Welcome from the Chair of Governors

Welcome to Newdigate Infant School.

As school Governors we provide strategic leadership and accountability at Newdigate Infant School. We appoint the head teacher and are involved in the appointment of other members of staff. As Governors we hold the main responsibility for finance, and together with the Headteacher we make the tough decisions about balancing resources, but our overriding responsibility is to make sure that all the children that come to Newdigate Infant School get the best possible start in life. As a small infant school we can focus on the needs of each individual child.

As Chair of Governors I am ably supported by a dedicated and committed group of people who all volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that the school makes continuous improvements to the education and wellbeing of the children. Newdigate Governors take an active interest in school life and many are parents of current or former pupils at the school.

As a Church of England school our ethos is based on Christian teachings and we welcome families of all faiths and none. We have strong links with the Church and our local community as well as the wider community. We are actively involved in collaborating with and supporting other schools in our community through the Dorking Schools Partnership. We look forward to welcoming you and your children to our wonderful school.

Alok Agarwal

Governing Body Members

website Gov Info FEB 2018

Governor Committees Mar 2016

Patricia Morbey – I have lived in the village for 47 years and have been associated with Newdigate School throughout our time here.  My 4 children attended the school.  I have worked as a Lunchtime Supervisor and Teaching Assistant.  I have been a governor for 20 + years.  I was also a Manager of Newdigate Preschool for 44 years.  I still very much enjoy helping in the classroom weekly and being involved with the children’s activities.


Jo Farrer-Astrop –  I am a Foundation Governor, a role that has particular responsibility for ensuring that the Christian character and distinctiveness of the school is maintained.  I sit on the Community Links Committee, and Resources Committee (responsible for Accessibility).  I am Chair of the Headteacher’s Performance Review panel and the Link Governor (responsible for Governor Training).  I have recently taken on the role of Safeguarding Governor.  I have been a Governor for 7 years and have lived in Newdigate for 14 years with my husband Rob and our daugther.  My daugther had 5 very happy years at Newdigate attending both the school and preschool, a wonderful start to school life.  I am an active member of St Peter’s church and I am involved with several village societies.  My professional background is in advertising, television and P.R


Rebecca HopkinsHaving taught for many years in primary education, serving as a Governor at Newdigate School is something I find especially rewarding.  In previous teaching jobs, I have been part of senior leadership teams, served as a Teacher Governor of a junior school and have trained and worked as a SENCO.  I enjoy the challenges that being the SEND Governor brings and especially enjoy spending time in school finding out more about the children’s learning and achievements.  I continue to teach locally and enjoy being part of the school community with both of my children at Newdigate Infant School and Preschool.


Julie Briscoe – I joined the Governing Board at the school in early 2013 and after serving two years as the Local Authority representative.  I transferred to become a Foundation Governor.  I am Chair of the Community Links Committee which works to maintain a good relationship with members of our school, village and wider area communities, as well as promoting the school’s presence.

I have lived in Newdigate for 24 years.  Both my daughters attended the school, I spent two years working there as a Teaching Assistant and my husband served on the Governing body for 8 years.  So I have witnessed and lived through many changes within the school, whilst it has always maintained the same ethos of caring and sharing.

I am involved in several other areas of village life, including being an active member of our Parish church, as well as the local Dorking Catholic church and producing the monthly parish magazine.


Jacqueline Bennet –  I was appointed as a Foundation Governor by the PCC of St Peter’s Newdigate in November 2016.  This is my second term as a Governor having previously been a member of the Governing Body at Newdigate for 10 years between 2001 and 2011, and Chair of Governors for five of those years.  I qualifed as a Chartered Accountant after gaining a maths degree at Durham University but haven’t worked since having my three children, all of whom attended Newdigate Infant School before going on to the Weald and Regiate Grammar.  I wanted to get involved again with the school as I strongly believe that it is a central and vital part of our village community of which I am a keen supporter having lived in Newdigate for the past 22 years.  Newdigate Infant School provided a fantastic start for our children and I look to use my previous experience as a Governor as well as my accountancy skills to ensure that the same opportunity is available for local children now and in the future.


Reverend Andrew Coe I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2002 when I was appointed as Rector of St Peters Church Newdigate.  Previously I had served as a school Governor at two schools in the West Midlands.  I have a Degree in Theology from the University of Nottingham and trained for Church of England ministry at St John’s College Nottingham.  I have been an ordained Church of England Minister since 1986, serving in Parishes in the West Midlands, Birmingham City Centre and Sandwell, before moving to Newdigate and the Surrey Weald Team 15 years ago.  I bring knowledge of RE, spirituality, worship, prayer and school and church community links.  It’s a real privilege to be involved in the Governing Body and to help to support the school.  The links between Newdigate Church and School are very important, and I value the opportunity to enhance and strengthen them.


Chris Ransome I joined Newdigate Infant School Governors in December 2013 as a PCC Governor.  Myself and my wife have lived in Newdigate since 2009 and have two children that have attended Newdigate C of E Infant School.  Our youngest is still attending the school.  I am a Captain for British Airways at Heathrow airport – the unusual working hours can be a bonus in the governing role, as I am often able to commit to school day meetings and events.  I’m the Chair of the Resources committee and I bring solid practical skills to the table that were nurtured in my younger years working in agriculture.  I also bring solid communication and management experience, core skills required as a modern day airline pilot.  I undertook the governing role as I firmly believe in returning something to the local community that one lives in.


Michael Sturges – I was appointed in the role of parent governor in early 2016.  At the time, my son was in Year 1 having joined Newdigate C of E from the pre-school.  He has thoroughly enjoyed his experience at Newdigate and I have seen him develop and grow in confidence and ability.  It is great to be able to give something back to the school and as a parent as well as a governor it is sometimes possible to bring a different perspective to the discussion.  It has also been an eye-opening experience to see at first hand the dedication and commitment of the school staff who continually strive for best standards whilst putting the children at the heart of every decision.

In God's hands we learn and grow


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