Kyson Primary School

01394 384481 @KysonSchool


The Governors have an overall responsibility for the running of the school and for determining its aims, objectives and policies.

If you wish to contact the Chair of Governors you should do so through the school. If you wish to become a Governor, please speak directly to Mr Tom Gunson.

A copy of Governing Body minutes can be found in the school foyer. A copy of the most recent Governing Body newsletter can be found here.

Meet the Kyson Governing Body

Mr Joe Cannon



Joe is originally from North Norfolk, and is the father of two children at Kyson. He is a barrister practising in public law, based in London. He moved to Woodbridge in the summer of 2023 with his family, liberated by the post-pandemic shift to more remote working.


Alongside his career at the bar, Joe was a food entrepreneur - starting and running a British charcuterie business, opening a restaurant in Brixton, London, and running three critically acclaimed cafes in London - but he left all that behind when he moved to Suffolk, leaving space (in theory) to be a governor!


He is a season ticket holder at Norwich City FC and long-suffering fan, and a very keen cricketer.

  • Associate Member
  • Date Appointed - 01/07/24
  • Term of Office - 30/06/28
  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - tbc 

Dr Simon Carter 


Simon worked for many years in technology fields such as Electronics and Telecommunications. Since retiring, he has also worked as a personal tutor at a local Secondary school and given 1:1 private tuition in Maths and Science.

He has lived in Woodbridge for over 30 years with his wife, Beverley. Simon has very fond memories of Kyson since both his children attended, though they are now grown up, and have children of their own. He therefore sees it as a great privilege to become involved again with this happy & vibrant school and is particularly keen to help support the teaching of Maths and Science.


Simon spends much time on Grand-parenting duties but can often be found playing tennis at Woodbridge Tennis Club, where he is a committee member. His other main passion is for classical music.

  • Co-Opted Member
  • Learning and Attainment Committee

  • Date Appointed - 06/06/24
  • Term of Office - 05/06/28
  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - tbc 

Mrs Laura Dolan 


Laura is married to Peter and they have three children. The boys are all now at Farlingaye, but all of them attended Kyson from an early age.


Laura has worked in the school office as the school adminstrator and more recently the business manager for almost 15 years. Laura was also the Governor clerk up until recently when she joined the Governing body as an Associate member.

In her free time, Laura enjoys walking, reading and spending time with family and friends. 

  • Associate Member
  • Personnel, Performance Management & Safeguarding Committee

  • GDPR Governor
  • Governor Induction and Training Governor
  • Date Appointed - 18/11/21
  • Term of Office - 18/11/25
  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - None 

Mrs Fiona Fossett


Fiona is a committed member of the teaching team at Kyson, working at the school since September 2007.

Fiona curently teaches in Year 6 and enjoyes the challenge of teaching and nurturing older children.

In her free time, Fiona enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage children.

Fiona is passionate about nature and the natural world. She particularly enjoys gardening, walking and reading.

  • Staff Governor
  • Learning and Attainment Committee

  • Date Appointed - 24/11/23
  • Term of Office - 23/11/27
  • Elected by Staff
  • Register of Interests - None 

Mrs Frances Gilman

Frances was elected as Parent Governor in November 2021. She is married to Ben and they have two children, both of whom are at Kyson. 

Frances has spent much of her career working with children. She is a qualified primary school teacher with a specialism in Early Years and Lower Primary. Her professional experience also includes 5 years at the BBC in children’s television production. 

Frances counts herself hugely lucky to have worked in creative, diverse and inclusive environments. She is looking forward to supporting Kyson’s development moving forward.
  • Vice-Chair 
  • Parent Governor
  • Learning and Attainment Committee (Chair)
  • HT Performance Review Group 
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Governor
  • Pupil Premium Governor
  • Marketing and Stakeholder Collaboration
  • Strategy Group
  • Date appointed - 30/11/21
  • Term of Office - 29/11/25
  • Elected by Parents and Carers
  • Register of Interests - Suffolk County Council Education & Children's Services - Nice Work Digital Ltd - Founder, Mrs  Coups -  Family friend, NEU - Member.

Mr Tom Gunson


Tom became Headteacher at Kyson in September 2019. Previously Tom had been the Deputy Headteacher at Kyson from February 2014.


As a teacher, Tom is passionate about building fluency in children’s mathematics, using books and film to inspire writing and enjoys nothing more than sharing a great story with the children.


Outside of school, Tom is married with two young daughters, enjoys a variety of sports and the opportunity to learn something new.

  • Headteacher/Staff Governor

  • Learning and Attainment Committee 

  • Finance, Premises and Health & Safety Committee

  • Personnel, Performance Management & Safeguarding Committee

  • Strategy Group
  • Date appointed - 01/09/19

  • Term of office - Ongoing

  • Automatially appointed by virtue of office as Headteacher (ex officio Governor)

  • Register of Interests - None

Mrs Ruth Leach

I was co-opted onto the Board of Governors in March, 2024 as a result of my role as the Suffolk County Councillor for Woodbridge.


