About Our Governors

james saunders

Head Teacher

I joined Honywood as headteacher in April 2018 after leading a local cross-phase teaching school and Challenge Partners school improvement hub, working with schools across Essex.  I hold a degree in Music, MA in Electronic Media and an MBA in Educational Leadership.  Prior to teaching I worked as a freelance sound, graphic and web designer.  I then retrained as a computing teacher; a subject I continue to teach as Headteacher.  I have a deep interest in technology and, in 2014, was one of 50 people globally who were selected to work with Google and awarded the status Google Certified innovator.  

I have also served on the ethics committee at UCL between 2017 and 2020 and am a founding fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and fellow of the RSA.  I am also a Trustee of a local primary school Trust, a member of another local trust and Vice Chair of governors at my son's primary school.  I am also senior partner for Challenge Partners. 

I have two boys: one at primary school and one at secondary school.  Beyond school everything I do is focused around being a dad and enjoying time with my family.  I still try to turn my hand back to music from time to time.

Tim Styles

Chair of the Governing Body

  • Resources Committee
  • Learner Discipline Committee
  • Staff Discipline Committee
  • Staff Pay Appeal Committee
  • Headteacher’s Pay Committee
  • Headteacher’s Appraisal Committee

Now in my 18th year as a Governor of Honywood Community Science School I’ve been privileged to play a part in the exciting journey that the school has taken over this time. Initially as a Parent Governor and subsequently as an appointed Governor I have had two terms as Chair of Finance and Personnel and in 2016 became Vice-Chair.

I grew up in Coggeshall and after a decade in London my wife and I returned to the town with our young sons nineteen years ago. Both my sons have passed through Honywood and gone on to University. My wife is a teacher at St. Peter’s C of E Primary School.

I’m an IT professional and currently act as Group Chief Information Officer for a private equity backed collection of fifteen businesses which is varied and challenging. In addition to IT I have an interest in business in general and have a Masters in Business Administration which I gained from the Open University Business School in 2002.

Jill Ward

Vice-Chair of the Governing Body

  • Curriculum Committee
  • Resources Committee (Incorporating Audit)
  • Learner Discipline Committee
  • Staff Discipline Committee
  • Headteacher’s Appraisal Committee

My original professional background was in banking, magistrates’ courts and solicitors in London and Suffolk, but since moving to Coggeshall with my young family in 1976, I have been constantly involved with Honywood School.  I began by attending the School’s adult evening classes for fun, was employed as a midday assistant, then Community and finally Headteacher’s secretary.  At the same time, I tutored men and women and some of the older Honywood pupils as part of the evening community education programme.  I concentrated on education and eventually retired as senior lecturer and Head of School for two local Colleges of Further Education. 

My three children attended Honywood and now my four grandchildren are all enjoying learning at Honywood too.  I became eligible as a parent governor in 1983 and served as Chair of the Governing Body for 16 consecutive years. 

All this experience has, I hope, enabled me to contribute to the governance of the School in a positive and constructive way.  I believe, passionately, that giving young people the opportunity to experience a first-class education in a safe and supportive environment is a matter of paramount importance.  I have enjoyed seeing the School develop and grow throughout the years and my family has benefited so much from what Honywood has to offer.  I am proud that by being a governor for over 37 years I have been part of the development of a unique and wonderful educational opportunity for young people in the area.

Helen Mulley

  • Curriculum Committee
  • Staff Discipline Committee

As an education journalist, I visit many schools all around the country – and Honywood was one of my favourites long before we chose to send our own sons there in 2016. I admire its rich curriculum and its innovative, learner-led approach, which I truly believe not only supports students towards academic achievement, but also develops them as confident, empathetic and self-motivated individuals, capable of managing their own learning, for life. I also love how the school places such great value on happiness – a priority which can all too easily be lost in today’s high-pressured educational environment.

