Governors’ Role

The governors’ role is to oversee the strategy of the school; to act as a sounding board for issues being reviewed within the school and to ensure that the school is accountable to all stakeholders including parents, staff, pupils, Brighton and Hove Local Authority and the local community. Governors are not involved in the day to day running of the school, which is managed by the Senior Leadership Team. Governors act according to the PJS Code of Conduct 2017

The full governing body meets once or twice a term.  At these meetings, the governing body carries out its three core functions:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent.


Structure of the Governing Body

In March 2014 it was unanimously agreed to reconstitute the governing body of Patcham Junior School and the legal structure now allows for: 3 elected parent governors, 1 local authority governor, 1 elected staff governor, 1 headteacher staff governor and 9 co-opted governors.   The aim of this restructuring was to ensure the make-up of the governing body is entirely guided by the skills offered by the individuals in order to make the governance of the school more effective.   Following a self-evaluation exercise in June 2017, in preparation for the new school year and new leadership, the governing body has again reorganised its structures by disbanding the Resources and Curriculum Committees.

The majority of governors are now ‘co-opted’. Where vacancies arise, new governors can be invited to join by the Governing Body as co-opted governors based on the skills they offer. The staff governor is elected from and by the staffing body and parent governors are elected from and by the parent body. The LA governor is chosen by the Governing Body from candidates put forward by the Local Authority. With the exception of the Headteacher governor all governors are appointed for a term of 4 years, may resign at any time and are not automatically reappointed at the end of their term. The Headteacher may choose to be a Headteacher governor.

Click here to find out who is in the governing body at Patcham Junior School.


The Governing Body of Patcham Junior School currently has three vacancies  in the co-opted category.    We would be interested to hear from potential volunteers and particularly those with skills and experience in Human Resources (HR) and/or business people with links in the Patcham community.

Governors are all volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the school and the education of all its students and governors find it a rewarding experience.  A governor’s term of office is four years.

The governing body’s overriding responsibility is to work in partnership with the Headteacher, to promote the continuous improvement in the performance of the school. We play an important part in raising school standards through our three key roles.

As a governing body we will meet at least nine times during the academic year.

We take training seriously and there is a full induction programme for new governors and excellent training provided by the local authority to ensure we maintain the skills necessary to fulfil our role.

If you are interested in joining or assisting the governing body, please contact  for further information and an application form. Further information is also available from:

Becoming a School Governor in Brighton and Hove

What am I letting myself in for?
In serving as a Governor, you would need to commit to attending at least two evening meetings per term, take time to attend governor training courses and to work with school staff to understand the school’s plans and activities.  In time you would be expected to develop an area of specialism and contribute to working groups as required from time to time as appropriate.

Please feel free to contact the Chair of Governors via the School Office to find out more.

Contacting the Governors

If you wish to contact the governors, please email the school office via the form on our contact page, or write to:

Iseult Hull-Flower, Chair of Governors, Patcham Junior School, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, BN1 8TA


Minutes from recent meetings including record of governor attendance will be posted here after they have been approved at the following meeting.

School Year 2017/18

School Year 2016/17

School Year 2015/16

School Year 2014/15

Make-up of Governing Body

Iseult Hull-Flower  – Chair of Governors (Local Authority governor)

Marion Rajan –  Vice Chair of Governors (Co-opted governor)
Danny Simpson –  Vice Chair of Governors (Co-opted governor)
Alister Sutherland – Headteacher

Mark Roderick – Co-opted governor
Debbie Willsher – Staff Governor
Tamsin Hinton-Smith – Parent governor

Isabelle Baret – Parent governor
Rebecca Stevens  – Parent governor and Vice Chair of Governors
Derrick Davis – Co-opted governor
Andrew Saunders – Co-opted governor and Vice Chair of Governors
Ruth Nilsson – Co-opted governor

Co-opted governor vacancies: – Three

Janet Johnson – Clerk to the Governors

Register of Governor Interests and dates of appointment

Governor Interests 30.11.17

Iseult Hull-Flower

Chair of Governors (Local Authority governor)

IseultIseult is Chair of the Governing body having previously been Chair of the Curriculum committee and is now Local Authority governor having previously been a parent governor.

Iseult says: ‘I have four children who all attended the junior school as well as the Infants and High Schools.

I have lived in Patcham since 2005 and my children have attended all the Patcham schools. I also want the school to continue to be the heart of the Patcham community and to continue to develop links with the other schools which will benefit our children throughout their education journey.

 I currently work for Brighton Council in the Learning Disability Team which is part Adult Social Care. In my spare time I am a member of Jam Tarts which is 60 piece indie and pop choir which The Argus recently reported that we are  “…one of the city’s hidden treasures”. ’

Marion Rajan

Vice Chair of Governors (Co-opted)

Marion_Marion says: ‘Both my sons attended PJS some years ago, and by taking on the school governor role my aim has been to “give something back” to the school by using my professional skills and experience.

I qualified as a Social Worker over 35 years ago, and since this time have gained extensive experience of direct work in Child Protection, Fostering, Adoption, Residential, and Psychiatric settings with children of all ages.  I eventually moved into Social Work operational management, and in recent years to strategic management in Safeguarding for children.  I have several management qualifications, including a Masters Degree in Public Service Management.’

Danny Simpson

Vice Chair of Governors (Co-opted)

Danny_Danny has served on the governing body of Patcham Junior School since 2006.

He has two sons, both of whom attended Patcham Junior School and he attended Patcham Junior School himself, when it was known as Patcham Middle School.

