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Willesborough Junior School

'Learning today for life tomorrow'


Welcome to our Governors' section. 

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


The Role of the School's Governing Body

Governors have considerable responsibilities. Governors don’t exercise them
as individuals but work as part of a governing body – a corporate team.
They do not manage schools – this is the role of the headteacher and senior
management team, but they do oversee the development of the school – their
main aim being to always provide a high standard of education for all pupils,
of all abilities.


The governing body has three main roles:-



Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction - The governing body sets the general direction of the school, looking at how it should best develop. This is done by reviewing and agreeing policies, targets and priorities and monitoring and reviewing aims and objectives. Strategic thinking is not always linked with the curriculum and it does not mean just responding to weakness.


 Critical Friend

A governing body should work with the headteacher and create a clear
understanding of the challenges faced in managing a school. The governing body should feel able to question and challenge. In a good working relationship this will be accepted and seen to be positive. In a poor relationship it will be the cause of conflict. Real critical friendship is only achieved where there is trust and mutual respect.



A school is a business and its stakeholders are the learners. The governing body must have a professional attitude and use its collective skills to benefit the learners. It must gather views, ask questions and decide what is best for the school. The governing body holds the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and for the performance management of staff.  They also oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.  The governing body is answerable to parents and the wider community.


The Chair and the Clerk to the governors can be contacted through the school office.

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Steve Rippin, Chair of Governors

Steve Norman, Vice Chair of Governors

Partnership Governor

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by Full Governing Body

Appointed by Full Governing Body

20/05/2015 to 19/05/2019

07/07/2015 to 06/07/2019

Resources Team

Teaching & Learning Team (Chair)

Attended 6/7 meetings in 2016/17

Attended 6/7 meetings in 2016/17

Steve Rippin is married to Mrs Rippin, a teaching assistant within the school.

Steve Norman is married to Mrs Norman, a teaching assistant within the school.

I have been a partnership governor at Willesborough Junior School since May 2015, having previously served on the governing body as a community governor, and of one other school (Willesborough Infants). I am currently Chair and chair of the Personnel Team. My background is in Human Resources within central government - HM Courts and Tribunal Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (employing circa 17,000 staff across England, Wales and Scotland). I am currently Senior HR Business Partner covering the London Region which employs circa 4000 staff.

I have lived in Willesborough for 15 years having relocated from London. I am married to Melissa who is employed as an HLTA at the school. We have 3 children: Emily (currently at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge); Alex (currently at Plymouth University); and Rebecca (currently in her GCSE year at the North School). All 3 children attended Willesborough Junior School before moving on to their secondary schools.

In addition to my role as Chair, I am the chair of the Personnel Team on the governing body. This enables me to utilise my HR experience to both challenge and support the Headteacher and her staff in the development of the long term vision for the school as well as providing an insight into the people elements driving day to day delivery. More broadly, my role as Chair has enabled me to broaden my knowledge of education including understanding and interpreting the school's data and how teaching is delivered to the children of the local community.

I am passionate about education and a firm believer that, when delivered with enthusiasm and skill, it provides children with the best start in life and opportunities for success.




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Fran Rusbridge, Headteacher Sylvie Bingham
Interim Executive Headteacher Co-Opted Governor
Ex officio Appointed by Full Governing Body
01/05/2017 - Ongoing 20/05/2015 to 19/05/2019

Teaching & Learning Team
Resources Team

Teaching & Learning Team

Attended 2/2 meetings in 2016/17 Attended 7/7 meetings in 2016/17 
  Sylvie Bingham is a Cover Supervisor in the school.


I am a Co-Opted Governor, responsible for SEN, and have served on the Governing Body for the past four years. I have worked at Willesborough Junior School for sixteen years, originally as a Teaching Assistant, but for nine years now I have been a Cover Supervisor across two year groups.

I have been married to Martin for 27 years, we live in Ashford and have 2 grown up children; a son of 22 who is studying for a PHD in Chemistry, and a daughter of 21, who is studying Drama at university. I am currently studying for a degree in Psychology with the Open University.

My work in school means that I keep up with changes in education and I work daily with the children. This helps me fulfil my role as Governor effectively as I can make observations throughout my working day.

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Rev. John McKenzie Vacancy
LA Governor

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by Kent County Council

Appointed by Full Governing Body

20/05/2015 to 19/05/2019


Resources Team


Attended 6/7 meetings in 2016/17  
Also a governor of Willesborough Infant School and East Stour Primary


John Mackenzie is a Local Authority Governor. He has been a Governor at the school for 9 years, occupying a number of roles including vice chair, resources and partnership governor.
John has a special interest in how the school relates to our local community.
John's interests include sport, film and dancing.



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Neal McDonnell Jeanette Meyers
Co-Opted Governor Partnership Governor
Appointed by Full Governing Body Appointed by Full Governing Body
20/09/2016 to 19/09/2020 20/09/2016 to 19/09/2020

Resources Team (Chair)

Teaching & Learning Team

Attended 5/7 meetings in 2016/17  Attended 6/7 meetings in 2016/17

I have been a Parent governor at Willesborough Junior School for 3 years.

I am currently a Senior Risk manager in the financial services industry, working in a product department. I am responsible for ensuring that for our products we meet the various regulatory requirements, and that we understand and mitigate the risks.

