Meet The Governors

Key Documents

The below are available on the ASSET Education website by clicking this link:

Becoming a School Governor

ASSET Education is actively looking for people to be school governors. You don't have to be an expert in education or a parent; almost anyone can help. Being a school governor brings with it a real responsibility and a sense that you are able to contribute to the good of schools and pupils. It's a worthwhile task, but before offering to help it would be good to consider what it entails by reading our governor's information.

If you are interested in becoming a school governor please contact

What Qualities Are Needed By School Governors?

The Chair of Governors may be contacted c/o Clerk to Governors, The Beeches CP School, Shakespeare Road, Ipswich IP1 6ET

Our Governors

Name                                                                      From                             To

Stephen Connelly (Chair of Governors)                11 July 2023                      11 July 2027

Christine Shaw (Acting Chair of Governors)        11 July 2023                      11 July 2027

Justin Ostler                                                              1 June 2023                       1 June 2027

Kirsty Smith                                                               7 December 2022             7 December 2026

Rachel Walker                                                           1 September 2023            Not recorded

Rebecca Jackaman                                                 12 July 2021                     12 July 2024

Stephen Capper                                                        1 September 2018           Not recorded

Zoe Smith                                                                  9 July 2023                       9 July 2027

Mr S Capper - Headteacher & Governor

I have been a headteacher since 2007 and was very pleased and proud to join The Beeches Community Primary School in 2018.  Since that time we have seen the school pupil numbers increase, built our new multi million pound dining room and community hall, The Beach, alongside our new Early Years 88 place Nursery, which is now full and takes children from 2 years old. The school test results have continued to improve, especially in Phonics and Early Learning but also across KS1 and KS2 SATs. They are now at or above national average and at the highest point in the school’s history. There have been many other achievements, not least in the Thrive approach, safeguarding, our community work and school attendance, all of which which have been enabled by our wonderful, hardworking, talented and dedicated staff who work tirelessly at every level to provide the very best for our children and families..  We are also very proud to be part of the ASSET multi academy trust which enables us to share our work and benefit from the expertise across our schools. Most importantly we are a key hub for the strong community of Whitton.

The Local Governing Body provides the school with great support and also challenges us to do better, go further and think widely.  It plays a vital role in ensuring high standards and expectations year on year.

Stephen is a qualified teacher and has an MBA in Educational Leadership, University College London, holds the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. (FRSA)

Mrs Rachel Walker - Headteacher & Governor

I have worked at The Beeches for over 10 years in Senior Leadership. I am a qualified SENDCo and have previously led this in our school significantly developing the provision for pupils with SEND. Throughout my time at The Beeches I have led on various areas of school improvement alongside dedicated and creative colleagues. 

I’m most proud of my impact in Teaching and Learning. This area of development has resulted in our best ever results across the school for statutory assessment from EYFS to Year 6. Great teaching and learning is essential; it ensures that our children receive the very best which they deserve! 

Our children leave our school as well-rounded and developed individuals ready for their next stage in education and life. Personal development is also integral in our work and I am proud of the caring, nurturing and collaborative school we have. 

I’m passionate about inclusion and our school ethos of ‘Success Every Day’ for all of our children. I believe every child should enjoy school and have the opportunity to learn and progress from their starting points. It is our job as educators to support children to overcome barriers to learning and help them reach their full potential. 

Rachel has a BSc in Psychology, Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PCGE) in Primary Education, holds the National Award for Special Educational Needs and has the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). 

Mr S Connelly - Chair of Governors

I was very proud to be appointed to serve as the Chair of the Local Governing Body at The Beeches Community Primary School in July 2019.  This is an exciting time for The Beeches with the fantastic new Nursery provision due any minute and the recent opening of our fabulous new Dining Hall, The Beach.


I was born in Guildford and spent my youth in Surrey only leaving to attend University in Canterbury and then Cambridge.  I started teaching Physics and Electronics at Secondary level in a local Ipswich School in 1979 retiring in 2015.  As a young man I played Cricket and Golf and was a fanatical Squash Player and qualified Coach until 2005 when old age caught up with me and I was forced to hang up my racket.


I have two grown up boys who were both born in Ipswich one is a Classics teacher in Surrey and the other works locally in Digital Marketing.  I have a German Short Haired Pointer who provides me with long walks and long waits while he rummages for wildlife in the surrounding countryside.  His particular enthusiasm is for rabbits although he is yet to catch one.


As a former Ipswich Borough Councillor and local resident I am aware how important it is for the Beeches to work closely with the local community in Whitton that it serves. As a retired teacher I’m also very aware of the challenges the Beeches will face in the next 5 years, what I am absolutely certain about is that the Beeches staff so ably led by Mr Capper will continue to deliver first class education for your children.

Mrs C Shaw - Vice Chair of Governors

Hello, I’m Christine (happy to be called Chris).

