Meet the Governors

Carolyn Corbett – Foundation Governor

I moved to the Island with my family 19 years ago for my husband’s job,  and until my retirement, I worked as a school librarian. We have 1 grandson who attends an island primary school. At present I am on the Standards, Provision and Partnership committee. Since becoming a Foundation Governor, it has been my privilege to see The Bay CE Primary  and Niton Primary become the Cornerstone Federation serving the communities of Sandown and Niton.

As we become an All-Through School in September, there will be new challenges and opportunities, which I look forward to being a part of.

Lisa Croke – Chair of Governors

I was appointed as Chair of Governors for the Cornerstone Federation in March 2020 and join a dedicated team of Governors who bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise.

My background is in education, serving as a teacher for 33-years, a Headteacher at The Beacon School in Banstead, Surrey and more recently I lead The Hamble School in Southampton. Having recently semi – retired, I wanted to continue to make a contribution to the education of young people on the Isle of Wight and believe it is a great privilege to be carrying out this role.

Our Governing Body has three core strategic functions in relation to the schools within the Cornerstone Federation:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding the Executive Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the students and the performance management of staff and,
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and ensuring money is well spent.

My role as Chair is to facilitate the Governing Body to work as a team to achieve these important strategic functions and ensure that the views of staff, students, parents and the local community inform our decision making.

Education has the power to change children’s lives and our common goal as a Governing Body is to facilitate every child within the Federation to reach their academic and personal potential in order that they can achieve their ambitions, make a positive contribution to society and lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Lisa Croke – B.Ed. (Hons), MA, NPQH.

Richard Wade – Co-opted Governor

I hold degrees from Cranfield (MBA) and Cambridge (MA), with current work at Portsmouth University. My career covered financial markets in the USA, France, the Middle East and Africa. A fascinating decade at the National Audit Office involved working closely with Parliament. 

In London, my children attended a French Lycee – another form of all through school. My volunteer activities included service as a young officer in the Queen’s Own Yeomanry and, as a member of the Consistoire, teaching Sunday School in London’s last Huguenot church. The oldest of six grandchildren from this previous marriage studies at Warwick University. 

Nineteen years ago, my American wife, who completed her PhD at Brighton, introduced us to the Isle of Wight and seven years ago we made our home here. I am a strong believer in the necessity of achieving the best educational outcomes for the children of Niton and Sandown, in order to maximise their potential and benefit their community.


Debbie Andre – Co-opted Governor

I am a parent of two lovely children, but they are no longer living at home. My youngest was educated at secondary level on the island and is now at university. I have a background in working with young people as a guardian for International students so have previously worked with secondary schools across the island. I have a keen interest in raising educational standards through good governance and am looking forward to working collectively with my fellow governors, teachers, parents and the pupils themselves to give them the best possible chance of achieving their full potential.

Wendy Phillips – Co-opted Governor

Originating from Warrington, Cheshire I relocated to the Island 15 years ago with my husband and twin daughters and settled in Sandown. 

With a background in Project Management, Business Risk Management and Advisory Services Management, as a Level 6 qualified Careers Adviser I now work for Education Development Trust as a Relationship Manager across the South of England embedding quality Careers Services into schools. I have always believed that sound Careers Advice and Guidance should be at the heart of a good education; it has the power to inspire and motivate a child to achieve in life.   I am excited to be part of the Cornerstone Federation and help make a difference to young people’s education. 


Peter Higgin – Parent Governor

I grew up on the Island and went to Sandown High School. I am a parent governor and my son attends Niton Primary School. I have 20 years experience of working in theatre and creative approaches to education. I split my time between London and the Island working for an immersive theatre company called Punchdrunk, where I am joint CEO. I believe strongly in the transformative power of the arts to unlock our innate creativity and curiosity. I enjoy living on our beautiful Island and enjoy surfing, gardening, running, cycling and spending time with family.  I look forward to supporting the Cornerstone Federation in my role as a Parent Governor.

Reverend Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall – Foundation Governor

I am married, with two grown up sons. We enjoy family times together, especially if it involves walking our black Labrador! I have worked as a warden in an Abbeyfield Home and then as a Personnel Officer in Local Government and the Health Service. Since Ordination, I have been involved in ministry in parishes and in prison and hospital chaplaincy, both on the Isle of Wight and the mainland. Having been a governor in five previous schools, I am really looking forward to playing an active part in the life of The Cornerstone Federation at this exciting time.

Kara Hall – Parent Governor

I was appointed as Parent Governor to the Cornerstone Federation in October 2020 and feel very privileged to be able to do this role.  I am mum to two girls whom I am immensely proud of, one at primary and one at secondary school.

For the past 20 years, I have been working at a further education college in a variety of roles ranging from a lecturer in media and journalism to a Sector lead for the Creative Industries and now my current role is a Learning and Development Manager. My role focuses on developing teaching and learning across the college and it is something I am very passionate about.

I feel we are so lucky to live on this beautiful island and find that long walks by the sea with my family and our dog, Meggie are the perfect tonic to the challenges of a busy work life.

Sally Jones – Co-opted Governor

I started working at The Bay in 2012 as School Business Manager after taking time off with my 2 children. Prior to that, I worked for a Building Society for 20 years in a variety of roles up and down the country, before returning to the Island with my family. I am responsible for the non-teaching element at The Bay which includes financial management, HR, personnel, catering, premises, communications, website and the office support of the school. I am also responsible for the financial management of Niton Primary.  I think I am extremely lucky to be able to combine my professional experience with my interest in making a difference to children’s education at 2 fabulous schools. When I am not in school, I am with my family who is made up of my husband, my 2 children, the dog and me.

