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.
Each governor brings a wide range of knowledge, experience and skills to their role and all, apart from our two staff governors, 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 the school, 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 her 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 seven times a year as a Full Governing Body.
During these meetings, governors provide strategic oversight of the school’s staffing, curriculum, pupil data and the quality of teaching, health and safety and safeguarding, alongside overseeing the strategic management of the school’s buildings and budget. Smaller committees of governors also meet to oversee Staff Pay, Head Teacher Performance and Admissions.
All governors monitor the day-to-day work of the school by visiting at least once a term during the school day and at other times to talk to members of staff, visit classrooms, speak with children and look at their work.
Governors 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.
Fiona Ruddock, our Chair of Governors, meets regularly with other chairs of local schools’ governing bodies. In addition, governors also participate in the activities of the Dorking Schools' Partnership and the Diocese of Guildford.
Governors’ Five-Year Plan
In July 2019, governors approved a Five-Year Plan which sets out the governing body’s ambitions and aspirations for the school.
Developed in conjunction with the school’s senior leadership team, this plan considers all areas of school life and provides a framework and focus for the strategic priorities of the school’s annual Development Plan.
The aim of the Five-Year Plan is to deliver on the governors’ and leadership team’s vision for the school – that St Paul’s consistently provides an environment which inspires learning and nurtures wholeness.
If you would like to speak to a governor, please ask the school office and they will arrange for a governor to contact you. Alternatively, you can e-mail the Clerk to the Governors - firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona Ruddock - Chair of Governors
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 6 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 16 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 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.
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.
Alex has been an ex-officio governor on the board of Governors since October 2019 with responsibility for the school’s Christian Distinctiveness and Staff & Pupil wellbeing. He is married with three children.
Alex is Associate Vicar of St Paul's Church and very proud of the strong and positive links the school and church have, learning and supporting each other. He is keen to explore how we can positively support one another.
In his spare time he enjoys walking, family and a new discovery – log chopping.
Hannah has recently joined the governing body as a Foundation Governor, and has a child who has just started in Reception. She has been a committed member of St Paul's Church for a just over a year and a half.
Hannah has a heart to see all children blossom and thrive, and knows the value of a nurturing and caring environment for children to fulfil their potential. She works part time as a primary school teacher, is a qualified Play Therapist and also leads the 0-3's children's group at St Paul's Church.
Hannah has taught nursery through to year 6 and carried out play therapy for children with a variety of different needs.
She is proud of the sense of community at St Paul's School.
Hannah enjoys gardening and crafting in her spare time. She likes camping and trips to the beach.
In his professional life, Ben is a School Improvement Advisor and school governor, working and learning with a number of primary schools in London and in Surrey. He is the former Headteacher of two primary schools in South West London, where his vision was to provide the best educational experiences for all children, equipping them with life-long learning skills ready to face the ever-changing world.
Alongside being on the Governing Body of another local faith primary school, he was appointed to the Governing Body in November 2020 and believes that he has the skill-set and educational knowledge to support and challenge the settings to ensure they continue to provide the highest educational standards and outcomes for the children and their families.
Outside of his professional roles, Ben enjoys spending time with my family and keeping fit through the gym, running and cycling. He is also a member of the local Tennis and Squash Club and is a keen golfer.
Debbie is one of our foundation governors and was formerly a secondary Physics teacher.
Michelle was elected parent as governor in November 2021 following a parent election.
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 6, while the eldest two are active members of 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: this needs great project management, strategic planning, and effective interaction with a wide variety of stakeholders. He actively supports the Chair of Governors in his role as Vice-Chair.
Steve 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.
Steve can be contacted at email@example.com
Alex is a teacher governor and is currently teaching Elm Class, Year 6 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 online-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 dogs early in the morning in all weathers. She is also an ice hockey mum and U18s Team Manager and can often be found at the rink side at 5:30 on a Sunday morning!
Jane was appointed as a governor in October 2020 and is a Local Authority governor appointed by Surrey County Council. Jane has 2 grown up children, both of whom attended St Paul’s school for their primary years. One went on to Roseberry in Epsom and the other to the Ashcombe, before going on to read for degrees at Oxford and London Universities.
Jane has a background in primary education and has taught in 4 Surrey schools, including here at St Paul’s between 1990 and 2000. She has recently retired from her leadership role in a Church of England Infant school in Guildford.
Jane believes that outstanding teachers give children the best chance to be successful learners and achieve the best possible learning outcomes. Ensuring that children leave their primary school with skills for life and learning, fully prepared for their next step, is the ultimate aim for everyone working in education.
When not involved in educational activities, Jane enjoys sailing in the Solent, walking, gardening and being outside in the fresh air!
In her governor role, Jane has particular responsibilities for pupil progress.
Sylvia was nominated as a foundation governor by St Paul’s Church in 2014. She is married to Jeff, who is the Associate Vicar (Retired) 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 eight 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 brings to the governing body her experience in different areas of the world of education, plus the added perspective of a grandmother.