Rochester Riverside Primary School

Local Governing Body

Mr J Garvey - Chair of Local Governors

My name is John Garvey and I am 53 years old. I’m married with 2 children aged 18 & 19 years old. I became a parent governor in 2007 after my children had been at Pilgrim for 1 year. Once my children left Pilgrim, I became the Local Authority Governor and I am currently Chair of Governors. So, the 1 million pound question is: why did I become a Governor? At the time I started on the Governing Body, I was a Metropolitan Police Sergeant. My wife and I had adopted our children at 5 & 6 years old prior to starting at Pilgrim. The adoption training that we had been through gave me an insight into dealing with children from many different backgrounds and when you add the 19 years of Police experience that I had attained, I felt that I could be of some use to the school, the children and parents/carers.  I also wanted to understand the mechanics of education and try to give something back to the community in which I lived. Throughout my years as a Governor, I have always strived to do the best for the children of Pilgrim and their families. As Chair of Governors, I would like to raise the profile of our Governing Body, so that Pilgrim parents/carers understand what we do and through that understanding, maybe consider joining the Governing Body. It’s time consuming, unpaid work, but the rewards can be found in the number of well-educated and well-rounded children that leave Pilgrim every year. The Leaving Ceremony for Year 6 fills me with pride every year. I’m also proud of the teachers, TA’s and volunteers who tirelessly work with the children at Pilgrim, so that they can flourish in a safe environment. Children get to experience life in all its fullness and in some small way, I hope that I have contributed towards that. 

Miss K Taylor – Trustee Appointed Local Governor (Vice Chair)

As a parent of two children at The Pilgrim School, I became a Parent Governor in January 2018. My children have now moved on to secondary school and I became a Trust appointed governor in November 2021 and am currently Vice-chair of Governors. I have taken on governor roles in relation to Curriculum and Standards, Early Years, Safeguarding and SEND. Outside of being a governor I am a chartered engineering geologist by profession and have a background in science, project management and data characterisation. I became a governor because I wanted to become more involved with the local community, and particularly the school that my children attended. As a parent I am passionate about achieving the best possible education and wider school experience for our children, ensuring their wellbeing, safety and development, and that all children maximise their abilities and reach their full potential. I very much enjoy my role as a governor and find the position both challenging and rewarding. I wanted to be able to give back to my local community and feel it is a real privilege to serve the school and community by volunteering in this way.

Mrs Nicola Hockey - Parent Governor

(Newly appointed 4th Jan 2022 – profile to come)

Mr W Jamil – Trustee Appointed Local Governor

As a governor, it is my strong desire to support this school as it continues to be Outstanding both in terms of the OFSTED rating and the perception it has from the community. My background is in Banking whereby I am a Relationship Director within the Barclays Mid Corporate team in Kent, supporting clients with turnover of over £6.5m within the Services and Education sectors. Whilst the predominate amount of clients within the Education sector are Independent Education providers, a lot of the challenges they face will be the same as an Academy Trust and so I would hope I will be able to draw on my experiences within the sector and indeed my clients’ experiences. I am a Trust appointed governor meaning I will act with impartiality it is worth highlighting that I am a parent of three amazing daughters that attend or hopefully will attend The Pilgrim School in the future and as such have seen the excellent results this school is able to produce.

Ms M Jeffreys – Trustee Appointed Governor

I was for a couple of years a Governor to the old Borstal Manor School, prior to the amalgamation with the infants’ school. I then became a member of the temporary governing body which oversaw the “birth “ of the Pilgrim School, choosing its name and school uniform and having input into the actual completion of the building. It was an exciting time and the work which  has since gone into making the school what it is today is truly amazing. In my other life, I am a retired civil servant , Music Director of the Parish of St Peter and St Margaret, member of the Cathedral Voluntary Choir and  ex bell ringer. It is perhaps not surprising then that my main interest is supporting the school in its Christian vision and values. 

Mrs Polly Bollshaw

(profile to come)


Mrs Nicola Whitcombe – Staff Governor

Mrs Alison Mepsted – Headteacher - Ex-officio Local Governor