Meet Our Governors
Tim Clay - Chair of Governors
My name is Tim Clay, and I work in the Tax Department of a large catering company based in Reading. I joined the governing body of The Hermitage School in 2017, having previously spent some years as a governor at the Primary School in West End which my daughter attended. I am also married to a Primary School teacher, so I am able to benefit from a range of perspectives on education.
I am proud to be working with skilled and dedicated school leaders, staff and governors who are committed to ensuring that the experiences and outcomes of children at the school are as good as they can possibly be.
I believe that The Hermitage School is in a fantastic position to continue to build on the great work that is being done, and the wider opportunities for growth and development which come from working collaboratively with The Oaktree School and with the other schools in the SWAN Trust.
Gill Carter - Vice Chair of Governors
My name is Gill Carter and I am a retired lecturer. I have three children, now adults, and my daughter is in her first year of teaching at a primary school in London. I worked when my children were small and understand the pressures on family life! I worked in Further Education in Coventry and the University of Warwick. I have also worked for National Open College Network, an accreditation agency and worked on designing qualifications for large and small training providers. I then moved to work on a government funded project to encourage students on vocational course into university. I was based at London South Bank University.
After I retired I decided to follow my passion for education and volunteer as a school governor. I believe that every child should have the best that education can offer and I thoroughly enjoy being part of The Hermitage Team and watching the school develop in quality and excellence.
My particular interest is in the teaching of English and Literacy and I am impressed with the approach of the school and with the new integrated curriculum. I love the way the children are engaged with their learning and are friendly and confident when I visit the classes. I am also impressed with the work of the Orchard Centre and the caring approach of all the children in the school. As the Governor responsible for overseeing Child Protection and Safeguarding, I liaise with the Deputy Head and have every confidence in the training provided and implementation of policies.
I take pride in being a Governor of your school and look forward to an interesting and productive year.
My name is Alice Cooke and I am delighted to have joined the Governing Body at The Hermitage School. I am currently living in Woking and working in Walton-on-Thames, where I am the manager of a children’s maths and English tuition centre. I developed my interest in children's education whilst at university, where I studied Sociology. Here, I took a particular focus on social policy surrounding the provision of school education, writing my dissertation on equality within the education system.
My role of managing a children's tuition centre has given me the opportunity to enhance my knowledge of the National Curriculum, as well as the experience in managing the finances of a business, and skills in supporting my staff to reach their full potential in their own roles. I hope that I can now bring these skills to my role within The Hermitage School. I am very passionate about supporting the unique social and academic needs of every child, and I am looking forward to supporting The Hermitage School in doing so for their pupils. Upon visiting the school for the first time, straight away I was thrilled to see how engaged each child was in the classroom, eager to show me their achievements. I am particularly impressed with the school’s commitment to developing a Growth Mindset in the classroom, giving children the confidence to embrace new challenges that come their way and not being afraid to make mistakes, but persevering and learning from them. I hope I can play a role in maintaining this mindset in every classroom in the school.
I’m very much looking forward to meeting you all and am excited for what we will be able to achieve at The Hermitage School.
My name is Jonny Cope, I live in Knaphill and am a solicitor specialising in commercial property. I joined the Governing Body at The Hermitage School because I think it is a great way to give something back to the local community and make a real and positive impact on our pupils' education. When I visited the school for the first time I was really impressed with the confidence and enthusiasm the children I met had for their learning.
I hope to use the skills I have developed through my professional career to help the school continue to advance over the coming year. I am very excited to be a part of what I’m sure we will achieve at The Hermitage School.
Jo Harrup - Headteacher
My name is Jo Harrup and I was delighted to join The Hermitage School as Headteacher in September 2018. I have always lived in and around the Woking area, and have gained a great deal of experience during my career by working within three other local schools.
The Hermitage is a wonderful school. I am very excited to work with the incredibly committed staff, governors, children and parents of the school to ensure our school continues to grow from strength to strength. As the school’s Headteacher and one of its governors, I want the children at the school to receive the very best educational experiences during their time with us. Our children have one childhood, and I want their time at The Hermitage to leave them with amazing memories. At the same time, I want to ensure that our children reach their full potential – academically, socially, within the arts and on the sports field.
