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Welcome to

Hillside Avenue

Primary and Nursery School

Everyone will grow to be the best they can be

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Chair of Governors' Message

Welcome to the Governors’ section of the website, and thank you for visiting the Hillside Avenue website. We have a very active Local Governance Team at Hillside which works closely with the Head teacher and Senior Leadership Team. We were founding members of the Yare Education Trust, now part of Broad Horizons Education Trust. We co-operate closely with the officers and trustees of the Trust to ensure that Hillside plays its part in promoting the whole Trust and children’s opportunities from ages 3 to 19.


The role of the Governance Team is to help shape the strategic direction of the school and to safeguard the public interest in it. As our role is strategic, we do not get involved in the day to day running of the school, as this is the responsibility of the Head teacher and the Senior Management Team. We ensure that they are accountable for their decisions and actions. We oversee the maintenance and improvement of standards of achievement within the school. We are also responsible for ensuring that the school policies and administration meet statutory and Trust requirements and that all our children are able to maximise the opportunities, academic and otherwise, provided for them. 

The Governors are appointed to provide:

  • An independent view
  • A wide experience of the outside world
  • A visible form of accountability for the Head teacher and Senior Management Team
  • A focus on long term development and improvement
  • Support for the Head teacher and staff

We hold regular meetings of the full Governance Team, and all Governors share the responsibilities and work together.

          Revd James Stewart
                Chair of Governors

Meet the Governors

The Revd James Stewart

I am the local Rector here in Thorpe St Andrew (known as 'Fr James') and am delighted to be involved with Hillside Avenue Primary School and Nursery in a number of ways. I originally qualified and practised as a Family Lawyer in the west of county but trained for the ordained ministry 10 years ago and, after other posts, came to Thorpe in 2016. I joined as a Governor in 2017, and served on the Standards Committee and I am now the Chair of the Local Governing Board. I grew up in Thorpe in a house about 100 metres from the school so it is a privilege to give something back to this lovely community. My hope, as a Governor, is to ensure high standards of teaching and learning and that the children and staff experience joy each and every day.



Susan Buttifant

I moved to Thorpe St Andrew from North Norfolk just over 30 years ago. I worked in retail when I left school until I moved to Thorpe. I become a parent helper in school then after several years I was offered  a job here at Hillside which I still enjoyed to this day.  I got involved with Hillside when my eldest started his reception class. He didn’t go to the nursery as it was not open then, my two youngest children were lucky  to both attend the Nursery. I first joined the Friends of Hillside 25 years ago and still are heavily involved with them. In the time on the Friends I have been vice Chair for two years and also Chair. I still enjoy raising money for the school to buy extras for the children.

I joined the governors around 20 years ago after having  a chat with one of the teachers about the school. It is so important that every child is given the chance to develop and flourish.

In my spare time I like to take photographs and relax and read a good book.


Sarah Howarth

Sarah is a senior lawyer who worked in corporate finance for 11 years at law firms in the UK and Australia, before moving into a commercial role in-house at Aviva in 2014. Sarah became a Parent Governor in 2018 when her eldest daughter started at Hillside, and both of her daughters now attend the school. Sarah was elected a Co-Opted Governor by the LGB in December 2021. Sarah also serves on the Standards Committee and is the school's nominated Wellbeing Governor. As a Governor, Sarah strives to ensure high standards of teaching and learning throughout the school, actively contributing to all discussion, and providing robust challenge and collaborative support whenever needed. In her spare time, Sarah is studying a part-time MBA at the University of East Anglia, and also enjoys practising yoga, running, and exploring the Norfolk countryside with her family, and has a keen interest in interior design and photography.


Fliss Bailey

I became a parent governor for Hillside in 2021 and am really excited to be a part of this great team helping to support the school to develop and thrive. I am a primary school teacher, experienced particularly in early years and key stage 1. After finishing my degree in African and Development studies at SOAS in London me and my now husband, Michael, decided to move back to Norfolk where we had both grown up. I became a teacher for similar reasons as to why I wanted to become a governor at our own children's school. I believe that every child deserves the best education possible filled with creativity, awe, wonder and challenge. School's should value each child for their individual talents and personalities and promote respect, kindness and tolerance as core values within our global community. Alongside positive relationships with families, primary schools can shape a child and it is our role to ensure that each child at Hillside has the opportunity to shine bright and love their years at this school. 




Hillside Avenue Local Governance Committee