Governing Board

 

Chair of Governors Welcome


The Governing Board are a group of volunteers which include parents, school staff and representatives from the community and the church.  We work alongside staff to ensure all our children receive the best opportunities and achieve the highest possible standards in a caring and supportive environment.  We will continue to work hard, listen to views, seek improvements, where they can be made, and make sure that the school is in the best possible position to deal with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Governors 

Richard Bourne has worked in project / programme management in a number of industries for most of his career.  He has a Bachelor of Honours in Engineering Management and also a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Richard started as a Parent Governor when his first son was at Mortimer St. John’s and has been involved in various committees throughout his time. He has been Chair of Governors for a number of years and enjoys working with the other governors and the staff. Outside of work Richard is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time with his family on the water.

Mr Bourne - Chair of Governors

Richard Bourne has worked in project / programme management in a number of industries for most of his career. He has a Bachelor of Honours in Engineering Management and also a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Richard started as a Parent Governor when his first son was at Mortimer St. John’s and has been involved in various committees throughout his time. He has been Chair of Governors for a number of years and enjoys working with the other governors and the staff. Outside of work Richard is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time with his family on the water.
Craig Hassey was originally a Parent Governor at Mortimer St. Mary's and chaired the Mortimer Federation committee that explored forming the new federation of both schools.  He has worked as a commercial manager in a number of large technology companies, most recently VMware, and sees being a governor as an opportunity to give back to the wider community we all live in.  His family has lived in the village since 2006 and he has two sons, one at Mortimer St. Mary's and one at Mortimer St. John's.  Craig has a BSc degree in physics and as a mature student completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course as a career change.

Mr Hassey - Vice Chair of Governors and Foundation Governor

Craig Hassey was originally a Parent Governor at Mortimer St. Mary’s and chaired the Mortimer Federation committee that explored forming the new federation of both schools. He has worked as a commercial manager in a number of large technology companies, most recently VMware, and sees being a governor as an opportunity to give back to the wider community we all live in. His family has lived in the village since 2006 and he has two sons, one at Mortimer St. Mary’s and one at Mortimer St. John’s. Craig has a BSc degree in physics and as a mature student completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course as a career change.
Carol Macdonald started her time on the Governing Board as a Parent Governor and is now the Local Authority Governor. She is on the Personnel and Pay Committee. Carol’s support of Mortimer St. John’s is due to having a passion for the provision of quality teaching for girls and boys in a safe and fun environment, which she believes is ably provided by the teachers and staff at Mortimer St. John’s. She sees her role as that of supporting the school through her background in commerce and operations management.

Mrs Macdonald - Local Authority Governor

Carol Macdonald started her time on the Governing Board as a Parent Governor and is now the Local Authority Governor. She is on the Personnel and Pay Committee. Carol’s support of Mortimer St. John’s is due to having a passion for the provision of quality teaching for girls and boys in a safe and fun environment, which she believes is ably provided by the teachers and staff at Mortimer St. John’s. She sees her role as that of supporting the school through her background in commerce and operations management.
Nicola Sumner worked in academic research for the University of Manchester before pursuing a career in education. She has held several teaching and leadership roles during her career. Nicola has an energy, passion and ambition to ensure that The Mortimer Federation of St. John's and St. Mary's can be the best it can be. Nicola has been involved in school to school support, successfully improving outcomes for children. Nicola has previously taken on the additional responsibility of being a School Improvement Advisor for primary schools in West Berkshire. Nicola has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.

Mrs Sumner - Executive Headteacher

Nicola Sumner worked in academic research for the University of Manchester before pursuing a career in education. She has held several teaching and leadership roles during her career. Nicola has an energy, passion and ambition to ensure that The Mortimer Federation of St. John’s and St. Mary’s can be the best it can be. Nicola has been involved in school to school support, successfully improving outcomes for children. Nicola has previously taken on the additional responsibility of being a School Improvement Advisor for primary schools in West Berkshire. Nicola has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.
Gemma Rook has developed her teaching career at Mortimer St. John’s for over fifteen years, starting off as a Newly Qualified Teacher. Gemma’s passion for the arts is reflected in the external rewards the school has achieved in this area. Gemma is the lead for Special Educational Needs and has developed a wealth of knowledge in this area. Gemma has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with Art and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.

