Our Governors

   Kirstie Buckridge, Co-Chair of Governors
(Co-opted governor)

Kirstie became a co-opted governor in December 2019 and has two children at the school. She has worked at University College London in various professional roles since 2011 and prior to that worked for two educational charities, managing national programmes of CPD for primary and secondary science teachers. She is motivated by a desire to support her local community and contribute to creating an inspirational, creative, and caring environment for children at Mary Exton. She has been Co-Chair for the last year after serving as Vice-Chair.

  Philippa Cahill, Co-Chair of Governors
(Parent governor)

Pip became a parent governor in 2022. She has lived in Hitchin for over a decade and has been a parent at the school since 2017 with daughters in Year 6 and Year 4. She worked in healthcare communications for over 25 years and now works as a speechwriter. Pip enjoys the strategic responsibilities of governorship, and is keen to ensure that everybody connected with the school thrives even while the education system is under pressure. She also wants to ensure that Mary Exton has the reputation it deserves in the community. Pip served as Vice-Chair before stepping into the role of Co-Chair alongside Kirstie Buckridge.

   Jenny Morgan, Special Educational Needs Link Governor
(Co-opted governor)

Jenny worked for 39 years in primary education as well as being a governor of a large secondary school for seven years.  In May 2012, a few months after retiring, Jenny began volunteering at Mary Exton. During the Spring Term of 2014, she was invited to join the Governing Board as a co-opted governor. With Jenny's previous experience in education, she has a lot of experience to offer. Jenny is interested in all aspects of the work of the Governing Board and especially enjoys being part of the Mary Exton community.

  Julia Reffell, Health & Safety Link Governor
(Co-opted governor)

Julia became a co-opted governor in October 2021. Julia has lived in Hitchin all her life and her nephew attends Mary Exton. She passionately believes a child’s experience in primary school can determine their whole future and she is therefore keen to support primary education that promotes positive, caring, kind and inclusive values whilst delivering good academic results. Julia works for a global professional services firm, her role is leading a team providing risk management and insurance advice to UK public sector entities.

  Diane Graham, Finance Link Governor
(Local authority governor)

Diane joined the governing body in October 2021. She is a Local Authority governor. She works in financial services and therefore has a valuable role to play as Finance Link governor for the school. She sits on our Resources Committee.


   Danika Williams, Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee
(Parent governor)

Danika became parent governor in 2022. She currently has a child at the school and is looking forward to watching him grow and flourish. Danika has worked in education for over ten years and currently works at a large primary school in Hertfordshire as a primary teacher with a PE specialism. Danika understands the importance of education and physical and mental wellbeing and wants to be able to use her skills and knowledge to support children, families and staff at Mary Exton. She also wants to be a role model for children from an ethnic background and give children inspiration to strive for the best.


Hayley Carr, Chair of Resources Committee
(Co-opted governor)

Hayley was appointed in the summer term of 2022-2023. Her aspirations when she was younger were to teach, and having decided not to follow that path she has always intended to become a governor at some point, to have a role connected to education, where she hopes to make a difference. Hayley works for a professional services firm, where her role includes reviewing and creating workforce delivery models as well as workforce planning. Hayley has a nephew who attends Mary Exton, luckily for him they have different surnames! Hayley has taken up a position on the Resources Committee and as a relatively new governor her roles and responsibilities will be confirmed soon. 

Mrs Lizzy Foster (staff governor)

Lizzy was appointed by the staff team in the spring term 2023-2024.

  Mrs. Paterson

Mrs. Paterson has been Headteacher at Mary Exton since April 2017. She has been teaching since 2000 and has worked across all Primary Key Stages, specialising in SEND. She has been a Headteacher since 2009 and has held various responsibilities on different governing bodies.  Along with Mrs. Clements, Mrs. Paterson has an active role on the Governing Board, attending Full Governing Board meetings and also sitting on the Resources Committee.

  Mrs. Clements

Mrs. Clements joined Mary Exton in April 2022 and became Co-Headteacher along with Mrs. Paterson. Mrs. Clements has been in teaching since 2002 and has gained experience across all primary phases, specialising in KS2.  She has been a Headteacher since 2016 and has also been part of various governing bodies since 2008. Like Mrs. Paterson, Mrs. Clements plays an active role on the Governing Board, attending Full Governing Board meetings and sitting on the Curriculum and Standards Committee.

   Mr. Ritson

(Deputy Headteacher)

Mr. Ritson joined Mary Exton in the academic year 2022-23. He is Deputy Head and Year 3 class teacher. He sits on the Governing Board as an associate member, attending Full Governing Board meetings and meetings of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. As an associate member he does not have voting rights but lends his skills and experience to the governing body.