We focus on strategic functions and are responsible for the school’s vision and ethos and its strategic direction; for overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent; and for holding the Headteacher to account for the school’s educational performance.
The minutes of governing body meetings, once ratified, are available upon request.
We want every child here to be happy and successful and enjoy school. We are always pleased to hear comments and suggestions from parents, and you can contact the governing body via the school office.
Governors at Bearwood come from various backgrounds. They are volunteers and attend regular meetings related to the school’s resources, staffing, and curriculum. Governors are appointed or elected for the skills and experience they bring to the core functions of the Board - strategy, scrutiny, and support.
All governors share the school’s ethos, vision, and values, and are proud to be part of the Bearwood community.
Chair of Governors (Co-Opted Governor)
I first joined the governing body in 2017 as Vice Chair. Having served my four-year term I left in June 2021.
I am very pleased to have returned as Chair of Governors in June 2022 and excited to be part of a great team at Bearwood Primary.
I am recently retired, prior to this I was a corporate accountant and spent most of my career working for high tech American companies. As such I bring a strong financial background, in addition to a methodical and pragmatic approach to the role.
Having lived in the area for approximately 25 years, I feel it is important to try and take an active role in the local community and give something back. Being a Governor at Bearwood is a great opportunity to achieve this.
Every child should have access to high quality education in a nurturing environment. Bearwood aims to provide the environment and learning opportunities for children to aspire, succeed and excel. I am very proud to be part of the Bearwood community.
Vice Chair of Governors (Co-Opted Governor)
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.
Local Authority Governor
Local Authority Governor
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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