The Governing Body

Our governors have a wide variety of experience and expertise and play an active role in all parts of the school community. The Governing Body has high expectations for all of our pupils and works closely with the senior leadership team to develop our outstanding provision.

Julie Nixon

Julie Nixon Chair

I became parent and safeguarding governor three years ago, and have been Chair since September 2016. I am passionate about our new school and the outstanding provision our children receive. I have two children with PMLD who are in Canada class; Therefore I see first-hand how our resources support their educational needs.

I am a qualified nurse and have lectured on the Autism Studies degree and Challenging Behaviour Course at the University of Kent. I have six children and have fostered children with additional needs for almost 10 years; as such, I will strongly advocate for high-quality provision on their behalf. I have seen education in various settings, from nursery and primary to secondary and beyond. I believe that accessing outstanding education is a fundamental right for all children and hold our senior leaders to account for the provision within our school.

Greg Hills Clerk

I have worked as a clerk supporting school governing bodies since 2020. As part of the Education People’s Clerking Service I work with several schools across Kent as well as The Beacon. I have a background in Education and have worked in the school sector as well as in higher education.

My role as clerk is to provide effective administrative support to the Governing Body to enable it to carry out its statutory functions while giving advice on governance, constitutional and procedural matters as required. I undertake regular training and development to maintain my knowledge and to keep up-to-date with current educational developments and legislation affecting school governance.

Kate Yeoman

Kate Yeoman Governor

I have been delighted to have been connected to The Beacon (then Foxwood and Highview) initially through my work at CCCU; I teach student teachers and support them during their school placements. The Beacon is an exceptional school. The dedicated staff team use an impressive range of skills and knowledge to assist pupils (and student teachers) with their learning. As a governor, I am privileged to be part of a team whose role is to ensure that the school continues to provide an appropriate, ambitious and inspiring education for all pupils.
My interest in special educational needs and the provision of an appropriate and inclusive education for all children stems from my years as a primary teacher and SENCo in central London. I moved to East Kent with my family in 2009 and love living between countryside and sea.

Nicola Webster-Hart Governor

I am very proud to be a recently appointed Parent Governor to The Beacon School as the staff, expertise and resources at the school (and before it, Foxwood School) have made a huge impact on the life of my youngest child and as a result, my whole family and I wanted an opportunity to give something back to the school. I have experience in the Health and Social Care sector as I am a Trained Nurse and from working as a specialist foster carer; in law working for City Law firms and in more recently in Executive Search/recruitment. I have always had a special interest in promoting women’s achievements and volunteered to help run The Sweet Charity and The Women of Year Lunch and Assembly, a high-profile event held annually, raising both awareness of women’s issues and celebrating women’s achievements, as well as raising money for its nominated charity, then NCH Action for Children.

I also previously managed the events for The Adelaide Group, a women’s networking forum to promote Women in Business.  I have had my own recruitment business and now spend my time directing the industrial and pharmaceuticals practices of a niche executive search firm specialising in private equity backed businesses, being a Parent Governor for the Beacon School, an artist and much more importantly, Mum to 3 incredible children.

Daisy Madder Co-Opted Governor

I have worked in safeguarding for about a decade. I currently work as the Safeguarding Specialist for Folkestone and Hythe District Council, overseeing all aspects of safeguarding work for the council including oversight of all safeguarding referrals made by council staff to Kent County Council, delivering safeguarding training to all staff, and providing advice and guidance on any safeguarding matters that arise. I am an accredited safeguarding trainer for the Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-Agency Partnership.

Prior to this, I worked for the Independent Schools Inspectorate for over ten years in a range of roles, holding the post of Safeguarding Officer for the last six years of my employment. While not directly working in a school, as part of the role I dealt with concerns relating to a range of topics from handling allegations against staff to the impact of recent disclosures of peer-on-peer abuse revealed by the Everyone’s Invited website. In addition, I have familiarity with school inspections and the Ofsted inspection framework.

Derek Murphy Governor

I retired from British Telecommunications as a Senior Manager. Since then, I have been heavily involved in local politics representing Walmer as a Councillor at Dover District Council and Deal Walmer Sholden at Kent County Council.

In both these roles education plays a major part as I am the portfolio holder for Housing Health and Education at DDC, additionally the Vice Chairman of the KCC Education Committee. In 2018 I was appointed Vice Chairman of Governors at the Deal Parochial C of E Primary School Walmer.

In terms of skills base I gained an MBA at the University of Kent Canterbury and spent 7 years as a Territorial Army Officer. I am experienced in business process, commercial decision making as well as project management, spending 10 years advising major global customers on all IT and financial aspects connected with their international business operations.

In respect of hobbies, I have a deep interest in history and geography, especially the Napoleonic and the European 1900’s eras. I also enjoy long distance path walking and have completed the Pennine Way, Offa’s Dyke, Hadrian’s Wall and the South Downs Way.

