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Purley Church Of England
Primary School

Let all that you do be done in love

1 Corinthians 16:14


Welcome to our Governors’ section

Please find below details of how our Governing Body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment of each Governor.

The school is fortunate to have an active group of governors with a variety of skills and background to help support the school and plan for its future.

Clerk to the Governing Body: Mrs S Hall, email:


The Governors have a strategic overview of the School set out in their Strategic Plan.

Our Governors

Mrs Pamela Slingsby - Chair (Foundation)

Pam Slingsby

It's a bit of a sore point, but technically, I am an Essex girl having grown up in Harlow. That said, my mum was from the Wirral and my dad was the poshest cockney I knew.  I met my husband in A Level Maths back in the 80s and we'll soon be celebrating our pearl wedding anniversary.  Our two grown up children are both former pupils of Purley School. 

Having studied maths, statistics & computing at Poly, I started my working life as a quality analyst of automatic weather station data for the Met. Office. When the children were small, I worked part time for a local telecoms company for many years in their payments and reconciliations team. On September 1, 2004 I joined a local primary school as a part time finance officer; having completed both the certificate and diploma in School Business Management, I am still very much enjoying working there as the School Business Manager.  I have been a governor for more than a decade as I am passionate that schools get it ‘right’, equipping all children with the skills they need to succeed in life.

My faith is a really important part of my life and have been welcomed into the church family at Christchurch Tilehurst. My passion is music and worship. In my spare time, when I can, I go to concerts, sing, visit places, family and friends, read and walk. And then, when I'm done, I enjoy snuggling up with my adorable black cat and a jolly good book or film. 

Mrs Karen Fakes (Headteacher)

Anyone who knows me will have no surprise in knowing that I am Welsh. I was educated in Wales and have a Bachelor of Education degree from Bangor University and ……my first language is Welsh.

I have two children in their 20s. My son is a tennis coach and training to move to the IT industry. My daughter has set up her own Sport Therapy clinic.

I have been teaching for many years in a variety of schools. Having an ex forces husband saw us moving around the UK and four years in Germany, where I taught in forces schools. After settling in Berkshire, I worked at two schools in Thatcham before becoming the headteacher at Purley in September 2013. I fell in love with the school on my first visit. Having worked in so many schools, I can definitely say that there is something special about Purley.

Music is a big passion of mine, though not naturally the most gifted in this area, I have worked hard to achieve what I have. If you want something enough, you can get there! I play piano, violin and clarinet as well as singing. I love musicals and it is a big treat to visit the theatre. I have a beautiful journey to school along the back roads from Thatcham. (Maybe not so beautiful in the dark after a long day at school though!) If you pass me along the way, I may well be singing along to songs from the shows.

The church community and my faith are important to me. I am an elder and organist at the URC church in Thatcham.

I have been a school Governor for a few decades. During that time the role has changed tremendously. I remember in the early day discussing the school potato peeler for half an hour! Thankfully a lot more important matters are discussed these days. I am so grateful to have such wonderful people on Purley School’s Governing body.

Mr Simon Bell (Elected Parent)

Simon Bell 

I am originally from Winchester and went to school in Southampton, before heading off to Reading University to study Philosophy. It was whilst at university that I met my wife, Amelia, and we have stayed in the Reading area ever since, moving to Purley in 2005. We now have three daughters, one of whom has just left Purley for secondary school, one of whom currently attends the school and the other who will be following in their footsteps from September 2020. 

After university, I worked in a number of different roles within the Financial Services profession whilst studying for my professional qualifications to become a Financial Adviser and eventually started my own financial advisory and wealth management practice in 2010. 

I visit the school every week to sit and read with the pupils, which I find hugely rewarding and it also gives me a great insight as to how much the children really do enjoy coming to our school every day. I am passionate about achieving high education standards and have a desire to ensure that all children, regardless of their background or upbringing, are given every opportunity to improve themselves through access to a quality education and to develop a love of learning. 

My daughters take up almost all of my spare time, which has also led to me becoming Head Coach of the U12s Girls team at Tilehurst Panthers Football Club, the largest girls’ football club in the South of England.

I am delighted to be serving as a governor, particularly over the coming years as my youngest daughter begins her own school journey.

Mrs Anne Bolland (Co-opted)

Anne Bolland 

I am married to John and we have lived in Purley for 40 years and it is a delightful place “to be”. I am involved with several organisations in the village and am currently a churchwarden at St Mary’s Church where I also ring bells.

For many years, I have been volunteering at school three mornings a week to support children with their phonics, reading and numbers and more recently I have also had the pleasure of helping Year 6 children with their run up to SATS exams. My volunteering is most rewarding and gives me great satisfaction. I have been a governor for six years and serve on various committees.

Mrs Ruth Bennie (Foundation)

Ruth Bennie

I’m originally from Didcot (when it was still in Berkshire) where I lived before heading to Chester at 18 to study for a degree in music and literature.

Having always wanted to teach, I stayed on in Chester to complete my PGCE in primary education with a creative arts specialism. I then taught in many parts of the country: Northampton, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Leicester, Wokingham and Oxfordshire. During my years in schools I also completed my MSc in Educational Leadership and an MEd with a focus on creativity in education. I eventually enjoyed the huge privilege of spending ten years as the headteacher of the primary school I attended as a child - which was a wonderful experience.

