Ashley C of E Primary School

Local Governing Committee (LGC)

Ashley CofE Primary School is an academy in the Good Shepherd Trust (GST). The GST is a multi-academy trust (MAT) within the Diocese of Guildford. More information about the GST can be found here

The functions of the Trust Board of the Good Shepherd Trust are to lead strategy development, hold the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and his team to account, operate within financial constraints, define an overall vision for GST schools, meet the governance compliance required by law and create a strong, effective governance structure on the board and in schools. To view The Good Shepherd Trust Board membership, click here.

The members of the LGC, the Headteacher and staff work together constantly to improve the quality of the education we provide to our children and to promote Christian values in all aspects of school life.

All LGC members are appointed by the Trust and are expected to perform their duties in accordance with a Code of ConductDeclarations of interest are declared and reviewed at each LGC meeting and are available to view at the bottom of this page.


What does an LGC do?

The Trust has given the Local Governing Committee (LGC) a scheme of delegation which shows what the LGC is responsible for.


How often are meetings held?

The Local Governing Committee meets six times per year, plus an additional 'business meeting' at the start of, and all Members are expected to attend. Part 1 (non-confidential) minutes of these meetings are public documents and can be requested from the school office.

Local Governing Committee Meeting Dates 2021-22:

Autumn term
21st October 2021 at 4.00pm
16th December 2021 at 4.00pm

Spring term
3rd February 2022 at 4.00pm
31st March 2022 at 4.00pm

Summer term
19th May 2022 at 4.00pm
14th July 2022 at 4.00pm

Please note that LGC meetings are not 'open' meetings. See LGC Terms of Reference for details.


Who are the LGC members at Ashley?

Statutory reporting of members of the Local Governing Committee (including terms of office) is on Get Information About Schools.

Bernie Higgins – Chair and General Member (Term of Office: 11.12.2020 – 10.12.2024) 

Areas of Responsibility: Chair, Health and Safety, Curriculum at Key Stage 1 and 2 (including Harmony), Diversity

Hi, My name is Bernie Higgins and I became Chair of Ashley Primary School in December 2020. 

I run my own consultancy business working with the emergency services, I was previously a Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the London Fire Brigade, having been in the service for 33 years. I have considerable experience of working in the public sector and particularly in terms of managing major and critical incidents as well as managing risk at both a strategic and operational level. I have been a school governor/Trustee for 16 years at Westbourne Primary School – an outstanding school in Sutton - the last 13 of which have been as Chair. 

I was asked to consider the Chair role at Ashley and having researched the school and seen the facilities and potential I jumped at the opportunity. I see a school with great children who want to learn, with motivated and dedicated staff who go the extra mile and with fantastic facilities. I also see parents who care and who want the very best for their children and the school. I want to work with all of you to help Ashley achieve its undoubted potential. 







Rev. Cathy Blair – Foundation Member (Term of Office [2nd Term]: 01.09.2015 – 31.08.2023) 

Areas of Responsibility: Christian Distinctiveness, Pupil Premium, Maths

 I moved to Walton on Thames in 2016 from Woking. Once upon a time, I trained as an architect in Nottingham and then felt called by God to go as a missionary to a number of countries, for short trips, and then for five years to South Africa. Whilst working for the church there, I taught English and tennis in the local school. Returning to England, I was accepted for the ordained ministry and, after more training, have led three churches with my husband Jonny. I have served as a governor in four primary schools and one secondary school.  I have three grown up children. I still enjoy playing tennis, going for walks and painting.









Andy Evans – General Member (Term of Office: 26.01.2021 – 25.01.2025) 

Areas of Responsibility: Behaviour, English (with a particular focus on writing)

I am a resident of Walton on Thames and was brought up in Weybridge. I attended Hampton School and the Universities of Leeds and Surrey respectively: the latter to complete a PGCE Primary qualification. I have been a qualified teacher since 2006 and have taught in most primary settings, including the private sector. My interests include sports, music, reading and travel.  I became part of the LGC because I am keen to contribute to the local community, having always been a part of it. I also feel that my teaching skills and experience could be useful in a governing role, in what is my closest primary school.  












Gina Broadhurst – Parent Member (Term of Office: 25.07.2018 – 24.07.2022) 

Areas of Responsibility: Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) including Harmony, Sport and Physical Education (PE), Ashley Parent Partnership (APP)

I spent over twenty years in Sales and Marketing working for brands such as Capital Radio, Discovery Channel, Channel 4 and Vue Cinemas. I left corporate life back in 2018 as my husband and I had started our own business, Just Shutters Surrey, based in Walton on Thames. It was at this point that I felt I had the time and energy to commit to the Ashley community more deeply, so I took a role on the LGC as Parent Governor. I have two children at Ashley and I truly believe that every child deserves the best possible educational and pastoral experience at school. I look after Sports & PE and have been thrilled to see the evolution of our offering over the last few years. I am also passionate about improving parental engagement and communication and so I created the Ashley Parent Partnership which I now Chair. 