Mrs Rook - Head of School (MSJ) and Co-opted Governor

Gemma Rook has developed her teaching career at Mortimer St. John’s for over fifteen years, starting off as a Newly Qualified Teacher. Gemma’s passion for the arts is reflected in the external rewards the school has achieved in this area. Gemma is the lead for Special Educational Needs and has developed a wealth of knowledge in this area. Gemma has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with Art and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.
John Bull has lived in, or around, Mortimer for over 50 years, managing Dads Shop for many years.  As a long standing governor he has served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and latterly on the Finance Committee.  John is the Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council representative for the school and is involved with several village organisations.

Mr Bull - Foundation Governor

John Bull has lived in, or around, Mortimer for over 50 years, managing Dads Shop for many years. As a long standing governor he has served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and latterly on the Finance Committee. John is the Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council representative for the school and is involved with several village organisations.
Shaonee Hillier holds a Master of Science degree in Statistics and followed a career as a research statistician in the pharmaceutical industry, before deciding to start a family.  She believes that every child should be entitled to the best quality education possible and to achieve this parents need to play an active role in helping it happen. As a parent governor, she hopes to provide the parental perspective for the Governing Board, act as a voice to other parents and equally receive a comprehensive view of the issues and difficulties the Governing Board face.

Mrs Hillier - Foundation Governor

Shaonee Hillier holds a Master of Science degree in Statistics and followed a career as a research statistician in the pharmaceutical industry, before deciding to start a family. She believes that every child should be entitled to the best quality education possible and to achieve this parents need to play an active role in helping it happen. As a parent governor, she hopes to provide the parental perspective for the Governing Board, act as a voice to other parents and equally receive a comprehensive view of the issues and difficulties the Governing Board face.
Father Paul qualified as a senior school teacher and has higher qualifications in educational philosophy and practice. He has been working with governors and teachers in schools for over 35 years. He served for some years on the Board of Education.

Father Paul Chaplin - Foundation Governor

Father Paul qualified as a senior school teacher and has higher qualifications in educational philosophy and practice. He has been working with governors and teachers in schools for over 35 years. He served for some years on the Board of Education.
Joanne Thomas has been a software developer for over 20 years, mainly in financial services.  She has spent a lot of time at small software houses where it is necessary to wear many hats: project management, business analysis, testing, documentation and dealing with customers and suppliers.  Now self-employed part-time from home, she would like to dedicate some time towards ensuring a useful and happy education for local children.  Joanne has a First-Class Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Manufacturing Management.

Mrs Thomas - Foundation Governor

Joanne Thomas has been a software developer for over 20 years, mainly in financial services. She has spent a lot of time at small software houses where it is necessary to wear many hats: project management, business analysis, testing, documentation and dealing with customers and suppliers. Now self-employed part-time from home, she would like to dedicate some time towards ensuring a useful and happy education for local children. Joanne has a First-Class Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Manufacturing Management.
Sarah Theaker feels privileged to be a Foundation Governor and to serve the learning community of The Mortimer Federation of St. John’s and St. Mary’s. Her experience as a class teacher and headteacher in the state sector informs her knowledge of assessment, curriculum, target-setting, safeguarding, collective worship, behaviour management and school improvement planning. Sarah considers that it is important to celebrate the achievements of all learners and to nurture confidence, creativity, courage and compassion. As a Mortimer resident, Sarah worships at St John’s Church and serves on the Parochial Church Council. She enjoys travel, reading, cooking and singing.

Miss Theaker - Foundation Governor

Sarah Theaker feels privileged to be a Foundation Governor and to serve the learning community of The Mortimer Federation of St. John’s and St. Mary’s. Her experience as a class teacher and headteacher in the state sector informs her knowledge of assessment, curriculum, target-setting, safeguarding, collective worship, behaviour management and school improvement planning. Sarah considers that it is important to celebrate the achievements of all learners and to nurture confidence, creativity, courage and compassion. As a Mortimer resident, Sarah worships at St John’s Church and serves on the Parochial Church Council. She enjoys travel, reading, cooking and singing.
Hakan Onur holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science and has been in the IT industry for over 20 years. Currently he works for Microsoft, heads up a team of over 10 Technical Cloud Architects and is focused on training and readiness of around 50 people. Hakan has great ambitions for education and is very excited to be on the Governing Board. Outside of work, he enjoys gardening, DIY and developing home automation projects.

