Academy Governance

An Academy trust is a charitable company set up to run an Academy and is responsible for the strategic direction of the Academy. Academy trusts have two layers of governance – the members of the trust and the governing body (Trustees) .


Members are similar to shareholders and have ultimate control over the direction of the academy trust. They ensure the charitable company achieves its objectives and appoint some of the governors.

The members of Folkestone St Mary’s Church of England Primary Academy for year ending 31/8/22:

  • The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Company Ltd
  • The incumbent of St Mary and St Eanswythe (currently Rev Dr John Walker)
  • Emma Lane (Chair of Governors)
  • Parochial Church Council of St Mary and St Eanswythe  (currently represented by Jan Clark)


The core functions of the governing body/Trustees as set out in the Academy Trust Handbook 2023 are as follows:

• Strategic leadership of the academy trust: the board defines the trust vision for high quality and inclusive education in line with its charitable objects. It establishes and fosters the trust’s culture and sets and champions the trust strategy including determining what, if any, governance functions are delegated to the local tier

 • Accountability and assurance: the board has robust effective oversight of the operations and performance of the academy trust, including the provision of education, pupil welfare, overseeing and ensuring appropriate use of funding and effective financial performance and keeping their estate safe and well maintained

 • Engagement: the board has strategic oversight of relationships with stakeholders. The board involves parents, schools and communities so that decision-making is supported by meaningful engagement.

The trustees must apply the highest standards of conduct and ensure robust governance, as these are critical for effective financial management

The Governing Body plays an important role in guiding the school strategically in conjunction with the Principal and Leadership team, with a view to providing the best possible education and educational opportunities for all of the pupils. St Mary’s is fortunate to have an enthusiastic and hard-working governing body who are committed to raising standards in the school. Governors are not expected to intervene in the day to day management of the school.

The governing body is split into committees which meet separately from the main governing body to discuss relevant issues in more detail. Discussion is then fed back at a full governing body meeting.

Most importantly, the Finance committee focuses on the delivery of the annual School Improvement Plan in this area, undertakes monitoring and evaluation activities against financial priorities and reports to the governing body as a whole.

In addition, there is an audit and risk team which is an advisory body with no executive powers which makes recommendations to the Governing Body and is the means for ensuring that there is in place a process for the independent checking of financial controls, transactions and risks. (See terms of reference for the Governing Body for full details of governance structure (document attached)

Ofsted looks closely at the contribution which the governing body makes to school improvement and expects governors to demonstrate a determination to secure the success and good progress of every pupil. Ofsted expects governors to be fully informed about the work of the school, to understand where it has been successful, where improvement is needed and what measures the school has put in place to achieve this.

Governors can be contacted on [email protected]

Minutes of all full governor meetings and of committee meetings may be obtained upon request to [email protected]

Folkestone St Mary’s C E Primary Academy Governors September 2023

Term of office 4 years unless ex officio

Mrs Emma Lane (Chair)Trustee Co-opted from 23/11/19 reappointed 24/11/23
Mrs Amanda WolframPrincipal and Accounting Officer ex officio appointed 1/9/23
Rev Dr John WalkerIncumbent St. Mary & St. Eanswythe ex officio appted 26/5/20 
Mrs Dawn WolleyAppointed by Members 15/3/18 reappointed 15/3/22
Mrs Lindsey SmithAppointed by Members 17/7/17 reappointed 16/7/21
Mrs Claire FrostAppointed by Members appointed 4/9/23 
Ms Natalie MartinParent Governor elected by parents 12/2/20  

Members and Trustees at 19/9/23


Diocese of Canterbury Company Limited (corporate member)
Mrs Emma Lane – Chair of Governors
Rev Dr John Walker – (Incumbent of St Mary and St Eanswythe, Folkestone)
PCC of St Mary and St Eanswythe – (corporate member currently represented at AGM by Jan Clark)


Emma Lane, Chair (originally parent governor, subsequently co-opted by Trustees
Lindsey Smith, Company Secretary (member appointed)
Dawn Wolley, Chair of Finance Committee (member appointed)
Natalie Martin Vice chair (parent governor – elected by parents)
Rev Dr John Walker (ex officio as Incumbent of St Mary and St Eanswythe as per Articles of Association)
Amanda Wolfram Head Teacher (ex officio Trustee as per Articles) and Accounting Officer
Claire Frost member appointed
We will be holding elections to appoint another parent governor this term

Experience/skills of members
Diocese of Canterbury Company Ltd– Corporate member – We are able to draw on the combined skills and experience within the Diocese for support and advice

Emma Lane – Chair of Governors. Manager of Grand Hotel Burstin – a 550 bed hotel in Folkestone. Has spent much of career in hotel management. Excellent HR, organisational and interpersonal skills. Has shown both empathy and courage in dealing with difficult situations. As Chair, is able effectively to lead the Governing body and offer appropriate support and challenge to senior leadership.

Rev Dr John Walker – Anglican priest with many years’ experience and currently incumbent of St Mary and St Eanswythe. Regularly in school to lead Collective Worship and offer pastoral support
PCC of St Mary and St Eanswythe – Corporate member

Experience/skills of Trustees
Emma Lane (also a member see info above)

Lindsey Smith MA (Oxon) Director of The Wills Register for over 30 years. Legal and administrative experience. Prior to becoming a governor, acted as Clerk to the Governors for St Mary’s and another local school for eight years. At School’s request, managed the transfer of St Mary’s and two other Folkestone schools to Academy status in 2013 and has explored the possibility of both forming and joining a MAT on a number of occasions. Also undertaken voluntary work at St Mary’s for a term to cover for an absent TA, and taught art and ‘Gifted and Talented’ maths to small groups. Has acted as Safeguarding Link governor for a number of years.

