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Governor Profiles


Dave Filipovic-Carter

Co-Opted Governor  (Chair of Governors)


I became a governor when my eldest daughter was in Pre-School and now my youngest daugter is in Reception I am continuing in my role, which has included chairing the finance committee, and focussing on legal issues.


My background is in University teaching and research. I run my own company, Education-Training Ltd, which delivers skills training for University researchers at all levels, across the UK and the wider EU. I am also a partner in two global education projects for the British Council. I write on subjects related to this work, most recently “Enhancing the Doctoral Experience: A guide for supervisors and their international students”, published by Gower. This is all in addition to my part-time post as an Associate Lecturer for the Open University Law School, teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


Pat Palmer

Co-Opted Governor


I retired to Cheltenham to be near family and I became a governor at Benhall soon after Mrs Richmond became Headteacher.  I am proud to have been part of the team that has overseen the development of this successful school.


My background is in education, first as a primary teacher then as a primary education adviser with a Local Authority.  This has provided me with a good insight into the issues schools face. 


Until recently I was an executive committee member of the Gloucestershire Governors’ Association and have supported the improvement of governance in other schools.



Judith Price

Co-Opted Governor


I am married with two children and have always lived and worked in the Cheltenham area.
Having been in education for 40 years initially as a teacher, with the last 22 years as a Headteacher, I am fully aware of the challenges that currently face our schools but know we must put children at the heart of what we do.

I am passionate about education and have a particular interest in child initiated learning, creating an inspiring and innovative learning environment both inside and outside and developing positive ‘can do ‘ attitudes towards learning.

I have supported other schools in ensuring their children achieve the very best possible and have travelled the world to research education.

I have been a Governor for the past 30 years but I am not a Governor at any other school since retiring at the end of the year.  I am thrilled to be a Governor at Benhall Infants and I currently sit on the main Governing body.


Karen Sutton

Co-Opted Governor


I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a governor here at Benhall. I have two daughters whom attended the school and have now gone onto junior and senior education. They are both confident, independent and happy girls with a fantastic attitude towards learning.


I strongly believe the early years at school play a huge part in the development of these attributes and, not only has Benhall helped my children build these life skills, alongside a great start to their education, they have also supported us hugely through the death of my husband and their Dad, Simon.

This highlighted to me how incredibly important it is to offer children the support and care they need in life to enable them to feel safe, secure and cherished as this in turn allows them to learn and grow as individuals.


My background is within the NHS where I worked for 2 years as a nurse and 12 years as a midwife. I am currently on a career break and enjoying the opportunity to be able to give something back to an incredible school.


Toby Lewis

Co-Opted Governor


As another Governor that has benefited from an education starting at Benhall Infant School, I was proud and excited when my eldest son joined Benhall Reception in 2015. Now in Year 1, with his younger sister not too far away (hopefully!) from her own Benhall experience, I was keen to offer my knowledge and services for the benefit of the school, its staff and the pupils that attend.


After graduating with a Masters in Engineering, I have spent the last 10 years working with Technology and encouraging others to do the same, including taking part in Continuous Professional Development days with local Cheltenham Schools, as well as national events and competitions, with the most recent of those aimed towards getting more girls excited about Higher and Further education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.


Beyond that, I spent nearly 7 years pretending to be an Army Officer, and have also done a little amateur dramatics (although that was very much in my youth!).


Becky Martin

Local Authority Governor


I am very happy to be appointed the Local Authority Governor for Benhall Infant School. I live locally and have had 2 children go through the school (my youngest is still there!) so have experienced first-hand what an exciting learning environment the teaching and support staff create. 


I am the Safeguarding Governor for the school and much of my attention surrounds this vitally important area. 


My older 2 sons are both disabled & attend Bettridge Special needs school. I have been a Governor there for many years and am currently the Co-Chair of Governors. I hope this means I can take skills, experience & training from both schools in order to assist the other.


Before children, I worked in management covering training, recruitment & HR. I now widely volunteer in Cheltenham, mainly in the world of special needs and disability, but I pop up in other places too. I am very approachable, please feel free!   


Chris Hale

Parent Governor


I grew up locally, having gone to Lakeside and Bournside schools before joining the Army and travelling around the country, Europe and some of the less glamorous parts of the World. After 30 years I’ve finally accepted that soldiering is, in fact, a younger man’s game and I’m now beginning my transition to a more regular life.


Having settled in Benhall and with a son at the school, the opportunity to help guide the school’s future is an excellent opportunity to contribute to my community. I have a background in management, leadership, analysis and assessment and hope to use these skills to the benefit of the school. In what little spare time I can generate  I’m a keen rugby fan and run a small hobby company making toy soldiers and games. I’m looking forward to supporting the school to the best of my abilities and am happy to present a parent’s opinion to the Board of Governors.


David Barnard-Wills

Parent Governor


I became a parent governor in 2018.  I have two children at Benhall and I wanted to contribute towards the school that is

doing so much for them.

My professional background is in social science research, and particularly the social impact of new technologies. I studied Politics at university, before working as a researcher at the University of Birmingham, Cranfield University and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. For the past few years I've been building large scale research projects with lots of different types of partners.


Rebecca Bilton

Staff Governor


I became a Governor in December 2016 after joining the school as Deputy Headteacher in September 2016. I am so happy to be part of such a hardworking and caring team of people. It is simply great!


My teaching career started in 2012 at a local school in Cheltenham. I have since worked my way up from class teacher, leader of teaching and learning, Key Stage lead and now to Deputy Headteacher here at Benhall. I have a huge passion in teaching and learning aspects and aim to provide all children with the best opportunities so that they can become successful learners.


I come from a family of Dad was a Headteacher and Local Authority Advisor, my Mum was an AST and my sister currently teaches in Secondary French and Spanish. It is only my brother who decided not to go into this career! I hope to be able to use their knowledge, expertise and skills as well as my own to continue to improve the wonderful school that Benhall is!


Wendy Richmond



I took up my post as Headteacher here in January 2005 and with the support of staff and governors we have been successful in developing Benhall Infants into the outstanding school we are all very proud of.


I have been teaching for over 20 years in a range of primary schools in Lancashire and here in Cheltenham.  My passion in education lies in ensuring that the very youngest children receive the best possible start to school life and that this nurtures in them a life-long love of learning.


As the Headteacher of an outstanding school it has been my privilege to support other schools in the local area in their development; sharing expertise in a mutually beneficial process.