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Governor Biographies





Dr James Canniford


James Canniford has been teaching for 17 years and joined Woodlea as Headteacher in September 2021. James has a Doctorate in Education from the Insitute of Education at University College London with a research focus on the Year 6 EGPS Test.

Prior to joining Woodlea, James worked in school leadership across a range of special measures, good, and outstanding schools in London at both school and trust levels. James has a passion for improving reading and writing for all children through simple and replicable structures.  


Kate Forde

Chair of Governors


Kate joined the Woodlea governing body in October 2018 having spent the previous 5 years as a governor to a local secondary school.  'I have enjoyed learning more about the education sector and contributing in a small way to the life and success of the school. My professional background is in Human Resources and over the last 25 years I have worked across a variety of industries.  Currently I work on a self-employed basis providing ad-hoc HR advice and support to local businesses.   I have 2 teenage children and have lived in Caterham for 15 years.'


Rev Dr Catherine Dowland Pillinger

Local Governor


Catherine is the Team Vicar of the Woldingham Churches and she is keen to continue to develop the already good relationship between Woodlea and St. Paul’s, which form two of the most important centres of community life in the village. Her professional career prior to being ordained was in education, where in addition to teaching, she held various pastoral and administrative posts in further and higher education, most recently as Head of Student Services at Trinity College of Music, where she led the welfare and support services for the student body. At Woodlea, she acts as the Governor responsible for Pupil Premium and Looked After Children, as well as maintaining the church’s links with Woodlea by leading assemblies and services for the school.  

Susie Brain

Local Governor

Susie is excited to have joined the Woodlea governing body.  She has two children at Woodlea Primary School.  Having grown up in Woldingham, she returned with her husband, James, 8 years ago.  From her professional life as a city lawyer, she brings experience of corporate governance/compliance matters.  Susie believes that a positive experience at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 sets children up for lifelong learning.


Gary Heath

Parent Governor




Pete Mobbs

Local Governor




Nikki Bail

Parent Governor


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Nikki joined the governing team in 2021:

"I've lived in Caterham for much of my life and with two children at Woodlea, I'm keen to support the school in whatever way I can. Being a governor has educated me on a different part of school life, made me more aware of the challenges in education, and it's really rewarding to be part of a team committed to the success of the school. In my work life, I lead the People & Culture function for a tour operator, and have spent the majority of my career in retail, sales and marketing recruitment HR and management.'


Fiona Hill 

Staff Governor


Rachel Menham

Staff Governor