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Ascot Heath CE Junior School

Meet the Governors

The Role of The Governing Body

The role of the Governing Body of Ascot Heath CE Junior School is to enable outstanding levels of education for the children in our school, and an environment in which all children have an opportunity to be at their best and fulfil their potential. We do this by:

  • Setting the school's vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governing Body (GB) provides strategic management, acting as a "critical friend” to support the work of the Headteacher and other staff.  To fulfil the requirements of governance, we meet regularly as a Full Governing Body with two main sub-committees:

  • Resources (Chair - John Leitch)
  • Curriculum and Learning (Chair – Dave Rogers)

Governors also visit the school often to meet with staff, teachers and pupils, to develop their knowledge of the school and to monitor its progress against the School Improvement Plan.  

Although we all fulfil the same key role outlined above, there are different categories of school governor who contribute a range of viewpoints for discussion and decision-making. Parent Governors are usually elected by parents, (although they can be appointed by the GB if no one stands for election); Co-opted Governors are appointed by the GB based on their skills; Foundation Governors are appointed by the Oxford Diocese, and Local Authority governors are appointed through Bracknell Forest Borough Council.  Staff Governors are elected by staff; the Headteacher is an ex-officio member and; Associate Members can be brought in to provide additional expertise and support, but they do not have voting rights at Full Governing Body meetings, although they can be allocated voting rights on committees.

The Governors at Ascot Heath CE Junior School adhere to the National Governors Association Code of Conduct, which can be found at the bottom of the page, alongside the Register of Business Interests and Governor Attendance.

Catherine Bates – Executive Head Teacher, Ex-Officio Governor

Curriculum and Learning Committee, Resources Committee

I have been the Head Teacher at Ascot Heath Infants School for the past 11 years.  I retired in August 2018 and was asked to be Executive Head Teacher at the Junior school, two days a week.  I am also Executive Head Teacher at Ascot Heath Infant School two days a week.  I am working closely with Mr Browne to lead and support the school’s improvement journey towards ‘Good’.  I believe every child should have the best learning opportunities every day at school.  When I am not working I enjoy time spent with my family and reading, holidays, sewing and knitting!

John Leitch – Chair of Governors, LA Governor

Resources Committee (Chair)

Term of office: Sept 2017 - Sept 2021

Hello, my name is John Leitch and I am honoured to have been elected as Chair of the Governing Body. I work for a global engineering company as a project manager. As a Dad to 3 daughters, I have a keen interest in education within our community. I have also been a co-opted Governor at Ascot Heath Infant School for the past 3 years and support the two schools working more closely.

I am conscious that we are in changing times but I am confident that, if all of us involved in our school work together for the best outcomes for the young people in our charge, we will not only navigate through it, we will succeed and transform lives in the process.  I am very proud of all of our students and staff, and I am committed to making them and our community proud of our school and the governing board I am now fortunate enough to be leading.

Sam Browne – Head of School, Associate Member

Curriculum and Learning Committee (with voting rights on committee)

Term of office: Mar 2018 - Mar 2022

I am the Head of School. I am in my eleventh year working at Ascot Heath, and have taught across all year groups during my career. I was the staff governor for eight years and am now an Associate member of the governing body. Having grown up in North Ascot, I am proud of our school, the staff, the community and the children and I am dedicated to offering the best education possible to our children. When I am not working, I spend my time with my wife and two children and (usually) enjoy supporting London Irish RFC, Brentford FC and Surrey CCC.

Emily-Rose Kimber – Staff Governor

Curriculum and Learning Committee

Term of office: Feb 2017 - Feb 2021

Emily-Rose Kimber is a Staff Governor, Year 5 Classroom Teacher and member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team. She has been teaching for six years and is proud to be part of Ascot Heath and its community. She is excited to be part of the Governing body with the chance to work as part of a team; to continue to develop our school to be the best possible learning environment for our future generations.

Father Darrell Hannah - Foundation Governor

Term of office: Mar 2018 – Mar 2022

Father Darrell is the Rector of All Saints' Church.  An American, he is married to Linda, a Swedish national who teaches violin at the Marist schools.  Linda and Darrell have one son, Michael, who is a pupil at Ascot Heath Infant School.  Before becoming Rector of All Saints', Father Darrell had a career in academia and held teaching and/or research posts at the universities of Sheffield, Birmingham and Oxford.  Father Darrell can be found in the school most Thursday mornings when he leads the school in a collective act of worship.

