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Meet the Governors

Frances Strickley - Chair - Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in Copthorne for 13 years and both my children have been to Fairway Infant School and then attended Copthorne Junior School.  When my eldest started at Fairway I became a Governor there, going on to become Chair during the time that the school was rated good in it's Ofsted inspection. 


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


Aelwen Lavictoire - Parent Governor

As a parent and primary school teacher living in the village, I am proud to be able to play a part in the governance of Copthorne Junior School and to chair the Quality and Standards committee.  Having sent my two sons to the school and with my daughter joining year 3, I fully understand the importance of ensuring that our local village school offers the best learning experiences and opportunity for every child to be challenged to fulfil their full potential.


I have worked as a volunteer at Copthorne Junior School for over 8 years now, helping at Forest School, on school trips and with activities in school, supporting reading in the school and helping with clubs and booster groups.  Throughout this time, I have been able to immerse myself in school life and to develop a strong knowledge of the whole school community.  I am also actively involved in Scouting in the village.


I am passionate about ensuring that our village school is the very best it can be for every child that attends, and as a governor will continue to challenge and work with the school to ensure that this happens.


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 - Vice Chair - 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.