Woodingdean Primary School

Woodingdean Primary School

Governor's Biographies

Darren Arbon

Since achieving my PhD I have worked in a variety of roles including a computer programmer, a research scientist for Cancer Research and a secondary school Science teacher.  Whilst no longer a teacher, I still have a passion for education which led my desire to be a governor at Woodingdean Primary School.  My son absolutely LOVES the school and is excited every day to go.  My daughter started in 2020 and also couldn't wait to join her big brother there.

Carly Astaniou

I became a governor at the school in 2018, shortly after my first child joined in Reception. I was keen to understand more about education, the school and participate within the local community. Prior to having children, I worked within the Financial Services Industry, specialising in IT/Change Leadership. I am enjoying understanding more and more about the education our children receive, and how we can ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive. In turn I hope that my leadership, change management and financial background can provide some useful skills to the school. My daughter has been at WPS for a number of years now and still loves it!

Aaron Barnard

In early 2021 the opportunity arose to be a governor at Woodingdean Primary School, and I jumped at it. I am currently serving as Co-opted Governor and chair of the Resources Committee.  I have lived in Brighton all my life and, having grown up in an area of deprivation, I understand the importance of good role models and want to help raise the aspirations of our next generation.  I moved to Woodingdean six years ago and have always wanted to add something back to the community.  I have an accounting background and started my career in practice.  I then moved to work as Chief Finance Officer for an Education Technology Company for seven years.  I now work as Regional Finance Director for Aldridge Education, being responsible for the finances of Brighton Aldridge and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies.  I have two pre-school children who I can't wait to introduce to the Woodingdean Primary School community.

Emma Bennett

I have worked in operational business roles for the past 20 years with an emphasis on marketing, business development and HR.  I now run my own business consulting for hospitality organisations.  As a parent of two boys, I have a keen interest in education, particularly the importance of early years education and ensuring that all children have opportunities to flourish at school.  In keeping with that, I am also Chair of Governors at a state-maintained nursery school in the city.

Matthew Bishop

Following graduating with a Psychology degree in 1998, I have worked in the NHS in a variety of roles and now consult in healthcare improvement work.  I believe in the power of listening, curiosity and the adoption of a beginner's mindset to find ways of working together to solve problems even when there are difficult decisions or challenging questions to answer.

My eldest daughter joined Woodingdean Primary in 2014, with my youngest joining in 2016, and I've had the pleasure of seeing them both grow through their time at school.  As a governor, I'm proud to be part of creating a school where our children can achieve their best because they have a positive nurturing environment that inspires them to learn. 

Gemma Chumnansin

Sharon Cole

Sharon is very passionate about children’s and their families’ well being. She is a qualified Therapist (Psychodynamic counselling and Psychotherapy) and for the past 8 ½ years has worked at Place2Be, a Children’s mental health charity, providing counselling in schools across the UK. Sharon’s previous roles have included being a Service manager and Partnership Manager for the Hackney Learning Trust, where she ran a large multi disciplinary team, providing support to children and families, also set up  and managed the first ever MASH (Multi agency safeguarding Hub). Other roles have included working at Women’s Aid, Childline, working in gangs intervention, managing alternative provisions and an adolescent home.

Gareth Gutteridge

Since joining Woodingdean Primary School in 2009, I have taught in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Upper Key Stage 2. Before training to be a Class Teacher, I supported the children of Woodingdean School as a Teaching Assistant and as a MDSA. I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced so many roles within the school and gain an in-depth understanding of the whole school community. PE, art and outdoor learning are real passions of mine. Before becoming a teacher, I studied Outdoor Education and enjoy being able to use the fantastic space that Woodingdean has for learning. I am currently the Subject Lead for PE and Year 6 Class Teacher. Woodingdean Primary School has given a huge amount to me over the years and, as a governor, I am proud to be able to contribute to the development of this fantastic school.

Karen Meeres

I joined the governing board of Woodingdean in 2009 when my youngest son started at the school. Both my children had a fantastic time whilst at Woodingdean and both are now thriving at secondary school and beyond. I am now a co-opted governor and have been chair for several years. My background in financial services, especially project management, has provided skills which I have been able to use in my governor role. I am passionate that school should be fun, safe, inspiring and that all children should be encouraged and given every opportunity to try their best and achieve. These are things we see every day at Woodingdean and I’m proud to be able to help the school in any way I can.

Rachel Tyndel

Having taught for fifteen years as a primary teacher, I have developed extensive experience teaching in different schools and different age ranges. I started working at Woodingdean primary in September 2019 and was struck by what a caring, inclusive school it is.  It has been a brilliant experience teaching classes from year one to year six as part of my PPA role since then.  With a Mathematics Specialist qualification, MA in Maths Education and a Numbers Count Teaching qualification, you can see that maths is my specialism and I have high aspirations for maths teaching. With three children of primary age, I feel I have both personal and professional experience that I can bring to the governing team. I am proud to be a governor at this lovely school. 

Kate Williams

As the current Headteacher of Longhill High School, I have had extensive experience in the education sector. For the past twenty years I have been passionate about raising standards and aspiration in schools. I started my teaching career as a mathematics teacher and have had experience in a variety of roles prior to gaining my first leadership post in a secondary school in 2009. I am committed to the community that Longhill High School serves and I am proud to be able to give time to governorship of Woodingdean Primary School.