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Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

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Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

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Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


Chair of Governors

Wayne Smith


Wayne was born and educated in Sydney Australia – after school he attended Sydney University majoring in English Literature and History before completing a post – grad in teaching. He began his career at Galston High School (1979 – 1988), took promotion as Head of English and History at Ashfield Boys High School (1989-1995) before moving to the UK and accepting the post as English Head Teacher and Housemaster at the King’s School Rochester, where he taught for twenty-two years. He retired in July 2017

He is married to Michelle Peirce and they live in West Malling. Personal interests include cricket, theatre, history and fine wine.

His responsibility as a governor includes chairing the Education sub-committee.



Address: c/o Steephill School, Off Castle Hill, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent DA3 7BG


The Governing Board is divided into 3 sub-committees:


  • Finance and Strategy Sub-committee


Martin Levy (Chair)

Sandra Scotting

Clare Tucker (Bursar)

John Abbott (Head)


  •  Education Sub-committee


Wayne Smith (Chair)

Jenny Smith Spark

John Abbott (Head)


  •  Welfare, Health and Safety


Michelle Peirce (Chair)

Jenny Smith Spark

Doreen Page

John Abbott (Head)

Clare Tucker (Bursar)


Martin Levy



Martin was educated at Watford Boys' Grammar School in Hertfordshire before commencing a career in finance. He has worked for the Lloyds Banking Group for twenty-seven years, principally in commercial banking. He currently has overall responsibility for clients in education, healthcare, legal and property sectors across Kent & East Sussex.


He is married to Nicola and his son was a pupil at Steephill.


Personal interests include most sports, especially football, golf, rugby union and badminton. He has season tickets for Watford FC, a club he has supported since his early childhood.


His responsibilities as a governor include oversight of the school's finances and undertaking internal audits. 


Sandra Scotting MBE



Sandra's son was at Steephill School from the age of three and a half years and then progressed to the Dartford Grammar School for Boys. During her son's years at Steephill School she was instrumental in helping to set up the school as a Charitable Trust to ensure that it continued after the death of its founder Miss Eileen Bignold and she has been a governor ever since.


Sandra is responsible for liaising with the Charity Commission, completing the annual returns and keeping up with current changes in the rules and regulations governing charities. She also liaises with the auditor when completing the annual accounts. She is now retired from her job as intellectual property executive for a national newspaper group, but her experience allows her to bring some basic legal as well as accounting knowledge to the board of governors.


She spent 12 years running a charity that raised money to build a war memorial in East London to the worst civilian disaster in WW2 – the Bethnal Green tube disaster. Now the memorial is in place she is still involved in the upkeep of it, as well as being part of RAFT – Retrofit Action for Tomorrow. This CIC provides educational programmes and professional retrofit advice to schools, local organisations and the wider community in a proactive response to the climate emergency. With that, gardening, her local historical society, running a branch of Foresters Friendly Society and Steephill, there isn't much free time left for other interests, though her love of reading will prevail one day.



Doreen Page



Doreen worked as a personnel officer for Lloyds Bank International for many years and then until September 2010 for the National Health Service coordinating the 'Out of Hours GP Service'. She is now semi-retired but works part time in a GP's surgery. She has been associated with Steephill since 1987 when her son joined the Nursery as one of Miss Bignold's "tiny's".


When the school was under threat of closure in 1990 Doreen assisted her fellow governors to help set up the school as a charitable trust. Doreen is responsible for the school's catering, ensuring that the school maintains high standards of food preparation and adheres to dietary controls and hygiene guidelines. She also assists with personnel matters.


Her personal interests include history and gardening.


Jenny Smith-Spark



Jenny spent many years teaching in special needs education in a mainstream school setting including thirteen years as Deputy Head of a secondary school integrated autism unit.


She was the head teacher of Steephill School from the first day it opened as an educational trust in 1990 until 1996 since when she has been the learning support and child protection governor.


She has had three children at Steephill, all of whom have progressed through the school, have gone on to obtain degrees at universities (one a doctorate in psychology, one in joint Hons English and French and one in philosophy) and are now employed in top jobs.


Her personal interests include horses, dogs, drama, history and equestrian sports, athletics, netball and rugby union. She has lived in Fawkham for many years and has attended Fawkham Church. She has been a long-serving member of its fund-raising committee and involved in its churchyard environmental projects.



Michelle Peirce



Michelle has a wealth of knowledge  Health and Safety from Sevenoaks Prep where she has responsibility of the 20 acre site. Her son, now 27, attended the Prep and Michelle is still there!


Michelle is also a trustee at a homeless shelter with responsibility for fundraising and volunteers in the shelter during its 3 month opening period each Winter. She is also an Age Concern befriender.

Michelle is married to Wayne Smith (Chair and Academic Committee) and as well as walking their beloved dog and going to the gym together. They are grandparents to a 4 year old.


Jas Rai



Jas Rai is Director of People at the British Library, Trustee at the Commonwork Trust and a member of the National Trusts nominations committee as well as governor at New Line Academy in Maidstone. 

She has spent most of her career leading programmes of work that drive change in how we support and engage people, from organisational design to leading on mental health, wellbeing, diversity, inclusion or new, modernised ways of working. 

Steephill very much aligns to Jas's values and ambitions, supporting young people through education whilst considering the environment in which we live, study, work and enjoy.