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Meet The Governors

Governors play an important role in the strategic direction of the school guiding and supporting the school’s work and encouraging further improvement. They are often referred to as ‘critical friends’, monitoring and evaluating performance, supporting and questioning the senior management team and ensuring that the annual School Improvement Plan meets the needs of pupils, and is delivered comprehensively.  As critical friends of the schools, governors should be able to recognise and celebrate success as well as ask questions.

Governors have three core functions:

  1. Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governing Board also has a responsibility to account to everyone who has an interest in the performance and standards achieved by the school: pupils, parents, the Local Authority and HM Inspectors.

The Governing Body is comprised of:

Chair: Simon Richards – Co-opted Governor 

Simon joined the Governing Board in March 2021 as a co-opted governor and became Chair of Governors in September that year.  He has experience of governing in several other island schools over the past 12 years and chaired a primary school in Birmingham for 4 years.  Simon worked for the National Governance Association for 5 years, running a programme to support governing boards in England with succession planning and recruiting new board chairs.  He also led on governance development for the South East, London and East of England regions.  Simon currently works as a recruitment consultant in the not-for-profit sector, recruiting trustees and non-executive directors for charities and other non-profit organisations.  He is committed to supporting Haylands Primary School to provide the best quality education in a safe and happy school environment.

Vice-chair: Alexandra Nestor-Powell – Parent Governor 

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Lexie is a parent governor; her eldest daughter left Haylands in September for Ryde Academy and her youngest daughter is in Year 5. Lexie qualified as a teacher in 2006 and worked in senior management in schools across the country, including Cheltenham Ladies’ College and The Royal Ballet School. As a family, they moved to the island in January 2017 and are very happy and settled here. Lexie is now training to be a social worker; working to support families across the island. Lexie is passionate about ensuring all children have equal access to education and a wide range of extra-curricular activities and hopes to raise attainment and aspiration for pupils in Haylands and ensure the school is a valued and vital part of the community.

Bob Bullivant – Co-opted Governor

Bob is married with two daughters and four grandchildren, one of whom is at Haylands. Bob has taken an interest in their education which sparked an interest in becoming more involved resulting in him becoming a governor. Bob lives locally and retired from a career in pensions, including running the awarding body of the professional Chartered body and he has extensive board experience in both the private and charity sectors.


Vanessa Churchman – Local Authority Governor

As the County Councillor for Haylands and Swanmore Vanessa is very proud to be a Governor at our local primary school. It is just one part of Vanessa’s work in representing the local community. Vanessa has been a Governor since 2012 and was involved in the building of the current school.



Jo Clarke – Staff Governor 

Jo is currently the Assistant Headteacher and staff governor at Haylands Primary School and has the responsibility for leading the quality of teaching and learning in addition to being the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children. Jo has worked at Haylands since 2010 but first started teaching in 1991 – a very long time ago! The role on the Governing body allows Jo to have a thorough overview of all areas of our school and the strategic decisions that are needed to ensure that we provide our children with the very best learning opportunities and experiences.


Katrina Shaer – Headteacher 

I am the Headteacher at Haylands and took up this position in January 2023. I am so pleased to be able to continue to support the young people in Ryde, prior to this I was the Deputy Head & Inclusion Lead at Dover Park Primary School for 10 years. I am very excited to be working at Haylands alongside the staff team to provide the best possible school experience for our pupils. Outside of school life, I am the mother of two teenage sons who both attend Ryde Academy and we are all very proud to be part of the Ryde schools community.


Matt Snelling – Co-opted Governor 

I am currently the Head of Maths at Ryde Academy and am passionate about supporting our next generations to succeed for the future. Before becoming a teacher, I worked in the electronic engineering sector, mostly for the Ministry of Defence. I have two daughters; one is currently in primary and the other is in secondary school.

Alison Starnes is the Clerk to Governors and can be contacted for all Governor business on

Governors meet as a full governing body approximately monthly throughout the academic year.

Individual governors are responsible for areas and subjects across the school and undertake regular monitoring activities which are reported back to the full governing body; this negates the need for committees.

In the documents below you will find