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Meet the Governors

Welcome to our Governors' section.

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.

We have also provided a Register of Governor Interests and an Annual Statement of Attendance for your information.

Minutes of the Full Governing Body, Teaching and Learning Team and Resources Team Meetings can be requested through an email request to the school office.


Tom Carney: Co-opted Governor - Chair of Governors

Tom Carney: Co-opted Governor - Chair of Governors 1

Tom Carney: Co-opted Governor - Chair of Governors

Governor Since: 5th February 2013 

Term of Office: 10th September 2021

Responsibilities: Member of the Teaching & Learning Team, Strategy Team, Pay Team, Headteacher Appraisal Team and currently Governor linked to English.

Background Information:

I am a professional communications and marketing expert with experience in private and public sectors, currently working in central government. I've lived in Aldington with my wife for five years and both of our children were born here.

My eldest child started in Panda Class in September 2012 and I'm happy with my experiences of the school. I want to be able to help shape the school's development to ensure it continues to help children fulfil their potential and learn in a positive, supportive and creative environment. I will contribute to the Governing Body's strategic function, supporting the delivery of the school's long term plans and helping to maintain the reputation that has taken time to build and of which it is rightly proud.

Dr Lynne Graham-Matheson: Co-opted Governor - Vice Chair of Governors

Dr Lynne Graham-Matheson: Co-opted Governor - Vice Chair of Governors 1

Dr Lynne Graham-Matheson: Co-opted Governor - Vice Chair of Governors 

Governor Since: 6th July 2016

Term of Office: 5th July 2020

Responsibility: Member of the Teaching & Learning Team, Strategy Team, Pupil Progress Team, Headteacher Appriasal Team and currently Governor linked to Inclusion and Curriculum Development.

Background Information: 

I am originally from London but have lived in Ashford for over 30 years. I have two grown up daughters.

I started my career in human resource management then began teaching when my children were young. I have taught psychology, social sciences and management in Kent and at the Open University. After completing my PhD looking at mature students in higher education I joined the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2003, working in research and knowledge exchange.

I am very pleased to join the governing body of Aldington Primary School, the third school I have been a governor of. I believe education is very important for everyone and although my professional interests tend to focus on adult learners and training and development, I see excellent primary education as crucial to giving all children a good start in life. 


Tim Hughes: Local Authority Governor

Tim Hughes: Local Authority Governor

Governor Since:  9th November 2018 

Term of Office: 8th November 2022

Responsibilities: Member of the Teaching & Learning Team and currently Governor linked to English.

Background Information: 

I attended Aldington Primary School as a pupil during the 1980s although my family’s connections to the school extend further back into the last century and well into this one. Throughout that time, we have each sought to retain various degrees of involvement with the school and stay part of that community. As a mature student, I returned to the family home in Aldington and graduated from the Open University in 2015 with an honours degree in English Language & Literature. I have extended my stay here as I study for a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature with the University of Roehampton and contemplate a PhD within this subject area! I am passionate about children’s literature and the importance of a child reading for pleasure because they enjoy their books. I usually prefer Young Adult books to Adult Fiction but have a not-so-secret penchant for picture books too! Away from the library, I work for a firm of Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisors in Canterbury and believe my combined local knowledge, professional experience and academic studies will benefit the governing body and, I hope, the school.

Keith Bowley:  Foundation Governor


Keith Bowley: Foundation Governor

Governor Since: 5th July 2017

Term of Office: 10th September 2021

Responsibilities:  Member of the Resources Team, Pupil Progress Team and currently Governor linked to Maths, Health & Safety and Training & Development.  

Background Information:

Born in West London I moved to Kent more than 40 years ago having lived mainly in Hythe and Brabourne Lees. Until my retirement I had worked for Saga Group as an Operations and Administration Manager for 25 years and for the last 5 years worked on the Roger De Haan Charitable trust as the link person between schools and sports organisations in the Shepway area. This led me nicely into education where for 15 years I worked at a local secondary school working primarily with disadvantaged children.

The chance to share my knowledge and experience as a governor at a local school and to once again to be involved with teachers and children was an opportunity I could not miss and look forward to helping the school and its children grow and develop in every way.

Dave McQuillan: Foundation Governor

Dave McQuillan: Foundation Governor 1

Dave McQuillan: Foundation Governor

Governor Since: 14th March 2018

Term of Office: 13th March 2022

Responsibilities: Member of the Resources Team and currently Governor linked to Arts, Geography/History and Safeguarding & Child Protection.

Background Information: 

I grew up in Aldington and returned to the village with my wife and family ten years ago.  My three children all attended the school and I have been a governor for five years. I work as a Paramedic practitioner for South East Coast Ambulance service; this has always allowed me flexibility to spend time at the school. I believe a successful local school is vital for a strong village community and in my co-opted role hope to further support the school in its continued development. 

Emma Owen - Parent Governor

Emma Owen - Parent Governor 1

Emma Owen - Parent Governor

Governor Since: 8th November 2017

Term of Office: 7th November 2021

Responsibilities:  Member of the Resources Team and Pupil Progress Team and currently governor linked to PE.

Background Information:

The school is close to my heart and I am pleased to be supporting it by being a Parent Governor. Not only did I attend Aldington Primary but so have five generations of my family, as well as both of my children currently. I live in Aldington and am part of the community. I believe my knowledge of the local area will benefit the governing body, as well as my knowledge of strategic plans and policy implementation, through experience working within the NHS, local government and education sector. I can also be a voice for all pupils and parents.

George Russell: Parent Governor

George Russell: Parent Governor 1

George Russell: Parent Governor

Governor Since: 13th January 2015

Term of Office: 13th January 2023

Responsibilities: Member of Resources Team, Pay Team and currently Governor linked to Computing, Modern Language and Finance Monitoring.