In my earlier career I trained and qualified as a General Nurse, I then trained and practiced as a Midwife and went on to specialise in Trauma and Emergency Nursing Care, finally achieving a degree in Intensive Care Nursing. After many exciting years in the profession, I changed path and pursued my love of visual media and became a professional photographer.


I have run a successful photography business for 20 years and now share this experience as a teacher at GCSE level at a local high school.


I have a huge love of nature and the outdoors; I particularly enjoy our beautiful countryside and everything that the river Deben has to offer in terms of recreational activity. To support this environment, I co-founded the ‘Save the Deben’ campaign group in 2022 to campaign for an improvement in local water quality and since 2023 I am a member of the Woodbridge Town Council.


I have 3 children, the youngest of which is heading off to University in September, and two grandchildren. I have been a parent of the child with an unseen disability and have experienced both the joy and challenge that neurodiversity can bring to the student and their family.


If I could achieve one thing as a governor it would be to make going to school such a happy experience, in a system that caters well for individual needs, that school avoidance becomes a thing of the past and children can achieve their true, individual level of attainment. I believe Kyson Primary is the school that will get that right.

  • Co-Opted Governor
  • Learning & Attainment Committee
  • Art, Design & Technology Governor
  • Date appointed 20/03/2024
  • Term of office - 19/03/2028
  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - Councillor for Suffolk County Council and Woodbridge Town Council, Teacher at Woodbridge Senior School. 

Mrs Verity Mawdsley


Verity has taught at and been part of the senior leadership team at Kyson for the past 10 years. She started her role as Curriculum Leader in 2019 and has loved the challenge of helping build and shape the Kyson Curriculum. Verity is passionate about the teaching of computing and modern foreign languages and feels lucky to be able to teach both these subjects across KS2. Recently appointed as an EdTech Demonstrator, Verity will also be advising schools around Suffolk on how to make the best use of technology across the curriculum to support learning. 

Outside of school, Verity is married with two young children so life is always very busy! When she's not ferrying her children to and from clubs, she enjoys playing netball every week and generally keeping fit. Verity loves traveling and exploring new places and cultures - she is hoping to be able to do more of this in the coming years. She loves dancing and can often be found having a 'kitchen disco' with her family. 

  • Associate Member
  • Learning and Attainment Committee

  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Governor
  • Date appointed 12/10/20
  • Term of office 11/10/27
  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - None

Mrs Kara Murphy


Kara has three children all of which have attended Kyson for their education having been doing the Kyson school run for the past eleven years. 

Kara served as a parent governor and co-opted governor for eight years and after a short break has decided to return serving as the LA governor. 


Kara lives with her partner Stacey, the children and a growing family of pets which currently is a dog and two cats “but there is always room for more”. 

Being raised in single parent environment by her father and being from the LGTBQ+ community social mobility and equity is a keen focus.


Being a mental health first aider wellbeing is important therefore Kara spends her spare time whilst not working full time as a civil servant enjoying playing rugby for the local women’s team along with family adventures.

  • Local Authority Governor
  • Personnel, Performance Management & Safeguarding Committee
  • Safeguarding, Filtering & Monitoring Governor
  • History & Geography Governor
  • RE Governor
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Governor
  • Date appointed 12/06/2023
  • Term of office - 12/06/2027
  • Appointed by the Governing Board (recommended for appointment by LA)
  • Register of Interests - None 

Mr John Southgate


John has held various finance/banking positions within the City for over 22 years. The pandemic-induced shift to more flexible working has enabled him and his family to make the dream move to Woodbridge, and they have never looked back!

His current work sees him heading an outsourcing business within a large US bank, overseeing areas such as product strategy, capital planning and regulatory compliance. His motivation for becoming a governor was to help keep Kyson special and support the teachers and governing body. He is relishing the opportunity to apply some of his commercial knowledge for the benefit of the school.

John and his wife, Emma, have two young boys. The eldest started Kyson in 2021 and the other will be joining in 2023. John has many interests, which he sometimes manages to participate in, including fishing, sailing, cooking and playing the drums. He is also a passionate football and cricket fan, despite being an awful player of both.

  • Co-Opted Governor
  • Finance, Premises and Health & Safety Committee 
  • Personnel, Performance Management & Safeguarding Committee
  • Premises, Health and Safety Governor
  • Music Governor
  • Computing Governor
  • Pupil Leadership Governor
  • Date appointed 02/12/2021
  • Term of office - 01/12/2025
  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - None

Mr Mark Vince

Mark grew up in Woodbridge spent some time working and travelling overseas before returning.

