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The Piggott School

A Church of England Academy

School Governors

As part of the Piggott Church of England Academy, the Charvil Primary School shares a governing body with the Piggott School (Secondary).

If you wish to contact the Governors please email the Governance Professional

Governors List

Ex Officio 

Mr Derren Gray – Executive Headteacher
Term of appointment: 1st September 2014
Declarations of Interest: The Piggott School - Executive Headteacher (date interest began 1.9.2014)

"After achieving five A-levels at AAAAB grades I studied at the University of Nottingham graduating with a BSc(hons) in mathematics. I then undertook a PGCE(S) mathematics with ICT at St Mary’s, Twickenham and since then have taught in a range of schools including single sex, mixed, comprehensive, grammar, secular and religious. I have taught Mathematics to further maths level, RE GCSE, KS3 ICT, Physics A level and Critical Thinking AS level. I completed my Master’s degree in School Improvement in 2004 and my NPQH in 2007.


I have been Headteacher of The Piggott School: Wargrave Senior and The Piggott School: Charvil Primary since September 2014. I am married with two young children and so my hobbies include scooting, Pokemon, going to the park, feeding ducks, Disney, horse riding lessons, Hockey, violin lessons, gymnastics and occasionally sleeping."


Co-Opted by the Foundation Governors and the Diocese 

Mr Richard Thiele – HT appraisal, Leadership & Management, Chair of Governors, Chair of the Pay Committee, SALT, Admissions, Finance  
Term of appointment:
11th September 2013 – 10th September 2025
Declarations of Interest: None

"My relationship with education in Wargrave started out as a pupil rather too many years ago.  In 2013 I was elected as a Parent Governor at The Piggott School with an aim in mind to help the good work of the school and put something back into the education system.  Since then we developed our Vision, Values, Mission and School Aims; the foremost of which is to provide a caring environment based on our Christian vision and values – this is what drives me to remain involved to the present day.  

When joining the Governing Board I promised myself that the best way to support the Piggott community was to be proactive and help wherever and whenever I could find a way.  My love for the Piggott community has developed and grown through the years and nobody could be prouder of the way that Piggott teachers and staff live and breathe the core values which underpin every action, every day. 

With an industry background in business to business publishing and international exhibitions I always managed to find the time for some form of voluntary service which has been incredibly rewarding and enriching to me personally.  Since retiring from full time employment the school has become even more important to me particularly as we continue to face the challenges and changes that life continues to present.

“Go and do likewise” Luke 10:17, which is the Parable of the Good Samaritan guides us to help others and the Governing Board uses this advice to direct our actions.  Our Purpose is “By using our collective expertise we enable the Piggott School Community to flourish”.  We Governors offer time, experience, knowledge, and a commitment to help staff and parents who are all dedicated to developing the school, as it strives towards inspiring and encouraging the highest achievement."


Mr Ian Pogue – Finance, Pay, Primary
Term of appointment: 12th February 2024 – 11th February 2028
Declarations of Interest: None

"I am a Chartered Accountant, having trained with Deloitte, and whilst I have mainly worked for commercial organisations over the years, since the start of 2015 I have been Director of Finance and Administration at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).  The RAD is a not for profit organisation that sets standards for dance teaching worldwide. We count more than 1,000 students in our teacher training programmes and around a quarter of a million students are being examined on our syllabi.

 I have a son at Charvil Piggott primary school, and when a vacancy came up as a parent school governor in early 2016, I therefore saw a chance to contribute both my financial and now ongoing educational experience, to hopefully give something back to a vital part of our community."

Foundation Governors Appointed by the Diocese

Dr. Alison Silby – HT appraisal, Vice Chair of the Wargrave Piggott, SALT, Primary
Term of Appointment:
15th March 2016 - 13th November 2027
Declarations of Interest: University of Reading  (date interest began 15.3.2016)

"For the past 15 years, I have been involved with Initial Teacher Training programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am currently employed as an academic at the University of Reading where I am a lecturer in English and Education. A large part of my job includes the design and delivery of a challenging degree programme as well as the recruitment and professional development of trainee teachers. I work in close partnership with a large number of schools in the area to ensure that the training provided, by both the University and schools, is outstanding. I am particularly interested in curriculum development and all aspects of pedagogy related to literacy. My specific research interests include exploring the different ways in which pupils engage with the reading and writing challenges they meet in the classroom. Prior to my involvement in higher education, my role as a teacher ranged across key stages 1, 2 and 3 where I was primarily responsible for leading English and promoting a creative curriculum combining English, Drama, Music and Art. I have a daughter in Year 12 at The Piggott School and am also an active member of my church where I serve as a Trustee. In this role, I have the opportunity to promote and follow Jesus’ command to ‘Go and do likewise’, conveying mercy and compassion to all. I feel privileged to have served The Piggott School as a governor over the past five years and look forward to making a continued contribution."

