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Martins Wood Primary School

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Martins Wood Primary School

Interim Executive Board Members

Welcome to the Interim Executive Board (IEB) section. 

On this page you can find out more about the IEB how it is structured, who the board members and their roles and responsibilities.

What is an IEB?


An Interim Executive Board (IEB) is a small body appointed on a short-term basis by a local authority to turn around a school that is judged to be in urgent need of improvement or support. An IEB replaces the governing body of a school that has either been placed in special measures or given notice to improve by Ofsted, or that has not complied with a warning notice from its local authority (LA).


The IEB's main functions are to secure a sound basis for future improvement in the school and to promote high standards of educational achievement and effective safeguarding.


Once a decision has been taken for the LA to put in place an IEB at a school, it issues a notice which provides that from a date specified, the governing body is to consist of interim executive members.  This notice may also specify the date when the IEB is to become a normally constituted governing body, or this may be specified in a later notice. The transition from an IEB to a post-IEB governance structure begins with the appointment of a shadow governing body by the local authority which works alongside the IEB for at least six months.


The School Governance (Transition from an Interim Executive Board) (England) Regulations 2010


The Board Members


Tania Rawle (Chair of IEB)

Tania is a senior manager in Herts County Council with oversight of all maintained schools across all phases. She is a member of HCC’s schools forum. She is an experienced public servant with over 25 years’ experience including over 20 in central government including in the Department for Education, HM Treasury, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office and Ofsted.


Rob Staples

Rob is a headteacher of a three-form entry primary school in Stevenage, he has extensive experience of leading schools within the primary sector in Hertfordshire. He is committed to ensuring all children achieve the best outcomes in relation their starting points, regardless of social or economic barriers. He works in schools with challenging contexts in relation to safeguarding issues and social deprivation, because it is here that he believes that he can make the most difference to young people’s lives.

As CEO of a multi-academy trust, Rob has led organizational change and overseen the development of a range of business services, including human resources, financial services and business operations. He is the Accounting Officer within the Trust, drawing on his considerable expertise in relation to finance within the education sector, ensuring that public funds are used in line with the core principles of propriety and regularity.

Through contribution to a range of consortia and forums, Rob has made a significant contribution to collaborative working within the sector, working closely with the local authority & county council on a wide range of consultations, projects, working parties and reference groups.

Rob has responsibility on the board for Safeguarding.


Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis has been headteacher of Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage since 2012.  The school was judged 'good' with 'outstanding' leadership and management in 2015 and this judgement was confirmed in 2019.  Since 2014 Mark has also been Managing Director of Hart Schools Trust, a multi-academy trust with a primary and secondary school in Stevenage.  In 2021, Roebuck Academy, the primary school in the trust, was judged 'good' in its Ofsted inspection with leadership and governance praised in the report. 

Mark has responsibility on the board for behaviour.


Valerie Hudson

Valerie has responsibility on the board for Governance and Staffing. 

Valerie is  a retired Primary Head Teacher and first became a primary school parent-governor in 1985 and two years later became Chair of Governors.  Since then, she has served in a number of different governor-roles including Teacher Governor, Co-opted governor, Staff Governor and Chair of Governors of a challenging Secondary SEMH School.  


She became a Hertfordshire Primary Head Teacher in 2005 and in 2016 the governors chose to academise and join a Multi-Academy Trust.   As an educationalist for 32 years she has an extensive range of experiences, some of the most relevant to the IEB include:


  • School improvement across a successful MAT including implementing a Policy for Peer Review and delivering leadership training across the Trust. 
  • Successfully managed school budgets, demonstrating financial acumen and principles of ‘best value.’
  • Participated in and/or led staff disciplinary and capability procedures, misconduct and gross misconduct hearings, pupil exclusion hearings, Appeals and SEND Panels.

Led staff appointments (including up to Senior Leadership level) in both Primary and Secondary schools.

  • A member of the workforce remodelling steering group and delivered training for governors and schools on behalf of the London Borough of Barnet. 
  • Delivered NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Head teachers) training for the Institute of Education (London Leadership Centre) and mentored NPQH trainees.


The philosophy that underpins staff accountability is “the child comes first” and this should always be front and centre in decision making.  This is achieved best when there is an ethos of honest self-evaluation, challenge and support for staff.    She believes a staffing body who feel valued and cared for in the workplace are better able to support the (often complex) needs of all students and make a positive difference in their education. 


Carole Connelly

Carole has been an educational consultant for 20+ years with an emphasis on school governance and leadership. She is  a director of School Support People Ltd. Carole has a background in science research and community education and have been a governor for over 27 years. During that time, she has served on a considerable number of governing boards, more often providing support and leadership for schools in challenging situations. She has supported schools and served as a governor across all phases and settings. She is, at present the Chair of two Hertfordshire primary schools and has served in the past as the Chair of a very successful IEB.

Carole has expertise in safeguarding and statutory frameworks and has been commissioned by HCC to investigate Ofsted safeguarding concerns. She  also works as an education consultant for the Dioceses of both St Albans and Southwark. She is an accredited provider for safer recruitment, safeguarding, DSL accreditation, complaints handling and GDPR training.

Carole has responsibility on the board for Governance and Health and Safety.