Pam Lakin – Foundation Governor

Curriculum and Learning Committee

Term of office: Feb 2018 – Feb 2022

I serve as Foundation Governor. I have lived in Ascot for over 30 years and have had 3 children attend the school. My background is in Education and my strengths are English, Reading and SEN. I am pleased to have joined the Governing Body and I am committed to supporting the school so that every child can achieve their potential.

Daniel Webb – Co-Opted Governor

Term of office: Oct 2017 – Oct 2021

I became a co-opted governor in October 2017 and have been living in Ascot for the last 8 years.  I have a daughter currently in Year 5 and a son who is in Ascot Heath Infants.  I volunteered to join the Governing body in the expectation of using my professional expertise within education and sport to support the head teacher and fellow governors with the school strategy. Over the past 20 years I have been a PE teacher and Director of Sport, and am now Senior housemaster at Whitgift school. I also work at Saracens rugby academy and oversee the Kent RFU rugby development programme. I believe in the strength of having a strong local community and look forward to help guide a school where our children are safe, challenged and happy.


Richard Jolley – Co-Opted Governor

Term of office: Oct 2018 – Oct 2022

I am now retired from the Engineering sector of industry, having worked at all levels, including holding senior positions in large international companies. My experience includes financial management, procurement, strategy and target setting, HR negotiations and educational programmes. I understand the need to be challenged and motivated whilst ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment to encourage the maximum potential to achieve. My children were educated locally and now our grandchildren and have seen that education methods are in ever-changing times, so we must keep ahead. Being invited to join the board of Governors together with the new challenges ahead is a huge responsibility and working as part of the team I shall endeavour to achieve the required aims and standards for the school and pupils as a whole to give today’s children the best possible start in life’s adventure.


James Shirley – Co-Opted Governor

Term of office: Dec 2018 – Dec 2022

I have been a local resident for the last 15 years, my wife attended both Ascot Heath Infant and Junior School as do both of our children currently. I have over 18 years’ experience of stakeholder management / community engagement as a senior officer within the Metropolitan Police. Examples of my recent leadership roles include management of various departmental budgets, reviewing / implementing new strategies and leading major investigation teams. I am currently in charge of a ‘Homicide’ team in West London and have recent safeguarding experience which includes leading the tri borough multi-agency response to domestic / child protection concerns. I am keen to support education within my local community.

Nikki Reeves – Appointed Parent Governor

Term of Office: Feb 2019 – Feb 2023

I have been a governor at the Infant school since 2013 and currently chair the governing body there.  I'm mum to two girls, one at the Infants and the other at the Juniors. I value the opportunity to support both schools as they amalgamate, and to be part of the team to ensure we continue to offer the best start for all our pupils.

Nicola Down – Co-Opted Governor

Term of Office: Feb 2019 – Feb 2023

I have lived in Ascot for 11 years. I have 4 children, 2 who attended both the Infant and Junior schools. I was the bursar at the Infants for nearly 6 years and wished to continue supporting the school and the children when I left. I therefore took on the position of Local Authority Governor there, where I chair of the Finance and Staffing Committee. I recently joined the Junior governing body to support both schools. I thoroughly enjoy being a governor and hope that my input makes a difference. 

Dave Rogers – Appointed Parent Governor, deputy Child Protection governor

Term of Office: Feb 2019 – Feb 2023

I have been a governor for 7 years at the Infant school and recently joined the Junior school governing body as a parent governor. I live and work in North Ascot. I am passionate about our community and particularly seeing our children flourishing and getting the best start to their education. In my work as a pastor of a local church I am experienced in creating an environment where everyone, mostly volunteers, can be involved and use their skills and abilities to make the biggest difference. I am also on the Leadership team for larger group of churches which involves setting vision and strategy and working through transformation programmes and empowering churches to impact in their towns/cities. It is a privilege to serve as governor at the two schools.

Rhona Stainthorp – Co-Opted Governor

Term of Office: April 2019 – April 2023

I have been a governor at the Infant school since 2015 and have recently joined the Junior school to add my support there.  I work as a professor in the Institute of Education at the University of Reading and have been involved in many national initiatives to improve literacy education. Both my children were educated at local state schools and I have a commitment to ensuring all children receive the best possible education in their local communities.