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Hever C of EPrimary School

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Governors' Resumes

Governors' Resumes


Ms Bridget Harris - Co-Chair of Governors
Bridget joined the Governing Body in 2018. She became Co-Chair of Governors in January 2021. She is born and bred in Edenbridge and attended Tonbridge Grammar School. Having graduated in law at Bristol University she worked in a City law firm for many years as a commercial litigator and professional support lawyer. On leaving the City in 2004 and moving to Hever Primary School she spent 14 years managing Edenbridge Voluntary Transport Service and is now involved in various local charities as well as being part of the editorial team of the parish magazine.



Mrs Philippa Lang - Co-Chair of Governors

Philippa has been a teacher since 2001, and has gained over 15 years of senior leadership experience in both state and independent schools, with pupils aged 3-18. Currently, she is Deputy Head at Rose Hill School, an independent preparatory school in Tunbridge Wells. Her responsibilities include the day-to-day running of the school and all matters pertaining to Academics. While in post she has created and implemented a new whole-school curriculum framework designed to equip children for the demands of modern senior schools, universities and employment. In their October 2021 inspection by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, the school was awarded the judgement of ‘excellent in all areas’. Prior to this, she held the position of Assistant Headteacher: Head of Additional Learning at St Aubyn’s School, a 3-13 preparatory school in Woodford Green, London. There, she was the School SENCo, with responsibility for all pupils with additional learning needs, including EAL and gifted and talented learners. While in post, she completed a post-graduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties. Philippa began her career in the state sector, working as Director of Sport in three secondary Academies. It was during this time she completed a Master’s Degree


Mrs Helene Bligh - Headteacher
Helene joined Hever Primary School as Headteacher in January 2023. Helene has over thirty years teaching experience in an outstanding school, including eight years on the governing body.  Helene has extensive experience of senior leadership, including acting headship, and considerable experience of supporting a wide-range of learning needs and disabilities and of supporting disadvantaged pupils. Helene has an MA Ed (Enabling Learning, Inclusion and Institutional Development) and NPQH IOE, London.

In her spare time, Helene enjoys spending family time with her husband and their three sons, especially family Sunday lunches, time with her two young grandchildren and long dog walks. 


Rector Simon Braid

Simon became the priest-in-charge at the United Benefice of Hever, Four Elms and Markbeech in April 2020 and Rector in May 2022. Simon was ordained in 2009 and ministered at St.John's Hildenborough as curate and associate vicar where he was involved in leading acts of worship in four schools as well as overseeing the children's ministry.
Simon is a chartered accountant and before ordination was an audit partner at KPMG where he led KPMG’s social housing and charity practices for over ten years. Simon is a voluntary ('non-stipendiary') priest and until 31st March 2022 was Chief Finance Officer of YMCA DownsLink Group, a regional YMCA working with young people in Sussex and Surrey. He has experience as a Non-Executive Director of two large Housing Associations and other charities as well as having been a member of the Rochester Diocesan Finance Committee.


Dr Caroline Crooks

Caroline joined the Governing body in 2018 as a Parent Governor. She has a doctorate in Molecular Biology from Oxford University and continued working there as a post-doctoral researcher developing vaccines for Hepatitis C. She then worked for Central Government, for the Ministry of Defence and DEFRA in roles developing communication strategies, project management and policy development. Caroline now devotes her time to charitable causes and being a parent.

Caroline has two children at Hever Primary School and so has a vested interest in the school both now and in the future. She enjoys reading, gardening and keeping Education. 


Ms Lesley Lang

Prior to her retirement in 2014, Lesley was a partner in a City firm of Chartered Accountants, a member of The Chartered Institute of Taxation and of The Personal Finance Society. She specialised in Taxation, Pensions and Investments.

Five days after retiring, Lesley followed a long-held dream and made a village in SW France her home. From there she ran a small holiday business until November 2022 when she returned to live in the UK.

Lesley has two daughters, two grandsons, a small French hunting dog and has loved playing tennis since her school days.

She joined the Governing Body in January 2024. 


Mr Darren Stead

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Darren moved to the UK in 2000, initially living and working in London before moving to Cowden in 2011. Darren holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance (honours from University of Auckland) and is both a Chartered Account and Chartered Financial Analyst with over 25 years of risk management experience. Darren has played hockey both in New Zealand and for Wapping HC while in London and then Oxted HC. He has a long history of volunteering from coaching hockey, tutoring maths, mentoring school leavers and in recent years being a school governor; Darren Joined the Governing Body in 2021. Darren has a son and was married at Chiddingstone Castle, he enjoys the outdoors and keeping fit and can often be found walking in the local area.


Ms Emily Thornton

Emily Thornton holds a Bachelor's Degree (BA) in History (University of Southampton) and a Master's Degree in Jewish History and Culture, Distinction (University of Southampton) for which she was awarded the Ian Karten Studentship. Emily was appointed as Foundation Governor in January 2017. She has worked in Higher Education for over 10 years, currently as Progression and Strategy Support Manager for City, University of London. Her current role involves working at a strategic level translating rapidly evolving government policy into relevant proposals and operationally viable processes. This encompasses oversight of City’s Access and Participation plan which sets out how higher education providers will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress in Higher Education.  Emily chose to become a governor of Hever Primary School because she is passionate about ensuring that all pupils, regardless of background, are able to access excellent education. She lives in Edenbridge with her partner Rob, a local businessman and enjoys travel and trips to the theatre.‚Äč


Ms Carly Keeler
Carly is Head of Marketing for a large private company based across London. She has over 15 years of experience and is a certified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Managing budgets of over £1 Million she is adept with finances and budgeting as well as having a keen eye for detail. Her forte is communications and she is looking forward to working with us at Hever, developing parent and teacher communication and helping to promote the school in the local area. In her spare time you can find her on long walks with her 13 year old daughter and Sprocker Spaniel puppy.  


Ms Akosua Nwachukwu
Akosua joined as a Foundation Governor in January 2023. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree with Honours in International Hospitality Management from Manchester Metropolitan University and a post graduate diploma in Strategic Leadership and Management from Sussex University.  

Akosua worked for the UK's financial service regulatory authority for 12 years and held various roles, including, consumer policy, strategic communications and Project Management. Akosua currently works as a Lead Project Manager, establishing governance Boards, providing strategic direction to Senior Stakeholders and overseeing major Government transformation projects and programmes. 

Akosua is passionate about children's education and pastoral care, with several years experience of volunteering as as a Catechist and as a  Youth Leader.  Akosua lives in Edenbridge with her husband and enjoys walking, swimming and attending theatre shows and plays. 


Mrs Louise de Moraville 

Louise joined the governing body as a staff governor in November 2022. She has a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in Primary Education, has been teaching since 2011 and joined Hever Primary School in 2020, becoming Assistant Head in 2023. She has taught pupils aged 5-13 in both the state and independent sectors. She has experience leading curriculum subjects including: English, RE and PE (which she currently leads at Hever) as well as being a houseparent to girls aged 7-13 in a previous role at a boarding school. Louise loves spending time outside and has recently been awarded Level 3 in Forest School Leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, long walks and cooking for family and friends.