Governor Biographies

Local Authority Governors:

Catherine Gater Newhouse-Chair of Governors -

Catherine is a project manager for European projects and has 1 child at Thorn Grove and an older child at Birchwood. Catherine is passionate about science communication and has worked or volunteered at several labs, museums and science associations over the years. 


Sarah Cran- LEA Governor and Chair of School Improvement Committee

Sarah trained as a teacher in New Zealand then worked in Secondary and Special Educational Needs Schools in both NZ and the UK before joining the Senior Leadership Team at an infant school in Enfield.  Sarah then left the classroom, working for Enfield Local Authority School Improvement Service as a special educational needs consultant. Sarah has continued studying, achieving a Masters in Special Educational Needs before going to complete a MBA in School Finance and Leadership at the Institute of Education in London.  Currently, she is raising two small children as a stay at home mum, and feels it is a great opportunity to become involved in a local school and impart some of her knowledge and expertise.


Rachel Foster-Resources

Rachel is a Software Consultant working with charity and non-profit organisations designing business processes that optimise their fundraising and supporter management capabilities. In her spare time she enjoys walking, taekwondo and baking.


Co-opted Governors:

Catherine Barton- Vice Chair of Governors and Clerk to the School Improvement Committee

Catherine works as a project manager in local government, and it was experiencing some of the issues from the perspective of the Education department in a local authority that sparked her interest in becoming a governor. In the past she has also worked in the public library service. She has a Politics degree and a MSc in Public Management. She lives locally with her husband. Catherine is responsible for governor training liaison.


 Parent Governors:

 Michelle Gowlett-Chair, Resources Committee

Michelle is a qualified accountant and works in finance and operations in a charity supporting young people into further education, employment or enterprise. She has previously worked for many years at a professional services firm and at Hertfordshire County Council. She enjoys running, reading and making cakes and has two children at Thorn Grove.


 Darshana Patel-School Improvement Committee Darshana is currently a stay at home mum, looking after her 3 young girls; the eldest of which is at Thorn Grove. She is a qualified teacher who has worked in the Primary sector for 10 years. She is passionate about the teaching and learning of Maths in particular and has worked as a subject leader in an outstanding school in Tower Hamlets, London. 


Dorota Szulc-Resources Committee

Dorota is Legal Manager responsible for contracts, compliance, corporate matters and insurance. She graduated in Law in Poland, followed with LLM degree in Maritime Law at the University of Southampton. She has two children at Thorn Grove. 

Staff Governors:

Peter Luck-Headteacher, School Improvement Committee and Resources Committee

Bio to follow 


 Kirsty Pettinger-Deputy Head, School Improvement Committee

Kirsty read Mathematics at university, then pursued a career in computing before training as a primary school teacher at Manor Fields School. After four years she became part of the leadership team at St Mary’s in Ware, where she studied to become a Primary Maths Specialist. In 2012 she was appointed to teach year 6 and lead in maths at Thorn Grove. She has recently taken on the post of Deputy Head


Joss Loveday-SENCo, School Improvement Committee

Many pupils have benefited from Joss’s work over the years as SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) but she also makes a very welcome contribution to the work of the governing body by giving detailed feedback on what we do to support the children in our care who need the most focused help.