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New Town Primary School Nurturing Brilliance, Inspiring Ambition



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?

Mr Stewart Johnston (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.

Mrs Angie Morrish (Vice 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

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.

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.

Mr Mayank Taneja

Mayank joined the governing board in July 2019. He is passionate about helping people and organisations find the right solutions to their business needs and challenges. He works as a procurement consultant with a leading European frozen foods brand. In his free time, he likes to read spiritual and motivational books.


 Meeting dates:

Wednesday 25 September 2019; Governors

Wednesday 04 December 2019; Governors

Wednesday 22 January 2020; Governors

Thursday 09 April 2020; Governors - online via MS Teams due to COVID-19

Wednesday 20 May 2020; Governors

Wednesday 15 July 2020; Governors


Name Appointed

Term of office

Appointment Type
Mayank Taneja 11/07/2019 10/07/2023 Trust
Thomas Freeney 27/11/2018 26/11/2022 Trust
Stewart Johnston 01/06/2016 31/05/2020 Trust
Angie Morrish 01/06/2016 31/05/2020 Trust
Geoff Stoves 25/11/2016 24/11/2020 Staff
Rachel Penny 01/06/2016 11/09/2019 Trust
Vincent Gardner 01/06/2016 20/03/2019 Trust
Ahmed Kisombe 18/10/2018 20/03/2019 Trust
Jenny Trueman 19/10/2017 01/10/2018 Parent


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