Mrs Nicola Waters
Chair of Governors
I am delighted to join the Governing Body at Billingshurst Primary School as Chair of Governors. I first became a governor in 2010, initially being elected as a parent governor at William Penn Primary School. I subsequently became the LA Governor and have been the Chair of Governors there since 2016. As a passionate believer in volunteering and with a commitment to education, I took on a second role as a governor at The Weald in 2015 and was elected as Vice Chair in 2018. In addition to these roles, I have assisted WSCC Governor Services with a range of tasks.
I look forward to building on the foundations laid by the outgoing chair and working with a dedicated group of staff and governors who are committed to providing the best possible education for the pupils of BPS.
On a work and family front, my husband and I run a local company which imports and distributes table tennis tables and football tables. We have a daughter who has just completed her education at The Weald and is about to embark on a degree in Criminology with Forensics.
Mrs Jo Newton-Smith
I became a Governor in 2012, initially as a parent governor when both my children attended the primary school and more recently as Co-opted Governor. I have recently stepped down as Chair of Governors, but I look forward to continue to work alongside the school community as we strive to provide an outstanding school for the children.
I have worked in the public sector for more than 20 years, previously working in Education developing policy for children with special needs and more recently a senior manager responsible for procurement and contract management. I hope that my skills will help make a positive contribution to the school.
Mr Chris Evans
I have been a Parent Governor since 2016 as I wanted to be able to support my children and their school. I am a self-employed Electrician, Scout Leader, climbing instructor and now aspiring paddlesport instructor. My wife Natalie and I are Billingshurst born and bred and my boys refuse to believe that the school was once in three parts. We've seen it come together and grow and I want to help.
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 have 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.
Mr 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 who both completed their Primary education at BPS.
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!).
Mrs Yvette Rowe
I am delighted to be in my third year at BPS and I am one of the Co-opted Governors. I have lived in Billingshurst for 20 years and during this time have seen the village and community grow and now that I am in a position where I have spare time, I believe it to be a privilege to be able to support the school as it continues to be the best it can for all its children.
I have a professional background in Business Management and a career that has led to over 25 years of Senior Retail Management and Consultancy experience and I am hoping that my broad range of skills will help benefit the school.
Having young nieces, nephews and godchildren I have a keen interest in education and see this role as a great opportunity to be able to listen, challenge, encourage new ideas and appreciate our teaching and non-teaching staff and also the parents. I have an open and honest down to earth style and feel great pride in strategically shaping the school’s aims and objectives and supporting the school in achieving them.
On a more personal note, I love gardening, property renovation and going to the theatre.
Mrs Abi Smith
I joined the Governing body as a parent governor in 2014 and in 2018 was appointed a co-opted governor. I have three children, one who has finished her BPS journey and is now at the Weald Secondary school and two boys who are still at the school in years two and four.
I have been a journalist for over 12 years, working in London on various celebrity magazines and publications and now I am enjoying freelance writer status - which basically means working from home! I have had 12 books (sports autobiographies/celebrity biographies and lifestyle anthologies)published over the past eight 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 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. I will also be forefront of governor campaigns to ensure the best for our school – whether that be FUND.US or sending a letter a day to the Secretary of Education. Contradicting my day job, I believe actions can sometimes speak louder than words!
Mr Oliver Eames
I was appointed a parent governor in 2018. My wife and I have lived in Billingshurst since the beginning of 2011 and we have two children.
Having started out doing an Electronic Engineering MEng degree, my career began in Datacommunications. For the last 10 years I have been running an IT company providing Cloud and IT Support services to small and medium enterprises. When I’m not working from the shed at the bottom of the garden, I enjoy playing Badminton and spending time with my children, aka Daddy-Daycare !
I have a great fondness for the village and I am keen for my skillset to make a beneficial contribution to the school."
Mrs Alison Sutton
I have thirty years' experience as a teacher in both London and West Sussex and have been a school governor now for twenty years in different settings. 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.
Miss Helen Williamson
As Headteacher I am automatically on the Governing Body. I have worked in education for more than 25 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 15 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 excellent in the view of the parents, children, staff and whole community, as well as that of Ofsted.
Mrs Rebecca Hatrick
I joined Billingshurst Primary School in 2015 and became a staff governor in 2019.
I am passionate about education and love being part of a team of teachers who believe in providing a creative and inspiring environment in which all children learn and develop .
Ms Kate Kulka
I am delighted to have been appointed as a new governor to Billingshurst Primary School this year. My husband and I moved to Billingshurst just over a year ago and became parents for the first time in May 2020, so are very keen to develop links with our new local community and serve it in any way we can.
I began my professional life as a Primary School Teacher in Surrey, specialising in developmental literacy, leading Key Stage 1 and as lead mentor for student teachers and NQTs. Whilst teaching, I worked very closely with our governors which gave me an understanding and respect for the role of the governing body, which I hope to put to good use at BPS.
