Hazel Jones Chair of Governors
I became a Foundation Governor back in late 2013 just before my first child was born, roped into the role by a neighbour who was a governor at the time! I was working then as Head of Estates and Facilities at a Further Education college in Hampshire, and was asked to get involved, as my skills in property would help the school, as the Christ Church Centre was shortly due to open. I'm a surveyor by qualification, and spent several years working for large development companies building shopping centres and business parks before my role at the college. Working at the college gave me a good insight into how education works and what Ofsted inspections were really like from the teachers perspective.
I currently have one child at NCC, and had a baby at the start of the pandemic last year, which proved an interesting challenge whilst juggling with home schooling like so many of you! I have taken a break from working in surveying whilst my kids are small, and currently run my wedding and celebration cake business from home. I am the governor link for Health and Safety in the school, and have recently taken on the role of Phonics / Literacy link too - I am so passionate about reading and books, and was such a bookworm as a kid, it seemed a natural fit for me to do this - reading and looking at books with our children is so important! In my spare time (what's that?!) I enjoy reading, baking, musical theatre, drinking (lots of) good coffee, playing badminton and attempting to stay upright on my paddle-board - I love being by the sea.
I have learnt so much being a governor and continue to do so - I am certainly not an expert, but I hope I fulfil the 'critical friend' role for the school in supporting our amazing head teachers and staff, whilst having an insight and say in our children's education.
Mark Croft Vice- Chair of Governors
I passionately believe that all children should have access to a first-class education in a local school and will do my best to ensure all pupils receive that in a caring, fair, and inclusive manner. I have previously had several years' experience in Governorship at Secondary School level where I served as a Governor, Head of Curriculum, and for several years as Chair of Governors. I moved from Caversham 18 months ago after spending almost 4 years living and working in China. My son William joined Bonsai class in 2021. I ran a cub pack for 9 years in Hungerford and am now involved with Reading 52nd Scouts. Professionally I am a Marketing Director for a high-tech company designing electronic chips.
I feel very lucky and privileged to be part of the NCC family. When I first joined as a parent governor, I had absolutely no clue what the role required. But I liked the school and was determined to use any skills I had, to help the school provide quality education for our kids.
My background is a bit unusual. I started off as a commercial pilot but decided to go back to school to do an MBA and ended up in IT. I mainly focus on Quality Assurance in Digital Project Delivery and work with a geographically diverse team.
I felt my combined experience in a range of fields would be valuable as a governor. Instead, I'm the one who has learnt so much about school improvement as well as the challenges schools face in providing quality education to name a few. As link governor for Special Education Needs and/or Disability, Pupil Premium and Website. I'm especially proud of the provision we have in place for our learners - regardless of their ability even though our resources are hugely limited.
Governors hold strategic responsibilities for the development and improvement of the school and ensure a clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. I must say the amazing work our senior leadership team and indeed all the teaching/support staff put into their roles makes it a very satisfying and rewarding thing to do. I'm constantly in awe of their dedication and hope more people would consider joining us.
The pandemic has really reminded us how important schools are for our children. My own children are grown up, but I have four grandchildren at different primary schools. At school children not only learn basic life skills and knowledge, they have their horizons widened and learn how to learn.
I have been a foundation governor since 2017. Governors work with the senior leaders to set the strategic direction. We are sometimes described as critical friends, but we are above all, friends of the school.
Because I believe education is so very important, schools and education have been part of my life for a long time. After leaving university I did post graduate teacher training. For a couple of years I taught in Nigeria and then worked in the charity sector in adult education before training for ordination. I retired to Reading seven years ago, but before that I was a vicar in South East London. This involved being a governor of a C of E Secondary school. I still help out in local churches and act as a trustee for two small local charities.
When not busy with these or my family I like reading novels, country walks, drinking good coffee, looking at beautiful art and campaigning for action on the climate emergency.
Chartered Valuation and Building Surveyor.I work for KFH Chartered Surveyors based in Wimbledon. I qualified in 1993 and have lived in Reading since 1991. After my degree in Southampton, I lived and worked in West Germany from early 1989 to late 1990, during a very interesting time. I originally come from Ipswich where I went to school and my family home is located. I love my job and helping clients in their home purchase decision is very rewarding. I met my wife Jilly whilst volunteering at Royal Berkshire Hospital in the A&E department and have made life long friends through that contact with the hospital. My interests are running, economics, guinea pigs, socialising, woodwork and my motorbike. Facebook finds it hard to work me out! I will always help others with their home DIY or repair/ improvement projects; I love a project. I was asked to become a Governor at NCCP, it’s not something I thought I was qualified or capable of doing. But I discovered that, my interest in life long learning, people generally and self improvement, making the best of what you have, are key characteristics to encourage, inspire and succeed. To turn up, make an effort and do your best, is all that’s required to live your best life. I want people to make the best of anything they turn their hand to. I was told by a teacher that she wanted her Governor to be visible, accessible and easy to talk to. I will make every effort to be that Governor and help and support this great school to be the best it can.