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Governor Biographies

Hannah Ball

I was born in Cambridgeshire and grew up locally, studying at Cambridge Regional College. I became inspired to become a school governor to contribute to the local society and to be involved in children's education and the opportunities of what children are learning and developing. Being a part of the conservation is great to feel like I am making a difference to the lives of young people. I can provide knowledge having previously worked for Cambridgeshire County Council in the children's social care team, and now working in HR.

I am a qualified dog groomer and in my spare time I groom my white labradoodle Monty, after we have been for a long muddy walk!


Ray Bowles

My working life started out with a three-year spell playing professional football. After that I trained to become a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer and spent the next ten years working on military establishments and government buildings within the UK and Europe. I progressed into construction generally combining mechanical, electrical and construction projects with part of my responsibility including Health and Safety of the workforce on construction sites.

The major skill set I bring to the governing board is the knowledge of building projects/maintenance and Health and Safety.

I moved into the area on retiring 6 years ago and would like to put something productive into the community.


James Cannon

I have previously been a Parent Governor and Chair of the Resources Committee at Eastfield Infant & Nursery School and, when my son  moved to Westfield, I was keen to continue in a Governor role, joining in September 2021.

I work for Royal Mail where I am the Group Safety, Health and Environment Policy Manager.  As such, I am used to writing, reviewing and critiquing a range of policy and performance measures, ensuring compliance, and promoting continuous improvement. I see these skills as important to a Governing Body. I'm also a coach at St Ives Rugby Club, which gives me a small insight into the challenges and rewards of working with children.

My experience of Westfield has been nothing but positive, my daughter having also attended and now moved on to secondary school. Being able to support the school in achieving its high ambitions is something I am pleased to do.


Arnold Chau

I am an engineer working with wireless communication technologies, with a PhD in Electronic Engineering from the University of York. I taught multiple modules and programs at the University of York whilst I was completing my PhD. My research in wireless communication has been recognized internationally and I have been invited to give guest lectures at multiple universities and conferences globally. I was awarded the Chartered Scientist title (CSci) by the Science Council in 2020 and became a fellow at the Institute of Science and Technology recently.

Aviation has always been one of my great interests, and in my own time, I enjoy discovering the beautiful views and landscapes across England since I received my private pilot license back in 2015.

In April 2021, I became a governor at the Westfield Junior School. I hope to bring my skills and experience in higher education and data analysis into the school governing body.


Chris Fryer (Staff governor)

I was born in Cambridge and grew up locally, in Brampton. After studying for an English degree and then PGCE, I became a teacher in 2007.

Westfield is the fourth school that I have taught in. I began my career at Cottenham Primary, where I taught mixed year five and six classes and led eco-schools and computing and completed my M.Ed. I then moved to Bristol, where I taught year six and then year five and led computing and PE. Returning to Cambridgeshire, I was year four, five and six lead at Mayfield Primary in Cambridge for three years. I have been teaching at Westfield since 2015, first in year four and then in year six. I also lead English with Julia Folly. I became Deputy Headteacher in 2023. 

Throughout my career I have enjoyed sharing my experience with trainees and colleagues across other settings and schools by delivering training in various areas including boys’ writing, blogging, developing a learning culture and supporting higher attaining pupils. 

I was a staff governor at both Hillcrest and Mayfield schools. In my current role, I am a member of the standards committee and am overseeing the curriculum with Mat Timmis as well as eco-schools.

I have experience of Initial Teacher Training through work with Cambridge University Faculty of Education; The Chartered College Accelerate programme, and The Cambridge Partnership. 

I am a fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. 

I sit on the steering committee for St Ives Eco Action, with responsibility for education and schools. I am passionate about the role of education in supporting young people to make the changes needed for a more sustainable future


Neil Hopkins (Chair)

I have been teaching for over 20 years, mostly in further and higher education where some of my work has involved working with teaching assistants on pre-university and university courses. I moved in St Ives in 2019 and my motivation for becoming a governor at Westfield Junior was to involve myself more closely with the local educational community at a well-established and respected school. I want to feel that I am doing something useful for the people of St Ives.


Jon Spratley

I was born and grew up in Bristol, went to university in Birmingham where I studied mechanical engineering and a PhD in microengineering.  I moved to St Ives in 2015, but have worked here since 2007 and I currently run an innovation and engineering consultancy in the town.

I like to keep active in my spare time, mainly chasing after my three fast-growing children, and cycling when I get the chance.  I also enjoy making and repairing things, DIY and am a (very) amateur woodworker.

I joined the Governing Body at Westfield Junior School as a parent governor in November 2021, sit on the Resources Committee and am link governor for wellbeing.  I am excited to support the head teacher and help Westfield continue to be a great place for children to learn, develop and grow.


Mat Timmis

I have been a University Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge) for over 10 years. I teach within the discipline of Sport and Exercise Science and specialise in quantifying human movement (Biomechanics). My innovative approaches to learning and teaching practices have resulted in recognition both within my institution and nationally. As a result of this, I now sit on a National Sport and Exercise Science Education & Teaching committee as we work towards improving teaching practice for students across the U.K.

In September 2020, I became a governor at Westfield Junior School as it presented a valuable opportunity for me to develop more broadly within the Education sector. I also hope that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship as I bring my experiences from working in HE to benefit the school’s continued development.

I am responsible for Curriculum and Pupil Wellbeing and whilst I am still finding my feet in this new role, I am enjoying every minute!