Chalgrove Community Primary School

Working Together for Excellence

Who's Who

 Find out more about who is on the board of governors.

Andrew Irvine - Chair of Governors



My wife, Clare, and I have lived in the village since 2015, and have two children that will go through the school. One is five and currently in Reception, and the other is two.

I come from a teaching family; my father was an English teacher and deputy head at a secondary school in the west of Scotland, and my mother was physics teacher. As for myself, I am an aerospace engineer but in my career have worked in several roles encompassing engineering, project management, contract management, and most recently procurement.


Chalgrove Primary has seen great improvements over recent years, and it is my sincere hope that I can make a valuable contribution to helping this trend continue. I look forward to working with all of the staff and the Governors to ensure the School continues to offer the highest standards of education, and that the school remains central to the heart of the community.


Virginie Higginbotham – Vice Chair


I am an environmental scientist working in water resources. I have lived in Chalgrove for over 10 years. I have two children at the school, who are currently in Year 5 and Year 3. Both my children really enjoy going to school for both the academic and the social experience of learning.

I want the school to continue to thrive and thus give the pupils the education they currently receive as well as help improve it where required.

As a mother of three and member of the community I believe it is important to acknowledge and support the quality of the services we hold within the village.


I was a committee member of the Pavillion Pre-School committee for 4 years, I held roles such as fundraiser and secretary which may benefit the committee. This previous experience showed me how important it is to support the school staff in order to effectively run a school and create a successful learning environment. I also believe  that part of the role of a parent governor is to represent parents and relay their opinions to the rest of the governing body and the senior management team.

Alastair Read –  Chair of the Premises and Resources  Committee


I've lived in Chalgrove for 10 years with my wife Kirsty. Our son Alex is 7 and currently enjoying being part of Year 3.


For the last 8 years I have been working for Oxfordshire County Council in their ICT department in a variety of different roles. I am currently a Programme Manager. Prior to moving to Chalgrove, I spent several years living in London - initially as a student and then working for both IBM and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.


I wanted to become a parent governor because Chalgrove Community Primary School will be such a major part of our lives while our son is a student there and I'm really keen to be involved with the schools ambitious plans for the future. I'm looking forward to working with parents and everybody connected to the school to ensure that it continues to be a great, fun place for children to learn, grow and develop.

Judith Bennett O.B.E. – Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee/Safeguarding Governor


I came to teach in Oxfordshire in 1972 and moved to Chalgrove in 1980. I have been a Governor at the school since 1993, having been a secondary school governor during my teaching career.


Becoming a governor at Chalgrove coincided with leaving teaching and gave me the opportunity to remain involved in education, which had been my professional life for 25 years. It gave me the means to continue to make a contribution. It also led me to work with the Oxfordshire Governors’ Association and the National Governors’ Association. My time as Chair of the NGA gave me the chance to learn about governing bodies across the country, their shared concerns and their shared fulfilment in the role.


Over the years, I have been involved in the appointment of three Headteachers, and I led the governing body through a successful Ofsted in 2003.


Being a governor is one of the most challenging but also most worthwhile roles any volunteer can perform. It is an immense privilege to play a part in the education of future generations. I feel a real delight in Chalgrove School and its children. Watching it flourish has been a source of pleasure and pride.

Jenny Clark – Chair of Finance and Personnel Committee


Currently working as Financial Controller, responsible for the financial reporting and consolidation, continuous improvement and sharing best practice in all areas of our business.
I have spent over 30 years working in large organisations managing financial control, processes, change management and corporate governance.

I joined the FGB in July 2015 with the aim to help support and challenge the plans that the school has in place to grow and develop over the next few years and also wish to contribute more to my local community.

I believe in the importance of the availability of life-long learning and its positive value and impact on people’s lives.Outside of work, I am key member of our Britwell Cricket Club and enjoy the social element that this provides.

Kashinath Basu – Parent Governor


I live in Chalgrove with my wife Nam and son Krishiv. This year my son has joined the Reception class of the school.


I work as an academic at the University teaching Computer Science. I have keen interest in teaching and learning issues, academic management and liaison between academia and industry. I work closely with the senior management team of the school and the governing body to support and complement the good work being done by them.


Oxfordshire being the heart of education and research in the country, I would like to see the school build strong links with educational bodies across the county and continue to build on its strength to facilitate a high standard of schooling experience to support every child’s aspiration and developmental needs.