He has a young son who attends Kyson.

Mark believes school is about preparing children for the realities and challenges they will face during their lifetime. He believes that in tandem with striving for academic excellence the education system must deliver key life skills such as communication, innovation, improvisation, creativity, resilience and self-discipline through a varied curriculum of academic challenges and cultural activities.

Mark’s passion is sport. As a child you name it, he played it. More recently he has completed thirteen international marathons and has come out of retirement to play for Woodbridge Cricket Club.

Mark is delighted to take on the responsibility of PE monitoring Governor at Kyson as promoting and encouraging physical and mental wellbeing from an early age is fundamental to tackling life challenges.  

  • Date appointed 05/05/2024
  • Term of office - 04/05/2028
  • Elected by Parentsand Carers
  • Register of Interests - Wife - HLTA at Kyson, Employed as HR Manager at Penrose Learning Trust

Mrs Sarah Wainer


Sarah was elected as a Governor in 2014, having previously served 12 years as a Staff Governor at Birchwood Primary School in Martlesham where she works as a Teacher. 


Sarah was elected as Chair in October 2018.


Sarah lives in Woodbridge and has two children both of whom are away studying at University.  Both her children attended Kyson starting their learning journey in the Nursery and through this Sarah was introduced to the school. Sarah has been a Kyson parent, parent helper and teacher as well as now serving on the Governing body so she knows the school from most angles!


Sarah is on the Learning and Attainment Committee and is keen that the Kyson staff and pupils continue to be passionate about their learning, enjoying a rigorous and enriched curriculum.

  • Chair

  • Co-Opted Governor

  • Learning and Attainment Committee

  •  HT Performance Review Group (Chair)

  • EYFS Governor
  • Nursery Admissions Governor
  • Governor Induction and Training Governor
  • Strategy Group
  • Date appointed - 23/11/17

  • Term of office - 22/11/25

  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - Teacher Birchwood Primary School

Mr Ben Ward


Ben became Deputy Head Teacher at Kyson in September 2019. Previously, Ben has worked in a variety of schools, including an inner city London school and a British International school in Panama.


Ben is passionate about giving opportunities to children in taking ownership of their learning; equipping them with the tools to support them both now and in the future,


Outside of school, Ben is married and has two young children; he enjoys spending time being active and outside with his family. He also enjoys watching and participating in wide variety of sports.

  • Associate Member

  • Personnel, Performance Management & Safeguarding Committee

  • Finance, Premises and Health & Safety Committee 

  • Learning and Attainment Committee 

  • Strategy Group
  • Date appointed - 14/10/19

  • Term of office - 13/10/27

  • Appointed by the Governing Board
  • Register of Interests - None

Mr Ian Wickson


Ian has had a long career in education, teaching Humanities subjects in two very creative and inclusive community secondary schools in Cambridgeshire, before moving to Suffolk in the mid-1990s to take on leadership roles in middle schools. After leading a school through a closure process, he moved into roles in the Local Authority supporting the inclusion of children and young people with a variety of needs.  


Ian is now retired and he volunteers with Suffolk Coast and Heaths monitoring parts of the Suffolk Coastal Path. He and his wife are keen walkers and injuries permitting he still plays hockey for a team in Norwich! 


Ian has four grown-up children. His first involvement with Kyson was, some 18 years ago, as a parent of a seven-year-old, and now he can often be seen on the school-run with his grandson. He hopes to be able to give something back to the school and support its continuing development.

  • Co-Opted Governor
  • Finance, Premises and Health & Safety Committee (temporary)
  • Personnel, Performance Management & Safeguarding Committee (Chair)
  • HT Performance Review Group
  • SEND Governor
  • MFL Governor
  • Recruitment Governor
  • Staff Wellbeing Governor
  • Strategy Group
  • Date Appointed - 02/12/21
  • Term of Office - 01/12/2025
  • Register of Interests - None

Kyson Governing Board Instrument of Governance

2 Parent Governors

  • Frances Gilman

  • Mark Vince

1 Local Authority Governor

  • Kara Murphy

2 Staff Governors (1 of which MUST be the Head Teacher)

  • Tom Gunson (Head Teacher)
  • Fiona Fossett

6 Co-opted Governors

1 Vacancy

  • Simon Carter
  • Ruth Leach
  • John Southgate
  • Sarah Wainer
  • Ian Wickson
  • 2 x Vacancy

Associate Members

  • Joe Cannon
  • Laura Dolan
  • Verity Mawdsley
  • Ben Ward

= 11 Governors (+ Associate Members)

= 10 Governors (+ 4 Associate Members)

2 x Vacancy

Clerk to the Governing Board

Philippa Oxborrow


One half of the number of Governors in post.