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St. Paul’s C of E Primary School

Governors

Our Governing Body

St Paul’s Governing Body is made up of 12 people drawn from parents, representatives of the parish of St Paul’s Church, members of the local community and staff, including our headteacher, Ann Alden.

Each governor brings a wide range of knowledge, experience and skills to their role and all, apart from Ann, work in a voluntary capacity. They undertake regular training and perform their role with great enthusiasm and energy. 

The Role of Governors

Governors work in close partnership with each other, supporting and challenging the school to ensure the highest achievement for all our children. They work with the headteacher to set the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school and hold them to account for the educational performance of the school. They oversee the financial performance of the school and ensure that the school’s funds are well spent.

The Work of Governors

The governing body meets four times a year as a full governing body, FGB.  

The two main committees, Resources and Learning, meet generally twice a term. The Resources committee oversees the school’s buildings, budget and finance and health and safety. The Learning Committee oversees staffing, the curriculum, pupil data (covering both progress and attainment) and the quality of teaching and learning. Governors also meet occasionally as a Development committee to discuss more strategic issues. Our deputy headteacher - Deirdre Malia - and bursar, Loraine Pellman, attend some meetings. Other smaller committees review Staff Pay, Head Teacher Performance and Admissions.

All governors have other roles in addition to their committee work. They monitor the day-to-day work of the school by visiting during the school day and at other times to talk to members of staff, visit classrooms, speak with children and look at their work. They attend school events such as assemblies, the Musical Celebration in the Spring term, the school production in the Summer term and the major religious festivals. They are involved in staff recruitment. Helen Wharmby, our chair of governors, meets with other chairs of local schools’ governing bodies. Governors also participate fully in the activities of the Dorking Schools' Partnership.

 

       

 

Larraine Boardman

 

Foundation

 

Learning

 

Pupil Premium

School Council

Rev. Ruth Bushyager

Foundation

Learning

Christian Distinctiveness

Worship Committee

Admissions

Jeremy Herbert

Foundation

Learning (Chair)

Online Safety Committee

Residents' Association Rep

Nichola Johnston

Parent

Resources

GDPR

FOSPA

Finance

Treasurer of Governors' Fund

Steve Lister

 

Foundation

Vice Chair of Governors

Resources

Chair of HTA

Link Governor

 

Ann Alden

 

Headteacher

Learning

Resources

School Development Plan

Safeguarding Committee

Alexandra McLeod

Staff

Learning

Resources

Online Safety Committee

 

Fiona Ruddock

Foundation

Learning

SEND

Looked After Children

Young Carers

Ian Simpson

Parent

Resources

Health and Safety

Emergency Plan

Buildings

Admissions

Helen Wharmby

Local Authority

Chair of Governors

Learning

Resources

Pay (Chair)

HTA

JCGC Member

Sylvia Yelland

 

Foundation

Learning

Pay

Safeguarding Committee
 

Elizabeth York

Foundation

Learning

HTA

Pay

Staffing

EYFS

Helen Wharmby
Chair of Governors

If you would like to speak to a governor, please ask the school office and they will arrange for a governor to contact you.  

 

Governor Profiles
 

Helen Wharmby - Chair of Governors  

Helen was appointed a governor in October 2012 and was elected as Chair of Governors in 2016. The youngest of her four children attends St Paul’s, as did her older three children, two of whom are now at Aschombe, the eldest having left to attend Sixth Form College.

Helen worked for 19 years as a Chartered Accountant but now works as a freelance pianist and piano teacher. As well as fulfilling her governor role, she helps run the school's orchestra and choirs, organises the children buskers at the Christmas Fair and helps run the school’s Musical Soiree in the Spring term. In 2013 she researched and published a book telling the history of St Paul’s School in celebration of the school's 150th anniversary.

Helen has completed the nationally accredited Chair of Governors Leadership Development programme.

Helen is proud of the calm, happy atmosphere of the school and the confidence and enthusiasm of the children. She is also proud of the dedication and imagination shown by the staff and the many other people who help voluntarily at the school.

Ann Alden- Headteacher

Ann took up the appointment of Headteacher at St. Paul's in April 2018.

Prior to joining St. Paul's, Ann taught for over 25 years in a number of schools in Surrey, with a wide range of leadership responsibilities. She is a Maths Specialist teacher as well as having taught from EYFS right through to Year 6.

Rev'd Ruth Bushyager (Vicar) 

Rev’d Ruth Bushyager became vicar of St Paul’s Church in December 2014 and is on the Learning Committee. She moved to Dorking from west London, with her husband Ron and her two daughters who are both at the school.

She has been ordained for over ten years and served parishes in Bristol, Nottingham, Oxford and London, and twice been a School Chaplain – once for an inner-city comprehensive and also for an independent boarding school where she taught RS at GCSE.

Ruth loves serving children and young people and is committed to developing the close relationship between St Paul’s school and church. On her day off she enjoys picnics and walks in the beautiful countryside, and movie nights with her family.

Jeremy Herbert 

 Jeremy became a governor in February 2007 and is a foundation governor appointed by the church.

He has 3 children, all of whom attended St Paul's. Jeremy is chair of the Learning Committee and has specific responsibility for Admissions at St Paul's. 

Jeremy is a regular spectator of St Paul's Panthers football team and a member of St Paul's church. He is proud that the children are always cheerful and local residents have commented on this. It gives the school a happy welcoming atmosphere.

Nichola Johnston
 

Nichola was elected parent governor in November 2017 and is a member of the Resources Committee.  She is responsible for finance, regulatory matters and communications.  She has initiated regular parent / governor surgeries and dialogue with parents.  Nichola is also a trustee of the St Paul’s School Trust Fund, and a FOSPA committee member.

