Bernards Heath

Infant & Nursery School

Governors

ABOUT OUR GOVERNORS

Our Governors work collaboratively as part of the school Leadership Team to promote and develop the school vision. Their role is strategic and responsibilities include: employing staff, managing resources, ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum, maintaining high standards, working effectively with parents and ensuring that the staff and children have a high quality working environment. Our Governors work very hard for the development of successful learning at Bernards Heath and there are a variety of times during the school year when you can meet them. The school’s Governing Body is made up of 4 Governors elected by parents, the Head Teacher, 1 Governor elected by staff, 1 Governor appointed by Hertfordshire County Council and 7 Governors co-opted by other Governors. Appointments are for four years, although vacancies do occasionally occur at other times.

Click here to see a list of our Governors

A Governor’s time commitment is significant and they have a number of meetings throughout the year. They have six full Governing Body meetings and six committee meetings each year. All Governors belong to one Committee, either:

  • Resources (Personnel, Premises and Finance)
  • Leaders for Learning (Pupils and Curriculum)

Appeals, Exclusions & Behaviour Committee and Grievances Committee: Ad hoc panels

  • Pay panel – Esther Hill, Mark Jennings, Dan Knight
  • Headteacher’s appraisal panel – Penny Dent, Sarah Pike, Mark Jennings
  • Complaints panel – Esther Hill, Sarah Pike, Hayley Thomas
  • Exclusions panel – Hayley Thomas, Sarah Pike, Dan Knight

Governors are also linked to the School Development Plan and are encouraged to make three visits a year during the teaching day to talk to the children and staff, to informally observe teaching and learning and to learn more about the day to day work of the school.

The Governing Body provide strategic management and act as a ‘critical friend’ supporting the work of the Head Teacher and other staff.
Schools have a budget and the Governing Body is responsible for managing this budget. They  support the Head Teacher in deciding how many and what types of staff to employ, which type of equipment to replace or upgrade and what the priorities are for implementing new strategies and initiatives. The Governors also have a role in monitoring the school’s progress.

The Governors do not get paid for their work at school – it is a voluntary role. People often apply to join the Governing Body because they are keen to make a commitment to their local community.

Anyone can become a Governor, some of our Governors work full-time, some part-time, and others are not in paid employment, but they all share one thing – a commitment to the children at Bernards Heath Infant School today and in the future. We welcome people with skills and expertise in particular fields, but the most important thing is having the time and willingness to work with the school to make it as good as it possibly can be.

Elections are held for new Governors as and when the need arises. Any parent or guardian of a child at our school is eligible to stand for election. You may want to talk to a current Governor if you would like to find out more about joining the Governing Body.

The Governors are pleased to meet with parents. You can contact them by emailing . The Governors also attend our parent teacher consultations, plays, fetes etc. to meet as many parents as they can.

Click here to read our Blog

OUR GOVERNORS

Hannah Rimmer – Head Teacher

  • Head Teacher (1st September 2015)
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 6 out of 6 (FGB), 5 out of 5 (RC); 6 out of 6 (LfL)

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I started my teaching career here in our wonderful school in September 2005. My first role was in Year 1 as a NQT. My learning journey has included leading on assessment, English, Maths and Year 2. When the opportunity arose I applied for the role of Deputy Head and did this for five years before applying for, and being successfully appointed to, the role of Headteacher in September 2015.

I have always worked with children, working as a private day nanny for two boys in Harpenden and before that in a ski resort in France, where I also learned to ski (with the grace of a baby deer).

I love coming to work and feel hugely privileged to be one of the cogs in the amazing Bernards Heath learning machine. I am driven by working with others to design and implement a curriculum that enables children to develop a positive sense of self and to acquire the skills they need for life-long learning.

I have worked with our governors for the last 13 years and find this work really rewarding. I am regularly inspired by what our Governors can do and thoroughly appreciate their support, challenge and genuine interest in the strategic working of our school.

When I am not at work I enjoy being outdoors in any weather; walking, being by the sea or among the trees. I am also a parent, a bit like school, this is a role I find incredibly fulfilling; no two days are the same, I am never bored, it fills me with joy and I don’t always get it right. Always more to learn.

