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Our School Governors 

Our school governors are a very important part of our school community. They visit the school regularly and are very involved in many aspects of school life.


We very lucky to have a group of governors who willingly give of their time to support the school and their commitment was recently acknowledged with their Governor Mark achievement. We meet as a Full Governing Body six times a year and every governor visits the school each term to monitor an area in relation to the School Development Plan.


School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. They are responsible for appointing the head teacher and deputy head teacher and hold the main responsibility for finance. It is governors who work with the head teacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources. 


The role of the governing board is a strategic one, its key functions are to:


• set the aims and objectives for the school;

• set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives;

• set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives;

• monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives;

• be a source of challenge and support to the head teacher


Message from the Chair of Governors, Hansjörg Schmidt

Mrs Helen Lambirth - Head teacher

I am the Head teacher at Westmeads Community Infant School and work very closely with the Board of Governors. I have been a Staff Governor at four other infant and primary schools. I joined Westmeads as Head teacher in January 2013.


Mrs Kate Gowing - Associate Governor

I have worked at Westmeads since 2001, teaching in all year groups before becoming Early Years Foundation Stage Leader and Deputy Head teacher in 2002. I now have the role of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) alongside being Deputy. I coordinate support for children across the school, that takes place either individually or in small groups, in the Rainbow Room or within the classroom.  I monitor the progress of these children, with their class teachers and liaise closely with parents.


Mrs Clare Watkins - Staff Governor

I have worked at Westmeads School since 2004 and have taught both Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1.  I am class teacher in Yellow class and my current role is the Early Years Foundation Stage Leader as well as leading Art and Design, Design and Technology and Online Safety.  I enjoy working with all the EYFS children and parents to ensure that they have a successful transition into school.


Mr Hansjörg Schmidt - Chair and Parent Governor

Elected as Parent Governor in May 2016 I very much enjoy working with the Head Teacher Mrs Lambirth and the other school Governors on supporting the excellent educational work at Westmeads. My background as a lighting designer and Programme Director for an undergraduate degree programme in lighting for performance gives me a good understanding of the value and importance of creative learning, so I am hoping to support staff, children and parents through my governance role in continuing to realise the school’s potential as a rich and inspiring learning community.


Mrs Jane Terry - Local Authority Governor

I’ve lived in Whitstable for nearly 33 years, holding roles within Education and Special Needs in the Canterbury District for 27 of these, including Early Years Co-ordinator, SENCo and Specialist Teacher for Autism, as well as a number of County roles within the Specialist Teaching and Learning Services (STLS). As a teacher, governor, LA officer, parent and now a grandparent I have been heavily involved in local education, clubs, uniformed organisations and community events throughout this time. My children attended local schools throughout their education as do my grandsons including a very happy time at Westmeads School.


Mr Lee Fermor - Co-Opted Governor

I am really excited to take up my first co-opted governor role. Working in financial services has meant I spend a lot of time attending various committees and governance forums. I hope the skills gained through my career can benefit in providing strategic leadership for the school, to ensure the children always have a fantastic time learning and developing at Westmeads.


Mr Matt Dechaine - Co-Opted Governor

I am excited to have recently joined Westmeads as a co-opted governor. I have worked in schools for most of my working life and was the headteacher of a primary school in Larkfield until 2016. I then spent three years working between London and Northern India, supporting teaching and learning in 230 rural and tribal schools. I am now working as an education consultant and executive coach across London and Kent​. I am looking forward to being a part of the Westmeads journey.

Mrs Katy Diamond-Jalloh - Parent Governor

Currently I am a music teacher working with nurseries, individual students, and whole classes in Infant schools, as well as a mum of two wonderful children.  I believe that schools have a vital role in the development of confidence, kindness and resilience, and I hope to support the school in its continuing enrichment of the children’s learning and well-being. 



Mr Gareth Thomas, Parent Governor

Since my eldest son started in Reception this year, I have seen what a caring, creative and fun learning environment the staff at Westmeads work hard to foster. Having worked in the film production industry for over 15 years, I hope my experience with finance and health & safety will help in supporting fellow governors and school staff to ensure that Westmeads is able to continue providing such a rich and supportive environment for all children.


Mrs Amanda Jones, Co-opted Governor

I was delighted to be invited to join the Westmeads board as a co-opted governor in January this year. I have lived very near the School for ten years, so I feel a strong local connection that I look forward to deepening. I have worked for over four decades in the arts, with over twenty at senior level. I have also served on a number of boards and am currently a member of the board of Whitstable Biennale. I look forward to a rich relationship with governors, staff, parents, pupils and all at Westmeads.


Our Governing Board: September 2019


Head teacher

  • Helen Lambirth


Local Authority

  • Jane Terry (from February 2020)


Co-opted Governors (Community)

  • Lee Fermor (Vice Chair)
  • Amanda Jones
  • Matt Dechaine


Associate Governors

  • Kate Gowing (Deputy head teacher)


Parent Governors 

  • Hansjörg Schmidt (Chair)

  • Katy Diamond-Jalloh

  • Gareth Thomas


Staff Governor

  • Clare Watkins


If you wish to contact a governor, please speak to the school office staff or email us using the contact form below or to our Chair on governors(at)  Otherwise you can write a letter to a governor and hand it into the school office staff, who will ensure  it reaches the Chair of Governors.


Governor Updates

The Governors give a termly update of what they have been getting up to in the last edition of each term of our weekly Newsletter the 'Westmeads Weekly'. If you wish to view previous updates and see the work that our Governors do to support the school you can click here to go to our letters page.

Link to KCC Governor information on KELSI

Contact Us

Please contact us for further information.