Mrs Joanna Cowley – Safeguarding (designated safeguarding governor), Primary Committee, SMSC

Term of appointment: 15th July 2016- 14th July 2024
Declarations of Interest: None

"Having initially worked as a Social Worker in various teams, I am currently an Advice and Outreach Worker for a local charity.

I am married with three teenage sons; the youngest two are pupils at The Piggott School and the eldest is at university.

I worship regularly at St. Mary’s Twyford, and am involved in various aspect of Church Life.  I am passionate about seeing the church serve, and work together with its local community.

I am also to be found running (slowly), baking and walking our cockapoo.

As a Foundation Governor, it is a privilege to be a part of this amazing school, and to help uphold its Christian vision and character."


Mr Gary Hughes – HT appraisal, Governor for Careers, pay, SALT, Vice-chair and link governor to key Stage 5

Term of appointment: 30th June 2014 – 29th June 2026
Declarations of Interest: None

"My wife Anne and I have lived in Charvil for over 20 years and have one daughter who attends the Piggott School.

I am a Senior Consultant working in market access helping the NHS and industry work successfully together. Through my career I have worked in primary care, the optical and veterinary sectors as business owner, director and senior manager. I have an MBA and a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education.

Having lived in Charvil for nearly 30 years I would like to give something back to the community. As a pupil parent and Foundation Governor I recognise and support the importance of the school’s Christian ethos, and the hope our students will grow to be ‘Good Samaritans’"


Mrs Lucy Bowley – Admissions and SMSC

Term of appointment: 16th March 2016 – 16th March 2024
Declarations of Interest: Trustee for Regatta for the Disabled (date interest began 16th March 2016)

"Following the birth of my daughter Emma , now 26 it became apparent that she had significant learning delays and so I became a full time Mum. My second daughter also has disabilities so I found myself championing their cause in a way I hadn't expected. A journey with a disabled child can be difficult and tough, but my experience is that schools settings and their  management are crucial to the well being of the whole family that and I wanted to be parting of shaping that learning environment at The Piggott.

I am married to John and between us we have 5 children, my son is in year 13 at Piggott. I worship at St Mary’s Twyford and am a licensed lay preacher, worship leader and churchwarden. I believe very strongly that promoting Christian values in education sets our students up to be kinder, loving and more accepting of people they come into contact with. My prayer for them is that the feel the love of God strongly enough to witness the story of the Good Samaritan without hesitation. "


Mrs Alison Smyly - Vice Chair of Charvil Piggott, Chair of the SMSC Committee, Chair of the Primary Committee, SALT

Term of appointment: 19th November 2018 -18th November 2026
Declarations of Interest: The PCC of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Sonning (date interest began 2017) Family member: Friends of St. Andrews Church (date interest began 2018)

"I came to Reading for my first teaching post as a primary school teacher, working in Hampshire initially, then working in South Oxfordshire and Windsor and Maidenhead. Married with three children, our two eldest are at the Piggott, Wargrave and our youngest attends a local primary school. We are actively involved in St Andrew's Church, Sonning, and I currently lead the Sunday Club. It is a privilege to be serving the Piggott Community as a governor and I will seek to ensure the Christian character and vision of the school remain at the heart of all we do and to encourage links with the local churches. "


Mr Christopher West - SMSC

Term of appointment: 19th November 2018 -18th November 2026
Declarations of Interest: Youth Minister at St. Andrew’s Church, Sonning (date interest began   19.11.2018)

"I have been involved in Christian youth ministry for over 20 years. I have a degree in Youth & Community Work and Applied Theology with a JNC. I live locally in Woodley with my wife & daughter. My hobbies include table tennis, disc golf and managing a girls football team. I love spending time up a mountain either with a snowboard strapped to my feet, or walking with friends.

As a youth minister I am passionate about seeing young people fulfil their God given potential and I love to do this through building positive relationships and giving them spaces to learn, grow, discover and ask questions without fear of being judged. 

My hope, as a foundation governor, for The Piggott C of E School is that together, we will enable students to grow in faith, resilience, confidence and self worth in order that they might ‘go and do likewise’".