Penny Dent – Chair of Governors

  • First Appointed Parent Governor (1st November 2013) converted to Co-opted Governor (1st November 2017) Current Term ends 19th September 2025
  • Appointed by the Governing Body
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee, Safeguarding, Recruitment, Filtering and Monitoring
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 6 out of 6 (FGB); 5 out of 5 (RC); 6 out of 6 (LfL)

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I first stood to be a parent governor at Bernards Heath when my eldest daughter had only been in Heath class for about a month. I was so instantly impressed by the school and the community surrounding it that I wanted to give something back. Over ten years later, I’m still here and still growing my brain! Over the years I have served on both the Resources and Leaders for Learning committees, been the link governor for SEND, Pupil Premium and Children Looked After and I was also as deputy Chair for four years. After a degree in Electronic Engineering with Computer Science, my working life before children included time working for the Ministry of Defence in roles as varied as writing Freedom of Information Policy and looking after projections of the military capability needed in various deployment scenarios. I also spent time working as a consultant in other central Government departments, managing large technical projects to support the UK’s security and law enforcement capabilities in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics. Since having my first child I have become self-employed and juggle running an online business and being a governor with having three children: my oldest daughter is at secondary school in St Albans, my son is at the Junior school, and my youngest daughter is in Reception here at the Infant school. In my “spare” time I’m a passionate WI member and a tea and crochet addict.

Sarah Pike – Deputy Chair of Governors

  • First Appointed Parent Governor (12th July 2017) converted to Co-opted Governor (20th September 2021)  Current term ends 19th September 2025
  • Appointed by Governing Body
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee (Co-Chair), English (Reading, Writing and Phonics), SEND and Children Looked After, Morpurgo Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 6 out of 6 (FGB); 6 out of 6 (LfL)

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I worked at Tesco for many years, leading teams across Property and Marketing, in the UK and overseas. My key area of functional expertise is Insight, and my last role at Tesco was as Property Research Director, responsible for developing business strategies in property investment, retail portfolio configuration and multi-channel growth.

I left Tesco in 2015, perfect timing as it gave me the opportunity to focus full-time on my son, who started in Reception at Bernard’s Heath Infant & Nursery school later that year. And I was delighted to become a governor when the opportunity arose. I had long wanted to become a school governor, and was excited about the chance to use my skills to contribute to the future of the school and its children.

I currently work as a freelance consultant specialising in retail location and network planning, when time permits! 

Esther Hill

  • First Appointed Parent Governor (5th February 2018) converted to Co-opted Governor (20th September 2021) Current term ends 19th September 2025
  • Appointed by Governing Body
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee (Chair), Premises, Sports Premium, Health & Safety/Asbestos, Sustainability, Supporting Children with Medical Needs, Verulam Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 6 out of 6 (FGB); 5 out of 5 (RC)

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I am a part-time Project Manager/Analyst at a global management consultancy firm in London, specifically working with multinational companies, managing their health and group benefit programs. I have worked at this company for over 15 years. 

My eldest started reception at Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School in 2017 and I was inspired to become a parent governor shortly after, believing I can make a useful contribution to the school and its community. Both of my children loved the school and have since grown and moved on. I converted to a Co-opted governor to continue my support for the school – It’s easy to see the amazing close-knit family of staff, children and parents.

Having moved from Australia to the UK over 20 years ago, I enjoy travelling when I can.  But when I’m not, I love supporting my sporty children.

Dan Knight

  • Parent Governor (11th October 2021)  Current term ends 10th October 2025
  • Appointed by Parent Election
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee, IT (Resource), Growing up at Bernards Heath (RHE and PSHE), Equalities and Diversity, Science, Computing, Alban Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 6 out of 6 (FGB); 5 out of 5 (RC)

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I am a Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Free Hospital and an Honorary Associate Professor at University College London. I specialize in imaging the heart, in particular using cardiac MRI scanning, and treating patients with pulmonary hypertension. This is a rare condition that causes high blood pressure in the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs (the pulmonary arteries). I carry out this work in the National Pulmonary Hypertension service at the Royal Free, one of six nationally commissioned centres in England for the treatment of adults with this diagnosis. My job involves a mixture of clinical and academic work, and my research activity is supported by a British Heart Foundation Fellowship.

