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 attend regular Governing Body (GB) meetings and They belong to various sub committees, such as Finance and admissions, which deal with specific business on behalf of the GB. To assist with oversight and challenge of the schools broad remit the governing body has nominated lead governors, currently these are;

Finance: Brenda France, Tao Chen, Lee Elliott

Admissions: Tao Chen, Geoffrey Hackett, Joel Hartfield (Jane next year)

Inclusion, Equalities, SEND and Pupil Premium: Geoffrey Hackett, Brenda France

Safeguarding, Pupil Attendance and Behaviour: Joel Hartfield / Jane Luff 

Health and Safety and Emergency Planning: Lee Elliot 

Pupil Progress, Attainment and Curriculum: Jane Luff/Neil Langridge 

Headteacher Appraisal: Brenda France/Geoffrey Hackett

Our Governors are ‘hands-on’ and assist with school events such as fairs, fundraising events, outings and special events. Governors also visit classes to learn more about the impact of the teaching on our learners. 

The Governors also work closely with the Parent, Staff Association (PSA) and the School Council. 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.



Joel Hartfield

Vice Chair of Governors

I originally joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2016, and performed the role of Chair of Governors between 2018 and 2021 before handing over to Lee at the start of this year. I use the experience I've gained from working in children's services for many years for the benefit of the children at Burpham. I'm currently Director of Business Development at Active Prospects, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities and autism. Prior to that, I worked for Achieving for Children for five years, which provides education, care and health services for children and young people in south west London.                      


 Brenda France 

 Partnership Governor


I joined Burpham governing body in June 2019 and I enjoy the opportunity to use my skills and experience to support the local community. I worked full time as a teacher from September 1978 until August 2015 in schools in Hampshire, including the last 20 years as Headteacher.  I now work part time for UNICEF UK as an assessor for the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) programme.


Jane Luff

Parent Governor

I joined the governing body as a parent governor in Dec 2020. I have held this role in my eldest son's previous school and l was keen to use the knowledge I have gained for the benefit of our children at Burpham. I work full time as the Associate Director of Infrastructure at the National Institute of Health Research (the clinical research agency of the NHS) where I am responsible for managing national research priority funding. I believe education can help to support all our children to become their best version of themselves.  


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.

Neil Langridge

Co-opted Governor

I joined the governing body to help provide support to the school and local community, in particular using my background in marketing communications and technology. I'm the Marketing Director for a cybersecurity company, so I have experience in working with technology providers and helping students, employees and organisations enjoy the benefits of the internet in a safe and secure way. I have two children at Burpham Primary School.

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.