David Loudon – Co-opted Governor

My name is David Loudon and I moved to the Island in January 2013.  Initially, I worked at the Isle of Wight College however, my wife and I very quickly fell in love with the island and decided to stay and retire here.

Prior to moving to the island, I worked in Further and Higher Education for approx 33 years.  I was the Head of Engineering and Construction at a large Further Education College in Glasgow. Between the two Faculties I looked after about 2,000 students, 54 staff and about 350 large and SME employers. I also helped restructure, upskill and realign the strategic direction of several colleges across the world (Palestine, Egypt, Italy and China). I also project managed several new college construction projects, three of them being at the Isle of Wight College.

Educationally, I am a qualified Chartered Engineer, have a Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) degree from Strathclyde University and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with Distinction from Caledonia University.

As someone who has spent most of his working life in education, I am passionate about education and ensuring that students have the ability to realise and achieve their educational and employment aspirations. I look forward to working with the students, staff and other Governors to ensure the Cornerstone Federation’s schools provide the best educational experience for their respective students.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry

Sarah McCarthy-Fry – Co-opted Governor

Hello, I am a retired Finance & IT Director for GKN Aerospace in East Cowes and I am currently a Non Executive Director with the Coop Group. I moved to the Isle of Wight in 2012 from Portsmouth where I was the local MP between 2005 and 2010. During my parliamentary career I was a Government Minister for Schools and Learning. I live with my husband and dog in Shanklin. We have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. In my spare time I enjoy tap dancing, Morris dancing, musical theatre and singing in the church choir.

Duncan Mills – Executive Headteacher

My name is Duncan Mills and I am the Executive Headteacher of the Cornerstone Federation. The Governors of The Bay CE and Niton Primary Schools appointed me as the Executive Headteacher of both schools in July 2016.

I have been a Headteacher since 1999, in five different schools, working in the London Borough of Barnet for most of my teaching career before relocating to the Island with my family. I feel extremely privileged to be working with both schools that have such talented staff, wonderful children and supportive parents and governors. I am committed to working to ensure that pupils across the Federation have access to a nurturing environment where they feel safe, a stimulating curriculum, high quality teaching and exciting extra-curricular opportunities available to them to enable them to be the best they can be to prepare them for the future.

An Executive Headteacher is a strategic role. I provide strategic leadership across both schools, which secures success and continuous improvement, ensuring high quality education for all pupils and the highest standards of learning and achievement.

I work closely with the Senior Team and Governors to make decisions, monitor the effectiveness of the provision and implement improvements. I spend part of each week at each school, although these days change week by week. I am always keen and happy to speak with parents. If you would like to make an appointment, please contact the school office at Niton or The Bay.

Anna Payne – Staff Governor

My name is Anna Payne. I have been married for 30 years and have 2 children, and 3 grandchildren.  Over my time working at school, I have grown and developed in ways that I never thought possible.

I am the Staff Governor for the Cornerstone Federation and am in my first term of office. I sit on the Standards, Provision & Partnership committee. My link subject is EYFS where I monitor and visit Reception class during each term. The ethos in school is a happy one; it is paramount that this is reflected within our children, and it is a vital part of our role as governors to find a way in which all children can Believe, Inspire and Excel.

I feel privileged to be able to contribute towards shaping and securing the future of education for children, parents and carers within the community of the Sandown Bay area, with the new All-Through School opening in September; I look forward to the challenges ahead.

John Poerscout-Edgerton – Co-opted Governor (Vice-Chair)

Hello. My name is John Poerscout-Edgerton. As the proud parent of four children, two of them being at secondary school, one being a movie casting director and the eldest being the financial director of a multi-national company, I understand the importance of providing the best possible education, and therefore the best possible opportunities, for the students in our care.

Having spent my adult life helping and educating people, nearly 10 years as a Metropolitan Police officer and 25 years as a teacher, I really feel I have the life skills to help all of the community that is the All-Through School; The Bay CE School.

I have a Bachelor of Education (Hons.) degree from Southampton University and also a certificate in further professional studies from Portsmouth University. During my 25 years of teaching I have worked in the primary, middle and secondary phases, been seconded by the local authority as an advisory teacher and was head of mathematics at Sandham Middle School for 10 years.

Since 2002 I have been chairman of the Wight Island Players, a local amateur dramatics group, putting on annual pantomimes and have also used my acting skills to help with learning experiences in schools.

Vicki Sitch

Vicki Sitch – Co-opted Governor (Co-Vice-Chair)

As a self-employed business consultant for ten years, I have been able to lead large programmes of change, predominantly in the public sector; both Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and the Department for Work and Pensions have used my services. I also support a smaller private sector business. Before becoming self-employed I worked for Deloitte; a consulting firm.

My 2 daughters attend Niton Primary School after a relocation to the island from Guilford 3 years ago. We moved here as a family for a better work-life balance and to spend more time together as a family unit. My husband and I recently launched a glamping business at our home, Sibbecks Farm, and really enjoy encouraging more families to explore the beautiful Isle of Wight.

I initially applied to become a governor in order to make a positive impact within the local community as well as having the opportunity to learn about the education sector. I believe that my skills in change, leadership and management help me in being a governor; a role that requires us to check and then challenge.

Rev. Mark Williams

Rev. Mark Williams – Foundation Governor

Hello, I am the Reverend Mark Williams and am the vicar at Christ Church, Sandown and at St Paul’s in Shanklin. I moved to the Island with my family to take up post here at the beginning of August 2018. We have three children; our daughter will soon be attending the all through school. My involvement with the school means that I am often taking collective worship at the school on a Monday or am at Christ Church when the year groups come for collective worship there. I was a governor at previously on the mainland and gained valuable experience there. I look forward to continue serving the Cornerstone Federation.

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