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Meet our Governors

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.

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.

Ryan McCarthy – Parent Governor



My wife and I have lived in Chalgrove for over 10 years and we feel very much at home in the village.

Our daughter, Niamh joined reception class last September and we have been very pleased with the school and the role that it plays in the local community. I am keen to become more involved with the school and offer whatever support I can. I am an accountant by trade and I am currently a Director at a large multinational food manufacturer where I look after the finances for our snacks manufacturing plants in the Midlands.


I am a STEMNET Ambassador and with some of my colleagues I have been working with schools close to one of our plants in Coventry to make young people aware of the career opportunities in Science, Technology and Maths. This has included mentoring sessions with GCSE and A-Level students and arranging for them visit our plants to see manufacturing in action and the variety of roles available in the Food and Drink industry.

My hobbies include swimming and cycling.




Natasha Watson – Parent Governor


My name is Natasha Watson and I have lived in Chalgrove since February 2016 with my husband, Adam, and my two children, Mason (4) and Nyah (3). Mason is starting in Reception at Chalgrove Primary in September and Nyah will be starting in Nursery at the same time. We live with a two year old black Labrador called Brodie.



I start a new job as Head of English at Abingdon Prep in September. I am really looking forward to my new role and am excited about taking on a new challenge. I was previously Deputy Head of Lower School at The Beacon School in Chesham Bois and have also taught at two state schools. I have been teaching for 16 years and have worked in different school settings throughout my career. I have experience of running teams as well as mentoring two colleagues through their teacher training qualifications. 

I am passionate about education and have  relished the opportunity to become involved as a parent governor. I have good knowledge of the educational sector from the inside and am excited about having the opportunity to work with parents and governors from the outside. Alongside this, I am someone who works well as part of a team, has good communication skills and is able to listen to and take on board other people’s opinions and points of view. I wanted to become more involved in the community and believe that becoming a parent governor was a good way for me to do this. I am looking forward to giving something back to the community and believe being more personally involved with the school is the perfect way to do this.

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.

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


Head teacher Ms Sam Gillion is a staff Governor

About Our Governors

The Governing Body is responsible for making sure that the School provides quality education for the children and that Government regulations are applied.  The Head Teacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the School, but the Governing Body is responsible for setting out the School's aims and policies and, indeed, for appointing the Head Teacher.  It also makes decisions on the School's budget and staffing and ensures that it provides for the needs of all its pupils.

All Governors are appointed to serve a four year term of office.  

On appointment, all Governors attend an introductory training programme provided by the LEA and ongoing training is available throughout their term of office.

The full Governing Body meets at the School at least once each term, as do various Committees to which much of the work is delegated and which have authority to make decisions on behalf of the whole Governing Body.  Committees include those dealing with Staffing, Finance, Curriculum, Buildings Maintenance and Health & Safety and, in addition, there are various panels which meet as needed to deal with specific areas, such as Admissions, Exclusions, Appeals, etc.


Associate Members may be appointed to a specific Committee to provide particular expertise, but are not actually Governors.

It is a Statutory requirement that the Governing Body nominate specific Governors to assume responsibility for monitoring certain areas of School policy, i.e. Literacy, Numeracy, SEN, PSHCE, Child Protection and Diversity/Equality.