Governor Profiles

Sarah Rees

My professional background is in teaching – I retired in 2017 after 14 years as a primary headteacher, continuing in a part-time capacity as CEO of a small MAT until fully retiring in August 2018.

I have significant experience of primary teaching, leadership, school improvement and training, working with both primary and secondary colleagues. In addition, I have over twenty years experience as a governor and MAT trustee, in a variety of schools.

I am also a parent of four and grandparent of seven, which keeps me fairly busy in my retirement, and I enjoy reading, music and travelling in my spare time.

With a continuing interest in education, I aim to work with Manningtree High School to support the school to be the best it can be, with students at the core of every decision we make.

Paul Lewis

I am  married with three children, one whom attended several years ago, and one is currently studying at the school.

I worked for the ambulance service for 16 years and held various senior roles which involved both clinical and educational governance, sitting on several nationwide groups and developing the national apprenticeship programme curriculum. My academic interests are clinical education, quality assurance and preceptorship.

I moved to Anglia Ruskin University in 2019 as a senior lecturer practitioner, currently teaching on a variety of programmes and I have retained a contract with the ambulance service to undertake frontline ambulance work.

My interests outside work are woodworking, a very beaten-up land rover and helping to coach the mighty U11’s team at Mistley rugby club.

Eileen Clucas

I have had a long and varied career. After 13 years employed in international banking in the City, and following the birth of twins, I studied at Essex University. This led into a thirty year academic career developing, delivering and managing research.

My experience includes: researching education methodology and developing e-Learning tools; being a founding member of UK’s premier longitudinal study measuring and analysing how people’s lives change over time, working on methodological design, managing business development and knowledge transfer; building a European network of scientists to undertake research  under the auspices of the European Commission Framework programmes; finally, five years assisting an international neutron science and technology institute in France to build and manage a portfolio of EU funded projects.

I hold graduate and post graduate degrees (Maths and Politics) and professional qualifications (HNC).

Brett Colley

I have been a Staff Governor at Manningtree High school for over seventeen years.  I am the School ICT Technician, providing IT support for students and staff.

Prior to starting at MHS, I worked for sixteen years for one multi-national company, building, leading and project managing IT service delivery and infrastructure projects.

As a Staff Governor, I bring a staff perspective and viewpoint to discussions and debate.  I have an absolute passion for our school, seeing students achieve their absolute best, enjoying their time and to ‘go the extra mile’ to meet their aspirations.

I also look after our school alumni and school history webpages, forging links with the local and wider community, all helping to inspire our current learners.

Laura Howard

I have recently returned to the Manningtree High School LGB after taking a short break whilst on maternity leave. Before this I was a Community Governor for MHS for 2.5 years. My governor interests include Student career options and opportunities, mental well-being of Students and Staff and the personal development of Staff.

My aspiration is to support the school and its students in achieving their full potential and developing resilient individuals in both their professional and personal lives after education.

My professional occupation is as an IT Technical Delivery Manager in the Telecoms Industry. Starting out as an Apprentice, I progressed to management grade shortly after completing the 3-year scheme. I was fortunate enough to have my employer fund my Foundation degree of Science in Communications Technologies: Software Engineering at UCS as part of my Apprenticeship scheme.

I live locally, and my children will one day attend MHS, so I am committed to ensuring this remains a fantastic school.

Laura Heighton-Ginns

As a Governor, my aim is to help students perform to their highest capability and for the school to achieve outstanding results.

My professional career is as a Journalist for the BBC, where I work for the Today programme. A priority in this role is holding public bodies and figures to account and questioning their records.

Alongside this, I am a reporter for the BBC News website. I have a BA degree in English and a Masters in Journalism.

Prior to moving to Manningtree, I volunteered each week at a Food Bank in London, supporting families with complex needs by offering free food and advice.

I am a relative newcomer to Manningtree, and love its scenic countryside and riverside, unique history, and the great community here.

Jackie Blackford

I have worked at Manningtree High School for nearly 30 years and been a staff governor for three.  I started as a geography teacher and now work in the Technology department as a food and life skills teacher.  I have witnessed many changes over this time and have seen the school grow into what it is today.

My current role also involves supporting individual students with managing their time at school so that they engage in their learning and help to develop skills for transition to further education and on to the work place.

I always strive to allow our students to achieve the best that they can, so they are able to progress and be successful in life.

John Knights

I have a total of 13 years experience as a Governor at MHS and have seen many developments at the school during this time. My governor interests include data analysis used for student development, finance, and the impact of educational change.

I work as the Strategic Science Lead for a local MAT and have experience in the education sector as a Head of Department, Assistant Headteacher and Specialist Leader of Education. My governor aspiration is to support MHS to build a community for students and staff where their learning, skills and extra-curricular experiences fully prepares them for the next journey in their lives.

As a former student and former member of staff, I share the ethos and values of MHS – you could say it is within my DNA.

Emma Donegan

I am a qualified primary school teacher and SENCo. My current role is Inclusion Leader, SENCo and Designated Deputy for Safeguarding at Spring Meadow Primary School in Dovercourt.

I decided to become a governor because firstly I am a past student, as was my Dad before me, and my daughter is a current student, therefore the school is a big part of our family and I wanted to be able to help and support the school.

Professionally I am finding the governance role to be stretching, of immense interest and providing me with further development opportunities. I have so far found the role to be interesting, rewarding and challenging.

Peter Taplin

My child has just started in Year 7, and I am an Assistant Head Teacher at a school in Chelmsford. I am a keen advocate for all students getting a full education, from both academic subjects but also the Sports and Arts. I would hold the interests of the students and staff at the core of the role and would welcome the challenges and opportunities to support the school and the community.

Emma Gentry

I am a parent governor with two children at the school I bring 5 years experience of being a Governor at a Primary school. My interests sit with Pupil Voice and the health and wellbeing of students. Professionally, I am a Financial Adviser.