love sport, golf especially, and have been fortunate to work within the golf industry for over 10 years now, currently working within a marketing role for one of the biggest golf manufacturers in the world.

As a father who believes passionately in sport, I am keen to pass on some of that energy and the qualities that sport can give you not just by competing, but the wider benefits, both physical and mental, that sport can provide us. I am also very keen to support the development of Stepgates school for the benefit not just of this current crop of children, but also for future generations.   

Gini Carr

First appointed Co-opted Governor in November 2016 for a term of 4 years, re-appointed by the Full Governing Body on 20th October 2020 for another term of 4 years..

Governor with joint responsibility for the following area of the School Development Plan:

  • Raise the profile of reading, developing pupils understanding and inference across the curriculum. 

Class Governor for Ladybirds.

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Hello I am Gini Carr, one of your Governors at Stepgates and honoured to be supporting the school. I started school at 3 and am still here!!

I have lived and worked in East Africa, Australia, UAE, Hong Kong, Malaysia and UK. My initial training was as an Infant/Primary Teacher, but further studies took me to teaching posts at Secondary and Tertiary levels as well as Middle and Senior Management.

I have been a Dyslexia Therapist since 1986 (trained at the Institute in Laleham), School Counsellor and Specialist SEND teacher with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Psychology and Counselling.

Supporting charities is very important to me, and I am also member of St Peter’s Church, the local WI and U3A. Being a grandparent to two under 5 yrs keeps me busy and I am enjoying the privilege of helping the little ones learn!! Reading and travelling the world is a passion and I have visited every continent but Antarctica and sailed every ocean except the Arctic.

My desire is that my role as a Governor will give me the opportunity to make the most of my lifetime’s experience as an educator, continuing with my passion – the education of all but especially young children in the community, society’s future!

We live in challenging times where schools are having to deliver value-added curricula with ever –diminishing resources. I hope that Stepgates will benefit from my involvement to help make the most of the school’s resources and to support the staff to ensure the school achieves all it can for their learners.

Michael Morgan-Batney

Parent governor, elected by parents for a 4 year term of office from 19th November 2021.