Steven Horton – Chair of Governors (Elected by Governing Body)
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 (Elected by Governing Body)
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 lasses 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.
Caroline Webber - Local Authority Governor (Elected by Governing Body)
I first became a School Governor over 20 years ago in a school where I was a Teacher. Since then I have been a Governor at another four Medway schools as part of the support and strengthening governance priorities of the Local Authority. In my Governor role during this time I supported those schools through a variety of challenging circumstances, Ofsted Inspections and Headteacher recruitment.
I was appointed as a Governor at Balfour as I have lots of Governor experience and I have a background in education. I was born and educated in Medway, as were my three children. My first house was in Balfour Road, where I lived for 5 years. I worked for the Local Authority as a Teacher, an Area SENCO and the manager of the Early Years Quality Team for 27 years. I have taught children in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, been an Inclusion Lead and have supported the set up and development of Medway's Children Centre's. In addition, I have provided quality improvement support for schools and Early Years settings in Medway. I continue to support schools and other Early Years settings as part of a Medway Early Years Education Company.
I am delighted to be a Governor at Balfour as I wish to help this great school to continue to provide the children in this community with the high quality education they deservce.
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 (Elected by school staff)
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 (Elected by Governing Body)
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 (Elected by Governing Body)
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.
Mandeep Virdi - Co-opted Governor (Elected by Governing Body)
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.