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Hove Junior School

Portland Road & Holland Road

"There is strong evidence of good systemic leadership and an aspirational culture, supporting strong outcomes for pupils and in raising standards for disadvantaged and SEND pupils" - Ofsted, February 2020

Pen Portraits

Nick Jefferson, Chair of Governors & Co-opted Governor

I am a co-opted governor and joined the board of governors in 2022.  I have worked in primary education for over 40 years. I have held several positions within the primary sector, culminating in the headship of schools, both in the UK and internationally. I have extensive experience of developing the primary curriculum and leading INSET, supporting teachers to excel in the classroom. My specialty is English and the progression of writing and reading across the primary phase. I am passionate about providing an exciting and inspiring curriculum for all children.

Having worked with many very different school communities, I understand the importance of connection and the unique characteristics of each school community. I recently retired, and decided to become a governor, so that I could give back to the community in which I live.  I now look forward to working hard with my fellow governors, staff, and parents to ensure that the school continues to provide an outstanding education for your children.


Lisa Marshall,  Vice-Chair & Co-opted Governor

I joined the Governing Board many moons ago in 2008, originally being elected as a parent governor.  Both my children have passed through our schools; my son is currently at Blatch and my daughter is at Uni in London.  Currently I work for a local charity that partners with communities to tackle inequality and create a healthier, more inclusive and resilient city.   I am proud of our schools and feel privileged to work with such a passionate and committed staff team; it is hugely rewarding to work with the whole school community to ensure all our children have a positive early learning experience and are given the opportunities and support they need to achieve their full potential. 


Louise Wilkinson, Vice-Chair & Co-opted Governor

My background is in marketing and communications, and I have been a governor since 2016. Every year has been an exciting and interesting challenge. it is a real honour to work with such a dedicated team of teaching and support staff, and governors, to help provide a positive and inclusive education experience for all our pupils, whatever their background, special educational needs or disabilities. I have a strong interest in mental wellbeing and believe it should be high on the agenda of all the decisions taken to ensure we are giving every child the best possible chance to thrive. I have two children, both attended WHIS. My son attended HJS and is now at Blatchington Mill and my daughter is at HJS at Holland Road. 


Maddie Southern,  Headteacher - HJS & Ex-Officio Governor

It is a real privilege to be the Headteacher of Hove Junior School. It is a fabulous school – its greatest asset being our children who are highly motivated and enthusiastic and really involved in their learning.  My background is in developmental psychology and during my teaching career, I have taught all age groups working as a year leader, assistant headteacher and deputy headteacher before completing my NPQH and becoming Headteacher five years ago.  I am passionate about providing an inclusive education for all learners and my staff and our school culture strives to be aspirational for all pupils. We are determined to put children at the heart of everything we do and ensure our learning opportunities are as exciting, inclusive and creative as possible. 

Our children have a strong sense of belonging and share common values of respect for and appreciation of each other through our ‘LEARN’ ethos and collaborative approach to learning.  We have a talented and enthusiastic team of staff, of which I am proud to be a member.  

Ella Livingstone Greer, Co-opted Governor

I am a co-opted governor and joined the board of governors in 2022. I have worked in secondary education for over 20 years. My current role lies within academic management and staff development. My area of expertise is centred in the heart of teaching and learning, specifically within teacher training and professional development. I support teachers at all stages of their careers, from ECTs through to those aspiring to become middle managers to further themselves professionally and to continue to develop and broaden their teaching practice. 

As a teacher, I love learning and more than anything I love being in the classroom. I hope that I can bring my enthusiasm for young peoples’ learning experience to the forefront. I have greatly benefited from the support from my own governing body and I hope that I can use my experience to support the work of the HLF governing body. I would like to support the schools to the best they can be and to ensure that all children can have an accessible, stimulating and inspiring educational experience.  

I live in the local community and have a child who attends West Hove Infants. 


