Meet the Governors

Stephen Passey, Headteacher (Governor ex-officio)

Stephen has worked for the Local Authority since 1989, first teaching in the Primary sector becoming Deputy in 1996. Whilst completing his Masters in Education and National Professional Qualification of Headship he worked in several local special schools. He became headteacher at Bishopswood Special School in 2011 and has been headteacher of John Watson School and Wheatley Nursery School since September 2013.

Sarah Simmonds, (Chair of Governors)

Sarah is our chair of governors, previously Sarah had been the Vice Chair of the joint governing body since June 2014 . She has had a long association with both Wheatley Nursery and John Watson going back over 16 years, as one of her daughters attended both schools. Prior to the formation of a single hard federation Sarah had enjoyed a successful reign as Chair of Wheatley Nursery. She has a particular interest in inclusion and is active within the local community.

Clea Lees

Clea is the Vice Chair and also our equality governor. Clea has had a long connection with the school, with over 12 years teaching experience across the age range here and has been on the governing body since 2015. Clea has returned this term to take up a part-time temporary teaching post after several years as head of a sixth form at a local special school. She holds a co-opted governor role and has particular interest in family and community engagement.

 Bethany Farr

Bethany is our Safeguarding Governor WNS/JWS, she is a digital communications specialist currently working as the Social Media Manager for a large publishing company in Oxfordshire. Previously she has worked in the non-profit sector including roles in international development, campaigns, education and community development. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Psychology and an MA in International Relations. Bethany joined the governing body in 2018.

Lois ward

Lois Ward joined John Watson School in September of 2018. She was initially a Teaching Assistant and progressed to the role of Higher Level Teaching Assistant in KS1. She is now based in Wheatley Nursery School with the JWS children.  Lois completed a degree in Psychology in Barbados and during this time volunteered at a special school there. She then moved to the UK in 2016 and has worked in schools in Oxford. She is currently pursuing a career in teaching and will commence training through the SCITT programme in September. Lois became staff governor in May 2019.

Mr Alex CH Lee PhD FRCSEd(Paed.Surg.) FRCSEng FRCPCH

Alex is a general paediatric and neonatal surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He is a honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford. He received his clinical training in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, and Nottingham. He carried out his PhD research on surgical ergonomics at Imperial College London. He was a National Surgical Fellow at the Great Ormond Street Hospital prior to taking up his consultant position in Oxford in 2011. He was previously a Foundation Training Programme Director in the Oxford Deanery and the Divisional Educational Lead for the Women’s & Children Division. He also held previous national roles including as the Honorary Treasurer and Trustee of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons. He specialises in upper gastrointestinal surgery in children especially paediatric surgical enteral feeding. He has specialised interests in ergonomics/human factors and patient safety. Alex joined Wheatley Nursery School as a parent Governor from May 2019

Shah Chaudhry

Shah is our parent governor and also the chair of resources committee. Shah has been working as a Head of Clinical Coding at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust since June 2016. From January 2011 to May 2016 he worked as a Clinical Coding Manager at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Shah moved to Oxford in January 2011. Apart from medicine he holds Masters in Education and MSc in Computer Science. Shah joined the John Watson School governing body in September 2018.

Liz Williams

Liz has over ten years’ experience in senior leadership roles within organisations including the independent sector, DH (Valuing People team) and in the East of England at Strategic Health Authority, Specialised Commissioning Group.  In her thirty plus year career, Liz has worked across both health and social care, most recently in transformation and business development roles, but including operational management and commissioning at regional levels.  Her training was at Tizard at Masters level (Psychology – analysis and intervention) under the late Professor Mansell and she has been involved in the CQC since the use of professional advisors began immediately post Winterbourne. Her most recent role was quality and clinical services development. She recently graduated from the NHS senior leadership course, Nye Bevan. She is passionate about supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to lead full lives of their choice.

Wheatley Nursery School Transition Committee

WNS Transition Committee has been established to consider all aspects of Wheatley Nursery School.  As well as setting the strategic direction of Wheatley Nursery and offering challenge and support the particular remit of this committee will be to examine various structures that best ensure Wheatley Nursery’s future at a time of continuing budgetary pressures for schools.  

Liz Elsom

Liz Elsom joined the Wheatley Nursery School transition committee in
September 2019. She is an early years consultant who has a long history
of supporting quality in the early years. Liz worked for Ofsted for fourteen
years, in various roles including inspection framework development,
training inspectors and latterly as head of early years policy. Since taking
early retirement in 2013 Liz has worked as a consultant on various early
years projects in England and internationally. She has a keen interest in
building links in the local community and is currently a governor at
Wheatley Primary School and a trustee of the Maple Tree children’s

Rebecca Mears

My name is Rebecca; I am a mother to two boys;Logan who is 6 and Freddie who is 2. Originally from Witney I moved to Wheatley in January 2013. Both my children have attended Wheatley Nursery school and my eldest son is about to transition into year 2 at Wheatley C of E Primary School. When I was young I attended oxford Brooke’s to become a nurse; however I was unable to qualify as I fell pregnant with my first born. I went into caring for the elderly instead and spent the next ten years of my life looking after individuals with dementia and other health conditions. During this time I qualified with a NVQ level 2 and became a care leader. After the birth of my second born; I am now a stay at home mum
to my two children who both have autism and Adhd, I have attended several courses on autism and I am currently working on a Level 2 on understanding autism. Two years ago I fundraised for the National autistic society and raised nearly £1000 pounds for the charity with the help of radio oxford and Wheatley Primary by creating awareness of autism. I have also had a small part in helping the Wheatley children’s centre get funding to keep it running by working with the local councillor at the time. With my experience of SEN and the local area I am confident that I can bring valuable expertise in aiding the next chapter of my life, by joining the Transition committee for Wheatley Nursery School.

Stephen Passey (Bio above)

Alex Lee (Bio above)

Comments are closed.