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 Tom Jeffery

    Chair of Governors

    tomjeffery@westernroad.e-sussex.sch.uk

    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 Irèna Wooler and her colleagues. I shall do my best to help Western Road remain a happy and successful school for all our children.

  • Ms Hilary Turner

    Vice Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor

    Hilary Turner has recently moved to Lewes after retiring from working as an area manager for Suffolk County Music Service. Hilary has also worked as a music teacher in primary and secondary schools and as a Local Authority Music Adviser. She continues to maintain a keen interest in schools, state education and children’s well-being, and works as a volunteer for the NSPCC Schools’ Service and as such is the Safeguarding Governor for the school.

    Hilary hopes to bring her experience of working as a teacher in schools and as a senior officer in a Local Authority Education Department to her new role as co-opted governor at Western Road Community Primary School, and she is looking forward to becoming involved in the wider school community.
    Hilary has two grown-up children now pursuing professional careers in the London area; both of whom benefited from an excellent education in Local Authority maintained schools in the north west.
    Hilary remains a keen and active musician, singing in two local choirs and enjoying attending concerts, ballets and theatre productions, both locally and in London.

  • Ms Holly Atkins

    Parent Governor

    I am a parent of two children (one at WRS, one due to start September 2022). We have lived in Lewes since 2013. I was born and brought up in London but have spent a lot of my life in East Sussex as both of my parents and all four of my Grandparents grew up here.

    I am an actor and a communication skills coach and trainer.
    As an actor I’ve worked extensively in television drama for the BBC, ITV and Sky.
    And in theatre, including leading roles at the Royal Court and Shakespeare's Globe.

    As a trainer and coach I’ve worked across industry sectors: In the public sector clients have included NHS, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Cabinet Office, HM treasury, Yorkshire Forward, The Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence.

    In the private sector clients have included many global law firms and investment banks, the Victoria and Albert Museum, BBC, BP, Tideway, Keller, Siemens, BAFTA.

    As part of the Save Lewes Schools campaign I’ve learnt a lot about the impact of government cuts on schools, and the increasingly tough challenges they face. I have met with and lobbied our MP and East Sussex County Council and as a governor I will continue to lobby hard for an increase in funding for schools. I commit to supporting the Head Teacher of our wonderful school in whatever ways I can, and to helping keep parents abreast of key developments.

  • Mrs Rosie Gloster

    Local Authority Governor

    I am a parent of two children both of whom attend Western Road School. I was brought up in Lewes and returned here in 2007.

    I work as a social researcher, focusing on employment, education and careers policy. I manage and undertake research projects for national government departments, sector bodies, as well as organisations in the voluntary sector. I became interested in how I might use my professional skills relating to reviewing and assessing evidence and undertaking research for the benefit of the school community following discussions about the prospective Multi Academy Trust in Lewes. I searched for and summarised the published research evidence about this type of school formation to inform the discussions of the school’s governing body.

    I am delighted to be able to join the governing body to support their work, and that of the school. My aim is to use my research background to assist the work of the governing body, and to support the school when it undertakes research with staff, parents, and pupils.

  • Ms Sami Howard

    Co-opted Governor

    I am currently a freelance consultant working in the voluntary sector, providing management coaching, strategic support and fundraising. I have worked for over 15 years across the public and not-for-profit sectors, most recently as the Deputy Director of the North London based charity Markfield, an inclusive community hub for disabled people and their families. I have a background in early years, playwork and family support work, particularly focused on inclusion and SEN. I have coordinated lots of community projects and am passionate about working collaboratively to bring about positive change. My family support work has involved both delivery and management of advice services for parents, training programmes and peer support groups.

    I am also pleased to bring my experience of management and leadership to this new role as co-opted governor which has included finance, fundraising, staff management and policy development.

    I moved to Lewes this year with my young daughter and partner. I am thrilled to be living in such a beautiful place which I have enjoyed getting to know over the last 10 years, since my parents moved to nearby Seaford. I am looking forward to taking on this active role within our local community.

  • Mrs Antonia Jewels

    Parent Governor

    Originally born in Wales and raised in Kent, I moved to Lewes briefly in 1994/95 and returned in to live in 2000. Both of my daughters are or have been pupils at Western Road. My eldest has recently left for Priory and my youngest is currently in Year 4. Since 2011 when my eldest started at WRS, I have been involved with Artists and Makers, organising the event from 2013 onwards. My overwhelming A&M achievement has been the increase of money raised for WRS (doubled since 2012). Knowing that spending on schools has been falling so dramatically It has been very rewarding knowing I have done my best to contribute.

