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John Ray Infant School

John RayInfant School

Governors Page

Introduction to our Governing Body

Hello and welcome to the John Ray Infant School website. 
I hope you find all the information you need on the site, but if you do have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the school directly.
I also wanted to take a moment to explain the role of the Governors in the life of the school.
The Governors are all volunteers who provide their time and expertise to help the school achieve its aims and objectives.  All of the Governors are from the local community and many have a direct connection with the school.
Through regular meetings and visits to the school the Governors monitor how well the school is performing against its objectives.  We make sure that a safe and welcoming environment helps all pupils enjoy their time in school and fulfil their potential.  We are also responsible for the school’s financial position and provide challenge and guidance to the Headteacher as a critical friend.  Should you wish to contact me, please email me
My name is James Waller and I am the chairperson.
As a parent of children who attended the school and as a Governor I have always found the atmosphere and staff at John Ray Infants very friendly, welcoming and helpful.  I hope you do to.
I joined the Governors as a Parent Governor the week after the fire destroyed the old school.   My two children both attended the school, thoroughly enjoyed themselves, spent some memorable times at Takeley and in the portacabins, and they now attend the Junior School.  I was the Chair of the Resources Committee in 2014 and was elected Chair of the Governors in November 2016, and I have worked closely with Kate and the Senior Leadership team since then. I have lived in Braintree for 11 years and have over 15 years experience in banking, concentrating on audit and compliance.  Joining the Governors has given me an excellent insight in to how dedicated the staff are to creating an excellent learning environment for the children and how hard they work to achieve that goal.  I hope that by sharing my skills the school is assisted in continuing to provide that environment.

Welcome to John Ray Infants. I have been headteacher at John Ray since September 2016 and I absolutely love my role here both as a governor and senior leader. I have been teaching since 1993 and have taught in a wide range of schools including a tiny village school and a large primary. My heart definitely lies with Infant age children though! I have been a governor at a number of schools, including my current role on the local governing body at Moulsham High School where my own children are studying for GCSE and A’levels.  I love animals and have chickens, cats and rats at home to ensure that I am always busy. I am also a very keen runner, having run more than 20 marathons.

My name is Penny Smith. I have been a governor of John Ray Infant School since I retired in 2015.
I taught in Infant and Primary schools in Essex for nearly 40 years including 11 years as a headteacher. I live close to the school and see it as very much a part of our local community so it is a privilege to be able to support the school in this role. I am a member of a local church. I love playing tennis and badminton and also spend time learning the saxophone as well as regularly looking after my grandson.


My name is Andrew Chan.  I joined the John Ray Infants governing body in 2015 as a parent governor when my son was a pupil here. I wanted to volunteer my time and experience to help benefit the local community. I am an educationalist and have taught for over 18 years in secondary schools in and around Essex as well as in Nottinghamshire. I am now a co-opted governor with a responsibility to Early Years Foundation Stage as well as chair of Personnel and Pay Committee. I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders of the school to make sure that we improve the life outcomes of all pupils who attend John Ray Infants School.


My name is Stuart Hammond. I joined the governing body in 2014 as a parent governor following my eldest son starting John Ray Infants. I went to the Infants, Juniors and Notley High as a child and my parents were involved in both the Infant and Junior schools.  Both of my sons have now passed through the Infants into the Juniors and I am now a co-opted governor. I have had the opportunity to work in both retail and IT industries, now specialising in Payroll, HR and Workforce systems. As part of the governing body I have held the position of Chair of the former Pupil Matters committee and currently sit on Resources and Head teacher Performance sub committees. I am also subject governor for Maths and ICT.

My name is Jo Heissig. I became a Parent Governor in 2008 whilst on a break from a career in Education to raise a family. All 3 of my children attended John Ray Infants and being a Governor has been a great way of getting to know the school and it’s systems better and gain an understanding of how and why decisions are made and how they benefit every child that attends the school.
I am fortunate now to work at John Ray Infants in the Foundation Stage and have been able to remain on the Governing Body as a Co-opted Staff Governor.
In my spare time I enjoy Baking and Reading.

Hi, I’m Sheena Mill and I am married with 4 children, 2 boys at home and 2 girls both training to be teachers. I live in Black Notley and love to walk my dog Mopsey in the beautiful fields and lanes that surround us. For 20 years I have been welcomed into Primary Schools across Braintree, representing a local charity, Christian Youth Outreach, taking assemblies, lunchclubs, lessons and supporting the schools in numerous ways. John Ray Infants School has always been such a positive and happy school to be in and as my local school, I feel privileged to be able to share in their enthusiasm and encourage both staff and children through my role as a governor.

My name is Danny Burch and I have two children that attend the school.
I applied to join the schools board of governors to assist the school to be the best it can be to benefit the children that attend it, also to give myself a better understanding of the school other than as a parent.
In my spare time I enjoy football and family time.
I have spent my professional career in the motor industry and am currently an after sales business consultant, this requires skills in business analytics, coaching and leading, marketing, relationship building.