Our Core Value for this term is DETERMINATION - firmness of purpose, will, or intention


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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

Personnel Team

Premises & Site Safety Team
Health & Safety Governor

Attended 5/6 meetings in 2015/16 *

Attended 6/6 meetings in 2015/16

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
Personnel Team


SEN Governor
Teaching & Learning Team

  Attended 6/6 meetings in 2015/16 
  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
Co-Opted Governor

LA Governor

Appointed by Full Governing Body

Appointed by Kent County Council

20/05/2015 to 19/05/2019




Attended 5/6 meetings in 2015/16 *  
Also a governor of Willesborough Infant School and East Stour Primary




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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

Personnel Team

Teaching & Learning Team

Attended 5/6 meetings in 2015/16  N/a

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 Louisa Baker
Parent Governor Parent Governor
Appointed by Parent Elections Appointed by Parent Elections
19/01/2016 to 18/01/2020 08/07/2016 to 07/07/2020

Finance Team
Training Governor

Premises & Site Safety Team

Attended 4/4 meetings in 2015/16  N/a
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.

The parents of children at Willesborough Junior School elected me as a Parent Governor in July 2016 and I will serve for the next 4 years. 

I have been a stay at home mum for 8yrs and am married with 2 daughters. At the beginning of this year I went back to work part time.  Before my children came along I was a Police Officer for Sussex Police. My working life before then has mainly been in property management and health and safety. 

My eldest daughter is currently in Year 4 and the younger is in reception year at Willesborough Infant School. I would like to say I feel happy and privileged to be appointed as a Parent Governor, it is an important role to me and means I can be a part of, not only my children’s education but all our children’s education.

I am looking forward to being a representative parent on our local school's governing body, and I am happy to be a part of Willesborough Junior School’s management team.

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Kerry Percival-Smith Gemma Crispin
Clerk to the Governors Staff Governor 
Appointed by Full Governing Body Appointed by Staff Elections 
  06/10/2016 to 05/10/2020
  Teaching & Learning Team

I am a new member of the Willesborough Junior School governing body and will be serving as a Staff Governor. This is my first experience of being on a governing body but I look forward to the challenges this will bring.


My background is firstly as a registered paediatric nurse before I started work in education almost 15 years ago. My positions in schools have been as a teaching assistant supporting a class, to being an SEND assistant providing targeted support programmes for specified children. I currently work as the school’s Family Liaison Officer supporting families and children.


I have lived in Ashford all of my life and I currently live with my husband and 3 children aged 18yrs, 17yrs and 10yrs.


I am looking forward to starting my role as a Staff Governor in WJS so that I can work closely with the governing body to support the school staff in maintaining the good standards of the school.

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:-


Teaching & Learning       Premises                   Finance                     Personnel

Fran Rusbridge                              Steve Norman                         Neil Wickens                         Fran Rusbridge
John Viner                                      Louisa Baker                           John McKenzie                     Steve Rippin
Sylvia Bingham                                                                                                                             Neal McDonnell
Jeannette Meyers

Gemma Crispin



Sylvie Bingham


Governors who also served during 2016/17

John Viner LA Governor 05/10/2010 to 10/03/2017 6/6 for 2015/16
Jennie King Headteacher 2010 to 30/04/2017 5/6 for 2015/16*


Governors who also served during 2015/16

Mel Scott Staff Governor 07/07/2015 to 29/06/2016 1/5^
Mike Pitney Partnership Governor  12/11/14  to 03/05/16 3/3
Steph Ryles Parent Governor 06/05/14  to 18/11/15 1/1
Dawn Hopley Partnership Governor 22/01/14 to 04/10/15 0/1



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