Our School Governors
Below you will find the details of all Governors who have been in post since July 2017. All Governors and the Clerk to Governors can be contacted via the school office.
The Federation of St Martin's and Seabrook Church of England Primary School Governing Body
Mrs Anita Ellerby
Chair of Governors
I passionately believe in the importance and value of education. Through education, we can develop our skills, knowledge and interests, enhance our career opportunities and be empowered to make our own decisions.
The primary education stage is so crucial for every child. It provides the safe and secure environment in which a child is nurtured and encouraged to develop an inquisitive mind and a lifelong desire to learn. I am very committed to the federation and believe that it provides an excellent opportunity to secure the future of two small, outstanding schools for the benefit of our pupils and their families, our staff and the wider community.
My career has been in education, mainly in the post 16 sector. My last role was as a director of a large further education college where I had a range of responsibilities including curriculum development, quality assurance and college services including estates, IT and management information, personnel, learning resources and technical support.
Mrs Jessica Hawkins
I joined the governing body as Staff Governor in September 2022, having been at St Martin’s for the last 5 years. I taught in Key Stage 2 at St Martin’s before becoming Assistant Head teacher and working across the federation of Seabrook and St Martin’s to enhance the curriculum and quality of teaching alongside the senior leadership team. I qualified from the University of Chichester in 2011 specialising in KS2/3 Maths and spent 7 years working at a primary school in Ashford before joining St Martin’s.
It was at my previous school where I first held the role of Staff Governor and enjoyed sharing my passion for education, contributing to discussion and making a positive difference in providing children with the best possible opportunities. As a result of this experience, I was delighted to join the Federation’s governing body to contribute towards the future of children, staff and our community at Seabrook and St Martin’s.
Mrs Sarah Carter
I have a keen interest in children's learning and passionately believe that every child has the right to an outstanding education. I have a strong social conscience and enjoy making a positive difference to the work of the Federation through my contribution to the governing body. I also bring to the Federation my experience as a community governor at the Federation of Foxwood and Highview Schools (now The Beacon) where I served for 4 years between 2010 and 2014.
In 2021 I completed an MSc in Psychology (Conversion) at Canterbury Christ Church University, and I am particularly interested in cognition and learning. Since March 2022 I have been working at St Martin's two days a week providing 1-1 Teaching Assistant support.
I also work three days a week as a Research Director for a research and evaluation consultancy. I have extensive experience in designing and delivering research and evaluation projects for public sector, community and voluntary sector and private sector organisations. I use my skills in project management, teamwork, moderating, analysis and problem solving in my work as a co-opted governor for the Federation.
Rev Stephen Crofts
Mr Stephen James BA (Hons), QTS, FRSA
I am motivated by the desire to achieve the best for all the children in the Federation as well as for the families and wider school community. I was appointed to Seabrook’s governing body as parent governor in July 2016 and then transferred to a co-opted governor when Seabrook and St Martin’s federated.
I grew up on one of the poorest council estates in the UK and was the first in my family to attend University. I believe in the power of educational aspiration which can be transformative and lift people out of poverty. In 2003, I joined the British Army and was selected for one of the Army’s most elite organisations, the Intelligence Corps.
After my service, I retrained as a teacher and studied for a BA (Hons) in Primary Education from Canterbury Christ Church University. I also became a Maths Specialist for the National Centre of Excellence in the Teaching Mathematics and was hand-picked to go to Shanghai in 2017 by the Department for Education to fact find from a high performing education system. I have been a senior school leader; Specialist Leader of Education and I was recognised by my peers in 2018 with an Award at Kent Teacher of Year.
In 2020, I co-founded ‘Invicta National Academy’ which delivered over 4 million minutes of free catch-up learning to children during the Covid lockdowns and raised over £150k. As a result of these efforts. In 2021, I won another award at Kent Teacher of the Year and was described by the Chairman of the Education Select Committee as an ‘Educational Hero’ and was praised by the Secretary of State for Education in the House of Commons.