Melanie Francis – Parent Governor


My name is Melanie Francis and I am the Mum of Toby in year 5.  I have worked in Human Resources for over 20 years, and I am the HR Director of Said Business School, University of Oxford. 

A key part of my role is ensuring that all staff are motivated, engaged and performing. 



As a member of the school's Finance & Personnel Committee, I am able to use my skills to help the school to continue to provide an engaging and motivating environment for all staff and students.  As a governing body, we all bring skills and experience that are complimentary to each other and we make a good team.

Kelly Potter – Co-Opted Governor


I have lived in the village for over 20 years. I worked in IT for Unisys as a Business Analyst working all over the UK and Europe on Client projects. For the past 10 years I have been very actively involved in volunteer work in the community.


After working on the Village Plan and hearing what the youth of Chalgrove had to say, I got involved with the Chalgrove Youth Club. Since then, I joined the Management committee of the Youth Club, I manage the volunteers,as well as being a weekly volunteer.I also helped mentor a group of Youths to successfully double the size of the village skatepark. This project was completely Youth led, presenting to the Parish Council to get approval, selecting a vendor, choosing the layout and managing the implementation process.

It's a privilege to be part of Chalgrove Community Primary school. It is such welcoming environment that is a fun and safe place to learn, helping children to reach their full potential.


Jo Jones – Co-Opted Governor


Jo JonesHi, my name is Jo Jones. I live in Didcot with my husband Matthew and out three rescue cats Angus, Socrates (Socks) and Plato (Toes).  I qualified as a primary teacher from Westminster College, Oxford, in 1999 and taught at Wheatley Primary School for three years before moving to Northern House School in September 2002, where I moved from class teacher, SENCO, and Deputy Headteacher before being appointed as the Headteacher in January 2014.   Northern House School is a special day school for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH); it has been graded as outstanding by Ofsted for it last four inspections, the most recent in March 2016 under my leadership.  I currently work for Oxfordshire’s Vulnerable Learners team and am the Service Manager for SENSS (Special Educational Needs Support Service).  This is a real change of direction, but is born out my desire to improve outcomes for families and children with SEND. 

In my spare time I am an avid reader and enjoying participating in a range of arts and crafts, I am a member of the Beadworker’s Guild and enjoy making jewellery.


I have been a governor at Northern House School for at least the last ten years and was a member of the Oxfordshire Governors’ Association Executive Committee for a period of time.  I wish to continue as a governor as I believe that this is a crucial role and feel that I have a wide variety of skills and experience to bring to the Governing Body.  I also do not want to lose touch with what life is like at the chalk face in a school: continuing in school governance will provide me with this opportunity. The key skills that I could bring to the Governing Body include knowledge relating to special educational needs and disability, pupil behaviour and safety, school leadership and safeguarding.


I am passionate about raising the outcomes for all pupils and believe that schools play a vital part in contributing to the development of the whole child.  I am hardworking and committed to offering my skills and knowledge to Chalgrove Community Primary School.

David Turner – Local Authority Governor


I have lived in Chalgrove for 33 years. I am a former Chairman of the Chalgrove Primary School Governing body and have been a member of it since 1981. I have been a member of Chalgrove Parish Council since 1981. I have been married to Kathy for forty three years and our two sons Karl & Jonathan both went to Chalgrove Primary School.


A few years ago, as a County Councillor, I visited schools in Oxfordshire with similar catchment areas to each other with some doing very well and others not so well. The schools which were doing very well had enthusiastic and inspirational leaders, coupled to a governing body who were acting as a real, but critical friend and a head teacher who welcomed that critical friend’s support. I believe we have now established that formula at Chalgrove school and I look forward to our school going from strength to strength.

Matthew Gaskin – Parent Governor.



I moved to Chalgrove from Watlington to start my family and have lived in the village since 2001. Both my two daughters attended Chalgrove school, but have now moved on to Icknield. My career began as a secondary school teacher, back in the '90s, then teaching adults how to use computer software, before moving on to IT training and consultancy. I am now employed at the University of Oxford's I.T. Department.


I am enormously proud of our village, our school and our community's spirit. I hope that my experience and skills continue to prove valuable to the school and I am delighted to be a small part of ensuring that the school continues to improve and impress. 

Mrs Sue O'Donnell is a staff Governor; Sue is a TA in Year 2


Head teacher Julie Quarrell is a staff Governor