Governing Body

Core Functions of Hillside’s Governing Body

Governors are the strategic leaders of our school and play a vital role in making sure every child gets the best possible education. The purpose of the Governing Body is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’ (Section 21(2) of the Education Act 2002).

The three core strategic functions of our Governing Body are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

Membership of Hillside’s Governing Body

Governors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school and wider communities. Please see our Governing Body Membership document to view the following information:

  • Membership details of our Governing Body
  • Relevant business or pecuniary interests
  • Committee membership and delegation to individuals
  • Attendance record at meetings for the current and previous full academic year


Governors can be contacted via an email to or via the school officeIf the matter is confidential please mark it ‘Private and Confidential, for the attention of the Chairman of Governors’. 


Meet our Governors

Becca Frances – appointed to the Governing Body November 2021

Why did you want to become a Governor?
“Having spent nearly 40 years working in Special schools I knew that  when I retired I wanted to become a Governor of a Special School to continue that link, but in a different more supportive capacity.”

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
“After completing my teaching degree in Special Education I began my teaching career at a ILEA residential school for Autism, I worked there for 6 years before relocating with my family back to north east Essex. I started teaching at a local Special School where I taught a wide range of students with PMLD, SLD, Speech and Language difficulties and Autism. I worked at the school for over 32 years before retiring in July 2020, for the last 14 years I had had the privilege to be the Deputy Head Teacher. I consider myself to have been so fortunate to have had a job that I enjoyed and was so passionate about. I feel that I can bring knowledge, experience, passion and empathy to my role as Chair of Governors at Hillside School.”


Sarah Ward – appointed to the Governing Body May 2020

Why did you want to become a Governor?
“I live in Sudbury and work with children who have learning disabilities and communication difficulties. Being a Governor allows me to give back to the community that I live in and am part of. Being part of the Hillside Governing Body is providing me with knowledge and experience of how education works. The role of a Governor is to ensure that school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction, holds the Senior Leadership Team to account for the school’s educational performance and oversee the financial performance of the school. This is exciting and informative. I am learning from my fellow Governors and the Senior Leadership of the school. I am thoroughly enjoying being part of a body that ensures that Hillside continues to be a fantastic school. A school that is continually looking to progress and develop.”

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
“Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist specialising in school-aged complex needs. Hotel and Restaurant Management. Small business owner”


Jane Crumpton-Taylor – appointed to the Governing Body July 2015

Why did you want to become a Governor?
“There is delight and satisfaction in working with a great group of people, both Governors and staff. The more I learn about our students and how we can support them the more I understand about learning and the nuances of mental and physical ability. I think that being a Governor at Hillside has helped me in other areas of my life too.”

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
“Chartered Accountant. My role over the 24 years before retirement was Finance Director of  medium sized charities”


Kay Harling – appointed to the Governing Body March 2018

Why did you want to become a Governor?
“I have worked at Hillside School since 2013, being a Governor since 2018. Being a member of the Governors is described as being a ‘critical friend’, supporting the school but also challenging it and holding it accountable. I can offer my viewpoint from someone who works in the classroom. I’m able to be involved with the school’s progress and see how this benefits the pupils’ best interests and their learning experience. I have also learnt new skills over this time and feel it’s very rewarding to give up some of my free time to help support Hillside. It is a commitment I enjoy!”

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
“I worked as a window dresser in a department store  for 13 years where I liaised with management, wholesalers and customers. I studied for an NVQ Level 3 when I decided to become a Learning Support Assistant and since becoming a Governor I have completed a series of other training courses. This knowledge enables me to challenge the school at meetings to help maintain that the best possible decisions are being made.”


Shelley Jackson – appointed to the Governing Body March 2021

Why did you want to become a Governor?
“Being a Governor allows me to gain a variety of new skills and develop the ones I already have. Being a governor can be very rewarding and I do enjoy feeling part of a team who is working to improve the life chances of children who sometimes come from very challenging backgrounds. I strongly believe that our children deserve the very best education we can provide for them and therefore we must all strive to be outstanding. It is an opportunity to give something back to society and to help children at an important time in their lives. Everybody has life experiences which they can ‘bring to the table’ and these are so important in providing an external view and prospective for school leaders. Finally working as part of team helping YOUR school to grow and develop is very rewarding.”

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
“I have worked in a variety of schools, in mainstream, independent and special. I like to think over the many years I have worked as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, I have gained a great deal of experience working with children, staff and parents.  In my role as a Deputy Headteacher, I have a clear understanding of the school’s curriculum and the day to day running of the school.”