'Governors have been very quick to respond to recommendations.  They have recruited additional governors with the expertise necessary to drive the school forwards.  They have restructured the governing body to ensure that they are able to support the school in providing pupils with an ever-improving quality of education'  Ofsted, March 2022

The statutory purpose of the Governing Body is to promote a high standard of educational achievement in our school.  We provide strategic leadership and accountability.  

Our core functions, as set out in The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013, are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

There are 17 members on our Governing Body and we meet formally each month during term time with additional working groups or Panels as required.   School governorship is a very responsible voluntary (unpaid) role requiring a commitment to engage in the activities of the school and share knowledge and skills for the benefit of the whole school community.

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. Our Governors work closely with the Headteacher, the Senior Leadership Team and Staff to ensure that every child gets the best possible education.   We make 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 in a safe environment for all our pupils.


Our Chair of Governors, Mrs Gemma Elliott can be contacted via the Clerk to the Governing Body at   More information about our Governors can be found below:



Please click the link below for the Governance handbook which outlines the duties of a Governing Body.

Mrs Gemma Elliott

Chair of Governors / Parent Governor

Appointed January 2022 - current term of office ends January 2026

I have lived in the local area for most of my life and have worked in the Public Sector locally for over 20 years. My job has allowed me to work with a wide range of people and agencies within the community.

My eldest son started in Reception at the school in 2020 and my youngest son is hopefully joined in September 2022. I have an ongoing relationship with Georgian Gardens and I want to support the school in any way I can.

I am pleased to be involved with a school that cares for all its students and provides a positive learning environment and am passionate about supporting where I can to keep the school flourishing and improving.

Miss Amie Bowers


Miss Bowers took up post as Headteacher at Georgian Gardens in January 2018 and is a serving member of the governing body. Previously she was Headteacher at Rudgwick Primary School (2013 - 2017) and prior to this had experience of working in primary schools in both West Sussex and Hampshire. Miss Bowers is keen to ensure that all pupils at Georgian Gardens are inspired by their learning and supported to achieve the very best that they can.

Mrs Rosemary Cornish

Local Authority Governor

Appointed January 2006 – current term of office ends January 2026

Rosemary is a local authority appointed governor. She lives in Rustington with her husband Martin. Now retired, she worked for the NHS as a Director of a Primary Care Trust with responsibility for all primary care provision across the Trust. Her voluntary work includes 14 years as a Magistrate in Sussex serving in both the Adult and Family Courts and many years working in and supporting the voluntary youth sector. Rosemary believes that all children should learn and develop in a safe and caring environment and that they should have a positive experience at school. She is proud of the important role Georgian Gardens School plays in the local community.

Mrs Helen Meakins

Co-opted Governor

Appointed December 2013 – current term of office ends May 2027.

Helen is the leader of the Reception Year, Year One and Year Two. She has taught at Georgian Gardens since 1997 and is passionate about the education and welfare of young children. She has personally inducted over 1000 children in to school. Helen is married to Dominic and has 2 children , both of whom attended Georgian Gardens. Originally elected as a staff governor she was re-appointed as a co-opted governor in 2015. Helen is also a governor at Chatsmore Catholic High School in Goring.

Ms Heather Ward

Vice Chair of Governors / Co-opted Governor

Appointed January 2017 – current term of office ends January 2025.

Heather has been a practitioner in schools for 37 years working in Liverpool, Haringey and West Sussex and has held a number of responsibilities including Safeguarding, SENCO, Travellers' Education, EAL provision, Children who are Looked After, Pastoral Care etc. She has worked for Ofsted and has been part of the West Sussex Safeguarding of Children Board. She has experience working with statutory agencies - most notably Children's Social Care and Sussex Police Safeguarding Investigation Unit .
Heather lives locally and has a special fondness for Georgian Gardens because, at the tender age of 18, she did work experience when the school had just opened. This confirmed her desire to be a teacher. She seeks to work hard to ensure she can be of service to all staff, students, families and the Governing Body at Georgian Gardens school. She currently leads the Governor's Pastoral and Pupil Premium Team and she is currently the Vice-Chair of Governors.

Mrs Carol Phillips

Co-opted Governor

Appointed October 2019 – current term of office ends October 2027

Carol was a teacher in primary education for 39 years before her retirement in 2018.She taught in Lambeth, South London, before moving with her husband and three daughters to West Sussex in 1996. During her career she was a class teacher in Key Stage 1 and a supply teacher across the primary phase. However the majority of her teaching career, and her real passion, was spent in the area of special educational
needs. She has worked as a learning support teacher and has a diploma in dyslexia. For nearly 20 years she was a Special Needs Coordinator and member of her former school’s Senior Leadership Team.

