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’.
I have joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor, and have two children in the school, one in KS1 and one in KS2. I have lived in the UK for fifteen years and in the local area for the past ten. Having not been through the UK schooling system myself I find it very interesting following the children's journey through the education system.
I work in professional services as an Analytics Director, and I hope that I will be able to use my experience to support the school leadership as they continue to move the school forward. I am very proud to see how much the school has improved, and continues to improve across all measures, as I believe it has an important role to play as a hub within the local community.
I joined the Governing body in 2022 as Governor at Bearwood Primary School. I have lived in Reading for over 10 years, and I have really appreciated the chance to contribute to the school and be part of this inclusive, lively and striving community. With our schools facing numerous challenges, and cuts to funding, it is vital we have a broad representation of people to help move the school forward. That is how I believe we will sustain all that we value in a challenging economic climate. I have a strong and active interest in education, fostered through my involvement with The Princes Trust, that commit to a vision where all young people can live, learn, grow and play safely, regardless of background, race or gender. My professional background is working in a leading high tech global organisation.
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 have been a teacher at Bearwood since 2016. In that time, I have worked in classes across Key Stage 2 and have also been actively involved in the wider life of the school, including supporting events within the local community.
I am a keen sportsperson and as the subject lead for P.E. I am eager to impart this passion to the children at Bearwood. Over the years I have encouraged children across the school to take part in both intra-house and inter-school competitions.
I pride myself on my literacy and subject knowledge across the curriculum - both of which are clearly visible in my classroom and throughout my practice. My priorities in school are ensuring all children have access to high quality teaching and that the impact that school or work can have on the mental health and wellbeing of all children and staff is considered.
I am excited to be joining the governing body this year and hope to affect some really positive changes to ensure our school continues on the positive path we are on.
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