About the governors

Jo Dickson - Co- opted Governor and Chair of the Governing Body

I have been on the Monkfield Park Primary School governing body since 2016. I have two children who are both very happy at the school and I am enjoying  contributing my professional skills and experience to support the management and the good governance of the school. I have nearly 20 years experience in public relations, journalism and marketing and currently work for Cambridgeshire County Council as the Communications and Marketing Manager responsible for services for children and young people, including education.

Sharon McLaughlin - Parent Governor

My name is Sharon McLaughlin and my son, Zachary, is currently in Year 1. I became a parent governor at Monkfield Park Primary School in May 2017. I currently work as a Registered Forensic Psychologist in private practice. 

Whilst I have no previous experience as a governor nor have I worked within the education system, I believe that in my role as a parent governor, I will be able to cast an independent eye over the workings of the school and be able to assist and work alongside the existing governors in their important and valuable work.

Just like every other parent at Monkfield Park Primary School, I want the very best for my son. I want him to be happy, confident and become the very best he can. As parents, we need to support the school and should be prepared to work together for the best outcomes for children.

Monkfield Park Primary School is a thriving local school and just like every other parent, I want it to continue to succeed. The role of parent governor is a responsible one and I would like to be able to contribute to the governing body, ensuring that the perspective of children, parents/carers is always considered whilst at the same time always taking into account the best interests for the school.

Susan Palmer - Parent Governor and Vice Chair

I volunteered to join the school governing body in 2016 as I wanted to actively participate in ensuring the best possible experience for the children attending Monkfield Park.

I have lived in Cambourne for more than fifteen years and have two children attending the school.

My professional background is in product development and management with a technical focus and I have worked in the Cambridge area for the majority of my working career.

Lizzie Robertson - Parent Governor
I have lived in Cambourne since 2011 and have two children attending Monkfield Park Primary School. I joined the governing body in June 2018.

I have always enjoyed being involved in my community and feel privileged to have the opportunity to support the school in its aims to provide the best opportunities for all children attending now and those looking to join the school in the future.

My working background is in community development in the voluntary sector and over ten years experience in local government community safety and safeguarding. 

Richard Burton - Co-opted Governor

I joined the governing body in 2017 with the aim of understanding more about governance in Primary education, Monkfield Park specifically and to ensure students and staff at the school receive the best support and provision.As part of my role as a governor I also sit on the Finance and Resources committee, where I'm able to put my skills and interest in finance to good effect.

I have enjoyed visiting the school to observe teaching and learning on a number of occasions; I am always pleased to see the students engaged with, and enjoying their learning.


I have lived in Cambourne with my wife since 2015 and we have two young children. I am a Chemist and worked in the pharmaceutical industry before teaching Science and Chemistry to children aged 11-18. More recently I have managed Teacher Professional Development for a non-profit organisation.

Richard Walmsley - Clerk to the Governors
  • BEd (Hons)
  • MSc Education Management
  • 40 years in the teaching profession with 23 years in school leadership

I am now retired from full time employment but as an ex-headteacher, both of schools in this country and in those supporting the British expatriate community as far afield as Kuwait and Indonesia, I have a wide experience of school education at various levels and contrasting contexts.  I have also worked as a side-line in radio and television; mainly in news-reading and providing voice-overs for documentaries and commercial advertisements.  Apart from working with Cambridgeshire’s ‘CamClerks’ service, I am a supervising marker for End-of Key Stage 2 Tests.

I trust by bringing my interest and experience in school education to the role of Clerk I can support the governing body of Monkfield Park Primary in its important task of providing strategic direction for the school.

Chris Kidson - Parent Governor - I became a Parent Governor in November 2015.  Having lived in Cambourne since 2006 and started with my daughter now in Year Four at the school I am pleased to be able to help support her, and all the other children, success at Monkfield Park.  I strongly believe in education as the platform for all children to achieve their full potential and have previously served on the Governing  Board of a large FE college.


My professional background is in the areas of Governance, Risk Management and Finance, and I look forward to supporting the school in these and other areas.  

Annie Howell – Staff Governor

I have been a member of the teaching staff at Monkfield Park since 2004 and was elected as the staff governor in 2012.

I believe that Monkfield Park is a remarkable place to learn and work and I am fully committed to ensuring that every child in our care receives the very best education. My main focus has always been on raising standards by providing a challenging and creative curriculum for children that is both inspirational and aspirational and builds resilience. Having the opportunity to represent the staff at governing body meetings has enabled me to contribute further to the strategic development of our wonderful school.

Jeanette Ariano - Parent Governor

I joined the Monkfield Park Primary School governing body in June 2018 and I am already enjoying supporting the team and ensuring we continue to have solid governance of the school.  I have two children at the school - Isabelle and Lauren, and also a toddler Gabreilla who keeps my husband and I very busy! 

I am the Head of Marketing and Communications for St Mary's School, Cambridge, a Chartered Marketer and have worked in education for the past 18 years. My husband and I have also lived in Cambourne since 2007. 
Jane Crowden - Co-opted Governor

I joined the Governing Body in March 2018 and serve as a co-opted governor.  I have been privileged enough to enjoy a long career in education, as a teacher, a senior leader, and as a Local Authority Adviser.  Now retired, I am keen to offer my experience and expertise to help to continue to develop Monkfield Park Primary as a school where all children are challenged to achieve the highest standards of which they are capable.   Whilst working for the Local Authority it was always a pleasure to make occasional visits to Monkfield Park, and it has been exciting to see the school grow from its early beginnings as the first school in the new village of Cambourne to the lively, vibrant and well-established community that it now is.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with a growing brood of grandchildren, walking in the countryside and rediscovering skills in sewing and similar crafts.