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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 a Multi-Academy Trust, the Watchfield Primary School Local Governing Body is accountable to the Faringdon Learning Trust 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:


The structure and remit of the FLT Members, Trustees, and its committees including the LGBs is available on the Trust website and can be found here


~~ Clerk to Governors: ~~

Diana Sheldon (Chair of Governors)

Appointed: July 2020        Term: 4 years


My first connection with the school was when my eldest attended in year 2 during a short posting to Watchfield in 1986!  Obviously, many things have changed over the years including the arrival of the Defence Academy.  Since settling back in Shrivenham in 2011 I have known many children, parents and members of staff at the school. I am conscious of what a wonderful job is done in such a unique environment and everyone I know enjoys their time at Watchfield as well as having a great educational experience.

"Having been a teacher for almost 40 years, in many different schools, I am well aware of the challenges and pressures that face the staff and governors.  I am honoured to have been selected as a governor to have the chance to support all the hard work that goes on at Watchfield school in order that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential in the time they are there."


Leon Rodin (Vice Chair of Governors)

Appointed: November 2021        Term: 4 Years



Sarah Wilson (Headteacher, ex-officio Governor)

Appointed: September 2022



Alan Chapman (Community Governor)

Appointed: September 2019                      Term: 4 Years



Alan is an experienced Chartered and European Patent Attorney with a background in physics. Having worked within a variety of different organisations, including a multi-national defence company, the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA), two private practice firms and a university spin-out, Alan currently works for a private technology company as the lead attorney with overall responsibility for a core technology category of the business.

"My wife, two sons and I moved to Watchfield in 2018. Since then our experience has been that not only does the School provide a wonderful learning environment for its pupils but also that the School plays a particularly important role in the unique community here in Watchfield. With the knowledge that this would not be possible without a dedicated team of staff and a strong local governing body, I was inspired to volunteer as a governor in the hope that I can make a valuable contribution to the School and that in doing so I will also make a significant contribution to the well-being and cohesion of our community. As a governor I look forward to working with the school leadership team and other governors to support and constructively challenge the School in order to ensure its continued success."



Oliver Church (Parent Governor)

Appointed: April 2021                            Term: 4 years



Rev (Sqn Ldr) Phil Craven, Defence Academy Station Chaplain 

(Community Governor)


Appointed: November 2022                            Term: 4 years


Padre Phil serves as the Station Chaplain to the Defence Academy. He is a commissioned RAF officer, serving since 2018. Prior to joining the military, Padre Phil worked for 5 years as an NHS hospital chaplain within Glasgow. His responsibilities included secure mental health units, dementia wards, palliative care and hospice units, as well as normal hospital duties. He was responsible for creating and delivering a bereavement training package for medical staff across the health board, and was regularly involved in teaching bereavement and communication skills at local colleges. He is also a big fan of LEGO.

“It is a great honour to serve as governor, and I am very keen to build relationships between military and school families. Also, it would be my aim to help in any way to ensure that our school family reaches its full potential.”



Claire Hartley (Staff Governor)


Appointed:  June 2022                      Term: 4 years  

Claire has been a teacher for a number of years, working in schools in the UK and further afield.  She has taught at Watchfield since 2014, with two years out teaching in the Middle East.  Outside school, Claire enjoys reading and gardening; she runs the choir at St. Andrew’s church in Shrivenham and is passionate about choral music. 



Peter Houlton-Hart (Community Governor)

Appointed:  January 2023                      Term: 4 years  

Pete is a serving Army Officer who is currently attending a year-long course at the Defence Academy.  He has moved around the UK (and out to Brunei) on multiple occasions to meet the needs of the Army, with this being the second time his family have lived in Watchfield.  Both his children currently attend Watchfield Primary School and he is keen to get involved in supporting the local community.  Outside of work, Pete enjoys cross country running, history and the great outdoors.  This is his first time volunteering as a Governor, but he has previously volunteered as Trustee for his local nursery school.   


“I am extremely proud to have been allowed to serve the local community as an Associate Governor at Watchfield Primary School.  I will do all that I can to help the school continue to be the wonderful learning environment that it currently is.” 

Julia Jones (Community Governor)


Appointed: September 2022                   Term: 4 Years


A teacher for over thirty years, Julia retired as Head of an independent primary school and returned to her childhood village of Shrivenham of 2013.

Elected to Shrivenham Parish Council in May 2015, Julia also enjoys taking part in plays and pantomimes with Shrivenham Amateur Dramatic Society as well as attending live theatre - professional or amateur productions. She is also a committee member for Shrivenham Heritage Society, a member of the National Trust and a communicant member of the Church of England in Shrivenham.

"My husband and I enjoy living in the village and I am looking forward to being involved with the  children, parents and staff at Watchfield Primary School."



Lucy Lambert (Other/Associate Governor)

Appointed:  June 2022         Term: 4 Years


Lucy has been teaching for seven years and has worked mainly within Key Stage One and Early Years. She joined the Watchfield team in September 2021 when she moved to Oxfordshire from Somerset to start a new chapter of her life.  Outside of the classroom, she likes to spend time in the garden, baking tasty treats and spending time with friends and family. 

"As a first-time governor, I am keen to support this unique school with their vision and use my strengths within the classroom to ensure that the children are kept at the forefront of key decisions."



Joanna Ryan (Staff Governor)

Appointed:  June 2022        Term: 4 years

Upon qualifying as a teacher in 2015, Jo took up her first position at Watchfield and she has never looked back. Jo has spent the subsequent seven years teaching across KS2 and has just returned from maternity leave.  She is passionate about reading (both in and out of school!) and is currently enjoying being back at work as well as spending time with her new family. 

"I care deeply about this school and the families that we are privileged to meet and teach here.  I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the other governors to support the school over the coming years."


Wing Commander CO of Shrivenham Defence Academy (Ex-officio Governor)

Appointed: September 2022




 Vacancy (Community Governor) 





Clerk to the Local Governors - Jan Clark



Local Governing Body Meeting Minutes

Governors who have resigned

David Robinson (Previous Community Governor) Stepped Down:  August 2022

Steve Dollimore (Previous Community Governor) Stepped Down:  August 2022

Leonie Boyd (Previous Other/Associate Governor) Stepped Down:  July 2022

Ian Wright (Previous Community Governor & Chair) Stepped Down:  June 2022

Gemma Rogan (Previous Staff Governor) Stepped Down:  December 2021

Jody Lewis (Previous Staff Governor) Stepped Down:  August 2021

Cat Hughes (Previous Other Governor) Stepped Down:  August 2021

Duncan Jenkins (Previous Parent Governor) Stepped Down: Mar 21

Mike Butler (Previous Associate Governor) Stepped Down: Mar 21

Andrew Atkinson (Previous Parent Governor) Stepped Down: Mar 21

Robert Hart (Previous Associate Governor) Stepped Down:  Nov 20

David Robinson (Community Governor) Stepped Down:  Sep 20

Emma Wight Boycott (Previous Community Governor) Stepped Down: Jul 20

Katie Brudenell (Previous Community Governor) Stepped Down: Jul 20

Clare Hamilton (Previous Community Governor) Stepped Down: Jul 19

Jayne Russell (Previous Community Governor) Stepped Down: May 19

Rev Phil Burrows (Previous Associate Governor: Defence Academy Chaplain)  Stepped Down: May 19

Jennifer Roberts (Previous Staff Governor)  Stepped down: Aug 19

Alison Saunders (Previous Parent Governor)   Stepped down: Dec 18 

Anda Fitzgerald O'Connor (Previous Community Governor)   Stepped down: Sep 18 

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