Billingshurst Primary School

Learning, growing and achieving excellence together.

The Governors

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Bik-Kay Talbot: Chair of Governing Body

I first became a school governor with Billingshurst Infant School and remained a governor when the infant and junior schools amalgamated.  I wear many hats with my school and work life. At school, as well as being a governor, I am also a member of BPSCA (Billingshurst Primary School Community Association) which is the fundraising/PTA committee and was previously chair for seven years.  I am also the school's unofficial press officer! When I'm not busy at school! I work for the Alzheimer's Society  as the Surrey Volunteering Officer recruiting volunteers to support our Surrey services. I am a PR graduate and have over 15 years experience in the new homes and commercial property sector.

I have two sons, one who is at the Weald and the other one is at BPS in KS2.

As a school governor, I believe it is important to understand and be a part of your children's education. I find the roles I have at the school rewarding, interesting and challenging. I enjoy working with the school to ensure that we achieve the best for all the children as well as helping to maintain its outstanding relationship within our local community.

Often parents think of governors as the last point of contact and usually it is to do with complaints but we like to hear when things have gone well too. We have our own email govs@billingshurstprimary.org.uk and would love to hear from you even if it just a hello!

Lucy Andrews

I have been a teacher in West Sussex for 12 years and at BPS for 5 years. I became a staff governor in 2015.

I am enjoying working within a strong team of governors, who have a range of professional backgrounds but all share the same aim - to strive for excellence. I believe this is a very special school with wonderful children and teachers who enjoy learning together.

My priority as a teacher and governor is to ensure that all children enjoy themselves and make good progress during their time at BPS, in order to ensure happy and secure futures. I hope to contribute to achieving this goal through my roles as Assistant Headteacher, ensuring that all children experience the very best start to a successful time at school.

Chris Evans

When not playing with my boys I am a self-employed Electrician, Scout Leader and Climbing Instructor. My wife Natalie and I are Billingshurst born and bred and my eldest son refuses to believe that the school was once in three parts. We've seen it come together and grow and we want to help it keep growing. We both do the school run, together and separate so if there are ever any issues that you would like to talk about regarding the school I hope that we will be able to help and I can be a good representative of the parents to the school.

I take great pride in being a parent and like most parents I would like what's best for my children and I want to help make sure that they get the best opportunities. As a school governor I see an opportunity for me to use my business, financial, communication and other 'work' skills that don't get a lot of use around the house when building Lego or playing Hot Wheels.

John Fraher

I am a new parent governor as of February 2016. I have three children at the school evenly spaced across all year groups and regularly help in their classes.

I have no previous experience working in a school although my Mum was a primary headteacher for 18 years so I guess I have an idea of the challenges and possibilities ahead. I am a pilot for British Airways based at Gatwick and look forward to getting involved in all aspects of the school.

My family and I are very committed to Billingshurst and therefore wish to support and influence how the next generation learn and mature. Billingshurst Primary School has a pivotal role within the village and I am excited about being part of the team that will work to bring out the true potential of each and every pupil.

Dave Hairs

My wife Rachel and I moved to Billingshurst in 2008 and we have two children in the school. I originally joined the governing body as a Parent Governor and am now a Co-opted Governor.

My career has been in Financial Services where most of my time is focused on developing new ideas and delivering change. I try to ensure that the school can benefit from my experience.

It is a privilege to serve the families of Billingshurst and to provide support to the excellent leaders, teachers and staff at BPS. Over the years, I have been incredibly impressed with their work and achievements. I believe this is a great school.

David Lowe

I was appointed LEA governor in 1988 when a Junior School parent and there was a major issue about extending the school to enable closure of the East Street site.  It was then a single Governing body for Infants & Juniors.  I escaped briefly in 1993 when working in another part of the country, but was reappointed at the time of the creation of separate Governing Bodies, serving on both and as the first Chairman of the Infant School Governors.  I have been closely involved in many building projects and the appointment of 5 Headteachers.

I was educated as a Metallurgist but followed a career in manufacturing and general management before setting up my own cost management consultancy in 1995.  I have one daughter who moved on from the East Street site via the Weald and is currently teaching History in a large secondary school.  My other daughter was also educated at the Weald, qualified in pharmacology and as a vet, lives locally and has two children, one who completed his Primary education at BPS and the other currently in Year 6 at the school.

I always aim to put the interests of the children first; I am very keen on the pursuit of excellence in all things.  I see the Governor role as strategic – probing & challenging the Senior Management and exploring better ways to deliver the best possible education for our children (and grandchildren!).

