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Meet the Governors

Charles McCarthy - Chair of Governors - Local Authority Governor

I joined the Governing Body of Copthorne Junior School in 2018 as the West Sussex local authority representative. Previously, I had been a governor of another church school in North Kent for over 6 years, before relocating into the area.


Having had a background at a senior level in education and an involvement in the Scout Association, my life is characterised by service to the community.


I am proud to have been married for over 40 years and to have children who are all successful professionals. It is my ambition to ensure the pupils at Copthorne CE Junior School have access and opportunity to similarly be successful.


Frances Strickley - Vice Chair - Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in Copthorne for 11 years and both my children have been to Fairway Infant School and now attend Copthorne Junior School.  I became a governor at Fairway when my eldest child started school there.  I went on to become Chair of Governors during the time that the school was rated good in it's Ofsted inspection and spent over 5 years there as a governor. 


My background is in law, having qualified and worked as a solicitor specialising in employment law for 15 years.  I now work full time in a global governance role for an international bank. 


Joanna Francis - Headteacher

I have been the Headteacher at Copthorne CE Junior School since September 2016. Previously, I was the Headteacher of St Giles CE Primary School at Horsted Keynes which I joined in 2001.

Most of my experience has been in church schools and I enjoy working closely with the church community and Diocese.


Aelwen Lavictoire - Parent Governor

I have just recently joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor and am looking forward to playing a part in supporting our village school.   I have a background in education, having trained as a primary school teacher and taught in a primary school in Hackney for 6 years.  I have a particular interest in Special Educational Needs, having seen the difference that having good quality support has made to my own children, including my son who currently attends Copthorne Juniors. 


I enjoy being able to play an active role in volunteering in school, listening to readers and helping out in class and at Nature Club each week when my youngest is at playgroup. I also enjoy being part of the PTA as well as helping out at Scout events in the village as part of the Group Executive.  


Wim Mauritz - Ex Officio Foundation Governor

As the new incumbent vicar of St John's Church in Copthorne I am thrilled to also take on the role as foundation governor of the Junior School. I am really looking forward to building new relationships with the pupils, parents, staff and the wider community in Copthorne. 


Before I became a priest in the Church of England I worked as a manager in various disaster relief and development programmes in countries overseas. I am originally from Holland but have been in living in the UK since 2002. 


I am passionate about the unique role that the local church school has in continuing God's mission to bring good news and healthy education to all. When I am not at work I love spending time with my family, like to cycle, enjoy a good film, a fitness work-out, baking, gardening and when times allows me, some stained-glass window making.


Richard Polley - Co-Opted Governor

Having retired from a 41 year career as a Chartered Electrical Engineer in the Electricity Supply Industry, I was pleased to become a Co-opted Governor in November 2012.


My wife Monica and I have lived in Copthorne since 1975 and our three children all attended Copthorne Junior School in the eighties and early nineties.


In my 'retirement' I keep myself occupied with a little consultancy work, working in a voluntary capacity for The Institution of Engineering and Technology.  I am involved with a number of choirs and with the church both in the village and at St Nicholas Worth.  I have four young grandchildren and sometimes have time to grow vegetables and for projects in our Victorian house.


Fionna Thomson - Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in the village with my 3 children since 2008 and am delighted to have the opportunity to become a Co-Opted Governor with Copthorne CE Junior School.  My twin sons attended local special educational needs schools and my youngest son has just completed studies at Worth.  All the boys have greatly enjoyed being part of village life, including being busy members of the Copthorne Scout Group, playing golf and equestrian activities. 


Following qualification as an accountant, I moved from "Big 6" audit clients to working with Texaco.  Over the last decade I have been working in the Independent Education Sector and am currently Bursar at Newells School Trust, an ISI Outstanding School, which is part of the Brighton College Family of Schools.  I enjoy the energy and enthusiasm that working alongside children offers and hope to be able to share my experience and support this school team. 


Sally Cullen - Clerk to the Governors

I became Clerk to the Governors and Finance Clerk at Copthorne CE Junior School in January 2010 and am thoroughly enjoying life here.  Previously, I worked for a charity in Liverpool and then as a PA and administrator for an investment bank in Liverpool before transferring to their London office. 


In my spare time, I am often found stood on the side lines of a variety of sports pitches cheering my sons on and I sit on the committee at the local Athletics Club.  I enjoy travel, gardening and reading.