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The Role of our Governing Board


Governors are responsible for making sure the school provides a good quality education for all pupils. Raising and maintaining educational standards in school is a key priority. They do this together with the headteacher, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.


The governing board provides strategic leadership and accountability. It has three key functions:


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

Governors set the aims and objectives for the school and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. 


Governors serve a term of 4 years. Their roles and responsibilities, including committee membership, are decided upon annually.


Governing Board Information

Governing Board 2023/2024

NameResponsibilityCategoryTerm of OfficeAppointed By
Jo HardingCo-HeadteacherHeadteacher  
Eleanor Williams


Co-opted01/04/2021-31/03/2025Governing Board
Marj Shanahan Co-opted29/03/2023-28/03/2027Governing Board
Michaela Benson Co-opted23/05/2022-22/05/2026Governing Board
Janis Thorpe Staff01/04/2020-31/03/2024Governing Board
Ian Panton Parent08/07/2020-07/07/2024Governing Board
Lisa Nevill 


12/07/2023-11/07/2027Governing Board

Sally Davis

ChairParent12/05/2021-11/05/2025Governing Board

Joga Shoker

Vice-ChairParent16/09/2021-15/09/2025Governing Board
Joseph Maggs Co-opted23/03/2022-22/03/2026Governing Board
Robert Trevett Parent29/03/2023-28/03/2027Governing Board
Karl  Burman Co-opted18/10/2023-17/10/2027Governing Board
Sally AllenClerk   


Governor Declarations of Business and Financial Interests and Relationships between Governors and/or School Staff 2023/2024

Janis ThorpeRelated to Rebecca Pratt, Teacher
Sally DavisSally Davis is also Chair of the school PTA


Instrument of Government

Staff Governors2 (including the Headteacher)                                       
Local Authority1
Parent Governors5
Co-opted Governors7
Associate GovernorsNo limit to the number of Associate Governors


Governors in Post 2023/2024

Staff Governors


Local Authority0
Parent Governors4
Co-opted Governors6
Associate Governors0


Governor Roles 2023/2024

Staff Grievance and Complaints

All Governors except Chair/Vice Chair & Staff
Pupil Discipline

Joga Shoker, Karl Burman and

Robert Trevett

Appeals CommitteeAll Governors
Child Protection and Safeguarding (including children in care and attendance)Marj Shanahan
Inclusion (including SEND and Pupil Premium)Joga Shoker
Health and SafetyIan Panton
TransitionJoga Shoker
PE and Sports PremiumIan Panton
Governor Induction and TrainingAll Governors
ICT, Website and GDPRVacant
Income GenerationJoe Maggs
Leadership and Management linked to School Improvement PlanSally Davis


Governor Subject Links 2023/2024

Science Cluster

(Maths, science, Computing, PE)

Karl Burman and Robert Trevett                            

Humanities Cluster

(PSHE, Geography, History, RE)

Joe Maggs and Marj Shanahan
Arts ClusterJoga Shoker


 Letchmore Infants' and Nursery School
Attendance 2022-2023
 Y = Attended, N = Apologies Accepted, NA = Apologies not Accepted, NS = No Apologies sent, ? = Attendance Not Marked, Blank = Not Required,
CA = Consent for absence, - = Not applicable
   Resources CommitteeSchool Improvement CommitteeFull Governing BoardSchool Improvement CommitteeResources CommitteeFull Governing BoardSchool Improvement CommitteeResources CommitteeFull Governing Board 
 GovernorGovernor Type05 Oct 202218 Oct 202216 Nov 202207 Feb 202322 Mar 202329 Mar 202309 May 202317 May 202312 Jul 2023 
 Sally AllenClerkYYYYYYYYY 
 Michaela BensonCo-opted governor NYY NY Y 
 Sally DavisParent governor  Y  Y  Y 
 Joanna HardingHeadteacher YYY YY Y 
 Miss Marie Hodgson  NN       
 Mr Anthony Lanni Y Y NY NN 
 Mrs Emma Loftus   Y       
 Joseph MaggsCo-opted governorY N YY YY 
 Lisa NevillCo-opted governorY Y YY YY 
 Ian PantonParent governorY Y YY YY 
 Marj ShanahanCo-opted governor YYN YY Y 
 Joga ShokerParent governorYYYN Y  Y 
 Janis ThorpeStaff governor YYY YY Y 
 Eleanor WilliamsCo-opted governorY Y YY YY 


Letchmore Infants' and Nursery School

Attendance 2023-2024



Y = Attended, N = Apologies Accepted, NA = Apologies not Accepted, NS = No Apologies sent, ? = Attendance Not Marked, Blank = Not Required,

CA = Consent for absence, - = Not applicable





Full Governing Board Meeting


Governor Type

18 Oct 2023

Michaela Benson

Co-opted governor


Karl Burman

Co-opted governor


Sally Davis

Parent governor


Joanna Harding



Joseph Maggs

Co-opted governor


Lisa Nevill

Co-opted governor


Ian Panton

Parent governor


Marj Shanahan

Co-opted governor


Joga Shoker

Parent governor


Janis Thorpe

Staff governor


Robert Trevett

Parent governor


Eleanor Williams

Co-opted governor






Governor Biographies


Jo Harding - Co-Headteacher

I moved to Stevenage in 2002 and live locally with my husband and 3 young children.

