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Thatcham Park Governors

On behalf of the governing board I welcome you to the Thatcham Park website.
The governors of Thatcham Park School are a diverse group with experience both of education and of business, who work hard to ensure that Thatcham Park gives the best to all of its pupils.
The governors believe that the foundation of this is a learning environment in which all children feel safe, creating a calm and supportive atmosphere for learning. This is alongside a staff team who are dedicated to each child reaching their maximum potential.
We believe that children will thrive at school through a partnership between children, teachers, parents, carers and governors, and look to develop this across both the curriculum and through the various extra-curricular activities that the school offers.
If anyone would like to contact either me or any of the other governors this can be done through the school office.
Yours sincerely
Martin Parsons
Chair of Governors

Alison Webster - Headteacher

The Headteacher is an Ex-officio governor which means they are a member of the governing board by virtue of the position held in school and do not need to be elected.

Martin Parsons

Chair of Governing Board

Co-opted Governor

Committee: Pupil Progress and Learning, Finance and Resources & External Relations and Pastoral Care




I have been involved in education for a very long time - over 30 years! I have carried out a variety of roles in both secondary and primary schools from teacher of French and German to Headteacher of a West Berkshire primary school. I continue to be involved with both The Downs School and Compton Primary as a governor.

I currently work part time as a Director of the Downland Alliance which is a partnership of schools which delivers initial Teacher Training and continuous professional development as well as school to school support.

My philosophy has always been that all children deserve an excellent education and that improvement should never stop - even outstanding schools can get better. Pupils can always make progress whatever their starting points and it is vitally important that we should close the gap in attainment wherever possible - but education is about a whole range of things not just academic progress. Supporting to reach their potential in every area is important and being a 'good person' is just as important.

I am married and have two grown up sons who both attended state maintained schools in Thatcham.

Although officially retired, I remain an Hon. Life Fellow in the School of Humanities at the University of Reading.  My research specialism is the effect of war and conflict on children. I have written numerous books on the topic and taken part in many TV and radio programmes, in the UK, Europe and the USA.

I was formally Dept. Head at the Institute of Education at the University of Reading and was responsible for curriculum development in the Humanities and all Teacher Training, both Primary and Secondary.  Before becoming an academic I had a very successful teaching career from Assistant Teacher in History and Geography to Assistant Deputy Head in a large comprehensive school. I am a Governor at 2 other schools in Reading and the West Berks area.

I am married with 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren and when not working I make stained glass windows in my studio at home and try to play golf.

Alison Millar

Chair of Pupil Progress and Learning

Co-opted Governor

Committee: Pupil Progress and Learning & External Relations and Pastoral Care








Mark Bennet

Foundation Governor

Committee . Pupil Progress  & Learning and External Relations and Pastoral Care.










My career has been in education, for many years as a teacher and senior manager in the secondary sector. More recently I fulfilled the role of Local Authority ICT advisor, working with both primary and secondary schools, Currently, I run my own business as an educational consultant, where I work at both strategic and practical levels, mainly assisting schools in developing ICT both in terms of the curriculum and hardware provision.I have specific interest in all aspects of internet safety, encouraging our young people to be safe and responsible users of web based tools and resources..

My passion has always been that of enabling people to make good use of their skills and talents, so much of my life is spent empowering others, especially in their use of ICT, as and when appropriate to them.

Working in and around schools all of my life, I have an interest in school governace and joined the Thatcham Park board to see what I could bring to the team from my skills and experiences.

I have been Team Rector of St Mary's Church since 2011, and was previously a curate in Chapel Allerton (Leeds) and Team Rector in Great Parndon (Harlow).  Before traiing to be a vicar I worked as a chartered acountant (a qualification I still maintain) and I have been a passionate mathematician all my life.  I am also a Director of The Kennet School Academy Trust and a governor of Kennet School as well as being a Berkshire representative on the Oxford Dicesan Board of Education. 


