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Meet the Governors

Chair - Ms Tiina Mutru

Vice Chair - Mr Karl Fuhrmann

Acting Head Teacher - Mrs Helene Bligh

Observer

Headteacher, Amherst Junior School - Mr Andrew Reid

 

Clerk to the Governors  - Mrs Sarah Walkden.

 

The Governing Body is led by the Chair, elected by the Governing Body from within its membership. The role of Chair is set for a one year period.

 

The Chair is supported in her work by a Vice Chair, who is delegated certain tasks and responsibilities. The role of Vice Chair is  also set for a one year period.

 

The Governing Body may choose to appoint Governors to take on other additional specific roles. Currently, these are as follows:-

 

Mr Nic Pocknall- Lead Governor for Health and Safety including Premises.

Mrs Claire Davison - Lead Governor for Finance

Mr Karl Fuhrmann -  Lead Governor for Safeguarding including Prevent.

Mrs Claire Davison, Mr Karl Fuhrmann and Mr. Tomaso Spingardi - Staffing and Pay Panel Governors

Mr Karl Fuhrmann - Lead Governor for SEND

 

To see the Governors' Terms of Appointment, Register of Interest and Attendance, please visit our Statutory Information page.

GOVERNOR PEN PORTRAITS

Tiina Mutru - Chair - (Co-Opted Governor)

 

My background is in Public Health Nutrition and I have worked for different organisations and companies across Europe in the field of food and nutrition. At the moment my time is dedicated to my family and to volunteering.

 

When my eldest started at Riverhead I was overwhelmed how different the English education system is to that of my home country Finland. I was worried that at four he was far too young to start! He had a very happy and rewarding time at Riverhead and so I was more relaxed second time round. To learn more about the education system and to give back to the community I decided to join the Governing Body in 2015. I was elected Chair in October 2019.  Becoming a school governor has been hugely rewarding and has made me realize how much work, dedication and flexibility is required, by the staff and the Governing Body, to run the school.

Claire Davison (Co-Opted Governor)

 

I became a Parent Governor in October 2013 and a Co-opted Governor in 2017.  Both my children attended Riverhead and having helped at various PTA events over the years I decided that I would like to be involved with the school from a different perspective.  Eight years on and I have learnt a lot, not least how much hard work is involved to ensure that all our pupils are able to access high quality education – something that I didn’t entirely appreciate as a parent.

 

I trained as a Chartered Accountant and have finance roles in a few local charities. I have found that being a governor has been a great opportunity both to use existing skills and to learn new ones.  I am still really enjoying the breadth and variety of involvement with the school that being a governor entails.  I have always felt that the staff at Riverhead do an amazing job and it is great to be able to make a contribution to such an outstanding school.

 

I am currently the Finance Lead, a member of the Headteacher Appraisal and Data Monitoring Pairs and the Staffing and Pay Panel.

Karl Fuhrmann - Vice Chair - (Co-Opted Governor)

 

I have recently moved to Sevenoaks from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, and wanted to use what I have learnt in my career so far to help out within the local community. Becoming a governor seemed like an obvious choice, and since my appointment in May I have really enjoyed learning about how the school is run, and how I can have a positive impact on the strategy of Riverhead over the next few years. My first impression of the staff and children has been excellent, and there is clearly a desire from everyone to maintain an outstanding learning environment.

 

I have spent the majority of my working life in financial services procurement, and been involved in driving buying strategies across a variety of different categories, from IT to professional services. I hope that this will stand me in good stead as a governor, and that in turn I will be able to take away knowledge and skills that I can use elsewhere.

 

Helene Bligh (Co-Opted Governor)

 

I have taught at Riverhead for more than 20 years having joined the staff in 1993. During this time I have worked in all three year groups, had responsibility for a range of subjects including maths and ICT and managed to have 3 boys of my own! As the deputy headteacher and inclusion manager I have responsibility for developing the spirit and practice of inclusion throughout the school and I am proud of our inclusive ethos and our shared commitment to ensuring that our school community values and respects diversity.

 

I have seen many changes during my time at Riverhead but one constant has been a continual drive to school improvement supported by a committed staff, supportive parents, a tireless PTA and an effective governing body which I am pleased to be able to contribute to.

James Turner (Co-Opted Governor)

Both my children attended Riverhead and when an opportunity came to join the Governoring Body I leapt at the chance. My eldest son has Special Education Needs and Riverhead really made a positive difference to the boy he is today. 

