Chair of Governors Welcome


The Governing Board are a group of volunteers which include parents, school staff and representatives from the community and the church.  We work alongside staff to ensure all our children receive the best opportunities and achieve the highest possible standards in a caring and supportive environment.  We will continue to work hard, listen to views, seek improvements, where they can be made, and make sure that the school is in the best possible position to deal with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Richard Bourne
Chair of Governors 

Richard Bourne has worked in project/programme management in a number of industries for most of his career.  He has a Bachelor of Honours in Engineering Management and also a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Richard started as a parent governor when his first son was at St. John’s and has sat on various committees throughout his time. He has been Chair of Governors for a couple of years and enjoys working with the other Governors and the staff. Outside of work Richard is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time with his family on the water.

Mr Bourne - Chair of Governors

Richard Bourne has worked in project/programme management in a number of industries for most of his career.  He has a Bachelor of Honours in Engineering Management and also a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Richard started as a parent governor when his first son was at St. John’s and has sat on various committees throughout his time. He has been Chair of Governors for a couple of years and enjoys working with the other Governors and the staff. Outside of work Richard is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time with his family on the water.
Craig was originally a parent governor at St. Mary's and chaired the Federation Committee that explored forming the new federation.  He has worked as a commercial manager in a number of large technology companies, most recently VMware,  and sees being a governor as an opportunity to give back to the wider community we all live in.  His family has lived in the village since 2006 and he has two sons, one at St. Mary's and one at St. John's.  Craig has a BSc degree in physics and as a mature student completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course as a career change.

Mr Hassey - Vice Chair of Governors and Foundation Governor

Craig was originally a parent governor at St. Mary’s and chaired the Federation Committee that explored forming the new federation. He has worked as a commercial manager in a number of large technology companies, most recently VMware, and sees being a governor as an opportunity to give back to the wider community we all live in. His family has lived in the village since 2006 and he has two sons, one at St. Mary’s and one at St. John’s. Craig has a BSc degree in physics and as a mature student completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course as a career change.
Carol Macdonald started her time on the Governing Board as a Parent Governor and is now the Local Authority Governor. She sits on the Personnel and Pay Committee. Carol’s support of St. John’s school is due to having a passion for the provision of quality teaching for girls and boys in a safe and fun environment, which she believes is ably provided by the teachers and staff at St. John’s. She sees her role as that of supporting the school through her background in commerce and operations management.

Mrs Macdonald - Local Authority Governor

Carol Macdonald started her time on the Governing Board as a Parent Governor and is now the Local Authority Governor. She sits on the Personnel and Pay Committee. Carol’s support of St. John’s school is due to having a passion for the provision of quality teaching for girls and boys in a safe and fun environment, which she believes is ably provided by the teachers and staff at St. John’s. She sees her role as that of supporting the school through her background in commerce and operations management.
Nicola Sumner worked in academic research for the University of Manchester before pursuing a career in education. She has held several teaching and leadership roles during her career. Nicola has an energy, passion and ambition to ensure that The Mortimer Federation of St. John's and St. Mary's can be the best it can be. Nicola has been involved in school to school support, successfully improving outcomes for children. Nicola has previously taken on the additional responsibility of being a School Improvement Advisor for primary schools in West Berkshire. Nicola has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.

Mrs Sumner - Executive Headteacher

Nicola Sumner worked in academic research for the University of Manchester before pursuing a career in education. She has held several teaching and leadership roles during her career. Nicola has an energy, passion and ambition to ensure that The Mortimer Federation of St. John’s and St. Mary’s can be the best it can be. Nicola has been involved in school to school support, successfully improving outcomes for children. Nicola has previously taken on the additional responsibility of being a School Improvement Advisor for primary schools in West Berkshire. Nicola has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.
Gemma Rook has developed her teaching career at Mortimer St. John’s for over fifteen years, starting off as a Newly Qualified Teacher. Gemma’s passion for the arts is reflected in the external rewards the school has achieved in this area. Gemma is the lead for Special Educational Needs and has developed a wealth of knowledge in this area. Gemma has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with Art and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.

Mrs Rook - Head of School (MSJ) and Co-opted Governor

Gemma Rook has developed her teaching career at Mortimer St. John’s for over fifteen years, starting off as a Newly Qualified Teacher. Gemma’s passion for the arts is reflected in the external rewards the school has achieved in this area. Gemma is the lead for Special Educational Needs and has developed a wealth of knowledge in this area. Gemma has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with Art and a Post Graduate Degree in Education.
John has lived in, or around, Mortimer for over fifty years, managing Dads Shop for a lot of that time. As a long standing Governor he has served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and latterly on Finance. John is the Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council representative for the school and is involved with several village organisations.

Mr Bull - Foundation Governor

John has lived in, or around, Mortimer for over fifty years, managing Dads Shop for a lot of that time. As a long standing Governor he has served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and latterly on Finance. John is the Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council representative for the school and is involved with several village organisations.
Shaonee Hillier holds a Master of Science Degree in Statistics and followed a career as a research statistician in the Pharmaceutical industry, before deciding to raise two children. She believes that every child should be entitled to the best quality education possible and to achieve this parents need to play an active role in helping it happen.

