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Meet the Governors

A warm welcome to you from your school governors!  The Local Governing Body plays an important part in the life of your school. The members of the governing body reflect a wide range of interests from local businesses and the community, staff members and, of course, parents.

The Governing Body is charged with many specific responsibilities and powers but has general responsibility for oversight of every aspect of the school and its activities. Formally, the Department for Education requires governors to:


  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

As we are part of an Academy, the Watchfield Primary School Local Governing Body is accountable to the Faringdon Academy of Schools Board for ensuring that these statutory responsibilities are met.  In carrying out its duties the governing body may lobby organisations or individuals on behalf of the school.  It may also suggest or - in some circumstances - require that the affairs of the school are conducted in a certain way.  We take a keen interest in school performance data but recognise that our school is unique and data is but one measure of a child's performance.   One of our strengths is in the whole school experience at Watchfield where a child's mind, body and spirit benefits from the rich tapestry of cultures, nationalities and experiences that the children in our school bring. Consequently, the governing body has an important job to do in ensuring that the welfare of the school and its culture, values and ethos are maintained.  In summary, the role of governors is one of both challenge and support in a constructive way.  We are always open to feedback and ideas.  If you would like to offer a suggestion, your governors can be contacted by email via:


Ian Wright (Community Governor) - Chair of Governors

Appointed: Jul 16                                  Term: 4 years

Ian has served as a governor at Watchfield since June 2012.  This is Ian's second period as Chair - in his previous term as Chair he was on the Steering Group to examine and plan the expansion of the Faringdon Academy of Schools to the current 8-school Multi-Academy Trust.  He relinquished the Chair due to the additional commitment when he was appointed as a Director of the Faringdon Academy of Schools in November 2013, but then re-assumed the role in November 2015.  Ian retired from the Royal Air Force in 2012 after a 21-year career specializing in infrastructure, facilities management, personnel and executive roles, and is now a business and operations manager at the University of Oxford.  He has 3 children at Watchfield Primary.


"The truly unique nature of Watchfield Primary School makes it a fantastic environment in which to teach children - it is a real strength which is used at every opportunity to enrich and enliven the School, and deliver outstanding results.  I am extremely proud of the School, its pupils and staff, and will do everything I can to ensure that the School is appropriately supported and challenged to deliver continually improving standards of education."

Katie Brudenell (Community Governor) - Vice Chair of Governors

Appointed: Nov 17                                  Term: 4 years

Katie has been a member of the Governing Body since July 2013.  A pupil of Watchfield School herself in the 1980s, Katie arrived back in Watchfield to accompany her husband’s posting. She spent a thoroughly enjoyable year working at Watchfield School supporting Mrs Deveraux and the Blackbirds, before converting to teach secondary Physics in 2013.  Having led the Physics Department at The Commonweal School in Swindon, she now teaches Physics at St Helen and St Katharine.  She has two children at Watchfield School – Emily and Alice.  Her husband continues to serve in the Army, although the family are now settled in Shrivenham village.


“Having first-hand experience of the wonderful, nurturing environment provided by Watchfield to its pupils, I am keen to see the school continue to succeed and thrive.  I am proud that my children attend Watchfield School and proud to be Vice Chair of the governing body.” 

Sarah Church (Community Governor)

Appointed: Oct 15                                  Term: 4 years

Sarah has been a Watchfield Primary School parent since 2012 and has children in Kites, Owls and Sparrows this year. She joined the Board as a Community Governor in the autumn term 2015. After 13 years’ service in the Regular Army, Sarah enjoys having the time to commit to playing a part in the maintenance of the positive school ethos at Watchfield, as well as developing how the Board makes the most of the School's membership of the Faringdon Academy of Schools. Sarah’s military background covers a mix of technical and leadership roles, and she has also been a volunteer with the local Girl Guides and Royal British Legion. Sarah lives in Shrivenham and has active links into the local community in Shrivenham and Watchfield.


