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 & Safety
  • Standards 

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 

  • Mr Neil Swanston


    I became a governor at Mill Lane in June 2014, and took on the role of Chair in September 2015. It is a challenging one, but is terrifically rewarding and fun. I am passionate about education, and I believe that every child has a fundamental right to the best possible education. Mill Lane is an excellent school, and I'm proud to be able to play a part in improving the lives of the children.

    Linked subject area: ICT

  • Mrs Chris Foote


    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: SEND

  • Mr Steve Moody

    I am privileged to have been a governor at Mill Lane for several years and have undertaken a number of roles; all three of our children are past pupils. From a military background, I have helped organise a number of in-house projects that are transforming the school’s learning environment. To my mind, Mill Lane epitomises what a community school should be; it has no pretensions yet is bold and confident in its outlook whilst never wavering from being a caring and completely inclusive environment – delivering a first class, rounded education. Both the teaching and support staff are immensely dedicated, accomplished and passionate about their roles, often going the extra mile. I am proud to assist in setting the course for the school’s future.

    Linked subject area: Numeracy

  • Mr Graham Bull

    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: Science, including Forest schools

  • Mrs Victoria Chamlet

    I joined the board of Governors in 2016 having decided to take a career break after the birth of my second son the previous year.

    My eldest son is progressing through the classes at Mill Lane School, having started in Windmill Nursery. I have been so impressed with all the teachers and support staff who ensure that there is a safe, nurturing and fun environment for the children to learn, grow and develop in, that I wanted to put something back into the school and hope to be a strong support and asset to the entire team. I hope that my vast experience within the Construction Industry, particularly purchasing within the Public sector will prove useful with planned developments that may occur in the future.

    Linked subject area: Early Years

  • Ms Lara Chaplin

    I feel very privileged in being given the opportunity to become a Governor at Mill Lane Community Primary School. I currently have 2 children at the school, one coming to the end of their journey and the other just beginning. Both of my children started in the warm, safe environment of the Windmill Nursery, (making the sometimes daunting transition to Reception seamless). Mill Lane Community Primary School is a bright, fun environment, providing excellent education to each and every one of the children; resulting in confident and well rounded children, ready for the next stage of their educational experience. I am passionate about the education, health and well-being of all children and along with a steady legal background I hope to provide strong support to the school in these areas.

    Linked subject area: Arts

  • Mrs Margaret Noon

    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

  • Mrs Elaine Steel

    KS 1 Teacher

    I was honoured to be given a position on The Board of Governors in 2017. As a KS 1 teacher at Mill Lane, my first professional interest always has been and always will be what is right for the children; providing a safe, nurturing environment in which they want to attend and can flourish. Recently completion of Forest School training has provided me with an insight into more holistic teaching methods. Through collaboration with my teaching colleagues and the Governing body, I feel that we are in a position to continue to evolve the school in a positive manner.

  • Mrs Katie Sadler

    I joined the Governing Body of Mill Lane Community Primary School in 2018, and am very grateful to have been given this opportunity. From my first visit, I saw how dedicated the staff are and felt a strong community within the school; I look forward to working with everyone over the next few years. I was previously a teacher and head of department at a local secondary school, so my roots sit firmly in education. Whilst no longer a teacher, I still work within a Learning and Development team, based at a large financial firm in London. I am passionate about supporting others with their learning, and providing an environment and opportunities for all to reach their potential. I hope I can use some of my previous experience of working in a school to my role as a Governor.

    Link Area: Literacy

  • Mr Sam Thompson

    Acting Deputy Head

  • Mrs Karen Dewar

    Awaiting bio

  • Mrs Beth Harper

    Deputy Head

    Currently on maternity leave