Mr Matt Perowne -  HT appraisal, Chair of the Finance Committee

Term of appointment: 14th December 2018 – 13th December 2026

Declarations of Interest: Close family member is a governor at Robert Piggott C of E Schools (date interest began 14th November 2019)


"I am an equities fund manager at the Korean Sovereign Wealth Fund. I invest in European companies, and regularly meet their executive officers, discussing their finances and strategic initiatives to improve performance.  I hope to use my knowledge here to effect as a Foundation Governor of this wonderful and impressive school.

I am married to Issy, who is a solicitor in London. We met at Durham, where I majored in Spanish - I am also the link governor for the MFL team - and I spent a year living in Madrid.  We have three children, and regularly attend St. Mary's in Wargrave.  Embarrassingly, I am a Norwich City Fan, and impart my Canary footballing skills on the Wargrave Wolves U6's on the school’s fantastic 3G pitches."


Dr Thanda Mhlanga - Equalities & Inclusion, Primary

Term of appointment: 6th May 2021- 5th May 2025

Declarations of Interest: Member of the Twyford and Ruscombe CoE PCC - September 2022

                                                Founder of Ignite Inclusive Leadership (date interest began: 1.10.2023)

"I am a ‘cultural-insider’ in the UK education system: I have held teaching, lecturing, teacher training, inspection and leadership and management roles across the three sectors of Compulsory Education, Further Education and Higher Education in Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire.   

I have a MA in Educational Leadership and Management and a PhD in the same field. However, the latter particularly focused in Critical Management Studies (CMS) – a field that is critical of established social practices and institutional arrangements. CMS contends that dominant theories and practices of management and organisation systematically favour some groups and/or interests at the expense of those who are disadvantaged by them. This background underpins my worldview: I do not only want to understand and explain status quo; I am committed to analysing social conditions and contributing towards the development of a more rationale and just society. Education is central to this objective.

As an educator, it dawned on me that a high proportion of students from marginalised or disadvantaged backgrounds were underachieving compared to their counterparts from advantaged backgrounds. This realisation triggered an interest in the field of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – a field that I perceive as a commitment and a moral obligation. Consequently, I have dedicated most of my professional and academic life to challenging the UK education system to diversify and ‘inclusivise’ its curriculum so that all students can have a sense of belonging, grow, blossom and reach their full potential irrespective of their background. I left the academe recently to take a role in the NHS where I advocate for critical engagement with structural and systemic inequality.

I am married to Petronella – a Business Manager in the NHS. We have two children: a 6 year old son and a 4 year old daughter, they are in Year 2 and Foundation Year respectively at Charvil Piggott Primary School. We are a practising Christian family and fellowship at St. Mary’s Twyford. My Christian values are key to my role as a Foundation Governor. I am hoping that over the next few years I will be able to add value and contribute to the religious underpinning and outstanding educational culture at the School."


Mr David Oppong - Facilities and link governor for data protection

Term of appointment: 10th January 2022- 9th January 2026

Declarations of Interest: None.

"To be able to “go and do likewise” first, we must “train up a child the way [s/he] go, and when [s/he] is old [s/he] will not depart from it” as the Lord instructs us in Proverbs 22:6. It is an honour and privilege for me to contribute my gifts, talents and skills in enabling the Piggott School do just that.

My wife and I are blessed with three children all of whom are thankfully now at The Piggott School. This followed a period of having all three at different schools following our relocation from Southampton in March 2021.

While not an educationalist, I bring with a diverse breadth of leadership, policy, programme management and operational experience including from my time as an unqualified teacher in Ghana, a soldier in the British Army, a social worker for multiple local authorities, UK diplomat delivering humanitarian programmes with the United Nations, formulating and delivering policies and programmes across multiple Whitehall departments.

I am motivated by quality and excellence, and believe that “if it must be done, it but be done well”. I am hoping to bring rigour, constructive challenge, and put in the hours to ensure the Piggott School continues to equip our children to be shining stars of our local, national and international community in their own unique ways".


Mr Greg Scholes - Chair of the Admissions Committee

Term of appointment: 28th June 2022 – 27th June 2026

Declarations of Interest: TransformEQ Limited (date interest began 18.10.2023)

My wife and I are South African by birth and have lived in the UK for 15 years and Twyford for 10 of them. We were both raised with strong Christian values, raising our children with these beliefs too. I have always had a passion for education and as a father of 2 (hopefully) heading to Piggott in the future I am pleased to join the Governors to help drive and deliver the school's strategy.

