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Welcome to our Governors' section.


The Governors at Wootey Infant School are committed to school improvement. We work closely, and in partnership, with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to ensure that every child in the school has the best possible education and skills for life.

We meet once every half term as a Full Board and also meet in committees.The main committees are: Resources which covers Finance and Staffing, and Curriculum & Standards. Once minutes have been approved by the Full Board or relevant Subcommittee at their next meeting, they are available for you to read by asking at the school office.


The role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body is responsible for directing the conduct of the school. Its obligations are set out in various Acts of Parliament, Regulations and Guidance and, in particular, the Education Act 2002 provides that:

“The governing body shall conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school.”

and that the core functions of the Governing Body are:

  • ensuring that the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined
  • ensuring the HT performs his/her responsibilities for the educational performance of the school
  • ensuring the sound, proper and effective use of the school’s financial resources.

In carrying out its duties, the Governing Body must:

  • act with integrity, objectivity and honesty
  • act in the best interests of the school
  • be open about, and prepared to explain, about the decisions we make and the actions we take


More information about being a governor, including the eligibility requirements, is available from


How we are organised at Wootey Infant School

A Governing Body is required to be a size appropriate for, and have the skills and experience necessary to enable the Governing Body to carry out its functions. As a Governing Body, the Wootey Infant School Governing Body is organised like this:

Full Governing Body

Some of the work of the Full Governing Body is delegated to the following Subcommittees:

  • Curriculum & Standards Committee
  • Resources Committee
  • Pay Committee
  • HT Performance Review Panel
  • Complaints Panels (constituted as and when required)


All Governors are currently assigned to both Curriculum and Standards and Resources committees.


Contacting us

We would very much like to hear from you about general improvements and policy matters. You can contact us by email to the school office:, by leaving a message with the school office or putting a note in your child’s book bag. Please mark your correspondence 'for the attention of the Chair of Governors'

Meet our Governing Body


Ella Palmer - Headteacher

I am very proud to have worked as Headteacher at Wootey Infant School for 14 years. As a member of the Governing Body we work together to ensure that our core values of Happiness Respect and Creativity feature in all that we do in our school. When I am not at school I enjoy time with my husband Mark and our 15 year old son Tom. We have fun camping, walking and cycling together. I also play Hockey each Saturday for Romsey Hockey Club which I joined when I was 11!


Sarah Thirkell - LEA Governor, Chair of Governors

My name is Sarah Thirkell and have recently been appointed as the Chair of Governors for Wootey Infant School. I have been a governor since 2010 when my son had just started at Wootey Infant School.

During my time as a governor I have also been chair of the resources committee (that’s mostly the non-curriculum bits e.g. premises, staff, health and safety and safeguarding).

I live in Alton with my partner Alan and our son Nathan. I was born in Anglesey and moved to Alton in 1977 when my dad was posted from Yorkshire to Odiham. I attended Wootey Junior School, Eggars and Alton College. I later took evening classes at Farnborough College for my accountancy exams and now work full time as a finance manager for Culinary Concepts, a lifestyle homewares brand based in Crondall.

My son is now at Eggars and as a family we enjoy weekends away in our camper van – nicknamed ‘Amanda Lamb’! (don’t ask!!).

I became a Governor because I wanted involvement with the school but as a working mum was unable to commit to helping in class regularly. The role is extremely rewarding and it’s great to able to give something back to the community.


Chris Lamey - Co-opted Governor - Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee

Hello. My name is Chris Lamey and I became a Governor in May 2016. I am a retired Primary School Teacher, and always wanted to become a School Governor at my local school on retirement - to "give something back". It has proved a very happy coincidence that my local school is Wootey Infants - and my grandchildren attend the school! I come into the school regularly to "hear readers" and love the children's enthusiastic attitude to learning which the hard working staff manage to inspire. I know how important a thriving Governing Body is to the effective management of a school, and I am finding the role interesting and challenging; I feel very fortunate to be part of the Wootey Infant School team. I am thoroughly enjoying the variety of opportunities that retirement allows!


Clare Allen - Co-opted Governor, Chair of Resources Committee

I have lived in Alton for over 30 years and have always enjoyed being involved in the life of the town. My sons (now both grown up) went to school in Alton and then to Alton College. was a Governor at St Lawrence many years ago, and now that I am working fewer hours, I am delighted that I have the time to be a Governor again. I am full of admiration for the team at Wootey Infant and I am proud to be involved with such a great school. I am linked to Robin and Wren classes and I am enjoying my visits to see what they get up to at school.