I’m Vice Chair of Governors; you might have seen me in school when I’ve been visiting to hear readers.

I have two daughters. One lives in Lowestoft with her partner and their daughter (my 6-year-old grand-daughter). The other is married and lives in Hertfordshire.

I started teaching in 1975 and took a few years out whilst my daughters were young.

I’ve taught in Primary, Combined and Middle Schools in Bedfordshire,

Buckinghamshire and Suffolk. During my career, I've taught most subjects to Yr 6 and some to a higher level but my particular favourites were English and French. I enjoyed teaching PE and even qualified as a junior football referee so that the school could continue playing matches against other schools; not sure that my creaky knees would allow it now!

When many Suffolk schools were re-organised in 2011, I took early retirement from my final teaching post as Head of year 6 in a Lowestoft middle school. It was a terrible wrench to leave such a good school that had a warm place in the hearts and memories of so many staff and pupils. Even now, it’s hard to believe that the school no longer exists.

Early retirement did not mean that I wouldn’t be busy! I love gardening, birdwatching and going for walks in the countryside, so there was always something to do.

After moving to Whitton, I was elected to be one of the 3 Whitton councillors. I

quickly felt welcomed into this community and was delighted when asked to consider becoming a Governor for the school. I was appointed in January 2019 and feel privileged to be able to support the work of The Beeches. This is a busy and vibrant school that is well-loved in the community and I’m glad to be a part of it!

Miss R Jackaman - Governor

Hello, I’m Becca, and I am delighted to become a governor. Though it has been a considerable amount of time since I went to school, my love for creative writing and drama began there; both literacy and the arts are essential for children like maths and science. Also, from personal experience as a pupil special educational needs, proper support is vital.

I run Progression Sessions, which are support groups for disabled young people living in Suffolk. I’m also a member of an amateur theatre group run by the company Red Rose Chain. Over the first lockdown, we started writing a play about time travel and the Witch-Finder General.

In my spare time, I enjoy watching films (the Lord of the Rings trilogy will always be a favourite of mine), gardening at my local allotment, and horse riding.  

Every child deserves the best chance in life, and I am honoured to help The Beeches achieve that aim!

Mr Justin Ostler - Governor

Hello, my name is Justin. I have lived in Whitton for the last 22 years and was born in Ipswich.  I have two children who both attended The Beeches Primary School (then known at Whitton Primary School). Both of my children have now grown up and work.

My daughter went to University in Exeter and now works as an Archeologist. She investigates how people lived in the past and looks at how the land was used a long time ago.

My son works for Toyota and helps to sell and supply cars and car parts to people and other garages.

I live with both my children, my wife Ali and my dog Biscuit!

My wife is a nurse, and she looks after people at Ipswich Hospital.

I also work for the NHS and for Citizens Advice helping people who have all kinds of problems. I went to University and studied Law and am currently training to be a solicitor.

I am passionate about access to education as a fundamental human right for all, no matter what the barriers are.

I am a keen runner and complete in long distance racing and have done it all over Europe. I also enjoy rugby, I used to play but I am getting older and injure a bit more easily now. I also have a keen interest in living history and am part of a medieval combat group, primarily as an Archer.

I am looking forward to getting involved with my duties as a school Governor and hopefully will have the opportunity to meet with some of you.

Miss K Smith - Parent Governor
I am a mother to three children, all of whom attend or have attended The Beeches Community Primary School.  I was first employed at the Beeches (then Whitton) in 2015 as a Midday Supervisor.  When I first came into the school I was overwhelmed by the great sense of community.  In September 2017 I undertook a Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship which I completed in October 2018.  After spending a year at Shotley Primary as a Teaching Assistant I then returned to the Beeches.  I have been a parent governor at the school now for two years.  In my spare time you will find me out walking the dog and supporting Ipswich Town Football Club, I am a massive fan!

Mrs Z Smith - Parent Governor

During the past fifteen years all six of my children have either attended or are still attending The Beeches Primary. I myself used to attend Whitton C. P which the Beeches was formerly known as.

I have been extremely happy with the education and experience my children have all received from the school. 

I have always been interested in education, especially early years and the importance it had in the foundations of a child's development.

This inspired me to volunteer at The Beeches nursery, gaining a hands on experience and seeing with my own eyes the fantastic work and effort the teachers put into enabling the children to experience and explore a huge array of activities.

When an opportunity to become a T. A at the nursery arose, I couldn't not apply as I found myself loving every moment of my time there. 

After a short while a position of parent governor was on offer and I wanted to be able to have an input into the decision making of the rest of the school and not just in the early years. I have a passion for English and want to be able to express my enthusiasm for this subject and be an advocate for how important reading is to a child and how it can be a wonderful expanse of education but also their imagination and can provide a wonderful escape.