Our Governing Body

The role of a school governor is multi-faceted, interesting, and rewarding, but increasingly it involves significant commitment and responsibility.

Governors are volunteers and our main role is to work with the school ensuring that your children receive the best education in a supportive and safe setting.

Essentially, the role involves being part of a like-minded group of individuals, with as diverse set of skills; knowledge; and experience as possible to support and challenge the Schools’ Senior Leadership Team where appropriate. The shared goal is to ensure delivery of the Schools’ strategic objectives that include curriculum development, financial management and safeguarding, and as a result leads to the achievement of the best possible outcomes for all our pupils.

To find out more about our Governors, and for copies of our Governing Body minutes and annual report, please see our other governor pages on this website. If you would like to contact us, or any of our fellow governors, please do so via email at governors@jrs.w-berks.sch.uk.

Chair of Governors, John Rankin Schools

David Marsh

Chair of Governors

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Board

Term of Office

14/05/2023 - 13/05/2026

Register of Interests:

Local Councillor at West Berkshire District Council

Meeting attendance:

7/7 FGB; 3/3 Teaching and Learning


National newspaper journalist for 30 years, most recently 20 years as a senior editor with The Guardian

Author of several language books, including For Who the Bell Tolls: the Essential and Entertaining Guide to Grammar (2013)

Former elected parent governor and vice-chair of governors at a primary school in Kent

Former external examiner, Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield

Parent of one child currently at JRI


Member of Teaching and Learning Committee

Member of Resources and Premises Committee

Link governor for English

Sarah Whatmore

Vice Chair

Local Authority Governor appointed by the Governing Board

Term of Office: 27/04/2023 - 26/04/2026
Register of Interests: None
Meeting attendance: 7/7 FGB; 3/3 Teaching and Learning

Qualified teacher; over 20 years experience with children from 0 - 7 years old

Current employment for West Berkshire Early Years Team and Looked After Children’s Education Services

Two grown up sons


Vice Chair of Governors

Member of Teaching and Learning Committee

Flora Cooper

Executive Headteacher

Ex-officio Governor

Term of Office: From 01/09/2022
Register of Interests: Governor at Cranford House School in Moulsford

I have been in education for 20 years, starting out as a teaching assistant in an EBD school near Birmingham

Before joining John Rankin Schools, I was headteacher at Crowmarsh Gifford in Oxfordshire for 9 years

I am also an Executive of the Talk Teachers Radio Station and also host their Saturday show twice a month

Responsibilities: Member of all committees

Graham Steere-Smith

Parent Governor elected by Parents

Term of Office: 05/07/2023 - 04/07/2026
Register of Interests:  
Meeting attendance: N/A

Over 18 years' experience working in Financial Services as a qualified Chartered Accountant and Internal Auditor.

My eldest daughter has just 'graduated' year 6 at John Rankin, and my youngest daughter is in the Junior school.

Responsibilities: Chair of of Resources and Premises Committee

Andrew Bradshaw

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Board

Term of Office: 01/12/2022 - 30/11/2025
Register of Interests: Wife works as a School Business Manager at Robert Sandilands Primary School
Meeting attendance: N/A
Experience: TBC
Responsibilities: Member of Resources and Premises Committee

Sarah Ruddock

Parent Governor elected by Parents

Term of Office: 17/03/2021 - 16/03/2024
Register of Interests: None
Meeting attendance: 7/7 FGB; 1/1 Resources and Premises

Over 15 years' experience of working in marketing teams in educational publishing

Now a freelance marketing consultant working with many of the big educational publishers

I have 2 children, 1 currently at JRI and the other (hopefully) due to start soon

Responsibilities: Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee

Andrew Green

Staff Governor elected by staff

Term of Office: 19/01/2023 - 18/01/2026
Register of Interests: Partner works at John Rankin Schools
Meeting attendance:



In a previous life, I was a DJ, an executive consultant of LLoyds TSB Insurance and a Stockman for Sir Richard Sutton who, at the time, was the (ninth) Baronet of Berkshire. Fate then bought me to JRS and in three short years, it has become as much a part of me as I have of it.

JRS Admin officer, Jo and I have four children between us with one of those currently in Yr5.

I have a keen interest in outdoor sports and conservation.


