Meet Evergreen School Full Governing Board

The Governing Body play an important part in school and are the school’s legally accountable body who operate in the best interests of the school. The task of the governing board is to lead the school strategically, focusing on the three core functions set out below:

· Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.

· Holding senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school / organisation, its pupils, and the performance management of staff.

· Overseeing the financial performance of the school / organisation and making sure its money is well spent

Evergreen School’s Governing Body operates a circle model of governance where the governing body works as a ‘whole team’ without any formal committees and meets regularly throughout each half term. This means that governors have up to date information regarding the school, and can offer timely support and challenge, as well as take action should the need arise. Working groups take place where required to discuss particular themes such as the quality of education and finance.

The Governing Body is chaired by Mark Wills.

Lorna McDonagh and Richard Hales are the co-vice chairs.

Governing Body Meeting Attendance 2021

  Mark Wills – Chair, Co-opted Governor & Health & Safety Governor
Appointed: April 2018 by Ridgeway Governing Body | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: April 2026
Business Interests: N/A 

I am very proud to be part of the governing board here at Evergreen. I joined in April 2018 serving as a governor at Ridgeway School, and have worked with schools on a professional basis for over 18 years. I recognise the importance of teaching and learning and securing the best education for all children and young people, whatever their background and ability.
I am really keen to help support the school in any way I can and use my knowledge and experience to help the school to ensure all children and young people who attend Evergreen are provided with the best care, facilities and resources and receive the very best learning opportunities they can.
I live in Warwickshire with my family and in my spare time I enjoy walking, cycling, music and watching films; Star Wars and Marvel being my favourites!


   Lorna McDonagh – Co-Vice Chair, LA Governor
Appointed: September 2023 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: September 2027
Business Interests: Warwickshire County Council Governor Services

I am delighted to join the Governing Board of Evergreen School after working with the school in my role as a HR Advisor for Warwickshire County Council.  I was the named point of contact for Ridgeway and then Evergreen during this time and was excited to see the growth and change that the school has achieved to date. Now as a School Governance Improvement Officer for Warwickshire County Council, I get the opportunity to continue supporting the school in my professional role and now also as a Governor.  After working with schools for the last 14 years I hope to bring my experience to the Governing Board and support fellow Governors and staff to further grow the school and continue to offer a wonderful, safe place for all of its pupils.


  Richard Hales – Co-Vice Chair, Co-Opted Governor
Appointed: October 2022 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: October 2026
Business Interests: Charles Peters – Recruitment Agency, Deputy Leader Warwick District Council, Vice-Chair of Kenilworth MAT

I am very proud to be a governor at Evergreen School and joined the board in October 2022. I am very passionate about improving the facilities and learning opportunities for our students, and am passionate about links with the local business community and how we can work closer together to benefit everyone. I live in Kenilworth and one of my children attends Evergreen and outside work/governors I am involved in running local football & rugby teams.

   Nick Evans – Executive Headteacher, ex-officio Governor
Business Interests: None


  Alan Beddow – Co-opted Governor
Appointed: October 2016 by Ridgeway Governing Body | Term of Office: 4 years | Expires: Feb 2027
Business Interests: Sainsbury’s Digital & Technology 

I have been a governor originally for Ridgeway since 2005 when we were in the old building on Montague Road and with Evergreen when it opened in 2020. I work as a Project Manager in the IT industry, working for IBM for almost 30 years, then for Sainsburys Technology since 2013.  I have been a member of the Project Management Institute from 2004.  As a co-opted governor I bring business and project management experience to the governing board. I have lived in Warwick for over 25 years and I like to play an active part in the community.  Evergreen is a fantastic school that I have seen grow from Round Oak and Ridgeway when they were on their old sites to the incredible centre of excellence it is today catering for all ages on its two sites.  For me it’s important that the whole ethos of the school is focused around each child/young person. I feel most proud of the school when I see happy children and young people coming in through reception in the morning, excited to see what their day will bring.


   Bali Kandola – Staff Governor
Appointed: January 2016 by Ridgeway Governing Body | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: Jan 2028
Business Interests: Pastoral Manager at Evergreen School 

I have been part of the Ridgeway/Evergreen family for over 11 years. I have worked with children across all stages as a Teaching Assistant and I am now Evergreen’s Pastoral Manager. Being part of the Governing Body has enabled me to appreciate both aspects of school life, from helping children and young people to achieve their potential to helping to create a more nurturing environment.


  Mark Freeman – Co-Opted Governor
Appointed: November 2021 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires November 2025
Business Interests: Turner & Townsend Consultant (employer) and Anthony and Elaine Bethell Charitable Trust (trustee)

As a chartered surveyor by profession, I have spent over 30 years working in the construction industry, centred around the delivery of new or refurbished school and higher education buildings and facilities. I have a personal interest in SEN education, having a close family member with significant learning needs. I have always been inspired by the learning environments in which he spent his formative years and the staff who worked so hard to give him as much assistance as possible. I feel privileged to have been invited to join the Governing Body of Evergreen School and can only hope that I am able to use both my professional and personal expertise and experience to assist the school to deliver its Vision and further enhance and improve its already excellent environments at both sites. On a personal level, I live locally with my wife, Dianne and a labrador named Kali. Our two children are grown up now, with one being a police officer and the other away at university. I am also a Trustee of a charitable trust, as well as the honorary secretary of Ashorne and Moreton Morrell Cricket Club. Although sadly, my playing days now seem to have come to an end, cricket and rugby remain keen interests of mine, along with walking and cooking. I hope that I can justify my position as a Governor and do justice to the role expected of me.