I am delighted to have been able to join the governing body here; exciting times lie ahead for Honywood, and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow governors, and with the staff and leaders at the school, in order to help continue its story of success

James Munro

Staff Governor

  • Curriculum Committee
  • Resources Committee

James Munro joined the school in 1999 and has had a number of different roles before being appointed deputy headteacher, a role he currently undertakes. As a sabbatical he worked in a school improvement role in a school in Suffolk. James studied PE and Geography at Demontfort University Bedford.

Tayrina Ferguson

Parent Governor

  • Chair of Curriculum Committee
  • Resources Committee
  • Staff Discipline Committee

I work in HR and specialise in psychometrics, strategy and culture change. I hope that my experience brings a broad perspective of learning and an understanding of key issues in managing priorities and continuing to achieve success.

I strongly believe that learning in a happy, safe and supportive environment is the best way for our young people to experience a first-class education; one designed to give them the necessary tools for their success.

Sarah Warren

Parent Governor

  • Curriculum Committee
  • Learner Discipline Committee
  • Headteacher’s Pay Appeal Committee

My family and I moved to Coggeshall from east London 8 years ago. 

One of the main reasons we moved was the desire  to send our two boys to a school that would put as much value and effort into their wellbeing and social development as their academic progress.

Both of my sons have been encouraged to work hard, take responsibility and accountability for their choices, make friendships, have fun and give back. 

I have no doubt these skills will help them through life. 

Being a Governor allows me the opportunity to play a small part in steering the school towards further success.

Tracey Thomson

  • Chair of Resources (Incorporating Audit) Committee
  • Learner Discipline Committee
  • Staff Discipline Committee
  • Staff Pay Appeal Committee
  • Headteacher’s Pay Committee
  • Headteacher’s Appraisal Committee

This is my third year on the governing board, which has been a challenging but rewarding experience.  

My professional background encompasses finance, administration and property management and .I have a Masters in Business Administration.

I moved to Coggeshall from Feering seven years ago; my daughter went to Honywood School and then to Exeter University.  

I look forward to continuing working with my fellow governors and staff at the school and helping drive Honywood’s continuing success.

Charlotte Cottrell

Governor

  • Resources Committee
  • Staff Discipline Appeal Committee

I was introduced by a City Livery Company to an initiative called ‘Governors For Schools’ who in turn matched me with Honywood. I live on an arable farm near Colchester and have 25 years’ experience in estate and property management, office systems and administration. 

I have been a governor at Honywood since 2019, when the school joined Saffron Academy Trust. This was a time of considerable change for the school and governing body and it was good to see first-hand that the school was adaptable, forward-looking and able to retain its strong ethos and core values. 

Since then we have all had to deal with the impact of COVID-19, and it has been enormously heartening to see the governing body, staff and children taking this in their stride where so many other schools have floundered. 

This is just one demonstration of the good leadership, resilience and ongoing vision at Honywood, and I am delighted to be able to play a part in the future of the school.

briony hughes

Governor

  • Resources Committee
  • Staff Discipline Appeal Committee
  • Headteacher’s Pay Appeal Committee

I'm an HR Director for News UK and Wireless with a strong interest in diversity and inclusion. I'm also a mum of two with both my children at primary school. I live in West Bergholt, near Colchester with my family and dog.

Sam Armstrong

Staff Governor

  • Curriculum Committee
  • Resources Committee

I joined Honywood in 2013 as a Newly Qualified Teacher and am currently in my eighth year here, working in the role of Subject Development Leader for Modern Foreign Languages with a focus on the German curriculum. In my time here at Honywood I have been able to experience lots, both in and out of my subject area; I've lead the German Exchange trip, been a Learning Group Leader to a group for their entire 5 years at Honywood, mentored trainee and newly qualified teachers and worked for a short time as Acting Cohort Leader. For me Honywood is much more than just a place of work or a school; it's a community that I'm extremely proud to be a part of.

Outside of school I like to travel as much as possible, preferably to countries where I can practise using other languages. I also enjoy going to the theatre or cinema and baking.