The promotion of quality education for all children, young and vulnerable people in our county is especially important to me and I hope that my experiences gained in the commercial world and local government can be employed to benefit our students at the Beacon.

Alison Youd Vice Chair

I am passionate about supporting the learning of young people with SLD/PMLD/ASD to improve the quality of their lives and those of their families. I taught in special schools in South London for 30 years in all roles from class teacher to Executive Head Teacher. As a Head I led the school from special measures to outstanding and have deep experience in school improvement and development. I am very proud that both the schools I led were judged Outstanding by Ofsted at my last inspection. I was one of the first special school Headteachrs to be appointed as a National Leader of Education and was a consultant headteacher for the Nation College of School Leadership.

I have an MA in special education and I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

I have spent the last 6 years as a senior lecturer at CCCU supporting the development of the next generation of teachers. I was thrilled to represent CCCU on the board of KSENT from its inception. I have been school governor and MAT director in various schools for 25 years. Now I am mostly retired with interests in history, archaeology, gardening, the arts and I am a local parish councillor. Special schools are my natural home and I am delighted to be able to contribute to the future of The Beacon and have the opportunity to continue my lifelong involvement with special education.

Nathan Moore Staff Governor

I have worked at The Beacon/Highview School for the past 8 years. I am very passionate about teaching and especially passionate about special educational needs. I have worked as a Teaching Assistant, Higher Level Teaching Assistant and now a teacher so I am aware of the expectations and duties needed within the school. I have witnessed first-hand the dedication and care that each staff member puts into each working day and hope to share all the amazing things we do within our governing team.

I love seeing our pupils grow in confidence and secure in themselves, which enables them to achieve their dreams and aspirations. It is a privilege to be one of the governors at The Beacon and I aim to use my experience gained from The Beacon to aid and guide my fellow governors in any way that I can.

I also look to maintain the outstanding levels of teaching and provision that the school already holds and will assist in any improvements needed to help see the school grow.

Emma Harknett Parent Governor

Danny Edwards Governor

My name is Danny Edwards, and I am pleased to have been asked to join the governing body. I am married to Denise, and I moved to Kent 25 years ago from Docklands, London where we have now raised five children – one daughter and four sons, the youngest of which is adopted and proudly attends The Beacon, Folkestone, Together we fostered children for 18 years, and have continued to support two girls as adults – they will always be part of our family.

My involvement in the school extends beyond what we now know as The Beacon, having been an ‘Early Years Parent Governor’ for seven years at Highview, in addition to being on the ‘Joint Governors’ for the merging of Foxwood and Highview into The Federation.

Giving back to my local community is something I am very passionate about. In my free time, having been involved in the RNLI Littlestone Lifeboat Crew for 15 years as Crew and Boat Mechanic, as well as being Lead on the ‘Sea Safety Team’ for schools in our community. I founded The Littlestone Emergency Day – this interactive, annual event loved by all families in the area showcases the best all our emergency services has to offer in the area, including the RNLI, South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Fire and Rescue, to name a few.

For over ten years, I have volunteered as a Community First Responder for the South East Coast Ambulance Service, and now enjoy being Team Leader for the Romney Marsh Community First Responders – as volunteers we respond to ‘999’ medical emergencies covering all of the surrounding areas. I look forward to being an active member of the Governing Body at The Beacon, Folkestone, and will work to enable the best of opportunities to be provided for all children attending the school, as well as supporting their families.

Jessica Budd Co-Opted Governor

I was honoured to be asked to support The Beacon School as a Governor and am also the parent of a child who attends the setting.

I am so proud of my own child’s progress as well as that of his peer’s and cannot speak more highly of the Teachers and Support Staff who have and do work so hard.

I am a passionate advocate for my son and intend to apply that same passion to my role ad Co-opted Governor.

I am a HR professional with over 10 years’ experience in the Civil Service, Local Authorities, and in Schools’ and hope to add value to the school with my skills and knowledge.


Constituted under The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 on 1 September 2016 as a new school.

The Governing Body of The Beacon Folkestone operates the circle model with Governing Body meetings held termly (at least six meetings per academic year). The Governing Body has agreed on Monitoring Groups with the following responsibilities to monitor specific subjects and priorities of the School Improvement Plan:

Leadership and Management Julie Nixon
Finance Ali Youd & Jo Southby
Pay Committee Nicola Webster Hart, Ali Youd & Jo Southby
Learning, Behaviour & Safety Kate Yeoman, Julie Nixon, Nicola Webster, Alison Youd
A Governor will be responsible for ensuring statutory guidelines are followed:
Health and Safety  Julie Nixon
Child Protection and Safeguarding Daisy Madder
Headstart Julie Nixon
Relationship & Sex Education Julie Nixon
Children-in-Care Danny Edwards
Governor Training & Development