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The Governing Body

The school's governing body performs an essential role in the running of the school, and is comprised of volunteers whose contributions of both their time and expertise are truly valued by the wider school community. We are always on the lookout for new members, and should you be interested in becoming involved, please contact the Headteacher for an informal discussion.

Current Governors

Pauline Alleyne 

Foundation Governor & Chair of Governors


My family and I have lived in the village of Essendon for over 30 years and during this time I have been an active member the Church and community. I have helped run St Mary’s Sunday School for over 20 years and have got to know many of the local children and their families. In my role as Chair, I hope to make a positive contribution to our community and develop the links between the school, church and community.

Belinda Canham


I am the school's Headteacher and joined the school's Governing Board in September 2020. Prior to this I have worked at a number of Hertfordshire schools as Inclusion Lead and class teacher. I am married to Andy and we have five grown-up children.


Vicky Craig

Co-opted Governor

I moved to Essendon in 2014, having lived in the local area all my life. I am married to Tom and we have two children, Ted and Harry, both of whom are pupils at the school. We feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful and welcoming village. We were married at St Mary’s Church in 2012 by Reverend Pauline and both children have also been christened there.


I became a governor as I am passionate about children’s education and want to support the school in being the best it can be and to help our children achieve their potential. I feel it is important to create a school environment whereby each child is valued and develops their own ideas, self-esteem and confidence, so they can excel both academically and creatively.

Revd. Theresa Musiwacho

Ex-Offiicio/Foundation Governor

I am the Rector of the Hartford Hundred Group of Parishes. I am a teacher by profession and have worked in Primary Schools abroad and in the United Kingdom. I seek to support the school on issues pertaining to education, family life and Christian ministry. I  am called through the Holy Spirit to share my knowledge and experience as a way of assisting others.


I am married to Solomon and we have two children. I consider myself an approachable and conscientious person and a team player.

Lucy Price

Co-Opted Governor

I was apponted to the Governing Board of Essendon School on 15th February 2019.

I work as a School Business Manager and aim to use my expertise to support the school in its financial decision making. I am also the Governor with responsibility for GDPR compliance.

Lesley Reith

Associate Governor

I have lived in Essendon with my family for fourteen years and have now been a governor of Essendon School for nine years and was chair of governors for the last six years.


I studied engineering at university and worked in the engineering industry for the first four years of my career before taking those skills into The City where I worked for The Stock Exchange building their first generation trading systems and databases. When my children were growing up, I retrained as a teacher and have taught physics at different secondary schools across Hertfordshire since qualifying. I am now retired from teaching and devote my time to our family businesses, my role at Essendon School, village life and travelling.


I became a governor in the hope that some of my skills would be helpful in supporting the development of the school. I have not been disappointed and have found my role really stimulating. I am always learning and always striving to sustain our school as a wonderful asset for the village.


Rebecca Pittard

Parent Governor

I moved to the village in 2018, having grown up locally in Goffs Oak,  but being unaware of Essendon’s existence! Our whole family fell in love with the beautiful countryside and the friendly atmosphere in the village. I have four children, three of whom are in the school, from Pantherswood to Harefield, and they have really thrived in such a supportive and tight-knit school. My children also attend the Sunday School at St Mary’s church in Essendon.


I became a governor as I was keen to be a part of the local community and to support the school and help it to achieve its longer term goals. I teach Latin and Classics at a secondary school, and hope that my experience in education will benefit Essendon. I feel very lucky to have a school where my children are happy, confident and are encouraged to succeed, with a flexible and nurturing approach.

Belinda Kent-Lemon

Co-opted Governor

I have lived in Essendon for over 20 years but have had family here all my life. I’m active in the community, on BBH the PCC, the Church Friends and help with many village events and activities. As a school Governor, I’m relishing the steep learning curve and getting to know more young members of the community.

I worked in the media and marketing in London, ultimately as training manager for a national newspaper group. Then I started and ran an HR consultancy for 20 years, specialising in coaching and mentoring. 

I am passionate about education and have regularly upgraded my own qualifications whilst working full time. Latterly, I worked as a part time university lecturer for 10 years, alongside running my business.

Sarah Abad Murillo

Parent Governor

Andrew Coooper


Dominic Bedford


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The Work of the Governing Body

The governing body of the school has three key roles: setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability, and monitoring and evaluating school performance. The governors are accountable to the local authority for the way in which the school is run.


Our governors establish a strategic framework by setting aims and objectives for the school, adopting policies for achieving them, and setting targets for their achievement.


Governors monitor and evaluate progress against the strategic aims and regularly review the framework of the school in the light of that process. In all these areas, the governors are advised by the Headteacher. The School Development Plan provides the main mechanism for the strategic planning process. The Headteacher has the responsibility for the operational organisation, management and control of the school and for implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.


Governors are not expected to be involved in the day to day management of the school. The Headteacher discusses all the main aspects of school life with the governing body and will expect governors to both challenge and support the school in its improvement. Acting as a critical friend, governors seek to question and gain information to enable them to make the best decisions for the school.


Our Full Governing Body meets five times per year, in addition to the meeting of the following sub-committees:

Pupils and Curriculum Committee (P&C) - this committee is responsible for monitoring the quality of teaching and learning and the progress of pupils made from their relative starting points, as well as their outcomes or achievements. Members of this committee review the content and implementation of our curriculum, analyse school data and meet regularly with the leadership team to discuss progress. Where any pupil is not achieving in-line with expectations or making good progress, this committee monitors the support put in place (whether academic or well-being related).

Finance and Premises Committee (F&P) - the purpose of this committee is to ensure that the health and safety aspects of school life are well run and to ensure that appropriate budgeting and shepherding of school's financial and other resources is taking place.

Personnel Committee (P) - the purpose of this committee is to enable the Governing Body to fulfill its key roles in relation to staff including induction, complaints and disciplinary matters and performance against targets and expectations.


Safeguarding committee (S) - the safeguarding committee meets to oversee our safeguarding procedures and outcomes.


The governing body also provides working parties of governors to deliver the priorities set out in our School Development Plan to ensure that all pupils are offered an appropriately rich and balanced curriculum which meets their individual needs, that all pupils are thriving and making sustained progress and that where any pupil, because of his or her educational or additional needs, is not thriving, appropriate support is put in place to rectify this. 


The governing body is supported by a professional clerk.


Our Board of Governors are appointed from representatives of our community, the Local Authority (LA), the Church of England, staff and parents. Details of the current governors are listed below.

Governor Meetings
Key Governor Documents
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