Christchurch Infant School

The Governing Body







Chris was elected as a Parent Governor in November 2018 and became Chair of Governors between September 2019 and December 2021. He stepped down to concentrate on being the link governor for school finance, and returned as Chair in October 2023.

Chris is a senior manager working in the construction industry and has invaluable experience in building maintenance / refurbishment, finance, HR procedures and health & safety. He also chairs the school’s Finance and Premises Committee.

He has twin daughters that have been through Christchurch Infant School and are currently in the Junior school. he enjoys walking, climbing, abseiling and kayaking.







Gerri was elected as the school’s Local Authority Governor in April 2019 and was Vice Chair of Governors from March 2022 – October 2023.  Her link roles are for Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) and Vulnerable Groups; and Writing. She also chairs the school’s Curriculum Committee.

Gerri has over 30 years’ experience in education, as both a teacher and deputy head in a large primary school in London. She moved to Dorset as a specialist advisory teacher for SEND, then Manager of the Learning Support Services and then as senior manager for Dorset Council SEND Services.  She now works as a freelance SEND consultant and trainer, supporting local authorities and schools to meet the needs of children with SEND. 

Gerri has two adult sons and enjoys film, theatre and spending time in the Dorset countryside with her husband Ivor and dog Gracie.


Andrew was


Andrew became a Co-Opted Governor in 2021, and his link roles are for Health and Safety and Reading.

He is a semi-retired Chartered Surveyor and has worked for over 40 years for both a variety of property companies and BT, dealing with commercial buildings of all types. He has experience in the psychology of the occupation of the built environment, building technology, staff management, construction of business cases and financial analysis, as well as project management and procurement.

Originally from London, Andrew has supported two children through the education system including nursery, independent and state secondary schools, university and apprenticeships. He enjoys most sports from the comfort of his living room, but skis, keeps fit and rides his motorcycle when the weather is conducive.


Nicki Gibson

Nicki was elected as Staff Governor in September 2019, and her link role is for Wellbeing and the Personal Development of the school, linking with members of staff who are responsible for leading PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and the School Council. 

She has taught at the school since 1995, starting as a newly qualified teacher then becoming Base Leader in the Early Years, and as part of this role an Early Years Foundation Stage Moderator, supporting other schools across Dorset with their national assessments. She is now enjoying her role in Year 1. Nicki’s passion is for music within the school, and she leads whole year group ‘Singalongs’ and whole school performances in our annual Arts Week.

In her spare time, she especially enjoys music outside school and is a member of two adult choirs, performing across Dorset and beyond. She is also proud to be a member of the school netball team.



Cheryl Ponsford 

Cheryl has been a primary school teacher for over 20 years across West Sussex, Dorset and BCP. Cheryl has experience teaching in Key Stage 1, with an expertise in Early Years and currently Attendance Lead in her school. She has two children, one currently attending Christchurch Infant School and one in their last year at Christchurch Junior School. 

Cheryl enjoys spending time with her family either out on the water or walking their dachshund in the woods (who likes to avoid puddles or mud!). She is a keen baker and likes playing games with her children, although she is a little competitive!  





Adnan was elected as a Co-opted Governor in October 2022. His link role is maths.

He is a respiratory physician working in clinical research at the University of Southampton, and in R&D at AstraZeneca. He has experience in data analytics, project management and teaching, and was motivated to become a governor in order to support the local community.

In his spare time, Adnan enjoys cooking, travelling and exploring the outdoors especially with his wife and two young children.


Lucy Strickland

Has been a primary school teacher for just under 20 years. She specialises in Special Educational Needs and has been a qualified SENCO for over 10 years. She is a Trauma Informed School’s practitioner and currently works as a SENCO at a school in BCP. Lucy has previously been a Deputy Head Teacher in London before relocating to Christchurch.

 Lucy has two children in both Christchurch Infants and Juniors. She is a keen paddle boarder and enjoys spending time at the beach and going on bike rides with her family in the New Forest.













All governors come from a range of backgrounds, and bring different areas of expertise to the school. The board is supported by the Acting Head Teacher, Suzy Hayward (Ex Officio) and Dionne Johnson (Associate Governor and School Business Manager).  The role is to support and challenge senior staff to continue to improve the school and is largely a thinking and questioning role -  they do not manage the school or do the jobs of school staff. 

Governors fulfil their role by regularly attending Governing Body meetings, providing strategic guidance and by asking probing and challenging questions of leaders within the school. They also undertake visits, serve on relevant committees and oversee the Head teacher’s performance management.

The full governing body meets on a regular basis of at least six times per year, plus three meetings of the two sub committees -  the Curriculum Committee and Finance and Premises Committee. Meeting as a Full Governing Body allows greater knowledge sharing and speed of decision making.

All members of the governing body attend training sessions to keep up to date with changes in schools and education. They also go into school to meet with the Head teacher, other members of staff, and pupils, to find out how the school is progressing towards its targets.

The governing body is proud of all the staff, pupils and parents and all that they achieve. It is committed to supporting Christchurch Infant School to be a safe, enjoyable and effective place for children to learn and develop.

The Chair of the Governing Body, may be contacted via Jacky Thorne, Clerk to the Governing Body at Further governor information including registered business interest can be found in these documents:    



Governor Information


Further governor information including registered business interest can be found in these documents:   




Attendance record

Governing Body Terms of Reference

Governor Profile