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Click here for More About the Governors

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.  

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.

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.

Zoe Cass - Staff Governor

I joined Pirbright 9 years ago as a Newly Qualified Teacher therefore, Pirbright is all I’ve ever known in my professional teaching career. I walked through the front entrance not really knowing what I was joining and where Pirbright would take me. Now, Pirbright has given me the best job I could wish for; working with young children not only academically but socially and emotionally too, making the school the best it can be with the most amazing teachers and professionals, and, creating a safe and welcoming environment for all. Throughout my time at Pirbright, I have taught in almost all year groups with a firm passion for early years, early phonics and reading skills. It is a pleasure to teach at a school that feels like a family; where children are listened too and valued; where nurture is prioritised and not just academic achievement. Whilst I don’t live in Pirbright, I am just around the corner, where I live with my two young boys. Being a parent means that not only can I offer a teacher’s perspective to the governing body but also a parent view too.

Beccy Todd - Staff Governor

Before moving to Woking in 2021, I lived in Portsmouth, where I taught in a one form entry school for six years. I have been teaching at Pirbright Village Primary School for a year and a half now and have been amazed by the endless opportunities which are provided for the children to thrive upon. I feel grateful and proud to be able to work here and be part of such a supportive, creative and adventurous team. 


In my spare time I enjoy seeing my friends and family, taking trips to the theatre to watch musicals and spending time with animals! I have been known to enjoy a goga session (yoga with goats) and spend my free time walking alpacas around the woods.  I look forward to becoming a governor and bringing my proactive approach and positive outlook to the team. 

Nathaniel Liladhar - Governor

Military service brings many opportunities but also a level of turbulence not often experienced in civilian life, and this presents challenges for schools and families alike. Approximately 25% of all Pirbright pupils come from military families so as a serving Army Officer and the father of two of these Pirbright children, I am passionate about maintaining the School’s military link for the benefit of our organisation and people.


I commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2007 and since then have served in a variety of front line leadership and strategic staff roles across the world. We moved to Pirbright on posting in 2020 with my children who are both very happy here. 


As such, it is a huge honour to have been selected as the military representative on the Pirbright Governing Board. I hope that I can make a difference by drawing on my knowledge, skills, and experiences to: help the school support military children and families; monitor effective use of the Service premium; advise and promote understanding across all groups; and enable liaison between the school and military welfare organisations.

Ray Dhirani - Governor

My wife and I have two children at the moment at Pirbright village school and enjoy the ethos, enthusiasm, and overall approach. The animals also make the school special! 


Having worked in finance and the charity sector, I now specialise in sustainability and believe in helping to create a sustainable world where all children can thrive and live healthy and happy lives. 


Education and the wider world are changing rapidly, and I look forward to getting stuck in with my fellow school governors in ensuring the school can continue to be a fantastic place to learn and grow. 

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