Evendons Primary School is run by a Governing Body which is comprised of parent governors, community governors and the Head teacher.

The whole Governing Body meets once a term and is divided into two committees – Children & Learning and HR, Finance & Operations; these committees also meet on a regular basis and are supported by various working parties.

The Head teacher has day-to-day responsibility for the efficient management of the school. Governors and staff work together. We aim to Nurture each and every child, find unique learning experiences to Inspire and equip our children to Flourish in school and beyond.

Parents have an opportunity to join the Governing Body as Parent Governors. Elections are held when vacancies arise.

Meet the Governors

Mark Plant

Chair of Governors

I have been happily married for 42 years with two grown up children: a son who is married and living in Canada and a daughter who is studying for an MA in acting at drama school in London.

I am passionate about giving children every opportunity to be children and the chance to fulfil their individual and unique potential. I have been a parent governor of a primary school until my children moved on and I currently help run an outdoor club for a small junior school where we give the children a range of outdoor experiences including bush craft, den building, tree climbing and most importantly let them run.

I am an independent management consultant and business adviser specialising in working with early stage growing organisations and distressed businesses.

Mark A’Bear

Vice Chair

Mark A’Bear, MBE has been a school governor for 21 years at eight different schools, and for much of this time a governor at two or more schools concurrently. Mark began his school governance journey at Polehampton Junior School in January 1997. By September 1997 Mark was elected Chair of Governors, working with his team of governors to bring about rapid school improvement.

Similar to many governors, Mark followed his children from primary to secondary school, joining the Kendrick School governing body in 2000 where he stayed for 12 years. During this time Kendrick remained an outstanding school and Mark chaired the premises committee, leading a strategic review of the school environment and contributing to the GovernorMark award, as well as academy conversion.

In April 2010 Mark was asked to join the interim executive board at Shinfield St Mary’s CE Junior School. He became Chair of the IEB in September 2010 and with a small team of governors succeeded in taking the school out of special measures in less than 18 months. Staying with the school for another two years, Ofsted then rated the school as good. A colleague from the IEB invited Mark to join Whiteknights Primary School in September 2013. He was co-opted onto the governing body and two minutes later elected as Chair. Whiteknights has since been on a rapid improvement journey, quickly moving from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ and recently having achieved Maths Hub status; one of only 32 schools across the country. Ofsted recently visited for a Section 8 inspection, and as a result plan to visit for a full inspection within the next 12 – 18 months. In the meantime, Ofsted have visited the school with a film crew to produce literacy training materials for inspectors.

As a National Leader of Governance Mark has been supporting a number of other schools as well as coaching and mentoring other chairs of governors. Since September 2017 Mark has chaired a second interim executive board at Beechwood Primary School, while also chair at Holly Spring Junior School.

In the business world Mark was Northern Europe Education Manager with Adobe for 4 years from 2010 and Education Strategic Partner Manager at Microsoft from 1997 to 2010. During the majority of this time Mark worked with educators and education professionals adding to his knowledge of the sector. Now retired from the commercial world, Mark spends his time on school governance activities, either as a volunteer, or as a consultant undertaking external reviews of governanc

 

Julian Walker

Community Governor

Julian is a Community Governor at Evendons Primary School and started in September 2014. Julian was previously involved with the Evendons parent group and has an enthusiastic interest in the welfare and education of all children. He currently works for IBM as a Client Manager for the Industrial sector. Julian brings to Evendons Primary School international skills across Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). He also brings his leadership, strategy and energy to Evendons Primary with the goal to building a world class school in the Wokingham area. In his spare time Julian enjoys running, raising money for UNICEF and spending time with his family.

 

Andrew Humphries

Community Governor

Andrew joined Evendons as a Community Governor in August 2018. As an engineer with over 10 years experience in systems and software engineering he is passionate about the STEM mission of the school and contributing to the education of local children. During his career he has held a number of technical leadership and engineering management roles in the Defence and Transport sectors, working with international customers and suppliers to solve complex problems and provide robust governance to programme delivery. Away from work, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter, reading, foreign languages, travel and kayaking.

 

Robin Crofts

My priority is ensuring that all children and young people are resilient and have the best education possible. I am an enthusiastic strategic leader with passion, commitment and energy for making a positive difference for all children, young people and their families, especially those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable.