Member of Teaching and Learning Committee

Gerry McAnally

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Board

Term of Office: 28/09/2023-27/09/2026
Register of Interests: None
Meeting attendance: N/A

A Chartered and European Patent Attorney, Head of IP for an international healthcare company.

20 years’ experience advising on Intellectual Property in both private and public sectors.

Worked for several years as a research chemist before retraining as a Patent Attorney.

Undergraduate degree in Forensic Chemistry and a PhD in Chemistry.

Three high school-age children, all who came through John Rankin Schools.

Responsibilities: Member of Resources and Premises

Emma Percy

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Board

Term of Office: 28/09/2023-27/09/2026
Register of Interests: Husband is a headteacher at another West Berkshire School and a member of the Academy Trust at St Bartholomew’s School 
Meeting attendance: N/A

Qualified Solicitor since 2006 - A variety of roles working in-house for Local Authorities, Legal Services Board, and in the commercial sector in telecoms and tech. 

Experience in advising on education law including safeguarding matters and SEND. Experience in advising on commercial matters. 

Two daughters who attended John Rankin and are now at a local secondary school. 


Member of Resources and Premises

Safeguarding Governor

Heather McNab

Co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Board

Term of Office: 23/11/2023 - 22/11/2026
Register of Interests: None
Meeting attendance: N/A
Experience: After working on feature films as a Production Coordinator, I became an Early Years Teaching Assistant and Primary School LSA, before completing a PGCE in Primary Education. I worked as a Year 2 teacher and Computing Lead at a large, federated Primary School in Manchester before becoming a mum and moving to Newbury. I have 3 children; one currently attends JRI, and another is due to start next year.
Responsibilities: Member of Teaching and Learning Committee

Christina Pummell

Clerk to the Governors


Worked as an administrator and legal secretary in a local law firm for eight years

Has two children and spent five years being a full-time parent


Advise the governing body on constitutional and procedural matters, duties and powers, ensuring compliance with the relevant governance legislation

Provide high quality, confidential administrative support

Ensure the continuity of governing body business and recommend good practice

Associate members:

None at present

Previous Governors (who have been on the Governing Board within the last 12 months): 

Tom Sutherland

Rebecca Brophy

Katie Kearney

Chris Adams

Tessa Roots


Structure of our Governing Body

Please click on the links below to view the Instrument of Government.

John Rankin Schools 2016 Instrument of Government




Full Governing Body


Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.

Hold the Executive Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff.

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

Overview of key activities:

Understand our school:

  • Pupil attainment and progress.
  • Pupil behaviour, attendance and safety.
  • Teaching quality and staff development.

Set our school’s strategic direction:

  • Champion our vision, values and ethos.
  • Set priorities for school improvement.
  • Consider governance structure and academy status.

Commission action:

  • Agree improvement targets and strategies.
  • Agree allocation of resources.
  • Agree how to monitor and review progress.

Performance manage our school leaders:

  • Appoint Headteacher and support their leadership.
  • Hold school leaders to account for progress.
  • Ensure financial probity and efficiency.

Check we are fit for purpose:

  • Clarify our roles and purpose.
  • Review constitution and ways of working.
  • Make sure members have necessary skills

All Governors.


Also in attendance:   Clerk.

Resources & Premises Committee

Strategically manage and overview: all aspects of budget, financial control, staff, pay and all other resources, the schools' site and building facilities, including internal and external teaching space.


Ensure compliance with all current mandatory H&S regulations.

Minimum of three governors. 

Also in attendance: Clerk, Finance Manager, Operations Manager and Executive Headteacher.

Teaching & Learning Committee

Discuss raising standards through teaching, learning, monitoring, evaluation and the School Development Plan, strategically addressing progress and performance gaps, and keeping curriculum under review.

Minimum of three governors. 


Also in attendance: Clerk and Heads of School.

Pay Committee

To review and challenge as appropriate the Executive Headteacher’s annual pay recommendations for all staff.

Minimum of three governors. 


Also in attendance: Clerk.

Executive Headteacher’s Performance Review Panel

To undertake the Executive Headteacher’s performance review.

Three governors.

School Improvement Advisor.

Would you like to play a part in governing our wonderful schools?

We currently have two vacancies for a co-opted governor and a parent governor election will be run before the end of the summer term. For further information, please email for the attention of the Chair of Governors at governors@jrs.w-berks.sch.uk. Thank you.