What do the governors do?

  • Governors are responsible for ensuring clarity of the school’s vision and direction. 
  • They hold the headteacher (who is also a governor) to account for the performance of the school, its pupils and staff. 
  • The board also oversees the financial performance of the school and makes sure money is well spent. 
  • The governing body is responsible for supporting the school in providing a learning and teaching environment that safeguards children and encourages high achievement.


The role of individual school governors

The Governing Body has moved to a committee-less structure, this means that there are not endless sub-committees.

The Full Governing Body meets termly.

At this meeting the Governors discuss a range of matters. 

Between these meeting the Leadership Committee meet to discuss strategic and operational matters. This committee can also take on the responsibility of areas that require governors involvement e.g. pay committee. Any governor can attend these meetings. 

Each school governor however takes an lead in at least one area of the school’s work, such as special educational needs, safeguarding, premises, finance or curriculum areas and is directly linked to a member of the schools leadership team. 

Governors visit the school atleast three times a year to be updated on and monitor their areas, then they report back to the main governing body.

Our aims are:

  • To avoid repetition between meetings
  • To allow decisions to be made immediately rather than having to be passed through several committees
  • To reduce the time burden on key governors
  • To ensure that every governor had an understanding of the full range of GB responsibilities, enabling more informed and rounded decisions
  • To ensure rapid turnaround of changes and actions generated at meetings

Who are your governors?

Information about who your governors are can be found at Get Information About Schools this lists each governors terms of office and appointing body. Details of each governor can also be found below.

Copies of the Governors Minutes can be accessed from the school office.

Our governor code of conduct policy can be found here.

Register of Business and Pecuniary Interests can be found here.

Governor attendance record can be found here.

If you wish to become involved with a school by becoming a school governor information can be found here.



Victoria Southwell Co-Chair

Co-opted Governor

Term of Office 18/9/22 - 17/9/26

Link governor for Safeguarding/ Finance

I've had children attending Fairlight since 2011 and rejoined the Governing Board in 2019 having previously been a Governor between 2012 and 2014.

I’ve spent the whole of my career working in the charity sector and the past 7 years running charities. I’m used to developing strategies, overcoming challenges and future planning, which is always helpful in the ever changing world of education. I’m also experienced in reviewing finances and accounts so I support the team at Fairlight in their work in this area.


Dr Nicola Yuill Co-Chair

Co-opted Governor

Governor at Fairlight since 1998

Term of Office 6/5/21-5/5/25

Link governor for  Safeguarding/ Teaching and Learning

Governor at Fairlight since 1998, first as a parent of a child at the school and more recently as a member of the local community.

I have 30 years’ experience of scientific research into child development and my governor responsibilities have included a focus on literacy and on quality of teaching and learning.


Joe Jardine Vice Chair

Co-opted Governor

Governor at Fairlight since 2016

Term of Office 16/11/20-15/11/24

Link governor for English

I have worked in the public and government sector for the past 10 years, focusing at various times on finance, child protection and national security.

I am passionate about child health and wellbeing and, after years of commuting to London, wanted to participate more in community life in Brighton.


David Harvey

Clerk to the Governors

I provide advice and support to the Governing Body, which includes administrative work such as arranging meetings and taking the minutes.


Damien Jordan


Fairlight is the third school at which I have been a member of the governing body.

My role as the Headteacher is to share and report information about the school but also to implement decisions made by the governing body.

I meet directly with the Chair of Governors as my direct link as the Headteacher.


Caroline Parker

Teacher governor

Term of Office 30/3/21-29/3/25

Link governor for Finance

I have over 30 years of experience teaching in a variety of schools.

After starting my career in London, I moved to Brighton and eventually came to Fairlight to teach in 2007.  I have been on governing bodies for  three of the schools I have worked at. 

Currently, I am the Literacy Lead at Fairlight  but have previously been the lead for Maths, Music and ICT in previous schools, I have also been a specialist Music teacher and specialist speech and language teacher in my past.


Alison Edwards

Co-opted Governor

Governor at Fairlight since 2015

Term of Office 12/1/23 - 11/1/27

Link governor for Assessment/ Pupil Premium

Governor at Fairlight since 2015.I have worked in education for more than 20 years, principally in the independent sector where I was also an inspector for nine years, but more recently in maintained schools locally.  My role is to focus on outcomes for pupils, looking at the school's assessment data and meeting regularly with staff and pupils involved.


Joe Hilling

Co-opted Governor

Governor at Fairlight since 2019

Term of Office 13/5/23 - 12/5/27

Link governor for Maths

I have worked for over 10 years as director of innovation and data science for a communications research company. As the link governor for mathematics my role is to enrich the understanding of the governing body on the teaching of maths at Fairlight.


Glen Ferris

Co-opted Governor

Governor at Fairlight since 2016

Term of Office 16/11/20-15/11/24

Currently on leave from role so no link role

I have nearly 20 years’ journalistic experience working as a writer, editor and producer for various print titles and web sites. 

My role as communications governor is to make sure the school has great links with local news outlets and businesses.


Michelle McCann

Co-opted Governor

Term of Office 10/5/22-9/5/26

Link governor for Early Years/ Statutory Compliance

I work with governors across 7 Brighton and Hove schools and have recently become a governor on the Fairlight Governing Body as well as Parent Governor at a local secondary school.

I have 3 children who attend/have attended Fairlight and have worked with various community organisations to understand and support poverty proofing in the city. I am also interested in parents and children's mental health and wellbeing and how that is supported in schools.


Kim O'Byrne

Local Authority Governor

Term of Office 31/1/23- 30/1/27

Link governor for Inclusion/ SEND/ Attendance

Since 2003 I have enjoyed supporting pupils with special educational needs in Primary, Secondary and post-16 settings.

As the link governor for SEND/Inclusion/Attendance my role is to support the Head Teacher and the SENCO, to raise awareness of SEN issues, and to focus on the impact of effective SEND provision and equal opportunities on the achievement of every child.


Amy Thompson

Parent Governor

Term of Office 11/5/21-10/5/25 

Link governor for PSHE/Wellbeing/ English/ Children in Care

I've taught in a range of state, independent and international schools over the past 20 years.  After moving out of London in 2019 back to my home county, I now work for a voluntary adoption agency as their Education Lead supporting families and schools in understanding and meeting the needs of adopted and disadvantaged pupils. 

I also continue to do some supply teaching in schools in and around Brighton.


Miguel Vanoostende

Co-opted Governor 

Governor at Fairlight since 2013

Term of Office 6/5/21-5/5/25 

Link governor for Premises/ Health and Safety 

I started being Governor at Whitehawk  Primary School in 2012, when my son was attending the school.

I am trained as an architect and I have been working since 2002, mainly focused on building sites, before coming to the UK.

My role as a Governor is to supervise, alongside the joint Premises Governor, all aspects related to Premises and Health and Safety, ensuring we take all the affordable measures to provide a safe and enjoyable learning environment for the children.


Eriko Tanimoto

Seconded Governor for Play/ OPAL Play

Eri was seconded to represent the Governors on the schools OPAL Play Project due to her interest and knowledge around Play, Outdoor Education and schooling in other countries.