Meet the Governors

Governor Information


Governors' Attendance Register

Governor Skills Audit

The NGA skills audit helps Governing Body to recognise our strengths and identify areas where we need to develop knowledge, skills and behaviour to deliver their functions effectively.

About Our Governors

See above for Governor Roles and Responsibilities

Mrs Elaine Arthur

Foundation Governor

Elaine joined the Governing Body in September 2020. "I am proud to live in a village with a brilliant school - it is in fact the reason we chose to move here! As part of the governing body, I would love to use my experience from both the UK and Australia in teaching, advertising and education publishing, to help the school continue to be remarkable for its pupils, staff and local community."

Rev Rachel Blanchflower

Ex-officio Foundation Governor

Revd Rachel joined the Governing Body in January 2019 when appointed priest for the Benefice of Great Gransden, Abbotsley, Little Gransden and Waresley.

Due to her C17th predecessor, the Revd Barnabas Oley, founding the school, Revd Rachel's role is ex-officio – meaning, ‘I’m afraid you don’t have any choice about having me on board!’ But Revd Rachel is thrilled to be part of supporting staff, teachers and children to flourish and be the very best they can be.

Highlights of her job include taking Collective Worship, visiting classes as the Lead Governor for RE, and welcoming the school to lead services in our churches. Revd Rachel’s particular role on the Governing Body is to look to how we hold our passion and integrity for living distinctively, imaginatively and inclusively out of our Christian foundation, serving our local communities and wider world with values and a vision that make a difference. In her former life, Revd Rachel worked for the NHS, sitting on several governing and leadership bodies, and managing a variety of strategic and operational projects.

Mrs Vivien Corrie-Wing

Parent Governor

Vivien joined the Governing Body in October 2018.  Vivien says "It is a privilege to serve the school community as a parent governor and make a contribution to the school’s strategic leadership team and its ongoing success. We chose Barnabas Oley because of its commitment to excellence in education and its strong Christian ethos which chime with the priorities, aspirations and values of our family. I work as a school-improvement consultant and teach trainee teachers. I was a Deputy Headteacher of an outstanding secondary school and taught science. I worked as an inspector of schools for Ofsted and was a governor of an outstanding secondary school."

Mrs Cathy Davis

Co-Opted Governor

Cathy joined the Governing Body in June 2022. Cathy says "I have had a long and varied teaching and administrative career, teaching in several different primary schools in Leicestershire, before moving to a large international school in Sweden. Here I worked with the International Baccalaureate curriculum as a Reception Class teacher and Learning Support teacher before becoming Deputy Principal. I have a passion and enthusiasm for education and learning and welcome this opportunity to be part of education moving forward."

Mrs Michelle Downes

Mrs Michelle Downes


The Headteacher chooses to be a full voting member of the Governing Body. Mrs Downes became Headteacher at Barnabas Oley in September 2018.

Mrs Ros Ford

Co-opted Governor

Joined the Governing Body in June 2022. She says "with two children at Barnabas Oley, I am keen to use my skills and experience to support the school’s leaders to provide a rounded and fulfilling education to all its pupils. My professional background is in veterinary medicine and for much of my career I worked in veterinary charities. While leading a veterinary hospital group, my responsibilities included all aspects of clinical and financial governance, facilities management, health and safety, line management and development of my teams. In 2021 I moved into education, supervising final year vet students for the Royal Veterinary College and developing my interest in ethics and professional communication. Outside work, I volunteer with the British Veterinary Association and sing with the Epiphoni Consort, and I am currently the Link Governor for Music at Barnabas Oley."

Mrs Laura Hill

Parent Governor

Laura joined the governing body in June 2021 and has 2 children at the school. "I strongly believe that building a connected school community enhances learning outcomes, support, collaboration and wellbeing for the whole school and all those surrounding it. Recently relocated back to the UK after several years overseas, this has become especially evident to me as my children’s diverse educational settings around the world have provided the firm foundations of a crucially important community network for our family, each time we have moved to a new country. My professional background is in risk and regulation within financial services and the NHS, with a particular focus on effective leadership and strong governance arrangements. I am pleased to bring together my personal interest and professional background to play a crucial role in the continuous improvement of Barnabas Oley."

Mrs Karoline Mansell

Staff Governor

Mrs Mansell joined the Governing Body in January 2024 as Staff Governor, but has been part of the Barnabas Oley family for over 18 years, first as a parent and then as a teacher in 2021.  Having taught mostly younger primary aged children for almost 30 years in 3 different schools in various locations in the UK.   I currently coordinate Science and DT across the school and really enjoy the hands on activities outside.  Outside of school I enjoy running, walking and acting with the local Drama group.

Mr Andrew Kluth

Co-Opted Governor

Andrew joined the Governing Body in May 2018, having lived in the village for almost 19 years. He said, “I will never forget the rounded and enjoyable education I was fortunate enough to receive, and I believe that every young person has the right to such an education. What I learned heavily influenced my professional life, which has been focused on public service, community development and respect for the environment. I want to use my experiences to support the continuing efforts to provide a high quality, enjoyable learning environment which the students will remember positively.” 

Mr Sebastian Kokelaar

Co-opted Governor

Sebastian joined the Governing Body in September 2020.  He is a barrister specialising in commercial law.  He lives in Great Gransden with his family in the house that the school's founder, Barnabas Oley, built for himself after the Civil War.  Inspired by Oley's example of service to his local community, Sebastian is pleased to be able to contribute to the vital work of the Governing Body in supporting and engaging critically with the school's leadership.


Mr Thomas Owen

Co-Opted Governor

Thomas joined the Governing Body in June 2022. He says, "my parents were both teachers and so I have seen first-hand the hard work that goes into ensuring a positive educational experience for our children. As a partner in a consulting firm, I want to bring my experience in the corporate world and channel it into serving the school to the best of my abilities. It is essentially the heartbeat of this community that my family has joined and I want to help to continue the trend of the already impressive achievements." Thomas has a daughter that he hopes can attend the school in a few years' time.

Mrs Stephanie Reardon

Chair of Governing Body

Authority Governor

Stephanie joined the Governing Body in February 2018 as a parent governor. She became the Chair of Governors in September 2019, when she also became the Local Authority Governor. “As a governing body, we must ensure there is crucial oversight of our school and support it to overcome challenges and foster excellence for current and future children, ensuring that each child has the best possible opportunity to achieve their potential”. Professionally, Stephanie is the CEO of a national safeguarding organisation, providing training and consultancy services across a range of sectors. She has worked extensively to support statutory agencies (such as the police, education, and NHS), voluntary and community sector services and private sector organisations to make improvements to the way they respond to children and adults at risk of harm, violence and abuse.

Mr Iain Strath - Foundation Governor

Mr Iain Strath

Foundation Governor

Iain joined the Barnabas Oley School Governors in October 2015. He says "I believe I was 5 when I said I wanted to be a teacher. I enjoyed school so much I never changed my mind: became one, trained teachers, and as an education officer managed every kind of school and college. I'm now a freelance consultant advising on European Commission education projects. The joy of learning is a lifetime delight and parents and governors by supporting teachers can help kick start that joy and make sure all children experience success in a happy school."

Kelly Walsh - Clerk

Ms Kelly Walsh

Clerk (non-Governor)

Kelly joined the Barnabas Oley Governing Body as Clerk in September 2022.

The clerk supports the Governing Body by taking minutes and advising governors and the head teacher on constitutional and procedural matters, duties and powers

Mr John Jefferies

Parent Governor

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