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Value of the term - "Resilience"

Welcome to Temple Grove Academy

Welcome to Temple Grove Academy, the first primary school of Temple Grove Academy Trust in Tunbridge Wells. We hope that you will enjoy visiting our website and that it provides you with an insight into our vibrant and happy nursery and primary school. TGA staff are caring, experienced and committed to meeting the individual needs of every child through a happy, secure environment.

TGA Governors

Temple Grove Academy Governing Body


    Paul Burton, Parent Governor - Chair of Governors

Paul is a Chartered Building Surveyor working for a large consultancy firm in London.  He has lived in Tunbridge Wells for the last 18 years with his family, and with two young children at the school, he has taken a keen interest in the school's development and progression.
Paul became a Parent Governor in 2016 and then Chair of Governors in 2017, he brings with him a view and skill set outside of an education background.


The Chair of Governors can be contacted at


Rodney Smith, Vice Chair of Governors


Rodney has been in teaching for 26 years, teaching from Year 2 to Year 13 with time off for a one year MA in Education Management and Administration. He has served for 13 years as a deputy head and for 10 years as a schools’ inspector. Rodney is particularly interested in how pupils learn. Rodney has lived and worked in the Tunbridge Wells area for 15 years and has worked alongside an academy in Ashford where he helped Year 11 pupils to prepare personal statements. He looks forward to supporting good teaching and the enrichment of the pupils’ learning experiences at Temple Grove Academy. He was appointed Vice-Chair of Governors in December 2016.


Caroline Preston Bell


Caroline is Assistant Director of Studies and Foundation Stage Coordinator at a large preparatory school in Tunbridge Wells and was appointed Chair of Governors in December 2016. Teaching full-time in a reception class Caroline works closely with the Head to monitor and develop the curriculum from 3-13yrs including arranging termly INSET programmes. As a parent governor at St James' Junior School in Tunbridge Wells (2002-2005), Caroline chaired the Curriculum sub-committee and was instrumental in the restructuring of the governing body. Her teaching experience includes Primary, Prep and Infant schools in Kent and East Sussex teaching from Foundation to Year 6. She previously worked as an Assessment Advisory Teacher for East Sussex (‘93-‘96) and Project Officer for Assessment in Kent (‘92-‘93).


    Richard Thomas
  Richard is the Vicar at St Philip’s Church, Tunbridge Wells. He grew up in Tunbridge Wells, but has since lived in Cambridge and Ealing, before returning to the town in 2016. Before being ordained he was part of the staff team at St Matthew Church, High Brooms, and worked as an advisor in youth and children’s work for Rochester Diocese. He loves being part of the community at Temple Grove and the wider community of Sherwood. He is a keen supporter of the school's new football team and enjoys reading with year 5 on Monday afternoons.
    Jamie Ross

Jamie is a Fund Manager and has worked in finance for 11 years. He graduated from Durham University with a degree in Economics and is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Charterholder. He has lived in Tunbridge Wells for 4 years with his young family.

I wanted to become a governor at Temple Grove Academy because I believe passionately in the importance of primary school-level education and in particular because I see huge potential at Temple Grove. This is my first experience as a governor and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenges that the role brings.

    Sara Meer, Parent Governor

Sara is a qualified Food and Nutrition Manager . She has lived in Tunbridge Wells for 6 years and she has been associated with the school for 4 years as a parent. She finds the school’s approach to learning and the desire to improve very refreshing and wants to be a part of this journey.



Jonathan Roberts

I have seen our three children through local primary schools and valued the support and independence the governors gave to the running of the schools they attended. I aim to complement the educational expertise of some of the other governors with a layman’s perspective. I hope a career in communications will be useful too. Above all I would like to play a small part in facing the challenges and supporting the success of Temple Grove Academy.


Helen Byard, Staff Governor

Hello, my name is Helen Byard. I have a BA(Hons) in Fine Art and I became a qualified teacher in 2001. During this time I have worked at schools in other districts, including Surrey and San Diego, California. I have worked at TGA for four years and I am currently Music and Art Lead. I am mainly found working in upper KS2 but also teach music lessons to all pupils at TGA, from Reception upwards.

I became a governor to bridge the gap between teachers and governors, to understand the role of governors in our school and to share my knowledge of teaching. I felt it would be beneficial to learn more about the procedures and policies that education leaders undergo in order to run a positive, successful school. I feel I bring a balanced, ground-level view on how a classroom works and the expectations we have of children today. I enjoy being part of a whole school community and care about the children I teach.

    Natasha Buckingham, Staff Governor

Claire Cardall, Staff Governor

I am Claire Cardall and I became a Teacher Governor in 2018, during my NQT year. I came into teaching as a career change from the private sector, where I worked as a company director of a digital agency. I have very fond memories of my past career and I learnt a great deal about how organisations work as well as managing people and projects, but I decided to leave the industry for a role which would actively involve me in the community.

 I studied Law at university, embarked upon my first career for eleven years and then became a qualified teacher in 2017. Although I am at the beginning of my journey into teaching, I can honestly say I it is the most rewarding challenge I have ever undertaken. I am proud to have completed my training and first few years of teaching at Temple Grove Academy and I have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm for learning of the children and the community feel of the school. For me, it is a place of belonging for so many people.  

 I became a governor to further my understanding of how schools, as organisations, work and to see whether I could add value in this area, having run an organisation previously. It was also important for me to ensure the governing body had some input from members of staff on the front-line of teaching.


TGAT Trustees


A list of Temple Grove Academy Trust Trustees can be found on the Trust's website: