Steven Horton – Chair of Governors
I started off as a Parent Governor in January 2004. After a couple of years I became a Community Governor which enabled me to stay on as a serving member once my initial time as a Parent Governor ended. In 2013 I was elected to become the Chairman of the Governing Body, which is a role that I am very proud of. I am married to Carol and have three children who all attended Balfour Infant School (several years ago now!)
I work in the City, in London, and have worked there for over 30 years. I’m also the Chairman of the Executive Committee for the 5th Medway Towns Scout Group.
I became a Governor because there was a vacancy and my wife put my name forward! I quickly found that it was interesting, enjoyable and very rewarding. Being a Governor means attending a full Governors’ meeting each term (Autumn, Spring and Summer – I’m still a bit old fashioned!) and at least one committee meeting per term, depending on how many committees you are involved in. I have attended all of the committees at some time or another, and was Chair of the Curriculum Committee for several years until I became the Chair of Governors last year. Being a Governor also means understanding more about the workings of the school, and being able to contribute to how it is run, and helping the Headteacher and staff maintain the very high standards that the school consistently achieves. I’ve learnt a lot about the challenges facing the school and the things that can be and are being done (and a little bit about the things that can’t). It sounds a bit cliché, but being a Governor means, more than anything else, doing what you can to help to make sure the children who attend the school get the very best start in their school life. And it can be good fun too.
Leanne Gale - Co-opted Governor
I am excited to have taken up a position on the governing body here at Balfour Infants and I am already enjoying what the role has to offer. My daughter (who is now at the Juniors) only joined the Infants last year, half-way through Year 2, and my son has just started in Reception, so I suppose I am a relatively ‘new parent’ to Balfour. The School and staff have been brilliant in helping to give both my children very positive educational experiences, and have supported me enormously during their transitions into the School, and so becoming a governor has enabled me to get involved in giving something back.
I have a background in education and teaching, and since qualifying as a Design & Technology teacher over 15 years ago, I have had the opportunity to work in various schools and educational settings; taking on many different roles and delivering a variety of subjects to a wide age range of pupils (4 – 18 years!) This has included teaching in two Medway Secondary schools, a primary school and working for Kent County Council as Manager of an Extended Services provision.
I currently work at the Rowans, a local Alternative Provision academy, which takes pupils who have been permanently excluded, or are at risk of permanent exclusion, and re-engages them in full-time education and in achieving their full potential. As a teacher of DT at The Rowans, I enjoy inspiring creativity, confidence and enthusiasm in my pupils; as well as developing their practical skills to help prepare for them for the future. Earlier this year a group of my Year 11 Construction pupils designed, built and donated ‘Mud Kitchens’ to the Balfour Reception classes for use in the outdoor areas. It was great to see the benefits such collaborative projects can have for all involved, and I hope to help foster further links like this in the future.
In addition to my role as Early Years Governor, I have recently started volunteering two mornings a week in Star class and it has been lovely getting to know some of the wonderful staff and friendly pupils here in more depth. I very much look forward to continuing to see, and be part of, the growth of Balfour Infant School.
Alan Watson - Co-opted Governor
I have been married to Sarah for 17 years and we have two boys, Ethan and Zachary. Ethan currently attends Balfour Juniors having started out at the Infants and Zach is now in year 2. I have worked in London for the past 27 years in Banking and I am currently a Global Risk Manager for a US Bank. It’s a demanding role and I often work 10 -14 hours a day, but luckily I have some degree of flexibility to ensure that I spend quality time with the family and I make every effort to be there during the week for bedtime stories. I really enjoy mountain biking with a group of friends and typically clock up around 40 miles a week. I like to travel, and luckily I get a few trips abroad each year through work to Chicago and India as well as the all-important family vacations. Some 38 years ago I walked through the gates of Balfour Infants myself, although I have to say it was different back then, no induction programme, straight through the door day one with a stern warning from Mum to behave or else!! And the most high tech thing I recall were the wooden stilts at playtime. Since Ethan and Zach have been there I have been extremely impressed by Balfour as a school, the dedication from the staff and its values. It was these qualities that drew me to becoming a Governor in the hope that I can assist in keeping these going, to support change and help maintain the high standards that already exist today. Whilst I started out as a Parent Governor I soon transitioned to a Co-opted Governor, which means that I can hopefully remain affiliated with the school for years to come. Aside from being a Governor at Balfour I am also a member of my companies Charity Committee, and assisted in setting up and supporting a reading programme which has a number of employees that attend a local school in London to assist Infant & Junior children with their reading on a weekly basis. Since becoming a Governor the one thing I have really become appreciative of is just how much effort goes into running the school and providing a first class education. A number of the Governors have been there for many years, which really helps with the continuity of the program and helps people understand the process. I am looking forward to continuing to help support Balfour over the coming years and should further opportunities arise I would recommend that other parents join the Governing Body.
Mark Hollands - Co-opted Governor
I have lived in the Medway Towns for all of my forty something years and live with my wife, son and cat, close to the school. I started work, after leaving secondary school, at a well know bank in Chatham High Street and this was the first of many roles in the financial services industry. Further roles for life assurance and investment companies then led to my current role which is resolving financial services disputes in London. I have worked in my current role for more than ten years and I help to settle consumer disputes relating to many different financial services, businesses and products.
