Emsworth Primary School

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Meet the Governors

Role of the Governing Body 

The Governing Body of a school is akin to the board of directors of a company. It provides leadership at a strategic level, acting as a “critical friend” to the headteacher who is responsible and accountable to it for the operational day-to-day running of the school. The Governing Body has three core functions:

  • Setting the vision and strategic direction of the school

  • Holding the headteacher to account for its educational performance

  • Ensuring financial resources are well spent

The Governing Body is accountable to Ofsted for its effectiveness, and consists of members elected from/by parents and staff, members appointed by the Local Authority and members appointed from the local community.

The Governors 

Graham Fishwick: Chair 

Graham is married and has 2 children who are both at Emsworth Primary School who are both thoroughly enjoying it and thriving. A recent joiner to the Governors, Graham decided to become a member so that he could be involved in the school and help in some way. He is a qualified Financial Adviser currently studying to become chartered level and has lived in Emsworth for the past 5 years or so. When not working, Graham spends his time studying, running and spending time with his family, including a very energetic spaniel called Freddy.

Eloise Dodgson: Co-opted Governor

Eloise has been a governor since 2008 and both her children loved being at EPS and have very fond memories of their time there! She chose the school because of its inclusive nature and happy, caring environment and has seen it go from strength to strength thanks to the great leadership and fantastic teachers.

Since having children Eloise embarked on a full-time course at Portsmouth University and gained a first-class honours degree and a masters degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Her work history includes housing, personnel and teaching aerobics in spare time.  After several years of socialising puppies for Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs she now enjoys being a self-employed dog walker. Passions are travel, walking and live bands. 

Paul Curtis: Co-opted Governor



Paul is a retired solicitor, married with two children and four grandchildren, and has lived in Emsworth and area for over thirty years.

He is delighted to be a Co-opted Governor and in a small way help the School provide children with education and a learning experience that is the best it can be.


Claire Johnson: Parent Governor

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Claire joined as a parent governor when her daughter joined the school in Year R. Claire is keen to understand the workings of primary school education and to hopefully give something back to the school as a whole by fulling the strategic role of the governing body. Claire also enjoys helping in the classrooms and assisting on school visits when work allows. Having worked with Autistic children and children with behavioural problems in the past Claire is particularly interested in the provision for disadvantaged children.

Matthew Wadsley: Co-opted Governor

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Anna Stratton: Parent Governor 

Anna has a son and daughter who both thrive at Emsworth Primary School.  She loves the friendly and welcoming nature of the school and the fact that all children, and their parents and carers, are made to feel welcome and valued.  Anna is a primary school teacher at a Portsmouth school and became a parent governor to use her experience to help challenge and support EPS and because she loves seeing how other schools work and sharing ideas.


Steven Cross: Parent Governor


Steven is married and has three children, his youngest currently goes to EPS and is really thriving. After visiting we instantly knew that EPS was the right choice for our child. The staff at EPS and the school facilities are brilliant and we believe that this would really help our child to grow, develop and learn, enabling them to move forward with their life as they progressed. Working within catering for the past 22 years Steven has spent the last 7 years working within education as a Head Chef and Educational Catering Consultant. After spending time in a school setting Steven became interested in becoming a school governor with the hope to further develop his own knowledge and to help school and wider community. When he is away from work, he really enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, running, paddle boarding and walking the families young cocker spaniel Wilma. 

 Emma Heasman: Parent Governor

Emma is a parent Governor who has a son in Year 1. Emma was impressed with the school during her initial visit and knew this was the first choice school for her son. Emma was delighted when her son was offered a place at Emsworth Primary. Emma works in Human Resources within an educational setting supporting a variety of schools. Emma is looking forward to supporting the school in a strategic role on the governing body.

Charlotte Watson: Staff Governor




Charlotte is a Year 6 teacher at the school and one of the maths curriuclum leaders. She provides the link between staff and the governing body, representing and coordinating views in both directions.

Rachel Ballard: Co-opted Governor

Rachel has a little girl who is currently at Emsworth Primary School and she has made many friends. New to the Governors, Rachel decided to become a member so that she could be involved in the school and make a positive contribution to help the school continue to flourish. Rachel’s background is in business and has run several salons for over 25 years. She's lived in Emsworth for the past 10 years or so. When not working, Rachel spends her time making family memories, baking extreme cakes, and is known for being a history enthusiast, and an Oddsocks “anti-bullying” ambassador.

Brendan Gibbs: Local Authority Governor


Brendan is currently a Local Government Officer with responsibilities for the management of public open spaces, recreation grounds and children’s play areas. He also has an involvement in the planning process. Prior to this career change, Brendan spent 30 years in the IT industry specialising in the telecommunications and digital broadcasting sector. He is married with two grown up children and lives in the Waterlooville area. Having served for a time as the Clerk to the Governing Body, Brendan has now accepted the role of the Local Authority appointed governor. He looks forward to working with all stakeholders contributing towards the success of the school.

 Gemma Dunstan: Co-opted Governor


Gemma is a parent of two young children who lives near the school. She is an experienced teacher in both main stream and complex special needs. Gemma enjoys reading, aikido, dog training, and has recently taken up archery. Gemma has joined the governing body as a co-opted governor as she would love to give back to the local community and help the children thrive.