 Michelle Buckley – Parent Governor
Appointed: July 2021 by Parent Election | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: July 2025
Business Interests: Treasurer and Trustee of Friends of Evergreen School Charity

I was really pleased to be elected as a Parent Governor of Evergreen School in July 2021 and to have the opportunity to be involved in the governance of this wonderful school. I am a mum to two boys and my youngest is a very enthusiastic pupil at the Brittain Lane Campus. He started nursery at the Deansway Campus in 2012 and, after spending three years in mainstream, returned there in 2017. He made the move up to the Brittain Lane Campus in September 2020, where he couldn’t be happier. Professionally, I am a self-employed Chartered Accountant, whose job involves critically reviewing and questioning financial information. I am also the Treasurer for the Friends of Evergreen School charity and have been involved in this role since 2018. I am really committed to Evergreen School, and have been amazed by what has been achieved during what has been an incredibly difficult period for everyone. I am looking forward to helping the school to achieve its plans to further improve the lives of our children and young people.


    Julie Johnson – Parent Governor
Appointed: September 2022 by Parent Election | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: September 2026
Business Interests: N/A  

I started as a Parent Governor of Ridgeway School in 2018 and I am very proud to be continuing on the Board of Evergreen School. My daughter attended Ridgeway School from 2018 and has been at the Brittain Lane Campus since September 2020. She loves it there! My background is in education and I have been a Primary School teacher for 25 years. Originally from Birmingham, I have taught in London, Reading, Sydney (Australia) and in Warwickshire schools. My roles have included form teacher, SENCO, Deputy Head and Acting Head. Currently, I am the Director of Studies at Warwick Preparatory School. I am constantly impressed by the dedication of staff at Evergreen, who work relentlessly to give our children and young people the best opportunities possible. Evergreen is a forward-thinking school with an inspirational and committed leadership team and staff. As a parent, I wouldn’t wish for my daughter to be anywhere else. As an educator, I hope that my experience can support the school in achieving its vision.


   Jody Tracey – Co-Opted Governor
Appointed: December 2022 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: December 2026
Business Interests: Chair of Governors at All Saints’ and Emscote Schools, employee of Warwick District Council

I joined as a Governor of Evergreen in 2022, having been a Governor of All Saints & Emscote School Federation since 2017 where I am currently Chair.  I am also a Governor at Myton School in Warwick.  Having previously served as a District and Town Councillor between 2019 and 2023 community engagement and protection of the most vulnerable in our towns. I have lived in Warwickshire for over 15 years having worked in the town for some town before starting my own business.  I have 25 years experience in Commercial and Procurement roles and hope to bring some corporate compliance and structural experience to the board as well as supporting the great work of the school across both campuses.


Jen James- Co-Opted Governor & Safeguarding Link Governor
Appointed: March 2023 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires: March 2027
Business Interests: Employee at Stowe Valley MAT, Co-Opted Governor at Nursery Hill Primary School

I have worked in education for my whole career, starting off as a primary school teacher in 2010. I became a headteacher in 2017 and have recently moved into a new role as Director of Inclusion for a Trust in Warwickshire. I am passionate about true inclusion and particularly looking to remove access barriers for children.  I am a firm believer that highly inclusive settings improve outcomes for all pupils and this is one of the reasons why I was keen to join the governing body at Evergreen. I am thrilled to be part of a community which focuses on tailoring the provision and curriculum so specifically for each pupil. I live in Solihull with my husband Matt and our dog Basil. I enjoy going to the gym, playing the saxophone and holidays!


Cate Rate – Co-Opted Governor
Appointed: October 2023 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expires | October 2027
Business Interests: 
CEO of Widgit Software Ltd

I’m thrilled to have joined the inspiring team at Evergreen School and a governing board whose sole mission is to maintain a safe and happy learning environment, so that all children may flourish. As CEO of Widgit, a symbols software designed to help individuals unlock their full potential, it means a lot to be part of a school community that champions the power of communication, regardless of age, ability or background. I hope that my skills as business leader combined with my passion for inclusivity may contribute to fostering positive learning experiences for all pupils at Evergreen – with young people and families the beating heart of all that we do.

Angela Craig – School Governance Professional



Previous Governors:

Ian Pavey – Co-Opted Governor, Chair of Governors
Appointed: June 2017 by Ridgeway Governing Body | Term of Office: 4 Years | Resigned: June 2023

Business Interests: N/A 
Sue Harris – Co-opted Governor, Safeguarding Governor & Link Governor for CLA/PCLA
Appointed:  11/09/19 by Ridgeway Governing Body | Term of Office: 4 Years | Expired: September 2023
Business Interests: Trustee at Little Willows Preschool
Will Dennis – Co-Opted Governor
Appointed: November 2021 | Term of Office: 4 Years | Resigned: January 2024
Business Interests: N/A