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Our Governors

Our school governors work with our school to support the education of your children. They are drawn from all parts of our local community, and it is their role to ensure that high standards are maintained throughout all aspects of your child’s education.

There are six categories of Governors:

  • Parent Governors, who are elected by our parents
  • Teacher Governors, who are elected by the teaching staff
  • Staff Governors, who are elected by the non-teaching staff
  • Partnership governors, who the governors invite to join the body
  • Co-opted Governors
  • Headteacher Governor

Our Governors are:

Chair of Governing Body Mrs Rita Garner from 14/11/2017
Vice Chair of Governing Body Mrs Nicky Tunbridge
Headteacher Mr Jack Arnold Headteacher from February 2022
Staff Governors

Mrs Ami Brodie from _______

Mrs Joanne Forkner (Associate Member) from 01/07/2018

Governing Body







Recent Resignations

Mrs Nicky Tunbridge from 21/11/2017
Miss Gemma Ward from 27/11/2019

Mrs Sharyn Derrick from 13/07/21

Mrs Zoe Gisby from 13/07/2021



Mr Mike Trett 08/02/2021

Mrs Elizabeth Brown 26/11/2020

Mrs Rachael Steel from 27/11/2019

Mrs Kerry Jago


More about us

Jack Arnold: Headteacher (Since Feb 2022)

I am the Headteacher of Abbots Hall Primary Academy and was appointed in February 2022.  As the Headteacher, it is my role to work in partnership with the Governing Board to ensure that the school is providing the best education to all of our pupils.

I started my career in London and moved to Thurrock in 2015, where I joined Abbots Hall as a Senior Leader.  I am passionate about providing the very best experience for all children who attend our school and believe that working closely with our families is key to doing so.  Through developing strong relationships with all our stakeholders, my ambition is to place Abbots Hall at the heart of our community.


Rita Garner: Chair of Governing Board (Since Nov 2017 - joined FGB _____)

I am the chair of governors at Abbots Hall Academy. I am a partnership governor and joined the Governing Board when the Infant and Junior schools amalgamated in 2005, however I have been a school governor since 1981. I ensure I have an overview of all aspects of the school and meet regularly with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team. I am the lead governor for Safeguarding, which involves ensuring there are effective systems in place to keep our children safe.  

I worked for Essex Education Services for 20 years, and now work for Juniper Education. I deliver training to school governors in all elements of governance, however my main responsibility within the team is Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment.

I am proud to be associated with Abbots Hall because I know that wellbeing is front and centre of everything they do, and no matter what background or starting points, children are given the opportunity to succeed and their voices heard.


Nicky Tunbridge: Vice Chair of Governorning Board (Since Nov 2023 - Joined FGB _____)

I have been a governor at Abbots Hall for the last 25 years, since my eldest, of three children, was in Year 1. I work for the NHS as a Nursing Sister in operating theatres and have been in this role for over 35 years.   

During my time at Abbots Hall, I have held many different positions throughout the years, including Vice Chair of the Infant Governing Body, Chair of Committees and have sat on many appointment panels. I am part of the Headteacher performance management panel, as well as lead governor for behaviour and ethos. I was also involved with the PTA and was Chair for 5 years.

I have seen the school go through many changes with all the ups and downs this has brought. The changes include amalgamation from Infant and Junior to a Primary School, through the transition to Academy and through many Ofsted inspections!   

The school is now increasing, and I look forward to working with the headteacher, senior leadership team and all the staff, as they work towards a bright and successful future.


Jo Forkner: Associate Member (Joined FGB July 2018)

I have worked at Abbots Hall Primary Academy since January 2009. I have been the Academy Business Manager since conversion in May 2013 and I am a member of the Senior Leadership Team. I am the Chair of the Premises Committee, Clerk of the Standards Committee and a member of the Resources Committees.

I am a qualified Accountant with a career spanning over 29 years in financial settings and have graduated in both CSBM and DSBM.  My experience includes extensive involvement in all areas of the Academy conversion process, Financial and Budget Management, Audit, HR (including Payroll and Pensions) and Facilities Management.

