St Mary's CE Primary School

  1. Governors
  2. Our Governors

Our Governors

Welcome to the Governors of St. Mary's School

The Governors of St. Mary's are a hardworking and dedicated team who have the future of the School, Staff and Pupils uppermost in their minds. We have seen the school flourish under the expertise of a very dedicated and hardworking Head and her Teachers. We look forward to going further in the future.

Our Chair of Governors is Liz Beacon.  She can be contacted on or via the school office.


Name Role Term of Office
Sophie Westerwijk Head Teacher
Eloise Sinclair Staff Governor 01/05/2017 30/04/2021
Liz Beacon Chair 11/03/2019 10/03/2023
Bob Sommers   04/01/2018 03/01/2022
Cath Campbell Vice Chair/Collective Worship 01/09/2018 01/09/2022
Craig Thompson Safeguarding 09/11/2016 09/11/2020
Helen Cave Maths 18/09/2019 17/09/2023
Miles Langdon H&S/English 01/09/2019 31/08/2023
Tor Zakaria SEN 01/09/2018 31/08/2022
Rev'd Astrid Tiesema-Sampson Ethos 21/08/2018 20/08/2022
Michael Tarlton Finance 18/09/2019 17/09/2023
Claire Wheeler Clerk Start: 01/09/19


Chair             Liz Beacon

I am chair of governors at St Mary's and took on the role after being a governor for a couple of years. As well as leading four annual full governing body meetings, I also sit on the Learning and Standards committee where we scrutinise the school's results and teaching practices. I have two children at St Mary's and am keen to challenge it to be the best it can be. I work as a journalist, and I don't shy away from asking challenging, and often difficult questions in our meetings. 

What I love about St Mary's is the way it feels like a big, caring family. Everyone knows each other and supports each other. Year 6's love having their reception "buddies". Being a governor, one gets the opportunity to help shape the school, and encouragement improvement. We work as a real team, happily giving up our time to do our best for the school community. 

Foundation Governor                 Bob Sommers 

I am a Foundation Governor and Chair of the Learning and Standards Committee. I have been a Governor at St Mary's for 5 years. I have lived in Portbury for 12 years. I am retired but am currently a member of the Panel for North Somerset that advises on the appointment of Foster carers for Looked After Children.Prior to this I was Headteacher of Gordano School, in Portishead for 12 years and helped train potential Headteachers for the National College of School Leadership.
Before training to become a Science teacher I was in Sales and Production for a Packaging Company in Liverpool. After gaining my teaching qualification I taught Physics and Maths at three schools in Bristol and a secondary school in Botswana

Parent Governor                         Craig Thomson (Safeguarding)

I live in Portbury village with my wife and our children, a daughter who attends the school and a son who is due to join in September. I became a parent Governor in 2017 holding the safeguarding role and sitting on the operations committee

Foundation Governor                 Rev'd Astrid Tiesema-Samsom

I am the Rector of St Mary’s Church, the church next door to the school. There is an established connection between the school and the church that is of benefit to the children’s development into the best people they can be.  My role as a Governor has a focus on RE but within the whole picture of learning and flourishing.  I am also a Trustee of Wellspring, a counselling service for teenagers and young people in North Somerset.


Community Governor                 Miles Langdon

Originally and proudly born and brought up in South Devon I have lived in the Bristol area since 1985. I moved to Portbury from Portishead 7 years ago. I am married and have 3 grown up children, 2 of whom still live at home. I retired 4 years ago having worked for a High Street bank for 40 years. My involvement as a governor of St Mary’s comes solely from the perspective of a member of the village community. Whilst my experience of primary education is from some years ago I bring a business/financial experience which, I hope, makes me a useful member of the Board of Governors.


Community Governor                 Cath Campbell (Vice Chair)


Local Authority Governor                 Tor Zakaria

I became a governor at St Mary’s in September 2018. I have two children at the school and have lived in Portbury for 7 years. I am an Assistant Head in a primary school in Clevedon and lead on Inclusion. I am able to bring my 18 years of school experience to the governors at St Mary’s. I am enjoying being part of a strong team of governors at St Mary’s and ensuring the children at the school can thrive and reach their potential. 

Parent Governor                        Helen Cave


Parent Governor                         Michael Tarlton

Clerk            Claire Wheeler                                



Attendance Register 2019/20 for St Mary's LGB Meetings
Meeting Dates
Governor Name 23/09/2019 18/11/2019 10/02/2020 20/05/2020 23/06/2020 15/07/2020
Sophie Westerwijk (Head) ✓ 
Eloise Sinclair x  x
Liz Beacon (Chair)  ✓
Anneline Sheldon        
Bob Sommers x x x  ✓
Cath Campbell  ✓
Craig Thompson  ✓
Helen Cave x  ✓
Miles Langdon x x  x
Tor Zakaria x x  ✓
Rev'd Astrid Tiesema-Sampson x
M Tarlton x  ✓
Claire Wheeler (Clerk)  ✓