Both of my children are at Bernards Heath Infant & Nursery School. My eldest child started in Verulam class in 2020 and his brother started in Heath class in 2021. I was very impressed at an early stage with the school, its staff and the school community as a whole. For these reasons, I was keen to attempt the role of a school governor as an opportunity for me to give something back to the school and contribute to an area outside of my usual work. Through this position, I hope to make a positive and meaningful contribution to the school and its children.

Hayley Thomas

  • Parent Governor (11th October 2021)  Current term ends 10th October 2025
  • Appointed by Parent Election
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee (Co-Chair), GDPR, Key Stage 1 Assessment, Music, D&T, Art and Design, Churchill Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 4 out of 6 (FGB); 6 out of 6 (LfL)

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I am a barrister specialising in personal injury and employment law. I represent clients in a wide range of sectors facing claims for life changing injuries arising from accidents at work, road accidents and public liability, often with an element of suspected fraud, dishonesty or exaggeration. My employment work covers discrimination, unfair and wrongful dismissal, redundancy and whistleblowing. I have worked part time since having my children. I moved to St Albans following the birth of my eldest child and now have two children at the school and one due to start in a few years. I stood to be a parent governor because I will have a child / children at BHINS for the next 6/7 years. I wanted to learn more about the work of the school and contribute to its continued success. With three small children I have almost forgotten what spare time is, but where possible I love trips to the theatre, walking and planning my next holiday.

Mark Jennings

  • Parent Governor (16th May 2022) Current term ends 15th May 2026
  • Appointed by Parent Election
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee, SFVS Finance and Assets, Wellbeing and Mental Heath, Mitchell Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 6 out of 6 (FGB), 5 out of 5 (RC)

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I am a forensic accountant and I help businesses recover from catastrophic events which interrupt their ability to trade.   I have given evidence in court and in alternative dispute resolution settings as an accounting expert. I’m originally from Birmingham. I moved to London in 2005, then on to St Albans to start our family and our son started in Verulam class in 2021.  I have been really impressed by the school and its ethos – I firmly believe it is giving our children the skills needed for lifelong learning. When the school was looking for a parent governor with finance experience, I jumped at the opportunity to contribute.

Vicky Pinkham

  • Appointed as Staff Governor 24th March 2023. Current term ends 23rd March 2027.
  • Elected by Staff.
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee, Heath Class Teacher
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 2 out of 2 (FGB); 2 out of 2 (LfL)

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Coming Soon.

 

 

Caroline Inker

  • Appointed as Co-Opted Governor 18th September 2023. Current term ends 17th September 2027.
  • Appointed by Governing Body.
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee, Governor Training and Development, Geography, History, RE and Collective Worship, Heath Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): N/A

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I am a corporate lawyer specialising in tax. I enjoy the intellectual challenge and thrive when helping clients solve complex matters. I strongly believe that strategic decision-making can be best achieved with a team of people offering a variety of skills and perspectives. I also have a passion and enthusiasm for what the education sector can offer. I moved to St Albans ten years ago and since having children, I am more keen than ever to get involved and assist the local school community in whichever way I can. Through my professional experience I have an interest in finance related matters and hope to be able to use this to provide a meaningful contribution to the Resources committee as a governor at BHINS.

 

 

Rebecca Lewis

  • Appointed as Local Authority Governor 18th September 2023. Current term ends 17th September 2027.
  • Nominated by the Local Authority and appointed by Governing Body.
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee, Pupil Premium, Foundation Stage Assessment, Wellbeing and Mental Health, Ryder Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): N/A

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I moved to St Albans in 2020 just before having my first child. Since moving here, I and my family have loved the community spirit it offers and I felt like I wanted to give something back, whilst also learning more about the schooling system before my first child starts in 2024. I just wish we lived closer to BHINS so my kids could attend as since starting I’ve been so impressed with the school. I am a Paediatrician in London currently in full time training, which I think compliments being a school governor well with knowledge surrounding safeguarding, looked after children, children’s wellbeing to name a few. When I’m not juggling shift work and the kids, I love to bake and teaching my 2 little ones these skills as well as the odd work out when time permits.

