Welcome to the Governor page of the Mengham Infant School website. As Chair of Governors, I am very proud to be a part of this school and to be able to watch the children grow in confidence, in ability and enjoy their experience.
Within this section, you will learn more about who we are as a Governing Body, what our role and responsibilities are towards supporting your children’s learning, how we do this and our aspirations for the future of the school.
If you find that what we do excites you and you would find this challenging and a voluntary role is something that you would like to do, we have a couple of vacancies, so please contact the school office for more information and I will gladly meet to discuss this opportunity. I have loved every minute of my time as a governor.
Mark Otten (Chair of Governors)
Year R Nativity – Dec 2022
Mark Otten (Chair of Governors).
I grew up in Surrey, before studying for a degree in Engineering at Leicester University. I lived and worked in London, before moving to Hayling Island in 2014 to start my family.
I have spent my career in the IT industry working in multi-national companies and more recently in smaller technology businesses. Currently I work as head of Marketing and Business Development for a small, Hayling based IT consultancy business.
Currently I have a son in Year 1 at Mengham Infant School. I have been really impressed with the welcoming and caring atmosphere of the school. The whole staff worked so hard to keep the children’s education going during lockdown and I think that speaks volumes about the school’s ethos. As a governor, I would like to help the school to continue to provide a positive and nurturing environment that encourages all children to flourish and achieve their full potential.
Karen Frost – Vice Chair of Governors (Co-opted Governor)
I moved to the area when I was a teenager and stayed until my mid 20s when I left for work. I spent time living and working in London, Exeter, Bournemouth and then Southampton. I returned to Havant in 2001 and have lived here ever since. I have three children, Hannah, Sam and Ben. In my spare time I enjoy swimming, reading, cycling and making the most of the wonderful countryside and wildlife we have in the area.
I’ve worked in a variety of roles including retail and office management. For the last decade I’ve been working in the education sector and I’m currently working as a Company Secretary, Clerk to Governors and Fundraising Manager.
I’m passionate about ensuring all children have access to the best possible education that provides them with a wide variety of experiences. It’s a privilege to be part of this Governing Body team and I look forward to being able to contribute to the continuing success of the school.
Emma Topazio-Collis (Staff Governor)
I started teaching in 2011 and Mengham Infants is the second school that I have worked in. I attended the University of Chichester and gained a degree in Primary Education and Teaching. I taught in Reading first and then moved back to the South Coast with my husband. We now have 2 young children and love travelling to see our families, going on long walks on the beach and building dens in the woods. I have been Early Years Leader for most of my teaching carer so far and I am now part of the Senior Leadership Team as Assessment, Intervention and Vulnerable children lead.
I have been a staff governor for about 6 years now and really enjoy being part of the team, working together to ensure that we are aiming for the high standards our children at Mengham Infants deserve.
Julie Collins (Co-opted Governor)
I grew up in Cornwall and after qualifying as an infant teacher in Devon, I moved to Swindon where I taught for three years in an open plan mixed year school.
After a break to have my two children, Adam and Helen, I moved to Hayling in 1989 and resumed my career as a supply teacher.
I was fortunate to join the staff of Mengham soon after. My roles included class teaching, language development and learning support. It was my role as Special Needs Coordinator that I consider my finest achievement.
After retiring in 2005, due to ill health, I am delighted to be reconnected with the school. I now serve on the Standards committee. I look forward to working with fellow Governors and teaching staff at a school that is very close to my heart.
Lynn Gubler – (Co-opted Governor).
I was born in Mill Hill, North West London, where I lived until I moved to Hayling Island in April 2014. I have 2 children, my son still lives in London, my daughter married in 2010 and lives here on the Island where her husband was born. I moved to Hayling, to be closer to my daughter and her two children and have not looked back since. I love being here: the relaxed pace; the almost village-like feel to life; being so close to the sea and of course seeing my grandchildren almost every day.
Having retired after 40 years in the workplace, now is the time to give something back. I have been lucky enough to have a varied career: in retailing; studying for my Degree in Psychology/Diploma in Occupational psychology; and finishing my career after 19 years in the civil service.
The school environment was completely new to me, but over the years that I have been a Governor I have learned so much and remain very impressed by the dedication and commitment of every member of staff focusing on your child’s education and wellbeing. I am extremely proud to be a Governor at Mengham Infant School, working with a professional team so that your children get the very best from their education.
Andrea Longhurst (Co-opted Governor).
I was born in Portsmouth and have always lived in the area surrounding, bar six months in the Netherlands, I currently live in Waterlooville. I have two boys, Liam and Keelan, although they are both in their late twenties now, along with five stepchildren, again all adults, providing us with thirteen grandchildren between them.
I have worked in IT since leaving school, firstly in development, but more recently in Management, Product Consultancy and Project Management. I currently work for a software house offering Document Management, Procurement Analysis and Custom Excise and Duty software.
Although over the years I have had a brief period as a Child minder and a Child Protection Officer for my son’s football team, I have never worked in a school environment, so this is all new to me. I feel that I now have the time and commitment to put something back into the community, maybe give the school a view from a non-educational background and myself a new challenge.
I was delighted to be asked to join Mengham Infant School as a Governor in December 2020, and from my initial involvement in very difficult times, it looks to be a well-run ship and I am looking forward to working with the other Governors to ensure that the children of the school get the best start in their school life.
Kate Lidgey – (Co-Opted Governor)
I moved to Hayling Island in 2016. The reason we moved was because both myself and my husband were born in Hampshire and we wanted to move back to our roots and be closer to relatives. Prior to this, I lived in Birmingham, for over 35 years. During my time in Birmingham I worked for Birmingham Children’s Services initially as a social worker and then as a Team Manager managing a team of 12 social workers.
Throughout my career I worked closely with children, their parents and carers and developed an in-depth knowledge of Child Protection issues and safeguarding. In addition I worked with children in care and consequently I have an understanding of children’s needs particularly when they are in difficult and sometimes distressing situations.
Although I have not worked in a school environment, I have worked closely with schools to help promote the well-being of the children I had responsibility for. I applied to become a governor for Mengham Infants School as I want to become involved positively in the local community on Hayling Island and use my skills and knowledge to help the school achieve and maintain excellent standards for the children who attend the school and hopefully assist in the school in supporting each child reach their full potential.
Lea-Anne Hyam (Parent Governor)
Following a career in care homes for adults with disabilities and dementia and after my children were born, I have acquired a lot of knowledge, experience and several qualifications in children’s mental health and well being.
I am often called upon to give advice to family and friends with children that have additional need. I pride myself in giving sound advice so that the children get what they need and that parents understand the process.
I have been part of the school community for many years, 9 of my nieces and nephews have attended the school and both of my children, with my youngest at the school now. For me, now is the right time for me to give something back to the school as a thank you for all of the support that they have given me over the years, so as a parent governor I am looking forward to putting my expertise into practice and supporting, as well as working with those in school and the governing body to maintain the high standards that they promote across the school.
(2 x Co-opted Governors )
Copies of meeting minutes are available from our Clerk to Governors – email: firstname.lastname@example.org