By day, I am a Change and Transformation Director, working with companies globally to help individuals, teams and companies unlock their true potential by creating and delivering strategic programs of work. I believe my experience, my kids future and my Christian upbringing put me in a position of strength to be a Governor and guide the school leadership where I can.


Mr Justin May - Finance, Pay

Term of appointment: 9th January 2023 – 8th January 2027

Declarations of Interest: None

"After Graduating from the University of Southampton in 1997 with a degree in law, I started on the Chartered Accountancy graduate scheme at PwC, qualifying at the end of 2001.  Shortly afterwards, I moved into the world of investment banking at Morgan Stanley where I have been ever since.  I'm currently an Executive Director and Global Lead Risk Officer for the Firm's Investment Management Business managing a number of teams based across the globe.  Aside from my employment at Morgan Stanley, I also run a property development and investment company having been very active in the field since the late 1990's.   


As a keen believer in the benefits of voluntary service, I aim to use my knowledge and expertise to benefit the community wherever possible.  I'm an active councillor and former chair of my local Parish Council (Ruscombe) as well as occupying a seat on the governance board for Reading Athletics Club.  As a keen (but very average!) runner, I've also recently qualified as Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF) coach and train the U11 & U13 endurance groups at Reading AC.   


I hope my deep experience in Finance will help Piggott navigate the turbulent time ahead and very much look forward to working as part of the governors’ team!"


Parent Governors appointed by the Parent Body

Marianne Newman – Chair of the SALT Committee, Primary, designated looked after children governor

Term of appointment: 22nd January 2018-21st January 2026

Declarations of Interest: Teacher at Polehampton Junior School (date interest began 22.1.2018)


"With a daughter in year 7, I was keen to get more involved in school life at the Piggott. I felt that my background in primary education might benefit the governing body and that I could learn a lot along the way too.

I graduated with a BA(Ed) from Durham University in 1997 and moved to London where I gained a wealth of experience teaching different age groups in a wide range of primary schools. We moved to Charvil and I took some time out of work when my children were young. I then returned to teaching in 2012, when I started working part-time at Polehampton Junior School.

I am looking forward to working with the other governors as well as the senior leadership team and headteacher. Following the recent Ofsted inspection, I would like to see how I can help maintain the excellent standards that the school has set and am motivated to ensure that both the senior school and Charvil Piggott Primary continue to improve.

When I’m not playing chauffeur to my active children, I enjoy running, reading and the odd 9 holes of mediocre golf".


Dr. Barbara Zesik – SALT, SMSC

Term of appointment: 1st February 2023 – 31st January 2027

Declarations of Interest: None

"In the world of business, we speak of the need for life-long learning, agility, resilience and strategic thinking to lead organisations to success. The same principles apply to our young people: the children, teenagers and young adults in education. Constant advances in technology, the integration of cultures, changing workplaces and increased macro-economic pressures will require resilient, able and confident people to join the workforces at all levels. 

I have a deep and long-standing passion for talent management, organisational development and business strategy, underpinned by an MSc in People and Organisational Development awarded by the University of Sussex and a Doctor in Business Administration from the University of Surrey. 

My career spans more than 25 years in progressively more senior roles across multiple industry sectors (including time in education) and I am currently the Chief People Officer of an international, Berlin-based travel tech start-up. I could not have wished for a better opportunity to ‘pay forward’ to the next generation by sharing my experience and making a difference in young lives than by joining the board of governors of a school. 

I have a daughter in year seven at The Piggott School and a son - currently at The Robert Piggott Junior School - who will be moving up to senior school in September. I very much look forward to working with the Governors and school leadership team to equip future generations to thrive and achieve their very best. "


Ms Sarah Beere – Admissions, Facilities

Term of appointment: 1st February 2023 – 31st January 2027

Declarations of Interest: Trustee of the CPSA (Charvil Primary School) (date interest began 1.2.2023)

"I am a Piggott alumna, and after completing my A- levels at Piggott I obtained a BA in Geography and a MA in Personnel Development.  

My eldest child is a pupil at Charvil Piggott primary school and I have a younger one whose Piggott journey commences in 2026. 

I see the role of Parent Governor as an opportunity to contribute towards the future success of the school that I have a long standing connection with.  

