The governor’s role is to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school, by monitoring the activities of the school to ensure that the children receive the best possible education in a safe and stimulating learning environment.
We are fortunate to have so many active and committed governors, many of whom have been connected to the school for many years. As you can see, the governors come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring a diverse range of talents and experience to the school and we rely on these skills to ensure that the governors fulfil their function. We are also very fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented staff of teachers and teaching assistants and the governors work in close partnership with the staff. If you have any questions, queries or comments about the work of the governors please do not hesitate to get in touch. We very much value feedback from parents about their experience and views of the school.
If you would like more details regarding appointments and resignations of governors, please refer to The Propeller Academy Trust website, financial statement:
Julie Mabberley - Chair of Governors
I am a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a Management Consultant specialising in performance improvement in Banking. I have been in Wantage since 2011 and found it a great place to live, with everyone friendly and helpful. I am Campaign Manager for the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group and write a column about infrastructure issues in OX12 for the weekly local paper. I have a strong sense of justice and my interests include history, architecture, gardening, music and art.
Barry Reynolds - Governor
I have lived in Wantage all my life and went to local schools. I retired 4 years ago after working at Harwell for 41 years, mostly in Nuclear Operations. During this period I managed my own team, as well as contract staff in various disciplines. I have always enjoyed encouraging people to achieve their full potential and overseeing projects to their completion. My interests include gardening, walking and cycling, appreciation of nature and exploring areas of the UK.
Andrew Smith - Governor
Married with twin daughters that attend Millbrook School in Grove. I have lived in Grove since 2011. I have been a store manager for a well known supermarket for over ten years and have recently undertaken a Masters degree in human resources as I believe continued education is really important. My Brother and Sister both have Special Educational Needs and being able to provide a great learning experience for children of all abilities is close to my heart.
Jeanne Lapsley – Parent Governor
My son has attended Fitzwaryn since the age of 11 and I have, until recently, worked as a senior manager in Education within a Local Authority with responsibility for Governance in schools, School Contracts, professional Staff Training, Headteacher Support, Parent Partnership Service, Equalities, Complaint resolution among other areas of responsibility. I have been a school governor for over 12 years, and have also been a member of an IEB moving a school from special measures to good within a year. I have considerable knowledge of school funding, staffing and curriculum. I have been a governor at Fitzwaryn for three years and Chair the Curriculum Committee.
Matt Heyworth - Parent Governor
I am a Parent Governor of Fitzwarn School. My wife and I live close to the school in the town of Faringdon. We have three children and our eldest child attends Fitzwaryn School.
I am a Solicitor and a Partner in a large law firm, which has offices in London, Reading, Southampton and Cambridge. I specialise in Matrimonial and Family Law and therefore have extensive experience in legal issues concerning children and the breakdown of relationships. In my spare time (which with three children there is none) I enjoy watching rugby and occasionally playing golf very badly.
Elisabeth Green – Community Governor
I have been a governor of Fitzwaryn School since September 2014. My family and I moved to Grove in 1978 when my late husband started teaching at Icknield School (now King Alfred’s East Site). My son and daughter both attended local schools. Until my retirement in 2012 I worked at Abingdon and Witney College in Student Services as an adviser giving information, advice and guidance to adults on courses, careers, next steps and sources of financial help. I have been a parish councillor in Grove since September 2013 and sit on the Environmental Services and Leisure and Recreation Committees. I volunteer at the Cornerstone Cafe in Grove and belong to the Grove handicrafts group.
Marion Evans – Governor
I am married with one daughter and we now live in Abingdon. My career started with teaching in London secondary schools and developed into a series of management roles in public services. In recent years I have worked for Oxfordshire County Council as Early Years Development Manager and subsequently for the NHS as a Business and Development Lead in local community mental health services. In retirement I continue to be involved with children through promoting healthy outdoor activities and participating in museum-based discovery and crafts events. I have previously been a school governor of Bampton C.E. Primary School and of Edith Neville Primary School (London).
Alan Bennett – Grandparent Governor
Blackpool born and bred. My first job was at Premium Bonds where I spent 13 years without a Bonds win!
I then joined the Atomic Energy Constabulary and worked at most nuclear sites including Sellafield, Winfrith and finally came to Harwell in 1990 as Chief Inspector in charge of site security policing. In 1995 I moved to Police Head Quarters at Culham and retired from there in 1999.
My wife and I then bought a villa in Spain where we had an amazing time. On our return to UK in 2010 we moved to Didcot where we spend a lot of time with our growing family.
I am a Grandparent Governor and have a Grandson at Fitzwaryn School. I am a people person and want to give good support to the school.
Rachel Wenham - Staff Representative
I am the class teacher in Cedar Class a Year 3-5 class. I am also the owner of Betsy, a certified ‘Dogs Helping Kids’ school dog who works in school a few days each week. Together we work with children across the school supporting them with their communication, encouraging social interactions, teaching them how to be keep safe around dogs and helping children who are nervous of dogs begin to overcome this. Prior to training to be a teacher I worked as a TA in a village primary school, and with adults with learning disabilities in both day and residential settings.
Jane Pierce - Staff Representative
I have worked at Fitzwaryn since March 2009. During my time in the school, I have had the opportunity to work with pupils from EYFS to Year 11. My current role is that of a HLTA and, as part of that, I lead in various classes during the week. I am a Team Teach instructor. This involves leading Behaviour Management training across the Trust.