Burpham Foundation Primary School

Burpham Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7LZ


01483 572510

Governing Body Webpage

Welcome to the Burpham Primary School Governing Body webpage.  Here you will be able to find out more about the current Governors and how our Governing Body contributes to the life of our school.

The Governing Body is not just made up of people who work in school; there are Community Governors, Partnership Governors, Staff Governors, Parent Governors and Local Authority Governors. 

Governors are people who are passionate about the school and are here to make sure that every child is given the best education, opportunities and experiences that the school can provide. The Governors work extremely closely with the school and regularly challenge and question to ensure that everyone is working together to promote the very best opportunities for the children.

At Burpham Primary School, all Governors put the needs of the children at the heart of the decisions they make.

What do the Governors do ?

School Governors are a team of people who work closely with the head teacher to make strategic decisions vital to the successful running of the school; to be critical friends; and to ensure the school is accountable for its actions.

Governors discuss and have input on:

  • Overall strategy of the school
  • School policies, such as safeguarding, bullying, behaviour, admissions and health & safety
  • Improvement plans and the future of the school (School Development Plan)
  • How the school budget will be spent (Finances)
  • Appointment and dismissal of staff including the Head Teacher
  • Complaints from staff and parents
  • Repair and maintenance of school buildings

The Governing Body is led by the chair who is elected from within its membership, to maintain a degree of independence the role cannot be filled by anyone who works in the school. Governors are volunteers and usually serve for 4 years at a time.

Governors meet six times a year as a full Governing Body to fulfill its three core functions of:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

We also undertake specific roles which support the work of the school and the Governing Body in key areas.  For 22/23 these key roles are:

Admissions: Tao Chen, Geoffrey Hackett, 

Finance: Brenda France, Tao Chen, Lee Elliott

Health and Safety and Emergency Planning: Lee Elliott

Inclusion, Equalities, Sports and Pupil Premium: Geoffrey Hackett

Pupil Progress, Attainment and Curriculum: Samantha Buxton, Brenda France

Safeguarding, Pupil Attendance and Behaviour: Samantha Buxton

SEND Lee Elliott

 Headteacher Appraisal: Brenda France/Geoffrey Hackett

 All the Governors work extremely hard, and happily give up their time because they are extremely proud of Burpham Primary School, the hard working staff and, of course, all the children.

Thank you for taking the time to find out a little bit about our Governing Body. We are keen to hear from parents and friends of the school at any time so please don’t hesitate to contact us via the website or at school.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Please note that any contact regarding a concern with the school should always be addressed to the Headteacher in the first instance before contacting governors.  Further information on the school's complaints policy can be found on the website.

Lee Elliott

Chair of Governors



  Lee Elliott 

Chair of Governors

I joined the governing body in 2018 and was elected as Chair at the start of 2021.  In addition to my accountabilities as Chair I am also lead governor responsible for, Health Safety and Emergency Planning and a member of the Finance Committee.  In my professional career I have worked across both the public and private sector in an incident response, contingency planning and risk management capacity. My current role in the finance sector focuses on operational resilience and cyber security.




 Brenda France 

 Partnership Governor


 I joined the school’s Governing Body in July 2019. My background of working full time as a teacher from 1978 until 2015, and my current role with UNICEF as an assessor for the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) programme, means that I have a wide range of relevant skills to use as a governor at Burpham. Throughout my working life I have been fortunate to work alongside so many hardworking and dedicated staff, parents and governors, and I am pleased to be able to offer Burpham Primary School that same level of commitment and support in my role as a governor.



Tao Chen

Parent Governor

I joined the governing body in 2020 and am keen to work with the school, helping foster a supportive and positive environment for our children, enabling them to thrive in this modern and rapidly changing world. My day job is an academic at the University of Surrey, teaching chemical engineering, looking after a group of about 10 doctoral researchers, and leading international collaborations in our department.

Geoffrey Hackett

Local Authority Governor

I was pleased and honoured to be appointed as a Governor at Burpham Primary School on 19th April 2020 and became the school’s Local Authority Governor with lead responsibility  for Inclusion, Equalities, SEND and Pupil Premium. 

I hope to bring my experience gained as a member of the SCC Schools Forum where I have worked on sub-committees for SEND and for High Needs to my role at Burpham. I am also a past Chair of the Surrey Governors Association (SGA). As well as being a member of the Local Authority Governor Appointment Committee I also edit the SGA website and Bulletin which provide Surrey Governors and Trustees with current governance information. As a school governor I am keen to support the school,  the Headteacher, the staff and the broader community of Burpham. I am an ardent supporter of inclusive education for all and the values of an inclusive community to our society. I would most like to promote the concept that the development teaching and inspiring of our children at every level is not an adjunct to society but fundamental in creating the vision, realisms, hope and life skills that will enable all children to be as successful as they can be. I believe a school is for the community not just the children.

Jessica Lamb

Staff Governor

I joined the Governing Body in October 2020 as Staff Governor.  I have worked at Burpham since September 2018 as a class teacher and am also now Lower Key Stage Two Lead. During my time so far at Burpham I have been teaching in Year 1 and Year 3, but I have enjoyed working with children across the primary age range in my previous teaching roles.  Joining the Governing Body has allowed me to use my skills and knowledge as a teacher to further support the children in our school, as well as the wider school community.

Samantha Buxton

Parent Governor

I joined the governing body in February 2022 as a parent governor. I currently work as a teacher and Head of Year in a secondary school, and I am immensely passionate about ensuring children have the opportunity to learn and to be curious in their learning. I am delighted to be able to help in supporting the school and the wider community in a governor capacity.


Kelly Barlow

Co-opted Governor

I joined the governing body in December 2022.  I am a HR consultant and Executive Coach with 23+ years in industry including as an ex HR Director and Non Executive. I feel very passionately about giving back to my local community and I am keen to get involved in primary years education.  I am really excited to join the team and hope that my corporate skills, knowledge and experience will really help me provide guidance and support to Burpham Primary School and the wider community.