Mr Onur - Co-opted Governor

Hakan Onur holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science and has been in the IT industry for over 20 years. Currently he works for Microsoft, heads up a team of over 10 Technical Cloud Architects and is focused on training and readiness of around 50 people. Hakan has great ambitions for education and is very excited to be on the Governing Board. Outside of work, he enjoys gardening, DIY and developing home automation projects.
Lady Emma Arbuthnot is a mother of four adult children and also a foster child.  She is Chairman and Deputy Chairman of two youth clubs and an ex-primary School Governor in London. She is an ex-barrister and now The Senior District Judge and Chief Magistrate of England and Wales. She leads 300 full time and deputy district judges in the magistrates’ courts. She is also the Crown Court and Family Court Recorder and a specialist in extradition, family law and certain criminal and licensing cases.

Lady Arbuthnot - Foundation Governor

Lady Emma Arbuthnot is a mother of four adult children and also a foster child. She is Chairman and Deputy Chairman of two youth clubs and an ex-primary School Governor in London. She is an ex-barrister and now The Senior District Judge and Chief Magistrate of England and Wales. She leads 300 full time and deputy district judges in the magistrates’ courts. She is also the Crown Court and Family Court Recorder and a specialist in extradition, family law and certain criminal and licensing cases.
Marjorie McClure is a former librarian. She has many years of experience as a school governor. She worships regularly at St. John's Church and is a member of the Parochial Church Council.

Mrs McClure - Co-opted Governor

Marjorie McClure is a former librarian. She has many years of experience as a school governor. She worships regularly at St. John’s Church and is a member of the Parochial Church Council.
Suzanne Tushingham became a Parent Governor at Mortimer St. Marys in October 2017 and was an active member of the Committee exploring the Mortimer Federation. She is on the Pay and Personnel Committee and also has the link roles for both SENCO and Governor Development.  Suzanne has an BSc in Managerial  and Administrative Studies and a Post-Graduate Diploma in HR. She has worked for Mars Inc for 19 years in a variety of HR roles across different business segments. She passionately believes that every child deserves a good education and she enjoys the governor role as a way to make a meaningful difference. In her leisure time Suzanne enjoys running and spending time with family and friends.

Mrs Tushingham - Parent Governor

Suzanne Tushingham became a Parent Governor at Mortimer St. Marys in October 2017 and was an active member of the Committee exploring the Mortimer Federation. She is on the Pay and Personnel Committee and also has the link roles for both SENCO and Governor Development. Suzanne has an BSc in Managerial and Administrative Studies and a Post-Graduate Diploma in HR. She has worked for Mars Inc for 19 years in a variety of HR roles across different business segments. She passionately believes that every child deserves a good education and she enjoys the governor role as a way to make a meaningful difference. In her leisure time Suzanne enjoys running and spending time with family and friends.
Jeni Pearson is an experienced teacher and school leader and has taught in a number of different school settings, including rural and village schools.  She also taught in Enfield, London, for a number of years. Over the years, she has taught children of a variety of age ranges and led a number of different subjects, including maths, English and ICT. Jeni enjoys working with people from all areas of the school community to provide the best possible education and experiences for the pupils and is passionate for the Mortimer Schools to be the best they can be. She has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in English Literature and a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education with English Specialism from the University of Exeter.

Miss Pearson - Head of School (MSM) and Staff Governor

Jeni Pearson is an experienced teacher and school leader and has taught in a number of different school settings, including rural and village schools. She also taught in Enfield, London, for a number of years. Over the years, she has taught children of a variety of age ranges and led a number of different subjects, including maths, English and ICT. Jeni enjoys working with people from all areas of the school community to provide the best possible education and experiences for the pupils and is passionate for the Mortimer Schools to be the best they can be. She has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in English Literature and a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education with English Specialism from the University of Exeter.
Mel Strang is married to a local farmer and has lived in the village for over 35 years. She established the Mortimer Dental Surgery in 1987 but has now retired from Clinical Dentistry and is keen to focus her energy into the local schools, whose many children she had the pleasure to treat over the years.

