Trust Level Governance 

Turner Free School is part of the Turner Schools Multi Academy Trust.

Our Governance Structure ensures there are clear reporting lines and explicit requirements to ensure probity, good governance and outstanding performance.

Members are responsible for determining the governance of the Trust. They approve our Articles of Association and appoint Trustees in accordance with the Articles. 

Trustees focus on three core functions of governance: 

All Members, Trustees and Governors complete an annual declaration of Business Interests and declare any pecuniary interests in meetings.

The Board delegates responsibilities to the school Challenge & Community Committee as set out in the Scheme of Delegation.  

View our Articles and Memorandum of Association

School-level governance:

Governors serve as a key link between the schools, parents/carers and the local community. They monitor the performance of the school, advising the Trustees of any concerns.

We have a committed team of Governors on the school Challenge & Community Committee who are actively involved in the life of the school. They reflect the community we serve and include parent representatives.

The Governors are passionate about our School and are here to make sure that every pupil is given the best education, opportunities and experiences possible. They play an important role in overseeing the work of the school, acting as “critical friends” for the Senior Leadership Team and holding the school to account for performance and development.

Challenge and Community Committee - Our Governors

Chair: Tracy Luke

To contact the Chair email or contact via the school office or 01303 842400, option 3.

Committee Safeguarding Lead: Cally Cooke

Committee SEND Lead: Russell Smith

Careers Lead: Maha Rai

Lead Safeguarding Trustee: Dean Jones

Cally Cooke – parent governor

Cally is an Early Help worker, working within Integrated Children’s services in Folkestone and Hythe to support families. She has lead roles in Born to Move (an initiative to get children ready for formal education) and has trained Health Visitors and KCC staff in this. She also runs different parenting programs and works closely with different agencies within the community to give children and young people the best opportunities. Cally has a BA Hons QTS with Drama and taught in a local primary school before working in Early Help.

Professor Helen James OBE, Eur Ing CEng FIMechE FHEA BSc (Hons) MA DBA - co-opted governor

Helen is a Professor (Emerita) for Canterbury Christ Church University advising on STEM and the Kent and Medway Engineering Design Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub. She is Chair of the Education and Skills Board and member of the Education Committee, Royal Society. She was Deputy Vice-Chancellor until 2022.

Helen is passionate about holistic and inclusive institutional strategies for leading change, widening participation and student retention and success.

She was awarded an OBE in 2021 for services to Higher Education. In particular, for championing women and diverse students into science and engineering, as well as helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds to access Higher Education.

Tracy Luke MBE – co-opted governor

Tracy is an experienced teacher and school leader who has served at all levels within a range of comprehensive, selective and boarding schools. She has been a Head of Department, Head of Year, Assistant Head, Deputy Head, Principal and Executive Principal.

Tracy has also been a National Leader of Education and an Ofsted Inspector. Tracy has experience as a Governor at an independent school, a Pupil Referral Unit and at a number of secondary schools.

Louise Lythgoe - co-opted governor

Louise has expertise in Trust Primary Improvement and brings expertise in education, safeguarding and curriculum development.

Scott Norman - co-opted governor

Scott is Headteacher of The Harvey Grammar School, a post he has held since January 2014, leading the school from Good to Outstanding in March 2016.  Scott has extensive experience in school leadership and is a serving inspector for Ofsted. He is also member of the Ofsted Headteacher Reference Group for the South East.

Maha Rai - co-opted governor

Maha came to the UK in 1999 as a dependent of his Father who was serving in the British Gurkha Army. Since 2006 he has lived in Cheriton, Folkestone. During this period, many retired British Gurkha families started to settle in Cheriton and they formed a local Nepalese Community to help each other. From 2012, Maha has been voluntarily working for the community to collaborate with the local council of Folkestone and other communities for integration events, cultural exchanges and funding events. In July 2018, Maha was awarded a PhD in Physics from the University of Kent.

Russell Smith - co-opted governor

Russell graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in English and Education having previously worked for several years in London for the Civil Service. He worked in various schools and spent ten years as Head of English in a Kent comprehensive school where he gained diplomas in Management and in teaching Gifted and Talented children. In 2008 he gained the NPQH qualification. Russell retired in 2010 as Vice Principal of The Marsh Academy. Since then he has continued teaching A-level part-time in local schools and on a voluntary basis in local primary schools, teaching creative writing. He was brought up in Cheriton and attended local schools.

Jennifer Van-Deelen– ex-officio governor

Jennifer is Head of School and ex-officio governor by virtue of this position.

Governors who have left in the past 12 months:

David Eagles-Larke – parent governor

David works for the local college and has a special interest in environmental sustainability and healthy eating.

He is passionate about helping every pupil succeed.

Patrick McKeating - co-opted governor & Careers Lead

Kristina Yates – ex-officio governor

Kristina is Principal and ex-officio governor by virtue of this position.