Introduction and Overview

What do governors do?

At Arunside Primary School we have a board of Governors who support the Headteacher and whilst the Governors have the overall responsibility for strategic management of the school, most of the responsibility and day to day running of the school is devolved to the Headteacher. The Governors meet at least half termly and then as frequently as specific matters dictate. Each member of the board takes a lead responsibility for strategic issues.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Getting the right people around the table
  • Understanding roles & responsibilities
  • Good chairing
  • Professional clerking
  • Good relationships based on trust
  • Knowing the school: data, staff, parents, children and community
  • Commitment to asking challenging questions
  • Confidence to have courageous conversations in the interests of children and young people

What OFSTED said at last inspection

Governors have a good understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development, based upon their monitoring. Through good-quality training and personal expertise, they have developed appropriate skills to interpret data. As a consequence, they support and challenge the Headteacher about the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement. They receive appropriate information about the management of teachers’ performance and see that teachers’ pay rises are appropriately linked to pupils’ achievements. Governors manage the school’s finances well. They are fully aware of how the pupil premium funding is spent, and the impact this is having on the achievement of eligible pupils. Governors ensure that the school meets national requirements for safeguarding children. Policies are regularly reviewed to ensure that children are kept safe and free from harm.

Current Governing Body Information


Our Governing Body consists of  a range of professionals from the private and public sector and school parents. Full Governing Body meetings are held each half term. These meetings cover the full range of statutory agenda items and include a focus on either teaching and learning or policy and resources.

The three core functions of the governing board are explained in the Governance Handbook, they are:

The statutory purpose of the Governing Body is to promote high standards of educational achievement at the school.

The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher and staff, whereas the governors are responsible for the general direction of the school and providing a strategic overview.

The Governing Body acts as a critical friend to the school and ensures accountability, whilst considering the interests of children, parents and staff. It makes decisions about curriculum, finance, staffing and premises matters, to help raise standards of achievement and to make sure that the school provides a good quality education for all of our pupils.

Governor Appointment InformationRegister of Interest
Governor Full NameDate of AppointmentTerm of Office (years)Appointing / Elective BodyRelevant Business / Pecuniary Interests Other Educational Establishments GovernedRemarks
Mrs Donna Jagger01/09/2019n/aHeadteacherHeadteacher
Mrs Ali Abbott25/11/20214Co-opted
Mrs Anna Hadden23/03/2022Co-optedDeputy Head at the school
Mr Yusef Ahmad03/07/20234Co-opted
Mr Andrew Roberts03/07/20204Co-opted
Ms Danielle Mussellwhite03/07/20234Co-opted
Mrs Sylvia King15/05/20234West Sussex Local Authority
Mr Luke Walters01/10/20213Parent
Mrs Paula Pitkethly01/10/20213Parent
Mrs Gemma Hoult01/10/20203Parent
Associate Members – No voting rights

Governors whose positions expired or who left during academic Year 2022-2023

Governor Appointment InformationRegister of Interest
Governor Full NameDate of AppointmentDate Ceased OfficeAppointing / Elective BodyRelevant Business / Pecuniary InterestsOther Educational Establishments GovernedRemarks
Mrs Amy Ripley25/03/202025/03/2023ParentTerm of Office Expired
Mrs Victoria Coward22/01/202021/07/2023Co-optedResigned
Mr Graeme Smith07/10/202021/07/2023Co-optedResigned
Mrs Gill Edson19/07/201918/07/2023StaffTerm of Office Expired

Governing Board Attendance Record for Year ending August 2023

Governor Full NameFGB Meetings
Mrs Donna Jagger8/10
Mrs Anna Hadden8/10
Mr Andrew Roberts10/10
Mrs Victoria Coward10/10
Ms Gillian Broadhurst8/10
Mrs Amy Ripley4/5
Mrs Gemma Hoult9/10
Mr Graeme Smith9/10
Mrs Paula Pitkethly10/10
Mr Luke Walters9/10
Mrs Ali Abbott9/10
Sylvia King3/4
Yusef Ahmad2/2
Danielle Mussellwhite2/2
Governing Board Attendance Record for Year ending August 2023
Governor Full NameFGB Meetings – Attendance during academic year to 31/08/2024
Mrs Donna Jagger1/8
Mrs Anna Hadden1/8
Mr Andrew Roberts1/8
Mrs Gemma Hoult1/8
Mrs Paula Pitkethly1/8
Mr Luke Walters1/8
Mrs Ali Abbott1/8
Sylvia King1/8
Yusef Ahmad1/8
Danielle Mussellwhite1/8

Meet The Governors

Andrew Roberts – Co-opted Governor, with lead responsibility for Health and Safety.