 I have 46 years of experience in education and children’s services as a teacher, principal educational psychologist, Ofsted inspector and 20 years as a senior leader within the private and public sector. This included being a local authority Director of Education. I have been a governor for a variety of schools over 12 years, including a special school and alternative provision, a virtual school for children in public care, an academy and I am currently Chair of Directors for a multi-academy trust comprising 5 schools. Having semi-retired, I work independently as a consultant in education and psychology, developing senior leadership and governance. I have political acumen, skills and experience in leading large and diverse teams, sound budgetary management in unpredictable and high risk areas, experience in organisational transformation and commissioning, as well as driving performance and improvement. Within my community I am Chair of the local Parish Meeting.

 

Helen Thorndyke

Helen Thorndyke is a local parent of two children. She qualified as a chartered Accountant in 1998 and has been working for a London based communications company, since 2002. Starting as financial controller, responsible for managing the financial operations of the company and now in a strategic role focussed on acquisitions. She has developed internal processes and controls, integrated companies, and has extensive experience of budget setting and financial analysis. Having been involved with Evendons Primary School since the very start, she has played a major role in the development of the vision and ethos, the application, the relationship with key stakeholders and has taken responsibility for preparing the financial plans for the school.

Leesha Whawell

Vice Chair

Parent Governor

Tony Eames

Parent Governor

Tony is a father of three; Alicia, Layla and Rosa all of which attend or will attend Evendons over the coming years. Tony has been involved with Evendons since its inception and served as the Chair of Governors for first two years ensuring the governing structure and strategic plan was in place.
Tony has worked within the IT industry for over eighteen years working across multiple blue organisations including Samsung and currently HP Inc. His experience covers a wide variety of areas including marketing, business development, operations, innovation and sales management. Through Tony’s experience and industry contacts he wrote the ICT vision which put Evendons on the cutting edge of Google’s G-Suite for Education platform and ultimately led to every child having access to a Chromebook device – something quite unique in primary schools.
Tony lives with a pacemaker to combat a sudden death condition and is acutely aware of the importance of a strong SEN provision due to his early days at school. Tony’s passion is based on progress to ensure you constantly better yourself. He most recently completed a Million Metre indoor rowing challenge with a marathon distance finale in the school taking just under four hours.

Sarah Brown

Sarah is a former Board Director of Vaultex UK Limited, a cash management company jointly owned by Barclays and HSBC. At Vaultex, Sarah had responsibility for transformation, governance and risk whilst also working with her Board and Executive colleagues to design and implement company strategy.

Prior to joining Vaultex, Sarah worked in many roles within Barclays Bank Plc, culminating in her leadership of Cash and Self Service within UK Retail Banking.

Voluntary roles to date have included supporting the Department for Education with their programme of Academy Board observations and subsequently becoming a Non Executive Director for two Multi Academy Trusts. Recently appointed to the Evendons’ Governing Body, Sarah is looking forward to using the skills and experience she has gained in her commercial career to support Evendons in achieving its objectives and ensuring the best education for its pupils.

Eleanor Scott

Clerk
Eleanor Scott is a parent with a son in Earhart class. Since joining Evendons in 2015, Eleanor has been actively involved with the school’s PTA; first as a class rep and more recently as Secretary. After obtaining her law degree and Legal Practice Certificate Eleanor worked for several years as a Legal Adviser for the Consumer’s Association. A change of career led to her working as a board level Executive Assistant. Her career has seen her working in many different environments; regulatory, local government, educational, charity and large corporates.  Eleanor  currently works as an Executive Assistant for a international healthcare company.

Governing Body Roles and Responsibilities Framework

Governor Information Pack

Governing Body Terms of Reference

Admission Panel - October 2018
Children and Learning - October 2018
Full Governing Body - October 2018
HR, Finance and Operations - October 2018
Children & Learning Committee - January 2019

Governing Body Register of Business Interests

Full Governing Body Register of Business Interests 2018-19
Full Governing Body Register of Business Interests 2017-2018
Full Governing Body Register of Business Interests 2016-2017
Full Governing Body Register of Business Interests 2015-2016

Governor Term of Office Disclosures

Register of Governors Term of Office Disclosure - September 2018 - August 2019
Register of Governors Term of Office Disclosure - September 2017 - August 2018
Register of Governors Term of Office Disclosure September 2016-July 2017
Register of Governors Term of Office Disclosure September 2015-July 2016

Contact the Governing Body

Any correspondence for the Governing Body or the Chair of Governors should be addressed to;

Chair of Governors
c/o Evendons Primary School
161 Finchampstead Road
Wokingham
Berkshire
RG40 3HD

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