Governor Descriptions

Ann Harris
Ann HarrisChair of Governors

I am delighted to be the Chair of Governors of Bearwood Primary and Nursery School. My working life was spent in education as teacher, headteacher, adviser and inspector. My passion for providing children with the best education possible remains.  I believe effective governance makes a difference and so am happy to be the National Leader of Governance Advocate for Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset which gives me the opportunity to work alongside other governors.

At home, I am married to a very patient husband, with whom I share three children and eight grandchildren. I enjoy painting, walking (particularly by the sea) and gardening in my spare time.

Laura Bennett
Laura BennettHeadteacher
Laura completed her degree at Westminster College in Oxford. She has been Headteacher at Bearwood for nearly four years and this is her first headship.

She feels lucky to work in the role of Headteacher at Bearwood Primary and Nursery School and is proud of the journey that the school is taking as a ‘good’ school moving towards ‘outstanding’.

Laura has gained her experience in a number of primary schools in Reading, Birmingham, Berkshire and Bournemouth.

She is a firm believer in education being about the whole child. She believes that every child should reach their full potential in all areas of school life knowing that they are cared for and supported by a mutually supportive partnership between home, school and the wider community.

Michael Sussman
Michael SussmanFinance Governor

Mike has been involved in helping children in STEM related activities for over 30 years and has been a governor of his local first school in the past before being asked by Poole LEA to become a governor at Bearwood Primary and Nursery School.  He has also just become a governor of Clayesmore School and enjoys being involved in education and helping schools and children develop a love for science.

Mike has over 30 years in business since graduating (‘was it that long ago he says!’) within the fields of electronics and software and spends his spare time reading, developing gadgets and software or wood turning when he is not out walking his two dogs.  Mike is married with a 17 year old daughter in her final year of A levels.

At Bearwood he is the Finance Governor and assists with data analysis.

Nicola Best
Nicola BestPupil Premuim and SEND Governor

I feel privileged to be part of the Governing body at Bearwood Primary and Nursery school, being part of a group of likeminded people who work together to ensure the best education and opportunities for the children who attend Bearwood.

I worked as a Nursery Practitioner for many years and am currently working as a Teaching Assistant within a school for children with special educational needs.

I have been married to Pete for 15 years and we have 2 children who both currently attend Bearwood.

I am an active member of the church we belong to and co lead the Sunday school for children aged 2-6years.

I have very little free time but I enjoy reading and walking and usually end up playing football  with my boys!

Carolyn Bennett
Carolyn BennettTeaching and learning Governor
I have been a teacher for twelve years and in that time I have worked in a variety of schools, from London to Hampshire and now in Poole. My roles have included teaching in both Key Stage 1 and 2, leading English and as a Year Leader. For four years, I held the position of staff governor at a previous school. It was during this time that I learnt a lot about the role of the governing body within schools.

Having recently taken on the role of governor for teaching and learning, I am looking forward to working alongside the children and staff at Bearwood Primary School to make it the best school it can be.

Kate Gunstone
Kate GunstoneStaff Governor
I have worked in a variety of settings ranging from Children’s Centres and single form village schools to large primary schools. I have a passion for working with vulnerable learners and am currently Pupil Premium Leader at Bearwood Primary and Nursery School. In my work, I aim to create bespoke provision that enables every learner to develop towards their full potential. I also manage attendance and have implemented a range of systems and procedures to improve this area.

I have previously led English, Science and Early Years and managed year group teams. I embrace problem solving opportunities and thrive when planning to enable positive change with impact. I have coached and mentored teachers both in my own settings and beyond and led staff training.

Rebecca BridgerQuality of Teaching Governor
Hello, my name is Rebecca. It is a privilege to be made part of the governing body at Bearwood and I look forward to working with all members of staff who enable the school to go from strength to strength.

My background is firmly rooted in education, although recently I have completed studies in Psychology.  Before that I taught English and Drama at a local secondary school until the birth of my first child.  Since then I have been involved with intervention teaching and supporting pupil premium students.

I have three children.  The eldest two attend Bearwood Primary where I truly believe they thrive and excel within the positive atmosphere of the school.  As a family we enjoy exploring the local countryside and coastline as well as being involved in our local church. My hobbies include gardening, theatre and cake decorating, although I wish I had more time to enjoy them sometimes.  I hope I will be able to support staff and make a positive contribution to Bearwood School community.

Helen Todd
Helen ToddEarly Years Governor
I am pleased to be joining the governing body of Bearwood Primary and Nursery School as a Parent Governor.

I have been teaching for over twenty years in a variety of school settings both in the UK and abroad and before that, I worked as a Youth Worker for two years.  I am currently teaching part time in Key Stage 1 at a nearby school.

Providing children and young people with the best education and opportunities possible has been important to me for a long time.  This opportunity to support and help the school at which my children attend is something I am excited about being involved in!

I am married to Nick and we have two children who attend Bearwood.  We enjoy being involved in a nearby church.  I love to spend time with my family whether that is walking in the countryside, swimming, baking or playing games.  I also enjoy playing the flute, running (slowly) and my most recent discovery is Boxercise!