Charlotte Hill - Vice Chair of Governors
My name is Charlotte Hill, I have worked as a public servant for the last 24 years and have two school aged children. I had helped out at school when I could, feeling that working shifts gave me an excuse not to commit to more. I became a Governor after deciding that I no longer wanted to sit on the side-lines, when the opportunity for becoming a school governor came up, I realised this was the challenge I had been waiting for.
It has definitely been a challenge but one that I have enjoyed especially when we see the positive results and happy children. It is rewarding supporting all those that put so much hard work into the school behind the scenes and seeing our children develop into great individuals.
We all want the best for our children, my aim is ensure they are getting what they need and deserve. My interests are particularly in the safety and security of our children. I am currently one of the Vice-Chairs and also the Health and Safety Governor.
My name is Craig Hogan. My wife and I have lived in Woking for over 12 years and we have two children, both of whom attend school locally.
I have had a varied career path, starting my working life in construction as a surveyor on a tunnel project in my home country, New Zealand; I now spend my time helping my own clients use technologies properly. My core skills revolve around technology and small business. I have worked within a number of different sectors here in the UK including the not for profit/charity sector. My decision to join the governing body came through wanting to see if I could use my skills and knowledge in different areas within a school.
My personal goal for the school is simply to be the best at what we do, from sports to academics to building a community. I believe we have the people, students and the passion to make it happen; it will be challenging, but I do like a challenge.
My name is Saj Hussain, a local sub postmaster who has served residents in the Knaphill and the Hermitage area for over 30 years. In 2012, I was elected as a local councillor. I am passionate about supporting children reach their potential as I believe they are our future. After being approached by Jo MacDonald, I was confident that my position, knowledge and experience within governance could assist The Hermitage School to further develop its resources and enhance the learning opportunities for the children at the school.
By working closely with the Governors, Staff and the Local Authority my aim is to ensure that the strategic direction of the school will enable all the children to excel. I believe that it is a good school and we hope that our six year old grandson will join Year 3 in September. I look forward to meeting you all on my regular visits to the school and building on our achievements together.
Danusia Jolliffe - Vice Chair of Governors
My name is Danusia Jolliffe and I am delighted to be a Parent Governor here at The Hermitage School. As a Parent Governor I’m excited to be involved in making decisions which will positively affect both of my sons in their school careers.
My education was focussed on Science with an undergraduate degree from the University of Surrey, and my postgraduate doctorate completed at UMIST. In my professional life, I am an experienced Communications specialist and have worked for several Blue Chip companies during my career. I am now the Head of Marketing for TVision Technology, a local company based in Woking. When the request was made for Governors to join the Board, I jumped at the chance to be able to offer my knowledge and expertise in my field to support The Hermitage School’s Mission, Vision and Values, and to give back to my local community as I have lived in Knaphill & St Johns for over 10 years.
My name is Jo MacDonald, I’m a small business owner based in Woking and have 2 primary aged boys. Life prior to children involved living in the UK and Sydney, Australia doing significant travel and working in the world of recruitment, sourcing people for senior jobs all over the globe.
My interest in supporting education started by getting involved in helping open Hoe Valley School. Fascinated by the sector and loving being able to make a difference, I sought to join a school to learn how it all works and to be able to support them in their future development and growth. The Hermitage School is in my neighbourhood and had a need, so here I am.
In the time that I’ve been a governor I’ve been delighted to see how the school is evolving, initially embracing its academy status and looking at ways to be a thought leader in how the new national curriculum is delivered; To evolving the school offering to pupils- creating better facilities for staff and pupils, working in partnership with other Swan Trust schools to bed in better maths and English learning. In every interaction I’ve only ever seen highly engaged pupils who are keen to learn and to show case what they’ve achieved, a real pride in their school. I’m proud to be one of your Governors and excited for what we will achieve in coming terms.
My name is Jo McColgan. I'm a proud mum of two boys who both attend the Hermitage school. They mean the world to me and therefore their school experience is the reason why I chose to join the Governing body. I work for the John Lewis and Partners Partnership as a Branch Manager for Waitrose a& Partners. Having been a partner for 16 years, I've built a strong skill set including analytical, influencing, coaching and mentoring. I'm a passionate and motivated individual who enjoys supporting others succeed whilst unlocking potential. I'm also fully trained in disciplinary and grievance procedures and therefore I am delighted to use all my skills in helping the school. I'm fully committed in working with and for The Hermitage School.