Jo Newton-Smith

I became a Parent Governor in 2012, and have found it to be an enjoyable, rewarding and at times challenging role! I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the operation of the school and working with the Governing Body to help ensure our children get the best possible start to their education.  I am now a Co-Opted Governor.

I have worked in the public sector for more than 15 years, and have a Masters Degree in Public Sector Management which I hope will help make a positive contribution to the school. I have experience of working in Education as a policy development officer, focusing on the development of policies for children with special educational needs.

I have lived in Billingshurst for 12 years with my husband (who many of you probably know as he is a local postman). We have two children, Ellie and Jamie who both attended Billingshurst Primary and now attend The Weald.

Abi Smith

I have been a parent governor since November 2014 having had no previous experience in the education system. I have two children at Billingshurst Primary school and one eager to follow in their footsteps and embark on their BPS journey when the time comes.

I have been a journalist for over 12 years, working in London on various celebrity magazines and publications and now I am enjoying freelance status - which basically means working from home! I have had four celebrity biographies/published over the past three years and have relished talking to students about writing and journalism as a career at a number of different schools in the local area. My favourite published work is of course, ‘Cross Now Please!’ 

I have lived in Billingshurst for the past 20 years and have enjoyed seeing the village grow into a bustling, lively community. I was Head Girl at the Weald School many years ago and watch with pride at how the school is thriving and the relationship it shares with BPS. As a Parent Governor I have  a vested interest in helping ensure the school is the best it can be for all those who attend and I will endeavour to make sure I can, to the best of my ability, continue to see it succeed.

Stuart Wager

My wife Claire and I moved to Billingshurst in 2011 and have a son at the school. I joined the governing body as a Parent Governor in June 2018.  I am a chartered surveyor and have always worked in property and construction within the education, financial and commercial sectors.  I put myself forward as a Parent Governor because I wanted to make a positive contribution to the local community and see the school at the heart of the Billingshurst community.  I am concerned by the continual squeeze on resources that our school faces and the teachers and staff do an incredible job in making the most of these resources for the benefit of the pupils.  As a governor, my role is to support and challenge the school leadership to ensure those resources continue to focus on contributing to the development of all pupils.  I’m hoping my experience and skills will help support them in this role to provide the best outcomes for all our children.

Jacquie Wattam

I have recently been appointed as a governor of BPS, following my appointment as Deputy Head Teacher. I have had experience of being a teacher governor at my 2 previous schools.

I qualified as a teacher in 1987, and have always considered it a privilege to have such a fulfilling job.

I have a keen interest in creating opportunities which allow children to develop their skills of independence and creativity, ensuring that when they leave us they go out into the world as confident learners, ready to confront the challenges that they will all face in life.

I have two boys who are currently at Secondary school in Worthing and when I’m not in school, I seem to spend my time ferrying them around to their various sporting events!

I am looking forward to working with such a dedicated and skillful group of people on the continuing journey to create a school that is even better than it already is.

Alison Sutton: Vice-Chair of the Governing Body

I have twenty seven years' experience as a teacher in both London and West Sussex and have been a school governor now for sixteen years. My interest in governor responsibilities started when my own children first attended nursery School and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experiences that this role has provided. I am also a professional musician and am privileged to work for West Sussex Music developing opportunities for children across the county to have access to a broad music curriculum and hopefully encourage more young people to enjoy the many benefits of making music.

As previous Chair of the Governing Body I have enjoyed working alongside the whole school community to develop Billingshurst Primary School and I look forward to continuing to work with the governors as we strive to provide an outstanding school for the children in our community.

Helen Williamson

As Headteacher I am automatically on the Governing Body. I have worked in education for more than 24 years; as a teacher in schools on the south coast, as Deputy Headteacher in a school in Littlehampton and as Headteacher of BPS since 2010. I have been a governor for over 14 years, in this and my last school.

I feel very privileged to work with such a committed and able Governing Body. They offer the school support and challenge in equal measure as we strive towards our shared vision of making Billingshurst Primary School outstanding in the view of the parents, children, staff and whole community, as well as that of Ofsted.


Most questions that you have about the school can be answered by your child’s teacher or by contacting the Head, or any member of the Leadership Team. The Governors, however, are always happy to hear from you if you have a question or comment about the school. Please use the email link below or write to Bik-kay Talbot, Chair of Governors c/o Billingshurst Primary School.

govs@billingshurstprimary.org.uk