Our Governors

Mary Richards (Chair of Governors)

I have worked for Norfolk County Council for over 30 years in many various management roles. For the last few years I have worked within Children’s Services as the Governor Services Manager and more recently as the Senior Officer for child employment, which includes children working in the entertainment business.

I have been a school governor for many years. This, combined with being a Vice Chair of a board of trustees of a large multi academy trust, has equipped me with an in-depth knowledge of school governance.

I have five wonderful grandchildren who continue to motivate me in doing all I can to secure the very best possible outcomes for all children, including their health safety and well-being.

Paul Palik

I am a proud father of two children. My son Samuel is in Year 1 and I look forward to my daughter Seren joining him at Robert Kett Primary School in a couple of years. I have lived in Norfolk for most of my life (although I only moved to Wymondham in January 2015).

I am a Solicitor at a leading regional law firm. I have acted for many high profile local educational establishments and advised Governors and senior staff on important strategic and operational decisions. I am active in the business community and will work hard to contribute to the development of the school.

Education and the school experience are vitally important for our children. I welcome input from every parent and guardian. I will do my best to represent them as a Parent Governor.

Helen Wardale (Vice Chair)

I am an experienced school governor in Norfolk and currently work for Norfolk County Council as the lead governance officer within Children’s Services.

I joined Robert Kett Primary as a governor in December 2019 and have since become the vice chair and the safeguarding governor. I am also a Chair of governors in another primary school.

I live in Norwich and I am mum to three grown up children. I am passionate about education and in particular, improving children’s life chances through raising aspirations.

Edward Lambert

I moved to Wymondham with my family in 2014 and became a Co-Opted Governor of Robert Kett School in October 2015.

This is my first experience of a School Governing Body and my primary role is to bring additional financial expertise to the Governing Body. I have been an accountant within both the Private and Public Sectors for seventeen years, this experience will help me to understand the school’s finances and support the School Business Manager and other Governors.

Matthew Howes

I have worked with children for nearly 30 years, firstly as a sports coach working in schools and then running a National sports and leisure company for 25 years. After starting a family I decided on a new direction.

I have been at Robert Kett for just over a year and the staff and children have made me feel very welcome. Within school, I manage Extra Time, teach for 12 hours a week and am a deputy safeguarding lead, so I feel I have a good experience of the whole school.

I have always looked at my business as a team effort with all staff working together. Therefore, I felt it was important the staff have a voice in the governance of the school. I will do my very best to represent the staff and give our amazing children the best start in life. In my spare time, I represent Norfolk at badminton.

Mark Higgins

I currently work as an aviation advisor and inspector in the Offshore, maritime & superyacht industry. As part of my role I sit on National and international working groups and liaise with the UK CAA to ensure continual development in aviation safety. Previous to this role I was a Firefighter in the RAF and a Firefighting & offshore safety instructor in Norwich.

I have 2 children attending Robert Kett and both thoroughly enjoy their time at school.

I look forward to assisting the current team of governors in delivering the schools strategic priorities and contributing to the vision and ethos of the school.

Tanya Doy

I graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BSc Psychology degree in 2017. Not long after, I started working for Norfolk County Council Children’s Services. I help to put in place home learning support for children and young people who are unable to attend school due to health needs. I also support the Education Quality Assurance, Intervention and Regulation Team.

I became a Co-Opted Governor of Robert Kett Primary School in January 2020, after I moved to Wymondham in 2019. I am committed to supporting this school and its leaders with my working knowledge of children’s education services and needs.

Simon Smyth

I have lived in Norfolk all my life and moved to Wymondham in 2016. I have 2 children, who both attend Robert Kett and very much enjoy their time at the school.

I am a procurement professional with over 20 years experience of leading teams, delivering change and over sighting commercial arrangements. I believe my work experience will help me support the school in the delivery of its vision and strategic priorities.

Patrick Hurst

I was a General Manager of a large Motor Group and was involved in all aspects of running a large company.


I left South Africa in 2012 and have lived in Norfolk since. I moved to Wymondham in 2017 which is when I retired.


Having not been in governance previously, my ambition is to share my experience and life skills and make a worthwhile contribution to the board and school.