Meet our Governing Body

Mr A J Knights (Chair Of Governors)

I am a married father of 5 grown up sons and have 3 grandchildren.  I have been an Essex School Governor for over 10 years after working in and around Essex schools.  I spent 10 years as a Local School Sports Coach and Sports Co-ordinator working for the WDF Partnership. I have learnt to appreciaappreciate how important education is for all our young people.  I value the role that governors take in supporting and challenging schools to be the best they can be.  I believe I have the experience and expertise to fulfil this role for Collingwood Primary School.

Miss J Hargreaves (Chair of Finance and Resources Committee)

I have lived in South Woodham Ferrers for 35 years and been retired for 5 years, prior to which I worked in Finance roles all my working life in a range of different industry sectors. Since becoming a governor 8 years ago I have held a number of roles, mainly finance related. 

I became a Governor because I have an interest in the education of children and the additional demands placed on the teaching staff. I am currently the elected safeguarding governor which has taken me outside my comfort zone of Finance but to which I feel I can add value to the school.

Mrs H Phelps-Knights (School Led Improvement Partnership Governor)

I am a mother to 5 grown up sons and have 2 grandchildren. I have been a teacher for 26 years and I am in my 14th year of headship in a large Primary school in Essex. I am also the Chairperson of the Essex Primary Heads Association. After working for such a long time in schools I appreciate how important a good education is for all our young people, primary schools are the foundation for this. I always valued the role that governors have in supporting and challenging their schools to be the best they can be. Now I have the opportunity to give something back and be a governor myself, I’m enjoying seeing the work of the school through a governor’s perspective and the different challenges that brings.

Mrs A Buckland-Garnett (staff)

I was appointed as Headteacher at Collingwood in September 2006 and  have seen the school through many changes since then.  I have taught at 5 schools ranging from a small village school in rural Essex to a very large Primary in South London.  I am also a Mum and have been a governor at two other schools.

I believe that our governors bring a variety of skills and experiences to the school and are vital in providing a different perspective and new ideas for improving the work of the school for pupils, as well as ensuring that the school fulfils  its statutory duties, is accountable and allocates its resources effectively.

Ms C Laver (staff) 

Having joined the Collingwood family in September 2021 as Deputy Headteacher,  I am an observer at all Governing Body meetings. I strive to work closely with our Governors to enable all our children to achieve their best possible outcomes. I have been a teacher for the last 20 years in London, Yorkshire and now Essex. 

With my family, I have relocated from South East London, where I was a Deputy Headteacher in Greenwich. We now live in Maldon where I am a governor at my children's school. 

Mr J Conder (LA Governor) Vice-Chair Appointed April 2021

I was appointed as a Local Authority  governor in 2021.  I have lived in South Woodham Ferrers for a few years and have been involved in education in some respect for over a decade. As a teacher, subject leader and Forest school instructor I am truly passionate about the quality of education we deliver to our children and feel that I can have a great impact as a governor at Collingwood.

I am currently the Chair of the Curriculum and Pupil-related Committee within the governors and am keen to carry on doing what I can to provide the best outcomes and opportunities for the children of Collingwood Primary School.

Mrs C Lim (Associate Governor) Appointed September 2021

As a local resident and a mother of two children that attend the school, I was very pleased to take on the role as a Parent Governor. I'm privileged to be part of a team whose main purpose is focused on the best outcomes for the children and ensuring they fulfil their full academic potential as well as enjoying school life.

Professionally, I work in a Safeguarding role so I understand how essential it is to promote children's wellbeing and keeping them safe from harm. I hold an advanced Safeguarding accreditation and I want the skills and knowledge I've developed in my own working life to benefit the children and school.

Mr A Grant (Co-opted)  Child protection/Safeguarding Governor

I was appointed as a co-opted governor in November 2021. I feel a connection to the school as this is where I attended as a child, and have a daughter who attends now. I have lived in South Woodham Ferrers on and off for the last twenty years.  

I was interested in becoming a governor as I felt that my experience as a social worker working with children and families could be useful addition to the governing body. I am passionate about social justice, children’s emotional wellbeing and the part that professional agencies play in a child’s broader support system.  

Mr P Yates (Vice-Chair and Health and Safety Governor)

I have lived in the Essex area for the last 30 years, and have resided in South Woodham Ferrers for the past 10 years. I am married and have both children and grandchildren living in and around the local area.

Professionally, I have worked in Banking, predominantly in Investment Banking, where I have held senior management positions In Operational and Risk Management  functions. As part of my professional work I have also worked overseas on occasions in the US, Europe and Asia.  I am now semi-retired and undertake contract consultancy work on an occasional basis, for both banks and consulting firms.

I hope that by becoming a school governor I can use my experience to help the school to be the best it can be.

Mrs J Smith (staff) Appointed January 2023

I became a staff governor at Collingwood Primary School in January 2023 after joining the school as a member of staff in September 2023.  I have also been a staff governor at previous schools I have worked at.

I have taught a range of year groups across the primary age range and I am a member of the Senior Leadership Team leading KS2 and English and am currently teaching Year 5.   I am able to use my skills, knowledge and experience and share the viewpoints of staff at governing body meetings and communicate clearly between governors and staff as a member of the Curriculum and Pupil Related Matters Committee.

Mrs P Langmead (Clerk)

I have been clerking Governing Bodies since 2003, and have worked with Collingwood Primary School for six years. As well as bringing my clerking experience to the role, I was a Chair of Governors at a primary school for 16 years and I am the Professional Officer for the Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association. This gives me a real understanding of the roles and responsibilities of governors and their schools, as well as a knowledge of current national and local policy in relation to education. 

Mrs N Spearman (Parent Governor) Appointed September 2022

I was appointed as Parent Governor in September 2022, and am excited to have the opportunity to support Collingwood Primary School in its future development. With my experience as a secondary school deputy headteacher in charge of teaching and learning, I hope that my skill set will complement those existing on the board, to benefit the Curriculum and Student wellbeing committee. I understand the importance of a happy and healthy primary school experience in nurturing the whole child, but also their academic development to give a strong foundation to their future learning and success. I wholeheartedly believe that the home-school partnership is important and that parental engagement with the school is central to a child's development.

As a Mum, I am overjoyed that my child gained his place at Collingwood, and I am delighted that he will grow up in a safe and warm environment that will stand him in good stead for his future.

Ms S Cross (Associate Governor) Appointed March 2023

I have been a resident of South Woodham Ferrers for over 35years and have two children who attended local primary schools.  I ran the local play centre for 12years, which gave me a good insight into families of the local community through the economic changes during this time.  This is where my interest in the need for better children’s physical and mental health started.


I joined Collingwood in April 2018 and currently teach PE across 5 different year groups each week and LSA in KS1, as well as many other roles as and when needed.  Afterschool and during the holidays I also run clubs and have good communication with the other local primary schools. My aim is to help share the viewpoints of staff, be a voice for the children and  to support the Head Teacher in developing new initiatives within our school to maintain and improve standards including progress, achievement and behaviour, ensuring our children have the best possible education.

I am very proud to be part of the Collingwood family and am passionate about it’s future.

Information About our Governing Body

Committee membership list Collingwood September 2023.docx

Committee Membership

Copy of Annual Governance Statement Feb 2021 .docx

Our Governance Statement

Collingwood gov attendance 22 23.doc

Attendance at meetings

Copy of Register of business interests for Collingwood Governing Body Sept 2021

Business Interests

website Copy of Governors-Statement-of-Behaviour-Principles Sept 2023.docx

Statement of Behaviour Principles