“Celebrating diversity alongside educational and personal achievements makes Watchfield my first recommendation to any new parent in the area. As a Community Governor it is my role to support the Schools’ leadership to maintain this positive ethos and to continue to thrive as we grow and develop as a school."

Rachel English (Parent Governor)

Appointed: Nov 17                                  Term: 4 years

I am the parent of twins, a serving member of the Royal Air Force and a qualified Solicitor. I am currently on the permanent staff within the JSCSC and thus hope to remain in the area for three years.

I have not always been in the RAF, but qualified as a Solicitor in 2000 following which I worked within child protection services. My responsibilities included the safeguarding of children within the borough ensuring children’s safety.

Since joining the RAF I have worked within legal services; I am now in a plans and policy role.

Through the experience I have gained, I am very much aware of the requirement for good governance and the implementation of practices and procedures that fit differing organisations and their objectives. I have an appreciation of transformation issues and understand the need to set clear strategic priorities and targets.

My reason for wanting to become a Governor stems from my own memories of primary and junior school. Whilst I appreciate things have changed significantly since the 1970’s, as a child I wasn’t aware of the management issues and inevitable difficulties that arose from budgeting, testing, safeguarding etc. I simply have memories of a really great time in primary school. I remember my teachers; Mr Astridge, Mrs Heap, Mrs Brierley and how as a child they made my time at school fun, exciting and most of all memorable, for the right reasons. I am sure they had their own challenges unique to the 1970’s but this was not something that came across to the children. If I can in anyway ensure/help my own children’s, and thus all the children’s experience of primary school be similar to my own then that is a great achievement. I believe taking on the role of parent governor is a way to do this; if the school is managed and run well with a clear vision and ethos the staff will perform well, being assured of the way their school is functioning. Happy staff leads to happy children.  

Anda Fitzgerald-O'Connor (Community Governor)

Appointed: Oct 14                                  Term: 4 years

Anda has been associated with Watchfield Primary School for a number of years; firstly in her capacity as a County Councillor for the Shrivenham Division for 16 years (1997/2013) and then as a Community Governor.  Whilst on the County Council, Anda liaised with the school and Council in an endeavour to overcome the initial challenges faced by the school due to the intake and annual turnover of many non-English speaking pupils whose parents were at the Defence Academy (various challenges which still exist!).  Anda is a trustee of a small charity based in Oxford to do with children’s play (Oxfordshire Play Association) and also helps to teach horse riding twice a week to pupils from a special school in Wantage.   She has three adult sons and various grandchildren aged six months to six years.

Rev Stephen Hancock (Community Governor)

Appointed: Feb 17                                  Term: 4 years

The Reverend Stephen Hancock CF is an Army Chaplain serving at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham.  A former soldier, Stephen is 4th generation military and is elder brother served 32 years in the Royal Navy Submarine service.  Stephen has been married to Anita, a nurse, for 27 years and they have three teenage children and a ten-year-old black Labrador ‘Jess’.  Stephen is a keen military historian especially British Military history.  He is currently working on a book about the Holocaust in Europe 1933-45 having made over twenty visits to former concentration camps in Europe.  He is a keen sports observer and willingly confesses to being an Arsenal fan and a fan of the New England Patriots in American NFL.  Secretly he is a ‘Goon’ fan even though he is keen to point out that 'Milligan, Sellers and Secombe‘ were well before my time.

Jennifer Roberts (Teaching Staff Governor)

Appointed: Oct 13                                  Term: 4 years

Jen has been a governor since October 2013 and initially started her teaching career at Watchfield Primary School in 2010. Beginning at Watchfield as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), Jen has progressed her career and is now the Upper Key Stage Two Leader. Furthermore, Jen is on the Faringdon Academy PR and Community Governors board, working alongside volunteers to promote the work of the academy and its schools.


“I have a love for teaching and I aim to inspire and motivate those I teach. As a member of the governing body, my role is to continue to share this passion with all stakeholders and to support the school on its journey to outstanding.”

