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New Town Primary SchoolRespect For All



The Local Governing Body (LGB) at New Town Primary School is appointed by the Trustees of the Berkshire Schools Trust (BST). It currently has six community members, appointed when the school became an academy on 1st June 2016 taking into account the varied skills and experience offered as a governing body and a staff governor.

Elections for parents governors were held but no nominations were received by the closing date of 23 November 2018. In the new year, the Trust will appoint two parents from one of the trust schools to fulfil the roles.

Under its governing document, BST may appoint up to three more community governors.

Meanwhile if you are interested in finding out more about becoming a governor, whether as a parent, staff member or community member, please email the Trust Secretary, Mrs C Hails, on for further information. Thank you.

What does the LGB do?

The LGB has three main responsibilities:

  • to provide the strategic vision and support and challenge to the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team for the day to day running of the school;
  • to monitor the progress and wellbeing of the children attending New Town Primary School and the staff who teach and support them, and report on it to BST;
  • to make sure that the public money allocated to the school is managed effectively and in the best interests of pupils and staff at the school, and report on that to BST.

The LGB meets five times a year at New Town at 1.00pm on a Wednesday (subject to change), for approximately an hour and a half. Each governor is responsible for monitoring the school’s performance in a specific area related to their personal skills and experience, so additional meetings and reports are usually required depending on the area of responsibility allocated to them. Governors often also attend school events and parents’ evenings, so it can mean quite a commitment.

Who are the governors?

Mrs Angie Morrish (Chair of Governors) 

Appointed to New Town in February 2015 as a member of the Interim Executive Board (IEB) tasked with bringing the school out of special measures, Angie is an experienced school governor at both primary and secondary school level, and a consultant for the National Governors’ Association, helping schools in other counties improve their governance. She has 20 years’ experience in charity governance, fundraising and marketing, and is a trustee of BST, Reading School and the Reading Foundation, and a director of Intellisys Intelligent Analysis. Her strengths lie in leadership, strategic planning, financial management and communications. At New Town she is responsible for monitoring school finances and safeguarding. Angie can be contacted via the school address New Town Primary School, School Terrace, Reading RG1 3LS

Mr Stewart Johnston (Vice Chair of Governors)

Stewart has lived in the heart of the Newtown community for 17 years and his children were educated locally. Having been a governor at New Town’s neighbouring school, St John’s CE Primary School, for around 8 years, Stewart brings a wealth of experience in school governance, premises management and health and safety.  He currently works as an operations manager at Wycliffe Baptist Church, and takes the lead on monitoring premises, health and safety matters at New Town.

Miss Polly Cornish (Headteacher)

Polly Cornish joined New Town Primary School firstly as a Deputy Headteacher in 2014, and has brought the school successfully out of special measures since that time, in the role of Head of School.  Having begun her teaching career at St John’s Primary, the close working and mutually beneficial relationship which has been built between the two schools resulted in the formation of the Berkshire Schools Trust in 2016, of which New Town is a proud member.  Polly was appointed as the Headteacher of New Town from September 2018, and is passionate about driving school improvement in order to provide the very best for the whole school family, and working successfully within the wider Trust community to grow and flourish.

Mr Thomas Freeney

Thomas joined the governing board in November 2018. He is currently studying Psychology with Neuroscience at the University of Reading. Following completion of this degree he will go on to train as a teacher in the University of Southampton. Thomas has experience working in mental health support and oversaw the development and training of MeeTwo's SuperPeer team, which now provides support to over 6,000 children. Whilst Thomas is new to governing he aims to contribute to the safe running of the school, using his experience in child mental health and management to enable this. He hopes to support the fantastic work carried out by New Town staff and to help ensure equal opportunities and outcomes for all its pupils.

Dr Rachel Penny

Rachel has been a governor at New Town Primary School since March 2016 and she is the LGB’s lead governor on policy and curriculum matters.  Following a degree in psychology, she completed a PhD looking at children’s understanding of nationality and since then, has worked as a lecturer for the Open University, teaching psychology, child psychology and social sciences. She has also been a foundation governor at St John’s Primary School since 2009 and so brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in education and child development to New Town, as well as a passion for ensuring that its children receive the best education possible in a supportive and caring school environment.

Mr Geoff Stoves

Geoff Stoves is a teacher and key stage leader at New Town Primary School. Geoff has taught at New Town since 2015, and previously at St John’s (2012-2015). Geoff has worked in Reading for more than twenty years in different roles and teaching is his second career.

Vincent Gardner (on sabbatical)

Rev. Dr. Vincent Gardner has lived in East Reading for the last ten years as Vicar and Chaplain of St. Johns with St. Stephens. Formerly a Fine artist and university lecturer Fr. Vincent has spent thirty-four years in different sectors of education either in teaching or management. A particularly enthusiasm is the writing of interdisciplinary courses for the baccalaureate. He has also over the past twenty-eight years served at seven schools as a governor, chair, finance officer and was for three years involved in school inspectorate provision. As a St Johns governor Vincent is part of the buildings committee, admissions committee, pastoral team and policy governor. At New town school he is… and always will be.

Vincent con la famiglia plus two Lakeland terriers continue to enjoy being part of the vibrant community around cemetery junction and while recognising the challenges that our children face in the current climate would hope to contribute to the development of earthed local schools so that our children develop creative and sustainable visions for their life's. Vincent also continues to write on areas of personal interest; poetry, rat hunting and the arts and is looking forward to the publishing of volume one of a ministerial textbook.


 Meeting dates:

Tuesday 09 October 2018; Governors

Wednesday 28 November 2018; Governors

Wednesday 23 January 2019; Governors

Wednesday 20 March 2019; Governors

Wednesday 22 May 2019; Governors

Wednesday 17 July 2019; Governors


Name Appointed

Term of office

Appointment Type
Thomas Freeney 27/11/2018 26/11/2022 Trust
Vincent Gardner 01/06/2016 31/05/2020 Trust
Stewart Johnston 01/06/2016 31/05/2020 Trust
Angie Morrish 01/06/2016 31/05/2020 Trust
Rachel Penny 01/06/2016 31/05/2020 Trust
Geoff Stoves 25/11/2016 24/11/2020 Staff
Ahmed Kisombe 18/10/2018 17/10/2022 Trust
Jenny Trueman 19/10/2017 01/10/2018 Parent


Please find attached below the Registers of Interests of our Governors and meeting attendance.