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Gorsemoor Primary School

Gorsemoor Primary School

Growing together, hand in hand

Governor Pen Portraits

Mr Byron Preece 

For approaching three years I have had the privilege of being Chair of Governors after previously being a Governor at Gorsemoor for 13 years alongside a similar role at Erasmus Darwin Academy, Chasetown for six years. Both roles have given me a range of experience in how differently primary and secondary schools operate on a daily basis and, also in relation to local authority control and academisation. I am happily retired but during my career in Finance, I have enjoyed roles as a Financial Accountant and Group Treasurer for a multi-national company. Although retired I somehow appear to be busier now than when I was in full employment, but my wife probably has something to do with that. Retirement has allowed me the time to tick off items on my bucket list re travel and attending sporting events. 


Mr Darren Duffy 

My name is Darren Duffy and am Vice-chair of the Governing board here at Gorsemoor Primary School, I have a wealth of experience in Education and School Leadership in the local area.  My current professional role is an Assistant Headteacher in a local Secondary School with responsibility for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Attainment and Progress at GCSE and Curriculum and timetabling.  I started my career in 2002 at a School in Walsall as a mathematics teacher, then progressed up to head of mathematics and have been involved in Whole-School leadership since 2017.  I hope my skill-set and experience in School leadership can bring something valuable to the board here at Gorsemoor. I have two girls currently on roll at Gorsemoor and am fully committed to ensuring not only my girls, but all your children get the best experience possible here at Gorsemoor.  I look forward to working closely with the current leadership of the school in my role Vice Chair of Governors.


Mrs Karen Fraser 

I am a co-opted Governor with a background in education, particularly science and IT. I have been involved in various roles at school since my children attended; volunteer classroom helper, PTFA member, Governor (initially as a parent) and teaching assistant/librarian/webmaster. 

I have always enjoyed being a Governor as it gives a fascinating insight into the way a school is run but is more work than many people realise, with increasing challenges and responsibilities. 

I am now retired but continue to be involved in primary science assessment work with NFER. I don’t have much spare time, but when I’m not looking after grandchildren, I enjoy gardening, DIY and crosswords. 


Mrs Clare Walton
I am a co-opted governor who has worked as a TA within school since 2001, where I am now experienced working in all of the year groups. I have recently changed roles within the school setting and currently work as the school Family and multi agency liaison officer. As a person who lives locally to school, I often try to support local community events and keep up to date with community support that's available . As a mum of two teenage girls, I enjoy spending time with family and making memories.



Mrs Zoe Fearnett

I am very proud obtain the role of staff governor at Gorsemoor. I have been a teacher here since 2017 and during this time, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching across Key Stage 1 and 2, specialising in digital learning across  the school. I feel passionate about creating and facilitating memorable learning experiences for pupils and technology provides many opportunies for this. Alongside my curriculum specialism, I am a member of Gorsemoor's wellbeing team and obtained the qualification of Mental Health First Aider so that I could effectively support our staff. 


Mr Andy Hutchins

I have been a Parent Governor at Gorsemoor since 2015 with both of my daughters thriving at the school.

Professionally I have worked in Finance for over twenty years and am qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. The majority of my career has been spent with my current employer, a global security products manufacturer in the West Midlands. My role as UK Financial Reporting Manager includes responsibility for the company's financial planning and budgetary control which are skills that I bring to the already highly skilled and devoted team of Governors and Staff at Gorsemoor. Outside of work I am first and foremost a devoted Father but I also play the drums and am an avid collector of vinyl records. In earlier years I played tennis representing many of our local club teams and still have a love for the sport but these days you are more likely to see me walking or mountain biking at Cannock Chase.


Lauren Smith

I was born and raised in nearby Walsall and joined the Gorsemoor governing board in September 2019 as a co-opted governor. I am a HR professional, with a background in the recruitment and financial services industries, and have a keen interest in education and training. In my current role, I work with senior leaders on a range of HR and People topics including Performance Management, Wellbeing and Diversity and Inclusion- expertise that I can add to the existing experience and skillset of the governing board. I look forward to working with the governors to ensure that the school provides high quality education and opportunities for all of the children at Gorsemoor.


Dr Matt O’Leary

I am a co-opted governor at Gorsemoor and have been on the Governing Board at the school since 2014 when I began as a parent governor. I have worked in education for over 25 years as a teacher, teacher educator, head of department, educational researcher and director of research in colleges, schools and universities in the UK and abroad.  I currently work as a Professor of Education and Director of Education Research at Birmingham City University. My time is divided between teaching and supervising students at postgraduate level, along with carrying out educational research. My main research interests focus on the impact of education policy on teaching and learning and the relationship between the two, especially in the context of professional learning and teacher development. I am well known internationally for my work on classroom observation, which has been instrumental in influencing policy and practice across education sectors. My most recent book Classroom Observation: A Guide to the Effective Observation of Teaching and Learning – Second Edition (Routledge 2020) is written for all teachers, teacher educators, leaders and all those engaged in educational research who are interested in how observation can best be used to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

I have two daughters, the youngest (Ella) of whom is currently in Year 5 at the school. My eldest daughter (Lola), who is now at high school, also went to Gorsemoor. I believe strongly in the core ethos of Gorsemoor as a school and am committed to supporting it to provide the best possible experience for all its pupils and staff. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and cycling around Staffordshire.