School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education.

Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing board is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management - including the governing board.

Strategic leadership

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the head teacher and deputy headteacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.

Each individual governor is a member of a governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing board; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board.  

The role of the governing board is a strategic one; its key functions are to:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school

  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives

  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives

  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives

  • be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)

The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing board.

What do they do ?

The Governing Body meets at least once every half term and 7 times a year. Sub Committees exist to deal with issues that may only happen once a year or on an ad-hoc basis. For example the Salaries, Performance Management and Employment Issues Committee only meet once a year and the Staff Discipline/Staff Dismissal Committee will only meet if necessary.


The minutes of the full governors meetings are available on this page or available in the school office for anyone to read once they have been approved.

Committee Structure

The governing body has 11 members.

2 Foundation governors

2 Parent governors

1 Staff governor

1 Local authority governor

4 Co-opted governors

1 Headteacher

plus 2 Associate members (observers)

School Governors are:-

  1. Parents (have a child in school when they are elected)

  2. Teachers and support staff (elected by staff in the school)

  3. Local council representatives (appointed by the Local Authority)

  4. Foundation Governors representing St Alkmunds Church (appointed by the Lichfield Diocese)

Members of the community (co-opted to the governors by governors because of their specific skills, knowledge and experience).

Ms Di West

As the Headteacher and a Governor of our school I am in the fortunate position of being able to both share what is happening in school with members of the Governing Body and also to benefit from the different perspective and rigour that the Governors bring to school improvement. Each Governor brings their own skill-set to the Governing Body; we benefit from a range of different areas of expertise, including law, health and safety, finance, building/planning and education. The additional time that Governors contribute for the benefit of the school is greatly welcomed and I enjoy the valuable community links established.


Mrs Jane Rylands

I have been involved with the school for just over 20 years when my eldest child began in Year 3. All three of my children came to the school and went on to SJT. I have been a governor for almost 20 years, originally appointed by the council but then became a foundation governor appointed by the church. I have been the Chairman since 2010. I trained as a lawyer but whilst my children were at home I studied textile art and did voluntary work in the youth sector. I now work within the field of corporate governance and am training to be a lay reader in the Church of England.

I love being involved with the school and challenging it in a supportive way to continue to be a great place of learning for the children of Whitchurch.


Mr Phil Hodges

Following my retirement from a successful building company almost five years ago, I was asked to come to Whitchurch CE Junior School to put up some shelves and lock and unlock the school because the (previous) caretaker was unwell. I haven’t left yet!

I had little first hand experience of schools, other than attending parents’ evenings as a father of two. I hadn’t realised the complexity of management and school governance or the fun and  excitement of being involved with the students, until I became a governor.

I regularly drive students to various events and share the pride of the staff when our students participate in either sporting or educational activities. I am frequently in school  helping out with ‘little projects’ or tasks.

I continue to enjoy being a committed governor at the school.


Reverend Canon Dr Judy Hunt

I have been a Foundation Governor at the school since September 2012 after I became Rector of Whitchurch in July 2012.

In the autumn of 2013 I also became Priest-in-Charge of Edstaston, Fauls, Prees, Tilstock and Whixall. Previously I had Diocesan (wider church) posts, being in charge of all Adult Education and Training in Chester Diocese and then Archdeacon of Suffolk. In the past I chaired the Governing Bodies of both Tilston and Shocklach schools in Cheshire.

I am involved in Collective Worship and Religious Education at the school and have recently taken over the role of link Governor for Maths.

I have a science background – having trained as a vet originally and then taught, researched and practised clinical work in two Veterinary University Departments.

I am a teacher / trainer by background and inclination and love seeing people of all ages develop skills and grow in confidence. Pastoral care is also part of my role – both as Governor and Rector.


Ms Tracey Young

Position-Teaching Assistant/Play Leader/Staff Governor

Term of Office- September 2019

I am the newly appointed staff governor and have been working as a Teaching Assistant at WJS for over 7 years, having previously worked at Whitchurch Infant School. My children and I have attended the school and it has been a big part of our lives for many years. I wanted to become a governor as I felt it was a natural progression in my career, using my knowledge and experience of the school and the local community to support the school in its future development. 

Mr Bob Thompson

I have been involved in education since 1974, teaching in the secondary sector up to 2009 and then working as an educational consultant for Shropshire Council, initially full-time and now on a casual part-time basis.

