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Governing Body

The Governors of

Herne C E Infant and Nursery School


Mrs Liz Thomas-Friend is Executive Headteacher at Herne C E Infant & Nursery School and works closely with the Board of Governors.

My name is Martyn Cassell and I am the Chair of Governors. I have lived in the village of Herne for about 7 years now and my oldest child has just started attending the school.

I have worked in Local Government (District and Borough Councils) for the last 15 years. I started my career as a sports coach, running activities in leisure centres and local parks/housing estates. Over the years however I have taken on new roles that have covered a wide range of areas such as leisure, parks, seafronts, community development, youth engagement, facility management, community safety, licencing and child safeguarding.

In all of my roles I have come across young people, who with the right guidance from parents, education and employers, can go on to achieve great things and becoming a governor is an extension of this. I hope to bring a range of skills to the Governing Body, including engagement with community groups and advice on PE and sports provision along with anything else asked of me!


Reverend Cat Darkin - Curate of St Martin's Herne



Sarah Bingham - Foundation Governor and Vice Chair


My name is Liz Taylor.  I am a Co-Opted Governor (Support Staff). I am the Chair of the Finance Committee. I work part time in the school office. I have two sons who both thoroughly enjoyed their early years education here at Herne C of E Infant and Nursery School. Please feel free to contact me at school if you have any concerns or questions regarding the role of our school governors.




Peter Martin - Parent Governor



Hi, my name is Liz Thundow and I’m a Parent Governor at Herne Infants.  I have two children at Herne, one in Year R and one in Year 2.   I’ve lived with my husband Simon and our 2 children in Herne for nearly 7 years now and I love being part of the community here, especially now the children are at school.  I grew up locally in Canterbury and went to both school and university there where I first studied Chemistry and then completed a PhD in Physics.  I currently work from home as a Freelance Market Research and Management Consultant, working with science and technology companies.  I am looking forward to representing the parents' perspective on the governing body and using my skills to support the other governors, the school leadership team and wider staff to maintain and develop the excellent standard of education and nurturing environment that we are so lucky to have at Herne Infants.

James Browning was a pupil of Herne Infant School, some 20 years ago and has come back to re-join the Herne School family as a LA governor. James now works as a CEO of a charity managing multiple community venues across East Kent. In this role he specialises in social enterprise development and charity governance.  He is also a safeguarding trainer for Kent Safeguarding Children Board. 

James studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent and recently completed his post graduate studies at Canterbury Christchurch in Management Science, becoming a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Managers. 

In his spare time, James is a Community First Responders and has volunteered his time for 7 years, responding to 999 calls with the ambulance service.  He also has a passion for teaching first aid, and has taught this to thousands of young people over the past 12 years with the British Red Cross. 

My name is Nicola Bloice and I am a Parent Governor. I have two amazing children, one of who has just left Herne Infants to go to the Juniors and one of who is in year 2 at Herne Infants.

As a family of four, and a crazy dog, we live in Herne and we are very fortunate to live in this village.  It has two great schools, a tremendous community and is all set in an environment which has many lovely woodland walks on our doorstep.

The reason I have become a Parent Governor is to learn more about how the school is run and to support the staff and children.  I come from a Divisional FM/Business Support background and I bring all this experience with me.

I believe that parent governors have a special role, and should always try and assess issues and decisions from the point of view of parents/carers.  This is not the same as representing individual parent’s points of view – it is about making sure that parent/carer perspectives (however diverse) are always considered.  I am a strong believer in the value of high quality primary education as a foundation for our children’s success in life.

I am also proud to be part of Herne Infants Parent Council which I thoroughly enjoy.

My name is Dr Rachel Mallia and I am a Parent Governor. One of my children currently attends Herne Infants and I have a younger one who will be starting at a later date. 

My background is in Speech and Language Therapy. This helps me to bring new and fresh ideas to the table. Being a school governor means that I also get to learn how a school operates on a day-to-day basis. I am a strong believer in working in partnership and this role helps me to fulfil this. 

  Paul Barnett - Clerk to the Governors



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