Chair of Governors
As a parent of two children at the school, I am impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff at St Marys. I become a parent governor in November 2016 as I wanted to play an active role in the continued improvement of St. Mary’s in providing both a great education and a sense of social responsibility in all pupils.
I am a qualified management accountant with several years of experience across various companies and industries. I believe I can utilise my extensive knowledge in my role of governor to the benefit of the School. I have lived in Saffron Walden since 2009 and I have another child who be due to start school in September 2021.
I moved to Saffron Walden in December 2006 and I have three children and four grandchildren. I am a regular attendee at St Mary's Church, a member of the Guild of Servers as well as the head co-ordinator for the Church sidesmen teams.
I am an Authorised Local Preacher in the diocese of Chelmsford, Deputy Warden and an active member of the Family Service team at St John's Church in Little Walden.
In my business life, before I retired, I was the Head of Purchasing and Contracts for Mettler-Toledo, the European Supply Chain Manager for TNT Express as well as Fleet Material Manager for a number of long haul fleets for British Airways. I have been a member of the Chartered Management Institute, an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and an associate member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
I am currently serving the school as Vice Chair of governors, Chair of Admissions and Chair of Pay and People.
I worked in primary schools as a children’s Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and before that as a Class Teacher in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and East London. I’m interested in children’s emotional well-being and in particular how it affects their ability to learn. I believe my experience will be a help to the school.
I have lived in Saffron Walden for over 25 years and been involved with the life of St Mary’s Church in different capacities throughout that time, including safeguarding and charity coordinator. Currently I sing in the choir and help out in practical ways.
I am mum to two strong willed girls at St Mary's and I am an ex pupil of the school too! I am a Chartered Management Accountant currently working for Cambridge Assessment. I previously trained as a Secondary School Science teacher and have always had a keen interest in education.
I endeavour to use my experience, principles and finance background to help ensure St Mary's continues to grow as a great school and as a great asset to the local community.
John Westnedge - Vice Chair
I worked for Tesco, latterly as an IT director, for 31 years and retired in 2013. During that time I was based in Hertfordshire but was also fortunate to work in Prague, Dublin, Bangalore and Tokyo managing IT projects and business change programmes. We lived in Prague for 3 years and moved to Saffron Walden in 2000 when my wife and I returned home. We have always been regular church goers and have attended St Mary’s church since we came to Saffron Walden.
I was a school governor at a large independent school for 18 years and also sat on the Board of a Multi-Academy Trust for 5 years. Helping out with planning and delivering projects was my main role there. I retired from these positions in December 2018 and joined the Governing Body at St Mary’s where I now chair the People and Pay Committee. Its great to work as part of a team of people all committed to helping the school’s development for the benefit of the children and their education.
I am delighted to be coming back to be a governor at St Mary's. I have previously served as a church governor for one year in 2015-16.
I have lived in Saffron Walden for many years and have spent my life teaching Primary aged children; for nineteen years I taught in Saffron Walden at Dame Bradbury's School. I have also been a Deputy Head, an Assistant Head and the Membership Officer of the Independent Schools Association; I have extensive experience both of teaching and of leadership and management. I am now semi-retired and teach three days a week at St Mary's, Stansted. I am still passionate about education.
I am a member of the congregation of St Mary's and enjoy serving the church and the community in a variety of ways. I look forward to working with you all in promoting a thriving, happy school with a Christian ethos.
I have two young sons, one of which is a pupil at St Mary's. Since moving to Saffron Walden in 2017, I have taken an interest in the school and have been fortunate to be able to volunteer with various activities there. As a family, we were so encouraged by the community feel of the school, and the links it has to St Mary's Church. We have enjoyed attending Church services and encourage our children to be a part of this. I am keen to help maintain the Christian ethos of the school, which I feel creates a really good environment for children to learn and develop.
I have worked as a Registered Nurse at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for 10 years, and recently become a Training Manager within the Trust. I am confident that I can bring some useful skills to the role of Church Governor, and look forward to this new challenge.
I am very pleased to sit on the board of governors as the Local Authority delegate and I currently have 2 children at the school with a 3rd due to start in September 2022 hopefully. The school has worked wonders with the children over the last 2 years of COVID and I see my role as a governor to monitor and help the school continue its progress with the children and ensure stability of that progress.
My primary job is a Director of Fleet Operations for a shipping company that installs, monitors, and maintains telecommunication and power cables around the world. All these areas of responsibility are transferrable to a school environment. As a side-line, I am the Chairman of the War Committee at the UK Chamber of Shipping, a Director of the Sea Safe Training Group (SSTG) which funds, trains and mentors sea going cadets, and finally I Manage 2 U9 Cricket teams at Saffron Walden Cricket Club.
You might wonder what an ex sailor has to offer a board of governors, well my role as a Director is to manage a seafarer pool of around 650 sailors worldwide, as well as a sizeable team shoreside. The specialities include crewing and HR, technical management, contract management, large budget control, project management, auditing, and assurance. My volunteering roles offer much more besides.
Having recently taken up the post of Rector at St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden, I am enjoying getting involved at St Mary’s School, where I serve as a governor and join in some assemblies. I am married to Alison, a teacher, and have to young adult children.
I started out my professional life in the military before moving into civil aviation where I have been a commercial airline pilot for the last 15 years. During this period, I also started, grew, and sold a small tech company. I currently work with several technology start-ups in Cambridge, helping them through initial periods of growth.
I currently have two children at St Mary’s, my eldest in Year 3 and my youngest in Year 1. As parents, my wife and I are humbled by the holistic approach the staff at St Mary’s have towards education. We have been particularly impressed by the support and nurture given during the pandemic and I would like to play a part in supporting the school, wherever I can, in my role as an Associate Governor.