I became a Governor at the school when my son was in Year One and although he has now left the school I have continued my role as a Governor. I enjoy the role very much and it allows me to share my work and life knowledge and experience. Being a Governor also gives me a fascinating insight into the running of the school.Since joining the Governing Body I have been the Governor assigned to numeracy and had other specific responsibilities. I am currently a Co-Vice Chair and the Chair of the Business Committee. - which deals with finance and premises. Each of these roles allows me to become involved in some of the key areas that affect the school and is also a way of giving something back to the local community. I have enjoyed my time as a Governor so far and suspect that I will continue being a Governor for some years to come.
Donna Atkinson - Headteacher
When I was appointed Headteacher of Balfour Infant School in September 2015 I became immediately aware of the celebrated partnership between the school and the local community. Staff and Governors work tirelessly to ensure excellent education for all, as well as a safe and happy school. As Headteacher I am proud to be part of such a successful and aspirational Governing Body which advocates only the best possible outcomes for all our children.
Maureen Kelly – Staff Governor
I joined the staff of Balfour Infant School in 1993 as a Teaching Assistant.; I also worked as a Midday Supervisor. When the School Secretary retired I applied for the position along with 36 other applicants and I was delighted to be offered and to take the position of School Secretary in May 1997. Over the years the role of the school office has changed immensely, growing into an environment that requires more staff to accommodate the many varied tasks and responsibilities.
Whilst my sons were in secondary education I had the pleasure of serving on the Governing Body of a local secondary school. I remained as a Governor long after my son left, serving for a total of 10 years.
I am proud to now be serving on the Governing Body of Balfour Infant School as a Staff Governor. I hope my experience working in the school over the years and my previous experience as a School Governor will add to the Governing Body. I am passionate about the school, its ethos and high standards.
David Nixon – Co-opted Governor
I joined as a Parent Governor in October 2014 and moved to a Co-Opted Governor approximately a year later. I immediately volunteered for the Premises Committee. I aim to help the school continue to provide a positive learning and nurturing environment for the children, parents and the local community. I will support the staff so that any changes are in the best interests of the education of the children. I will deal with any concerns objectively through a parent's perspective. I am passionate, enthusiastic and relish this challenge. It is a great pleasure to support and enhance the school and everyone involved in any way that I can.
My family and I moved to Medway in July 2011. We enjoy the community feel and the history that the area has.
I am a chef by trade, I now work for a Facilities Management Company as an Implementation Consultant.
Joanne Hayes - Parent Governor
Ever since leaving school I have worked with children and young people in some capacity. This includes working in Children's Homes as a relief Residential Social Worker as well as an advocate and Children's Rights Officer for one of the London Boroughs. I am a qualified primary school teacher, although I have worked across all key stages, including some time teaching maths in a secure unit.
I have worked in Senior Leadership in Pupil Referral Units with children excluded from school and was due to complete my Headship training two days after having my twin sons, who are now in Year 1 at Balfour Infant School. (I did manage to complete it but slightly later than anticipated!).
Since then I have also had my daughter who is 3 and attends Beresford Pre-School. It is safe to say that all the years working in behaviour management in schools and residential settings did not prepare me for managing the behaviour of my own!
Currently I work three days a week as an Assistant Head Teacher supporting excluded children, visiting a wide range of schools across the Local Authority, delivering training and maintaining a positive education for children in care, when the rest of their lives may be in crisis.
I am also a keen photographer and enjoy walking with the children, often at the coast.
I am really looking forward to being able to contribute to the local community through my work on the Governing Body. I hope to be a pro-active member and to continue the great work that is already being done at Balfour Infant School.
Mohammad Nawroz - Parent Governor
My name is Mohammed Nawroz and I am a Parent Governor at Balfour Infant School. My child is in one of the reception classes.
I was born in Afghanistan and currently live with my family in Medway. I have a technical background and I have worked as a security and fire systems engineer for more than 13 years for a company in London. I have other work experience too, including working with children with special needs.
I believe that we, as parents, should all engage and get involved with the school in the interests of our children's education. I hope as a Parent Governor I can positively contribute to the team supporting children to receive the best education and care at Balfour Infant School.
I will always have in mind the best interests of the school and I am committed and enthusiastic about providing the best environment for children to learn and grow.
Mandeep Virdi - Co-opted Governor
I moved from India to England in 1993 and have lived here since with my family. I have four children, two girls and two boys, who attended Balfour Infant and Junior School. Three of my children are now in higher education studying at university and my youngest son attends Rochester Maths School. Since I moved here I have worked in many places, including Balfour Infant School as a volunteer parent helper and as a student. I have gained vast knowledge whilst raising my children, working and studying, and I gained a BA (Hons) in Childhood Studies with SEN specialism. I have worked in a primary school for the past 11 years supporting children with English as an Additional Language from early years to KS2. I have recently changed my job and I am now working for Kent County Council as an Education Support Officer. This entails working closely with schools to support the education of children in care.
I have always been passionate about education, as it is one of the privileges that not many children, especially girls, in other countries have the right to continue once they have completed their primary or secondary education. I feel being a Governor will allow me to work closely with education and understand how the school works to support children who come from backgrounds such as these to achieve their best.