Welcome to the Governors page of the Bearwood Primary School Website. Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit more about us.

School Governors


Chair of Governors and Parent Governor

Nicola Bruce

I am very proud to have been elected as a parent governor in 2016 and pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in creating the future at Bearwood Primary School. I've enjoyed getting to know so many of the parents in the playground, since my children joined Bearwood in 2013 and I look forward to meeting more over the next five years. As well as being a Mum, I also enjoy a challenging career at National Grid and my work life balance is very important to me. I have a degree in electrical engineering and enjoy being able to share my passion for this with the children at school events, such as Science Day. I am the Chair of Governors, a member of the Resource Committee, Pay and Performance Management Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee and the link Governor for EYFS. I am enjoying supporting the school on a continuous journey of improvement.


Vice Chair of Governors and Co-Opted Governor 

 Sriram Rajan

As a first-time governor, I am glad to have the opportunity to be involved with Bearwood Primary School. As my son starts his reception year in another school, I  am driven to understand the school system, get more involved with it and make some meaningful contributions. I work in information technology as a Product Architect and have been in that sector for 20 years. Originally from India, I have also spent close to 10 years in the United States before immigrating to the UK. I look forward to using my experience to support the school and help achieve the right outcomes for the school, the teachers, and the children.


Local Authority Governor

Mark A'Bear 

Mark has been a governor since 1998 when he first joined Polehampton Junior School. He then became a parent governor at Kendrick School in Reading in 2004, subsequently joining the Interim Executive Board at Shinfield St Mary’s Junior School in 2010 where he became Chair and led the school out of Special Measures to Good in December 2013.

In September 2013 Mark was elected Chair of Governors at Whiteknights as the local authority governor, supporting and challenging the school’s journey from ‘Requiring Improvement’ to ‘Good’ as judged by Ofsted in September 2014.

Governor Services asked Mark to support other governors in Wokingham and he does this by acting as a mentor to new Chairs of Governors. He was a National Leader of Governance for 6 years, and also an independent education consultant undertaking governance reviews of other school boards locally. Mark joined Bearwood Primary School in September 2021 as the Local Authority governor.

Mark’s huge contribution to school governance was recognised in the summer of 2014 when he was awarded an MBE for services to governance, and he also has a book published entitled ‘Effective School Governance’.


Co-Opted Governors 

Rachelle Shepherd DuBey 

I am a Borough and Parish Councillor and I was keen to be a governor at a school in my ward. I wanted to use my MAEd degree in Science Education to help my community. Before becoming a governor at Bearwood I was involved in a parent consultation on school places in Winnersh. This resulted in the new Wheatfield school and the decision not to go forward with the Hatch Farm Dairies School. I have been a governor since March 2014. My professional background is Counselling and Psychotherapy. As a Councillor I mainly cover planning, transport and health. My  interests are computers, politics and my dog, my cats and healthy exercise.


Susan Jones

I grew up in Winnersh and am an ex pupil of Bearwood Primary School. My 2 daughters were educated in the Wokingham borough before we moved to South Gloucestershire with my husband’s job. I am a retired primary school teacher with experience of teaching all ages from 4-11, mostly in the London Borough of Sutton and in South Gloucestershire. Now back in Wokingham I hope to play an active part in school life and be able to use my experience to support the school in its continued development. I am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee and  the Link Governor for KS1.



 Parent Governors 

 Gemma Palmer 

I am proud to have recently joined the team at Bearwood School as a Parent Governor. I live within walking distance of Bearwood and my daughter is currently in Year One. My background is healthcare and have 15 years’ experience in both Nursing and Midwifery. I am currently leading a team of school nurses at a school in Berkshire and therefore have a breadth of knowledge of school logistics and children’s health.  

With a daughter in the school, I of course am keen to contribute to Bearwood being the best school it can be. I therefore joined the governing body to help provide guidance and support to the team at Bearwood, which will inevitably feed into the school life of our children and their ability to thrive and succeed.  


Goldie Evelyn

I joined the governing body in 2021 as a parent governor. Both of my children have attended Bearwood Primary School, and my youngest child is currently in KS2.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support our school in this capacity and to give back to the community.

I believe that every child should have access to an outstanding education, irrespective of their social or economic background. I am passionate about inclusion and the continuous improvement of the learning environment to maximise the educational outcomes of every child.

As a practising solicitor I have developed strong analytical skills, the ability to deliver effective communication and offer pragmatic advice. I hope to use these skills to help the school and governing body achieve their objectives.


Staff Governor

Katrina Stephenson

I am excited to be a staff governor at Bearwood, and look forward to taking an active role in supporting the school from a different perspective. I joined the staff in September 2018, teaching a Year 5/6 class.  I am now the EYFS Lead. My husband and I moved to the area 7 years ago from South Africa, where I managed and taught at an independent Infant School. My three grown-up children are away studying for most of the year, so I look forward to the holidays, when I can spend quality time with them. I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee, where I hope to make a difference to our pupils’ experiences, both in school and in the future.


Head Teacher 

Funmi Alder

I am absolutely thrilled to have been appointed as headteacher of Bearwood Primary School.  As headteacher, I am automatically a member of the governing body and sit on all the committees.  Most of my career has been in London schools - progressing from class teacher to headteacher.  I have completed the NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headteachers) and MBA in Educational Leadership (International) at the UCL Institute of Education.  I bring much school leadership experience to Bearwood, further enhancing the strong strategic oversight of the governing body.

Retired Governors 2020/2021


Claire Sanderson   17/10/2016 - 17/09/2020


Rajan Sharma    08/12/2017 - 07/12/2021 

Rachel Bishop-Firth   21/11/2017 - 20/11/2021

Christine Smart   13/06/2017 - 31/07/2021


Governor Roles and Responsibilities.pdf


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