I have been working at Letchmore Infants' and Nursery School since 2002 and joined the governing body shortly after. In 2018 I became Co-Headteacher alongside Kelly Nichol and together we strive to provide the best possible education for every child who comes to Letchmore. We are a strong team who value all members of the Letchmore community and are proud of the dedication shown by our supportive governing body. Letchmore continues to be an important part of the local community. I feel excited to see our school continue to develop in the future.


Eleanor Williams - Co-Headteacher

I am extremely proud to have joined the Letchmore Community in April 2021 to lead Letchmore alongside Jo Harding as Co-Headteacher. I enjoyed many years in teaching and leadership in Infant and Primary Schools across Barnet prior to taking on my first Headship at Tenterfield Nursery School in Welwyn. When the opportunity to apply for the role of Co-Headteacher at Letchmore became available I was immediately taken with the sense of community and the school values which aligned so closely with my own. Letchmore is the kind of place you never want to leave. The classrooms are filled with enthusiastic, happy, independent learners and the warmth shown by staff is a credit to years of a ‘grow your own leaders’ approach. I am honoured to work alongside Jo and the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that every child that comes to Letchmore receives the very best start to their educational journey. We are proud of the passion, drive and dedication shown by our Governing Board to continue driving the success of the school for the future.


Janis Thorpe - Staff Governor

I became a staff governor in 2012 but have been working at the school since 1996. I have worked in nursery, reception and year one and I am currently Head of Early Years and a teacher in reception. I first became interested in being a governor to gain a different perspective of our school. It is a very interesting role and one that I very much enjoy.  I am inspired to continue my service as a governor to ensure we get the very best for the children at Letchmore.


As well as working at the school I also have grandchildren who attend or have attended Letchmore and presently have one grandchild in year 2 and one in nursery.


Michaela Benson - Co-opted Governor

I am proud to say that I have been a part of the Letchmore community since 2000, when my daughter started nursery. I was an active member of the PTA and began volunteering as a parent in 2003 when my son joined the nursery. I felt very privileged to be offered a part time teaching assistant role in 2004 and soon realised education would be my new career path. I became a full time teaching assistant in 2005 and attended university to gain my teaching degree. I was delighted to be offered a teacher training place at the school and was employed as a teacher in 2011. I am now an Assistant Headteacher with overall responsibility for Inclusion and a Designated Safeguarding Lead.


I am committed to ensuring that all our learners have access to a fun and engaging curriculum and that our children are educated in a safe and stimulating environment.


I became a governor when I was a teaching assistant. I am proud to say that the whole school community has strived to ensure that the school still has the same welcoming, inclusive feel as it did when I chose it for my children to attend in 2000.


Marj Shanahan - Co-opted Governor

I have been a civil servant for just over 28 years, working mainly in operational roles across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. I have recently started as a Customer Service Leader in West London.

I was appointed as a governor in January 2019. I am the safeguarding governor.


I became a governor to give something back to the community by contributing to the education of the children in the local area. My aim is to be able to make a positive contribution to the school and play an active role so it continues to maintain it's high standard and fantastic reputation.


Lisa Neville - Associate Governor

I have a long and happy history with Letchmore Infant School. My children attended the school and I began my career in education here as a teaching assistant. I went on to complete my teacher training at Letchmore and was lucky enough to be offered a teaching job in 2008. I have worked in EYFS and years 1 and 2 and I am passionate about delivering a curriculum that engages and inspires children to love learning and to want to face challenges with confidence every day. I am very proud to be Mathematics subject lead, Key Stage One Leader and Assistant Head at the school. As a member of school staff and a new associate governor, I look forward to responding to the responsibilities and challenges involved as I feel that I can contribute in a positive way to key decisions and discussions to ensure children are safe and access a broad and balanced curriculum.


Ian Panton - Parent Governor

I have lived in Stevenage for six years now, but my connection to the local area goes back much further through my family and my work as an aerospace engineer. I have two sons at the school, the eldest of which has now been through the full Letchmore School experience and is preparing to transition onward to Almond Hill. It’s been a joy to see how much he has enjoyed his crucial early years of education. Having seen all the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes it now comes as little surprise that both my sons have had such a positive experience. 


My motivation for joining the governing board was primarily to contribute back to the local community, in whatever way I can, and to help the school maintain its already high standards. I have a passion for sport, science, and technology. Working for a satellite manufacturer my inner-geek is thrilled whenever the kids bring home space-themed projects.  


Joga Shoker

I have been in Hertfordshire since 1996 when I moved here to complete my business degree at the University of Hertfordshire. I have worked mainly in the food franchising industry with both McDonalds as an employee and Subway as a business owner for over 20 years. My role now is as a Partner with UW and help people reduce their household bills as well as train, recruit and mentor for the company too. I have two boys, one currently at Letchmore and the other due to start at the nursery soon. I wanted to be more involved with the school and give back as I have seen such an amazing journey my eldest has been through at Letchmore from nursery age.