The Governing Body

Sharon Farnley

Sharon Farnley

Chair of Governors - Community Governor

My name is Sharon Farnley and I am Chair of the Governing Board at Holbeach.
I have been involved in the school since my son Sam joined Nursery in 2005, firstly as part of the PTA (Friends of Holbeach) and then as a Parent Governor, having been successful in an election for the position in 2009. I am now a Community Governor.
Outside school I work for the telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, in their internal comms department.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 6/4/19
End of Office: 5/4/23

Glenys Englert

Glenys Englert

Vice Chair of Governors - Community Governor

I became governor in September 2019 and have particular responsibility for health and safety.
I retired after a long career with Lewisham Libraries, during which I was a Children’s Librarian and later a member of the Senior Management Team.
As a librarian I always placed great emphasis on developing and promoting learning opportunities for children and adults as a way of overcoming disadvantage and inequality. Also I volunteered as a youth worker, and served on management committees for a community bookshop, a literacy centre and the Lewisham Early Years Alliance.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 19/9/19
End of Office: 18/9/23

Ben Pitcher

Ben Pitcher

Vice Chair of Governors - Parent Governor

I was elected parent governor in 2016 and am currently Vice Chair and Link Governor for the Curriculum. I am working with the school to embed diversity and equality to ensure that all of Holbeach’s children are reflected in its curriculum. My professional background is in Higher Education, and I bring to Holbeach my experience of using teaching and learning to challenge social inequalities.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 30/11/20
End of Office: 29/11/24

Val Edwards

Val Edwards

Co-opted Governor

I have been a co-opted governor at Holbeach since 2009, serving as Chair of Curriculum Committee, Vice Chair and Chair of Governors. Until my retirement from my headship in 2007, I spent my whole teaching career in Lewisham nursery and infant schools. I remain convinced of the crucial importance of high quality early learning experiences in shaping children’s social and emotional well-being, as well as their future educational achievement. This year I am continuing as a link governor for Safeguarding but am delighted to take on a new role with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. My oldest grandchild has now left Holbeach, but 2 remaining grandchildren are currently in Year 5 and Nursery.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 19/3/19
End of Office: 18/3/23

Katie Drew

Katie Drew

Associate Governor

I was co-opted to the Holbeach Governing Body in March 2017. I grew up in Catford and continue to love living here. I have been involved in the school since my son joined the Nursery in 2007. My daughters went on to join subsequently and my youngest daughter moves to Sedgehill Academy with her brother and sister in September 2021. I have worked part time at the school since 2018, and I also continue to work part time in community engagement and development.
I am proud to have worked in Lewisham since the age of 17, having a career in libraries for many years with roles including Children & Young Person’s Librarian and Community Engagement Manager. More recently, I worked as part of the bid-winning team to bring the London Borough of Culture to Lewisham in 2022, and I am currently working with Lewisham communities to develop local democracy and ensure residents voices are heard when developing services.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 28/3/19
End of Office: 27/3/23

Steven Orpwood

Steven Orpwood

Community Governor

I am a co-opted governor responsible for mathematics, GDPR and website compliance, and have two children at Holbeach in Years 2 and 5.
I feel strongly that a happy, supportive and intellectually challenging primary experience gives children confidence, a love of education, and a lifelong willingness to learn. I am excited to play a small part in serving the school and parents and helping Holbeach to remain a school we feel confident sending our children to.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 22/3/18
End of Office: 21/3/22

Lorrene Francis

Lorrene Francis

Staff Governor

I have three children who all attended Holbeach Primary School. My eldest child is now 25, middle child is nearly 15 years old and my youngest is now 11. Being a young mother was challenging, however, the kindness and understanding from the staff at Holbeach made me feel appreciated and supported throughout my children’s time here.

I have worked at Holbeach since 2014 and started my career as a midday meals advisor, I realised very quickly that I love being part of Holbeach and wanted to move my career further. I enrolled and studied to be a teaching assistant, which is my current job role and soon enough decided to study even further to enhance my understanding and learning when working with young children. I am now studying at University of Greenwich completing my BA Hons Early Years degree. With my continuing professional development, the encouragement and support I continue to receive is heart-warming and I know that Holbeach, their ethos and their drive continues to make the school a great place for our students, parents and staff.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 6/12/18
End of Office: 5/12/22

Maryah Tafri

Maryah Tafri

Co-Opted Governor

I am a co-opted member on the board and have responsibility for Community engagement, diversity and PSHE. I currently have a child in Year 1, an older son who was previously a pupil at Holbeach and even attended the school myself; as did my siblings. I am a full-time business school lecturer and also sit on the board of a multi-academy trust.

Like most, I believe that it is important for all children to experience the benefits that come from being part of a nurturing, supportive and intellectually motivating school environment. It is clear to me that the long history which I share with this school certainly influences just how strong my desire is to see the pupils of Holbeach flourish in terms of their educational attainment, as well as on an emotional level.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 17/9/19
End of Office: 16/9/23

Ross Baptie

Ross Baptie

Parent Governor

I am a parent governor, elected in November 2019, and am currently a Link Governor for Finance and Pupil Premium.

I’ve lived around the corner from Holbeach for 15 years. My son is in Year 3, but even before he started school here I felt a strong connection to Holbeach as a key part of our local community.

As a child, I had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with education and left school at 16. In later life I soon realised that it was not education in itself that my problem was with, but with the institutionalised forms in which that education took place. Those structures tended to prevent children from certain socio-economic and minority backgrounds from flourishing and achieving their full potential. This in turn gave rise to antagonism and reaction from children against education and learning in general.

I hope that this perspective and experience will help me to play a small part in ensuring Holbeach continues to be even more inclusive, supportive and facilitating to children from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 27/11/19
End of Office: 26/11/23

Gbolahan Adedoyin

Gbolahan Adedoyin

Parent Governor

My name is Gbolahan Adedoyin, I have three children currently in Holbeach Primary School. I currently work in financial services for the past fifteen years and in various management roles. I also currently serve as a trustee for a registered charity.

I’m committed to supporting the staff, Governors, and pupils at school and particularly interested in the further development of Mathematics, Science, Cyber/IT Security awareness, Music, Arts, and Drama.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 6/1/21
End of Office: 5/1/25

Hannah Solley

Hannah Solley

Parent Governor

I was elected as Parent Governor to Holbeach Governing Body in November 2021. I have been a secondary teacher and senior leader for almost 15 years, working predominantly in inner city London schools. I’ve lived in Catford since 2016 but my Dad’s family all grew up around here, my Grandmother used to attend Holbeach so I feel deeply connected to the school and the local community.

I believe that education should provide students with the knowledge, skills and habits to enable them to solve problems, participate in society and learn throughout their lives. I am firmly of the view that schools should be vehicles to support students in belonging to and engaging with their local and national communities, and empower children to shape them.

Finally, education should excite the imagination and support students in self-actualization – identifying who they are and what they believe in. I am driven to help deliver social justice for all students; to help close the gaps that society leaves open; and to create opportunity and choice for all. To this end I will support the governing body to achieve the best we possibly can for every child at Holbeach.

Member of: Full Governing Board, Curriculum Committee, Resources Committee
Start of Office: 2/11/21
End of Office: 1/11/25