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The Role of a school Governor

Governing boards meet regularly to look at the big picture and the school’s long-term goals. They set the culture and values of the school, responding to opportunities and challenges. Governors work closely with the headteacher, supporting them and challenging them.

Governors serve at schools that are maintained by the local authority. They are responsible for:-


  • Developing a vision and strategy for the school.

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

  • Holding the school leader to account to ensure that every pupil has the best possible education.

  • Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community to understand their views.

At Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School we have a single FGB which incorporates Curriculum and Resources/Finance, with a supporting Pay Committee.  The activities of a Governor include:-

  • Attending governing board meetings: these are monthly (except in August) and are held outside school hours. 6pm-8.30pm – the day of the week for meetings varies.

  • Looking at information and evidence on the school’s progress and discussing with school leaders.

  • Visiting the school to see plans working in practice, and listening to the views of staff, pupils and parents.

  • Undertaking a skills audit, induction training and ongoing training and development. All training is fully funded. Following a successful induction period, governors are allocated a specific role on the governing body.

The activities may also include:-

  • Selecting and appointing a headteacher.

  • Making decisions about issues such as pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary matters.

Mrs E Wagner - Chair of Governors


Liz was born in Sheffield, “emigrated” to Southampton to read Chemistry at Southampton University and has stayed in the area ever since! She has worked in secondary education since graduating, holding posts from classroom teacher to Deputy Principal of an Academy. Liz now has her own Educational Consultancy business with a huge passion for helping children learn. Her spare time is spend doing voluntary work mainly for the Abbey, Music in Romsey and was Chair of the 2021 and 2023 Romsey Festival. She thoroughly enjoyings being Chair of Governors of the Abbey Primary School which she considers to be a real privilege.


Liz visits the school at least once a week, holds regular meetings with the Headteacher and other staff and is in daily email contact.  In addition to chairing the Full Governing Body, she is the governor who monitors the safeguarding procedures in the school and tries to attend as many parents evenings and school events as possible.

Dawn James.jpg
Mrs D James - Vice Chair and Foundation

I moved to Romsey with my husband in 1984 and we have been members of the Romsey Abbey congregation since that time. We were confirmed at the Abbey and both of my sons were christened there. I am proud to be part of the Romsey community.

I retired as a headteacher of a Church of England school in Winchester in 2019 after a full-time career in primary education in Hampshire spanning nearly forty years. In that time, I held many positions of responsibility but my particular interest is in the teaching of English.

I have a Master’s Degree in Education from Southampton University for which I carried out research on the teaching of reading and writing. I have also worked as a SATs Key Stage 2 moderator for writing with the Hampshire assessment team. I have been the Special Needs Coordinator in three schools and I am passionate about providing all children with a rich and varied curriculum.

Since my retirement I have managed to fill my days very easily! I enjoy spending time with my family including my three young grandchildren. I do a lot of walking and have been involved in several charity walking events. At home I always like to have a craft project on the go and I am a keen gardener.

I am delighted to be a governor at Romsey Abbey Primary School and to have the opportunity to continue with my strong interest in primary education.

Mr R Pears - Foundation Governor / Chair of Pay Committee


Robert has been a foundation governor at Romsey Abbey Primary School since 2012.  He was confirmed at the abbey and is a member of the congregation at St. Cross.  He is interested in the strategic direction of the school, vulnerable children in the school and the emotional wellbeing of children at the school.

He is a consultant in Public Health specialising in children and young people’s physical and mental health.  His responsibilities include training registrars, system integration and academic links. He is married to a teacher at another  primary school in Hampshire and has three children.

Mrs Ann Turtle - Foundation


Ann was born and raised in Surrey and has recently retired after 45 years in education. She spent her entire career in Primary and Middle school settings, during which time she has taught a wide range of ages from YR through to Y8.

For four years Ann relocated to Ascension Island with her family, to take up the post of Deputy Head of the only school on the island, and was Head of the Primary Department.

On returning to the UK she settled in the area and held a senior leadership position in a Dorset Middle school. She also served as a staff governor at the school for 19 years.