Jennie Ratcliff – Ex-officio – Headteacher (Term of Office: 19.04.2021 onwards) 

Bio coming soon...

















Jon Owen – General Member (Term of Office: 26.11.2020 – 25.11.2024) 

Areas of Responsibility: Child Protection and Safeguarding, Looked After Children, Attendance

I have over 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in local independent secondary schools with my present role being an Assistant Principal at Surbiton High School. My present role within the Sixth Form covers a wide portfolio of responsibilities including pastoral care, safeguarding, recruitment and retention as well as being a line-manager for our Careers Department and contributing to the monitoring of teaching and learning across the school. Surbiton High School is part of United Learning and I support academies within our group with improving student access to higher education, especially at the more competitive universities. Outside of work, I enjoy travelling, playing golf (badly) and spending time with my wife and young son. 









Dean Furber - Parent Member (Term of Office: 06.05.2021 - 05.05.2025)

Areas of Responsibility: Pupil Premium, Website Compliance

I’ve lived in Walton since 2012 and have two children, one at Ashley and the other a couple of years away from school age.  I’ve been active as a school governor in Walton for several years, first at Grovelands where I went on to chair the governing board, and now as a parent member of the Ashley LGC.  I have a keen interest in ensuring that all the children at Ashley have a great experience at school and get the best possible start.   I’m particularly focused on closing the attainment gap and helping to ensure that the school gets the most from the Pupil Premium funding.





Louise Athersuch – Staff Elected Member (Term of Office: 22.10.2020 – 21.10.2024) 

I joined Ashley School in September 2013 as a Year 6 teacher to complete the school's journey to two-form. Now the school is almost a three-form Academy and I am proud to be the staff member of the LGC. I am currently the KS1 Phase Leader, having been a KS2 teacher and phase leader for a number of years with a specialism in computing and technology. Prior to teaching at Ashley, I taught elsewhere locally at Ottershaw CofE Primary School and Thames Ditton Infant School. Outside of school, I volunteer with my local Scout group and other important charities. As well as my teaching experience, I hold a BA (Hons) in media practice and started my working life in public relations for travel publisher Lonely Planet.  














What are the different types of membership?

  • Headteacher (ex-officio);

  • Foundation members (could include the Incumbent Vicar);

  • Parent members, elected by parents of registered pupils at the academy and must be a parent of a pupil at the academy at the time of the election, or appointed by the GST;

  • Staff elected member, 1 member of the school staff from each school as a representative of the staff, normally appointed by ballot;

  • General members.

All LGC appointments are for 4 years and only one further term of office is permitted.


I'm interested in joining the LGC. What should I do?

Firstly, thank you for your interest! Parent members can only be elected where a vacancy exists for a parent member on the LGC. If you are not a parent and would like to be considered to be appointed as a general member on the LGC, you should contact the Chair ( to arrange an informal chat about where your strengths and experience might be best used.


Which meetings have members attended?

The table below shows the attendance of each member at LGC meetings in the current academic year. Information about attendance in the previous academic year can be found by clicking here.

Name 10.09.20 (Business) 22.10.20 10.12.20 12.01.21 25.01.21 04.02.21 18.03.21 06.05.21 01.07.21
Jennie Ratcliff (Headteacher 19.04.21 onwards) / /
Bernie Higgins (Chair) / / / / / /
Rev. Cathy Blair / / / / / / / / /
Jon Owen / / / / / / /
Andy Evans / / / /

Gina Broadhurst

/ / / / / / / / /
Dean Furber /

Louise Athersuch

/ / / / / / /


What other interests do LGC members hold?

Which members have left over the past 12 months?

Name Role Appointed By From To
Alex Clark Ex-officio Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher/principal 01.01.2020 18.04.2021
Chris Howard Chair  Appointed by foundation/Trust 16.03.2020 10.07.2020
Jackie Stevens Staff elected member/Ex-officio Elected by school staff 10.03.2020 31.08.2020
Karola Kakrzewska Parent member
Elected by parents
02.06.2020 03.01.2021
Melvyn Douglas Mills General member
Appointed by GB/board
01.09.2019 11.08.2020
Martyn McCarthy General member Appointed by GB/board 01.09.2017 01.07.2021


Where can I find additional information?

Please click here to view the Trust Board Membership webpage

Please click here to view the our Governance Information page on Get Information About Schools