Our Governing Body
We are here to help guide our school, to make strategic decisions about how teaching is organised and provide the resources needed to achieve this for the school. This involves getting the right staff, looking after the budget and supporting communication with our parents and the community. We set policies and review overall school performance in order to oversee what the school does. Governor visits are a big part of this; spending time at school is an invaluable part of our work.
Contacts with the governing body should be made either through the school office or by email to the Clerk to Governors at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Paul Manthorpe (Chair of Governors)
"My family and I moved to Sibford Ferris in 1989 when my wife started work at the Friends’ School. We have since lived in Banbury, Wroxton, Shutford and have now retired to Alkerton.
Both of my children, Emma and Tom, attended Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School and I believe that this was the sound foundations on which they were able to build their further education to degree level and their careers in Teaching and Engineering. When my grandchildren started to attend the same school I was hopeful that this would be a further opportunity to reforge links and I was fortunate enough to be appointed as a Governor.
I initially qualified as both a teacher of children with Special Educational Needs and as a teacher of English, and worked for 5 years in retail as a general assistant and then as a manager.
I then worked at Banbury College and School of Art for 10 years as a Lecturer in Special Needs, teaching both Post-16 and Adults with a variety of additional needs. I then qualified as a Teacher of the Deaf and worked for the centralised service for Deaf students under its various name changes for 25 years. I was involved in the education of Deaf people in a variety of settings from initial diagnosis (working with the pupils and their families in their homes), through nurseries, Primary, Secondary schools and local colleges. I have additional qualifications and experience of using British Sign Language as the main means of communication as well as working with aural pupils in their local schools.
During my time as a Teacher of the Deaf I worked alongside mainstream staff, and so have experience of many settings supporting pupils and students 1:1 as well as whole group teaching. This experience has given me a broad knowledge of the various curricula as well as an opportunity to see many different styles of teaching and learning first hand as well as advising and training other teachers and support staff.
I am delighted to be working alongside such a dedicated team of professionals as we have supporting the children in our school. "
Fred Inns (Foundation Governor)
"I am the longest serving governor of the school - for over 40 years, and was chairman for 11 of those years. I am married to Pauline, who also takes an active interest in village life and have four sons, who all passed through the school, and 4 grandchildren. I have been a trustee of the local Town Estate Charity for 44 years, and also Secretary and Treasurer of the local Cricket Club for 39 years! I have never moved out of the village and enjoy entertaining the school children when they come and visit my WW2 Bomb Shelter at the bottom of my garden."
Sue Cook (Director appointed governor)Sue Cook was for many years a broadcaster and current affairs journalist on TV and radio, widely known for hosting BBC radio 4 programmes such as You and Yours and Making History and BBC TV shows such as Crimewatch, the annual Children in Need Appeal, Nationwide, Daytime Live, Having a Baby and Holiday. For Channel 4 she presented several series of Collectors Lot, The Chelsea Flower Show and The Hampton Court Flower Show. She now hosts events with authors at literary festivals around the UK and is herself a published novelist.
Sue is a mother of two and a proud new grandmother. She lives in Sibford Ferris.
Alex Greenhalgh (Parent Governor)
I have lived in Tadmarton since 2010 and have three children, Heidi, Esme and Ava that all attend the school.
I have 17 years of experience in education as a secondary school teacher. I taught at The Ridgeway School in Swindon for 10 years and have been teaching at Wheatley Park School, Oxford for 7 years. During my time in teaching, I have taken on leadership and management positions firstly as Head of Department and Head of Year. From 2009 I have been a part of a successful senior leadership team, firstly as Director of Sixth Form and then from 2013 as Assistant Head (Head of Inclusion). In my current position I have responsibility as Designated Safeguarding lead, SENCO and lead on primary school transition. I have recently completed Masters level study at Oxford Brookes University, achieving a Post-Graduate Certificate in Special Education and a National SENCO award.
I am keen to use my school leadership experience and skills to play a role in the strategic direction of the school for the benefit of all the children's educational experience at Sibford Gower school.
Jane O'Sullivan (Headteacher)
"Since qualifying as a teacher nearly 30 years ago, I have worked in a wide range of settings, from the inner city- I spent the first seven years of my teaching career working at a large junior and infant school in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham – to small rural primary schools, including my current role as headteacher of our delightful school here in Sibford Gower.
During my career, as well as fulfilling a number of leadership roles, I have been a Lead Teacher for Early Years Foundation Stage and a Lead Teacher for Assessment.
Before obtaining my Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and, more recently, my National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), I studied Art & Design at Winchester School of Art and then took a degree in Politics & Philosophy at the University of Reading.
I feel very strongly that teaching is both an honourable and important profession and it is one that I feel proud to be part of. It is a privilege to be the headteacher of our school and to work with the talented and committed adults, school staff and governors, who work so hard to give our wonderful children the educational start that they deserve."
Rachel Blake (Assistant headteacher & staff governor)
"After graduating from University in Southampton in 1997 with a Bachelor of Education in English, I started my teaching career in Banbury in a large Primary school teaching children aged 5 - 7 years. After 5 years I made the move to became Deputy Head teacher of a local small village school. During this time I taught children from foundation stage to year 4 over the 12 years in post. In 2013 I joined the team at Sibford Gower and have since embraced the role of Assistant Head and Early Years manager. I am priviledged to be part of such a positive, nurturing and forward thinking team who have children's learning and wellbeing at it's core. It is a pleasure to see our little Acorns grow into mighty Oaks and know that we have set the foundations for our children to be successful.
Emma Coventry (Parent Governor)
I have lived in Sibford Ferris since I was 8 years old when both my brother and I attended this primary school. My mother worked at the Friends School as a member of teaching & house staff – so we lived in the Sixth form boarding house for 8 years. I was a pupil at the Friends School until I was 16, then I went to Banbury Sixth Form and read Design Engineering at Coventry University.
Following my graduation from University I worked for Performance Sailcraft (Europe) as a Technical Project Engineer; within this role I set up new manufacturing areas throughout the world and was responsible for assessing performance in order to optimise production.
I have also worked in a number of roles within primary, secondary and further education. In these roles I not only supported students but I also gained a valuable understanding of a range of educational settings – both in the classroom and within the institution as a whole.
I was really pleased when the opportunity arose to return to the village with my husband and our little girl 8 years ago. I was very keen to be involved in village life and so I ran the Mums and Tots group for 4 years and, once my daughter started at theschool, I chaired the school PTA. I acted as Chair for 3 years and am still very involved in a variety of ways.
I am a strong believer in positive involvement and I believe that outstanding schools transform communities; it is this belief that is at the heart of my decision to become a Governor of our school.
Sarah Garstin (Director Appointed Governor)
I have lived in Sibford since 2015, returning to the area with my family after living in Hertfordshire. I grew up in Shenington and attended playgroup in Sibford Village Hall and now my daughter attends the school.
I am keen to support our school by offering my 15 years’ experience of Teaching and Leadership & Management. Having paused my teaching career to relocate here, I would like to be involved in the ongoing development of our school, raising standards and driving the school forward. With experience of setting strategic objectives for a school, supporting the Head as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, in depth data analysis and subsequent action, and a genuine passion for the best possible educational experience for our children, I am pleased to be a member of the Governing Body.