Who are the Governors?
The local governing body is made up of the Headteacher and people from various different groups who have an interest in the success of the school, including parents, staff and the local community. The governors welcome a range of viewpoints and make decisions together about a variety of issues. Between them, governors have a wide breadth of skills and experience to enable the governing body collectively to support and challenge the school leadership. As vacancies arise specific skills are targeted to fill gaps in the governing body. As a result, key professional skills are represented from law, accountancy, architecture to educational skills.
There are three types of Governor, Community (appointed by the trust), Parents (elected by the parent/carer body) and Staff (elected by the staff body).
Joint Chair of Governors: Sarah McHugh & Paul Stockdale
Headteacher: Jon Gray
Clerk to Governors: Jenny Dyer
Parent Governors (Voted for by Parents)
Danielle Ballantine-Drake (14/12/20 to 13/12/2024)
Kate Coldwell (13/6/2022 to 12/6/2026)
Camilla Ip (4/5/2020 to 3/5/2024)
Leila Whitworth (14/12/2020 to 13/12/2024)
Community Governors (Appointed by River Learning Trust)
Evin Abrishami (13/6/2022 to 12/6/2026)
Beth Howley (26/9/2022 to 25/9/2026)
Sarah McHugh (25/9/17 to 24/9/2022)
Chris Phillips (2/3/2020 to 1/3/2024)
Sarah Pugh (2/3/2020 to 1/3/2024)
Paul Stockdale (21/9/2019 to 20/9/2023)
Staff Governors (Appointed by Staff)
Sara Zumbuhl (Support Staff Governor) (12/7/2021 to 11/7/2025)
Governors who have stepped down in the last 12 months
Phillip Evans (30/4/2018 to 12/7/2022)
Barnaby Perkins (7/9/2020 to 12/7/2024)
Natalia Trendler (Teaching Staff Governor) (13/7/2020 to 18/10/2021)
Introducing the Governors
Paul Stockdale (Co-Chair of Governors & Community Governor)
My name is Paul Stockdale. I am a Community Governor and one of the Co-Chairs of the Local Governing Board. I originally joined the Larkrise Governing Body in 2015 as a co-opted governor with specific responsibility for finance and chaired the Resources Committee before becoming Co-Chair of Governors in September 2017. I am a Chartered Accountant and work as Chief Financial Officer at an Oxford-based biotech company. My three children attend school.
Sarah McHugh (Co-Chair of Governors & Community Governor)
My name is Sarah McHugh, and I am a Community Governor and Co-Chair of Governors.
Leila Whitworth (Vice Chair, Chair of Resources Committee & Parent Governor)
Leila is a parent governor and has one child at Larkrise in Robin Reception class. Her professional role is Head of Research Strategy and Funding at the University of Oxford. In this senior leadership position, she manages a team responsible for strategy, planning, financial management and research assessment. She is also a writer and has a particular interest in good communication.
Sarah Pugh (Chair of Impact Committee & Community Governor)
My name is Sarah Pugh, and I am a Community Governor at Larkrise Primary School. I have been a teacher since 1986 and have now become an advisory teacher working for the Local Authority. I have always enjoyed working with our Oxfordshire children and families. Being a Governor is another way of supporting the education of our children, together with their teachers and support staff. We have two grown-up children and a very active Labrador!
Danielle Ballantine-Drake (Parent Governor)
My name is Danielle Ballantine-Drake. I am a parent governor with two children at Larkrise. My link role is EYFS and I am on the Impact Committee. In my working life, I am the Head of Early Years & Voice at a music hub, which involves a combination of managing a team of music teachers and also teaching music to children from birth to 7yrs.
Evin Abrishami (Community Governor)
Kate Coldwell (Parent Governor)
Hello, I'm Kate, and I have a daughter starting Reception in September 2022. We're all very excited to have been offered a place for her at Larkrise. We had to show Nana Jojo our "big girl school" with the bug hotel!
I teach Science and Computing at Didcot Girls' School, where the teaching staff are unbelievably happy, with a very healthy work/life balance. Passionate, creative teaching staff thrive, students benefit, and outcomes for our students are outstanding. Fortunately, Ofsted agrees. With this as inspiration, I hope Larkrise can be "the best place to teach".
I look forward to helping deliver Mr Gray's vision and meeting more Larkrise families. Please do grab me for a chat.
Beth Howley (Community Governor)
Hello, my name is Beth Howley, and I am your safeguarding governor. I am a qualified children and families Social Worker and am now a Senior Practitioner within Children’s Social Care. My eldest child has just left Larkrise, and my youngest two are still at the school; I also went to Larkrise as a child!
I will do my best to support staff in ensuring safeguarding is a priority in all aspects of our school.
Camilla Ip (Parent Governor)
Since mid-2020, I have been a Parent Governor with specific responsibility for Communications and Public Relations and the Friends of Larkrise. I have one child at school and work in biomedical research at the University.
Chris Phillips (Community Governor)
My name is Chris Phillips. I am a Community Governor appointed in March 2020. I am a former primary headteacher and educational consultant. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved at this exciting time for the school.