Share it


A message from our Chair of the Governors 

Welcome to the Governors’ section of The Cottesloe School website. I hope you find the information both interesting and helpful.

The role of the school governor is to act as the critical friend of the school. As Chairman of Governors for The Cottesloe School, I am very pleased to have the support of hard-working colleagues committed to supporting the Headteacher and the Leadership Team in developing the best possible educational opportunities for our students.

Governing Committees

To achieve our goals, we have three committees in addition to our full governors meeting each term, to focus on and align on specific key outcome areas:

  • Strategy
  • Resources and People
  • Teaching and Learning

Current Governors

The Governing Body consists of 14 people who are appointed for a 4-year term of office:

  • 6 Co-opted Governors
  • 1 Headteacher
  • 3 Parent Governors
  • 2 Partnership Governors
  • 1 Local Authority Governor
  • 1 Staff Governor

Code of Conduct PDF 2023 to 2024 (PDF)

Page Last Updated November 2023

Board Members and Biographies

Paul Kitchen | Chair (currently on sabbatical)

I have been a governor at The Cottesloe School since the summer of 2017 and continue to enjoy my time on the board. I am not from education, and so this role has taught me a whole new set of skills and a greater understanding of how a school runs, and of course how our children are educated. I have always owned and run businesses and have been able to apply so much of my experience in my current role as chair of governors.

One of my day jobs is running a marketing consultancy in Milton Keynes, which fuels my passion for marketing and marketing strategy. I am also a musician and a petrolhead, which all makes for a fascinating social life.

I live in Newton Longville with my wife of 20 years and our daughter, who spent 5 years at TCS leaving in the summer of 2021. Poppy loved her time at school and indeed left with some solid friendships and a clear vision for her future.

Our current board is made up of some incredibly talented people, whom I am proud to work with daily, and who all promote and believe in the school’s ethos of Prepare, Aspire, Succeed.

We have an excellent school, with the very best teachers, supported by committed and passionate leaders, and staff. By joining our school, you can be assured of a safe and well-rounded education.

Ali McKenna | Acting Chair of Governors Development, Sixth Form and Behaviour

Having been a governor at my children’s primary school for eight years it seemed the opportune time to join the governing body at The Cottesloe School with my youngest son has joined the school last year. I am married with two sons, the youngest in Year 8. We are a sporty family, and our spare time is predominately spent on a football pitch. I am passionate about education and believe that every child should have the chance to maximise their potential. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be part of a governing body that will continue to develop and raise the aspirations of the whole school.

Carolyn Stirk | Active Vice-Chair and Safeguarding and Policies Governor

I am very grateful to have been given the chance to involve myself in the Cottesloe community and use my time and enthusiasm as a governor to help and support the school.

I have two children and, when they were younger, I was secretary and safeguarding officer on their preschool’s management committee, I loved helping out with the school association at their primary school. I have a legal background and I have also worked in a non-governmental organisation dealing with conflict resolution, as well as overseas in the Japanese local government. I hope to use this experience and make a positive contribution to all aspects of the work undertaken by the board.

Kevin Adamson | Co-opted Governor - Data, Curriculum and Deputy Head of School

This is my first foray into governance but felt the timing was right for me to make a difference. I have great admiration for what the leadership has done with the school and want to be part of it attaining the highest Ofsted accreditation. I grew up in Hampshire but returned to Bucks in 1999, now living in Aston Abbotts with my wife and 10-year-old daughter. As a BEng Honours graduate of the University of Portsmouth, my work has mainly been in Telecommunications for over 2 decades, mostly in large corporations and in the last decade closely watching this converge with the internet, software as a Service and Cloud technology. Early in my career, I ran Network operation teams in the conferencing industry, then moved into Product Development/Project Management and more recently all things Business Operations. I spent two years working for a West Coast US start-up that was then acquired by a global networking and IT company in 2015, where I now work leading business operations for the software developer platform. When I am not working I enjoy DIY, golf and hill walking, as well as spending time with my family and friends.