Gemma Rogan (Support Staff Governor)

Appointed: Oct 16                                  Term: 4 years



Alison Saunders (Parent Governor)

Appointed: Nov 17                                  Term: 4 years

As a Mum of two boys, one whom currently attends Watchfield Primary, I am well aware of the concerns that parents face during the schooling of their children.  I hope that I may be able to play some small part in alleviating those concerns and offer something new to the team of governors.  I am currently studying to become a Secondary teacher of Humanities with a view to moving into a Primary position, and eventually a pastoral role.  This course has offered valuable opportunities to work with multiple organisations and put into practice the skills gained through various training and gain a thorough insight to the daily running’s in a school and the issues faced on a daily basis.  Coupled with my previous experience of finance, research and management, I feel I have the necessary skills required to help implement plans and policies to best fit the needs of the school and help promote a positive work environment for our teaching staff and children. I look forward to the challenge my term as a governor will bring, and hope to meet a few of you along the way.

Simone Wheatley (Community Governor)

Appointed: Apr 16                                  Term: 4 years

Simone served for almost 10 years in the British Army and specialised in Security Management.  She has continued to work as a security consultant and manager and now Works for Microsoft in Reading as the UK Security Controller.  She is married to Matt and has two girls Connie and Harriet at Watchfield Primary School.  They have recently settled in Watchfield after living in and around Oxfordshire since leaving the Forces. 


‘I think that Watchfield Primary is a very special school where many children will gain something extra they might not find elsewhere.  They will gain a first hand appreciation of many different races, religions and culture living and working together.  There aren’t many schools that are as diverse and I look forward to helping the school and therefore our local children to work hard to secure their future’.

Jamie Turnbull (Associate Governor)

Appointed: Dec 16                                  Term: 4 years

Jamie became an associate governor in Jan 17 as part of his role as Commanding Officer for Shrivenham Station.  Having joined the RAF in 1995, he has extensive overseas experience in such diverse areas as the Falkland Islands, Germany and India as well as repeated operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  As the step-father to 3 x grown up children, Jamie is now a grandfather to 2 x little boys aged nearly 4 and 18 months.  His main role within the Governing Body is to ensure appropriate representation of the needs of the military families, that the school is informed about activity on Shrivenham Station and to facilitate assistance from the station and the wider Ministry of Defence where appropriate.  Jamie will be Commanding Officer at Shrivenham until Nov 18 and is accompanied by his wife Tracey who is a dual trained psychiatric and general health nurse.

Georgina Wintle (Associate Governor)

Appointed: Oct 14                                  Term: 4 years

Georgina is the Deputy Headteacher at Watchfield and joined the Governing Body in September 2013 as an Associate Governor. From January 2014, she undertook the role of Acting Headteacher until September 2014, when she reverted back to Deputy and Associate Member.  Georgina takes the lead role in the monitoring of Pupil Premium spending and impact not just for Watchfield, but for the Faringdon Academy of Schools as a whole. Georgina is a strong influencer and leader across the Academy and she also leads the Deputy and Senior Teacher Network.  She is involved in developing the training for Academy Middle Leaders and delivered professional development opportunities for the Academy's Newly Qualified Teachers during the 2015-16 academic year.  With over fifteen years primary teaching experience in several schools and significant leadership experience at varying levels, Georgina works closely with the Headteacher at Watchfield to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.


'I am proud to be a member of the Watchfield team and thoroughly enjoy being part of a unique and very special school.  We are delighted with our achievements to date and are keen to build on these to ensure that Watchfield is recognised as the outstanding school which we believe it to be.'

Anne-Marie Wright (Clerk to the Governing Body)

Appointed: Jan 17                                  Term: on-going

Anne-Marie joined us as Clerk in January 2017.

Governors Attendance Record

Julia Davies (previous Parent Governor)

Appointed: Dec 16                                  Term: 4 years

Stepped down: Jul 17


Matt Wheatley (previous Parent Governor)

Appointed: Apr 16                                  Term: 4 years

Stepped down: Aug 17

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