Mr Matt Phelps

Co-opted Governor

Appointed September 2019 – current term of office ends September 2027

Matt is one of two governors chosen by parents and carers and he is part of the Pastoral and Pupil Premium team. He has worked locally in the public sector for over 16 years in various capacities and for most of that time he has also been a leader of a local youth group. He has two young children, the oldest of which joined the Reception year in Autumn 2019. He therefore has a long-term interest in ensuring that high educational
standards are maintained and in supporting the Headteacher and staff to safeguard the wellbeing of all the children.

Mrs Emily Roberts

Staff Governor

Appointed October 2020 – current term of office ends September 2024.

Emily lives in Littlehampton with her husband and three children. Before qualifying as a teacher, thirteen years ago, she did a degree in psychology and worked in schools supporting the transition of children with autistic spectrum disorder from home programmes into the mainstream. Emily has taught at Georgian Gardens for ten years. She worked part-time while her children were young and has been a full-time class teacher here for seven years. Two of her own children have been educated at Georgian Gardens.

Emily is proud to teach at a school that prioritises the wellbeing of its pupils and understands that children learn best and make more progress when they are happy, safe and engaged. Alongside working as a class teacher Emily liaises with our local universities to coordinate placements for trainee teachers at the school. Within this role Emily is able to support the development of new educators alongside bringing new innovative ideas into the school from the university sector.  She enjoys bringing a staff perspective to the governing body, in her role as staff governor.  

Mrs Judy Grevett

Co-opted Governor

Appointed April 2021 – current term of office ends April 2025

Judy lives in Rustington with her husband, Bob, who is a local councillor. They have three children and four grandchildren, one of whom is a pupil at Georgian Gardens. Judy worked in education for forty years. She was Headteacher of four primary schools, a School Improvement Consultant and an Ofsted Inspector. Now retired, she retains her passion to ensure that children get the best possible education continues.

Mr Jamie Bennett

Co-opted Governor

Appointed September 2021 - current term of office ends September 2025

Jamie moved to Rustington in 2007 and at the age of 18 he was elected to Rustington Parish Council in 2009 where he served as Chairman of the Council from 2017-2019. In 2019 Jamie was also elected to Arun District Council to represent Rustington West. During his time as Parish Council Chairman, Jamie visited the school a number of times to see the great work the staff and students do within the school and local community. Jamie has a number of close links with the school as many family members are former pupils of the school, a family member works at the school and his son currently attends the school.

Mrs Tamsin Connick

Co-opted Governor

Appointed November 2021 - current term of office ends November 2025

When Tamsin moved into this area with her family in 2021 she chose Georgian Gardens because of the nurturing culture that was evident throughout the school which enables children to grow both personally and academically. Tamsin feels very strongly that the wellbeing and development of children should underpin all the workings of the school and the governing body, and as a governor she relishes the opportunity to support the school in achieving its aims.

Tamsin has a background in HR and Finance, and she has a School Business Manager qualification. She has also provided clerking and governance adviser services to a variety of schools in recent years.

Mrs Gemma Arkinstall

Co-opted Governor

Appointed July 2022 - current term of office ends July 2026

Gemma is a co-opted governor who has been a teacher for 17 years. She recently decided to come away from teaching and is now moving into Digital Marketing while occasionally working as a Supply teacher at her previous school. She lives in Rustington with her family and chose Georgian Gardens as the school for her two children because of the focus on the child as a whole and the community feel. Gemma enjoys coming into Georgian Gardens and listening to children read and helping on trips when needed. As a governor, Gemma hopes to support the school to continue improving and providing a positive, supportive learning environment where all children can be inspired to learn and achieve.

Dr Sam Rowley

Co-opted Governor

Appointed February 2023 - current term of office ends February 2027

Sam is a programme manager at the Medical Research Council (MRC), responsible for better research methods and data science skills. It takes so many different types of people, working in so many different ways, to make top quality research. Sam is keen that all those doing their bit to help UK medical research are recognised and rewarded within MRC strategy. Similarly, Georgian Gardens is a brilliant example of how community best provides the creativity, belief and wellbeing for all pupils, staff and families to thrive. Sam is honoured to help recognise and support all those that make that possible.

Sam has held several roles during his years at MRC, developing a many different research funding schemes and research partnerships. Sam obtained a PhD and MSci from the University of Bristol before a brief time as a research scientist studying neuroscience in Uppsala, Sweden. He has one daughter at the school and a partner on the PTA.

Mr Ross Sherman

Parent Governor

Appointed September 2023 - current term of office ends September 2027

Mrs Angela MacAskill

Co-opted Governor

Appointed September 2023 - current term of office ends September 2027

Mr Neil Windeatt

Co-opted Governor

Appointed September 2023 - current term of office ends September 2027