Due to my significant social impact during Covid, I was also invited to be a ‘Fellow’ of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
I now lead an ‘education think tank’ which lobbies Government for policy changes as well as a small digital marketing agency- I also hold Public Appointment within the Cabinet Office. I am passionate about ensuring all the children in our Federation continue to meet their full potential in the caring, Christian environment that they are currently thriving in.
Mr Alan Ewart-James
I have been a governor previously of Seabrook School for about 15 years and during this period I have seen its spectacular progress from coming out of special measures to becoming an Outstanding School.
Living close by I am passionate about its success and the wonderful experience that it gives to our young children in the early informative part of their lives. Although my background is not in education, I spent my life at sea and am now retired as a ship’s captain, I can compliment the Governing Body by bringing to it different abilities and skills.
I still have a strong yearning for the sea and like to spend my holidays whenever I can sailing on yachts around various parts of the world.
Mr Mike Tolhurst
I became a governor because I believe that children are the future and wanted to be involved with their education and well-being. I have been a governor at Seabrook Primary for the past 12 years, which has given me great satisfaction.
I am a retired NHS Paramedic with 33 year’s experience in this field. My wife and I have also fostered children between the ages of 2 and 11 years for the last 26 years through Kent Social Services.
Mrs Louise Timmins
I am a solicitor and a partner in a law firm. I specialise in dealing with child protection cases. This means that I have had plenty of experience in dealing with safeguarding issues within educational settings. I am able to use my skills and experience from my day to day work to assist me with my role as the safeguarding Governor for the federation. I have two children at St Martins and I am committed to ensuring that I assist and support the governing body as much as possible to make sure that our children get the most enjoyable and fulfilling time in the federation that they can get.
Mr Tom Marchant
I was absolutely delighted when I found out that my daughter had secured a place in this year’s reception class, particularly having been so impressed with all aspects of the school at open day. I have always held strong views on the importance and value of education, and the real opportunities that it can bring to enable each and every child to reach their full potential and achieve their own unique aspirations in life.
I was educated at a local primary and grammar school, and now occupy a senior management position at Kent County Council. I lead five teams which are actively involved in shaping housing and economic development proposals across the county. I have excellent interpersonal skills and believe that I am a pragmatic and effective decision maker, with a sound understanding of financial and risk management given my level of accountability in local government. I am always eager to develop my existing skills and learn new ones as I strive to make a difference in all aspects of my professional and personal life.
I am fully supportive of the schools ethos and values, and will relish the opportunity to make a positive and proactive contribution to the invaluable work of the Governing Body in running the schools.
Mrs Chris Porter
I am a retired primary school teacher, passionate about education, having undertaken many different roles, teaching all age groups, Special Educational Needs, English As An Additional Language, Nursery/Under 5’s Diploma, Inclusion Manager, Mentor, Play Therapy, Counselling, Reading Recovery LEAP, Environmental Education and teaching all ages.
I have enjoyed being a parent governor, teacher governor and Local Authority Governor. I am passionate about Sustainability and the Environment. I am a Waste Prevention Adviser Volunteer for West Sussex and a Green Flag Assessor for Eco Schools.
I am married to Malcolm who served as a Parish Councillor and is a cricket coach. In my spare time I love making and creating new items from unwanted waste resources and volunteering. We moved to Hythe in December 2020. We have three children and five grandchildren.
Mr Malcolm Iliff
Now retired, I worked for many years in business consultancy, focussing in on matters to do with technology, finance and corporate governance. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and undertook a post-graduate degree at Warwick university. My final project was to get involved in the emerging World Wide Web when, in the late ’90s, I set up a company to develop websites when most folk did not know one end of a byte from a bit. With something of an international family based in Switzerland, France and Germany, the focus is now more on children and grandchildren. I served 26 years as a governor of an independent school in Kent and later as a Vice President, and so with our recent move down to the south coast, came back to some of my early roots. My wife and I are keen supporters of St Michael's Church Centre in Hythe and hugely value our connections with schools that emphasise their valuable Christian foundations.