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Governors

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 click here to refer to The Propeller Academy Trust financial statements:

Julie Mabberley - Chair of Governors

Julie is a semi-retired management consultant who specialises in Performance Management. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and after working in industry for many years, became a Management Consultant for Price Waterhouse working for many prestigious companies around the world for 16 years until she set up her own consulting practice in 2002. She has been Chairman of our Local Governing Board at Fitzwaryn School since June 2017. 

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.

Jeanne Lapsley – Governor 

I became a governor at Fitzwaryn when my son attended the school. I have significant experience of Education as in my professional career I worked as a senior education manager in 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 am currently a member of the Oxfordshire Schools Funding Forum and am Safeguarding Governor at Fitzwaryn. I have been a governor in schools for more than 20 years

Alan McPherson - Governor

I have lived in Wantage since 1993 and my family also live locally. I am retired from full-time employment, having over 40 years international HR experience primarily in energy companies. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. I enjoy gardening, have an allotment, and organise the allotment association.
I have been a school governor since January 2016 and have found it to be a rewarding experience. There is always more to do and more to learn. I enjoy the intellectual challenge, the engagement with other governors and school professionals, the opportunity for personal development, and the knowledge that I am helping make a difference to the life chances of young people. I encourage everyone to consider becoming a school governor.

David Shaw - Governor

It was 1978 when I first arrived in Wantage to start work as a Scientific Research Officer at Grove Laboratories. Work at the laboratories set me on course for a career as a chartered engineer.  It is also where I met my wife. Since finishing full-time work I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work as a volunteer with the students in the Student Centre at Fitzwaryn School.  Over the past four years I’ve had the pleasure of sharing students’ successes as they have dealt with life’s challenges.
I'm looking forward to becoming more involved in the school as a governor. 

Cathy Brown - Parent Governor

My family moved to Wantage in 1975 from London.  My parents still live in Wantage, and I now live with my husband and son in Marcham.  My son started at Fitzwaryn school when he just turned 4 years old – he is now 12.  I have had the pleasure of being a Parent Governor at Fitzwaryn before and am very happy to return to see what progress has been made since I was last on the Board.  I have worked for the Government for over 30 years within the Science Research sector. I am currently a Business Process and Special Projects Manager which covers aspects of financial budgeting, forecasting and long term planning, alongside Governance, Business Continuity and Risk Management so hope to be able to put my skills to good use supporting the school in my new role as Parent Governor.

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. 

Wayne Tica - Community Governor

Originally from North Warwickshire, I now live with my wife and two boys in the nearby village of Harwell. Our eldest son attends Fitzwaryn School. I’m a Community Governor for Fitzwaryn, I act as the Careers Governor, and I’m linked with The Student Centre.  
I own a Building Engineering Services company based in Buckinghamshire, and act as a Non-Executive Director for a Telecoms Infrastructure Design company based in Portsmouth. I occasionally work as a consultant with small business owners to help improve profitability or prepare them for sale.

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.