Ann has a daughter and two grandsons of primary school age, with whom she enjoys much of her free time. Other interests include all kinds of craft work, painting, writing, gardening, reading and researching family history.

Having found how much she missed the connection and involvement with schools since her retirement last year, Ann is relishing the opportunity of working with the governors, staff and children at RAPS and supporting the school in her role as the governor responsible for monitoring Behaviour and Early Years.

Mr A Davies 
Foundation Governor


Alan has been a Governor at RAPS since 2012. He is a Chartered Accountant specialising in education, working in partnership with a number of Academy Trusts in Hampshire and adjoining counties. Alan is Lead Governor for Finance. As part of this role, Alan is responsible for ensuring that the Governing Body has comprehensive and timely information to enable it to make effective decisions and to meet its core responsibility to oversee the financial performance of the school and to make sure its money is well spent. This role includes coordinating the review, approval, and monitoring of the annual budget, benchmarking financial performance against that of similar schools, and completion of the annual Schools Financial Value Standard and Unofficial Accounts in a timely manner.


In his spare time Alan enjoys cycling, walking, and music. He finds being a Governor is good fun, sometimes challenging but constantly interesting!

Mrs J Jones - Parent Governor


Jemma joined the Governorning Body in 2017.  Both her children are pupils at Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School. Jemma has a BA and MA degree in English Language and Lingusitics and after several years working in the communications department for the NHS, Jemma now runs her own Communications and Engagement business in Romsey. Jemma wants to help ensure the school that she has chosen to educate her children, is achieving the best outcomes it possibly can for all the pupils, which is why she has chosen to support the School by becoming  a Governor.

Revd Thomas Wharton - Ministry  of Churc
Reverend Thomas Wharton - Diocesan


I have been Vicar of Romsey Abbey since September 2018 and have had the privilege of serving as a Governor of various Church of England Primary schools since being ordained in Bradford in 2005.

The school and Abbey enjoy a close relationship with regular school services, school visits and concerts taking place in the abbey and weekly collective worship in the school led by a member of the ministry team. As governor I have a role in supporting the Christian ethos of the school as well as supporting the RE curriculum.

Before becoming a vicar I worked as a professional cellist in various orchestras including in South Africa and around England. I’m married with two grown children and I am a keen runner.


Mr James Ablitt - Foundation Governor

James joined the RAPS Governors team in 2021 as a Foundation Governor.

James studied a Masters degree in Electronic Engineering and is now a senior project manager with over twenty year’s experience working in Technology Research and Development, most recently working with Central Government.

James has been involved with the school for the last eleven years.

He is committed to working with the staff and governor team, bringing a further blend of experience to continue to develop the school to provide the highest standard of education, in a caring and supportive environment.

Adam Smith  - Parent Governor


Adam grew up in Andover and moved to Romsey after university. He is a lifelong musician and is chairman and 1st baritone of Michelmersh Silver Band, regularly performing in Romsey Abbey.


Adam has worked in Marketing for 15 years and is currently Head of Strategy and Insight for Twinings Tea having worked for the company for the last decade. 

Jack Pearce- Foundation Governor


Jack grew up in Devon but moved to Birmingham to complete a degree in Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham. He stayed in Birmingham to complete a masters in Toxicology and a PhD in Cancer Research. Since 2018 Jack has moved from research into the audiobook narration and publishing sphere. He has a love for story telling and sci fi and fantasy world building. 


Jack has a passion for aiding people to grow in the Christian faith and to live life in all its fullness. He is committed to working with the staff and governor team to aid the school in serving the children of Romsey the best they possibly can. 

Mrs K Sessions - Staff Governor
I completed my teacher training at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2018 and have been teaching since then at Romsey Abbey CE Primary School.

Mark Harris - Headteacher

Thomas Langford - Staff
Co-Opted Governor

Mrs V Bleaney - Clerk

Victoria is an experienced Clerk of over 11 years and has Clerked all categories of schools and academies.

She has a background of school HR and Finance as well as the Clerking experience.


Victoria is also on the management board for a preschool in the New Forest which her two small children attend.

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