Dave Filipovic-Carter - Co-Opted Governor (Chair of Governors)
I have been a governor at Benhall for many years now. Over the years my role has including being chair of finance committee and focussing on legal issues. I am now Chair of Governors.
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 - Local Authority 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. Since Mrs Richmond's retirement I am pleased to be able to support Miss Morris in her new role as Headteacher.
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.
Toby Lewis - Co-Opted Governor
As another Governor that has benefited from an education starting at Benhall Infant School, I was proud and excited that both my children have been able to benefit from the 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!).
Chris Hale - Co-opted 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 my son attended 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.
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 teachers...my 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!
Amy Spring-Wallis - Parent Governor
Having heard nothing but excellent reports of Benhall Infant School since moving to this part of Cheltenham six years ago, we were delighted when our son was allocated a place here in September.
Because of this, I am so excited about the possibility of using me experience as a teacher (I currently teach English in a secondary school in Cheltenham and have previously taught in two independent schools and an academy) to help support, and contribute to, the future of the school.
As well as our son in reception, my husband and I also have a young daughter and as a family we enjoy spending time outside, baking (and eating the produce!) and spending time with friends and family.
Nicky Morris - Headteacher
I became a Governor at Benhall Infant School and Pre-School, on my appointment as Headteacher in January 2021. Despite joining the school during the unusual times created by the Covid 19 Pandemic, I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead such a positive and caring school. The team here are creative, dedicated and caring in equal measure and I feel truly blessed to work with them.
My teaching career started in 2012, following my PGCE in Early Years and Primary Education. Initially, I worked in mainstream primaries in Herefordshire and Worcestershire before taking on an assistant head teacher role at a Special School in Herefordshire. I established a nursery and lower primary provision there and had many happy years working with inspirational children and their families. More recently, I worked as a teacher and SENDCo at a small rural school in Worcestershire.
When not at school, I am Mum to teens and foster children with special educational needs on a respite basis. All members of my household have careers in agriculture and have limited understanding of the world of education, but they humour my enthusiasm for the subject.
Laura Stevenson - Co-opted Governor
I am very privileged to be a mum to twin toddlers (future Benhallers?!) and have lived in Cheltenham for over 10 years.
My background is in law. I currently work part time as an environmental lawyer – an area of law I have been passionate about and have worked in for just over 8 years. I look forward to utilising the more generic skills acquired in my legal career when acting as a governor.
I am really interested in education and know first-hand the difference a school run by a dedicated passionate team can really make to children both now and in their future having attended two schools in and brought out of special measures while I was in attendance. It is my strong belief that access to sport at a young age is beneficial for long term physical and mental health. Being a Governor at Benhall Infants is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to my local community!
Tim Aldred - Parent Governor
I was excited when the opportunity of parent governor became available, and I took on the role in 2020. Personally, I have lived in Benhall for 8 years, having spent the rest of my life living in and around Cheltenham.
I am passionate about all our little people having the best start in life and their journey through childhood and education. Having worked in education and leadership for over 10 years, I am very aware of the recent challenges we have all faced and I aim to help support our excellent school moving forward.
Outside of education, I enjoy family time, Gloucester rugby and putting my running trainers on running and exploring our local area.