The Governors are responsible for the school on behalf of the Members of the Academy Trust.
The Abbey School governors are people from the school’s community who wish to make a positive contribution to children’s education. We are volunteers who attend meetings and work together to further The Abbey School’s development.
Together with the headteacher we set the future direction for The Abbey School and decide how the school’s budget should be spent.
The Governing body makes decisions collectively on matters such as setting strategic direction, school policies, ensuring accountability, the school’s development plan, and monitoring and evaluating school performance.
The Headteacher provides an Induction Programme and an Induction Handbook to all new Governors prior to their first Full Governing Body meeting.
Links to the Governing Body Designations List and Governor Responsibilities – Themes and Subjects for the current academic year are shown below.
If you wish to contact the Governors this should be by letter addressed to the Chair of Governors and sent via the school office.
The Governing Body consists of:
Chair of Governors - Mrs C Clarkstone
I am Chair of governors and long serving member and Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee. I first joined the governing body as a parent governor, when my daughter was attending the Abbey School.
I am now retired, but previously worked for 14 years as a Community Librarian in Faversham and developed a strong understanding of the local community and the factors which influence our pupils. I then moved to working with parents in the newly established children’s centres in Sittingbourne and Faversham, first as a Community Involvement Worker and later as a member of KCC’s Early Help team.
I worked with families across Swale and developed a wide knowledge of the issues which affect learning and development of young people and an understanding of their support needs. Many of our pupils need additional support in order to achieve their potential in education and in life and I take an informed interest in what the school can offer them.
I am proud to be part of a team which has made the Abbey School the local school of choice, established at the heart of the community and providing an excellent education for the young people of Faversham.
Vice Chair of Governors - Mr T Martin
I have lived in Faversham for most of my life, attending local schools, and all my children have attended The Abbey School.
I joined the Governing Body of the Abbey School as a parent governor in January 1999 and am now a community governor. I have been involved with Finance and Premises at the school ever since.
I have had a varied working life which has allowed me to bring experience from the theatre, school premises work and my current job in the Department of Work and Pensions to the school. Prior to joining the governing body here, I was a governor at two local Primary Schools.
I also hold the Certificate in School Business Management from the National College for School Leadership.
Headteacher - Dr R Speller
"I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher of The Abbey School. Prior to commencing this role in September 2018 I had been a Deputy Head for four years. My career in education has been broad and varied, having spent almost a decade working in Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys teaching economics and progressing to become the school's Bursar and Assistant Head. Towards the end of that period I launched the Langton Grammar Stream at Canterbury Academy as a Deputy Head working across both schools.
I have been lucky to benefit from an excellent education myself and also have an enthusiasm for learning which I am keen to share with others. I hold a Doctorate in Education, Masters qualifications and a Bachelor’s degree.
In my life outside of The Abbey I am a Director of Kent SEN Trust and am the Chair of Governors of a school for students with SEN. My passion is improving education and ensuring a broad and balanced education. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts."
Co-Opted Governor - Dr F Rehal
I am a trained health visitor and studied at Kings College Hospital in London and Brighton Polytechnic. I then did further studies at the University of Greenwich and I am now completing my PhD at Canterbury Christchurch University.
I have worked with children and families as a health visitor in London and also with traveller and homeless families.
I gained experience and knowledge of many cultures and lifestyles. I lived in the USA with my husband and two children for three years. I experienced different education, health and political systems and value greatly the public services here in the UK.
I have visited Russia, France and New Zealand to study healthcare and early years systems. Our children have been educated in the State system in Kent and I have been a governor at my son’s school for over fifteen years. I joined the Abbey School at the start of this academic year.
I am vice- chair of the Parochial Parish Council. I have worked as a manager in the NHS and had responsibility for child protection and practice development. I developed the first Sure Start programme in Kent and as director steered it through incorporation as a community mutual children’s centre which was the first of its kind in the UK. I did a presentation on the model at 10 Downing Street. I have been honoured with an MBE for services to children and families.
I am interested in politics and have successfully campaigned to keep the local children’s Centre in Faversham open following a proposal from KCC to close the centre. I am committed to equality and helping children and families achieve their full potential.
