Chairman of Governors
Mark has been a governor since 1998 when he first joined Polehampton Junior School then became a parent governor at Kendrick School in Reading in 2004. In 2010 he joined the Interim Executive Board at Shinfield St Mary’s Junior School where he became Chair and led the school out of Special Measures to Good in December 2013. Mark ensured his successor was well established as the new Chair before leaving that governing body in July 2014.
Mark was appointed as Chair of Governors by the local authority in September 2013 and has supported the school’s journey from ‘Requiring Improvement’ to ‘Good’ as judged by Ofsted in September 2014. Mark’s term of office is 3 years.
Governor Services asked Mark to support other governors in Wokingham and he does this by acting as a mentor to new Chairs of Governors. He is a Governor at Lambs Lane Primary School, and is also an independent education consultant. He has recently become an accredited National Leader of Governance (NLG), and is the first governor to achieve this in the Borough; this means he is involved in a variety of work with Governing Bodies across England.
Mark’s huge contribution to school governance was recognised in the summer of 2014 when he was awarded an MBE for services to governance.
Debra has been the Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change (DSC) since 2001. She is founder Chair and trustee of the Small Charities Coalition, a trustee of In-Kind Direct, a patron of the Charity Staff Foundation and Vice Chair of Governors of Whiteknights Primary School. She was a member of the Charity Commission’s SORP Committee and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (FRSA). She is also a member of the Royal Institution and Liberty.
After a brief stint in the private sector Debra has spent most of her career in the charitable sectors, carrying out a range of roles at all levels, including campaigning, policy development, sales, product development, media relations and training. She spent some 14 years as a voluntary Trade Union Officer, a year working with Youth at Risk – an organisation that works to rehabilitate young people who suffer severe social disadvantages – and was the first female Programme Director of the Runge Effective Leadership programme.
Debra is an internationally published author of several books, including It’s Tough at the Top, a guide for chief executives. She has spent many years working with the media, doing TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and internet features and interviews. She is a regular columnist for Third Sector magazine. She delivers around 50 keynote speeches every year to the voluntary, private and public sectors on topics ranging from the relationship between the state and charities to leadership and governance, and topical issues affecting the voluntary sector.
I have two children, Rhys and Brooke, and I work at the University of Reading where I am responsible for the training and development of new teaching staff. My son Rhys started at Whiteknights in September 2012 and since then the School has made fantastic progress with a new headteacher and two Ofsted inspections taking place. I joined the governing body in December 2014, having been appointed by the full governing body. It is an exciting time to join, and I look forward to working with the pupils, parents and staff to help ensure that Whiteknights is the very best it can be. My term of office is 3 years.
I started my first teaching job at Whiteknights Primary after a change in career. My previous work experience has been in finance. The qualifications I hold are a BA in psychology with specialisation in psychological counselling, and I completed a PGCE thereafter. As someone new to teaching I decided to join the governors to get experience of the profession as a whole and to provide the view of the teacher.
Professionally I am a Marketing Communications Consultant, helping companies to engage and interact with their customers out there using power of the media. I am married and have two children, both at primary school. I live in the Reading area and feel privileged to belong to this community.
I wanted to become a Governor as I am passionate about high quality education and I wanted to do something to support my local school. I was appointed by the full governing body in December 2014, and I am proud to be a member of the team of dedicated volunteers who are committed to high quality education opportunities for all our children. I feel I understand how passionate parents can be about education and hope to use my skills to work with parents and other stakeholders within the school community to ensure that the school has a positive and important profile in the local community. My term of office is 3 years.
Keith Grainger has been Principal of Garth Hill College since 2007. Keith graduated with an upper second class Honours degree in Social Science in 1991, and then completed a PGCE course in History, gaining distinction in practice. He began teaching in 1992. He has a Masters Degree in Education Management and has attained the National Professional Qualification for Headship. As a Local Leader of Education and Associate for The PIXL Club (Partners in Excellence) Keith works with other schools in Berkshire and the west of England. He is also a primary school governor and trustee of Learning to Work (formerly East Berks Education Business Partnership). Keith is married with three children.
I am father to Charlotte and Freya who attend Whiteknights in years 4 and 2 respectively, and also to Joshua who will be in Reception in September.
I am an electrical engineer by profession, and work locally for National Grid as an operational manager at the Electricity National Control Centre.
At Whiteknights I am currently designated as Health and Safety governor, and am a member of the Resources committee.
I was re-elected as a Parent Governor in September 2015, and my term of office is 3 years. I have a background in IT and a special interest in special educational needs, including provision for our more able children. I am the link governor with the SEN team and I meet regularly with the Inclusion Manager to monitor the school’s performance in this area. Being a governor gives me a chance to contribute to the school’s vision for the future whilst ensuring Whiteknights continues to offer the highest quality education to all our students.