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Meet our governors

Welcome from the Chair of Governors

The governing body has important powers and duties, but limited time and resources. So it focuses on where it can add most value – that is, in helping to decide the school’s strategy for improvement so that its pupils learn most effectively and achieve the highest standards.
The governing body helps to set, and keep under review, the broad framework within which the head teacher and staff run the school. The governors monitor the progress and challenge the school leadership, as a community school, in all areas of school life – arts, sports, socially, morally as well as academically. 
In its work, the governing body focuses on the key issues of raising standards of achievement, establishing high expectations and promoting effective teaching and learning. 
The governing body consists of the head teacher, parents, a staff member and appointed community and Local Authority governors who volunteer their time to support the school management. 
We meet each term, supported by the Clerk to the Governors. Governors are elected or appointed for a four year term. Details of all the Governors and their election / appointment dates can be found on the Governing Body Constitution page .
If you wish to contact any governor, please contact the school office who will be happy to take your details and arrange for the appropriate Governor to contact you.
John Furley
Chair of Governors


  Meet our Governors

John Furley

I have been a parent at the school since September 2013: my two sons are now in secondary school and my daughter started at Courthouse in September 2016. I have been a governor since 2015, most recently with responsibility for maths teaching and learning in the school. 


Aside from being a governor, I have worked in the private, public and charity sectors. 

These different roles have helped me to be able to understand something of the different people and cultures present at Courthouse. It also helps me to Chair the governing body and to support the staff to ensure that the school is a safe and secure environment where children from different backgrounds learn to live together. No school is perfect, but I hope that we can all work together to help our school to be one that is inclusive, preparing our children well for life with every child flourishing.


Jo Carman

I am a previous pupil at Courthouse from the late 1970s  – come on Eagles! – and now a parent with children of my own at this school.

I am passionate about ensuring Courthouse children receive as well rounded an education as possible during their 4 years here.   

We provide access to many extracurricular activities which enables children to explore & try different hobbies & interests, including a wide variety of sports, arts, crafts & dance. 


Music, in particular  is a great personal passion and as Link Governor for Music I am keen that we develop the orchestra and ensure the Choir continues to 

perform at national & regional events such as The O2 with Young Voices; with Berkshire Maestros at The Royal Albert Hall, as well as at the local church, care homes and school fairs. 

Paul Griffiths

I joined the governing body of Courthouse in October 2019, after a job change gave me a little more time in my calendar to give back to the school.  I have 2 children, Joe in year 3, and Emma in Year 9 at Newlands having been through Courthouse previously.


One of the perspectives I am looking to bring to the Governing Body, is an understanding of the knowledge and experiences the children will require as they progress into Secondary school.  We must ensure that they benefit fully from their 4 years at Courthouse, and become rounded individuals, fulfilling their full potentials.


I am an IT consulting Director, focused primarily on the public sector, bringing a wealth of experience in deploying technology solutions into large Government organisations.  As part of this role I am required to keep abreast of new legislation such as GDPR and understand what this means to the different organisations with whom I work, both from a technology and business process perspective.


Richard Burdett

I am a Chartered Engineer who has run a number of businesses, as well as having extensive financial experience both through work and my being a church treasurer for over 20 years. I joined the Governing Body when my youngest son was at the school in 2004 and have been privileged to serve as governor since then. As the longest serving member of the board I feel I am able to use my prior experience of the school to help guide our current decisions.


In addition to my electronics consultancy work, I am also the Exams Officer at Altwood CE School, so I am regularly working with children. Outside work, I am a volunteer driver for Maidenhead Care which provides hospital transport for local people, as well as reader for the Maidenhead Talking Newspaper. I also enjoy gardening, cooking, and visits to the theatre.


Katie Ratcliffe

I have been a parent at Courthouse since September 2018 and one year on, I’m excited to have the opportunity to get more involved in the school community.


I’m interested in how children learn and in supporting the school to develop its curriculum, practices, and its extra-curricular offer in an inclusive way, to bring out the best in all children.


My professional background is largely in the public sector, including working at the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and now the Department for Education in policy development and delivery on a wide range of issues. This will help me bring relevant skills and knowledge to the role of governor, as well as my perspective as a parent.


Louise Elstone

I’m the Local Authority governor appointed by RBWM in 2014.


I have an extensive commercial background with more than 25 years of experience working for well-known brands in the media, entertainment, sport and leisure sectors.


My passion for increasing activity levels in children and young people led me to make a career switch to the learning & development sector five years ago.  Since then working with Premier Sport and Cycle Experience I’ve built relationships with over 250 schools and 8 local authorities in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and London to develop, deliver and measure the impact of a variety of sport, activity and cycle training initiatives for over 5,500 children and young people each year.


My own very positive experience of primary education inspired me to become a governor, and as Chair of the Curriculum Committee, I’m keen to ensure that every Courthouse pupil can maximise their potential and flourish as an individual.

I also firmly believe that at Courthouse we have the opportunity improve the lives of our pupils through the provision of high-quality sport and activity both within and outside the curriculum.


Jane Cox


My son attends Courthouse and my daughter will soon.  I’m passionate about making sure Courthouse is a place where children love to learn and teachers love to teach.  

I’m a firm believer in the benefits that exercise, sport, music, art and creativity bring to the wellbeing of children (and adults!) and enjoy live music, yoga and Parkrun.

Aside from school and family life, I’m a director of a social enterprise that helps charities to lobby the government for policy and legislative change.  With this I have supported many charities at a senior level with their strategic direction and business plans, experiences which I hope will be useful to the Courthouse Governing Board. 


Eduard Woltjer

My wife Kirsty and I have lived in Maidenhead for over 13 years. We have a daughter at Courthouse and a son who will hopefully join Courthouse in the near future.


Given that the school plays such a central role within our community, I put myself forward for a governor position when a vacancy arose. The hope is, that in my own way, I can make a positive contribution to the school and create an environment in which all children can excel.


I believe that my role as an EMEA HR Manager provides the relevant experience and skill set to assist with this.

Sharon Toor

I joined Courthouse this academic year as a Year 6 teacher and the writing lead.  Prior to this, for the last eight years, I have worked in various roles within a Talk for writing training school in a neighbouring borough. My knowledge, understanding and experience of teaching and training others in Talk for Writing has helped me step into the role of the writing lead with a strong foundation. Having initially worked as a teaching assistant I gained my QTS through the schools direct programme with the RBWM. Whilst training for my PGCE, I worked as an unqualified teacher across a school from early years to KS2. Post qualification, I quickly became year lead. In addition to my role here at Courthouse as Year 6 teacher and writing lead I am also an NQT mentor. Education is a key part of my life, not just teaching but learning and expanding my own knowledge. This value of life-long learning is something I encourage in my own pupils.