Mrs Hillier - Foundation Governor

Shaonee Hillier holds a Master of Science Degree in Statistics and followed a career as a research statistician in the Pharmaceutical industry, before deciding to raise two children. She believes that every child should be entitled to the best quality education possible and to achieve this parents need to play an active role in helping it happen.
The vicar qualified as a senior school teacher and has higher qualifications in Educational Philosophy and Practice.  He has been working with governors and teachers in schools for over thirty five years. He served for some years on the Board of Education.

Father Paul Chaplin - Foundation Governor

The vicar qualified as a senior school teacher and has higher qualifications in Educational Philosophy and Practice. He has been working with governors and teachers in schools for over thirty five years. He served for some years on the Board of Education.
Joanne Thomas has been a software developer for over twenty years, mainly in financial services. She has spent a lot of time at small software houses where it is necessary to wear many hats: project management, business analysis, testing, documentation and dealing with customers and suppliers. Now self-employed part-time from home, she would like to dedicate some time towards ensuring a useful and happy education for local children. Joanne has a First-Class Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Manufacturing Management.

Mrs Thomas - Foundation Governor

Joanne Thomas has been a software developer for over twenty years, mainly in financial services. She has spent a lot of time at small software houses where it is necessary to wear many hats: project management, business analysis, testing, documentation and dealing with customers and suppliers. Now self-employed part-time from home, she would like to dedicate some time towards ensuring a useful and happy education for local children. Joanne has a First-Class Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Manufacturing Management.
Sarah feels privileged to be a Foundation Governor and to serve the learning community of The Mortimer Federation of St. John's and St. Mary's. Her experience as a class teacher and headteacher in the state sector informs her knowledge of assessment, curriculum, target-setting, safeguarding, collective worship, behaviour management and school improvement planning. Sarah considers that it is important to celebrate the achievements of all learners and to nurture confidence, creativity, courage and compassion. As a Mortimer resident, Sarah worships at St John’s church and serves on the parochial church council. She enjoys travel, reading, cooking and singing.

Miss Theaker - Foundation Governor

Sarah feels privileged to be a Foundation Governor and to serve the learning community of The Mortimer Federation of St. John’s and St. Mary’s. Her experience as a class teacher and headteacher in the state sector informs her knowledge of assessment, curriculum, target-setting, safeguarding, collective worship, behaviour management and school improvement planning. Sarah considers that it is important to celebrate the achievements of all learners and to nurture confidence, creativity, courage and compassion. As a Mortimer resident, Sarah worships at St John’s church and serves on the parochial church council. She enjoys travel, reading, cooking and singing.
Hakan holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science and has been in IT industry for over twenty years. Currently he works for Microsoft, heads up a team of ten Technical Cloud Architects and is focused on training and readiness of around fifty people. Hakan has great ambition for education and is very excited to be on the Governing Board. Outside of work, he enjoys gardening, DIY and developing home automation projects.

Mr Onur - Co-opted Governor

Hakan holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science and has been in IT industry for over twenty years. Currently he works for Microsoft, heads up a team of ten Technical Cloud Architects and is focused on training and readiness of around fifty people. Hakan has great ambition for education and is very excited to be on the Governing Board. Outside of work, he enjoys gardening, DIY and developing home automation projects.
Lady Emma Arbuthnot is a mother of four adult children plus one foster child.  She is Chairman and Deputy Chairman of two youth clubs and an ex-primary school governor in London. She is an ex barrister and now The Senior District Judge and Chief Magistrate of England and Wales. She leads 300 full time and deputy district judges in the magistrates’ courts. She is also the Crown Court and Family Court Recorder and a specialist in extradition, family law and certain criminal and licensing cases.

Lady Arbuthnot - Foundation Governor

Lady Emma Arbuthnot is a mother of four adult children plus one foster child. She is Chairman and Deputy Chairman of two youth clubs and an ex-primary school governor in London. She is an ex barrister and now The Senior District Judge and Chief Magistrate of England and Wales. She leads 300 full time and deputy district judges in the magistrates’ courts. She is also the Crown Court and Family Court Recorder and a specialist in extradition, family law and certain criminal and licensing cases.
Marjorie McClure is a former librarian. She has many years of experience as a school governor. She worships regularly at St. John's and is a member of the Parochial Church Council.

Mrs McClure - Co-opted Governor

Marjorie McClure is a former librarian. She has many years of experience as a school governor. She worships regularly at St. John’s and is a member of the Parochial Church Council.
Helen has lived in the village for over thirty years and took an active role in supporting the school when her eldest daughter attended. Helen has a Bachelor of Science degree from Sheffield University and did her teacher training with the West Berkshire Graduate Teacher Programme. She has taught in Key Stage 2 for twelve years and has held a range of teaching and leadership roles. Having retired from teaching in 2017 Helen wanted to ensure that she maintained a link to schools and took on the role of Clerk to Governors as well as volunteering on school trips and providing support as a supply teacher.

Mrs Burt - Clerk to Governors

Helen has lived in the village for over thirty years and took an active role in supporting the school when her eldest daughter attended. Helen has a Bachelor of Science degree from Sheffield University and did her teacher training with the West Berkshire Graduate Teacher Programme. She has taught in Key Stage 2 for twelve years and has held a range of teaching and leadership roles. Having retired from teaching in 2017 Helen wanted to ensure that she maintained a link to schools and took on the role of Clerk to Governors as well as volunteering on school trips and providing support as a supply teacher.