I am passionate about our school and our pupils. It is my belief that we are enabling them to reach for the stars and achieve their full potential.


Stuart Holmes - Deputy Headteacher (Joined _____)

I am the current Deputy Headteacher and have been a proud member of the Abbots Hall team since September 2016. I am very passionate about giving pupils the best possible start to their school experience and have taught in the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 at Abbots and in London. I am particularly passionate about Phonics and Early reading and aim to provide our pupils with all the tools they need to succeed.

I am also the Mental Health Lead at Abbots and ensure that Wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. By placing equal emphasis on academic, social and emotional learning I believe we have the right balance for our pupils to achieve in many aspects of life. 


Amy Coe - Senior Leader (Joined _____)

I have worked in education for 22 years and have been a class teacher at Abbots Hall Primary Academy since 2013. I am passionate about teaching and learning, and I am continuously improving my own practice as well as supporting other members of staff. I have experience of teaching in both Key Stages, and this has enabled me to be a more effective subject lead in Maths, Computing and French.  As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, I feel I can more greatly impact the wider school and I am passionate that every pupil at Abbots Hall has the opportunity to explore their interests and talents and reach their full potential. I feel proud to have contributed to the design of our curriculum which considers the needs of all our pupils and empowers them with the knowledge, skills and values they will need for their future.


Ami Brodie - Staff Governor (Joined FGB February 2023)

I have been a KS2 teacher since 2002 and working at Abbots Hall for 7 years.  Of all the schools I have worked in during my career, Abbots Hall’s ethos of prioritising not only our pupils’ academic success but also their emotional well-being, aligns most closely with my own beliefs about education.  Now my own children are a little older, I have been able to take on more whole school responsibility, which I’m really enjoying.  Last year, I completed a National Professional Qualification in Learning, Behaviour and Culture and I have also taken on the role of staff governor.  Seeing the school and its pupils succeed is incredibly important to me and to be part of the school’s growth and continued progress is exciting.


Gemma Ward: Parent Governor (Joined FGB Nov 2019)

I have been involved in the school in some capacity since my son started back in 2009, whether this be as a parent, parent governor or employee. I felt this involvement has given me insight from differing perspectives and enables me to wear all these ‘hats’ all at once, to allow me to consider what is best for our school. My two children have come through the school relishing in all the opportunities the school is able to provide. I have lived in the area most of my life and it is this sense of community that make me committed in improving not only my effectiveness as a parent governor but also the effectiveness of the school. It has been wonderful watching the progression of the school under the Headteacher and the Senior Team’s leadership, always putting the children and the community first and I relish the opportunity to see the school continue to thrive.

I am the lead governor for Health and Safety, and meet regularly to ensure the safety of staff and pupils. As a member of staff, my interests lie in Special Educational needs, how we provide that support, and how we can support children’s development, particularly with language.


Zoe Gisby: Parent Governor (Joined FGB July 2021)

I have a strong belief in ensuring children maximise opportunities to fulfil their potential in education and extra curricular activities and, more importantly, seize the fundamentals of school enjoyment.

I previously worked for 14 years in the finance market; however, my current employment is under the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council as a Professional Therapist/Clinical Practitioner working predominately with the mental health of adults and children.

I am passionate about the welfare and experience children have during their school years and I am keen to support the school to make it the most enjoyable part of their lives. I am enthusiastic and strive to help make a difference to help the overall development of Abbots Hall.


Sharyn Derrick - Parent Governor (Joined FBG July 2021)

As a parent of 3 children attending Abbots Hall Primary Academy, when the opportunity arose for me to join the governing panel in 2021, I thought it would be a great way to be able to give back and be involved in the Abbots Hall community.

My children all absolutely love the school and as a parent I love how the children's mental health and wellbeing are put at the heart of everything they do.

I am a trained teacher myself, running sessions that support young people with their mental health.  I feel I have a good understanding of the current education system and assessment measures of children and schools.

Abbots Hall Primary has so many exciting things happening in the current time and it truly is being built to be at the heart of the community.  In my role as Parent Governor I hope to use my skills to support the school with this ambition.