Home Page

Essendon C of E (VC) Primary School

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works

Governor Biographies

Pete Hanna, Chair of Governors

I’m a parent with a little girl at Essendon and work at the University of Hertfordshire where I focus on improving the student experience. I started as a governor at the beginning of 2017 and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far. Although I don’t live in the village, I’m very proud to support the school and am focused on making sure the school builds the closest possible ties with the local community.

I am very much looking forward to my new role as Chair of Governors and am fortunate to have Lesley’s support during this transition period.


Lesley Reith, Vice Chair of Governors

I have lived in Essendon with my family for thirteen years and have now been a governor of Essendon School for eight years and was chair of governors for the last six years.

I studied engineering at university and worked in the engineering industry for the first four years of my career before taking those skills into The City where I worked for The Stock Exchange building their first generation trading systems and databases. When my children were growing up, I retrained as a teacher and have taught physics at different secondary schools across Hertfordshire since qualifying. I am now retired from teaching and devote my time to our family businesses, my role at Essendon School, village life and travelling.

I became a governor in the hope that some of my skills would be helpful in supporting the development of the school. I have not been disappointed and have found my role really stimulating. I am always learning and always striving to sustain our school as a wonderful asset for the village.


Pauline Alleyne, Foundation Governor

My family and I have lived in the village of Essendon for over 30 years and during this time I have been an active member the Church and community. I have helped run St Mary’s Sunday School for over 20 years and have got to know many of the local children and their families. As a Foundation Governor, I hope to make a positive contribution and assist with the link between school, church and community.


Katie Bedi, Co–opted Governor

I have been part of the teaching team at Essendon for 15 years and have been part of the governing body for 9 of those years. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to see the school grow and change during the time that I have worked there, and to be part of a team who have a shared vision to give children a firm foundation in the skills, experiences and values that will be important to them as they grow up in an ever changing and challenging world.

I have worked with all age groups in the school but I have been particularly involved in developing the early years provision and building links between home and school for all our families as they begin their school journey. As a Church of England school it is important to show the difference that the values of the Christian faith make to everything that we do. These principles also make our links with St. Mary’s Church and the local community important as we live and work together.


Claire Bryant, Staff Governor

I joined Essendon School in September 2017 and teach in Harefield Class two days a week. I have been teaching for over twenty years and prior to joining Essendon I was working as a Deputy Headteacher in a large primary school in Hertfordshire. I have taught across Key Stages One and Two and have experienced a wide range of leadership activities. I am enjoying working at Essendon and being part time has allowed me to spend more time with my young children as they embark on their own primary school education.


I have been a governor at both my previous schools and understand the important role the governors do. I wished to become a governor at Essendon to support and add to the development of the school as it looks towards its future.


Vicky Craig, Co-opted Governor

I moved to Essendon in 2014, having lived in the local area all my life. I am married to Tom and we have two children, Ted and Harry. Ted is currently in Reception. We feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful and welcoming village. We were married at St Mary’s Church in 2012 by Reverend Pauline and both children have also been christened there.

I became a governor as I am passionate about children’s education and want to support the school in being the best it can be and to help our children achieve their potential. I feel it is important to create a school environment whereby each child is valued and develops their own ideas, self-esteem and confidence, so they can excel both academically and creatively.


Adam Shawyer, Parent Governor

I have recently joined the Governing body. The reason I wanted to be a Governor was that I was keen to be part of a team that can help develop and enhance the pupils’ experience at the school. I spent the best part of 10 years living overseas. During this time, I worked as a Scuba Diving Instructor in South East Asia and then working as an Operations Manager in the civilian and military aviation sector. A few years ago, we made the decision to relocate to the UK. As a family, we are forever grateful to the school for helping my son during the transition. My role as a governor is to sit on the Premises and Finance committee. I will be working closely with the pupils, ESA, the Site Manager and the teaching staff in order to develop projects that encourage the pupils to have the best experience possible at the school.


Charlotte Tudway, Ex officio Governor (Headteacher)

My route to my Headteacher role has been via working in London as solicitor; 8 years as a full-time mother of two; Early Years, as both a teaching assistant and then a class teacher; teaching in both Key Stage 1 and 2; and via working with vulnerable pupils and pupils with special or additional needs as SENCo and Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Inclusion at another Hertfordshire school. I believe passionately in the “whole” child and that school is about far more than just the (albeit extremely important) academic elements of the curriculum. For me, developing emotional wellbeing, a healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships; and having opportunities for spiritual growth and developing our skills as local and global citizens are vitally important.


Antonia Wild, Co-opted Governor

I have been a member of the Essendon staff for three years as Homewood’s class teacher. Previous to this, I worked at a two form-entry primary school in North London for eleven years as Class Teacher and Key Stage 1 Phase Leader. Since September 2017, I have had the exciting roles of Inclusion Manager and Deputy Headteacher, as well as being lucky enough to retain my class teaching role in Homewood.


Away from Essendon, I am Mum to two (very different) boys, aged 7 and 9 years called Archie and Stan. At the weekends I am often found at the side of a football pitch due to my husband running a football club as well as the boys playing for it. We spend a lot of our ‘free’ time watching matches and supporting all of the teams.

I have joined the Governing Body this year and I am excited about being part of the many projects that are being planned and carried out at Essendon.