Washingwell Community Primary School

Achievement for all


A Warm Welcome from the Chair of Governors at Washingwell

At Washingwell Community Primary School, Governors, staff, parents and children work together in a happy, creative and high attaining environment; with our core values of happiness, excellence, ambition,  respect and togetherness underpinning everything that we do.


The 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.


The children in our school achieve high standards across the curriculum. We are justifiably very proud of them and would like to thank the parents who encourage and support their children so admirably.


Governors are appointed to ensure that objectives are met, and that future planning is both visionary and realistic. We 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 Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team and all school personnel to ensure that every one of our children has access to an enriched education and to all the opportunities that they deserve.


We seek to improve outcomes for all children through quality top sustainable, high quality and accountable leadership at all levels throughout the school; partnership with other schools, parents and the wider school community to enrich our school.


We are committed to making our school vision a reality and bringing real changes to the lives of our children.


Kind regards,

Mrs Wendy Ryder – Chair of Governors



Mrs Wendy Ryder

Chair of Governors / Co-opted Governor

Hello, I'm Wendy Ryder, Chair of the Governing Body of Washingwell Community Primary School.  I initially joined as a Parent Governor a number of years ago when my children attended the school.  My background is in NHS management, mainy around health informatics and also clinical networks.


There have been a number of challenges for the Governing Board to overcome, however, it has been fantastic to see the school grow in the last few years.  I am very proud of what the school achieves in terms of outcomes for pupils but also for the pastoral care and support that is provided.  It is a great community school that has taken an innovative approach, for example, 'flex-it' fridays, which provide a wide range of opportunities for pupils to learn new skills and enjoy the wonderful school grounds.  It has always been important to me that the children at Washingwell are happy and safe; Governors play an important role in supporting the Head Teacher and staff achieve this outcome.



Mr Steve Warwick

Co-opted Governor

A co-opted governor since 2016 at Washingwell Primary in the village of Whickham, an area I was born in and have lived all my life.


I am married with one son and daughter in law and I am a grandad to two girls aged 6 and 4


I attended schools in Whickham before embarking on a career in the newspaper printing industry starting as an apprentice compositor.


Before retiring in 2016 I had 43 years service, producing local and national newspapers on a daily basis.

As senior production manager for the operation I held the responsibility of ensuring each printed product was produced to demanding deadlines with a multi-million pound budget.


At present I work with a publishing company on a part time basis as well as doing some voluntary work for Whickham Community Centre.


My interests are gardening and sport especially rugby.


I have enjoyed working with all at the school for the last few years and look forward to the future challenging years. I have attended several governors training courses including Health and Safety which along with my industrial background has been useful.


Dr Vanessa Armstrong

Co-opted Governor

I am Vanessa and I joined the governing body for Washingwell Community Primary School in March 2019 as a co-opted governor.  I am also a member of the curriculum committee at the school and am the link governor for Mercury. 


I have 2 children at the school one in the pre-school and also year 1 and even in the short time I have had this role have been impressed with how the school has grown in size and strength despite what has been a very challenging year. 


I am a lecturer at Newcastle University and both chair and am a member of several committees. I do a lot of work on employability for NU students and research areas such as accessibility of opportunities and EDI, an area which I am passionate about. I have also set up a student outreach group and we have been able to visit Washingwell in the past as well as have classes visit NU which has been beneficial for all. 


I hope to continue to support Washingwell and see it and its pupils continue to thrive in this friendly, caring and community-driven environment. 


Mr Stuart Walker

Co-opted Governor

I am a qualified teacher who has taught around the world and throughout the North East. I came to Washingwell School in 2013 as a supply teacher, and it seems that l have never left. I was delighted that, when l retired in 2018, Mrs Hall asked me to become a governor at this wonderful school. I enjoy it mainly because everyone puts the children at the forefront of all decisions, and wants the best for the children and the community. I enjoy being a member of an active governing body with lots of talents that help to support the school and tries to make it better.


Mr Mark Cheetham

Parent Governor

I became a governor because I wanted to contribute towards the improvements I have witnessed taking place in the school.


I have a daughter currently in year 5 and son in Year 2. I have also seen my eldest daughter progress right through the school from reception to now attend Whickham. Over the years I have seen my children thrive both socially and academically and recognise the part that the whole school staff team have played in this.


I currently work for the Local Authority in the Domestic Abuse Team. Previously I have worked in a range of roles which have included: work on Equality and Diversity; Delivering training to young people at risk of offending; and, Sports Coaching. Through these positions I have developed a range of skills which I hope will benefit the school.



Mrs Lynsey Gray

Parent Governor

Hi, I’m Lynsey and Ive been a parent governor at Washingwell for two years and I’m very proud to be part of such a friendly and passionate school community who truly have all of the children’s best interests at heart. Both of my children attend the school and are thriving here.


My professional background is as a Chartered Civil Engineer and Project Manager. Like most parents it’s a constant juggling act to fit everything into the day but its manageable….just!    


Personally it has always been important to me that school is more than just a place of learning.


At Washingwell the children are encouraged to play and learn in a broad range of settings in a safe, nurturing and positive environment. This truly brings out the best in the children and you get the sense of happiness that surrounds the school the moment you walk through the gates. Both of my children love the space available and the outdoor lessons and forest school sessions that Washingwell offers, we are very lucky to have such a magnificent outdoor space allowing children to be physical and creative during their learning.


It is exciting the see the growth and development of the school within the last two years which is a credit to the hardworking and dedicated staff.’  



Mrs Alison Moses

Co-opted Governor

I am delighted to be a Co-opted Governor at Washingwell Primary School.  I have lived in the surrounding area all my life; I have 2 grown up children and a 3-year granddaughter. 

I became a governor because I wanted to give something back to the Community and where better a place to start than the early years of child’s life.

I have worked for the Local Authority for the past 20 years, currently working in Quality Assurance and Commissioning; my role is primarily around care and support services for Older People, so being a part of the governance of a school makes a refreshing change. 



Mrs Jade Mustard

Staff Governor

I have worked at Washingwell Primary Schools for 5 years as a teacher in key stage 2. I thoroughly enjoy working at this school and have enjoyed many successes and challenges whilst working here. When the opportunity arose to join the governing body, I was keen to put myself forward. I feel it is important to act as a voice and representative for the other members of staff in school and vote on strategic decisions which will have a positive impact on the children at our school.