The Governing Body

Role of School Governor

Mill Lane School has a dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic body of governors. Its members are volunteers drawn from the community, parents, Oxfordshire County Council and school staff. School governors form a team called the Governing Body.

The responsibilities of the Governing Body include:

  • Setting strategic direction
  • Ensuring accountability
  • Monitoring and evaluating the school
  • Setting statutory targets

To improve its effectiveness the Governing Body is divided up into three sub-committees

  • Leadership & Management
  • Behaviour & Well-Being
  • Quality of Education

Categories of Governor:

Each Governing Body includes several types of school governor.

  • Parent Governors – elected by parents of the children at the school. However, if no-one stands for election they may be appointed by the Governing Body;
  • Community Governors – appointed by the Governing Body. Members of the community can apply to be considered for this role by contacting the school who will then help them contact the Chair of Governors;
  • LEA Governors – appointed by the local education authority (LEA). Members of the public can apply to be considered for this role by contacting the LEA directly;
  • Staff Governors – elected by staff at the school and will include both teaching and non-teaching staff;
  • Headteacher –The headteacher attends governor meetings at their own school by right.

No particular qualifications or experience are needed to be a Governor and they do not need to be an expert in education, but an interest in developing children socially, emotionally and academically is beneficial.  Most Governors are elected or appointed for 4 years. 


Mill Lane School Governors:

The Governors at Mill Lane School offer a wide array of skills, knowledge and experience and are committed to seeing they get the best for the school’s children.

If you would like to contact the School Governors, email 

Mrs Chris Foote

Co-opted Governor, Chair

I became a governor at Mill Lane in December 2015. I am retired but have spent most of my working life helping children. My main job has been as a social worker specialising in adoption and, in my last post, I ran a therapeutic service for children who had experienced early deprivation and trauma. I have also worked in schools as a classroom assistant when my daughter was young. As well as my daughter, I have three adult step children, whom I helped to raise, and 9 grandchildren.

Linked subject area: Safeguarding

Mr Sam Thompson

Deputy Head (Staff Governor)

I am very privileged to be part of Mill Lane's governing body as well as a member of staff. I joined the school three years ago after working as a teacher in Aylesbury for eleven years. I am now in my third year at Mill Lane and am loving the challenges and opportunities of being both a class teacher, deputy head and governor. It is fascinating to have an insight into the school from several different perspectives. I have a special affiliation with the school as I was also a pupil here many years ago, having spent my childhood growing up in Chinnor. I have a very varied and diverse job which means that no two days are ever the same! Outside of school I am a keen DIYer and enjoy travelling to new places with my wife, who is also a teacher.

Mr Paul Noon

Co-opted Governor

I joined the Board of Governors in March 2019. Whilst I have no previous management or executive responsibility in schools I take a great interest in the progression of my five grandchildren through their academic experiences.

I am a retired qualified accountant with previously held financial directorships. My lifelong responsibilities for budgets and budgetary control make me well equipped to contribute to the school’s financial obligations according to current monetary and educational policies. I am keen to use my experience to good effect within Mill Lane School.

Linked subject area: Humanities & Finance

Mr Andy Craig

Parent Governor

I recently had the pleasure of joining the governing board, I have two children currently attending Mill Lane and I am motivated in assisting to keep the high standards already set at the school, and to help them and everyone else progress to the best of their ability. My background is non-academic having spent 10 years in the Army straight from school, serving both in the UK and abroad. I then moved into sales upon leaving in 2011, managing a sales team for the last 3 years. So while I am new to the adult side of education I am more than happy to get stuck in.

Linked subject area: Forest School & Sciences

Mr Andy Bennett

Local Authority Governor

I am currently employed as a Quality manager, with Health and Safety responsibilities, at an Aerospace company near Uxbridge. This I have done for nearly 20 years, after serving in the London Fire Service for 18 years prior to that.

I have always been happy to put my hand up and volunteer, currently as Vice Chair of the Trustees at the Village Centre, Secretary of Chinnor FC, and now, having been approached by the Parish council, as a new LA governor for the school. Until I retire from full time work in August 2020, I cannot give much time in this new role, but it is my intention to help out wherever I can after August.

Mr Guy Lowe

Co-opted Governor

As a Secondary school teacher and trained youth worker, I have a keen interest in making the school life of children as interesting, varied and exciting as possible. All people can progress and expand their potential, and I hope that my time on the board of governors will help support this already excellent culture at Mill Lane. The beginning of 2021, my joining date, is an exciting and challenging time to part of the team and the school.

Linked Subject Area: Literacy

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my own children, photography, playing music, reading and anything else that I can get my hands on, and that I can find time for, that brings me some joy.

Mr Stuart Watkinson

Co-opted Governor

I joined the Governing body in Nov 2019, having moved to Chinnor earlier in the year. Although I am a co-opted governor, I have 2 children that attend Mill Lane, providing an active interest on my part. Whilst I have no experience in children’s education, I have been trained in leadership and management during my 20+ years serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. I hope to learn about education in the round from the school whilst also bringing my recent experience of Programme Management to support the staff in achieving their aims and ensuring the best education for all pupils at the school.

Linked Subject Area: Maths

Mrs Sarah Pritchard

Parent Governor

I feel very fortunate to have become a Parent Governor of Mill Lane school in recent months. I have two children currently attending Mill Lane and I am really looking forward to supporting the school in the future.

Whilst my experience in children’s education is limited, I have always worked within the public sector, mostly within Local Government, working with a number of different Councils helping them improve their processes and services that they provide to their residents. I have specialised in the area of Housing Benefits and Welfare services because this is something that I am passionate about helping to improve and see the positive impact it can have on people’s lives. My strengths lie in the area of project management and business analysis which, I believe, will help me to be creative in coming up with new ideas, help to support and implement school projects and be able to measure the impact that decisions and changes have on the school.

My hobbies include running and pilates and I love to go on walks with my children, husband and Bobby the dog.

Linked Subject Areas: Expressive Arts & Inclusion

Mrs Helen Draycott

Coopted Governor

I became a co-opted governor at the end of 2019. I volunteered because my two daughters went to Mill Lane and I wanted to support the excellent work of the head teacher and her team.

I have lived in Chinnor for over 20 years. I am a solicitor and, as I found criminal law the most interesting, became a prosecutor in 1985 until I retired in 2018. Since then I have done some training with the police, worked with prosecutors in Kosovo and most recently took on the role of an associate inspector with HMCPSI, the prosecutorial equivalent of OFSTED.

Linked subject area: early years

Mr Graham Bull

Associate Governor

I became a Governor when my three children attended the School and I wanted to support it in providing the best learning environment possible. My children have left now but still appreciate the great start it gave them. My experience as an Engineering Manager with special responsibilities for Health & Safety have enabled me to contribute to the School's ambition to always provide a safe environment in which the children can develop and learn.

Linked subject area: Health & Safety

Mrs Margaret Noon

Associate Governor

I am pleased to have the opportunity as a member of the Governing Body to support the Headteacher and staff in achieving their vision of educational excellence. My lifelong professional experience in international education as a Headteacher in the UK and abroad, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Education, Educational Consultant and Adviser enables me to make a positive contribution to the development of Mill Lane teachers and learners. Whenever I can I am committed to helping them to thrive and perform their best in a happy and safe environment. Having seven grandchildren helps to keep me grounded and in touch with younger points of view!

Linked subject area: Culture Club