Our Governors

Please see Governor Roles for more information about our governors.

James Mansell – Chair of Governors

I am an experienced finance professional currently working in the HQ function of a large listed (FTSE 20) consumer goods company with experience in financial reporting, analysis and internal controls. Prior to this I worked in consulting, including working with public sector clients.

I live in St Albans and see sharing my experience and training with Skyswood as enabling me to give back to the community. I find my time working with Skyswood staff and pupils a very rewarding experience.

Sarah White – Vice Chair of Governing Body; Chair of the School Improvement Committee; Safeguarding Governor.  

I have lived in St Albans since 2007 and have worked as a teacher and assistant headteacher at a local secondary school. I have one child who currently attends Skyswood and a son who was previously a pupil. This combined experience of the local education community and Skyswood, led me to volunteer my time as a governor and to give something back to the school community.  

My role enables me to work closely with other governors and the senior leadership team at the school. I also attend joint safeguarding meetings and training across the AAT.  

Lisa Shipley

I have lived in St Albans for the last eight years and have two children. My eldest child has recently moved on to secondary school and my youngest child is a current pupil at Skyswood. I have been a co-opted governor since 2021 and volunteered because I wanted to support the dedicated Skyswood senior leadership team and teaching staff responsible for creating a fantastic learning environment. In my professional life I am an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser. I have twenty years’ experience working for a leading professional services firm and specialise in international tax policy.

Claire Wallis

I joined the Skyswood governing body as a parent governor back in 2020 and have two daughters very much enjoying their adventures at the school in year 1 and year 3. I decided to join the school as I wanted to help support and build an environment that allows every child at Skyswood to benefit from nurtured growth and development. I am a strong believer in every child having the school journey they deserve and I have a passion to develop a diverse and inclusive culture of learning. In my professional life, I have over 25 years’ experience in the retail sector and currently working for a management consulting business delivering commercially effective strategies and solutions to clients. I hope my professional skills and knowledge will be beneficial to my fellow governors, the staff and leadership team at Skyswood School.

David Eady – Chair of Resources Committee

I have two daughters at Skyswood and have lived in St Albans for more than 10 years. After completing my Computer Science degree at Durham University I worked as a software engineering consultant before moving into various technology roles in financial services.

I’m keen to give back to the community where my skills are valuable and prior to being a parent governor I supported several other school events. I’m interested in equality and inclusion and how it’s approached at Skyswood knowing how early education can make life long impressions on children’s future lives, as I see first hand a lack of diversity in the workplace. I’m regularly around the school at drop off or pick up times when not walking our family dog.

Jo Easter – Early Years Foundation Stage

With a degree in English from Durham, I started my working life in book publishing. After having 3 children, I went back to University to retrain as a teacher. 

I have had a varied career in education, including being a primary Class Teacher and SENDCo, Special Needs & Early Maths Adviser, and primary headteacher.  I have a further degree in Early Maths Intervention.  I feel that this experience gives me particular insight in the governor role.

I have lived in St Albans for most of my adult life, with my husband and family. Our children, who are now adults, attended Sandringham School and we live within walking distance of Skyswood, so I am part of the school’s wider community.

I currently work part time as a trainer in the charity sector, and also volunteer at St Albans Cathedral, helping with school workshops and education trails.  I wasn’t a teacher when my own children were very young, but I now have 2 young grandchildren and this has sparked my interest in Early Years.

Darren McCabe

I joined as a Parent Governor in January 2023 and will serve in this role until January 2027.

Currently, I am a member of the School Improvement Plan Committee and hold the position of SEND Governor.

My professional background spans 25 years in the commercial sector, where I’ve gained valuable experience in both the Retail and Renewable Energy industries. Over the years, I’ve developed my HR expertise in several key areas, including leadership coaching, performance culture, talent management, and learning and development.

My decision to become a Parent Governor was driven by my deep appreciation for the school that has provided my son with a fantastic education for a number of years, and I felt it was time to give something back!

Aside from my professional commitments, I have a passion for wine. I channel this enthusiasm through my weekly Wine Times column in the St Albans Times, where I share recommendations on a wide range of wines.

If you see me in the playground, before or after school then please feel free to come over and say hello.

Laks Ganesan

I am a Parent Governor and joined the governing board in 2020.

Member of the Resources Committee: Health and Safety Governor.

I have a daughter in the school currently, while my son completed his primary in the same school a few years back. I have worked with the staff and the lovely community that has shaped the school going from strength to strength.

I have a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from India with over 20 years of experience working in IT industry in various roles across the globe, the most recent being Cyber Security Consultant.

Being a governor brings opportunities to get involved, support the school and the wider community by contributing to life-long learning from personal experiences from work in related field.