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Walsh Church of England Junior School

Achieving through Fellowship, Resilience and Peace

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Your Governors


Chair of Governors

Mrs Gloria Benson -  LA Governor – January 2021

I joined Walsh Governing Body in 2013 and was elected as Chair of Governors in September 2019.  I am a committed Christian and attend Holy Angels Catholic Church in Ash.  I am a Confirmation Catechist and Youth Leader for our Parish.  I feel immensely humbled to hold the position of Chair of Governors and will do my utmost to portray the role of the Governing Body in holding the Senior Leadership to account for the good of our children’s education and through this experience give them the tools to live in peace, experience true fellowship and build their own personal resilience.  One of my Governor responsibilities is to be attached to Nightingale class and so far this has been a great privilege and I have experienced many joyous moments and lots of fun.  As well as Nightingale the Chair’s role includes Head Teacher appraisal and helping out with recruitment.  I am also part of the Wellbeing Team.


My day job was Director of Business Operations and HR for an IT company as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey and I am convinced my experience in business and higher education continue to prove very useful for Walsh Junior School.


BUT I need to thank Walsh for accepting and training me as a Governor in the first place.  You never stop learning in this life and I have learnt so much in my time with the school and I expect that to continue.  And then there is COVID-19.  I have been utterly amazed at how the Head Teacher, the Deputy Head Teacher and all staff have held the school together in such an extraordinarily vulnerable time.  All school staff, Governors, children and parents should be full of pride for their school who are doing such an incredible job behind the scenes to keep the children’s education going in the right direction.  HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!



Vice-Chair of Governors

Mrs Annette Cave - Co-opted Governor

I joined the Governing Body at Walsh in 2017 as I wanted to be involved in the strategic direction of the school.  As a Senior Manager in Hospitality and Catering for over 25 years, specialising in change management; I have the advantage of reviewing from a completely different perspective focusing 100% on ensuring that our children have a positive experience and are able to fulfil their potential.  Since my daughter started school; I have been an active member of the school community.  Previously as Chair of the PTA at Walsh Infant School before joining the Board of Governors here at WJS where my daughter is now in Yr 6.   Within the Governing Body my responsibilities are Finance, Training (Governors), Health & Safety & Link to external agencies.


Other Governors


Rev Keith Bristow - Foundation Governor

As Rector of Ash I am one of the Foundation Governors of this Church School. I have been a governor here since coming to Ash in 2003. I am very pleased to support the school and come in regularly to lead Collective Worship. I often welcome year groups to St Peter's and help them learn more about their church and what goes on in it. I also visit the school as part of the governing body and observe how the curriculum is being delivered. Occasionally I visit year groups and am questioned about all aspects of my work - this I enjoy immensely. In my last parish I was governor of two non-church schools, so, altogether, I have had 23 years experience of governing.


Mrs Ceri Hurcombe - Foundation Governor

In September 2019 I was nominated by the PCC at St Peters Church to be a Foundation Governor. I am very pleased to support the school and my initial focus has been on developing a designated Prayer Space in school. Having been a Governor previously and having experience of working in a school I bring valuable experience to the role.  I have volunteered to listen to readers regularly as I feel you get to know a school best by being inside it.


Mr Matt Parker - Parent Governor

I am a newly joined Parent Governor and have two children, one in Year 3 and one in Year 6. By day I am a Project Manager with 15 years’ experience in the IT industry and I specialise in software development.

I have joined WGB to offer my professional skills and experience and to help the school in any way I can. Additionally, as a father of both a current and future pupil, I have a vested long-term interest in the performance of the school and the learning experience for its pupils.


Doctor Amy Pye - Co-opted Governor

I was delighted to join WSG, as a co-opted governor, in September 2017. I have a child in Year 3 and another at Walsh Infant School, I wanted to be involved in my children’s journey through education in a way where I could affect change and help the school and students achieve their potential.

I work as a Research Scientist at a consultancy in Guildford. Although I don’t have a great deal of experience of the school system, I have, I hope, a number of professional transferable skills that can aid the school and therefore the children within it.


Mrs Angela Phipps - Co-opted Governor

I have one child at this school in Year 4. With a background in managing communications, social media and external funding and felt there was an opportunity to share my experiences to support our school.  

My motivation to help is to ensure parents have the appropriate level of communication and that the school has a positive reputation within the community. I also want to help encourage the students to try their best in everything they do, make the most of the opportunities available to them and to raise their aspirations of what they can achieve, so that the school is able to develop and grow for our future students.


Mrs Marie Kirwin SENCo and Deputy Head - Staff Governor

I have worked as a teacher in Surrey for 27 years, although I started my career as a mainstream Infant school teacher, I have had experience of leading a Specialist Provision for children with speech and language difficulties, leading Key Stage 2 and teaching in a special school for children with moderate learning difficulties. My passion has always been working with children with special needs, and I when the opportunity arose to set up one of eight specialist centres across the county I had to apply.  I was appointed as Centre Manager in April 2002 and opened the Centre, now known as Nightingale Class, in September 2002 with only 2 pupils. I have worked at Walsh Juniors ever since. I have loved teaching the children both in Nightingale class and  in mainstream and I have learned so much from them. 

Over the years my role has changed and evolved, I have been the SENCO for many years and for the last five years I have been the Deputy Headteacher. 

Walsh Junior school is a fantastic place to work, the children, staff and parents make it so!


Dr Anthony Lucas-Smith - Co-opted Governor

I joined Walsh Governors in 2018.  I have two children, both grown up.  When they were at their Church of England Junior School I was treasurer to the Governors.  My working career included one year as a secondary school teacher, then 22 years in the computer industry, followed by 20 plus years as a lecturer and researcher in technology at the Open University.  Now, in semi-retirement I wish to

contribute to various aspects of Walsh, but specifically in the teaching of English, mathematics, science

and music.  Becoming a governor has been a stimulating experience and I am full of admiration for the

progress made by staff and pupils over the last three years, particularly during the very challenging

pandemic period.


Governors can be contacted by letter via the school office or by email via the Clerk to Governors