No Limits, Only Possibilities
Local Governing Body
Welcome to Governance at West Hill Primary Academy
Please see below details of The Golden Thread Alliance governance arrangements along with information for each of our Governors who were appointed by the Board with effect from the school opening. This includes their full name, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (if applicable), who appointed them, and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions. This information complies with the requirements of the Academy Trust Handbook.
The Chair of the Board of Trustees is Mr Philip Vander Gucht
The Accounting Officer of the Trust is Mr Garry Ratcliffe, Chief Executive Officer
The Chair of the Local Governing Body is Suzy Stevens
The Named Safeguarding Governor is Adam Browne
The three core functions of governance are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
Details of the Members, Board of Trustees, the Articles of Association, Scheme of Delegation and Financial Accounts of the Trust can be viewed via the following link to The Golden Thread Alliance website:
Our Local Governing Body is supported by Ms S Steven, The Galaxy Trust Governance Professional who we are delighted to announce was the winner of the "Outstanding Clerk to a Governing Board" award at the 2021 National Governance Association Awards.
Meet Our Governors
Adam Browne (Vice-Chair, Community Governor)
Adam has lived in Dartford all his life, attending West Hill Primary School and Dartford Grammar School for Boys. He is a Safeguarding Manager for a Local Authority and has spent a significant part of his career working with vulnerable young people and adults from troubled backgrounds. Adam is married with 3 children, the youngest of whom is currently at West Hill.
Elizabeth Clancy (Parent Governor)
Lizzie is an ex-West Hill student and has lived in Dartford all her life. She graduated with a BA Hons in ‘Drama, Applied Theatre and Education’ from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2005, before joining the team at Bigfoot Arts Education. Having spent the past 18 years creating arts based workshops and performances linked to the National Curriculum for schools all over the UK, she is passionate about finding ways to enrich the education of children of all ages, abilities, ethnicities and backgrounds. Lizzie is married with two children, both of whom attend West Hill Primary Academy.
Pennie Hills (Staff Governor)
I have been teaching for many years both in London and Kent. I have taught Nursery, Reception and Year 1 and really enjoy working with the younger children. They learn new things every day and it is great to be at the start of their amazing learning journey. As the Early Years Foundation Stage Leader the best part of my job is being able to watch the children develop and grow during their first year in school where foundations are laid for children to become life long learners. I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Niki Lawson (Board of Trustees Appointed Governor)
Niki has worked in the education sector for twelve years and has a depth of knowledge around school data and pupil progress. Niki also has a particular interest in special educational needs and disability (SEND) and currently works supporting a child with SEND.
Niki is married with three children who have all attended West Hill School over a period of 18 years and has seen lots of changes during that time!
Niki enjoys her role as a Governor and is passionate about contributing to West Hill Primary Academy becoming an outstanding learning environment for local children.
Kayleigh Skey (Board of Trustees Appointed Governor)
Kayleigh currently works in an SEN Team with a Local Authority, where she has been for 5 years. Prior to this, she also worked in schools as an secondary LSA and then a primary school teacher for 6 years, as well as managing a tuition class of 20+ pupils from years 2 to 11 on Saturdays. She is passionate about inclusive education, with a particular focus on emotional well-being, and person-centred working.
Kayleigh has worked with governing bodies in her current job delivering LA training, but is looking forward to the opportunity to actively contribute to effective governance and to being with West Hill on its journey to Outstanding!
Kayleigh is married with 2 stepdaughters and two fur babies, and has lived in Dartford for 6 years.
Suzy Stevens (Chair, Community Governor)
Suzy has lived in Dartford all her life, attending West Hill Primary School and Dartford Grammar School for Girls, and as a result is deeply rooted in the local community. She is a Chartered Certified Accountant, with nearly thirty years’ experience at PwC as a business advisor within the financial services industry, specialising in the reinsurance run-off market. Currently on a sabbatical from work to spend time with her family, Suzy is married and has two children, one of whom attends West Hill.
Suzy is passionate about making a valuable contribution to West Hill in her role as a school governor.
Wendy Tongue (Board Appointed Governor)
I am delighted to be joining the Galaxy Trust this year as the Headteacher of West Hill. I have been teaching for the past twenty years and I can safely say that I learn something new everyday. For me this is the most exciting thing about education. Education has the power to change lives and this excites me!
I am first and foremost a teacher and I love nothing more than being in class and spending time with the children. I am passionate about developing children’s natural curiosity and fostering their love of learning, in fun and creative ways.
I qualified as a secondary school Geography teacher in 2007 and have since worked in multiple teaching roles, teaching both key stage 3 and 4. As a geographer I always enjoyed the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments and bringing that experience into the classroom. I hope that my knowledge of the education system and the ethos of the school will enable me to contribute to the Governing body and support the school. I became a Parent Governor because I have a strong interest in not just my own children’s’ education but education as a whole and enjoy being active in the community. I am married with 3 children, whom all attend West Hill Primary Academy.