In 2016, I joined the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education as part of the school adviser team, supporting church schools across the Diocese and serving as the strategic lead for governance.

I am a member of The King’s Church in Didcot where I am involved in children’s work, leading worship and supporting our local work with Christians Against Poverty.

I have been married for 26 years – my husband is a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes and I have two adult children: my son is an apprentice heating and ventilation engineer and my daughter is a student at St Andrews University. Also, part of the family is Sherlock, a springer spaniel who we believe is probably the best dog in the world.

I have many years of experience as a school governor, and I am a passionate believer in the ability of a strong and effective governing board to enable and support school development in order that the whole community can flourish. I am delighted to be able to work with the Purley team in this capacity.

Dr Carole Print (LA - West Berkshire)

Carole Print 

My early school life was spent in Guildford, followed at senior school at Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham and then the Holt in Wokingham. In my professional life I qualified as an accountant and worked in a number of companies in the Reading area, and following the birth of our first child I transitioned to teaching those studying for their professional accountancy examinations. This was followed by taking on a role at Henley Business School teaching on MBA courses. In my time at Henley over about 20 years I took a doctorate in finance, trained as a coach, and as Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance I undertook management and committee work, conducted and supervised research in finance and taught on MBA and executive education programmes in many parts of the world. 

Soon after my daughter became a pupil at The Abbey School in Reading I joined the Parents Association becoming Chair, and subsequently a governor of the school. Although most of my teaching and learning experience has been in higher education with senior managers, teaching and learning have been very much a part of my professional life as well as my governor role. I have lived in Purley for 34 years and now that I am fully retired I am delighted to have involvement at Purley Primary School as a governor and look forward to supporting the continuing development and transition at the school. 

Mr David Briscoe (Co-opted)

David Briscoe

I wanted to make a contribution to the community and I joined the Governors at the end of 2019. I studied Politics at university but my career was in audio production as an engineer, producer and manager. Although not a teacher I worked a lot with children and managed the audio department for Pearson Education which created audio materials to accompany books. Most of this was for students abroad learning English, starting with three year olds, through secondary and for business English.

My wife and I bought a house in Purley in 2008 because we wanted to live in the Thames valley and we are very pleased we came here. It is a great community and the school is a key part of it. I am a governor, but I also to go into school every week to help with maths revision which enables me to see the school in action.

Like many people I see that a good start in school is so important and is the foundation for the future of a child. I have two grown up children, but when they were at school I played an active part in their school’s PTA. I hope that as a governor I can make a useful contribution to the continued development of the school.

Mrs Lin Bartlett (Co-opted)

Lin Bartlett 

Originally from Kent I grew up in a small village close to the coast but had always wanted to live in a town so headed for London to study. I then started my teaching career in a large comprehensive in North London and enjoyed being part of a vibrant multicultural community. 

A marriage and two sons followed who, having been born close to Arsenal support the club unfalteringly. Time came though to move and we settled in Purley for the space and fresh air. Both sons went to local schools with the youngest starting at Purley infant. 

Throughout my career in schools, then as a senior adviser I have been passionate about young people having the best educational experience possible. An experience that will carry them through life allowing them to adapt and learn and live fulfilled lives. 

I am in school regularly and enjoy working work with a small group of pupils on their skills in maths. 

Mrs Sarah McGowan (Elected Parent)

Sarah McGowan

My name is Sarah and I’m a parent governor for Purley Primary School. My Son Samuel is currently thriving in Year 2. I have two younger daughters, twins Emily & Lucy who have recently turned one. Outside my family life I have been in the police since 2005. I have worked a variety of roles including specialising in child protection and safeguarding. My current role is a sergeant at Reading police station on the incident crime team whereby I manage a team of constables who attend incidents called in each day. The role is diverse and interesting. I joined the police to help people and fifteen years later I am happy to say I still feel I do this each day I go to work. I’m proud to serve as a police officer. 

I’m excited to be on the team of governors with Purley and look forward to the next academic year. 

Mrs Hayley Gittins (Co-Opted)

Hayley Gittins

I am very pleased to be continuing my association with Purley CofE Primary School, this time as a Co-Opted Governor. Over the last eight years, I have had the pleasure of supporting the school with aspects of their SEND provision. Working with pupils and staff has been very rewarding, and I have always appreciated the friendly and positive atmosphere when visiting the school.

On retirement in August of this year, I was delighted to be welcomed on to the Governing Board. I came to Reading in 1984 from South Wales, where I was born and brought up. I came to train as a teacher and never went home! I still have family in Wales, and we enjoy trips back home to see them and to walk and cycle in the Black Mountains. I married Jeremy in 1994. We met in Reading but, strangely enough, his family originated from a village very near to my own and we were married in the same church in Crickhowell where he had been christened many years previously. Our son was born in 1994. He chose to study languages at university and now lives and works in Madrid. It’s a lovely city and we enjoy visiting him when we can.

As for hobbies and interests, gardening is my passion. We moved 6 years ago to a new house and I have enjoyed creating a nice space to relax in and to entertain friends and family. I enjoy walking in the beautiful West Berkshire countryside and my recent purchase of an electric bike has been a godsend on cycling trips locally and abroad! We have a campervan and this summer we enjoyed touring Green Spain. It’s green for a reason, but the odd rainy day didn’t spoil our fun. I very much look forward to working with such an enthusiastic and committed team of Governors and to meeting more members of the ‘Purley family’ as time goes on.