Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School

Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School

Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School Life at Stonham Aspal C of E VA Primary School


Who are they?

Gavin Hailes - Chair

I became a governor as a result of my involvement with the Church in Coddenham and have been a governor for more than 10 years. Coddenham Parochial Church Council proposed me as a Foundation governor at the beginning of my first term of office and my current term ends on 31/05/2018. I grew up in Gosbeck, went to school in Henley, Needham Market and Stowmaket.  This was followed by a spell at university in South Wales. I used to live in Stonham Aspal but now live in Pettaugh.  I work for a large construction company and in recent years have spent a large part of my time working on large construction projects some of which are outside the UK.  I firmly believe in putting something back into the community in which live and that children's formative years in primary school potentially shape the rest of their lives.

I have chaired the Governing Body for the last two years, my main focus is ensuring that all governors work in a co-ordinated way, proactively support and challenge the staff in the school and have a close working relationship with the headteacher.  I am also a member of the governors finance and premises committee which makes use of my professional skills and knowledge.  The ever increasing and often unseen financial challenges that the governing body faces are really seen to be worthwhile when the school helps to develop well rounded children that attain the best academic results that they can.  I firmly believe that the Christian ethos within the school is one of its major strengths and the foundation for everything else the school achieves.



Katherine Henderson - Vice-chair

I have lived in Stonham Aspal for 14 years and been a governor for the last 5. I worship at Stonham Aspal Church and have been elected by that PCC as a Foundation Governor. My 4 year term of office expires on 31st January 2020. I am chair of the learning and achievement committee, a member of the strategic planning committee. I work part-time as an underwriter for a Lloyds syndicate, and have three children, one at Thomas Mills and two children at Stonham Aspal  who I drop off and collect most days, so please feel free to approach me in the playground if there is anything you would like to know about the governors' work. 



Mrs Sharon Waldron - Headteacher

Joined the Governoning body in April 2015 when she became head teacher. She is an ex-officio member of the governing body.


Mrs Rebecca Edwards

Joined the school September 2018. She is the Year 6 Class Teacher and the School SENCO and Key Stage 2 lead. Mrs Edwards is the teacher representative on the governing body.



Rev Philip Payne

I was born and educated in Coventry.  After reading Economics at the University of Warwick, I joined the RAF; serving for more than 30 years as a logistics officer in the UK, Germany and on the Falkland Islands.

 On leaving the RAF I studied at Westcott House theological college in Cambridge and was ordained in 2011. 

 In July 2014 I moved to Stonham Aspal as Priest-in-Charge of a group of parishes, of which Stonham Aspal is one; becoming a Foundation Governor on taking up this appointment. My term of office is ex-officio for as long as I am incumbent.







Richard Hart 

I have lived in Stonham Aspal for the last 10 years and prior to that I have lived in Crowfield all of my life.  As a child I attended Stonham Aspal Primary School and remember my time and the teachers there with great affection. 

My own three children attend the school presently and they too are enjoying the learning, friendships and warm community that exists within the school as well as partaking in the extra-curricular activities offered. 

I am on my second term as a foundation governor. My term of office runs until January 2020. 

As well as being involved in the full governing body meetings, I am on the learning and achievement committee. This involves analysing data to make sure pupil progress, attainment and achievement is on track.  We look for trends and ask questions about why certain things may be on the rise or decline. We look at how we can maintain the high standards that we have whilst always looking to further improve. I’m also involved on the personnel and communications committee which involves doing all we can to communicate the benefits of the school to the outside world as well as various other issues regarding personnel and policies etc.

Stonham Aspal Primary School is a very special place and it's a privilege to be involved with all it has to offer. 


 Ian Wright

I moved to Stonham Aspal in 1994 with my wife, Janine, who is a secondary school teacher, and two small daughters, who were then aged one and three.  Both our girls grew up in this village and both attended Stonham Aspal School. After a career as a company director spent mainly in the areas of strategic direction and marketing, I am now semi-retired.  I help various companies as a business advisor, mentor, and non-executive director, and am also a trustee of several charities, including The Metcalfe Charities in Stonham Aspal.  I have been Vice Chairman of Stonham Aspal Parish Council for a number of years.