Dawn Wolley Honours degree in Mathematics. Now retired. Worked as part of the Government’s Statistical Service forecasting and monitoring Government Revenue income for HM Treasury. As a volunteer, taught cookery and recorders in a primary school and helped run the school library. School Governor for 5 years.

Natalie Martin – parent with two children at the school. Project manager for Brakes, with 20+ years working within a number of businesses. Various experiences from Finance and Events to Marketing and Project Management. Skills brought to the Governing Board are organisational and planning; attention to detail, policy writing and driving through change. Able to challenge the head and leadership team to ensure the school is not only achieving for every child, but that it is constantly striving to exceed for every child.

Rev Dr John Walker (also a member – see info above)

Amanda Wolfram BA Hons PGCE– Head Teacher. Director of Folkestone School Improvement Ltd. Former Deputy Head Teacher at Lyminge Primary School. Is committed, collaborative, critical and creative. Worked as an Associate of Surrey Local Authority (Babcock) to improve Literacy across many schools.

Claire Frost – Joined Governing body in September 2023. Recently retired. Former Head Teacher Wittersham C E Primary School – has an excellent record of raising standards of education.

The full Governing Body has formally met 6 times during the year.

Attendance during the year was as follows:

Governor on committee                                            Meetings attended    of a possible

Emma Lane (Chair)                                                                6                                  6

Trevor North (Principal)                                                        4                                  4     

Richard Russell (interim head & accounting officer)        2                                  2

Lindsey Smith                                                                        6                                  6

Dawn Wolley                                                                          5                                  6

Father Mark Haldon- Jones                                                  0                                  6

Revd Dr John Walker                                                             5                                  6

Natalie Martin                                                                        6                                  6

Lisa Phillipps                                                                      5                                  6

Charlotte Coull                                                                       2                                  2

Rebecca Longley                                                                    2                                  2

Attendance at Finance Meetings and Audit and Risk meetings in the year was as follows:

Governor on committee                                            Meetings attended     of a possible

Dawn Wolley (Chair)                                                       3                                3

Trevor North                                                                         2                                 2

Emma Lane                                                                           2                                  3

Lindsey Smith                                                                       3                                  3

Dawn Wolley                                                                         3                                  3

Natalie Martin                                                                       1                                  3

Governors/trustees in the year from 1.9.22 to 31.8.23

Mr Trevor  North Principal (appointed 1/9/15) ex officio resigned 16/4/23
Mrs Emma Lane  Trustee Co-opted (appointed Chair 27/11/18)
Mrs Lindsey Smith (appointed by the members)
Mrs Dawn Wolley (appointed by the members)
Mrs Charlotte Coull formerly Tanner(elected by staff) term of office ended 16/12/23
Ms Rebecca Howes formerly Longley (elected by staff) term of office ended 16/12/23)
Fr Mark Haldon Jones(ex officio St Peter) resigned 15/8/23
Rev Dr John Walker (ex officio St Eanswythe )
Ms Natalie Martin (parent elected)

Mrs Lisa Phillipps (parent elected) resigned 11/7/23

Governors/trustees Business Interests from September 2022

Governors and members are required to publish on the website any business and pecuniary interest including governance roles in other educational institutions and personal relationships with staff and these are shown below:

Trevor North

Employed as Principal of the Academy resigned 16/4/23

Self employed coaching for local Primary Heads for Kent Association of Head Teachers

Director Folkestone Ethos School Improvement LTd

Member of ASCL ,NEU

Amanda Wolfram – Accounting Officer

Employed as Principal of Academy from 1/9/23

Member of ASCL

Will shortly be a Director of Folkestone Ethos School Improvement Ltd

Dawn Wolley  

Charlotte Coull                 

employed as a teacher by the school , self employed photography business

Rebecca Howes                

employed as a teacher by the school , self employed photography business

Emma Lane                        

employed as hotel manager by Hotel Burstin

On St Mary’s PTA

Lindsey Smith                   

Employed by South Eastern Estates Ltd                 

Spouse employed by Executor Co Ltd                                     

Son employed by St Mary’s as ICT support and hosts website                      

Sister employed by St Mary’s as Bursar                          

Self and spouse are Director and/or Secretary of the following:                               

Ladywell Properties Ltd, Will Safe CO Ltd, Executors Co Ltd                          

South Eastern Estates Ltd , IHS Legal Services Ltd                          

Self and spouse 50% each shareholding in IHS Legal Services Ltd

Natalie Martin                  

Employed by Brakes UK Project Manager

Fr Mark Haldon                

Clerk in Holy Orders

Director and Trustee of St Peters C E Primary School

Re Dr John Walker          

Clerk in Holy Orders

Member and Trustee St Eanswythe’s C E Primary School Folkestone

Lisa Phillipps                     

Executive Search Director at The PIE

Director and Owner of ‘The Rainbird Consultancy Ltd

Trustee at Aquila Multi Academy Trust

Fellow of the ACCA

Claire Frost