 

My background has been originally in luxury hotels, property and estate management, but have also worked in Healthcare, Retail and Higher Education Sectors. Today I work at the House of Commons where I am Director of Customer Experience and Service Delivery - essentially making sure the MP's and Lords are happy with their facilities and services received to enable them to work effectively. The golden thread of all these roles has been ensuring that functions are set for success to provide efficient, relevant and cost effective services.  

 

We have now moved to Tonbridge, but always happy to return and see how Riverhead continues to grow and develop. 

Tomaso Spingardi (Co-opted Governor)

We moved to Sevenonaks in 2017 from Canada, but I spent some 25 years in the UK. I am most proud to be a Governor of Riverhead. Having 6 children, education, already a passion, is a fundamental part of my life. I was for 15 years a Boy Scout leader; for the last 10 a member of the Executive Board of a top US business school; I have been cooperating with various NGOs in the funding, set up and development of schools in Sub-Saharian Africa for some 20 years. I worked for over 20 years in investment banking in London. Over the last 15 years I have co-founded and contributed to the growth of companies mainly in healthcare and services outsourcing.


I am keen to contribute to Riverhead bringing my experience, expertise and enthusiasm.

Nic Pocknall (Local Authority Governor)

I have lived in Sevenoaks for 17 years, more recently close to the school and was appointed as a Governor in August 2018.  I have 2 children at secondary school locally.

 

I am a Chartered Surveyor specialising in commercial property development and sales and look forward to using some of my skills to benefit the school community.

 

Riverhead Infants' has an excellent reputation and I look forward to enhancing the community of such a well-respected local school.

 

Archanna Ramu (Parent Governor)

I was elected as Parent Governor in December 2020. I am a working mother with three daughters; twins at Riverhead Infants and a younger sibling. Born and raised in Kent, I moved to Sevenoaks in 2017.

 

I am passionate about the opportunities that education affords and driven by a desire to give back to the local community.  I’m a corporate lawyer of 15 years and believe my broad skills will be highly valuable to the role. 

Sarah Munns (Staff Governor)

Following a successful career in the advertising industry in London, I joined Riverhead Infants' School as a Teaching Assistant, approximately 14 years ago. However, my association with the school stretches further back than that, as both of my daughters spent the first years of their education here.

 

During my time as T.A, I have supported all year groups, 1:1 SEN support and the delivery of specialist interventions. And at present, I’m working in Year Two.

 

From breakfast club to the final bell, I enjoy playing a part in the school children's day, supporting their learning, well-being and watching them flourish as they grow. As a member of the Governing body, I hope to be able to use my hands on experience and knowledge to help maintain and enhance the great reputation of the school.  

Will Swain (Co-opted Governor)

 

I was born in New Zealand and have spent the past 22 years living in the UK.  My working background is in financial services and I have served on the executive team with a number of banks and insurance brokers, leading technology and operations. I bring a wealth of experience in financial and organisational management, including facilities and human resources.  I believe education is the most important aspect of a child’s upbringing and relocated to Sevenoaks in 2020 for the great schools. My oldest daughter started at Riverhead in September 2021.

Sara Fazzin (Co-opted Governor)

 

Having recently moved from London to Sevenoaks, I have spent the vast majority of my career in education, teaching digital skills, strategic management, business and digital learning at degree level.  My recent roles have involved the design, development and implementation of new academic courses and executive programmes, and a series of international projects to promote employability, mobility and accessibility in learning. 

 

I am a creative artist in my free time, and author of scientific books as well as novels, I strongly believe in the importance of creativity and experimenting from a very young age, enabling the development of valuable soft skills and self-worth. 

 

During the pandemic, I decided it was time to give back to the community, and share my knowledge of educational practice, theories and digital tools, to help children, parents and teachers alike to achieve their full potential. 

Mark Skinner (Parent Governor)

My two daughters currently are lucky enough to attend Riverhead Infant School and I have a younger son who will join the school in 2024. I have loved the environment they have grown up in and would like to support the school's future development as a governor. I am passionate about our children having the best environment possible to nurture their development. I have a degree in economics and politics and 17 years’ experience of building my own business to a successful company of over 30 staff, I believe I have the financial, operational and Human Resources skills to bring value to the school in this role. Our family experience of the school to date is that the children are at the heart of everything they do, their learning, their play and their wellbeing. I hope to continue to support this admirable ethos as my children continue their journey through their early school lives.