Knowing what a key role Stonham Aspal School played in my own daughters’ education, and the excellent grounding it gave them for their future development, I’m keen to support the other Governors, Head, Staff, Pupils and Parents in their dedicated efforts to ensure that Stonham Aspal school continues to be a key part of this community; to be a great place for the staff to work; and, above all, to be a wonderful environment for the children of this area to learn, to discover, and to achieve their full potential.

 Kevin Blatch


I was elected as the Local Authority governor in February 2018. Having lived in Stonham Aspal since 2001, I was pleased to accept the invitation to take on the role, as I consider that to really enjoy the Stonham Aspal community you have to take an active part in the important things that affect village life. One of these being the school. It is clear to me that alongside a child parents, the school is a major provider of both education and pastoral care. It is essential therefore, that the school gives the children a safe, active, useful and enjoyable start to their lives. I hope that I can play my part in achieving that.

My own four children are all above primary school age, but I do have a grandson at the school. He loves it.

My background is that of a professional in construction and I hope my expertise in both commercial and contractual matters, will assist in my role on the Finance and Premises committee and as a part of the overall governor team. 

In the short period since my appointment, I have come to appreciate the challenges that the school team face and trust that in some way, I can offer them support and advice as and when required.


Mrs Debbie McDonnel


I have recently become a Foundation Governor.  I have lived in Coddenham for nearly 20 years and worship regularly at St Mary’s.  My children attended Stonham Aspal school when we moved to Suffolk and have many fond memories.  I was, for a short time, a teaching assistant at Stonham before training as a teacher.  I recently retired as an Early Years teacher at a school in Woodbridge.  In becoming a governor, I will be able maintain my interest in education and use some of my ‘educational’ knowledge in my new role.  I am on the Learning and Assessment Committee and have taken on the role of Safeguarding Governor.l

Mrs Helena Tiernay

I moved to Stonham Parva from Surrey in the summer of 2016. My eldest child joined Stonham Aspal Primary School in September that year, going into year 2, and my second child started at the pre-school.  We were made to feel incredibly welcome by the school, pre-school and at Stonham Aspal Church, and felt settled very quickly. 


With my second child now also at the school, and a third to start in a couple of years, it was a privilege to be appointed as a Parent Governor in July 2018. 


I work part-time as an employment lawyer, and am currently also a member of the pre-school committee.


Mrs Julie Ponton

I have lived in the Stonham's all of my life, and my family have lived in the area going back several generations, I love our community and our school is such a big and important part of that, both of my children have been at the school, my daughter is now at High School but my son is currently in year 5.

 I have two part time jobs, I work at the village Pre-School having previously been a director, I now deal with the settings administration and I also work as a play assistant which is wonderful, my other job is working for NHS 111 as a coach and health advisor.  It is also a very rewarding job but one of pressure as often calls are of a distressing and urgent nature, prior to this I worked for our out of hours doctors for 5 years, and prior to that I worked for 18 years in the financial department of a large vehicle distributorship.
I am on the learning and achievement committee and I am the named governor for SEND.  I am proud to have been elected a parent governor in 2018, and I want to work hard as a part of our Governing body to ensure that we help to maintain the schools excellent standards.
Alison Green 
Photograph to follow. 

I moved to Stonham Aspal with my now husband in 2004. Our children were born here and both attended Stonham Aspal Primary School. Whilst they were there I was Chair of both the management committee for the Pre-school and PTA, which gave me some insight into what a caring and hardworking community the school is. I was pleased to be asked to come back as a Foundation Governor as I know what a valuable role the school plays in the village and wider community and I am happy to be a part of that.


I have a background in business management, administration, marketing, and sales in areas as diverse as childcare, online retail, government purchasing and the BBC archives. I am currently the clerk for Stonham Aspal Parish Council and like to be involved in village life. I am also in my second year of a law degree proving you are never too old to learn!