Who are the Governors?

What is the role of the Governing Body?

The Governing Body at Western Road Community Primary School works in partnership with the staff to promote high quality education for pupils.  We appoint the head teacher & work closely with them to make decisions that directly affect the education & well-being of all children.

Part of a school's governing body's responsibilities are to:

  • Promote high standards of educational attainment
  • Set an annual budget detailing planned spending
  • Make decisions on matters such as performance, targets, school policies & school development plans
  • Draw up an action plan following inspection reports
  • Appoint staff, ensuring implementation of a range of personnel procedures
  • Ensure health & safety of pupils & staff


The Governing Body is a 'critical friend', challenging & supporting the Senior Leadership Team, monitoring the outcome of policies & ensuring accountability

Our school governors are very supportive & actively take part in all areas of the school curriculum by visiting the school & attending regular governor meetings.  If you would like to meet with any governors, please make contact with the school office office@westernroad.e-sussex.sch.uk



  • Mr Sam Caughey

    Parent Governor

  • Ms Jenny Wingate

    Vice Chair of Governors

    I was coopted onto the governing body at the beginning of 2016, and became Vice Chair in September 2017. I am also a trustee of the Lewes Cooperative Learning Partnership on behalf of our school. I have over twenty years experience of working in the areas of community development and working in the public and voluntary sectors specialising in children and young people and community engagement. In 2010 I moved to Lewes, and have since worked as a consultant, mainly running an organisation providing advice, support and training to children’s and young people’s groups in East Sussex. I now provide governance and policy expertise to an academy trust which works with young people facing difficulties or at risk of exclusion from mainstream education in the East of England. I am really pleased to be able to bring my learning and understanding of the broader educational context to Western Road.

    Last but not least, my three boys are at the school and as a family we feel lucky to be part of what we believe to be a friendly, creative and cohesive school community.

  • Mr Tom Jeffery

    Co-opted Governor

    I joined the Governing Body in July 2017. I was brought up in Lewes and, returning as an adult, have lived here for the last twenty-three years. My mother, who was a primary school head teacher in East Sussex and also taught at Lewes Prison, went to the County Grammar School on the Western Road site in the 1920s.

    I am a retired civil servant, having worked for many years for the Department for Education and the Department of Health. In my working life, I concentrated on children’s services, the early years and special educational needs. I remain committed to helping children secure the best possible outcomes and life chances. I am currently a Board member of the National Development Team for inclusion, a not-for-profit organisation working with adults and children with learning difficulties and disabilities.

    It is a privilege to work with fellow Governors and with Matthew Montebello and his colleagues. I shall do my best to help Western Road remain a happy and successful school for all our children.

  • Mrs Christine McCarney

    Co-opted Governor

    I am Christine McCarney and I have been a resident of Lewes for the past thirty one years. I grew up in the Far East and was educated in Suffolk. I qualified as a primary school teacher in 1970 and worked for thirty years in a variety of schools both mainstream and ‘Special’ in London, Brighton, Hailsham and, in West Sussex. For fifteen years I was the Headteacher of a village school.

    I am now enjoying retirement and I am often in the company of my three grandchildren who have spent all their primary years at Western Road Community Primary School. All three have been extremely happy at the school, have established good friends and, I believe, made good progress in all subjects in the school curriculum.

    As a school governor I will support the Headteacher and the staff in their work to ensure that all the children are happy, that they develop a positive attitude to school as well as an understanding of the need to work hard and to make good relationships with the whole school community.

  • Ms Daire McGrath

    Parent Governor

  • Ms Ashlee Masterson

    Co-opted Governor

  • Ms Ruth O'Keeffe

    Local Authority Governor

    I have been connected with Western Road Primary School since the 1990s when all four of my children were pupils here. I was elected as a Parent Governor in 1998 and after my children had moved on to secondary school became a Local Authority Governor. I recently became an Associate Governor after many years as a full member of the Governing Body.

    My background was originally in education; I trained as a teacher in 1986-7 and have experience in a variety of educational settings from Reception to Sixth Form. My training was as a Primary generalist but I also have diplomas in Music and in Special Educational Needs and have been a Music specialist and taught in special schools. I have a degree in Psychology and have taught this at both GCSE and A Level. I also have experience in administrative work to do with Special Educational Needs.

    In 1999 I became a Lewes Town Councillor, in 2003 a Lewes District Councillor, and in 2005 the County Councillor for Lewes Division. I have gained a lot of experience since 1999 in Local Government and am especially keen for residents to be able to be actively involved in the decision making of the local Councils. I do not stand for any political party, representing the residents of the area I serve as an Independent.

  • Ms Debra Schmidt

    Co-opted Governor

    I am delighted to be a member of the governing board for Western Road Community School. I am the parent of a child at school, so I have a personal interest in ensuring that all our children have the best experience of school that we can collectively provide. In addition, I have devoted my career towards safeguarding and supporting children by helping to build school, community, and family networks. I have extensive experience of working within statutory and non-statutory settings and have worked with countless children and their schools in East Sussex, London, and Canada

    Children need to feel safe, supported, and valued when they are at school. As a member of the governing board I will have the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills in working with children and their families to promote children’s emotional well-being during their brief, but extremely important, time at Western Road school.

  • Ms Alison Teagle

    Parent Governor

    I have two daughters at Western Road and feel children thrive when they feel happy, safe and inspired to learn. I have twenty years teaching experience, primarily teaching at A level. I have had leadership experience, run whole school INSET, and provided school to school support for departments in need of improvement. I am also involved in teacher training and work with teachers to develop their skills in the classroom.

  • Mr Roy Watkinson

    Foundation Governor

    I have been a Governor at Western Road since 2010, firstly as a Local Authority appointed Governor becoming a Foundation Governor when the Lewes Cooperative Learning Partnership was established.

    My career has mostly been concerned with environmental protection in the public sector at local (Lewes District and East Sussex) and national level in a number of specialist roles involving both management of people and projects. The last twenty five or so years included a considerable amount of foreign travel, representing the UK and assisting developing countries. Since 2008 I have been running a small independent business and have been able to commit more of my time and energy to assisting with the development of education in schools that I believe is particularly important for both the individual’s future and society as a whole.

    I have lived in Lewes since 1975 and all three of my daughters have attended primary schools in the town, two at Western Road and one at St Pancras. Two of my granddaughters have also attended Western Road.

    I was appointed MBE for my services to waste management in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2008.

  • Ms Nicola Gibson

    Clerk to the Governors