 

 

Freya Loftus

  • Appointed as Parent Governor 21st November 2023. Current term ends 20th November 2027.
  • Appointed by Parent Election.
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee.
  • Attendance (2022-2023): N/A

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I am a primary school teacher with experience teaching across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. I love education and seeing the way children view the world. Working in the classroom brings such variety day to day and is never short of a humorous story. I moved every 3-5 years growing up, so I was educated in different cultures and different types of school. My husband and I moved to St Albans in 2017 from York. We have two children, one who is in Year 1 and one who is in Nursery at Bernards Heath Infant School. I’m interested in psychology, child development and ​I enjoy being involved with our local church Verso St Albans. I’m excited to join the Governors at Bernards Heath to support this amazing school who are giving the youngest children a super start into their journey of school life.              

 

 

Emily Hughes

  • Appointed as Co-opted Governor 18th January 2024. Current term ends 7th January 2028.
  • Appointed  by Governing Body.
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee.
  • Attendance (2022-2023): N/A

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I am a Chartered Accountant with over a decade of experience working in Strategic and Commercial Finance for FTSE and multinationals organisations.

Originally from Warwick, I moved to St Albans 11years ago and have since grown roots; meeting my husband and having three children, 2 of whom currently attend BHINS (Mitchell and Heath class).

My third child has only recently been born, meaning I expect to be a BHINS parent for the next 7/8years. It is for this reason I was keen to become a Governor; to deepen my connections with, and contribution to, the communities my family are fortunate enough to be a part of. My primary objective, and hope, in taking the Governor role is to leverage my skills to support the schools continued success, so as future children benefit from the same fantastic school our children currently experience. The role also affords an exciting learning opportunity, which I believe will support my growth in all capacities – Governor, parent, professional – and so it is a privilege to sit on the board.

I grew up a keen equestrian & horse owner; in my spare time you will find me at the stables. 

 

 

Katherine Martindill

  • Co-opted Governor 18th March 2024. Current term ends 17th March 2028

    Appointed by the Governing Body.

  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee, Behaviour, Clarence Class Link.
  • Attendance (2022-2023): N/A

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I have worked in three different primary schools with very different contexts, opportunities and challenges. I have been Headteacher in a one form entry primary school in Welwyn Garden City since September 2021. Though, at times, challenging, I feel privileged and fortunate to do the job that I do and have an influence on shaping children’s lives.   I love leading my school, developing culture and practice and working every day with incredible children, staff and parents.  Education is a huge part of my life and I’m passionate about improving outcomes for all children and fully embrace Bernards Heath vision of inspiring individuals to develop a positive sense of self and the skills for lifelong learning.

As a co-opted Governor, I hope that my skills and experience will effectively contribute to the future work of the Governing board.  I understand the pressures, demands and challenges for school leaders and school staff and fully appreciate the vital role that governors play in supporting them.

I live locally in St. Albans with my partner who is an Innovation & Experience Director, and  two young children.  Our son is currently at the infants, moving to the Juniors in September 2024, and our daughter will start in the Infants in September 2024.

 

 

PREVIOUS GOVERNORS

Nasima Rahman

  • Stepped down 29th April 2024
  • Co-opted Governor (1st September 2016) Current terms ends 31st August 2024
  • Appointed by Governing Body
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee, Maths, Heartwood Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 2 out of 6 (FGB); 3 out of 6 (LfL)

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Born and raised in St Albans.  All three of my children have been through Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School and Bernards Heath Junior School. I have previously been an Ofsted Registered childminder and ran my own before and after school club. Now I work in school as a Teaching Assistant. I love spending time with my family, movies and reading when I can. I joined the Governing Body in 2016 and have learnt so much.  It truly is amazing to be able to be involved with such a passionate and inspiring school.

