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I joined the governing body as a parent governor in November 2017.
My childhood was spent in rural Shropshire until 1988 when I left to study Mathematics at Leeds University, later returning there to train as a Maths and IT teacher. After 21 years in mainstream Oxfordshire secondary schools, most recently as SENCO and Assistant Head at Didcot Girls’ School, I now work for the Oxfordshire Hospital School as Assistant Head Teacher.
Carol and I have two children, one at Springfield and the other at Madley Brook. The co-located nature of the two schools was a major factor in deciding to move to Witney in 2010 and this unique setup is of great benefit to the community. We both value the impact of school on our children’s lives and believe it is important to give something back as parents. I have spent five years as treasurer of Madley Brook PTA and Carol is a member of The Friends of Springfield School. We are very lucky to have such good schools on our doorstep and I hope I can contribute to Springfield’s continued success by being a member of the governing body.
I grew up in Chelmsford, Essex but studied in Oxford for my teaching degree which is where I met my husband. We decided to settle in this area and bring up our 2 children here. I’ve taught across the primary age range at New Marston First school, Hanborough Manor school and St John the Evangelist school in Carterton. I joined St. John’s as it opened. It was a fascinating experience to see the school grow from under under 20 pupils to the size it is now. I also worked for a short while as a SENCO. I have taught at Springfield since 2008 and for the last few years I have been teaching Key Stage 4. I am a member of my local church and co-ordinate the children’s work there. Children have always been a very large and important part of my life and my out of work time has mainly revolved around my family and my children’s friends. My daughter now lives in London and my son is at University so a new phase of my life is beginning and I am looking for new activities to fill my time. I have joined a gym but spend quite a lot of the time relaxing in the Jacuzzi rather than sweating in the gym! I also love eating out and socialising with friends.
My name is Katherine Spencer and I am a community governor sitting on two committees for Springfield School; HR and Finance and Joint Executive with Madley Brook. As the headteacher of Madley Brook Primary School, being part of the governing body of Springfield School is a key part of my role. We have a unique situation with the co-location of our two schools and successful integration for all pupils across the school is very important to me. The schools share common ground on many educational and pastoral issues and being able to share these and come together for joint activities is beneficial for all and a great privilege to share. What do I like to do in my spare time? Well… when I eventually get some spare time, and I am not being a wife or a mother, and living in a male dominated household, sport takes up a great deal of my time, either participating or more likely, spectating. I like to run (as infrequently as possible), cycle (occasionally), ski (as often as I can but not as much as I would like) and watch rugby (religiously).
I have been a parent governor since 2009. My son is in his last year at Springfield at Wood Green and was at the Bronze Barrow for a number of years before that. He is very fond of the teachers and teaching assistants he has got to know so well over the years at the school and greets them all by name if he sees them coming into school at the beginning of the school day. I am a solicitor working for the County Council in Oxford where I have been since 2008. I have worked in private practice and local government over the years in Oxfordshire and elsewhere. I am married with our other child at University. Things I like to do: trips to Blenheim Palace with our son, where we explore every corner of the grounds and gardens; trips to the theatre or the cinema when we get the chance. I wanted to become a governor to do what I could to support the school in a practical way, in appreciation for the tremendous work they do for children with complex special needs. My wife is vice chair of the PTA. I am enormously grateful to the school and their dedicated staff for all they do for our son and for us as parents. Every pupil is given the opportunity to express themselves to the full and to develop skills and independence for the world outside.
Head Teacher Governor
Co-opted Governor | Vice-Chair of Governors
I have lived very happily in Witney for over 30 years, but I was born and went to School in Wallsend on Tyneside. I studied Metallurgy at Sheffield University, where I met my wife Elizabeth. After my degree, I did some scientific research in thermodynamics before going into education, initially teaching Physics in large secondary school in Sheffield. We then moved to Oxfordshire, where I taught at Matthew Arnold School before becoming Deputy Head at Henry Box and then Headteacher in Abingdon for 15 years. Elizabeth and I enjoyed bringing up our two children in Witney. We have now retired and have the time to pursue our interests. We both give time to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau every week, I do a bit of writing and watching non-league football, and of course I find being a governor of Springfield very rewarding.
Local Authority Governor | Joint Chair of Governors
I qualified as a teacher in 1972 and started teaching in the East End of London, before moving to Birmingham, where I worked in a variety of teaching related, but part time, jobs while the children were young. One of these jobs was teaching basic literacy, once a week, at a Day Centre for adults with psychiatric problems.
Since moving to West Oxfordshire in 1983, I’ve mostly taught in Primary Schools, including eight years at Ducklington as a class teacher and thirteen years at Great Rollright, as Headteacher. At both schools inclusion was actively encouraged. At Great Rollright we acquired a reputation for working with children who found school difficult to cope with for various reasons. At one point 25% of the school roll was on the Special Needs Register, including several children with Statements.
I left Great Rollright in 2006 and joined the staff of Abingdon and Witney College; mainly teaching 16 – 19 year olds on Level 3 Child Care & Education courses, but I also taught two modules, including the Inclusion module, on the Early Years Foundation Degree course. I took voluntary redundancy from the college in July 2010 and did part time Foundation Degree work there and some supply teaching in various Primary schools until June of 2011, when I stopped work completely.
I live in North Leigh with my son Christopher, whose son Kit was a Springfield pupil until 2014. I enjoy reading, walking, swimming, travelling and spending time with friends. I am a member of the W.I. and very involved in Guiding.
Parent Governor | Joint Chair of Governors
I studied Electronic Engineering at Oxford Brookes University and gained a first class degree in 1997. Since then I have worked within the electronics industry and I am currently Head of Electronic Development for a small research and development company just outside of Bicester.
I’m a single parent with two children, Emily has just moved up into secondary school within Kidlington and my son Thomas is at Springfield on the Bronze Barrow site and has been there since he started within the nursery in 2010. I have always tried to play an active role within both my children’s schools, for 3 years I was a volunteer reader at my daughter’s primary school and have been a parent governor at Springfield since early 2013.
In the past few years, in a futile attempt to stave off old age, I have taken up running, cycling and swimming; I have completed the Blenheim Super Sprint Triathlon as well as several 10km runs at Blenheim and elsewhere.