Who are our Governors?
Chair of Governors
I am Bernie McHale-Jones, I live in Trowbridge, and have done all of my life, except my university years. I have two children at Paxcroft, and have been a Parent Governor since 2015, when my eldest started school. I have enjoyed being part of the school community, and have also for the past few years been a trustee for the Paxcroft School Association. I still support the association, but have stepped down as a trustee when I became Co-Chair of Governors. I have a degree in History and Education Studies, and a post graduate diploma in Learning for Sustainability. I have not worked since having children, but have spent my time volunteering at the school; listening to children read when my two were small, going on school trips and raising money to enhance the learning environment. I very much believe that children should have the same opportunities, regardless of their background, and look forward to supporting the school in providing the best education for all of our children.
Vice Chair of Governors
I joined the governance team at Paxcroft in December 2015 and am currently in the role of co-chair of the governing board. Paxcroft means a lot to me personally as I grew up locally and attended the school myself. I have 2 daughters who have also attended Paxcroft. In my working career, I manage the IT Team at Burges Salmon which is a law Firm based in Bristol. I have learned a lot in my time on the board and would encourage anyone who wants to support the school to get involved. We are a very open bunch so if you see us on the school run or around school grab any of us for a chat.
Chair of F&P Committee
I am Daren Gale. I live in Paxcroft Mead, Trowbridge, and have two children, one of which has left Paxcroft School and one still attends. This is my first role on a school governing board having joined as a co-opted member at the end of 2014, and I very much enjoy helping to support the school .
My working career is focussed on running a small local business in the building sector, where I manage both a retail outlet and a contracts division, tendering and organising a team of fitters in carrying out floor and wall tiling contracts, together with dealing with all financial aspects of running a business. I also deal with all aspects of Health & Safety within the business.
Relevant experience that I bring to the Governing body includes contract management, budgeting, financial assistance and people management, and an extensive background in Health & Safety management.
I live locally, and am privileged to be part of the school as a governor. I am interested in young people and education, and wanted to become more involved in my local community.
I previously worked in the hospitality sector for a number of years and am very much a people person.
I am a dad to two lovely children and enjoy nothing more than be as involved in their education and hobbies as much as possible.
I am a very keen golfer and play as often as my busy life allows.
Having been a parent governor at Paxcroft school for 8 years, I am now an associate governor on the board. Two of my children have successfully passed through the school, having left with incredibly fond memories, experiences, and a great set up ready for secondary school. My third child is currently at Paxcroft.
I am the chair of the curriculum committee and have been involved in many different roles in my time on the board.
I am also a secondary school teacher and leader which helps give me an insight into education at both a practical and a strategic level. I am passionate about getting the very best learning experience for every child in every way and bring this into both my working life and my role as a governor.
I am Louise and I have been a Parent Governor at Paxcroft School since December 2019.
I was born and grew up in Trowbridge and attended Paxcroft myself back in the 1980s! I worked for 10 years for The Consortium in a range of roles and, since gaining my degree in English Literature, I have been a Secondary school English teacher for 15 years, 11 of those at Clarendon - which I also attended myself as a student! My background has given me a range of business and education sector experience, which I hope benefits the strategic leadership of Paxcroft.
My daughter is now in year 3 and she absolutely loves attending Paxcroft so, needless to say, the local community and Paxcroft school are very much a part of mine and my family's story and I feel passionately about continuing to support the school - its students, staff and parents - in the coming years.
I have been a Governor at Paxcroft for 4 years and have twins in year 5.
My 20-year Civil Service career has focussed on Environmental and Sustainable Development roles in Government departments and agencies. Experience I have drawn upon as a Governor includes policy and strategy, training and communications, team management, procurement, estate management and monitoring/assurance. I am vice-chair of the Finance & Premises Committee, and other areas of focus as a Governor have included Staff Wellbeing, Science, Geography and PE.
Having a sporting background, to international level, I am keen to see children having opportunities to be active and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of exercise and the outdoors. I have also enjoyed being an active member of the Paxcroft School Association, and it would be good to help restore a thriving school community and activities post-Covid. It is exciting to begin a second term of office as a Governor at the start of a new chapter for the school.
Dr Andrew Ross
I am the Head of Widening Access and Participation at the University of Bath. I lead development and engagement of the Access and Participation strategy across the University. I have a strong focus on social mobility and have worked in the area since 2013. Before joining Bath I completed a degree and PhD in Chemistry at the University of Sheffield where I found my love of outreach. During that time, I set the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to make ice cream and have since engaged thousands of children in schools with inspirational science shows. I chair a board of local universities collaborating to provide careers advice to students and adults. I am a member of the governing board (Council) of the University of Bath and part of a national steering group for a database of outreach. I live in Trowbridge within the catchment of Paxcroft.
I have worked in Education for over 40 years as a teacher, headteacher of schools in South Wales and Wiltshire, a school improvement adviser, performance management adviser and an Estyn qualified inspector of schools in Wales. More recently, and until retirement, my work focused on working with schools in the Wiltshire Local Authority as a full-time school improvement adviser.
Some of the work in this role also included leading school reviews and supporting schools in need of improvement, through the delivery of the Wiltshire Improving Schools’ Programme (WISP). The WISP programme specifically supported headteachers, other leaders in schools and governors in creating systematic whole-school improvement. He has also been interim headteacher of two Wiltshire schools.
I am a facilitator and trainer of professional learning for school leaders, with a wide experience of delivering leadership programmes for newly qualified headteachers and for leaders and governors of schools.
I now work as a co-Director of ‘TeachershipHub’, a company which offers either on-line or face-to-face continuous professional development modular programmes for teachers and teaching assistants.
Clerk to the Governors