Clophill St Marys CofE lower school

Meet the Governors

Mrs Emma Thoulass - Chair of Governors, PCC Governor

I joined the governing body as a PCC foundation governor in 2017, was elected Vice Chair in 2018 and then Chair in 2019.  I have lived in Clophill since 2004 and both my children have attended St Mary’s, my youngest is currently in Oak class.  I enjoy being involved in the school and I am committed to its continued success.

I have worked in finance since leaving school, qualifying as a chartered accountant and then a chartered tax adviser.  I now run my own accountancy business from home which gives me the flexibility to spend time supporting the school.

Mr Ben Jones - Vice Chair of Governors, DBE Governor

I’m proud to say I’m the longest serving school governor, having joined the board in 2014, and I’ve loved every minute of it.  Both of my sons are currently at the school, while my two older stepchildren have graduated to middle school in recent years. 

I therefore have a lot of first-hand experience of the overwhelmingly positive affect the school has had on their education, and growth into amazing young people. 

While there’s a long list of things to shout about at St Mary’s the value-based education they follow, the Growth Mindset they instil in the children, the high ambition they have for each and every child, and the commitment of the staff are just some of the reasons I’m proud to be a school Governor a St Marys-Clophill. 

Having served as Chair of Governors between 2017-2019, I’m committed to working with the leadership team to develop the strategic direction for the school and being that critical friend that holds it to account.  Being a passionate believer in the role education plays in our children’s lives, as well as our community I look forward to supporting the school in the years to come. 

Mrs Amanda Arnold - Staff Governor

Hi I am Amanda Arnold. I have been teaching for around 18 years and love my role in the classroom. I started as an NQT at St Mary’s’ in 2002 working for 5 years before moving to a middle for a few years to lead upper Key Stage 2 and explore elements of Key Stage 3. I returned St Mary’s following my work there and have remained part of the fantastic team ever since.

As well as my role as class teacher I am subject lead for RE and History. RE has always been one of my favourite subjects to teach as it gives you a real opportunity to explore deep thinking and hear so many different opinions. I enjoy getting creative with the subject and exploring how to teach the curriculum through different media and approaches.

History coordinator is a new role for me and I am enjoying exploring the subject further, considering ways we might improve our teaching and delivery of this.

I took on the role as staff governor when I returned to St Mary’s in 2009 and regularly give updates on the work we do in RE and Values Education. I help provide a link between staff and governors but in reality we all work nicely together as a team.

I am currently part time in school as I have two young children to keep me busy the rest of the time but any spare time I do have is normally spent planning some sort of project, be it home/garden improvement or a crazy celebration for my family. 

Mrs Clare Deverill - Parent Governor

I have lived in Clophill for almost 10 years.  My husband and I have two children, one who left St Marys last year and the other  in Yr 2. Both also joined St Mary’s at a very young age, enjoying the Acorn Nursery from 2 years 7 months. 

Having joined the Governing Body in 2017, I am able to bring my past experiences as a senior leader in Financial Services and a lead in Health and Safety in previous roles, to bear on what is already an experienced, competent and passionate team.
I think it is essential that we have parents engaged in the process, helping to govern and guide the leadership of the school.   In this regard, I aim to give assistance in areas where I can, to give the perspective of parents and engage with the other Governors to produce an Outstanding School for our children.

Outside my roles as governor, I live life to the max, always on the go, always with friends and family and any spare time after that, chilling with the kids at home.

Mrs Karen Maxfield - Parent Governor

I haved lived in Clophill since 2017; we chose the village partly due to the excellent reputation of St Mary's School. We have one son who is currently in reception class but who has already attended St Mary's for two years previously in the nursery class, which he adored.


I have been a primary school teacher for seven years and bring my experience of working in a school to my role as a governor. It is interesting to see the other side of running a school behind the scenes, much of which has previously passed me by in the hustle and bustle of being in the classroom where your focus is always on the children. There is so much more that goes on in school to allow teachers to do their job and give all of their energy into the education and welfare of the children in their class.


The dedication of the team at St Mary's never ceases to impress me and I feel so lucky to have such an amazing school for my child. I am pleased to be able to contribute to the ongoing success of the school in my role as Parent Governor.

Mr Stuart Milne - PCC Governor

I have been a governor since 2017 when my son first joined the school.  I was introduced to the role of the governing body at the welcome meeting for new parents and was keen to get involved.   Now I have two children at St. Mary’s it feels even more important to me to be able to contribute towards the ongoing development of the school.

I’ve worked in accountancy for many years which feels far removed from the world of education however I try to share some of my work-based skills at the Governors’ meetings.  It’s a refreshing change to my daily work to spend time at St Mary’s during the school day observing some of the many creative, fun and varied educational activities in which the children can participate.

It has been a real eye-opener to see just how much work goes on behind the scenes to make St Mary’s a friendly, welcoming and positive learning environment for the pupils.  What was immediately apparent when I first joined St Mary’s was the dedication of both the teaching and non-teaching staff, local volunteers and the fundraising efforts of Friends of St Mary’s.    The combined support of all of these people helps make St Mary’s a great place to learn and I’m very proud to be able to be a small part of the team that helps to ensure the school continues to thrive.

Mrs Anna Neuff - Local Authority Governor

I joined the governing body in March 2021.  I have two young children at the school and was very keen to be able to offer support to the school and to help with its ongoing development.  In my short time on the board I have already been impressed by how much is involved in running a school and how much the school needs to think about in order to provide the best care and education for our children.


I have worked in Change Management for over 20 years for large financial institutions guiding people through new processes, systems and structures.  I hope that I can use some of these skills to aid the school in a time where education is constantly changing.   St Mary's is a lovely school and I am excited to become more involved with a great team 

Mrs Joanne Webb - PCC Governor

Hello, my name is Joanne and I am a PCC Governor here at St Mary’s C of E School.  I live in the village and have done so for the last 21 years.  I have two grown up sons, the youngest of whom attended St Marys  many years ago. 

I have enjoyed a long career in education working as a teacher, deputy headteacher and headteacher in primary schools in Hertfordshire: a career which I loved and enjoyed very much.  I now work from home and am involved in running our family business in a field outside that of education. 

I feel passionate about giving young children the greatest start in life, and as a governor, I hope to share my skills with the school and work with them to bring about the best care and education for the children within our community.