Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary


Who are your Governors?


The Governing Board of Arun Villages Federation, comprising Amberley CE Primary School and St. James CE Primary School, Coldwaltham, is shared over the two schools. The Governing Board is organised into five key areas: Educational Performance; Strategy; Finance; Operations and Safeguarding.  Within the table below, it is indicated which area of responsibility each governor is involved with.









Attendance at meetings from 01/09/2023 to 31/12/2023

Appointment Dates

Richard Charman

Chair of Governors

Finance, Head Teacher's Performance Management

3 of 3 05.09.2023 to 04.09.2027

Paul Armitage

Co-opted Governor Operations 2 of 3 06.10.2020 to 31.07.2024

Gilli Bush-Bailey

Co-opted Governor TBC 1 of 3 23.11.2023 to 22.11.2027

Rev Gerry Burgess

Foundation Governor, Ex-Officio Head Teacher's Performance Management 2 of 3 13.07.2021 to 13.07.2025

Mel Edge

Co-opted Governor Safeguarding 3 of 3 07.09.2021 to 31.07.2025

Sarah Fish

Co-opted Governor Educational Performance 3 of 3 06.06.2023 to 05.06.2027

Richard Hearn

Co-opted Governor Strategy, Operations 3 of 3 05.10.2021 to 31.07.2025

Nicky Kirby

Staff Governor  Finance, Strategy and Operations 3 of 3 04.11.2021 to 31.07.2025

Lizzie Martin

Executive Head Teacher All areas 3 of 3 01.07.2019

James Peddar

Parent Governor Strategy 2 of 3 04.11.2021 to 31.07.2025

Sheila Ross-Hulme

Co-opted Governor Educational Performance 2 of 3 05.09.2023 to 04.09.2027


Governor Profiles 




Mrs. Lizzie Martin-Executive Headteacher

Register of business interests: none declared

I started life at St. James as the Year 5/6 class teacher in April 2019, having previously worked in East Sussex.  I became Head of School in 2020 whilst retaining my class teacher role.  In September 2021, I became Executive Headteacher across both schools in the Arun Villages Federation (Amberley CE Primary School and St. James' CE Primary School, Coldwaltham) and am thoroughly enjoying being able to lead the staff teams across both schools.

I am passionate about the education of children; for every child, I would like to see them make progress and achieve highly both academically and emotionally.  By the time they leave primary school, it is my aim to ensure they have the knowledge, skills and understanding they need for secondary school…and to cope with everyday life!

I have three boys of my own, aged 23, 22 and 17.  My middle son has severe autism and learning disabilities which has given me a huge insight into the experience of families living with special needs.  I love spending time with my boys, reading, listening to music, cooking (and eating!) and visiting places of interest. 


Mr. Richard Charman

Chair of Governors:  appointed 5th September 2023 to 4th September 2027

Register of Business Interests: none declared

I was elected Chair of Governors in December 2023 having served as Vice Chair of Governors since 2020, leader of the Finance Committee and a Parent Governor from 2019.  I am proud to work with the children, staff, parents and a range of stakeholders to help both schools achieve their aims and give children the brilliant start in life that a great primary education provides.  Our mission is simple and unites the school team – enabling every child to thrive and succeed.  I am a director of a major UK business and bring transferable skills, together with my passion for education and the insight I get as a parent, to lead a governing board which supports and constructively challenges the school team to be their best.









Mrs. Nicky Kirby-AVF Operations Director

Staff Governor

I started at St James in 2015 as Business Manager and I am now fortunate to work across the federation as Operations Director. As part of a Senior Leadership Team, I believe in enhancing effectiveness to achieve high standards of learning and attainment and that the federation creates a welcoming, safe and stimulating environment.  I enjoy seeing children becoming confident and happy as well as developing a passion and commitment to lifelong learning. 

In my spare time I like to spend time with my husband, two grown up children and our dogs - Barkley and Noffee - and take pleasure from going on many walks in the beautiful local countryside. 

Mr. Paul Armitage-Year 2/3 teacher (Amberley CE Primary School)

Co-opted Governor: appointed 6th October 2020 until 31st July 2024  

Register of business interests: none declared

I started as a Year 5/6 class teacher at Amberley C of E Primary in September 2017 after having previously worked in Hampshire for the majority of my career. I have been in education for 26 years now and have taught every Year group from Year R up to Year 6, in Infant, Junior and Primary School settings during this time.

I have been a Governor in many of the schools in which I have previously taught and relish the opportunity to continue this role to have a key insight into the effective running of both of our schools across our Federation.

I have high standards and expectations and have always promoted the idea that children are "lifelong learners" and we never really stop learning throughout our lives. I am excited with the ongoing development of our Federation and feel privileged to be a part of this.

