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Meet Our Governors
Click on the names below to find out more about our fantastic team of Governors here at Valley Invicta Primary School at Aylesford.
Billy joined the Trust in 2018 and is the Deputy Headteacher and staff governor at Valley Invicta Primary School at Aylesford.
He passionately believes that every child can achieve excellence and that school should be a positive and memorable experience, that leaves children ready for the next stage of their lives. Teaching is rooted in mutual respect and relationships, and only through finding out what works for each child, can we really help them to excel and love school. Along with a very dedicated team, it is our pupils who drive our school forward, and it is the student voice that is at the heart of what we do.
Before becoming a teacher, he ran his own design company; he is a fan of anything creative and enjoys bringing this into his role at Aylesford. The creative subjects are his favourite, and through these platforms, we can express ourselves without limitations!
Christine is a retired lecturer and teacher having taught at several secondary schools in the area and finishing up at Mid- Kent College where she taught A level Biology and Access to Healthcare to mature students. She was an active member of the PTA at her daughters’ Primary School and always had the ambition to become a School Governor one day. She joined the Board in 2017 and her link roles include SEND and the Curriculum.
She brings her long educational experience to Aylesford and is particularly interested in STEM and promoting the importance of wildlife wherever possible in an educational setting. Along with her role as a Governor Christine is involved in several charitable organisations including Kent Wildlife Trust, Maidstone Mediation and Kent Association for the Blind.
Fiona moved to London from Aberdeen 20 years ago to attend the London School of Musical Theatre. After years of being a performer, Fiona stumbled into teaching as she found that she enjoyed that equally as much as performing.
Fiona has been teaching in Kent and Greater London within secondary schools for the past 14 years. During her time as a teacher, Fiona has mentored two graduate trainee teachers and subsequently, two newly qualified teachers. She has also taken on the responsibility for KS3 Science in two of her schools, as well as being the lead teacher for Foundation Learning across KS3 and KS4. Presently, Fiona is enjoying being a science teacher while currently studying and training to be a counsellor.
Outside school, Fiona enjoys being outdoors with her family and she has recently started teaching Musical Theatre again to children from the age of 5 up to adults!
With two children at the school, Fiona has been greatly involved with the PTA and has attended countless discos, film nights and other events that the PTA have arranged. Fiona has never been a governor before and is looking forward to being able to support the pupils and staff in their journey towards excellence.
James joned Aylesford Governors in 2020 and has a passion for education at all levels.
James has a BSc in Sports Science as well as a MSc in Applied Exercise Physiology and is Currently a PhD candidate at the University of Canterbury Christ Church. James also works at the University both as a Lecturer in the Sports Exercise Sciences department and is also a Sports Science Consultant for SportsLab working within a range of sports and with several elite athletes and teams in Kent.
James also has a background in Teaching in Further Education and is an FA Level 2 Football Coach.
James lives locally in Aylesford and is Chairman of our most local Football Club Aylesford FC and has a real passion for physical activity and promoting the benefits of staying physically active for all.
Loni joined Aylesford as an Associate Lead and became the school’s Headteacher in October 2019.
Loni graduated in 2007 with a BA honours and QTS from The University of Greenwich, with an English specialism. During her career, Loni has taken on a variety of roles and positions. From 2009-2017 she worked in a number of challenging primary schools across London boroughs working tirelessly with Ofsted in school improvement roles to raise standards from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good with Outstanding’.
Loni whole heartedly believes that every child can succeed! Identifying learning barriers and breaking them down in partnership with parents/carers is at the centre of allowing pupils to realise that potential is limitless. If we take the time to know and understand our pupils, staff and parents, then together we can achieve great things. Loni’s goal in striving for excellence is to ensure school is made irresistible.
Not only is Loni passionate about her profession but she also has a love of adventure. Loni strongly believes that by engaging in aspirations, setting personal goals and opportunities to explore learning beyond the curriculum, only then are we are able to celebrate our successes and find out who we are as a person. Cultural capital and personal development are essential tools in becoming a well-rounded person.
With the dedication and commitment of the governing body, the whole school will achieve excellence!
This is Lucy’s first post as a school governor. She has been an active member of the community; joining PTAs and being Treasurer at neighbouring Poppy Pre School.
Outside of school life, Lucy has worked for the Ministry of Justice within the Prison Service, Courts, Probation and Royal Courts of Justice for almost 20 years. Over her career Lucy has worked in numerous areas including Finance, Custody, IT, Audit, Risk and Business and Service Continuity. She also completed a 10-year period at HMP Maidstone – all work related!
In addition, she also manages 2 self-employed businesses from home which give her a lot of interaction with the local community. Lucy’s family have very close roots with Aylesford and many generations of the family still live within the community. This is why Lucy put herself forward to be the school’s Community Governor. She has a lot of passion for the British Legion and the Heart of Kent Hospice and is passionate about linking them with the school to show we are a wider family.
Lucy is a mum to two sons and has a 14-year-old step daughter.
Lucy chose to become a school governor to give her a new challenge and to develop her links with the school, which she is hoping to be a part of via her children for the next 8 years.
Lucy hopes to bring many skills and aspects of life as a parent to the governing board, and looks forward to working with the Governors, Staff and Leadership Team at the school to help acorns develop into mighty oaks!
