Our Governing Body

Note from the Chair of Governors

I am delighted to support our school as Chair of Governors. I joined Powell as a parent in 2017 and joined the Governing Body at the beginning of 2019.

The role of the Governing Body is to work with staff to agree a vision for the school and to monitor progress against this vision. We do this by assigning each Governor an area of responsibility and carrying out school visits to seek assurance that positive progress is being made in these areas. We also meet termly to review the data and the school finances.

It is a voluntary role requiring no specific qualifications and therefore, the Governing Body is made up of people with wide ranging skills from different sectors and perspectives. This allows us to provide an objective oversight of the management of the school.

I have been so impressed by the energy and commitment of the staff team who work extremely hard to ensure the best outcome for each and every child. Supporting and challenging this focus on outcomes is a priority for the Governing Body. At Powell outcomes don’t only mean results: they also include happiness, interests, resilience and life skills.

We are very clear that we have a dual ambition for Powell to be a school of happiness and of excellence. Powell’s strength is its strong community ethos and it is a community that I am very proud to be part of.

I look forward to the exciting journey towards being rated Outstanding by Ofsted as I have no doubt that this is where we are headed.

Carrie Reynolds

Chair of Governors

If you need to contact our Chair of Governors, you can do so via the school office or can email directly to chairofgovernors@pcps.uk

Carrie Reynolds: Chair of Governors, Parent Governor

I moved to Dorking in August 2017 and my two eldest children started at Powell that September in Year 1 and Reception. I have a public sector background in political policy and research but am currently at home with my youngest son. I love swimming and am working on overcoming my fear of fish to swim in open water!

I’m delighted that we have found such a welcoming and beautiful place to live and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to support our school by becoming a parent governor.

Claire Hope: Vice Chair, Parent Governor

I live in Dorking with my husband and our four children.  I am a qualified accountant and am a Finance Manager at a local primary school.  Our eldest started Reception at Powell Corderoy in 2011 and our youngest will finish Year 6 in 2026 so our association with the school will span 15 years.  As a parent and an active member of the Friends over the years, I have been part of the community of parents, staff and Governors working together to make our school a unique place to be and to enhance its ability to achieve the best outcome for every child.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to further support the school and its staff by becoming a Parent Governor.

Rachel Tye: Co-headteacher, Staff Governor

I am very excited to have joined Powell Corderoy Pirmary School as Co Headteacher, covering Mrs McLaughlin’s maternity leave. I live in south London with my partner, our two children and our dog Max. I have worked as a senior leader in London schools for the last 6 years – leading on school improvement, teaching and learning, and delivering coaching and CPD for teachers and school staff. I am passionate about excellence and supporting all children to succeed. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. You might also find me in the local fields around Dorking working with Max – who is training to be a therapy dog. I am delighted to have been welcomed into the Powell community and look forward to continuing to build fantastic relationships with you all. 

Emma McLaughlin: Co-headteacher, Staff Governor (on maternity leave)

I am hugely proud to be one of the headteachers at Powell Corderoy. I live in a Horsham with my husband, daughter and stepson, who all enjoy coming to events at school and feeling part of the extra things we do.  It is a pleasure to work with such a committed governing body, a brilliant staff team, a supportive group of parents and, of course, fantastic children. The school has been on a huge journey since I joined as a deputy head in 2012; it has been exciting, challenging and rewarding. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve next!

Jo Wilson: Co-Headteacher, Staff Governor (on maternity leave)

I thoroughly enjoy being one of the headteachers at Powell Corderoy. I love the atmosphere at Powell. It’s always busy, friendly and full of fun – ideal attributes for a primary school. We are so lucky to have such a committed, passionate team and the school continues to go from strength to strength. I live in Dorking with my husband, daughter and stepson and love being a part of the local community. When I’m not in Head mode, you’ll usually find me pushing a swing at Meadowbank park or at various soft plays around the Dorking area!

Alison Boyd: Foundation Governor

I live in Dorking, working from home for a small environmental charity.  Both my children attended Powell, during which time I was an active member of the Friends, including a spell as Chair.  I am delighted to be back as a Governor at Powell as it continues to thrive.

Richard Darke: Staff Governor

I have loved working at the school since September 2014 and now represent the staff on the Governing Body.  I live in Epsom with my wife and son – in between looking after them, marking books and planning lessons I enjoy playing sport, especially football and cricket!

Cheryl Arumugum: Local Authority Governor

I am married with two daughters and we have lived in Dorking for 6 years. Our eldest is now in Year 2 at Powell; freeing up enough time for me to try to give something back to the wider community. I am passionate about every child receiving a good education and keen to use my skills in my role as a governor to help every child achieve that at Powell. I worked as a legal translator before becoming a full-time Mum. I love reading, languages, travel and sport, especially dancing.

Chris Stone: Foundation Governor

I moved to Dorking in 2014 just before the eldest of my two children was born. I have been a teacher for the last twenty years, working in the UK and abroad in both the state and independent sector. I hope to bring my experience of a variety of educational establishments to what is already a well established and knowledgeable team of Governors.

Andy Whitehouse: Co-opted Governor

Originally from Solihull, I have lived in Dorking since 2000. I am a qualified actuary having worked at Friends Life in Dorking and London and am a governor at Dorking and Chertsey Nursery Schools and Mole Valley Family Centre. I believe I bring general business skills to the team, having had significant experience in finance and managing budgets as well as general management and project management skills. I feel I can use these skills in a different environment, and also to learn new skills whilst, I hope, contributing to the local communities.

Cory Lowde: Co-opted Governor

Cory Lowde is the Headmaster of a local private school and also the step parent of a child in Key Stage 2 at Powell Corderoy School. He sits on the Surrey County Council Safeguarding forum representing the independent sector and is also a member of the Society of Heads Development Panel. Cory has worked in state schools for eight years as well as through schools, international schools and boarding schools. His career in education spans 27 years.  Wider interests include sport, gardening and the French language.

Steph Williams: Parent Governor

Dorking has been our home since 2014 and both my children attend Powell Corderoy. Professionally, for the last 20 years, I have been working in various colleges and schools as a Teacher of Psychology and Sociology. Prior to living in Dorking, we were fortunate to live in the Middle East. I worked in a beautiful international school in Oman, during this time I supported the school in developing new learning and teaching initiatives, this was a hugely exciting and enriching experience. I have since hung my teaching hat up for a while and presently work as a Payroll Manager within a small business. I am delighted to have the opportunity to support Powell Corderoy as a Parent Governor.