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Great Abington Primary School

The Governing Body of Great Abington Primary School

Our Governing Body are passionate about the outcomes for all pupils at Great Abington and work together with the school staff and community to provide a fantastic learning provision for all. We have a range of experiences and skills that we bring to the role of support and challenge. We take training and development seriously and enjoy listening to pupils and staff when visiting school or accompanying classes on enrichment activities. Please find below brief information about us. If you have any questions then please contact the main school office.

Parent Governors

Jeanette Long (Co Vice Chair)
I joined the governing body as a parent governor in September 2011. I have two children at the school, the eldest in Y6 and youngest in Y3.  I have worked in business development and consultancy for 15 years, 13 years in the food industry dealing with all aspects of food except packaging! In November 2012 I thought that commuting to Surrey and spending much of my time working away from home needed to change, so I joined an online veterinary publisher, and now apply my business development and consultancy skills to the Veterinary market rather than major retailers!

I live in Hildersham with my family and all our pets! Two donkeys, one dog, one hamster, several hens, quails, fish, stick insects and hopefully very soon, bearded dragons and a couple of ducks!!

I really enjoy being part of the governing team and contributing to the school.

Emma Lane

I joined the Governing Body in May 2016. Whilst I was not originally from Abington, my husband and his family for generations before have lived in the village and all attended the school; we moved back to the village 4 years ago with our young son, who now attends Great Abington Primary School. My career background started in marketing, where I have worked in both the publishing and travel sectors. I currently work for a local digital agency as Client Services Director, heading up the project management and account management teams. With my family I also run a local charity, The Elizabeth Coleman Fund, to raise awareness of and to support sufferers of Pancreatic Cancer.

Jane Thirkettle
I became a parent governor in October 2013. I have two daughters, one in KS2, and one at Linton Village College. We moved to Little Abington in 2012 after living in Brighton for ten years. I have worked in contract and personnel management for international development consultancies since 1995, in Oxford and Sussex and now remotely from home. I also volunteer at Citizens Advice Bureau once a week. 

Sue Middleton

I joined the governing body in September 2015. I have three children in the school, a daughter in year 5, a son in year 2 and a daughter in reception. I am originally from Yorkshire, but have been a resident in Great Abington for the last 23 years. I have worked for the National Health Service for 28 years and my current role is that of a Senior Sister in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Antonia Wells
I joined the Governing Body in September 2015 and have 2 boys in Great Abington Primary School. We lived in Abington for over 10 years but recently moved to the village of Brinkley. I currently work as a surgical registrar in Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Staff Governors

Lucy Shaw

I became a staff governor in January 2017. I completed my PGCE at the IOE in London in 2015, and have worked at Great Abington Primary school now for nearly two years. Before embarking on a career in education, I worked for 8 years in London as an advertising and communications strategist in creative agencies and brand consultancies. I studied at Cambridge for my undergraduate degree in Classics over ten years ago, so I felt at home very quickly when I moved back up here with my husband more recently.

Co-opted Governors

Dan Gresham (Chair of Governors)
I have been a governor since July 2011 and became Chair of Governors in 2013.  I have three children at the school, a son and daughter in KS2 and a son in KS1.  I grew up in Cambridge, and moved with my family to Hildersham in 2005.  I have worked in the music business for the past 16 years.

Mark Carter
I have been a governor since 1989, first as a parent governor, then an LEA governor in 1997, and subsequently a co-opted governor.  My four children attended Great Abington and then went on to Linton Village College and further studies.  I am a solicitor and have worked in Saffron Walden for over thirty years.  I am Vice-President and trustee of Abington Cricket Club, and a trustee of The Village Institute.

Alan Cooke
I moved to Abington 20 years ago when my work in the pharmaceutical industry brought me to Cambridge.  My son attended the school before moving on to Linton and my spaniel still stops at the gates when we walk past.

I have a couple of new business interests in housing and development and also loudspeakers. These keep me busy, but I like to find the time to cycle, sail and improve my golf.

Helen Howe (Co Vice Chair)
I became a community governor in the summer of 2014. I have 3 children and 3 step children but they have all now progressed into adulthood! I have lived in Abington since 2003. I am a pharmacist and previously worked at Addenbrooke's Hospital. I now work occasionally on university inspections around the UK and continue to support the NHS and the University of East Anglia via various projects and committees. 


Will Earl

I became a governor in 2016 having had an association with Abington since 1995. My wife is a former pupil of Great Abington Primary School (a long time ago!) and her family has a longstanding association with the local community and school. We live in Hildersham with our three sons and I work at The Leys School in Cambridge where I teach Geography and am Director of the Wider Curriculum, overseeing all that happens outside the classroom. 


Barbara Battom

Having been co-opted onto the Governing Body in February 2016, I am looking forward to being part of the Governing team. I have lived in Great Abington for nearly 30 years. 2 of my grandchildren have attended Great Abington School, one is still there while the other has now left to go to Linton Village College. My early career was in bookkeeping/accounts followed by a career in teaching. I retired 2 years ago from teaching where as Head of ICT I played a leading role in gaining specialist status for the school. I now enjoy spending time with my family, playing bowls and my new hobby of photography.


Local Authority Governor

Cllr Tony Orgee




Guy Underwood
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read about our great Governing Body. As Headteacher I know how important it is to have a supportive school community who provide challenge but fantastic support.  I hope that you enjoy reading and looking at all the great activities and events our children, staff and wider community get involved with on a weekly basis. Our Twitter page showcases elements of our learning and enrichment - GA Twitter

I fully understand the pressures of modern family life with two active boys. My wife Michelle is a class teacher and as a family we enjoy escaping to interesting places both in the United Kingdom and further afield. Cycling and golf are sports I enjoy in those precious spare moments. Prior to Great Abington my Education career has been in London and provided a wealth of experiences that I draw on in my current role. I have worked in all phases of Primary Education and led a significant Government project for four years that explored how change management could impact on outcomes across all phases of Education. I have been a school improvement partner for challenging schools and worked alongside National Leaders of Education through the London Challenge programme. I graduated from Lancaster University where my specialism was English and achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2012. 


Associate Governors


Helena Marsh
I am a recently appointed Associate Governor having served as a Co-opted Governor for a year. I moved to Pampisford with my family in 2012, having lived in Cambridge and the surrounding area since graduating from university. I have a daughter in Class 2 at the school and a son who attends the Pre School. I have worked in education for the past 11 years as a teacher of English at a number of secondary schools across Essex and Cambridgeshire. I joined Linton Village College as Deputy Principal in September 2014 and from January 2016 as Principal. I am also a Specialist Leader in Education for the CASSA Teaching School Alliance. My professional responsibilities and areas of expertise and interest include: raising standards of teaching and learning and assessment; professional development; self-evaluation and well-being. I enjoy being able to contribute to the life of the school and find it interesting to gain an insight into Primary education.


Fenella Martin-Redman

Clerk to the Governing Body

Emma Penfold