The Governing Body of the school consists of elected parents, Local Education Authority nominees, Foundation governors, Parish Council representatives and an elected teacher. The Governors meet at least twice a term and have general responsibility for the effective management of the school. They work within the framework set both by national legislation and the policies of the Local Education Authority.

Their responsibilities include the appointment and dismissal of staff, discipline, control of the delegated school budget, the forming of curriculum policies and maintenance of the premises. In practice, the Governors delegate the day to day running of the school to the headteacher.

Parents can raise any concern with a governor at any time, although it is usually more appropriate to contact the headteacher in the first instance.

Elections and appointments of Governors take place every four years.

A full list of current school Governors, any conflicts of interest they may have and their attendance at Full Governing Body meetings can be viewed by clicking here.

Governor Profiles

Profile: Jan Liversage Chair of Governors

I am a retired Headteacher of a Hertfordshire Special school for children with Severe Learning Difficulties, which received 4 judgements of Outstanding by Ofsted. Over the years my skills and knowledge were used in many projects, workstreams and innovations to assist in the development of special education in Hertfordshire, which also impacted on provision and support provided to mainstream primary and secondary schools in East Herts. In the past I have been a part-time tutor for Birmingham University and was instrumental in establishing new specialist ways of working with Multi-sensory impaired children in Hertfordshire Special Schools.

In other parts of my life I am a Parish Councillor, Joint President of the local WI and keen gardener. I enjoy going to the theatre and music concerts as well as yoga and Dancing with Saracens ‘Love to Dance’ programme. I enjoy all sport, but top of my list is Rugby (Saracens of course) and Horse Racing although I don’t like betting, so just cheer on the horse and jockey that I pick. I play Bridge, although I am only a beginner and have been singing in a choir for several years.

I am a busy person who is passionate about promoting the best educational opportunities for children, alongside offering a protective and caring and nurturing environment for all pupils to keep them safe. The quality of teaching and learning is a key focus for me along with providing a wide and varied curriculum. Children and young people deserve the best provision that we can offer, and I will work hard to help the Stapleford School Headteacher and staff to achieve this.


Profile: James Shillito

I have worked in education since 2004 and have been the Headteacher at Stapleford Primary School since January 2015. Since 2006 I have taken on the role of school governor within the schools that I have worked. I have always found the strategic role of building a strong governing body, which contains a variety of skills, and helping to steer the school in the right direction to be incredibly rewarding.

I still love to teach and work with the children so getting into the classrooms, with my governor hat on, is something that I try to do as often as I can. The children are incredibly adept at pointing out their frustrations which are important to hear, as a governor, as they often lead to actions that help to move the school forward.



Profile: Reverend Jenny Gray

As Rector of St Mary’s Church, Stapleford, I have been a Foundation governor at Stapleford Primary School since 2013, with responsibility for Safeguarding 2013-2021, now SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools).  Before being ordained a priest in the St Albans Diocese in 2003, I worked a History teacher, latterly at Stanborough School in WGC, where I was Head of Department. I was also involved in Girl Guiding and ran a Guide company for many years.  I served 10 years in the church of St Francis of Assisi, WGC before moving to be in charge of the 4 then 5 churches in the Beane Valley Benefice.  I was made an Honorary Canon of St Albans Cathedral in November 2022 for my work in rural ministry.

I have a BA in History from London University, a PGCE and a diploma in theology from Oxford University.  I have 4 grown-up sons and 4 young grandchildren.  No skill is wasted – my experiences as a mother, teacher and priest come together as I prepare my weekly Collective Worship and seasonal school services in Church and serve as a governor.   I work with the Head in developing the distinctive Christian ethos in Stapleford School (as required of a Church of England foundation), across the curriculum, in our 3-fold School Vision to Believe, Nurture, Enlighten and provide pastoral care to the school community.

Rev Canon Jenny Gray


Profile: Hollie Common

I have been involved with Stapleford for several years, originally as the clerk to governors and more recently as a parent. Following standing down as clerk, I am lucky to have been appointed as a foundation governor to the board.

I have a background in School Governance, working as a Governance Advisor for 17 years. During my time in Governance, I have led on training for governors, the governance helpdesk, and the clerking service. I believe the skills I have will enable me to effectively fulfil my governor role at Stapleford.

I have always found the school to be a supportive, nurturing environment that allows children to confidently learn and grow.

In my spare time I am a keen horse rider, competing regularly in eventing with my horse Des.