Co-Opted Governor - Mrs J Landsberg
My career in education has provided me with extensive opportunities to work with learners and learning organisations. As a teacher, deputy and headteacher I was part of the education of learners in the primary phase. As a local authority employee I worked with schools across the phases as well as strategically leading teams. My own learning was unusual in that I began my first degree at the age of 29 when my children were aged 3, 5 and 7.
I believe that education is pivotal in providing learners with skills and achievements to make choices, but also should promote self belief and confidence. I joined the Governing Body of the Abbey School because I was impressed with the philosophy and ethos of the school and look forward to being part of its further development.
I currently undertake a national role for an organisation that promotes and supports ensuring women's opportunities in education and the workplace are promoted. This group links with a parallel international organisation.
I have four grandsons under the age of 6, so spending time with them keeps me grounded in the many ways that children learn as well as keeping my technology skills up to speed!
Co-Opted Governor - Mrs S Keeling
I moved to Faversham with my husband, David, and two children in 1989, from South London. Both children have attended local schools, Bysingwood Primary School and the Abbey School.
Before deciding to become a full-time mum, in 1984, I worked for Lloyds Bank in their IT Department, monitoring all of the live networks to their branches. Once the children started school I studied with the Open University and in December 1997, graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Social Sciences.
I joined the staff of the Abbey School, initially as a TA in February 2000. In September 2001, I was given the opportunity to train as a teacher under the Graduate Teacher Training Programme in the Humanities Department of the Abbey School. Having gained QTS the following year I was offered a permanent appointment as a Geography Teacher. I progressed to the additional post of a KS3 Year Head, in 2007, a post I held until my retirement from full time teaching in 2015.
I feel the experience I have gained, both from my teaching and pastoral roles will enable me to assist in the continued improvement of standards within the school.
Co-Opted Governor - Mr D Shemoon
Co-Opted Governor - Mr K Warnock
Co-Opted Governor - Mrs L Brooman
Co-Opted Governor - Mr N Levitt
Parent Governor - Mrs D Cory
I am married with two sons; my youngest is here at The Abbey School and my eldest is at The Queen Elizabeth School. I am the Chief Operating Officer for the European Investment Banking business of Barclays Bank and have over 20 years experience in the Finance Industry. My skill set includes strategic vision and execution, stakeholder and staff management, business and people performance oversight. I am responsible for the regional budget and cost controls as well as Audit oversight and Governance framework.
As a new Co-opted Governor at The Abbey School I am looking forward to contributing my business skills and hope to help the Headteacher and and the Management Team continue to develop the school, its pupils and staff. In addition to my Governor role I am a mentor to 6th form Business Studies students. I believe that mentoring young people is critical to their development and future success and provides them with different perspectives outside of their school and family life.
Parent Governor - Mr P Hawkins
Staff Governor - Mr R Clarke
Having graduated from UMIST I spent the first eight years within a consultancy and market research environment, traveling extensively to clients in both Western Europe and the United States.
As my role grew at a PLC in London, I was given the opportunity to train new graduates into various elements of the business; finding this much more enjoyable than the "day job" I quickly looked at the opportunity to become a teacher.
I have worked in The Abbey School now for the past seven years. Having taken the Graduate Teaching Programme within the school, and then held a variety of pastoral roles, I want to learn more about the workings of the school and how I can act as a Teacher Governor to support my colleagues and the school itself. Having completed my Masters in Education in 2013/14, this is a natural avenue for me to continue to learn and develop whilst helping the school continue to be successful.
Outside of school, I have two ever-growing young sons who I love playing sport with come rain or shine.
Staff Governor - Mrs W Gregory
I have lived in Faversham since 1980 and have three grown up children. I worked as a qualified social worker before starting a family and have worked part time within the education system ever since.
I have worked at the Abbey School for just over 10 years and have fulfilled a number of different support roles during that time including a classroom based and lead Teaching Assistant, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) and Intervention Tutor.
At present I coordinate three initiatives that directly support literacy within school: Accelerated Reader, Reading Challenge and our volunteers.
I came to the Abbey School with a B.A (Hons) in childhood studies and have continued to build on my professional development to keep pace with current thinking.
I have always believed that support staff are an integral part of any school but the support staff at the Abbey School prove their worth on a day to day basis and I am more than happy to represent them on the Governing body.