This is Mel Haggart’s first post as Clerk to the Governors. It is part of her role as Office Manager at Aylesford Primary School. Her duties include helping to prepare all the relevant paper work for Governor meetings and taking the minutes during those meetings. In addition, she also helps answer any questions and provides IT support.
Mel has worked at Aylesford since 2014, initially as a Teaching Assistant, working in the education sector since 2009.
Mel started her working life in retail, earning a HND in Retail Management. Having worked her way up the ladder to store management level, she took a degree in Human Resources, leading to her working as a Senior HR Reward Analyst for a major retailer. In the eight years that she spent in this position, she needed to have a variety of strengths including strong analytical and Project Management skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines. It also required her to work at a grass roots level with roadshows and focus groups, manage various projects across many fields such as IT, Payroll and HR teams and present annual salary reviews, bonuses and reward strategies to the board of directors. After eight successful years working in in this role, Mel left to start a family.
All of these skills and experiences have given her the necessary tools that she utilises as Office Manager and Clerk to the Governors, along with her additional duties of Attendance Officer, Primary Trust Administrator and PA to the Headteacher.
Mel has held a number of committee/voluntary roles outside of work, including working with different scout groups and being on the local GP Surgery’s Patient Liaison team, so she is used to working with a range of people with very different backgrounds, interests and skill sets.
Mel thoroughly enjoys working with the Aylesford Governors, finding them very supportive of the school’s vision and ethos. The Governors delight in presenting differing views and debates around a variety of matters during the meetings which Mel finds interesting and she takes equal delight in being able to find solutions to the problems that they present to the staff.
Michael is a Programme and Policy Manager for a large Local Authority. He provides strategic advice and guidance on commissioning and procurement across the organisation, working closely with Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Public Health.
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Law and a master’s degree in International Relations, Michael is also a trained PRINCE2 Practitioner and previously worked as a Project Manager in an Education Department before taking on his current role.
Michael joined the Board in June 2019 and has been its Chair since September 2019. Growing up and being educated in Kent, the county in which he now also lives and works, Michael is keen to give back to the community. He is determined to ensure that every child at VIPS Aylesford has the best possible start in life so that they can reach their full potential.
Michael spends most of his free time keeping active outdoors, as an avid cyclist and runner. Away from exercise, Michael enjoys indulging in coffee, a deserved cake and a good book. As a travel enthusiast who enjoys exploring new cultures and learning about the world, any other time, you will probably find Michael planning a new adventure to somewhere obscure!
Ruth was delighted to join the Trust in 2018 as the VIAT Governance Lead/Trust Clerk after many years of volunteering as a governor. She continues to be a proactive, co-opted governor at Invicta Grammar School and at Valley Invicta Primary School at Aylesford, supporting both schools in their continued journey to excellence. She previously worked as a respected, collaborative Contracts Manager with over 20 years’ experience, at Westminster City Council. Ruth passionately believes all children deserve an outstanding education that incorporates both academic and personal development.
Ruth first became a governor at East Borough Primary School (now Valley Invicta Primary School at East Borough) in 2012, due to a keen interest in education, plus wanting to make a difference and give something back to the local community. With excellent liaison skills, she has worked positively with all stakeholders including senior leaders, school staff , parent/carers and pupils. Ruth was an active member of the Board strategy group and influenced the school Academy conversion project. Ruth led the school improvement team and represented governors in the school Aspire leadership programme. In addition to participating in Ofsted visits, she undertook strategic reviews of new initiatives and successfully completed the Governance National Leadership Chair Development programme in 2016.
In 2017, Ruth commenced a new roles as Lead Governor for the Trust primaries and Chair of the Standards and School Improvement Committee. She supported the Primary Chairs in developing the new Local School Boards (LSB) by join LSB meetings on a rolling basis to offer feedback and advice on the quality of their Local School Board's knowledge and questioning of school standards and policies. Ruth became governor and Chair at Valley Invicta Primary School at Holborough Lakes for a year to help progress the board and build the team. Ruth supported three VIAT primaries through Ofsted before being asked to work for the Trust.
Ruth’s main focus outside of governance is her children and family which includes four mischievous cats. Ruth enjoys going to the theatre and one of her favourite shows is Les Miserables. Ruth loves coffee, conversation and, when there is an opportunity, relaxing with a good book.
Sandy is a Safeguarding Manager for a National Governing Body. She provides advice, guidance and strategic direction of safeguarding to support and embed a culture where children and adults at risk are listened to, feel safe and protected from harm.
Sandy has worked with children and their families in Health, Education and Local Authority settings.
This is Sandy’s first Governor role and she is excited to be involved in Education again. Sandy believes that as a community we can create a supportive environment where all children can achieve, are respected and celebrated as individuals.
As a parent of a toddler, Sandy spends most of her time outdoors, playing with something messy and then tidying up the mess!
Tom Stone is an Engineering Centre Manager for an Automotive Engineering Consultancy and holds a MEng degree from Loughborough University. As a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Tom is keen to ensure that all pupils are afforded the same opportunities that his education has enabled him.
Prior to his current role, Tom held a variety of positions in engineering and sales with significant experience of managing teams, finances and project delivery. He has experience of working in commercial projects across Europe, Asia and North America.
Tom joined the Aylesford governing body in 2020 and is glad to see the school has gone from strength to strength during that time. Moving forward, he is keen to ensure that such progress continues across all aspects of school life.
On a personal level, Tom is married with two daughters. When not at work he can often be found playing golf.