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 eight 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 email@example.com.
Fiona Ruddock - Chair of Governors
Fiona was appointed a governor in 2017 and is a foundation governor, appointed by the Diocese.
Fiona has two children, both of whom attended St Paul’s in the past. 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. In her free time, Fiona enjoys learning Spanish, wildlife photography, 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 two children at St Paul's. She has been a committed member of St Paul's Church for a number of years.
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.
Michelle was elected parent governor in November 2021 following a parent election. She two children at St Paul’s.
Michelle has worked within education for 18 years and has previously held an Assistant Principal position with responsibility for Inclusion, Attendance and Behaviour at a large London Academy. She now teaches part-time at a Surrey secondary school whilst also working as a consultant for schools across the country to improve their attendance procedures.
Michelle enjoys all things dance and theatre related in her spare time, spending time with friends and family and she has also recently joined the ‘Dorking Mayhem’ Ladies Football Team in an attempt to learn new skills.
Alex is a teacher governor and is currently teaching Elm Class, Year 6 at St Paul's, she is also KS2 Phase Leader. 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 and is the IT Infrastructure Co-Ordinator. She has a particular interest in encompassing technology and the outside classroom into the everyday learning environment.
With four children of her own and three grandchildren, Alex doesn't have much time for hobbies but enjoys swimming, gardening and watching equestrian sports, and can be found walking her dogs early in the morning in all weathers.
Jane was appointed as a governor in October 2020 and is a Local Authority governor appointed by Surrey County Council. Jane is also the Vice-Chair of Governors. 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 responsibility for pupil progress.
Will became a parent governor in May 2023. He has one daughter at the school and his youngest daughter is at St Paul’s Nursery.
In his spare time, he and his family enjoy going to watch Dorking Wanderers.
Will also runs a youth team for Dorking Wanderers, is a keen golfer and still enjoys playing video games.
This is Will’s first experience in school governance but he has nearly 20 years’ experience in the city with a career in data governance.
Will loves to see children thrive and follow their passions.
Sam is a Foundation Governor and a member of the congregation of St Paul's Church.
Sam is a civil servant, currently working in HM Treasury where he advises the government on economic policy. He previously completed a PhD in political economy, during which he taught a course on international politics to undergraduates.
Sam loves intellectual curiosity, and wants to see the best possible education for every child. Sam has recently moved to Dorking, although he knows the area well, having grown up in nearby Reigate. He enjoys walking in the Surrey Hills, cooking and spending time with his young family.