Washingwell Community Primary School

Achievement for all


A Warm Welcome from the Chair of Governors at Washingwell

Dear Friends of Washingwell School and members of the school community,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Washingwell Primary School on behalf of the Governing Body, and to provide a short explanation of what we, as governors, do to support your children and ensure that your children are able to thrive in all aspects of their time at our wonderful school.

At Washingwell School, Governors, staff, parents and children work together in a happy, creative and academically challenging environment; with our core values of Happiness, Excellence, Ambitious, Respect and Togetherness at the HEART of everything that we do.

Our vision builds upon our values, and stresses the uniqueness of our school, children and community. We are committed to making our vision a reality and bringing real changes to the lives of our children.

Your Governing Body is involved with our school at every level. This includes finance, safeguarding, premises management and staff appointments. As Governors, we consider our most important role to be the safety, welfare and education of our pupils at Washingwell School.

Governors are appointed to provide strategic direction for the improvement of the school; monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the school; and hold the school to account for the standards achieved and the quality of education. We are here to support and encourage our Head Teacher, Senior Leadership Team and all school staff to ensure that every one of our children has access to an enriched education and to all the opportunities that they deserve.

We are justifiably very proud of our children and would like to thank the parents and carers who encourage and support their children so much. In a good school, such as ours, parents take a great interest in their child’s learning and development. During the early years of primary education, academic, personal, social and creative skills are nurtured and developed.

It is a privilege to serve the school community as a Governor and a role that the whole governing board and I are committed to fully.

Should you wish to contact me to discuss any matter further, I can be reached at I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible throughout the school year.


Best wishes


Stuart Walker

Chair of Governors



As stated in the DfE’s Governance Handbook, the responsibilities of the governing body are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

Stuart Walker - Chair (Co-opted Governor)


My name is Stuart Walker and my role on the governing body is Chair of Governors with a further remit of Safeguarding.

2023 marks my tenth year at Washingwell, having joined as a teacher in November of 2013. I became a co-opted governor after retiring in 2018 after 30 years as a teacher. I enjoy the challenges that being a governor brings and seek to ensure that the children of Washingwell Primary School receive the best possible education they can at our unique and special school.

Vanessa Armstrong - Vice Chair (Co-opted Governor)


I’m Vanessa Armstrong and I’m a Co-opted Governor and am Deputy Chair.  I have been a governor since 2019 and also have 2 children who are at Washingwell.  I work as a senior lecturer at Newcastle University and have  particular interests in accessibility of opportunities for all, skill development, curriculum design and quality assurance of programmes.  I am also the SEND link Governor and am on the Curriculum Committee.

Vicki Evans (Co-opted Governor)


Hi, I'm Vicki Evans, Co-opted Governor at the school.

I have worked in school governance and data protection for the past 9 years and I was also a National Leader of Governance. I have one little boy at the school who absolutely loves his time at Washingwell. Being a governor at the school allows me to give something back to our wonderful little community and contribute to the outcomes for our children. 


Jennifer Aziz (Parent Governor)


I am honoured to have been elected as a Parent Governor at Washingwell Community Primary School in 2022. As a mother of three young children, two of whom are currently enrolled at Washingwell, one of my main objectives is to facilitate clear and honest communication between parents and teaching staff, whilst also making a constructive contribution to the school's continued growth and improvement.

I have a background in Marketing and Finance, as well as a degree in Business Management and I currently manage my own business whilst taking care of my young children. I am confident that I can utilise my skills and experience to assist my fellow governors in tackling any challenges and opportunities that may arise within the school.

Natalie Scott (Co-opted Governor)



I am a co-opted Governor, who is interested in giving back to the community and helping make a positive impact on the future generation. I am a Council employee and have been for over 5 years and live in the Gateshead area. I am a Quantity Surveyor by trade and have a degree in that field and am now a Building Surveyor with and SMSTS qualification. I have experience in both Housing, Schools and Public Buildings monitoring the budget for Repairs and Maintenance, Voids, Adaptations, Capital Work schemes and Cyclical Maintenance as well as preparing budgets estimates and schedules of work using the bespoke schedule of rates ensuring that best value is met.

Jamie Wilson (Parent Governor)

I am very privileged to be elected as a parent governor for this amazing school. I am excited to be working with the school staff and representing the parents views and suggestions to the governing board to continue the schools growth and promoting its values. I am confident that we can overcome the schools current and future challenges through shared skills and teamwork.

 I completed my Master’s degree (MSc) in Occupational Therapy at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2016 and since qualifying I have worked in community mental health, community learning disabilities and physical acute inpatient settings specialising in older people's medicine and orthopaedics. Prior to occupational therapy I was working as a Tutor teaching a range of life skill courses for a local charity for service users with physical and learning disabilities. During this time, I completed my teaching certificate and assessor qualifications. I have also completed my undergraduate degree in Air transport with Pilot Training at Bucks New University (BNU). I have my UK and European Private Pilot Licence and enjoy flying light aircraft out of Teesside International Airport and my motor glider out of Currock Hill airfield at the weekends. I am currently completing a post graduate diploma in Psychological Therapies from the University of Exeter specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for psychosis and bipolar disorder. More importantly, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife and two boys.

Neil Parish (Co-opted Governor)


I’m Neil Parrish and have very recently joined as a co-opted governor (November 2023). I have a background in mathematics / statistics and for the last 27 years have worked in an operational / resource planning role for a large national food-on-the-go retailer.

I am looking forward to utilising the skills I have learnt in business to make a positive contribution to the staff and pupils at Washingwell.

Outside of work I am passionate about music, food and travel and am married with a young son. I have a large extended family and my nephew is also a pupil at Washingwell.