School Governors

Week Ending: 22/09/17

Whole School Attendance: 95.83%.

Governors are required to declare any potential business interests, relationships to any employees of the school or to other governors, the clerk or associate members of the governing body. Governors are also asked to declare any other educational establishments where they are a governor, director or trustee, any of which may lead to a conflict of interest. This document may be found here:

Document: Summary of governor business interests 2016-17.

Vanessa Hardy - Chair

I am Kentish born and bred and have lived in St Michaels for 25 years. My husband, John, is a design engineer and our daughter, Emma, attended St Michael’s Primary School and Highworth School.  She is now an Antiques Dealer working also with an auction house.

I was in banking for 20 years and now look after the finances of several small businesses, one of which is the UK branch of an international psychometric testing and management consultancy company.

I have been a School Governor at St Michael’s on and off for 14 years, firstly as a parent Governor and now one of the two Community Governors. I am the Vice Chair and serve on the Learning and Development and the Strategy Committees. St Michael’s Primary is very important to me, not only because the school gave our daughter the best start in life, but because the school is the centre of our community. I feel very privileged to be part of the team of staff and governors who endeavour to give our children the best education and to inspire them within the happy, caring community of our Church of England School. 


Giovanna Gandolfo (Jo) B’Ed

I am half Italian and a Northerner by birth, and have lived in or around Tenterden for the last 30 years. My Husband, Phil Auden, is a Rotarian and our daughter, Hannah, went to Highworth and may be seen around Tenterden in various characters as part of her entertainment company.

I taught English and Drama in Hackney in the early 70’s but spent the majority of my working life in management and ran my own business for more than 20 years with offices with offices in Tenterden. I worked for over 20 years in Executive Education at London Business School focusing on leadership development for senior managers.

I joined the Governing body in November 2013 as an Associate member of the Governing Body and am chair of the Learning and Development Committee and a member of the Strategy Committee. I am absolutely committed to ensuring that our children have the best possible start in life and are prepared to take full advantage of their talents and of the opportunities offered to them.

The future is full of challenges and choices for your children and I want to see them tackle these with confidence. I feel privileged to be a governor and will endeavour to use my experience and energies to work  with my colleagues and staff to do the best for your children.

 Claire Cantor B.A. Cert. Ed

Although I was born in Surrey, I spent all my holidays near Hastings and have lived in Kent since I was 21.  I am married to Peter, (a horse vet who is now retired) and I have three daughters who were all educated locally but now live and work in London.

I trained as a teacher at Whitelands College in Putney (part of the University of London) and then did an Open University degree in Humanities in my forties.  My first job was teaching GCSE  Biology  and all core subjects  at Brickwall House School in Northiam, East Sussex.  During my seven  years there I trained as a specialist teacher in Dyslexia at The Helen Arkell Centre in London.  When my children were school age I returned to teaching at Bedgebury School, Hawkhurst followed by Friars Prep School, Great Chart where I was Head of Special Needs. Following the amalgamation with Ashford School I became Head of English.  I still enjoy doing some supply teaching and private tutoring.

In September 2012 I became a Local Authority Governor of St Michael’s.  I am on the Learning and Development Committee and my special interests are SEN, Gifted and Talented pupils and The Early Years.

I believe that education is the most important thing for the successful future of our world.  I think that St Michael’s Christian ethos makes it a unique, friendly, school which encourages its pupils to grow into confident young people. As a governor I will do what I can to help it become an outstanding educational establishment where all the children can achieve their potential.

Hilary Honeysett

My name is Hilary Honeysett, I am married to Peter and have two children who were both educated locally and remain in the area. I have grandchildren as well.

My family has a long history in the Tenterden area. My grandfather owned a greengrocer’s shop in the High Street and as I child I attended the Infant School in its original building in Church Road and then went to the newly built Junior School in Recreation Ground Road. I attended Homewood School and it was work experience at St Michaels that set me on the path into teaching.

I trained as a teacher at St Oysths College in Clacton studying Primary Education and RE. On gaining a Cert Ed in Teaching I taught for 27 years at Tenterden Junior School, heading up RE and music.

My main educational interest is in Additional Educational Needs and once my children had grown up I followed this passion by gaining PGCE certificates in Dyslexia, Gifted and Talented Pupils and Inclusive Practice. I worked at Wyvern Special School for two years and this gave me the skills to move back into main stream to manage inclusion which I did in two Ashford Infant schools until my retirement in 2015.

I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in February 2017. The Christian ethos at St Michaels’s is extremely valuable to me and the atmosphere and dedication that I have already experienced in the school leads me to believe that its young people are being fully equipped for the next phase of their life. I trust that; as a governor, I will be able to support this process for all children in the school.