 

 

Abi Newbigging

  • Term ended 30th August 2023
  • Co-Opted Governor (1st September 2015) Current terms ends 30th August 2023
  • Appointed by Governing Body
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee (Co-Chair), RE, History, Geography, Collective Worship, Spencer Class Link
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 5 out of 6 (FGB); 5 out of 5 (RC)

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I qualified as a Management Accountment whilst working for Ford Motor Company after studying Chemical Engineering at university.  Since then I have worked in the Finance departments of Polaroid,  British Gas and EE in a variety of roles ranging from planning & reporting to analysis of quality data and profitability.  I have lived in St Albans since 2004 and both my children went to and thrived at BHI&NS before moving onto the Junior school and now a local secondary school for my eldest.  Since having children I have taken a step back from work and so I welcomed the opportunity to be involved as a governor for the Infants school giving something back to the school and the community.

Gemma Cole – Deputy Chair of Governors

  • Stepped down 21st July 2023
  • Parent Governor (18th March 2021).  Current term ends 17th March 2025.
  • Appointed by Parent Election
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee, SEN, Foundation Stage Assessment, Heartwood Class Link
  • Attendance: (2022-2023): 5 out of 6 (FGB); 3 out of 6 (LfL)

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Having previously been a staff governor at a school, I was delighted to be elected as a Parent Governor when my daughter was in Reception as I felt that I would be able to bring my educational experience and background to the Governing Body. I have been a qualified teacher for over 14 years and have taught from nursery/preschool aged children all the way through to students, aged 19. Most of my teaching experience comes from working with primary-aged children with Special Educational Needs and Difficulties (SEND) but I am currently Deputy SENDCo and Specialist Assessor at a boy’s boarding school. This experience will help me to understand my role as the governor for SEND and will hopefully enable me to support the school with providing the best support for pupils with SEND. In addition, I am also the link governor for Foundation Stage Assessment, Governor development, Ryder class and I sit on the Leaders for Learning committee. Outside of my professional life, I am a mum of two, (my daughter is currently at the infant school, but my son is a while off being school age!) and I enjoy baking.

Paul Durant

  • Stepped down as an associate member 21st July 2023.
  • Stepped down as co-opted governor (22nd July 2022). Appointed as an associate member (12th September 2022). Current term ends 11th September 2023.
  • Appointed by the Governing Body.
  • Responsibilities: Resources Committee member.
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 4 out of 5  (RC)

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I am a qualified ACA Accountant having trained with KPMG at the start of my career.  From there I moved into Banking and have worked at a number of Global Investment Banks mainly in “Product Control”, with responsibilities to report the daily Profit and Loss for various trading desks.

I now work in Finance Projects covering a range of topics from Regulatory and Tax reporting to system implementations.  My work focuses on implementing new processes/procedures and controls.

My eldest child started Heath class in 2014 and shortly after the school were looking for Governors with accounting expertise.  I was excited to take up the opportunity to become a Governor so I could make a difference to the school and its children.

Jon Fisher

  • Stepped down (November 2022)
  • First Appointed Associate Member (21st September 2020)  Staff Governor (19th July 2021)  Current term ends 18th July 2025
  • Elected by Staff
  • Responsibilities: Leaders for Learning Committee, Churchill Class Teacher, Year 1 Lead, Behaviour and Maths Lead
  • Attendance (2022-2023): 2 out of 2 (FGB); 1 out of 1 (LfL)

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I have worked at our school since 2014. I began as a class teacher in year 2 before moving to year 1. Prior to qualifying as a teacher I worked for 12 years in IT for an insurance syndicate in the City of London. Before that I studied Biochemistry and was very close to embarking on a career studying nematode worms. I like to think the worm’s loss was our children’s gain. There are many paths I could have taken, and many destinations I could have arrived at, but I feel very grateful to have found a place as caring, nurturing, and supportive as Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School. Outside school I enjoy spending time with my family and consuming as much motorsport as possible.