I also worked for Mencap, running leisure groups for young people with a range of disabilities and I now manage learning programmes in museums, galleries and historic houses in London - both roles which I feel have helped me to be a passionate advocate for children’s wellbeing and academic development. I am looking forward to being part of the team at BPS and continuing to strive for excellence for their pupils.
Mr David Clark
I am extremely proud to have joined the Governing Body of Billingshurst Primary School in January 2021 and am looking forward to working with all governors and staff and hope to be able to help the school move forward and assist in any way possible.
I moved to Billingshurst in May 2019 and see this opportunity as an ideal way to become more involved in the community. I have seen my 3 children go through the education system and again hope this experience further helps me to support the school.
I have worked in education for over 20 years and now work for a Multi Academy Trust which looks after 6 schools in Croydon and Crawley. I hope that the knowledge I have gained over these years can now help Billingshurst Primary School provide the best education to the children who come to the school.
Mrs Payal Bagchi
I am extremely pleased to have been asked to be an Associate Member on the board of Billingshurst Primary School this year. My husband and I moved to Horsham 5 years ago and have enjoyed becoming active members of our local community, be that through other voluntary positions, getting to know people socially or assisting the residents’ association for our (then) new home.
I work in Financial Services and am keen to bring the skills that I have developed through my various career moves into this role. I have a specific interest in children with Special Educations Needs and have volunteered in the past at an after school club for the National Autistic Society as well as in an orphanage in Nepal. My interest in education has been a feature throughout my life, primarily due to having moved around a lot in my childhood and experienced a variety of systems in multiple countries. This even resulted in my thesis in the ‘Mathematics in Education’ module of my degree being on the pros and cons of streaming in education with an emphasis on Mathematics.
I hope to bring my customary enthusiasm and curiosity to this role and to help the school in the next stage of its development keeping the pupils, for whom we are responsible, at the centre of everything that we do.
Mr Richard Runalls
I was delighted to join the governing body as a parent governor in 2022 as my eldest son was in Year 3 at the time and my youngest son joined the school shortly after my appointment. I am particularly interested in ensuring that all children are safeguarded well and can fulfil their full potential whatever their background or circumstance. I have a background in working with children who have special educational needs. My experience of the difficulties faced by these children and their families will ensure that the support and championing of these children and families be a key focus of mine.
Although I had no experience of school governance when I was appointed, I am a member of the senior management team with my employer and through this role, I have developed the skills necessary to provide support to the school when difficult decisions and discussions are needed in order to give the children and staff the best possible chance to succeed.
Mr Chris Harding-Edgar
I applied to be a Governor of Billingshurst Primary School in late 2021 and was appointed an associate Governor with a view to being co-opted on to the Governing body in 2022. My wife and I moved to Billingshurst in March 2021. I wanted to become part of the village life, and also to make a contribution to the education of younger children here because my own grandchildren live too far away for me to be able to contribute to their schools.
My working career has been spent partly in the City and in the catering trade (Wine Bars and Restaurants) and, for the last 25 years in financial services. I have, up until very recently, run my own businesses and feel that the experience gained in these gives me a broad set of qualifications to bring to role of a Governor.
Moving to Billingshurst is in some ways returning to my roots – I was educated at Christ’s Hospital – and my wife Janie and I are very much looking forward to playing an active part in village life.
Mr Ross Kelland
I am really pleased to have been appointed a co-opted governor at Billingshurst Primary School in 2022. With my two sons set to begin their journey at the school this seems like the perfect time to use some of the skills I have developed in a twenty year career as a police officer to help the school be the best it can.
For me the rewards of this role come in the knowledge that I am in a small way helping to support the school maintain outstanding educational standards for the children.
Having only moved to the village in the last few years I am really keen to engage with the staff, parents, pupils and local community to benefit Billingshurst Primary.
As a career Detective I have specialised in the area of safeguarding working in a number of public protection roles. I hope to use my background to ensure we are putting the welfare of our children first.
I have the best interests of the school at heart and in the future hope to share and celebrate in the success of the children, staff and school as it continues to thrive.
Mrs Sue Samson
I am delighted to be joining the governing body of Billingshurst Primary School as I retire from a full-time role in the education sector.
I have lived in Billingshurst for more than 30 years and my two children both attended the then Infant and Junior School and also the Weald. They both had a great education and have benefitted hugely from the wide experiences and opportunities provided for them by the schools in this village.
I have spent my entire career commuting out of the village to work in education myself. I have been a teacher; an Advisor for West Sussex County Council; an Ofsted Inspector; a Director in the Department for Education; and a CEO for an Academy Trust. I am now really excited to have the time to contribute to education in my own community.
I am passionate about the power of education to enrich lives and to provide children with opportunities to believe in themselves and to achieve their dreams and aspirations. I look forward to supporting Billingshurst Primary School in its great work to provide exceptional education in our community.