    I work full time and my background is in Events Management within the Clinical Research field. I work for a large Clinical Research Organisation mainly focused on the strategic events planning for global clinical trials and the physician engagement at those events. I am also an event technology 'geek', specialising in Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) and process efficiency in the events industry.

    In the latter part of 2018, during the attempt to form a Lewes MAT, I became acutely aware of the funding crisis facing our schools and the effect this could have on the ethos of our wonderful school. I passionately believe that children should have a broad and varied education and that while important, education is more than just academic results. I appreciate the importance of strong leadership, partnerships with parents, governors and children. We are a team and I will support our 'team' in any way I am able, using my specific skills.

  • Ms Eleanor Murphy

    Co-opted Governor

    Eleanor joined the governing body in October 2018. She knows Lewes well, with family having lived in the town for over forty years. A student at Priory School in the 1980s, Eleanor returned here in late 2013 after almost a decade spent living and working in the Latin American region.

    A qualified teacher of modern languages, Eleanor has taught in secondary and further education institutions, and delivered training for teachers at university level. Prior to teaching, she worked in various senior management positions in third sector organisations focused on educational and international development initiatives in the UK and overseas. She has also worked as a researcher and analyst covering global issues such as climate change, energy and security.

    With wide ranging experience and skills, Eleanor is delighted to draw on these in her role as a Co-opted Governor. She aims to give her time to support continued success at Western Road.

  • Ms Ruth O'Keeffe

    Associate 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.

  • Mr Luke Palmer

    Co-opted Governor

    I am a qualified Educational Psychotherapist. I work part time as a school counsellor in a secondary school in Brighton and see young people for therapy in my private practice. I also work with both school staff and young people’s housing staff in ‘reflective practice,’ where I assist them in the process of thinking about the emotional implications of their work with vulnerable young people.


    My training as an Educational Psychotherapist has repeatedly emphasised to me how the link between feelings and learning is of fundamental importance. That is, how learning always happens within the context of emotions and therefore how difficult learning can be when the individual is not feeling confident or calm in themselves. This is relevant for better understanding and helping to alleviate the potential complexities of the school life of both pupils and teachers. All members of a school have a vital role in helping everyone in their community to feel properly listened to, valued and respected for their differences.


    Through my work as a therapist and in my personal life, I have learnt also to appreciate how essential empathy, intuition, playfulness and creativity are for general well being and feel that these qualities should be at the very heart of learning.


    I am also a parent of two children, one of whom is currently a pupil of Western Road and have lived in Lewes now for 3 years. I am delighted to be able to contribute to the Lewes community in this role as governor.

  • 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.

  • Mrs Rea Hamilton

    Deputy Headteacher and Year 5 Class Teacher

    reahamilton@westernroad.e-sussex.sch.uk

    I am Deputy Headteacher at Western Road and Year Five Class Teacher. I have been teaching since 2005, and began my career teaching English in Taiwan, and later in Brighton. Since becoming a primary school teacher, I have mainly taught in Upper Key Stage Two, but have also spent several years teaching in Key Stage One.


    My BSc in Geography and early career working in the water industry has left me with a passion for the outdoors and I strive to encourage my classes to be curious about, and engaged with, the natural world around them. My years teaching EFL have instilled a love of language, which I also enjoy sharing. I want all of the children I work with to achieve their potential and acquire all the skills they need to be enthusiastic, curious lifelong learners.


    I believe it is vital that there are strong links between the local community and Western Road School, and my role as Deputy Headteacher and governor has allowed me to further strengthen these links and enrich the educational experiences offered to our children.


    I am also a parent of two young children and have lived in Lewes for just over three years, but have worked locally for over ten years. I enjoy hiking in my spare time, and going for long walks on the Downs and surrounding countryside with my family.

  • Mrs Janine Bishop

    Staff Governor

    I am currently the Year 1 teacher at Western Road and joint Maths lead. I qualified as a teacher at Brighton University in 2009 and began my career as a Reception teacher working at a school in Shoreham. My degree specialism was Early Years and I have worked mainly in Early Years and KS1 in my teaching career.

    I began working at Western Road in December 2017 covering maternity leave as a part time Reception teacher. The role was made permanent in July 2017. I thoroughly enjoy being a part of Western Road and its community. The values of the school are important to me and I believe we all play an important part in ensuring all children at Western road are well-rounded, resilient, courageous, have a voice, are skilled and are aware of and interested in the wider world beyond Lewes.

