St Martin's Church of England Primary School

‘Faith and Endeavour - Living and Learning together’

The Governors

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


Meet the Governors of The Federation of St Martin's and Seabrook Church of England Primary Schools

Mrs Anita Ellerby

Chair of Governors

Local Authority


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

Staff Governor


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.

Rev Stephen Crofts

Ex-Officio Foundation



Stephen James

Co-opted Governor


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

Vice Chair



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

Foundation Governor


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

Co-Opted Governor

I am a solicitor and 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.

Mrs Vicky Brown

Parent Governor

Grace Chingono

Parent Governor

It is indeed an honour to be part of this dynamic system that seeks to improve the children learning experiences at this important juncture in their lives.

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and migrated to England in my early 20’s. Currently, I work as a nurse in the NHS.

 I come from a family of educationists and a country that values the pursuit of knowledge. Growing up, I was always told that with education most things are possible. It has proven to be true, therefore, I want to contribute, in my small way, to education in any form. This is my major reason for joining the school governor board. It also gives me the opportunity to interact with like minded people; people who view education as one of the greatest gifts you can ever give to a growing child.

 In addition, I believe in integration, diversity and the core Christian ethics that underpin the values of my adopted country. The importance of these being inculcated to a growing child as she negotiates her way through the education system, can never be overemphasised. Every responsible adult would be aware of the importance of the primary schooling in this journey as it is this formative stage that allows the child to flourish, (or flounder!) in the future.

 As a health practitioner, I love promoting healthy living because of the old cliché, ‘a healthy body promotes a healthy mind.’ To that end I wish to see (primary) schools actively incorporating, within the curriculum, activities that teach the growing child the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle which contributes immensely to a person’s well-being in adulthood.

Foundation Governor

Mr Malcolm Iliff

Co-opted Governor

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.

Lucy Woodward

Co-opted Governor

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