Governor Pen Portraits


Denise Manson

I have lived in Thurrock since my parents moved from inner London when I was 3 months old. My father instilled in me that a ‘good education’ was the key to independence and choice in adult life, so not surprisingly after attending  Primary School in South Ockendon and  completing a degree in Psychology and Sociology, I then qualified as a teacher.  My first teaching post was in Tilbury within one of the first ‘Nursery  Units’ in Essex, later  returning  to South Ockendon  as  a Head teacher, before spending 21 years as a Schools’ Adviser and Inspector for Essex Local Authority.  

I was encouraged by my daughter, who attended Little Thurrock Primary School, to become a school governor many years ago.  I felt I could make a positive contribution to the school’s development and help to ensure that all children at the school would receive the best possible educational experiences and opportunities. The foundation of my daughter’s future studies began in a French after school club provided by the school in Year 1!  It has been a privilege to be part of the school’s continuing journey over the years.

Now retired, I review the development of church ministers and try to do some gardening!

Ruth Gedalovitch

I have worked at Little Thurrock Primary as a Teacher for 5 years, initially in Year 1 and now in Reception.  It is very rewarding to help my children build strong foundations for their learning and I love that no day is like another. 

I am a "career changer" having been a Principal Officer within London Borough of Havering, working as Senior Management within Havering Libraries.  During my time in this role, I had a particular focus on Marketing and Events, Reader Development (both children and adults) and Community Engagement.  I had responsibility for libraries, budgets and staff and produced the borough's first Literacy Strategy.  

I'm proud to serve as a staff governor during such an exciting phase in the school's development.  

Emma Edmondson

I have been a dedicated member of Little Thurrock Primary School for over 13 years and have enjoyed a number of fulfilling roles across all year groups. 

My more recent role has provided me with an opportunity to teach across all key stages and, ultimately inspired me to begin my own teaching career; I am currently in my second year at Canterbury Christ Church University studying Primary Education. 

Previously, I worked within the Tower of London, where I supported the organisation of functions for the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. This role required high attention to detail, excellent communication and multitasking to meet the needs of clientele.

I would like to bring my skills to the governing body as an experienced member of staff who knows the children, staff and the school well.

I hope that my experience can prove to be an advantage for the children, staff and parents at Little Thurrock Primary School.   


Moyo Abikoye

As a Thurrock resident, I am delighted to be on the LTPS Governing Body, as part of my contribution to the local community.

Over my 10+years career, I have gained valuable experiences through various roles as Children Ministry Coordinator, Project Engineer, Business Analyst and Infrastructure Engineer. I hope to apply my skills, knowledge, and expertise to support LTPS governance. 

I have a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Westminster. I have worked alongside NFP boards on future-proofing their organisations, and with private sector boards on strategic planning.

My passion for education stems from my belief that everybody has a right to a quality education, which provides opportunities to maximise their potential and positively impact their community. 

I look forward to continuing with my governor role as the school moves into another chapter of its development.

When I am not working, I am a keen reader and love crafting. 


Samantha Giles 

I have been a primary school teacher for 15 years and I have been a parent governor at Little Thurrock for the past two. I hope my experience and perspective will be valuable to the school.  I enjoy my role as a parent governor and will continue representing other parents ensuring the school provides the best possible opportunities and experiences for all our children.


Rev’d David Coaker

Our son Mark joined the school in year 1 in February 2018 when we moved into the area, and we have been as active as we can to support school activities since then.

I am the part-time minister of Grays United Reformed Church on Bradleigh Avenue. Overall I have fifteen years’ experience in this role which has included seeking to represent the local community and to respond to local needs within congregations and with the wider community. When seeking to engage with the wider community I have always aimed to do so with an open agenda, making church facilities available to create space for social interaction and community engagement, whilst still highlighting church activities and responding to questions when appropriate.

I was involved in establishing a neighbourhood group in Warrington and also the Voluntary Community and Faith Sector Network in South Ribble, Lancashire; and have begun to attend events of Thurrock CVS. I have gained much experience of serving on trustee bodies for both local and national organisations and have always sought to be reliable, effective and constructive.