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Woodbrook Vale School

Woodbrook Vale School

Woodbrook Vale

Trustees and Academy Trust

School trustees (also known as governors) provide strategic leadership and accountability for the school. As the school is an Academy, the Trustees are also legally directors of the school. The Trustees work closely with the Headteacher to agree the strategic direction of the school and make decisions about balancing resources.

What is the Governing Board for?

The three core functions of the Governing Board are:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students, and the performance management of staff;

  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

All correspondence to members of the Governing Board should be addressed to them at 

Woodbrook Vale, Grasmere Road, Loughborough, Leics, LE11 2ST.

If you would like a copy of the Governing Board minutes, or if you wish to contact a Trustee (governor) please call or email the Clerk to the Trustees, Mrs Angela Tarnowski either through the school reception or by email.

The following profiles are designed to introduce the Trustees and to show the range of experience they bring to the school.

Gavin Brown (Chair of Trustees and Trust Member) 

Chair of Trustees and Trust Member

Governor at Woodbrook Vale since 2008 and previously at Mountfields Lodge. Parent of a child who attended both and who has now successfully come out the other end. MD of a Management Development training company and also involved in wider school governance in Leicestershire. Previously lived and worked for many years in the former Yugoslavia and Serbia.

Emily Rousham 

Trust Member

Emily was a Parent Governor at Woodbrook Vale from 2010-2016 and her three children attended the school. The family have lived in Loughborough for over 20 years. Emily works as a Reader in Public Health at Loughborough University including teaching and research.

Alistair Gibb 

Trust Member

Parent of three children who enjoyed their time at Woodbrook Vale a number of years ago. Teaching and researching as Professor of Construction Engineering Management at Loughborough University and deacon of a local Baptist church.

Rachael Fraser (Headteacher and Trustee) 

Headteacher and Trustee

Rachael Joined Woodbrook Vale as Headteacher and trustee in June 2019. She previously held roles as Headteacher, Deputy Head and County Consultant for English in Somerset and has 29 years’ experience in a variety of schools and contexts. She brings to the school a lifelong belief in, and passion for, the transformational power of education.

Tim Birkinshaw 


Joined the Governing Board in 2006 as a parent governor. Currently working at Charnwood Molecular in Nottingham. Previously worked at Astra Zeneca in Loughborough.

John Donoghue 


Governor since 2016. Chair of the Curriculum and Pupils Committee. I work for a multinational business in Leicester, and specialise in IT, Business Change and Operational Management. I have one remaining child at Woodbrook Vale School.

Phil Morris 


Elected as a parent governor in November 2017, but have previous governor experience at Holywell primary school 2008-12. I am a qualified accountant with over 25 years private sector experience. I now work in finance for NHS England in a regional assurance capacity. I have 2 children at Woodbrook Vale.

Jenny Oakden 


Jenny became a Parent Governor in 2019. She has a child at Woodbrook Vale School and another at Mountfields Lodge. She is a lecturer in Criminology and a Community Warden at Loughborough University.

Sachin Sandhu 


I am in my third year of teaching English at Woodbrook Vale, having joined in 2017. In addition to this, I am involved in the pastoral life of the school, and continue to develop in this area as a Year 9 form tutor, and having also taken on the role of Inclusion Champion for Year 8. I am also the lead for whole-school literacy development.

Elizabeth Warhurst


Elizabeth joined as a Trustee in 2020.  She has over 20 years’ experience in the public sector and is part of her employers senior leadership team managing a range of service areas.  Elizabeth has close connections with De Montfort University, and is the founder of the East Midlands Development Network with EMLawshare.  She has a son at WBV and has a particular interest in personal development. 

Catherine Anderson 


Became a Parent Governor in March 2018. I am a HR professional with over 20 years’ experience within the broadcast/IT sector.  I am married with 2 children, both are currently at Woodbrook Vale. 

Barry Bookham


I have over 25 years' experience of working in IT and have worked at Loughborough University for the past 10 years. I have 3 children; one has completed their education at Woodbrook Vale and two are currently at the school. I was previously a governor at Outwoods Edge Primary School for 6 years.

Paul Murray


I have over 35 years of experience in the Food industry, provided across Food service, Retail  Leisure, and Manufacturing sectors. I’m married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren. I have a full appreciation of the huge role early and lifelong education plays in how we learn, develop, and get along with each other. I am delighted to be on the Board of Trustees and welcome the opportunity to appropriately support, contribute and make a positive difference. 

Sue Hart 


Having moved to Loughborough some 28 years ago, all three of my children attended Woodbrook Vale. I have recently come to the end of a varied career as a management accountant working in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, insurance, airport management and finally apprenticeship delivery.

Angela Tarnowski 

Clerk to the Trustees

Appointed Clerk to the Governors in 2019, I also work as a curator at Derby Museum, and have 30 years’ experience in the museum sector. I am married with two children currently at Woodbrook Vale. 

Dave Green 

Company Secretary

School Business Manager and Chief Financial Officer since 2011.

As part of the school leadership team I have been involved in the school converting to an Academy,  becoming a 11-16 through school and been successful with capital bids for additional classrooms, new sports hall and dining hall extension.    


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