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
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, 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. In my spare time, I love to travel around the UK finding beautiful walks and challenging hikes. In 2018, I joined a team to complete the National Three Peak Challenge, summiting the three highest peaks in the UK in less than 24 hours; raising over £2000 for charity.
Mr Andy Hutchins
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.
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.
I joined the governing board at Gorsemoor in September 2019 when I was elected as a Parent Governor. I am a proud mum of two children, one who left Gorsemoor in 2020 and another currently in Year 2. Professionally, I have over 12 years experience of supporting people who have Learning Difficulties and Mental Health issues, or lived in a Social Care setting. I am passionate about Special Educational Needs and being a voice for vulnerable people, especially children. I fully believe in the values and ethos of Gorsemoor Primary School and I am committed to be part of the journey; ensuring pupils and staff are the best they can be.