Rochester Riverside Primary School



Mr Mark Wilkes – Chair of Trustees

Mark is a Border Force Officer with team leader experience. He has an extensive knowledge of safeguarding and security. Mark has experience of working within and making recommendations for amendments to, risk assessments in all Border Force control areas. Mark was a school governor with extensive experience as chair of the finance committee and then 7 years as chair of governors of the most improved school in the country, leading through Ofsted and SIAMs inspections that saw the school move from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’. Mark has a proven record of accomplishment in leading quality challenge for Headteachers and senior leaders. 

Mrs Janet Taylor – Chief Executive Officer

Whilst a teacher, recognised as an Outstanding classroom practitioner, an Advance Skills Teacher, seconded to the teacher training programme at Canterbury Christ Church University. 13 years as a school leader; part of a team setting up a new school from two closing ones, establishing Ofsted grades of ‘Good’; leading school improvement that led to inspections graded improving from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’. As a Headteacher, recognised for leading the most improved school in the country in 2010. A proven record of accomplishment in school improvement by leading outreach programmes and providing support for 4 local schools that improved grades from R.I. to Good. Setting up and leading a Multi Academy Trust focused on school improvement, rapidly improving a school in the bottom 5% of schools to obtain a ‘Good’ Ofsted judgement in 2021 and successfully bidding for a new Free School in 2016.

Mr Michael Smith – Trustee

Mike is a self-employed Educational Consultant working as a school improvement partner with two local authorities and a trained Ofsted team inspector. Mike is an experienced leader for Governor Training in all areas with a particular focus and strength on finance and budget preparation and monitoring. Prior to consultancy work, Mike has extensive Headship experience of large junior schools in Kent with a proven record of accomplishment in school improvement - rapidly improving two under-performing schools so that results exceeded National averages.

Dr Katharine Bradley - Trustee

Kate is a Reader in Social History and Social Policy and Co-Deputy Director of the Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice (People and Campus) at the University of Kent.  In addition to teaching and research, Kate's role as Co-Deputy Director involves oversight of staffing matters (including probation and mentoring, appraisal, staff development) and working on the strategic development of the Division's activities at the Medway campus. She was previously Deputy Head of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (Medway campus) and Medway Academic Lead, which involved line management of School academic colleagues, strategic development of programmes, and resource management.

Mrs Brenda Wood - Trustee

Brenda was a senior lecturer in mathematics and teacher training at The University of Greenwich with previous experience of teaching at secondary and primary level; senior leadership at primary level and acting Headteacher for 4 years leading through Ofsted inspections where leadership was praised and school improvement identified as a strength. Brenda brings significant experience of learning beyond the primary school sector and provides a depth of knowledge of mentorship for succession planning.

Ms Harriet Thorneloe - Trustee

Harriet was a partner in Thorneloe & Co Solicitors from 2007-18, and since 2018 has been a partner at Hallet & Co Solicitors. The firm conducts all non-litigious work including residential and commercial conveyancing and "private client" work such as wills, trusts, estate administration (probate) and Court Protection applications and Lasting Powers of Attorney. A member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Harriet has current experience of the role of trustee of the Honywood and Douglas Charity who own and manage the alms-houses in Lenham, Kent.

Mr Edward Gardiner - Trustee

As Finance Director at Amazon and formally Gap Europe, Ed is a highly- commercial, result-focused finance professional with a solid understanding of global fashion retail markets. He will be able to play a key role in formulating and implementing the Trust's strategic agenda with a record of accomplishment of implementing strong financial controls and sound decision making. Ed is a strong leader who develops high performing teams.

Mrs Sarah Swain - Trustee

Sarah has worked in the charity sector as in-house legal counsel for over 2 years, having previously worked in local government and financial services throughout her career. Sarah brings 18 years of experience and knowledge (9 qualified as a Solicitor) in these fields. Sarah has a strong ethos in offering something back to the local community, which she has been proud to be a part of for 11 years. Sarah is also a volunteer reader at The Pilgrim School and trained as a peer supporter for new mothers in Medway.