Our Governing Body
The School Governors at St. Mark’s CE Primary School are parents, staff, foundation (Church) and co-opted representatives who are very interested and enthusiastic about the well-being of our school and our pupils and staff.
The Governors meet regularly and oversee the leadership and management of the school, providing expertise, critical friendship and a great deal of support to the school. Their chief concern is to ensure a high quality education for the pupils of St. Mark’s and that the school complies with initiatives and legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act.
Our Governors at St. Mark’s are extremely approachable and welcome opportunities to share information about their business and to discuss school matters.
Mr D. Hounsell – Chair of Governors
I became a foundation governor at St. Mark’s in autumn 2015, since when it has been a privilege and a joy to get much better acquainted with the life and work of the School, its staff and its pupils. Throughout my career I’ve been involved in learning and teaching at university level, and while there are all sort of parallels that can be drawn with how schools go about their work, I’ve had a great deal to learn (and to go on learning) about primary education and its great achievements and challenges.
In my teens, I was a pupil at Poole Grammar School (though I’m no fan of the 11-plus), and moved back to Dorset four years ago, after 25 years in Edinburgh, where my sons still live, along with our three grandchildren aged 1, 6 and 9. In Swanage, I’m involved with Rotary, The Wave Children’s and Youth Ministry, the Swanage Volunteer Bureau, and the Saturn Education Trust. I still teach and do talks from time to time in in other universities, including Bournemouth where I’m a visiting Professor; play golf (with lots of enthusiasm and little skill); and love walking the coasts and hills of Purbeck.
Mrs. M. Hardy
I am finding it a great privilege to be a member of the Governing body of St Marks School and am enjoying work as a Foundation Governor, a position I commenced in early 2015.
I have lived and worked in Swanage / Purbeck for over 40 years and have a good understanding of local issues. Whilst my career has been spent in Health, I bring several transferable skills which I hope will be useful particularly as St Marks is now part of the Saturn Trust.
I am involved in several local organisations including The Wave Youth &Children’s Ministry, Rotary and the RNLI, where my husband Neil is the volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager. I am also lucky enough to have 5 lovely grandchildren aged between 2 and 7 whom I see whenever I can!
Mrs T Bonfanti
I retired from teaching in 2014 after a career of thirty six years, having worked in schools in the U.K., France and Italy. I found that I was missing the rewarding and very interesting world of teaching and so I was delighted to renew my contacts with education when I was appointed as a foundation governor at St Mark’s in 2015.
I experienced happy holidays in Swanage as a child and enjoyed visiting the area more regularly when my parents retired here in 1987. My family and I felt very lucky to be able to settle here ourselves in 2001 and I now enjoy taking part in many different activities in the Purbeck area with the local community.
It has been a pleasure to get to know the children and staff at St Mark’s and to help support this vibrant and purposeful school.
Mrs J Evans
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to serve as link governor for SEN at St Marks School. My own children attended the school and I have a high regard for its inclusive approach to education.
I have lived in Swanage all my life and I am a retired teacher with a background in secondary education: teaching History and English and later in my career coordinating provision for those with special educational needs. I also have personal experience of a child with SEN and am passionate about ensuring the progress of those students diagnosed with additional needs.
Having retired from teaching I am now busy in the charity and volunteer sector, I am a Dementia Champion and volunteer for the Art Workshop in Swanage. I also have a part time job as a Wayfinder for Dorset Popp where I work with over 18s putting them in touch with the services they need.
Mrs B Selman – Vice Chair of Governors
I became a Governor in September 2016, since which time I have been impressed by all that the school is doing to ensure that our pupils receive the best possible education. I particularly value the insight I am currently gaining from being able to spend time each week in school working as a volunteer alongside teachers in their classrooms.
As soon as I left the University of Leeds I became an English Teacher in a challenging secondary school. Subsequently I followed a career path between schools until I finally became Headteacher of a large Comprehensive School in London. Following my retirement, I supported the senior managers of many secondary schools in difficulty, and was privileged to observe in action and assess over three hundred inspirational teachers as an Assessor of Advanced Skills Teachers in a national programme.
Although my career is rooted in secondary education I now very much enjoy learning about primary education in St Mark’s.
Mrs. C. Duncan
I am very happy to take on the role of Parent governor for St Marks. As an ex pupil I am very pleased to be now sending my two children, Izzy and Josh, to my old school. It brings back many happy memories. Both my children really love their time at school. I hope they will have some great memories too.
I am looking forward to the challenge and gaining an insight to the school. It was fantastic to see St Marks move to the new site in September. They have gained valuable space and I am looking forward to seeing them make use of all the new grounds. I believe it will be an exciting challenge to being a Governor and working with the children, teachers, governors and staff at St Marks.
Mr. P. Knight
The opportunity to become a parent governor at St Marks presented soon after Joss had started in year 2 having moved schools mid-year. Our youngest son Gabriel is for to start Little Birds in January. I had no hesitation in putting myself forward having seen the way the school worked and feel very lucky to be in a position to help and the school. I joined at a very busy time with the Multi Academy Trust process in full flow but I am proud to say I have been part of this exciting opportunity for the school.
I work in education as a PE at The Compass Centre which is a Pupil Referral Unit based in Weymouth. Alongside this I am a level 4 football supply league referee, also operating as assistant referee at contributory league level.
My wife Sabina and I moved to Swanage from Poole in 2009 and have not looked back, it was always our favourite place to visit in our spare time and feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
Head of School:
Ms S Craig
Mrs. T. Westall
I am very pleased to be appointed as Staff Governor for St Marks Primary School. I previously worked at Swanage Middle School for 18 years prior to the restructure. I served as a Governor for four years while employed there. I have been employed at St Marks for the past year and have seen many important changes in that time. It seemed strange at first to be returning to the same site as the Middle School but I was pleased to be part of the move. I obtained my Education degree from Plymouth University and have seen many changes in the education of our children.
I have been married to Andrew for 32 Years and have two grown up daughters, Krystina and Sarah. When I do have any spare time, I love to cycle, cook and do gardening. I am looking forward to working with the Governors to improve the provision and learning for the children, parents and community of St Mark’s.
Clerk to Governors:
Mrs. J. Ramsden