Nichola is a clinical negligence and employers’ liability lawyer representing NHS Trusts in clinical negligence and personal injury claims.   She conducts her own advocacy in Court, and has many years’ experience in conducting forensic investigations, negotiating, advising and communicating with stakeholders.

Nichola has two children at St Paul’s, one in year 3 and one in year 4.  She is very proud of the effort, work and behaviour that is observed of all children on school visits and the tremendously loyal and dedicated staff at St Paul’s. 

In her rare moments of spare time, Nichola enjoys running, long walks, pub lunches and Grey’s Anatomy!

Steve Lister - Vice Chair 

Steve has been a Foundation Governor since 2010 and was elected Vice-Chair of Governors in 2017. His youngest child is currently in Year 3, while the eldest two have moved on to the Ashcombe School.

Steve has a Natural Science degree from Cambridge University and now works as a health economist for a major pharmaceutical company. The focus of his role is to demonstrate how medicines offer good value for money to the NHS, requiring skills of project management, strategic planning, and effective interaction with a wide variety of stakeholders. He is a member of the Governors' Resources Committee, and actively supports the Chair of Governors in his role as Vice-Chair.

He is an active member of St. Paul's Church, and is passionate about family life. He is extremely proud of the school's close links with St. Paul's Church, its established role in the local community, and its wonderfully caring and committed staff team.

Alex McLeod 

Alex is a teacher governor and is currently teaching Beech class, Year 4 at St Paul's. Alex has a specialism in Mathematics, with a strong background and interest in IT; she currently leads the school's computing and e-safety provision. She has a particular interest in encompassing the outside classroom into the everyday learning environment.

With four children of her own, Alex doesn't have much time for hobbies but tries to sail, paddleboard and skate as much as possible, and can be found walking her dog early in the morning in all weathers. She is also an ice hockey mum and can often be found at the rink side at 5:30 on a Sunday morning!

Fiona Ruddock 

Fiona was appointed a governor in 2017 and is a foundation governor, appointed by St Paul’s Church.  Fiona has two children, one of whom is in year 3 at St Paul’s, whilst the other now attends the Ashcombe.
Fiona has a social work background and has worked for Local Authority Children’s Services for 13 years.  Most of this time was spent working with Looked After Children, but she has also worked with children with disabilities, and she currently works with Adoptive and Special Guardianship children and their families.  Fiona believes it is important for every child to access all areas of school life - learning, play, extra-curricular activities, and so on – and if necessary, have the support they need to be able to do so.
Fiona was previously Safeguarding Officer for St Paul’s Church.  Currently she helps out with the Sunday group for 3 to 7 year olds.
In her free time, Fiona enjoys reading, catching up with friends, spending time with her family, jogging and Pilates.
Fiona is on the Governors’ Learning Committee, and has particular responsibility for Looked After Children, Young Carers, and children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Ian Simpson
 

Ian was elected as a parent governor in November 2016.  Both his daughters attend the school, in years 6 and 4.

Ian is a firefighter in London Fire Brigade and has been so for the last 14 years.  He is a Watch Manager at Battersea fire station.  He is very proud of the welcoming children, parents and staff at St Pauls and hopes that the rapport between staff and children will be maintained.

Ian’s role in the fire service involves dealing with safeguarding and welfare issues due to the unique access the fire service has into people’s homes.  The largest role that he has in the fire brigade is to ensure that health and safety is abided by, both in the dynamic situation of an emergency incident as well as the day-to-day safety at a fire station.  He has an extensive knowledge of risk assessment and mitigation.

He is a keen cyclist, both on the road and mountain biking, and also enjoys reading and science and has a degree in environmental science from the Open University

Liz York 

Liz was appointed a governor in November 2012. Her 3 children, who are now at secondary school, all attended St Paul's.

Liz is interested in the education of the whole child through the school’s aims and values.

She reads a lot and tries to keep fit by running & swimming. Liz is also an active member of St Paul's Church.

Liz was recognised as one of the first “Leading Literacy Teachers” in Surrey. In her last full time role she was Year 6 leader and worked on the Senior Leadership team at an “Outstanding” school. Because of this the school was designated as a “Beacon School” and Liz was involved with working with other school leaders on school improvement.  This led to Liz working as an Associate Partner on the County Advisory Team working with other English co-ordinators on the management of Literacy and improving writing across the school.

She is on the Governors’ Learning Committee.

She is proud of the St Paul’s school community: the Head Teacher, staff, governors and parents working together for our children.  She is also proud when she sees evidence of the children from different year groups playing and caring for each other.

Sylvia Yelland 

Sylvia was nominated as a foundation governor by St Paul’s Church in 2014, and serves on the Learning Committee.  She is married to Jeff, who is the Associate Vicar at St Paul’s, and she is very involved in several aspects of church life there.   She is proud that the school and the church work so closely together to bring a unique and special ethos to the school.

She has three grown up, married children who so far have presented Sylvia and Jeff with seven grandchildren, ranging from young teenager to tiny baby.

She is a qualified TEFL teacher but retired from teaching in 2007, having taught English to speakers of other languages at Secondary School level and to adults. In her early working life she was a social worker, initially in children’s services and later in a hospital setting and also in the community. The family has lived abroad for two periods, in Iran in the 1970s and in Paris in the late 80s/early 90s.

Her interests include theatre and cinema, reading (especially historical fiction) and all things French. She enjoys most sports - though these days spectating rather than participating apart from walking and the occasional swim, and spending time with her lively family.

She hopes to bring to the governing body her experience in different areas of the world of education, plus the added perspective of a grandmother.