Vicky Howard – Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee
My name is Vicky Howard and I have been parent governor at Walter since February 2018. My oldest daughter encouraged me to put myself forward as a governor when she became a school councillor at the start of Year 1– she was so excited to be involved and take on extra responsibilities that I decided I would follow in her footsteps! She has now left the school and my youngest daughter is in F2, so I’m starting my Walter journey all over again.
I have worked in the Higher Education sector since 2006 and in university academic quality assurance since 2010 – in particular, I work on Teaching and Learning policy development and collaborations with other institutions, both in the UK and overseas. In my governor role, I am chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee and I have particular responsibility for the curriculum. I hope to draw upon experience from my ‘day job’ to be a critical friend to Walter in all aspects of its curriculum. I am very proud to be a governor at Walter and to be part of this amazing community.
My hobbies include languages, foreign travel, listening to podcasts and spinning.
My name is Stephanie Bell. I joined the Governing body in July 2018. I began working at Walter Infant School and Nursery in April 2017. I have enjoyed the role of Year 1 Lead and class teacher and have now taken on the role as Acting Deputy Head. I am passionate about the wellbeing of our whole school community and love that I work in a school where the children’s wellbeing is a priority.
Before working at Walter Infant School and Nursery, I lived in Manchester and worked at a Primary School in Wigan. During this time, I had the opportunity to teach year 1 and year 2 as well as lead the curriculum across the school.
I gained a BA Hons in Primary Education with QTS from Brunel University.
Outside of school, I am Mummy to my little girl Pippa, a huge animal lover and adore my cat Leonard. When I’m not working I take every opportunity to go to the theatre, spend time with my family and enjoy cooking and entertaining.
Stephen Kennedy - Chair of the Finance Committee, Vice Chair of Governors
My name is Stephen Kennedy and I was appointed as a co-opted governor in September 2020. I am originally from the North West of England but moved down to Wokingham with a young family in 1993 to take up a new position with the company I worked for. I spent 30 years working in a wide range of management positions for a large Japanese optical equipment manufacturer, ending up as a board director. I then spent 5 years as the CEO of the UK subsidiary of an Italian medical diagnostic equipment manufacturer, before working as a Consultant helping small and medium size businesses to improve their performance and initiate change and development plans.
After deciding to take early retirement from full time work, I wanted to take on some voluntary roles where I could utilise my business skills to benefit the community in general and help people develop their potential. I am delighted that I will now be able to support the tremendous work done by those who educate our children and look forward to working alongside the governors and staff to give the children at Walter Infant School and Nursery the best start in life possible.
Lara Panesar Beavis
My name is Lara and I’ve been a parent governor since November 2020. I’ve got two girls, one who has just started in Robin class and the other entering year 2.
I’ve lived in Wokingham for nearly 10 years and am currently on a career break from my senior finance role at Deloitte. I chose to take some time out from my career to focus on the girls while they are young and to have a chance to be more involved with their education and the wider community.
I’m a Chartered Accountant and have worked with a range of businesses as well as some educational charities. I look forward to offering some useful financial insight to the school as well as supporting in any other way needed.
My name is Justin Williamson and I am a governor at Walter Infant School joining in September 2021.
Education has always been an important part of my life, I very much enjoyed my time at school and I hope to use this opportunity to help the leadership team and staff at Walter Infant School provide the best education opportunity for pupils.
I work for a major multi-national technology company based in Reading where I manage a team of project managers in a consulting team and will bring 14 years of business experience to the benefit of the Walter Infant School, its pupils, parents and staff.
Outside of work I enjoy holidays by the sea, weightlifting and science-fiction.
My name is Louise and my daughter, Katie, is currently in year 1. I am a Speech and Language Therapist and have over 15 years’ experience working in education. In my previous role I worked as part of a special school’s leadership team as Head of Therapy and was accountable to the trustees to show how therapy input (including speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy) could help each pupil achieve their full potential. I also was co-literacy lead focusing on developing the pupil’s speaking and listening skills.
My biggest passion is ensuring children are ‘ready to learn’ and that their needs (e.g. emotional, sensory, mental health) are addressed in order for them to access the curriculum. Like every parent at Walter School, I want each child to be supported to become the very best they can be, whatever their background, special educational need, or disability.
Using the skills from my day job, being a governor gives me the opportunity to support the school in its journey and I am also not afraid to ask the difficult questions and be a critical friend.
Undergraduate degree from University of Sheffield in Japanese studies (2:1) – dissertation on Japanese education system
Post-grad degree (M/Phil) in Korean Studies – thesis on Reverse Culture Shock and problems faced by third-culture-kids returning to Korean education system after living overseas
Scholarships to Chuo University, Tokyo and Yonsei University in Seoul
Taught in state junior high and high schools in Korea (EPIK programme) for 1 year (as part of research)
JET programme in Japan – 3 years teaching English and international studies in state nurseries, elementary and junior high schools
6 months as EAL teacher in San Sebastian, Spain
1 year as EAL teacher in public school in Wimbledon (Hall School) – specialising in supporting Japanese and Korean pupils
PGCE, South Bank University – primary specialism
NQT year at Oxford Gardens Primary School – West London. 5 years there in total including:
year sabbatical to volunteer (VSO) in The Gambia – working in remote part of the country to support teachers and schools
Teacher governor at Oxford Garden
Moved to Henry Fawcett Primary School – Oval, London. Head of Year 6 – 3 years
Currently employed at Alfred Sutton Primary School, Reading – Assistant Head and Year 5 lead. Teacher Governor.
Declaration of interests
The attendance register shows the percentage of meetings attended by each governor and is updated on annual basis, as below.