About Governors


Barns Green Primary School has a dedicated Governing Body who support the Headteacher and all the staff in the running of the school.

Instrument of Governance

Download our Instrument of Governance

Circle of Governance

At the end of 2020, we changed from a committee structure to a ‘Circle of Governance’ – where the governing body works as a ‘whole team’ without any committees. Each governor is given special responsibility for a specific area of importance. For Barns Green we have the following roles and responsibilities:

Meet the Governors

Alex Nicholson (Chair of Governors)

I am father to 2 children at Barns Green Primary School, and have lived in the village for over 10 years. I have volunteered to be parental governor of the school to do what I can to ensure all the children at the School have the best possible start in life: This relates to the education provided as well as an environment that is caring, supportive, helpful and nurturing.

I work as an auditor in the Not-for-Profit sector, at the top NFP auditor, and with that comes knowledge and experience of auditing schools and other charitable bodies, which will assist in my role as governor.

Simon Simmons (Headteacher)

Simon Simmons

I am currently in my 13th year as Headteacher at Barns Green Primary School. I have been a Governor for approximately 25 years at a number of schools across Sussex.

I am as passionate about providing an excellent education today as I was when I started in teaching and feel very privileged to be working at Barns Green Primary.

Peter Bird (Co-opted Governor)

I have lived in Barns Green since 2001 during which time all four of my children attended the school. I volunteer as a Governor at Barns Green Primary School as I am a passionate believer in high quality education and the opportunities it presents to young local people. I work in marketing and training for a large oil company and therefore bring along many business perspectives to the Governing Body. I am also a Parent Governor at the Weald, Billingshurst

Tracey Newbold (Staff Governor)

I have taught for many years and am as passionate about teaching and learning as the day I started. As Deputy at Barns Green for a little over a year now I believe I bring both experience and expertise.

I have taught within a wide variety of contexts over the years and was even lucky enough to live and teach in New Zealand. Within West Sussex Education authority I have held a number of roles, helping to develop English provision within the authority and being a statutory writing moderator. I believe strongly that education should be creative and engaging and that as professionals those working within school should have high expectations of both themselves and the children.

I am proud to be Deputy of Barns Green, this is a very special community and I am thoroughly enjoying being part of it.

Victoria Baxter (Co-opted Governor)

I have lived in Barns Green for nearly 7 years and I absolutely love our village. We have such a vibrant community and there is so much going on for such a small place! I’m someone who likes to give back to the community and have become a school governor, so that I can help the school achieve its objectives. I currently have 2 children at the school and I feel passionately that all children deserve the very best start in life. School plays a vital role in encouraging children to make friends, develop to their full potential, learn about the wider world and discover who they are able to become – so I welcomed the opportunity to become further involved as a governor.

I have nearly 20 years’ experience in Marketing and Advertising in both SME and Corporate businesses and have worked at RSA in Horsham for the past 10 years. Some of the strengths I hope to bring to the team are strong communication skills, creativity, ability to deliver and project manage, as well as think strategically…and of course my experience as a Mum! I joined the Board of Governors in 2019 and hope to be a useful addition to the team. I look forward to hopefully making a difference.

Rob MacDonald (Local Authority Governor)

I have 1 child currently attending Barns Green Primary School, 1 at Playgroup and a baby who I’m sure will follow his elder siblings’ path! I have volunteered to be a Governor to play my part in supporting the school and wider local community. I believe passionately that quality education is a right for all children and look forward to working with our school over the coming years.

I work as a Project Manager for the NHS in Surrey, specifically working on the transformation of community health services for children and families.

Robert Nye (Co-opted Governor)

Information about Robert will be added soon…

Dawn Martin (Co-opted Governor)

I have been a school governor for more than twenty-five years, initially for seven years as a Parent Governor at Itchingfield Primary School, where my children attended in the 1990s. Then for sixteen years as Headteacher of West Sussex primary schools and, since my retirement, as a Local Authority Governor at Waterfield Primary School and as a co-opted Governor at my local school, Barns Green Primary School.

In that time, I have seen many changes. I remain passionate about the power of education to improve life chances and provide positive opportunities and choices for children. I’m committed to doing my best to support the team at Barns Green Primary to achieve the best possible outcomes for the pupils and families in their community.

Sue Whittle (Co-opted Governor)

My name is Sue Whittle. I have always strongly supported local schools and have links with Barns Green because my two grandchildren attend the school.

I have recently retired after many years in education. I was a Headteacher for 17 years in 3 large primary schools. For the last part of my career I worked as a Local Authority Adviser in Surrey and then in West Sussex, where I advised and supported Headteachers and teachers in their work. Much of this recent work was in smaller village schools.

My philosophy as a Headteacher was always not to ask teachers to do something that I would not do myself, and never to stop learning. The pandemic reminded me of this once again. I have learnt to use “purple mash” to help teach the grandchildren a couple of mornings a week, even if this meant we were doing it outside, and I had to be inventive in how I engaged them in learning. The biggest challenge was when contact initially had to be via the internet – they were so much better at showing me things they had done than I was at teaching remotely. I hope I can use my experience to support the school as it continues to strive to do the very best for every child.

Jeanette Harwood (Clerk to Governors)

Information about Jeanette will be added soon…

If you would like to contact the governors or are interested in finding out more about the Board of Governors, please email: jharwood@barnsgreen.org.uk or anicholson@barnsgreen.org.uk

Governing Board Attendance Record


You can find full Governing body meeting minutes here.