I have worked in Alton schools for the past 23 years, mainly as a School Business Manager. I am currently employed part-time as a Finance Officer at Andrews’ Endowed, in Holybourne, and I have my own freelance business, offering business support to local schools.

I am a keen walker and love cooking – especially baking. I keep a couple of beautiful hens in my garden and they produce most of the eggs for my cakes. I am a member of Alton Methodist Church and Alton Local Food Initiative.


Liza Raper - Staff Governor

Hi, my name is Liza Raper and I am a Learning Support Assistant in Wren Class. One of my other roles here at Wootey Infant School is as staff Governor. I have held this post for the last 5 years but I still learn something new with each meeting I attend. I am a Welsh girl married to a wonderful Yorkshireman who has just left the Royal air Force after 23 years service, we have a beautiful daughter who has just started an apprenticeship in Farnham. We are a very close family and love spending time with each other, walking our beagle, watching Hampshire play cricket at Ageas Bowl, eating out and relaxing with friends. Little known fact about me - I am a qualified chef and while I served in the Royal Air Force I cooked for The Red Arrow team, The Queen, Queen Mum, Charles and Diana !


Lucy Loosemore - Associate Governor

I live in Alton and have 2 children, Jacob (who is now at Wootey Junior School) and Demi (who is in YR). I work in marketing and PR although I used to train horses for many years . As a family we really enjoy taking our dogs, Maximus and Brian, for long walks on the beach or through the woods. I am also a keen baker, thanks to all the eggs from our chickens Honour, Elsa and Hilda. My favourite is carrot cake. It is very exciting being part of the Governing Body at Wootey Infants, supporting the school and seeing the hard work of all the staff and children.


Mr Peter Wallace - Co opted Governor

I am married and have lived in Alton for many years. I have two grown up daughters who are both Wootey ‘graduates’ and my grandson now attends Wootey Infant School.When I retired I wanted to have a more active role in the community. I was a teacher, mainly in Secondary School with some experience in a Primary School. My subjects were Humanities and ICT. I welcomed the opportunity to continue my interest in education, but in a new role. I believe it to be a great privilege to help and guide young people in the classroom and to support the teachers whenever possible. I am quite new to the job but so far have found it very rewarding to belong to the Governing Body getting to grips with the many responsibilities, jobs and challenges involved. Working in partnership with so many other people to ensure that all pupils have a happy and secure environment in which to develop and achieve their potential.


Emma Hibberd - Co-opted Governor

My name is Emma and I live in Alton. I have a son who is in year 2 called Tyler and live with my husband and Tyler close to school. I am a Social Worker for the Disabled Children's Team in Alton. I enjoy long walks with my family at the weekends and we really enjoy going out for dinner :)... family fun time if definitely my priority...

I admire the care and education which has been provided to my son in the past three years and I have an interest in supporting this amazing school to further improve, but also give something back. There can do attitude is really inspiring and I am very grateful to have been accepted as a governor. Since starting this role I have found it challenging but really enjoyable.


Heath Potton - Co-opted Governor.

Hello. My name is Heath Potton and I have just joined the team as a co-opted governor.

I wanted to become a governor primarily to give something back to the school. The teaching team have been fantastic in looking after all 3 of my sons'. The eldest 2 (now 19 and 15) have gone on to be rather successful in Taekwondo and my youngest son (7) is fast following in their footsteps. I truly believe the grounding for their success is due to how they were looked after at Wootey infants.

The staff are excellent at making sure all of the children are included, safe and happy which is important in the initial first few years.

I am married to Elaine who runs her own very successful pre-school and child-minding business and have lived in Alton for all 48 years of my life.

I spend most of my time 'annoying' Elaine, and taking the boys to Taekwondo training seminars or competitions, when we are not doing this we spend our time relaxing at our holiday home in Weymouth.

I am looking forward to making a difference and getting to know the team a bit more.


Charlotte Farmer - Parent Governor

Hi, I’m Charlotte, Mum to 2 fabulous children, Abbie who is currently in year 1 at Wooteys and Benji who is 2. I have lived in Alton for around 7 years with my other half. As a family we very much enjoy our time together especially our Friday night ‘sleep overs’ in the living room, with a dvd and midnight feast at 8pm!!!

I am a qualified Social Worker currently working for Hampshire in the Family Support Service. I love my job as it’s challenging yet rewarding at the same time.

I haven’t been a parent governor for long but am already enjoying the role especially my time in the classrooms, interacting with the fantastic children and finding out about the wonderful work of the Wootey Infant School staff team. I am looking forward to supporting the Wootey team as a parent governor and seeing more of the amazing work of both the children and staff.