I was a Headteacher, for the last twelve years I spent teaching, in a North Shropshire Secondary School. I have had links with Whitchurch Junior School for many years as my two sons both went there before going on to SJT, where I was a Parent Governor for eight years.

I am very keen to help maintain the school as part of a thriving local town school system and hope that my extensive experience in education and education management, in all its aspects, will be able to help that cause. It will be a pleasure to try to help the school go from strength to strength serving the Whitchurch community.


Mr Victor Trigg

I am delighted to be a governor of Whitchurch Junior School, and take a special interest in working with the English Subject Leader on the teaching of English at the school.

As a result of having two children progress through the education system to university level, and having been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to study at university myself, I firmly believe in the benefits of a good experience of education on young people, and I fully support the aims of WJS in helping children of all abilities to each realise their full potential.

I have lived in Whitchurch for over 30 years, and worked as an HR Manager for 23 years. In the 11 years before I retired in 2016 I was self-employed as a local driving instructor.

Mr Jason Wainwright

I am one of the parent Governors of Whitchurch Infant School since 2014 where my youngest daughter is a pupil, and not long after my eldest daughter started in Year Three, a vacancy appeared for one of the parent governor positions here. Thereafter I was quickly tracked down and “persuaded” to apply for the role, in part by my eldest daughter! Though I do think it extremely important that the primary phase schools in Whitchurch work closely together and indeed all the schools do, which is helped by there being common governors across schools.

I did spend two & half years as a pupil here in the 1980’s after our family emigrated to Whitchurch from a distant land called Wrenbury, though it would be fair to say that the educational landscape is slightly different now than then.

I work full time our family business which includes two elements Securasound Ltd and the Dodington Lodge and I hope that I will be able to use the skills from there in to my role as a Governor, other than making the Tea!

Away from work & family my big passion is Theatre and I am delighted to be involved in the towns two Theatre Groups – Whitchurch Little Theatre Group and Whitchurch Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society. I truly believe that even the most limited experience of Theatre and especially performing can teach anyone life skills and boost confidence in the most shy of souls; this does not mean just the Classics any Theatre. While I had performed before starting here (Joseph in the Nativity story since you asked), my love of theatre was nurtured and well fed while I was a pupil here.

I think the most important thing anyone can get out of school either now, in the past or in the future, is a love of learning & a desire to explore the world around them and most importantly a passion for something. Ultimately the role of the Governors is to see that the school has the resources to see that this happens.

Mrs Nicci Vasey

I’m delighted to join Whitchurch Junior School’s Governing Body as a Parent Governor. We moved from London in 2017 and have three children in schools in Whitchurch. We’ve all been made to feel very welcome! 

I’m passionate about education and was previously a Governor at West Drayton Primary School in London for five years. There, I sat on the strategy team working closely with the staff to move the school from ‘Requires Improvement’ (having previously been ‘Outstanding’) back to ‘Good’, in two years. I also chaired the Learning and Development Committee. I found it such a joy and a privilege to work with the school as a critical friend in the Parent Governor role. Whitchurch Junior School has a lovely feel about it, and I’m excited about working with the governors and staff on its journey back to being classified as a ‘Good’ school or higher.

In my day job I’m the Managing Director of Waterwise, an environmental organisation. I previously worked as a Director at the utility regulator Ofwat, and before that, in politics and government, including as Special Adviser to a Cabinet Minister.


Mr Gareth Von Dinther

I am very pleased to have been appointed to the role of Co-opted Governor at Whitchurch CE Junior School in April 2018. I have a son in Year 4 that has thoroughly enjoyed his time at the school, and a daughter that will be joining this coming September. I myself am a former pupil having attended back in the early 1990s, of which I have many happy memories, not least of which includes helping to form the then 'Nature Garden' or present day Forest School.

I feel very strongly that all children should have the best educational experience that they can have so that they can meet their full academic potential and have a rich and productive future. I believe that learning should be challenging and push the child's boundaries and perceptions, but at the same time it should also offer enjoyment. I think the role of the school is to equip children with skills they need for lifelong learning and development, and the role of the Governors is, therefore, to provide the leadership and resources that are necessary for this to take place.

My background is in International Relations and Politics and I currently work as a political analyst and consultant. I believe that the skills, knowledge and experience that I have gained during my career to date will allow me to be well placed to offer informed and measured opinions towards the schools development and its overall strategic planning.

I look forward to working with my fellow governors and hope that I can make a positive contribution to the success of the school and its pupils.