I’ve worked as an HR Director and ‘Head of’ for financial services and technology businesses in SMEs and have extensive operational and strategic HR experience, which I hope will benefit the Governing Body. "


Staff Governors appointed by the Staff of The Piggott School

Mrs Joanne Humphrey Admissions, Facilities
Term of appointment: 1st October 2018 – 30th September 2026
Business Interest: The Piggott School – Teaching staff and Examiner for Eduquas Media Studies (date interest began 1.10.2018)

"I am in my 13th year of teaching English and media studies and have been the head of media studies and a teacher of English at The Piggott School for over seven years. Prior to entering the profession, I worked in desktop publishing, advertising and marketing. I completed my degree in English and Media at the University of Leeds and have lived and worked in my home country of the UK and in Australia.

I am married and we have one son who recently completed his A Levels at a different local school.

I love my job and feel privileged to work at The Piggott School. I am an optimistic practitioner and I am always looking for ways to improve my own practice and to support teachers within my department to do the same.

I became a school governor because I believe I have the necessary enthusiasm and skills to make a difference to the strategic direction the school will take for the benefit of its students and staff."

Mr Matthew Smith SALT and SMSC
Term of appointment: 30th September 2022 – 29th September 2026
Business Interest: The Piggott School - Teaching Staff (date interest began 30.9.2022)

"I joined The Piggott School in 2018 as Head of Department for Design & Technology / Food Preparation and Nutrition. I have always had a passion for design, and I studied Product Design at university before completing the Graduate Teacher Programme.

I am married with two young children who keep me on my feet! We are part of our local church where we help lead worship and have been involved in children’s and youth work. If I have any free time I love to go kayaking or make something in my shed.

The Piggott School has a brilliant atmosphere and culture, and I am looking forward to working with the governing body to continue to develop the school for both staff and students." 

Other members of the Governing Body

Mr James Bell – has been appointed by the Governing Body to the Finance and Facilities Committees with full voting rights in accordance with the Academy’s articles of association. James is not a governor.

Declarations of Interest: Bells and Whistles Limited (date interest began 4th January 2019), and Director of St. John’s Beaumont Prep School (date interest began 22nd September 2022)

"I have spent most of my career in education in a variety of roles including teaching overseas with organisations including the British Council and the English Schools Foundation.

In the UK, my experience covers Higher Education, independent and state schools.

In recent years I have held various COO, Bursar and Finance Director roles in the sector, and have also served as Clerk to the Board in schools. Having worked in and alongside many schools, I hope to use my experience to support the ongoing successes of the Piggott.

I hold an MEd in Education Management, a postgraduate teaching qualification, a NEBOSH qualification, and am a Fellow of the RSA.

Within the local community, I have been involved in scouting and coaching, and served for seven years on the Charvil Parish Council.

I have always had a passion for reading and writing. I play a lot of football and other sports. My wife and 2 young children share many of these interests, along with a love of the Great Outdoors."

Governance Professional

Mrs Rebecca Marr
Appointment started: 
1st December 2013
Declarations of Interest: Colleton Primary School (date interest began 1.12.2013) and All Saints Primary (CE Aided) and Nursery (date of interest 1.2.2022 – 31.12.2023)

"I have been the Governance Professional/Clerk to Governors since December 2013. I advise the Governing Body on all matters of law and procedure as well as dealing with their administration.  I am a qualified solicitor and practiced law for over 11 years in London.  I practiced mainly in litigation and housing law.   I became Head of the Civil Litigation Department and a Director of the Law Practice I worked at, learning skills which are vital for my current role.  My role allows me to utilise my skills whilst working flexibly around my family. I love being able to contribute to the success of such a great school."


Further information on our Governing Body structure, terms of reference, governor attendance, diversity statement and school governance documents can be found on the separate tabs on the right hand side of this webpage.


Members of the Academy Trust

1: The Archdeacon of Berkshire – Post currently occupied by The Venerable Stephen Pullin

2: The Bishop of Oxford - Post currently occupied by the Reverend Doctor Steven Croft

3: The Oxford Diocesan Board of Education

4. Mr Richard Thiele (appointed on 30th January 2018)

The initial members were all appointed on 24th June 2011.

The members have no relevant pecuniary or business interests.

Mrs Helen Craig was a member of the Academy Trust for the period 1st September 2013 until 26th September 2017. Mrs Craig had no relevant pecuniary or business interests.


For details of the members remit please see our articles of association on the "School Governance" page.


Governors who have left in the past 12 Months



Body Who Appoints

Length of Office

Responsible For


Start Date

End Date

James Bell Parent Parent body 4 years Finance and Facilities   01/02/2019 31/01/2023
Reverend Cannon John R. M. Cook Foundation Oxford Diocese 8 years SMSC   01/07/2015 29/09/2023
Mark Cowieson Community Members 8 years Pay and Chair of Facilities   09/10/2015  25/11/2023