Mrs Strang - Foundation Governor

Mel Strang is married to a local farmer and has lived in the village for over 35 years. She established the Mortimer Dental Surgery in 1987 but has now retired from Clinical Dentistry and is keen to focus her energy into the local schools, whose many children she had the pleasure to treat over the years.
Geoff Batchelar holds a BA degree in Business Studies. Most of his career was with Mars Inc, working in manufacturing, marketing and sales; his final role was as European Sales Director. Subsequently he undertook NED roles and was CEO of Claritas International - a company that specialised in strategy development and leadership mentoring. Outside of work he loves challenging walks and watching rugby and ballet. Previously, he served on the Governing Board of Daneshill School in Stratfield Turgis. His passion for education comes from being inspired by one teacher, an experience that clearly demonstrated the importance and power of outstanding teachers.

Mr Batchelar - Foundation Governor

Geoff Batchelar holds a BA degree in Business Studies. Most of his career was with Mars Inc, working in manufacturing, marketing and sales; his final role was as European Sales Director. Subsequently he undertook NED roles and was CEO of Claritas International – a company that specialised in strategy development and leadership mentoring. Outside of work he loves challenging walks and watching rugby and ballet. Previously, he served on the Governing Board of Daneshill School in Stratfield Turgis. His passion for education comes from being inspired by one teacher, an experience that clearly demonstrated the importance and power of outstanding teachers.
Victoria Grant has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years and holds a Master's in Physics, is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser and, more recently, completed a second Master’s degree in Applied Taxation. As part of her role, she manages large advisory projects, is involved in a number of committees and is a champion for ethical practices.  Victoria has two daughters, is passionate about the importance of education and feels very lucky to have the chance to contribute to the community in a positive way.

Mrs Grant - Parent Governor

Victoria Grant has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years and holds a Master’s in Physics, is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser and, more recently, completed a second Master’s degree in Applied Taxation. As part of her role, she manages large advisory projects, is involved in a number of committees and is a champion for ethical practices. Victoria has two daughters, is passionate about the importance of education and feels very lucky to have the chance to contribute to the community in a positive way.
Helen Burt has lived in the village for over 30 years and took an active role in supporting the school when her eldest daughter attended. Helen has a Bachelor of Science degree from Sheffield University; she carried out her teacher training with the West Berkshire Graduate Teacher Programme. She has taught in Key Stage 2 for 12 years and has held a range of teaching and leadership roles. Having retired from teaching in 2017 Helen wanted to ensure that she maintained a link to schools and took on the role of clerk at the school, as well as volunteering on school trips and providing support as a supply teacher.

Mrs Burt - Clerk to Governors

Helen Burt has lived in the village for over 30 years and took an active role in supporting the school when her eldest daughter attended. Helen has a Bachelor of Science degree from Sheffield University; she carried out her teacher training with the West Berkshire Graduate Teacher Programme. She has taught in Key Stage 2 for 12 years and has held a range of teaching and leadership roles. Having retired from teaching in 2017 Helen wanted to ensure that she maintained a link to schools and took on the role of clerk at the school, as well as volunteering on school trips and providing support as a supply teacher.

Our
Testimonials

  • Mortimer St Mary’s is a well-run school that is true to its ethos. There is a genuine feeling of community and joy around the school that creates a fun, friendly place for the children to develop into well rounded, happy and capable young people. Our unique learning journey has been enhanced at both ends of the spectrum with Senco support to accommodate weakness and tailored academic challenges to enhance learning strengths.

    Teacher
  • St Mary’s school has fantastic, dedicated teaching staff. They have worked with us extensively to support the well-being and progress of our child with SEN

    Parent
  • Mortimer St Mary’s is an inclusive, happy and productive environment that brings out the best in its pupils. The teachers take the time to get to know, understand and support the children.  Along with the many opportunities on offer, from music to theatre productions to sporting activities, the school creates a rich and safe learning environment for all of its children. 

    Parent
  • Mortimer St. Mary’s Junior School provides a nurturing environment, welcoming pupils from Year 3 onwards and developing them academically, emotionally and socially so that they are ready to progress to the next stage of their education after Year 6. The school tailors its approach as far as possible to the individual student so that pupils’ different needs are recognised and accommodated. There is a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for pupils to be involved with from language, music and sport to magic and science clubs. Teachers and the senior leadership team are approachable and always willing to engage with parents and carers to ensure that each child reaches his or her potential.

    Parent