Governing Board

The governing board meets on a regular basis to support the Senior Leadership Team in running the school and to ensure the school fulfils its statutory duties and responsibilities to students, parents, staff and wider community.

The focus of the full board of trustees (also known as school governors) is on whole school performance and improvement. There are three committees which consider the detail of school policies and practice: Strategy and Development (Chair, Paul Brooks); Curriculum, Welfare and Achievement (chair, Barry Graham); Finance, Premises and Personnel (chair, Jonathan Hopkins). This includes directors with particular areas of responsibility, such as Health & Safety, ICT and Special Educational Needs, and governor links to Year Groups. At least two directors are appointed from an election by parents and two are elected by academy school staff.

Board of Trustees

Mr Jonathan Hopkins (Chair)

Mr Paul Brooks (Vice Chair)

Mrs Sarah Brinkley (Headteacher)

Mr Douglas Aitken

Ms Helen Bottomley

Miss Emma Brown

Mr Simon Burchill

Mrs Jean Challis

Mrs Maxine Evans

Mr Barry Graham

Ms Louise Griffin

Mrs Anne Highsmith (Safeguarding)

Mrs Amanda Sissons

Mr Mark Timbs


Jonathan Hopkins, Chair, runs a Public Affairs business working with media and government, specialising in education and policies for young people. His clients include charities and government bodies. The nature of his work means Jonathan has the flexibility to provide practical support and help to the school during the day when needed. His responsibilities include being Chair of the Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee. Jonathan also represents Oxfordshire governors on the county’s School Organisation & Admissions Stakeholder Group. He has previous experience as a governor in primary schools and is Chair of the national charity Youth Access providing information, advice, counselling and support services to young people. Jonathan lives in Abingdon with two daughters attending John Mason School.

Paul Brooks, Vice Chair, is committed to seeing the very best outcomes for all stakeholders of John Mason School. He is married to Claire and has three children - one still at the School. Paul has been an elected parent governor since October 2004. In his professional capacity Paul runs a number of his own companies in apprenticeships, adult education and employee benefits creation (Professional Guild’s). Paul was previously a Director with Unipart Logistics for 14 years based in Oxford and has travelled extensively. Paul holds a first degree in Mathematics and an MBA from Kingston Business School. He is International President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the world’s largest professional body in the logistics and transport sector. Paul’s interests centre on the family - however in his spare time he enjoys cricket and fishing and is a massive Liverpool FC fan!

Douglas Aitken is an experienced and committed teacher with extensive experience in teaching and managing in 3 highly academic schools, currently at Abingdon School responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of modern languages lessons and pastoral duties. He is parent of a daughter at John Mason School.

Helen Bottomley is an HR professional experienced as a school governor at primary and secondary schools, with a keen interest in education and teaching and learning at all levels. Previously HR Director at OCVC (now Activate Learning Group) and senior management at RM Education. As a parent of two young adults Helen brings a keen understanding of the importance of secondary education and school/home communication in shaping students ambitions, working habits and futures

Emma Brown is Senior Education Development Manager at RM Education, previously a primary school teacher and ICT consultant. She has worked closely with John Mason School on strategic ICT and joined the Governing Board to deepen our insight of ICT across the curriculum as well as her experience of Business and Education joining the committee for Curriculum, Welfare and Achievement.

Jean Challis is a longstanding Governor. Her daughter is a former pupil and she has travelled with her husband’s work, to the Middle East, South East Asia and lastly South Africa. Her interests are Ikebana and the NSPCC. Jean is an active member of the JMA and represents the Governors on the schools Health and Safety committee. She also invigilates during exam season.

Maxine Evans is Chief Executive of the National Education Trust Academy Trust (NETAT), formerly Head Teacher of Rush Common primary school, leading an Ofsted rated outstanding school to become an Academy, with a track record of working successfully to effectively support under performing schools. She has significant experience in both Business and in Education.

Barry Graham joined as a Parent Governor in 2012. He has two daughters, one already at John Mason and one starting next year. He has been a governor of Thomas Reade school since 2004 where he serves as Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Finance Premises and Personnel Committee. Barry has a degree in electronics engineering and he now works as a consultant with growing technology companies, mainly in the telecommunications arena. In his spare time he teaches dinghy sailing at a local sailing club, and tries to find fun things to do with his family.

Louise Griffin joined as an elected staff member to the Governing Board, where she currently works within the Student Support Service as a Student Manager. She has worked at John Mason School since 2006 and enjoys supporting students with all aspects of school life. She is a Lead Child Protection officer and works closely with many external support agencies obtaining support and guidance for students and their families. She has two children, both of whom attend John Mason School. In her spare time she is a Treasurer for a local youth football club and attempts to play darts for her local pub team

Anne Highsmith joined the board as an appointed Director in October 2015. She is on the FPP Committee and has the lead role in Staff Welfare where she provides a link with the school/SLT. Anne is also part of the Safeguarding Team. She has worked in retail for 38 years and been a manager in Marks & Spencer for the past 28. She has, over the years, developed experience in HR, costs planning etc. Anne loves her job and manages a team of people without whom she could not do her role. She feels it is important to understand her team’s needs so that they can enjoy and excel in their roles. She was once told that ‘60% of all good ideas come from your team’ and has found this to be right and thinks it will also be true at JMS. Anne is really looking forward to working with the school in her role as a Director and even though her daughter will be leaving JMS in June, hopefully to go to University, she remains fully committed to the future of JMS.

Amanda Sissons is an elected staff governor serving her second term in this capacity. She is a Humanities teacher and an experienced Head of Year currently looking after the learning and pastoral needs of Year 11. Her own children attended John Mason school and she is committed to the values of the school. She works hard to raise standards in her year group and to foster a positive community spirit where each individual student is valued. When she is not in school she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and learning new languages.

Mark Timbs joined as an elected parent to the Governing Board in 2015. He has a daughter currently at the school. In his professional capacity Mark is a Commercial Manager at Unipart Group based in Oxford and has worked on various automotive contracts. Unipart is leading Oxford’s Business Class programme which pairs local companies with upper schools, for which Mark has been active providing careers guidance to ensure students decision making is k ey to their future success. As a result, Mark is eager to bring his experience of working with young people to John Mason School.


JMAT Directors - Code of Conduct
Board Trustee Roles
Register of Business and pecuniarry Interests

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Meeting Minutes

Academic Year 2016-2017

14th September 2016
13th October 2016

Academic Year 2015-2016

10th December 2015
21st October 2015
21st April 2016
7th July 2016

Academic Year 2014-2015

23rd April 2015
13th April 2015
25th Febuary 2015

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