Abby Hedger-Jones, Associate Member 

I have been a governor since 2017, initially elected as a Parent Governor and with responsibilities including communications and co-chair. I have an established career in qualitative market research and specialise in working with children and families across a range of issues including education. I work with clients across public and commercial sectors including museums, children’s charities, broadcasters and government departments. I enjoy the chance to reveal the experiences and opinions of children and families to help support positive change.  I have a child at West Hove Infants and one at Hove Juniors and so have the joint experience of being a parent at both schools and the insight this brings. I have lived in West Hove for almost 10 years.  I became a governor to understand the 'nitty gritty' of how a school operates and to offer my experience of researching a range of social and educational issues. As the newly formed federated board evolves, I am particularly keen to understand and scrutinise the relationship each school has with its core stakeholder groups, including pupils, parents, and staff. Specifically, to understand how these different groups are engaged and how the insight is used to shape thinking and support the delivery of key priorities. 


Anne-Marie Williamson, Parent Governor

I’m a new Parent Governor in the Hove Learning Federation.  I have two children at Hove Junior School – one in year 5 and one in year 3. I’ve spent most of my career working in research and strategy roles in the public sector and I specialised in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion research for a number of years. Volunteering in the local community has always been important to me - I’ve previously been a school governor at a primary school in Brighton, chaired a local charity for Black and Mixed parentage families and been a mentor for young people.  

I’m looking forward to using my skills as a governor in the Hove Learning Federation and contributing to the school community.


Ben Massey, Co-opted Governor & WHIS Head of School (School Road)

I grew up in London and studied Psychology at the University of Sussex, where I fell in love with Brighton & Hove. For about eight years I was a freelance writer and web-and print-designer before completing my teacher training at Brighton University.

Before coming to West Hove, I trained at Middle Street and taught at Rudyard Kipling Primary, where I was Assistant Head in my final year. I’ve worked at West Hove Infants for four years as Assistant Head Teacher on the Connaught Road site before joining the School Road team as Acting Head of School in 2019. This role was made permanent in 2020, which I’m utterly delighted about!

I have two young boys who are both at primary school. When I get a minute to myself I very much like to read a book or play the drums or guitar.


Dr. David Karp, FHEA, Co-opted Governor

I have been a Co-opted Governor since 2019, and I joined the Board of the Federation when it was first created in Sept 2021. I have worked in the higher-education sector for 15 years, where I am currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At Sussex, I co-direct a human-rights focused research centre, and my previous departmental roles have included Director of Undergraduate Studies and Admissions Tutor.  My main areas of interest as a school governor include curriculum, assessment, equalities and inclusion, all of which are linked to my professional/academic knowledge and skills.  The reason I became a governor is that I want all the children in the community to have the best possible education and experience, and I enjoy helping to create time and space for staff to reflect strategically on their own practice. I live in the local community, with one child at Hove Junior School and one at West Hove Infant School.


Jo Corbett,  Co-opted Governor

I am a Co-opted Governor. I have worked in higher education for 22 years and my professional experience involves policy and strategy development, project, change and people management, service leadership and review, governance and financial management and stewardship. I live close to the School Road/Portland Road site and became a school governor as I wanted to contribute my leadership and management skills to my local community. I have two sons, both of whom went to the infant and junior school and really their time there. My experience of governance in higher education has been really beneficial getting to grips with being a school governor.


Lorna Cummings, Staff Governor & Head of School (Holland Road)

I have been Head of School at the Holland Road site of Hove Junior School since September 2019, having previously been Head of School at West Hove Infant School. I am very proud to be the Staff Governor. My experience means I know both schools and the school communities well and I am passionate about the education of our pupils. I have previously worked as a Deputy Headteacher at another large primary school in Brighton and also served as Staff Governor whilst working there. During my teaching career, I have taught all age groups from nursery through to Year 6 and have worked as a Communication, Language and Literacy Consultant for Brighton and Hove. I am passionate about providing an inclusive education for all learners. I have a background in Special Educational Needs having previously been a SENCo in 2 schools and taught in a specialist facility for KS2 children with Speech and Language difficulties. I also have Qualified Teacher Status with the British Dyslexia Association. I am excited about the new opportunities ahead for our whole school community.


