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.
The Governors have a strategic overview of the School set out in their Strategic Plan.
Mrs Pamela Slingsby - Chair (Foundation)
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. I am privileged to be a member of the church family at St Mary's, Purley where I have served in a variety of ways. My passion is music, particularly worship; I lead a worship team and enjoy the craziness of mentoring a youth worship team. 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 Catherine Hester (Co-opted)
I was brought up in a little village in North Yorkshire, where my parents still live. I attended our small village C of E primary school and have very fond memories of that time.
I studied at university in London and then worked with children with special needs for three years, before training as a primary teacher. Once qualified, I worked in an outer London primary school for three years before leaving to do two year’s voluntary work with street children in Tanzania.
When I came back from Tanzania I joined Oxfam, and worked there in a number of different roles for 13 years. Throughout this time I had the privilege of meeting many fabulous people from all over the world, and believe that all our children should become true global citizens.
I subsequently worked for a charity called the White Ribbon Alliance as Deputy Director. We worked with passionate campaigners all over the world to ensure that women are safe during pregnancy and childbirth.
For the past three and a half years I have worked as a freelance consultant, supporting various charities with different elements of their work.
I have served as a Governor at Purley Primary school since December 2013, including as Chair and Vice Chair. I remain fully committed to playing my part in supporting the school to help each and every child to achieve their potential.
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)
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)
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.
Mr Matt Barber (Co-opted)
The majority of my school life was spent by the coast in Kent, followed by an Apprenticeship at the Army Apprentices College in Chepstow. I really enjoyed my 16 years in the Royal Engineers, in particular the overseas travel. For 5 years I was an Instructor at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Camberley, teaching the advanced Engineering courses.
Having left the Military in 2002 I worked as an Operations Manager
I then decided to return to my Engineering roots as a Construction Project Manager first for Costain Limited and then later Babcock International. In 2008 I started my own business as a consultant specialising in Construction Project Management. I have since Project Managed various Projects circa +£1Bn on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
As a family we decided to leave the traffic and noise of Sandhurst behind, so my wife Azra, daughter Alice, son Harry and I moved to Purley in 2013 to enjoy the quiet life. Alice was a pupil at Purley Primary School, while Harry still attends.
As a Member of the Chartered Institute of Building I volunteered to support the School as the ‘new build’ works entered the first phase and was Co-opted onto the Governing body. As these works are now complete I have been able to support the School on other Committee’s having recently been appointed Chair of the Site and Safety Committee.
I enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the school and village, and really believe that you get out of life what you put into it.
Dr Carole Print (LA - West Berkshire)
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.
Mrs Caroline Hodsdon (Staff Governor)
I have lived in Purley since 2002 and have worked in Primary Schools since 2000. I worked as a teaching assistant in different schools before gaining a PGCE in 2006. I was a full time Primary Teacher until I trained as a Reading Recovery teacher. I have been at Purley Primary as a Teaching Assistant since November 2014. Since September 2015 I teach one day a week in Badger class.
As a member of staff I appreciate all the hard work that so clearly goes on at Purley from all the children, staff, parents and volunteers and I am looking forward to supporting the school as a Governor.
Mrs Lin Bartlett (Co-opted)
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 Selina Hall (Clerk to Governors)