I learned to work with schools in Leeds, where the deputy head treated me like a young teacher and gave me feedback on everything I did, and I learned about governance in rather hard circumstances in Harlow.  I engage with various online governors forums and education blogs to keep informed and up to date. The church should not be in education if it cannot do a good job - and that means the church in Thatcham supporting Thatcham Park School in practical was from the youngest child to the most senior adult. My schools gave me a great chance in ife.  Our pupils deserve the same


Sue Nicholson

Co-opted Governor

Committees: Finance & Resources & Pupil Progress and Learning

Ian Lawrie

Chair of Finance

Co-opted Governor

Committee: Finance & Resources





 I have been a governor at Thatcham Park since 2012. I have two children.  My youngest is stil at Thatcham Park, whilst my eldest moved up to Kennet in 2016.  I am pleased to be able to support the school in it's continued development and am keen that every child has the opportunity to learn in a positive, happy and caring environment.

I was born in Canada, grew up in South Wales and in my adult life have lived throughout the UK, settling in Thatcham some 15 years ago.I was educated through the state system going on to obtain a degree and then a masters. I am a Chartered Surveyor and a Chartered Town Planner and work in London running my own development consultancy business. I am (despite my age and injury list) a keen sportsman and now concentrate on cycling, mountaineering and skiing.

Sue Ball

With two children who attended Thatcham Park Church of England School and my third child in KS2, I am extremely motivated to support and help the development of the school. A firm believer that every child deserves the opportunity to grow and develop both academically and socially through school, I aspire to act in the role as a “critical friend” that the school deserves in its’ Governors.

I was born in Birmingham, was educated through the state system and attended Sheffield University where I graduated with a degree in Business. My career has been spent in the oil and gas industry including spending time working in Norway and the United States of America. We moved to Thatcham in 2009 upon my return to the UK. In my spare time (what little remains after family and a daily commute to London) I am a coach and Club Secretary of Thatcham Harriers Football Club.

Patrick Grincell

Vice-Chair of Finance snd Resources

Co-opted Governor

Committee: Finance & Resources






I was previously

Sheila Ellison

Co-opted Governor

Committee: Pupil Progress and Learning & External Relations and Pastoral Care





Since becoming a Town Councillor in 1997 I have always had a special interest in children. I have three children of my own and have fostered three children. I am on the management committee of Home Start, the Detached Youth Project and and early chairman of Thatcham Youth. As a West Berkshire councillor I am a member of the school improvement panel and visit primary schools. I have been a governor at Kennet school since 2005 and at Thatcham Park since 2012. As an elected councillor for Thatcham North in both TTC and WBC I have particular interest in both Thatcham Park and Kennet schools as I feel it's important that Thatcham children have the best possible education. I feel as a governor I can contribute to that.


I joined Thatcham Park staff team in 2014, having previously worked in music education for 17 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, working across the age ranges and with the fantastic and welcoming team. When the opportunity arose for a new Staff Governor I was keen to become involved, both to expand my understanding of the 'behind the scenes' work that goes into the running of the school and also to support the Leadership Team and staff members at what is such a critical and fast-paced time of change in education.




Sian Smithers

Vice- Chair of Governors

Parent Governor

Committee:  External Relations and Pastoral Care and Pupil Progress and Learning.



Rhiannon Dargan

Staff Governor

Committee: Pupil Progress and Learning & Finance and Resources




I have two daughters both of who attend Thatcham Park. I have lived in Thatcham for over 25 years and have a solid knowledge of the local area and community groups. I decided to become a parent governor because I wanted to help make Thatcham Park as good as it can possibly can be, for the benefit of all the children.

I have 12 years’ experience as a primary school teacher in an Ofsted rated outstanding school. I have been a mentor to newly qualified teachers; have supported other schools in their literacy development and run assessment and moderation training. and I am currenty Key Stage One Leader. 

I have sat on charity committees and volunteered for over 15 years at my local disabled sailing centre. I am therefore familiar with presenting and digesting materials at committee level.

It is my belief that the children of Thatcham Park should have fun while they learn; make friends in a safe and nurturing environment whilst striving to achieve academic excellence. I would like to be part of a governing body that ensures these are met.

I am friendly, approachable and will strive to promote open communication between the school, parents and pupils.

More than anything I am driven to see children of all abilities succeed. 

Amanda Lush

Instrument of Government

Minutes from meetings

Copies of minutes from all governing board meetings are available by contacting gclerk@thatchampark.w-berks.sch.uk

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