I have two children, both went to Willesborough Junior School before moving onto secondary schools.

I am pleased that, as a governor, I can make use of my work experience and serve on the various teams where those skills are required. However, I try to keep informed about education so that I can fulfil my wider role more effectively.  

I have just been confirmed as a partnership governor at Willesborough School for the next four years. I have never previously served on a governing body, but have been actively involved in the Parent Teacher Associations of two other schools, working alongside members of the governing bodies there.

My background is in the Civil Service and education. I have worked for HM Revenue and Customs, and in Kent secondary and primary schools for 30 years prior to early retirement for family reasons. I am currently a Time2Give volunteer at Ashford library, working with adult speakers of other languages and am also part of the editorial team for a Heritage Lottery funded e-zine for visually impaired and sighted people, undertaken by the RNIB.

I have lived in Ashford for 50 years, apart from university and Civil service postings, and am a former pupil of Willesborough Junior School in the dim and distant past.

I am pleased that, as a governor, I can make use of my experience in education and serve on the various teams where those skills are required I also aim to keep informed about ongoing changes in education so that I can fulfil my wider role more effectively. I am proud to serve the school community at Willesborough, its excellent staff and lovely pupils

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Neil Wickens Vacancy
Parent Governor Parent Governor
Appointed by Parent Elections Appointed by Parent Elections
19/01/2016 to 18/01/2020  

Resources Team

Teaching & Learning Team


Attended 6/7 meetings in 2016/17   
Also a governor of the North School, Ashford  

I have been a Parent Governor since January 2016. I’m a member of the Finance Team and also Training Governor with responsibility for ensuring all Governors possess the skills and knowledge to effectively support the Governing Body in discharging its functions.

For the last 16 years I have worked in the public sector, specifically within policing and criminal justice. I have significant experience in performance management, audit/compliance and the development of organisational strategy.

My current role includes managing governance and scrutiny arrangements, building relationships with partners and delivering specific projects to support organisational objectives. In particular I am the lead officer for work to improve services to those in mental health crisis and I also manage engagement with young people across the county.

I am married with two children – my daughter is in Yr5 at Willesborough Junior School and my son is in Yr7 at the North School.

I am keen to use my experience and knowledge to positively shape and influence the education local children receive. I am committed to both supporting and challenging the head teacher and will work tirelessly with my fellow Governors to ensure the school provides the best learning environment for current and future pupils.


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Kerry Percival-Smith Georgie Barrett
Clerk to the Governors Staff Governor 
Appointed by Full Governing Body Appointed by Staff Elections 
  12/2017 to 12/2021
  Teaching and Learning Team

Kerry Percival Smith has been a KCC service clerk for 18 months working in 4 School across the county. Kerry has been working in the national clerks development program and has been supporting other schools.

Kerry has 2 primary school age children and has a keen educational interest.

Kerry also enjoys sailing, canoeing & cycling.

I am proud to have been a member of the Willesborough Junior School team since 2015 as a class teacher and leader of PSHE. Becoming a member of the governing body has added a new dimension to my role in the school and created opportunities for me to make a difference. With my teaching experience and knowledge of the school, I believe I can provide a link and represent the school staff on the governing body. I thoroughly enjoy working with the children and staff here, and relish the fact that each day is exciting and completely different from the day before. I am passionate about high quality education for every child in our school and am committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to gain the key skills, knowledge and independence they need to flourish now and in future life.​

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Anthony Silk Felicity Rice
Associate Member Associate Member
Ex officio (Assistant Headteacher) Ex officio (Assistant Headteacher)
01/09/2017 - ongoing 01/09/2017 -  ongoing



Note: Governors whose attendance is marked with an * were away on school business for one meeting.
          Governor whose attendance is marked with an ^ were on maternity leave.


The following teams of governors have responsibility for specific areas:-


Resources Team   Teaching & Learning Team
Neil McDonnell (Chair)   Steve Norman (Chair)
Fran Rusbridge (Ex officio)   Fran Rusbridge (Ex officio)
Steve Rippin   Neil Wickens
John McKenzie   Sylvie Bingham
Neil Wickens   Jeanette Myers


Safeguarding                                         Health & Safety

Neal McDonnell                                                                  



Full Governing Body Dates Tuesday at 5pm


Date of Meeting

19th September 2017

5th December 2017

27th March 2018

22nd May 2018

10th July 2018*


Teaching and Learning Team 5pm (Various Days)


Date of Meeting

Thurs 19th October 2017

Wed 13th December 2017

Mon 19th February 2018

Wed 21st March 2018

Wed 16th May 2018

10th July 2018*


Resources Team 5pm Tuesdays


Date of Meeting

28th November 2017

23rd January 2018

13th March 2018

8th May 2018

10th July 2018*

* Combined Learning, Resources, and Full Governing Body meeting.



Governors who also served during 2016/17

John Viner LA Governor 05/10/2010 to 10/03/2017 3/4 for 2016/17
Jennie King Headteacher 2010 to 30/04/2017 5/5 for 2016/17
Gemma Crispin Staff Governor 06/10/2016 to 31/08/2017 4/6 for 2016/17
Louisa Baker Parent Governor 08/07/2016 to 30/09/2017 5/7 for 2016/17





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