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Julia Douetil - Chair
I feel very honoured to be a governor for Pirbright Village Primary school. I hope that I make a worthwhile contribution to the life and success of the school, and I know I learn a lot from being a part of it.
I recently retired from the University College London Institute of Education and I have been a primary school teacher and a then teacher of teachers for almost 40 years. For 25 of those years I was the national leader of Reading Recovery, a programme for children who find reading and writing difficult. One thing I have learned is that no two children are the same, they all think and learn in slightly different ways and there is no one size fits all way of teaching. But every child has gifts and talents and every child can be successful, we just have to find the right way to teach them. The key to that is the people around the child, their parents and family, who are their first teachers, and a committed and talented school staff who have plenty of opportunities to learn more about their craft.
I live in Pirbright and like to be involved in local events like the Scarecrow day. As a member of the church I sing in the Gospel Choir and ring the church bells (sorry about that). I also edit the village newsletter, Perinews, and try to keep that pesky Yellow Rabbit in check, probably a hopeless task.
I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to work with and get to know the children, their parents and their teachers, and to play my part in supporting them.
Gavin Dutton - Headteacher
I’ve taught for the past twelve years in a range of different Surrey schools, Infant, Junior & Primary. I’ve been involved with the governing body of my last three schools.
I currently live in Chiddingfold, with my wife Michelle and cats Seth & Orla. As the headteacher of Pirbright I sit on all the committees. For me the role of the governing body is vital to the success of a school, the relationship between school and the governors needs to be one of challenge, support and recognition. In my spare time I like to go to the theatre, read and watch sports.
Chiara Dow - Associate Governor
Having worked at Pirbright in various year groups and roles for the past fifteen years (minus a couple for a travelling/working adventure) I took on the role of Deputy Head in 2016 alongside that of associate governor. In 2006 I completed my NQT year at Pirbright (having previously done two teaching placements here as a student) and other than a term of supply around Surrey, 4 months in various Vietnamese schools/universities and a year teaching English to adults in Australia, I am Pirbright through and through. I’ve been PSHE, Science and English co-ordinator, sat on the SLT, taught in various year groups, navigated the SATS, survived both Hooke Court & The Isle of Wight on too many occasions and led many projects across the school. My role as Deputy involves supporting Mr Dutton, liaising with FOPS, evaluating data & progress, working in the Safeguarding Team as a DSL, being the Pupil Premium Champion, working with the Educational Welfare Officer, analysing attendance, mentoring NQTs and new members of staff, doing lunch duty, writing policies, running the School Council, organising timetables and the running of the school, meeting with parents and, in my free time, teaching children! I can often be found in the library squirreled away looking at books!
I live in Godalming with my furry tornado of a dog, Blueberry, my much more chilled out dog Odin and my delightful husband. Pirbright is a huge part of my life and I’d like to think I bring the everyday perspective to the governing body in ensuring teachers’ voices are heard and a realistic view of the school is presented. I’ve seen huge change at Pirbright over the years and it’s been wonderful to watch it grow and develop into such a brilliant place to work.
Craig Hogan - Governor
My wife and I have lived in Woking for a number of years and both of our children attend Pirbright Village School.
I have had a relatively varied career path, starting my working life in underground construction as a surveyor in my home country, New Zealand. Working in retail, schools, banking and charities along the way; In 2007 I started my own technology consultancy using all I had learnt to help my own clients. My core skills revolve around technology and small businesses.
I also coach some of the youth teams at Woking Hockey Club and play when I can.
My personal goal for the school is simply to be the best place it can be for all of the pupils, staff and community.
Marika Lowe - Vice Chair
My husband and I moved to the area in 2013. We both have a background in Education, so choosing a school to suit both our daughters was always a high priority. Pirbright Village School feels instinctively the right place.
I have taught in a variety of secondary schools for over 20 years and have a passion for not only my specialist subject, Sport, but also the education of the ‘whole’ child.
I hope to bring insight from my experiences as a teacher, manager, pastoral leader and parent notwithstanding my enthusiasm as a new Governor! I am looking forward to supporting the vision for the School in achieving the best for all its pupils.
Eugene Reid - Parent Governor
Contributing to my local community through school governance was something I felt moved to do. My wife & I moved to Brookwood over 15 years ago, both of us settling down after travelling around the world for some time. Now, many years later, our son is a pupil at the school and I felt it important to give something back.
I have a passion for education and have focused the last fourteen years of my architectural career on designing and delivering inspiring educational environments. This has included over 25 projects within both the private and state sectors, ranging from schools, colleges and universities. Being at the forefront of each design project has provided me with an in-depth knowledge of school needs, funding parameters and ever-changing political changes in education curriculum.
I enjoy working with school teams, getting inside their heads, and helping guide them through decision making processes. It allows me to ask the right questions at the right time, and most importantly make the whole process fun. Ultimately, I’m motivated to help our pupils aspire and fulfil their individual ambitions.
I am lucky enough to have explored many parts of the world including Tibet, India, China, South East Asia, Australasia and South America. This has enabled me to pursue and extend my passions for experimental cuisine, adventure sports such as scuba diving, snowboarding and sailing, and pushing personal boundaries (having climbed to 5640m). Most recently I am learning (slowly) to play the guitar with my son.
Mary Stanley - Governor
I recently retired from my position in Administration at a local Primary school after 17 years. I had a long career in Banking before this as a Business Banking Manager and Customer Services Manager.
I have lived in Pirbright for many years with my husband. In my teens I belonged to the local guide company when my family lived in Bisley Camp.
My passion is Sport and I am very heavily involved with Netball both Nationally and Internationally, having travelled widely with the sport. Other interests are Sailing and Classic cars.
I feel very honoured to represent Pirbright Village School as a Governor and hope that I have attributes that I can bring to the school.
Caroline Smither - Governor
With a passion for all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), I try to take opportunities to encourage, mentor and facilitate the development of the next generation of young scientists and engineers. This has been at all levels of education in past, from Graduate to those making GSCE and A-level option choices. Having moved to just outside of Pirbright 7 years ago and with my eldest child now attending the school and one more to follow, it felt this was the right time to change the focus to Primary level.
Over the past 17 years in my role as an chartered engineer I have worked in a number of areas and industries. In recent years this has been with a strong focus on safety. The learning I have done along the way has given me some skills which I am hoping can be usefully transferred and applied to the role of Governor. It is a privilege to be able to support the pupils, teachers and school, helping everyone to achieve their goals in a safe, exciting and productive environment.
Charlotte Pilbeam - Parent Governor
My husband and I have lived in Woking for many years and have been parents at the school since 2016. We absolutely love the school’s ethos. I run my own business management company and have been governing projects in a variety of industries for nearly 20 years. I am really looking forward to putting my skills to good use and can’t wait to start supporting the teachers, pupils and school.
Michael Braithwaite - Governor
I have served as a solider in the British Army for 28 years. I currently work at Alexander Barracks within the Army Training Centre. This is the largest phase 1 training establishment in the UK. In simple terms, a school for new soldiers.
I have two children and live on the barracks. My daughter previously attended Pirbright Village Primary and my son is currently in year 5. Sometimes it can be very difficult for children that have parents or carers that serve in the military. Moving constantly and spending time apart from their loved ones can have a negative effect in terms of their development and emotional wellbeing.
That said, the military community are a fantastic bunch and very resilient. In my role as Community Governor, I hope to be able to assist the school in a wider understanding of our community and work together to improve outcomes for all our children at Pirbright Village Primary School.