Profile: Janet Warrington

I am a qualified School Business Manager (SBM) and Clerk to the Governors at a special school for pupils with severe learning difficulties.  As the SBM I work full-time and I am involved with Health & Safety, Compliance, Policies, Finance, Human Resources, Data Protection, Projects, and coordinating the Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) meetings for every pupil.   I have a Bachelor of Science First Class Honours Degree in Sports Studies (2011) and I retired as a national level swimming coach in 2020.  I am a mother and grandmother, like to be busy and I love using Excel!

Profile: Lisa Cooper

I have been associated with Stapleford School for nearly 20 years, with both of my children having been pupils there from the very first early years and nursery, right through to Year 6. I joined the SSFA from the start of my time with the school and became Chair for a number of years, a position which gave me valuable insight into the school workings and contribute. I continue to be dedicated to supporting the success of the school and all of its staff.

I hold a Chartered MCipd which recognises my skills and experience in Human Resources and currently work as the Head of HR at a fairly local manufacturing company. I am able to use my skillset to support the Head and teaching staff and holding the role as Vice Chair means I can add value to the Governors who all work as a team to see that Stapleford is continuously striving to achieve success.  There are some incredible teachers and teaching staff at Stapleford and the school works tirelessly to provide a safe and stimulating environment for its pupils.



Profile: Peter Critchley
I am a Diocese-appointed foundation governor and have been a governor at Stapleford Primary School since 2004. I run a digital agency locally and, amongst other things, use the associated skills to support the financial, data and operational aspects within my role on the governing body. I have held a number of posts on the governing body over the years, and have always enjoyed being able to support in any way I can to provide a truly supportive environment and the very best outcomes for everyone in the whole school community.

Profile: Pauline Strong

I am the staff governor at Stapleford Primary School and I took on this role in September 2023.  This is my first experience of being a governor.  I have worked at Stapleford as a Teaching Assistant (class-based and 1:1), a lunch time supervisor and in the Breakfast and After School Clubs since 2015, with a year’s break in 2019-20 for caring responsibilities.  I have also worked in a larger, local mainstream primary school as a 1:1 TA and in special primary and secondary schools as a Speech and Language Therapist.

My original BA was in English Literature and in 2009 I gained a BSc in Speech Sciences.  Before my (now adult) children were born, I was a qualified accountant, and worked in an arts organisation and in a London accountancy firm.

These different roles and qualifications have given me a broad range of professional skills to bring to the governing body.  They have also taught me that, given the right approach and support, it’s possible to learn things you never thought you could understand.  The school team works with passion and persistence to achieve that learning for every child at Stapleford.  As a governor I want to contribute to developing the systems and structures that support the face-to-face work in the classrooms.



Profile: Sarah Woodley

I bring over 13 years of invaluable experience as a Forest School teacher, coupled with a fresh qualification as an Outdoor Mental Health Practitioner. My journey at the school is not just professional but deeply personal, having experienced it from multiple perspectives—from attending as a student to later enrolling both of my daughters.

As a Forest School teacher, I have been instrumental in fostering a love for nature and experiential learning among the pupils. My commitment to outdoor education goes beyond conventional teaching methods, instilling a sense of wonder and resilience in young learners over the years.

My recent accreditation as an Outdoor Mental Health Practitioner underscores dedication to holistic well-being. Equipped with specialisation training, I now leverage outdoor environments to promote mental health and emotional resilience, recognising the profound impact nature can have on our psychological well-being.

My unique connection to the school—both as an educator and a parent—reflects my deep-rooted investment in its values and mission. My journey is a testament to the transformative power of outdoor education and its enduring impact on generations of pupils.


Profile: Vivien Marshall

I have been a school governor for over 25 years with three terms as a Chairman, all at a local village junior school. Currently I am Chairman of governors at another Church of England primary school.

It is important never to underestimate the importance of the role of a school governor and to acknowledge the value that can be added to a child’s school life. Additionally, I have always found the involvement to be very rewarding.

My working life has been in the science sector initially conducting cancer research for a pharmaceutical company then as a biomedical scientist in the NHS carrying out cytology based medical diagnosis working at managerial level. I have been a Magistrate and Treasurer of the regional branch of our professional body.

When I visited Stapleford, following a link through Herts Governors, I was impressed by the caring environment in the school and the approach to learning and was more than happy to become a part of the team

I am proud to work with my fellow governors, the Headteacher and the staff to fulfil my responsibilities and to see the school grow and flourish giving all the children the opportunity to achieve their full potential.



Profile: Jonathan Armitage

I am a parent governor at Stapleford Primary School. This is my first role as a school governor. I took on this role in 2022. I am a father of three with two children at Stapleford Primary School. I chose to become a governor to give back to both the school and the community I live in.

I work in financial services and have a degree in computer science and a passion for mathematics and analytics. These are skills I use within my role on the governing body.