Mark Watson | LEA Governor - Finance/ Health and Safety/GDPR

As a Governor of Overstone Combined, I have learnt many of the skills needed to be an effective School Governor including finance, building maintenance and curriculum, with a special interest in maths and science. I’m active in the village community as a Group Scout Leader and have developed links with the school in delivering outdoor activities in support of wider learning for students. My eldest daughter actively chose The Cottesloe School because of the welcoming atmosphere and ‘can do’ attitude of the whole school; she is now flourishing in Year 9. In my working life, I use forensic science skills in a wide variety of different crime scenes and am a line manager for twelve professional technicians. What’s that got to do with being a School Governor? Well, it’s all in the analysis of detail, weighing of evidence and questioning what you’ve been told; all key skills for a Governor. With the introduction of accreditation to ISO quality standards within my profession, I am also leading the development and delivery of competency training across the workforce. I have a real passion for education, both formal and informal, and hope to be able to bring the right level of challenge and support to enable the senior leadership of the school to deliver the very best outcomes for all students and to build upon the excellent work already undertaken.

Elise West | PHSE Governor

I have been employed at The Cottesloe School for 2 and a half years and have worked in secondary schools for 22 years.  I was at my previous school for 14 years in the role of designated safeguarding lead.  In addition, I have been a Safeguarding Trainer for Milton Keynes Council for the past 10 years, training people in single and multi-agency safeguarding.  

I was previously a staff governor with my last employer but only for a short time due to changes within the governing body after becoming an academy.

I am excited to take up the position of staff governor here at The Cottesloe School.  I am hoping I will be a valuable member of the governing body and can give something back to this wonderful school.  

Lucy Childey | SEN Governor

I live in Cheddington with my husband, two sons and Suki the dog.  My background is in Human Resource Management but when my two boys came along, I decided to take a step away from my career to look after my family.  

I spent a few years running around after my boys, before setting up a small online business selling personalised gift packaging.  The business fitted in perfectly with school hours and holidays but after seven enjoyable years, I felt it was time to seek a new direction.  I have recently taken up the position of Teaching Assistant at Cheddington Combined School.  Given I now have both sons at The Cottesloe School, I thought it an ideal opportunity to volunteer my time to the school.   I am excited to be given the opportunity as a Governor to support the school in its continuing success.


Kim Pollard | Pupil Premium Governor

I am thrilled to join the Cottesloe governing team. I am married with two children, we have a son in Year 9 and our daughter will be joining Year 7 in September. I value the importance The Cottesloe School places on the welfare and happiness of students, and I am looking forward to actively contributing to the development and success of the school. I have lived in Buckinghamshire all my life. My professional background is in Marketing and Business Development and I currently work part-time in the construction industry for a company in Milton Keynes. 

I have always been interested in the education of children and was a Trustee for our local preschool. Working alongside the preschool ignited my passion for wanting to ensure that every child has the right to an education.  As a family, we are actively involved with our local community and enjoy supporting fundraising events.


Ben Cleland | Parent Governor - Chair of Teaching and Learning and Marketing

I come to this role from an operational background at an airline, a heavily regulated and safety-critical industry where the efficient management of resources is key to success. It has been essential for me to embrace working with and providing for people of all cultures and creeds, to be able to assess situations with conflicting and ambiguous information and to apply structure and objective reasoning to decision-making.

I am invested in the success of The Cottesloe School and volunteered time as a parent governor to help provide the school leadership team with the critical support a governing board delivers. Although new to school governance, it is clear that my input as a governor is to ensure the school continues to deliver its vision and strategy whilst providing the best education and financial performance possible from the resources available.

Page Last Updated 09 Feb 2024


Declaration of Pecuniary Interests 2021 PDF

Paul Kitchen - Chair of Governing Board NONE
Kevin Adamson NONE
Ali McKenna NONE
Kate Mulcahy NONE
Mark Watson NONE


Page Last Updated 26 November 2021

Contact the Governing Board

If you have any concerns about the school or the education we are providing at any time, please discuss the matter with your child's Subject Teacher or Form Tutor at the earliest opportunity. Please do not approach individual Governors with concerns or complaints; they have no power to act on an individual basis.

Any correspondence should be addressed to the Chair or the Clerk or or via post addressed to the Headteacher PA marked 'Private and Confidential:

The Cottesloe School
Aylesbury Road,
Wing, Leighton Buzzard

Page Last Updated 24 November 2021


Financial Reports


Financial performance

Please click here to see how the school's use of resources compares to other similar schools 


Page Last Updated November 2023

Important Documents

Governor Code of Conduct 2023 to 24 (PDF)

Useful Links