    I am a parent of two young children, a son in Year 4 and daughter in Year 1 who attend a local academy school. Alongside my husband we run a football coaching session for Newhaven Football club for under 5’s each Saturday morning. As a family we love going for long walks with our dog Gus and have got a kayak so, when the sun is out, we are often paddling on the Cuckmere.

Western Road Community Primary School -Current Governors & Details of Appointments – January 2020

 

Governor Name 

Start Date 

End Date 

Type of Governor  

Voting Rights 

Chair positions 

Roy Watkinson 

15/05/18 

14/05/22 

Foundation 

Roy is also a Trustee on the LCLP Board.  Current term expires in Feb 2024. 

Yes 

 

Tom Jeffery 

24/9/19 

23/9/23 

Foundation/Chair 

Yes 

Chair 

Hilary Turner 

8/10/2018 

7/10/22 

Co-opted 

Yes 

Vice Chair 

Eleanor Murphy 

8/10/2018 

7/10/22 

Co-opted 

Yes 

 

Ruth O’Keeffe 

19/3/18 

18/3/22 

Associate 

No 

 

Irena Wooler 

28/01/19 

27/01/23 

Ex Officio/Head Teacher 

Yes 

 

Stephen Docherty 

30/01/17 

29/01/21 

Parent 

Yes 

 

Holly Atkins 

08/03/19 

07/03/23 

Parent 

Yes 

 

Rosie Gloster  

08/07/2019 

07/07/23 

LA 

Yes 

 

Sami Howard 

25/11/19 

24/11/23 

Co-opted 

Yes 

 

Luke Palmer 

5/11/19 

4/11/23 

Co-opted 

Yes 

 

Lou Adams 

14/10/19 

Resigned 

9/11/20 

Staff 

Yes 

 

Toby Meanwell 

26/11/19 

Resigned 23/11/20 

Co-opted 

Yes 

 

Antonia Jewels 

25/11/19 

24/11/23 

Parent 

Yes 

 

Rea Hamilton 

17/10/19 

16/10/23 

DHT/Associate 

No 

 

Attendance Totals for FGB Meetings – 2020 to 2021 

 

Western RoadCommunity Primary School 

 

Governor 

5th Oct 2020 

23rd Nov 

25th Jan 2021 

15th March 

10th May 

28th June 

Total 

Irena Wooler  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Roy Watkinson  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Ruth O’Keeffe  

Apologies 

Apologies 

Apologies 

 

 

 

 

Rosie Gloster  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Louise Adams  

Y 

Resigned 

 

 

 

 

1/2 

Stephen Docherty  

Apologies 

Y 

Y 

Resigned 

 

 

2/3 

Tom Jeffery  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Hilary Turner  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Eleanor Murphy  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Apologies 

Apologies 

Y 

4/6 

Holly Atkins  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Rea Hamilton  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Luke Palmer  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

6/6 

Sami Howard  

Y 

Apologies 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

5/6 

Toby Meanwell  

Y 

Resigned 

 

 

 

 

 

Antonia Jewels  

Y 

Y 

Y 

Apologies 

Y 

Y 

5/6 

 Janine Bishop 

 

 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Apologies 

3/4 

Kerry Bedford 

 

 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Y 

4/4 

Angi Samuels 

 

 

Y 

Resigned 

 

 

 

 Register of Pecuniary or Business Interests  

Western Road Community Primary School 2020/2021  

Governor  

Date interest declared  

Interest  

Roy Watkinson 

5th Oct 2020 

None 

Ruth O’keeffe 

17th Oct 2020 

Available upon request from the Clerk 

Irena Wooler 

9th Feb 2021 

Parental gifts (Christmas 2020 and July 2020) in excess of £10. 

Stephen Docherty 

24th Nov 2020 

None 

Tom Jeffery 

21st Sept 2020 

  • Wife, Alison Jeffery, is Director of Children’s Services, Portsmouth City Council 
  • Board member of the National Development Team for Inclusion 

Rosie Gloster 

5th Oct 2020 

None 

Hilary Turner 

21st Sept 2020 

None 

Janine Bishop 

17th Feb 2021 

None 

Eleanor Murphy 

21st Sept 2020 

None 

Holly Atkins 

10th Feb 2021 

None 

Samantha Howard 

5th Oct 2020 

None 

Antonia Jewels 

5th Oct 2020 

None 

Luke Palmer 

5th Oct 2020 

None 

Toby Meanwell 

5th Oct 2020 

None 

Rea Hamilton 

5th Oct 2020 

None