Barbara Bush, Co-opted Governor

I have worked in HR in the Public Sector for over thirty years, for most of that time in Tertiary Education.  With three children of my own, and now eight grandchildren in different parts of the country I have maintained and active interest in educational services.

My work in HR has included extensive experience of working in and through committees; strategic planning and management; change management and delivery; pay and reward; employment relations; organisational and staff development and budget management.  In 2021, I was awarded an OBE for Services to the Pensions Industry, Diversity and Charity, and in all of my working roles my commitment to inclusivity has been core.

I am looking forward to getting to know the School, helping to find opportunities in the challenges it is facing and contributing directly to its future.


Marcel Amour, Co-opted Governor

I spent 8 years in secondary maths education, before switching careers into cybersecurity. 

After studying maths at university and completing a PGCE, I worked as a GCSE and A-level maths teacher. 

Since then, I moved into cybersecurity and currently work in the area of data protection and information security.

I am looking forward to join the Governing Board and hope to make a positive contribution to the school community. 


Emer Gardener, Co-opted Governor

As a co-opted governor at Hove Learning Federation since the summer of 2023, my primary focus is on nurturing the holistic development of every child. At Lancing College Prep School in Hove, I serve as the Head of Science and oversee the Able, Gifted, and Talented program. My instructional approach is designed not only to impart academic knowledge but also to instil core values such as resilience, honesty, and compassion. 

My multicultural background, having been born and raised in Belgium, Fiji, and Australia, has provided me with a diverse perspective that I bring to my work. I felt an instant connection to Brighton during a visit, leading me to pursue my university education at Sussex University. Following ten years of teaching in London and Surrey, I returned to Hove in 2018, drawn to the strong sense of community prevalent in the area.  

My objective as a governor is to combine my experiences as an educator with a strong dedication to community involvement. I am committed to ensuring that every student within the Hove Learning Federation receives an exceptional standard of education, enabling them to depart with a robust sense of identity and purpose. 


Sam Ledger, Associate Member

I love working at our school! I have been part of the team for around 10 years. I originally started as a year 2 class teacher and have worked at our Connaught Road, School Road and Holland Road sites. During my time at this school, I have learnt so many things and have had the best experiences with the children and teachers. 

I have worked as Year 2 lead, Maths lead and Assistant Head before starting my new role as Deputy Head of School at Holland Road for the infants and juniors. I am also one of the strategic leads for curriculum. This role is very exciting as I get to develop the curriculum with the teachers and work with the children on their learning journey.


Niamh O'Shea, Associate Member

I joined Hove Junior School in 2016 as Year 3 Lead before moving onto Assistant Head and now Deputy Head of School across the Juniors and Infants at our Portland Road and School Road sites. Prior to this I taught across key stage 2 for 5 years in East Sussex. I chose to qualify as a teacher after volunteering in schools, whilst studying for my psychology degree, and discovering a passion for working with children.

As strategic lead for curriculum, it is a privilege to play a part in scaffolding the learning journeys of children from their start in reception to the end of key stage 2. I relish the opportunity to work with subject leads and use pupil voice to develop learning that captures children’s imagination, deepens their knowledge and enriches their experience. Our learning federation is a vibrant, positive and aspirational organisation and I feel incredibly proud to work within it.


Chelle McCann, Senior Clerk to Governors

I am a Clerk to Governors for 6 schools across the city after moving from Children's Services.  I come from a varied work background that has included social media management and moved roles in 2018 due to an interest in parent's and children's mental health and wellbeing and how that is supported in schools.


Enquiries for the Hove Learning Federation Governing Body can be directed to the Senior Clerks to Governors, Belle Howard and Chelle McCann at