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Watlington Primary School

Watlington Primary School

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Meet the Governors

Welcome to our Governors’ section.
 

The Governors can be contacted via the school office, or via the office email address: office.2459@watlington.oxon.sch.uk

Sarah Wood 

Chair & Community Governor 

I’ve lived in Watlington for over 20 years and our two children are very happy at the local schools.

 

Running my own business focusing on providing marketing strategy and copywriting support to businesses and agencies, my background was previously in leading specialist technical teams within major technology and telecommunications providers.

 

I’m passionate about the need for parents to take an active role in their children’s education, especially as we move to a more technology-driven world. I’ve been part of the governing team at Watlington for the last few years, and along with the rest of the team I’m keen to ensure that all children at Watlington Primary benefit from the best education we can provide.

 

David Marcou

Community Governor

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was born and educated in London and studied the violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1970. My entire career has been spent in music - as performer, orchestra chairman and music service chief executive – and I currently work as a music education consultant and teacher. I hold a number of external appointments, including Chair of OYAP Trust (Oxfordshire Youth Arts Partnership) and Trustee of Wallingford Sports Park.

 

As Chair of Governors at Icknield Community College, as well as Local Authority Governor here at Watlington Primary School, I am a passionate believer in children and young people going to school in the community in which they live. My son grew up in Watlington, where a combination of school, social and family life offered him a secure and stimulating environment for learning and development in a rapidly changing world.

 

Nick Acaster
Parent Governor

I have lived in Watlington for the last 9 years with my wife and we now have two children at the school.

 

I have been involved with many community activities in Watlington, and currently chair the Beacon Festival which is run by volunteers and gives its surplus funds raised back to the local community.

 

I now run my own business in Watlington to complete the dream which enables me to spend time with family and to be fully involved in the local community.

 

Peter Robinson

Community Governor

My family and I moved to the area when we returned from Boston, MA, USA. We enjoyed 2 years in Boston and prior to this we lived in Monmouth, Wales, UK for ~15 years. My daughter Elan enjoyed her time in Watlington Primary School and now Elan and my son Tom are both at local secondary schools.

 

My mother was a teacher, spending the last 15 years before retirement focused on education for children needing specialist support. I spent much of my youth hearing about how to create an environment that builds engagement and allows children from whatever starting point to make great progress. 

 

I have worked with General Electric (GE) for 21 years, most recently leading Human Resources for our Life Sciences Global Commercial teams. My experience includes managing large scale business integrations, creating global leadership development programs, diversity improvement projects and UK union and employee relations. A significant part of my role is to coach 1:1 our executive leaders and mentor our next generation of leadership talent.  I now lead the Commercial activities to improve the way we work with our largest strategic accounts that are global pharmaceutical companies.

 

Jonathan Gale

Acting Headteacher - Ex officio

Since starting my career at Watlington Primary School, I have taught across Key Stage 2 and I am currently the Deputy Headteacher. My leadership and governing body responsibilities are to ensure that the school's strategic direction is clear and that we can aim for 'Bright Futures For All’.

 

As a Designated Safeguarding Lead for the school, I meet regularly with the Safeguarding Governor to review and monitor safeguarding policies and procedures, as well as complete the school’s annual safeguarding report. I am part of the Data and Curriculum governing sub-committee, with the responsibility for producing and presenting school attainment and progress data.

 

I take pride in working for such a forward-thinking and successful school, as well as collaborating with colleagues, parents and the local community.

 

Mike Speight

Parent Governor

I have lived in the Watlington area since 2005 and have a son in the school. 

 

I come from a family of teachers so have some understanding of the issues facing schools and as a parent, I am committed to doing what I can to support the school in delivering the best possible opportunity to all children.

 

Professionally, I work with colleges, local authorities and training providers delivering adult skills training and work-based learning. I am involved in governance and compliance activities, ensuring the organisations adhere to the requirements of a heavily regulated environment and deliver high quality learning.

 

Claire Cointre

Parent Governor

I have lived in Britwell Salome for almost 15years and my son has been at Watlington Primary School for 4 years now and loves it!  Like all parents, I want the best education for my child but I also want the best all round education for all the children attending Watlington Primary School no matter their circumstances or needs so that each child can grow their confidence and achieve their full potential.

 

I am also a full time working mum who has to balance work and home life and knows how difficult that can be for parents who want to support their child’s learning.  I manage a marketing team and work in a large IT company which embraces diversity and encourages inclusion.  

 

I feel that I can offer some of my commercial experience to the school to help it continue to be outstanding and ensure that the school delivers on its vision and the overall strategic direction.  On a personal note, I am an active member of the Watlington Tennis Club and captain the Ladies B team and I was pivotal in helping the Watlington Club gain CIO status which was essential to keep the club going for the local community.  My values are honesty, family and openness and I am looking forward to helping to make a difference at Watlington Primary School.