I enjoy spending time with my wife Janice and our cat Sooty and have two grown up step children of whom I am immensely proud of. I enjoy reading, watching films, listening to music, photography and quizzes. 


Mr. James Peddar

Parent Governor.

I moved into Amberley in 2019 with my wife, Lucy and our three children, all of whom     attend Amberley Primary school. Having moved from Surrey, we have been amazed at the   difference it has made to our children in having a more personal, family orientated   approach to education with an outdoor bias. I am delighted to have become a parent   governor and look forward to helping them build on their strengths and grow.  

I have spent the last 20+ years in Financial Services, doing Sales, Marketing and Digital   roles as a Director of various businesses. I am passionate about applying theses skills to   help the schools meet their objectives in delivering great environments and learning outcomes for the children. In my spare time, I like to tinker with cars, occasionally play golf and try to stay fit! 

Mr. Richard Hearn

Co-opted Governor

I am delighted to be part of the team at Arun Villages Federation, working alongside fantastic teaching staff and a dedicated group of Governors. I run a business consultancy and help the boards of large and small companies in the financial services sector improve or bring about change, so being part of Arun Villages Federation also gives me the opportunity to help the schools towards their vision, ambitions and goals.

My wife Maria and I live in West Chiltington, our children are grown up. Work keeps me busy but any spare time is given over to hobbies such as going to the theatre, being a bit of petrol head, flying under my own licence, travelling and more latterly Latin dancing.

Rev. Gerry Burgess

Foundation governor

I am Priest in Charge of Amberley with North Stoke and the surrounding Wildbrooks benefice which also covers the parishes of Parham, Wiggonholt and Greatham.   

I moved to Amberley parish with my husband Steve in late 2018 following my training curacy in Crawley.  Before being ordained as a priest I had taught primary age children for a number of years with a particular focus on RE, History and SEND and then continued to volunteer in my local primary school.   

As Priest in Charge for Amberley I enjoy getting to know children and staff through weekly visits for collective worship and special occasions.  As a Foundation Governor my focus is particularly on supporting the Christian ethos of the school and wider federation, as well as strengthening links between church, school and the wider community.  

In my spare time I enjoy singing in a local choir and getting out into the wonderful countryside of our local area.  


Melanie Edge:

Co-opted governor

I grew up in Surrey but my parents were both very much Sussex folk and this is where I feel most at home. 

After a career in the Ministry of Defence in London, with weekends spent in Amberley, I returned to live full time in Amberley in 2016. I have been a churchwarden at St Michael’s church for about five years. As churchwarden my focus has been on strengthening links between the church and the local community, of which the school is of course an integral part. I look forward to building on these links as school governor. 

I have two daughters and five grandchildren so school issues are are very much part of family conversations! 

Sarah Fish:

Co-opted governor

I moved to Amberley in February 2021 from Kingswood in Surrey. Having visited Amberley and its sister villages over preceding years, I was familiar with the area and am delighted to find myself amidst an established, strong, and welcoming community.   

I am a qualified nurse and spent many years of my career as Operations Director of a large care group specialising in elderly and dementia care. As with the school sector, the care sector is highly regulated and the importance of meeting and exceeding regulatory standards was a key area of my focus. I will endeavour to bring this experience and knowledge to my governor role and contribute to maintaining the high standards that have been achieved to date. 

Since I stood down from full – time employment a number of years ago, I have become involved in the voluntary sector and have taken an active role at the Royal Automobile Club where I am a member of the House Committee. I chair the Choir having previously led the Sub Aqua Section. 

My interests include singing with the Arundel Choral Society, regular visits to Chichester Theatre, weekly bridge in the village and golf at Ham Manor, Angmering. You will also spot me exercising my black lab around the village or up on the wild brooks.  

I have a grown-up family and 3 grandchildren in pre-school or primary years so education is very much to the fore in our family. 

Having visited the Arun Villages Federation schools, I’m hoping to find a way of contributing to the schools' development and supporting the staff on their journey to help the children in their care to flourish.

Sheila Ross-Hulme:

Co-opted governor

I am a retired primary school teacher with training and experience in teaching children with special educational needs. I lived and taught in west London for forty years before moving to Amberley three years ago.

Having been brought up in the highlands of Scotland, I love the hilly terrain of the South Downs with its far-reaching views. As well as walking my dog and reading crime novels and poetry, I am involved with a charitable organisation offering support to refugees, and I volunteer with a local museum and the National Trust.   

I very much look forward to working in partnership with the Head and staff at Amberley School and St James in order to support and pursue the school’s ethos and values of academic excellence.

Resignations in past 12 months 

Father Peter Mallison April 2023

Katie Watson April 2023 

Ray Jackson December 2023


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