Andrew joined the Governing body in 2020 as a Co-opted Governor and has lived in Horsham since 1997.  He  worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry throughout his career focusing on R&D and drug development, working in the UK and Switzerland until his retirement.

Andrew has previously been a parent Governor at Castlewood School, Southwater.  At Arunside is the Health & Safety governor and monitors various curriculum subject areas.

In addition to being a governor, Andrew enjoys swimming, gym work, travelling, spending time with his grandchildren and is a Race Marshall at Brands Hatch.

Anna Hadden – Co-opted Governor

Anna joined the Governing Body in September as a Co-opted Governor.  She started teaching in 2007 and joined Arunside as SENCO in 2017.  Anna has since become the school’s Deputy Head.

Anna has three children who attend Arunside and she has a keen interest in the theatre and amateur dramatics.

Rhoda Hatton – Clerk to the Governors

Rhoda took over as Clerk to the Governors in January 2023 and deals with all the administration for the Governing Body. She joined Arunside School in 2017 and also holds the position of Communication and Compliance Officer.

Rhoda has a keen interest in School Governance and is a member of the Governing Board at Tanbridge House School. She is also part of the West Sussex Governors Association. Other interests include supporting the local community both within the 12th Horsham Scout Group and as Clerk to Trafalgar Neighbourhood Council.

Mr Luke Walters – Parent Governor

Luke joined the Governing Body in 2021 as a parent governor.  He has a child in Year 3 and one who, hopefully, will start in reception in 2021.

Luke is Deputy Headteacher at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham and has a background in maintained and independent education both internationally and in the UK.  He has lived in West Sussex for seven years and has a particular interest in pedagogy and additional needs teaching and learning.  He looks forward to working alongside Arunside at such an exciting time for the school.

Local Authority Governor – Sylvia King (Awaiting Bios)

Donna Jagger – Headteacher

Donna became part of the Arunside teaching family in September 2015 and as a governor in January 2017. During that time, she has seen the school go through a period of rapid change and improvement. 

Donna started out teaching in 2007, prior to this she worked in the private sector for a large pharmaceutical company as a compliance officer. She has found that working both within the private and public sector has enabled her to have a good balance between public sector duty and private sector responsibility.

Donna said, “being a School Governor and indeed a teacher is a privilege and should never be viewed as anything less! There are few occupations where you can genuinely make a difference to the future of our planet and the children who will look after it. This is why I wanted to be a Governor, working together to do the best for our children and our community”.

Mrs Paula Pitkethly – Parent Governor, with lead responsibility for disadvantaged pupils.

Paula joined the governing body in October 2021 as a parent governor. She has two daughters at Arunside and is currently monitoring inclusion and diversity within the school. 

Paula is originally from Portugal, grew up in London and has lived and worked in Germany and Brussels. Paula moved to Horsham in 2017 and is a freelance translator in her ‘spare time’. With a background in teaching modern languages at secondary school and working as a learning support assistant prior to this, Paula is passionate about seeing children grow to their full potential through the support and opportunities they receive and is excited to be part of a community that shares this passion. 

Parent Governor – Vacancy.

Mrs Gemma Hoult – Parent Governor, with lead responsibility for governor training and development.

Gemma joined the governing body in 2020 as a Parent Governor. She has two boys at Arunside, one in year 4 and one in year 2. Gemma and her family are long term residents of Horsham and she is proud to have seen the way Arunside has grown, and continues to do so, over the last few years. Gemma is a Chartered Accountant and is a Director at KPMG, one of the largest professional services firms in the world.

Gemma enjoys watching her boys play football and rugby. She is a (keenish) runner and a (very keen) shopper.

Mrs Ali Abbott – Co-opted Governor, with lead responsibility for curriculum.

Ali joined the governing body in November 2021. Before retiring in 2020, she was a Deputy Headteacher at another local primary school where she worked for 25 years, with responsibility for curriculum development and assessment.

Ali has lived in Horsham for 34 years and has two grown up daughters who have both attended schools in Horsham. 

Since retiring Ali has explored a variety of volunteering roles, joined a choir and discovered a love of art.

Ali is keen to continue her link with educations and is pleased to have joined the Arunside community as a school governor. 


If you need to contact our Governing Body please email:

Other Useful Documents

Financial Benchmarking