Our Governing Body
What do we do?
Royal Rise Primary's Governing Body is an elected body with legal responsibilities for the strategic direction and leadership of the school.
The Governing Body meets termly to monitor how the school is progressing against its stated objectives (our School Improvement Plan). The Governing Body is responsible to the Trustees of Cygnus Academies Trust.
Our Governors at Royal Rise Primary School have a variety of skills and backgrounds and they work closely with the Head of School to ensure high quality learning is accessible to all of our children, according to their individual needs. This is achieved by monitoring the children's results and learning progress, ensuring the school is a safe and welcoming environment, and delivering within the confines of the school's budget.
Our Governors all share the same purpose: to support and challenge the Head of School to ensure that our school delivers a curriculum that gives our children the skills and abilities needed to succeed in a challenging and fast moving world, delivered in a safe, holistic and enjoyable way that encourages our children into a lifetime of learning.
Who Are We?
Mel ShackletonChair of Governors
I am a retired headteacher of an infant school in Tunbridge Wells so am delighted to continue my links with education in such a fantastic school.I have lived in Tonbridge for the last 35 years and am married with three grown up children and a granddaughter.
Being a governor at Royal Rise is a great privilege and I enjoy coming in to school each week to hear children read and to meet with Mrs Griggs and the staff.
Royal Rise is a great place to be and I am looking forward to continuing on the journey to becoming the best we can be with the staff and pupils.
Bob WaldenVice-Chair of Governors
I joined the Royal Rise Board of Governors in Autumn 2019 and was invited to become Vice Chair in March 2020. My Governor responsibilities are for Pupil Premium and Safeguarding. I must say that I find both the Senior Leadership Team together with teaching and non-teaching staff both inspirational and refreshing, together with their caring and positive approach there is no wonder the school is growing in stature within the community.
My 47 year career was spent in the financial world of business and industry. Having left school at the age of 15, I studied and qualified as a Chartered Secretary when I was 26 and held several senior financial / company secretarial positions in manufacturing, a major insurance company, and a large department store.
I am looking forward to helping Royal Rise develop further working with its amazing team and ensuring we continue to go from strength to strength.
Sarah GriggsEx-officio (Headteacher)
I live in Tonbridge and work in London as a civil servant. My career has been centred on tackling poverty, working to help people improve their lives and that of their families. High quality education is so important to that, and to enabling each child to become the best they can be. So I was pleased to join Royal Rise as a co-opted governor in April 2019, and consider it a privilege to support such a fantastic school.
I Have been married to my wife, Jen for 39 years with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. We have lived in Tonbridge since 1987 and just love this area. I worked for NatWest for 24 years, leaving in 2002 to run a local conference centre until 2011 when my wife and I became pastors of River Church here in Tonbridge.
Emma JonesParent Governor
Emma has 2 children at Royal Rise and has been heavily involved in running our PTA over the last 2 years. Emma joined our school Governors in late 2019. Emma also attended Royal Rise (previously St Stephens) as a child and has always lived in this area so has a passion for both the school and the local community.
Emma is an Executive Assistant and works for a Strategic Consultant in the Private Equity sector, working in majority for the Education Sector and she spent 8 years working for the Times Educational Supplement (TES), a magazine focused on teachers and education and online teaching resources.
Jenni HewittParent Governor
I have two children at Royal Rise and have been a member of the PTA since 2015. I am a Legal Secretary by day and by night an avid reader. I am looking forward to the challenge of seeing the different perspective of how a school works.It has been wonderful seeing the school go from strength to strength over the past few years andI hope to be able to make a positive contribution
Julia ReillyStaff Governor
Fiona McGuireStaff Govenor
The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The Chair is elected by the governors for a two year term.
If you feel that you may have skills and abilities that may assist the Governing Body, or you have any questions, please contact us.
For more information about our Governors, or our governance please visit the Cygnus Governance homepage here
Governor Attendance Reports
Letter from Governors
On behalf of the Governors I am delighted to have the opportunity to write to you about the role of the Governing Board at Royal Rise Primary School.
The governors are volunteers who have a commitment to the school, its pupils, staff and buildings as well as to the local community of which it is a part. We are all proud to be associated with Royal Rise Primary School.
In the past three years under the leadership of our Head of School, Sarah Griggs, everyone at the school has worked very hard to improve the quality of all aspects of school life. Staff have worked so hard to create a safe and happy school where the children are able to learn and play well. The new curriculum is exciting and relevant to our pupils and they are learning so much in creative and fun ways.
Whilst the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team have responsibility for the day to day running of the school, Governing Boards are an elected body with legal responsibilities for the strategic direction and leadership of the school.
Our Governors at Royal Rise have a variety of skills and backgrounds and they work closely with the Head of School to ensure high quality learning is accessible to all of our children, according to their individual needs.
Governors visit the school regularly to monitor all aspects of school life so we know how much the children are learning, what progress they are making, how safe the children are in school, how well behaved, polite and caring they are and how safe the buildings and grounds are. Our visits always show us how committed all the staff are to the pupils and families of Royal Rise.
We also check how the school finances are being used so that we know money is being spent well.
Visits are reported to all the governors at our termly meetings so that we have a clear picture of school life and can monitor how the school is progressing against its priorities for improvement.
The school’s results are a real cause for celebration and increasing numbers of pupils are testament to the school’s growing and well deserved reputation in Tonbridge.
As governors we have been so impressed with how the school has responded to the Covid-19 crisis and how pupils have continued to access their learning with the support of their teachers and their home-schooling parents. A big thank you goes to everyone for their commitment and dedication to the school’s pupils and their families.
The governors look forward to continuing to play their part in the life of Royal Rise Primary School over the coming months and years and to getting to know more of you as we visit the school and meet you at school events.
Chair of Governors