Billingshurst Primary School

Learning, growing and achieving excellence together.

The Governors

For information on Governing Body Membership and Committee Details please click here

Bik-Kay Talbot: Chair of Governing Body

I first became a school governor with  Billingshurst Infant School and remained a governor when the infant and junior schools amalgamated. I wear many hats with my school and work life. At school as well as being a governor, I am also Chair of BPSCA (Billingshurst Primary School Community Association) which is the fundraising/PTA committee and am also the school's unofficial press officer! When I'm not busy at school! I work for the Alzheimer's Society  as the Surrey Volunteering Officer and Community Support Manager for the TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) Systems Project. I am a PR graduate and have over 15 years experience in the new homes and commercial property sector.

I have two sons, one who is at the Weald and the other one is at BPS in KS2.

As a school governor, I believe it is important to understand and be a part of your children's education. I find the roles I have at the school rewarding, interesting and challenging. I enjoy working with the school to ensure that we achieve the best for all the children as well as helping to maintain its outstanding relationship within our local community.

I am usually around in the morning chatting to Miss Williamson or Miss Nicholls at the gate or with Mr Fish, so please come and say hello. Often parents think of governors as the last point of contact and usually it is to do with complaints but we like to hear when things have gone well too. We have our own email and would love to hear from you even if it just a hello!

Lucy Andrews

I have been a teacher in West Sussex for 10 years and at BPS for 3 years. I became a staff governor in 2015.

I am enjoying working within a strong team of governors, who have a range of professional backgrounds but all share the same aim - to strive for excellence. I believe this is a very special school with wonderful children and teachers who enjoy learning together.

My priority as a teacher and governor is to ensure that all children enjoy themselves and make good progress during their time at BPS, in order to ensure happy and secure futures. I hope to contribute to achieving this goal through my roles as an Early Years Leader, ensuring that all children experience the very best start to a successful time at school.

Rachel Chambers

I chose to become a governor because I was keen to understand how BPS worked and wanted to support it through the amalgamation; I stayed on because I have enjoyed the role and also wanted to continue to support the school through the recent Ofsted. I have a child in Year 5 and another who attends The Weald. I am a teacher of English at a Surrey secondary school, with additional responsibilities which include delivering staff training and supporting new teachers.

I have an interest in teaching and learning across the age ranges. I was Chair of Dauxwood when my children were at pre-school and this gave me a good understanding of Early Years education. I have been a parent governor at BPS for 6 years and am now a co-opted governor. I continue to enjoy being a governor for both its insights and its challenges.

Chris Evans

When not playing with my boys I am a self-employed Electrician, Scout Leader and Climbing Instructor. My wife Natalie and I are Billingshurst born and bred and my eldest son refuses to believe that the school was once in three parts. We've seen it come together and grow and we want to help it keep growing. We both do the school run, together and separate so if there are ever any issues that you would like to talk about regarding the school I hope that we will be able to help and I can be a good representative of the parents to the school.

I take great pride in being a parent and like most parents I would like what's best for my children and I want to help make sure that they get the best opportunities. As a school governor I see an opportunity for me to use my business, financial, communication and other 'work' skills that don't get a lot of use around the house when building Lego or playing Hot Wheels.

John Fraher

I am a new parent governor as of February 2016. I have three children at the school evenly spaced across all year groups and regularly help in their classes.

I have no previous experience working in a school although my Mum was a primary headteacher for 18 years so I guess I have an idea of the challenges and possibilities ahead. I am a pilot for British Airways based at Gatwick and look forward to getting involved in all aspects of the school.

My family and I are very committed to Billingshurst and therefore wish to support and influence how the next generation learn and mature. Billingshurst Primary School has a pivotal role within the village and I am excited about being part of the team that will work to bring out the true potential of each and every pupil.

Dave Hairs

My wife Rachel and I moved to Billingshurst in 2008 and have two children in the school - one in Year 1 and the other in Year 3. I joined the governing body in March 2016 as a Parent Governor.

My career has been spent in Financial Services where most of my time focused on change management. My day to day work generally involves helping to bring new ideas to life and I am really hoping that the school can benefit from my experience.

I have been incredibly impressed with the results achieved by the staff and governors of the school in the recent past, particularly in relation to achieving the most recent Ofsted rating. It is a pleasure to work with and support such a dedicated team at BPS. I really enjoy learning more about the challenges of running a large primary school and finding ways that I can contribute.

Carol Hagland

I am a retired clinical psychologist, who worked in the NHS for about thirty years in all, working with a wide range of problems. I have lived in the area for fourteen years now, largely in Coolham, but in the last three years in Billingshurst.

I began my working life as a teacher, and over a period of years I worked as both staff and supply teacher in primary, secondary and special (needs) schools. When I had my children, I moved into adult education for some years, before qualifying as a clinical psychologist. As a psychologist, I still continued my interest in education, becoming involved in both teaching and training new entrants to the profession, alongside my other duties.

I decided to put myself forward as a Co-Opted Governor of Billingshurst Primary School after discovering that there was a shortage of governors in the area. When my children were in primary school (not in this area) I was a parent governor at their school for several years, so I had some idea of what would be required.

I hope that being a governor will allow me to make a useful contribution to the future development and running of the school. I believe that the early years in education are hugely important, and that the skills, interests and enthusiasms developed in this period set children on their future paths in society. 