Background Information: 

I am originally a Farmer’s son from Warwickshire. My career has taken me across Europe, London, and now to Ashford where I have been living with my wife since 2005. I have been working for Eurostar since 1995 and my job involves travelling daily between Paris, London and Brussels working in a safety critical customer facing role. I speak both French and Dutch. My daughter started in Pandas in 2014 and I have been a Governor at Aldington ever since. I am proud of the school, the opportunities it provides, the commitment of staff, and the strong links that have been forged both with the local community and other schools (locally, and across the channel). I love the rural location, and the strong community that continually supports the school. Since being a Governor I have been involved in the school finances. I am working hard to ensure that ever dwindling resources stretch to maintain education of the highest possible standard ensuring that pupils fulfil their potential to ready them for the next chapter in their lives.

Phil Cocks: Co-opted Governor

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Phil Cocks: Co-opted Governor

Governor Since:  1st September 2018 

Term of Office: 31st August 2022

Responsibility: Member of the Resources Team and currently Governor linked to Maths, Science and Health & Safety.

Background Information: 

I have been living with my family on Romney Marsh just outside the village of Aldington since the late 1990’s. My eldest son joined Aldington school in 2015 and my youngest son started in September 2018.

I run a project management consultancy providing services for the construction and building sector across London and the South East. I believe I have some useful skills that can be used to support the school as it continues to develop.

Having been part of the village community for more than twenty years I am excited to be more involved with the school.


Ben Dawson: Co-opted Governor

Ben Dawson: Co-opted Governor 1

Ben Dawson: Co-opted Governor

Governor Since: 1st October 2014

Term of Office: 30th October 2018

Responsibilities: Member of the Teaching and Learning Team, Resources Team and Pupil Progress Team.

Background Information: 

I grew up in Smeeth and have lived fairly locally all my life with the exception of heading to Bath for University. Since becoming a teacher I have taught in a variety of places in Bath, Canterbury and Ashford. All these schools helped me to develop as a teacher, learn new skills and progress my career. Moving to Aldington as Deputy has opened many new opportunities. I hope to contribute to the success and reputation of Aldington through my teaching, deputy and governor roles.

Rebecca Widdop:  Co-opted Governor


Rebecca Widdop:  Co-opted Governor

Governor Since: 14th March 2018

Term of Office: 13th March 2022

Responsibilities:  Member of the Teaching & Learning Team, Pupil Progress Team and currently Governor linked to Inclusion, Early Years and Outdoor Learning.  

Background Information:

Claire Gates: Staff Governor

Claire Gates:  Staff Governor 1

Claire Gates:  Staff Governor

Governor Since: 5th September 2017

Term of Office:  4th September 2021

Responsibilities: Member of Resources Team.

Background Information: I attended Canterbury Christ Church University for three years and gained a Psychology and English Literature Degree.  Following this, I became a Teaching Assistant at a school in Dover for two years.  From here I decided I wanted to become a Teacher so I trained to be a Teacher through the GTP programme.  I fell in love with Aldington Primary School after a three week placement during my training.  From being an NQT six years ago, I have taught in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.  For the last two years I have taught in Year 2 and am the Maths Coordinator for the school and I am continually working on ways to improve the subject for the school.  I have a real passion for my job and absolutely adore the school that I' lucky enough to work in.  I really believe that we have an amazing school that has a lot to offer for both children and staff.


Sandra MacCourt: Staff Governor

Sandra MacCourt: Staff Governor 1

Sandra MacCourt: Staff Governor

Governor Since: 1st April 2005

Term of Office: Ongoing

Responsibilities: Member of the Teaching and Learning Team, Resources Team, Pupil Progress Group and Strategy Team.


Rev Jerry Newson:  Associate Governor


Rev Jerry Newson:  Associate Governor

Governor Since: 19th September 2018

Term of Office: 18th September 2022

Responsibilities:  Member of theTeaching & Learning Team and currently Governor linked to Early Years and RE/PSHE.  

Background Information:

I served in the police for 26yrs. I served at Grays(General Duties) Basildon (Traffic), HQ CID (Intelligence Bureau) Scotland Yard (Seconded to Criminal Intelligence) and lastly joined the development team of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) where I served for 9 years as an Intelligence Trainer and upon promotion to Det Sgt the Undercover Training Team and managing Supergrasses.

Following a vocational change I trained as a Baptist Minister 20 yrs ago, and moved to Kent for me to become the Church Based Student Minister at South Ashford Baptist Church (Brookfield Road) where I was Ordained and served for 10 years. I attended College three days a week over three years where I obtained my Theological Degree. Early in that time I was approached by Sure Start Children's Centre's and asked to take the Community lead and work with them to build a Children's Centre in South Ashford. The outcome of that was my Church Team and I formed the Charity, Beaver Community Trust (BCT) to own and operate the Willow Centre which was built adjacent to the Church. I was Chair of that Board for 7 years and was part of the Governing Body at the then, Oaktree School between 2001 and 2008.

In 2008 I became the Minister at Tenterden Baptist Church and served there for 10 years. Following retirement from the Church I will remain on half time as a Regional Minister.

Jean Grieb: Clerk to the Governors

Jean Grieb: Clerk to the Governors 1

Jean Grieb - Clerk to the Governors

Appointed: March 2016

Responsibilities: Advisory Clerk

Background Information: 

I joined the Governing Body in March of this year, bringing with me experience of clerking for five schools over a substantial period of time.  Most of my career has been in primary education working in office and financial management.  Apart from this  school I clerk for another primary school in Folkestone. 


I am privileged to be part of this school and working with the Governing Body Team.


Governor Record of Attendance

Have Served on the Governing Body in the Last Twelve Months:  Chris Gadsby, Jan Wirrmann