 

 

Mathew Van de Pette

Parent Governor

 

Since becoming a father (Henry, Bats. Clara, Robins), I have taken great interest in the enormous scope by which we as parents, their education/educators and society can influence the development of our children. This is perhaps most important in the early years where children seemingly have a sponge in their brains, able to soak up any, and all the information that comes their way.

 

In my day job, I work at the University of Cambridge as a Programme Leader in the MRC Toxicology Unit. Outside of researching pregnancy and exploring environmental factors that influence the developing embryo, I act as the academic lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the School of Biological Sciences (in addition to the Toxicology Unit) and sit on the University Gender Equality Steering Group.

 

Having seen the historical unequal weighting that higher education has placed on class, gender, traits etc, I will bring my experiences from the University, to my role within the governors. I hope that as a governor, I can help to shape the early-stage education of children, that will enable them all to develop their own trajectory as they progress.

 

Gemma Sterjo

Staff Governor / Acting Deputy Head

 

I started teaching at Watlington Primary School in , where I taught in Year 2.  I am very fortunate to work at our school, with such dedicated staff, supportive parents and enthusiastic children. 

During my time at Watlington, I have learnt so much and I am so proud of our school and what we provide for our children and community.  I am currently Acting Deputy Headteacher, as well as Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 Lead.  I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead and work closely with the safeguarding team in school, to ensure our children are safe and happy.

 

A true advocate for providing the best early years experiences for our children, I am also an Early Years SLE (specialist leader of education). As a governor I will ensure any decisions made have the children at heart, as well as being aspirational for our school, led by our improvement plan. 

 

Amanda Flynn

Staff Governor

 

I have been a teacher at Watlington Primary School for the past 10 years, working across both Key Stages. I am so proud of what the staff, children and community have achieved over this time. I currently teach in Badgers Class (Year 4). It really has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with such a hard-working and dedicated staff team. I am passionate about education and I am looking forward to the opportunity to become involved as a staff governor, ensuring communication is two way between the team and the Governing body.

Register of Governors September 2021

 

 

Current governors

Governor category

Appointing body

Term of office (Start / End)

Committee membership

Position of responsibility

Declared pecuniary or material interests

Other educational establishments governed, or charity trusteeships

Voting rights

Nick Acaster

Parent

Parent body

16/04/2022

15/04/2026

Finance and Facilities

Chair of Finance and Facilities Committee

None

Chair of Beacon Festival, not-for-profit event

Yes

Jonathan Gale

Headteacher

Ex officio

Ex officio

Data and Curriculum

Finance and Facilities

Pay committee

Acting Headteacher

None

Watlington Education Foundation

Yes

David Marcou

Community governor

Local Authority and Governing body

01/10/2021

01/10/2025

Data and Curriculum

 

 

 

None

None

Chair of governors, Icknield Community College

ACER Trust

Watlington Education Foundation

OYAP Trust

Yes

Peter Robinson

Community governor

Governing body

13/03/2021

13/03/2025

Pay committee

Chair of Data and Curriculum Committee

Health and safety governor

None

None

Yes

Amanda Flynn

Staff

Staff body

01/09/2021

01/09/2025

None

None

None

None

Yes

Gemma Sterjo

Staff

Governing body

01/09/2021

31/08/2022

Data and Curriculum

None

None

None

Yes

Sarah Wood

Community governor

Governing body

23/09/2019

23/09/2023

Finance and Facilities

Pay committee

Chair of Governing Body

 

 

None

None

Yes

Mike Speight

Parent

Governing body

23/09/2019

23/09/2023

Finance and Facilities

Pay committee

Vice chair of Governing Body

SEND governor

None

None

Yes

 

Finbar McGaughey

Parent

Governing body

01/04/2021

01/04/2025

Data and Curriculum

Safeguarding governor

None

None

Yes

Mathew Van de Pette

Parent

Parent body

19/11/2021

19/11/2025

Data and Curriculum

None

None

None

Yes

 

Claire Cointre

Parent

Parent body

19/11/2021

19/11/2025

Finance and Facilities

None

None

None

Yes

 

 

Governors who have resigned since 2020

 

Governor

Governor category

Appointing body

End of office

Committee membership

Position of responsibility

Declared pecuniary or material interests

Other educational establishments governed, or charity trusteeships

Voting rights

James McHardy

Parent

Parent body

Resigned March 2021

None

Safeguarding governor

None

None

Yes

Louise Wiltshire

Staff

Staff body

Resigned August 2021

None

Staff governor

None

Special Effect Charity

Yes

Yvonne Hammerton Jackson

Headteacher

Ex officio

Resigned August 2021

Finance and Facilities

 

Data and Curriculum

Headteacher

None

None

Yes

Michael Hall

Parent governor

Parent body

Resigned September 2021

Finance and Facilities

None

None

NoneYes

Governing Body Attendance 2020-21

Governors Minutes 

For paper or email copies of governor meeting minutes, please contact the school office:

 

Tel: 01491 612474

Email: office.2459@watlington.oxon.sch.uk 

Welcome to our wonderful school!
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