He works for East Sussex County Council, where he is a principal internal auditor, and has extensive experience in working with schools and with the Children’s Services Department more generally.

Outside work, Danny is keen on sports photography and takes pictures for his local rugby and cricket clubs.

 Vacancies for Co-opted Governor: 3

Alister Sutherland


The governing body is pleased to welcome Alister following his appointment to the role of headteacher 1.9.2017


Mark Rodericks

Teaching Staff (Co-opted)

Rodericks-Mark_Mark is deputy head of the school.

He has over twenty years of teaching experience, working in three different local authorities, as well as taking the opportunity to teach in America. He has held a variety of different teaching and leadership positions within a Junior School.

He has also worked for Brighton and Hove authority as a leading practitioner in Mathematics.

Mark says: ‘I am very interested in getting the best outcomes for all children, ensuring that that curriculum is fun yet purposeful. I also believe very strongly in promoting life long learning.’


Debbie Willsher

Staff governor


Debbie Willsher was elected as staff governor in May 2015 .

Debbie says: ‘I was delighted to volunteer for this role of teacher Governor as I am committed to maintaining the current high standards of our school. I have been a teacher at this school for almost 20 years and I am on the Senior Leadership Team; I enjoy this opportunity in helping shape the future and direction of our school.

During my career in teaching, I have worked in a range of schools in London, which funded my love of travelling. I have travelled widely and worked all over the world. I never thought I would stay in one place for more than five minutes, but value the team I work with enormously, and recognised early on that this was a school I wanted to be at for a long time. I enjoy my job greatly and I am privileged to be the co-ordinator of Year 6, a pivotal year in the growing maturity and responsibility of our young pupils.

I am not resistant to change and the changes in education have been rapid and widespread. Managing change also interests me, and I am now the co-ordinator for PSHE, which is at the core of everything we build our curriculum from.

I am an avid football fan, and dream of future glory days when Newcastle will dominate the Champions League. I am an eternal optimist – not a bad thing to be in education!


Tamsin Hinton-Smith

Parent governor

Tamsin joined the governing body in October 2016 as a parent governor. She has two children at the school as well as two older children. She sits on the Resources Committee, with particular responsibility for Pupil Premium. 

Tamsin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Sussex. She has particular professional interest and personal commitment around supporting the educational experiences and outcomes of disadvantaged students.’ 


 Rebecca Stevens

Parent governor

The governing body is pleased to welcome Rebecca who was elected by parents 14.10.16 and she is now joint Vice Chair of Governors.

Isabelle Baret

Parent governor

The governing body is pleased to welcome Isabelle who was elected by parents 3.11.17.

Derrick Davis

Co-opted governor

DerrickDerrick was co-opted onto the board in 2014 .

He has lived in Patcham since 2000 and his two children have attended Patcham Junior School. He previously worked for over 25 years as a Business Manager, running a number of premises and dealing with the day-to-day operations.

Outside of work, Derrick enjoys most sports and in his younger days played football and rowed to a good level. He also enjoys music and hopes to qualify for the National Sudoku Championships for the 5th Successive year.

Derrick says: ‘My years of running a business have given me an understanding of the many components that need to gel to achieve success. My wife is a foster carer, and this has given me an insight into how important education is to all children, from all backgrounds.

The OFSTED judgement demonstrates the great work within the school in the past 2 years, and is a sign of the potential for a more compelling grade in the future. I’m looking forward to providing support to assist them in their quest.’

Andrew Saunders

Co-opted governor

Andrew_Andrew became an Associate member in 2014 and a full governor in 2015. He has been a governor at Patcham High for 5 years and joined the Patcham Junior governing body to lend his expertise on all data related matters.  He is now joint Vice Chair of Governors.

He has three children, two at Patcham High and another starting at Patcham Juniors this year.

He works as an Actuary for an insurance company in the City of London in the Gherkin building and he has undertaken various voluntary roles in the education sector.

Andrew says: ‘I have a passionate belief that all children should be helped to reach their full potential regardless of their background or academic ability. There is an increasing focus on the effective use of data by school governors. I hope to be able to add value to the governing body in this important area. I firmly believe that the school has the potential to continue its upward trajectory and achieve an Outstanding Ofsted rating’.

In his spare time Andrew coaches two local football teams and two local cricket teams.


Ruth Nilsson

Co-opted governor

ruthRuth is a co-opted governor who joined the team in April 2016 and has children attending Patcham Schools.

She works as a Head of English at a school in West Sussex.

Ruth says ‘I am committed to supporting PJS to continue to be a vibrant learning environment which is at the heart of the community of Patcham. I have a particular interest in fostering a love of learning and in promoting the importance of literacy across the curriculum.’

Recent governors

Governors who stepped down in last year were:

Trevor Howson (Co-opted governor) appointed 15.5.2014 stepped down 12.3.2017

Sarah Fitzjohn-Scott (Co-opted governor) appointed 15.5.2014 stepped down 22.3.17

Nicky Caldwell (Co-opted governor) appointed 04.04.2014 stepping down 24.7.2017

Ashley Seymour-Williams (Headteacher governor) appointed 1.9.2012 stepped down 31.8.2017

Shadric Toop (parent governor) appointed 7.3.2014 stepped down 11.9.2017

J Johnson

Clerk to the Governors

Janet says: ‘My main function is to support the Governing body by being its administrator, information manager and governance advisor.  I do not have a vote. I also provide advice in and outside meetings to ensure the Governing Body works in accordance with the legal framework and uses its time well to benefit pupils in the school.  I am proud to work with such a dedicated team of volunteers and school staff.’