David Lowe

I was appointed LEA governor in 1988 when a Junior School parent and there was a major issue about extending the school to enable closure of the East Street site. It was then a single Governing body for Infants & Juniors. I escaped briefly in 1993 when working in another part of the country, but was reappointed at the time of the creation of separate Governing Bodies, serving on both and as the first Chairman of the Infant School Governors. I have been closely involved in many building projects and the appointment of 5 Headteachers.

I was educated as a Metallurgist but followed a career in manufacturing and general management before setting up my own cost management consultancy in 1995. I have one daughter who moved on from the East Street site via The Weald and is currently teaching History and RE in a large secondary school. My other daughter was also educated at The Weald, qualified in pharmacology and as a vet, lives locally and has two children, one who has just completed his Primary education at BPS  and the other currently in Year 4 at the school.

I always aim to put the interests of the children first; I am very keen on the pursuit of excellence in all things. I see the Governor role as strategic – probing & challenging the Senior Management and exploring better ways to deliver the best possible education for our children (and grandchildren!).

Ben Martin

I joined the governing body in February 2013 and currently have two children in the school - one in Reception and the other in Year 2.

Originally I trained in Biomedical Sciences and worked for Novartis in Horsham before leaving the industry to work as a youth leader in East Grinstead. After that, Louise and I moved cross-country to Billingshurst in 2005 after being invited to take over the leadership of Billingshurst Family Church.

I have been involved with the school for several years through assemblies and by supporting other community and faith parts of the curriculum. I always enjoy meeting the students and watching them grow and develop through the year groups. I chose to become a governor to support the excellent leadership and staff that we have and to see that BPS continues to provide an excellent platform for the children of the village.

Jo Newton-Smith

I became a Parent Governor in 2012, and have found it to be an enjoyable, rewarding and at times challenging role! I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the operation of the school and working with the Governing Body to help ensure our children get the best possible start to their education.

I have worked in the public sector for more than 15 years, and have a Masters Degree in Public Sector Management which I hope will help make a positive contribution to the school. I have experience of working in Education as a policy development officer, focusing on the development of policies for children with special educational needs.

I have lived in Billingshurst for 12 years with my husband (who many of you probably know as he is a local postman). We have two children, Ellie and Jamie who both attend the school.

Serena Nicholls

I am Deputy Headteacher and Associate Member and I am delighted to be part of the governing body for our new primary school. I have been a staff governor (or associate member) for 11 years and enjoy the challenge and varied aspects of the role. I know that the governing body has a huge responsibility for working alongside the Headteacher in determining the direction of the school and feel that I have much to contribute to this, especially at this crucial time in the school’s development. I qualified as a teacher nearly 25 years ago and worked in primary schools in London and Hampshire before settling in West Sussex 16 years ago. I have great affection for the children and families of Billingshurst. I know that our school has huge potential and am enjoying being part of making it truly outstanding.

Abi Smith

I have been a parent governor since November 2014 having had no previous experience in the education system. I have one child in Year 2 and two other children eager to follow in her footsteps and embark on their BPS journey when the time comes.

I have been a journalist for over 12 years, working in London on various celebrity magazines and publications and now I am enjoying freelance status - which basically means working from home! I have had two celebrity biographies published in the past year and have relished talking to students about writing and journalism as a career at a number of different schools in the local area.

I have lived in Billingshurst for the past 20 years and have enjoyed seeing the village grow into a bustling, lively community. I was Head Girl at the Weald School many years ago and watch with pride at how the school is thriving and the relationship it shares with BPS. As a Parent Governor I have  a vested interest in helping ensure the school is the best it can be for all those who attend and I will endeavour to make sure I can, to the best of my ability, continue to see it succeed.

Zane Sturt

I have been living and working in the village for over 10 years and feel truly part of the community. I currently run three businesses, two in Billingshurst, Gozone Care and The Fat Cow, also one in Patridge Green, S&S catering services. These companies have, I believe, given me valuable experience that I could pass on to BPS with the view to help the school continue the great work it does with our children. I currently manage 73 members of staff and over 250 clients across my companies, I have also built up connections within the local community through my work with the Fat Cow. Not only do I manage the day to day running of the companies, I also run the accounts, acquisitions and HR. I understand the importance of a good educational start for our children and I can't think of a more worthy cause to investing my time and experience in Billingshurst Primary School.

Alison Sutton: Vice-Chair of the Governing Body

I have twenty seven years' experience as a teacher in both London and West Sussex and have been a school governor now for sixteen years. My interest in governor responsibilities started when my own children first attended nursery School and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experiences that this role has provided. I am also a professional musician and am privileged to work for West Sussex Music developing opportunities for children across the county to have access to a broad music curriculum and hopefully encourage more young people to enjoy the many benefits of making music.

As previous Chair of the Governing Body I have enjoyed working alongside the whole school community to develop Billingshurst Primary School and I look forward to continuing to work with the governors as we strive to provide an outstanding school for the children in our community.

Helen Williamson

As Headteacher I am automatically on the Governing Body. I have worked in education for more than 20 years; as a teacher in schools on the south coast, as Deputy Headteacher in a school in Littlehampton and as Headteacher of BPS since 2010. I have been a governor for over 11 years, in this and my last school.

I feel very privileged to work with such a committed and able Governing Body. They offer the school support and challenge in equal measure as we strive towards our shared vision of making Billingshurst Primary School outstanding in the view of the parents, children, staff and whole community, as well as that of Ofsted.

Most questions that you have about the school can be answered by your child’s teacher or by contacting the Head, or any member of the Leadership Team. The Governors, however, are always happy to hear from you if you have a question or comment about the school. Please use the email link below or write to Bik-kay Talbot, Chair of Governors c/o Billingshurst Primary School.