Meet the Governors

Rodney Allen - Chair of Governors and Community Governor




Appointed Community Governor 01 Sep 2016 to 01 Sep 2024

Governor attendance for 2019-2020 school year

LSC meetings  6/6


I moved to St Albans in 2012 with my wife and our 10 month old daughter, who is now a student at Mandeville Primary School.  I grew up in West London but fell in love with Herts when I attended the University of Hertfordshire, graduating with a BSc (Hons) Chemistry.


I am pleased and proud to be the Chair of Governors at Mandeville. I try to be available at the front gate between 8:40-8:50 at least twice per week, so feel free to come and say hi and share your ideas/thoughts/comments.


In my professional life I am a Sales Director of a Medical Devices company, but have a background in IT and a love of all gadgets!


Cathy Longhurst - Head Teacher



Governor attendance for 2019 - 2020 school year

LSC meetings  6/6


I came to Mandeville in 2001 after teaching in London in the early part of my career and have lived in St Albans since then with my family. I was appointed as the leader of the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and then became Deputy Head Teacher in 2005. As the school is a designated ‘National Support School’ I was asked to support a local school in challenging circumstances in February 2012 and enjoyed four terms as acting head teacher there before coming back to Mandeville as the substantive head teacher in September 2013. 


I am so proud of being part of Mandeville’s journey to success. The school has almost quadrupled in size since I started teaching here and is unrecognisable from the school it was then. We have achieved so many great things in that time, including the slightly disruptive but very worthwhile £5.5 million building project and an outstanding Ofsted.


I love the diversity that the children and families bring to Mandeville and the importance that we place on developing the whole child whilst not taking our focus away from continually striving to raise standards. Mandeville is such a happy environment for everyone who learns and works here, both children and adults, and every day presents a new and exciting challenge. That’s why I have stayed so long!


Laura Williams - Associate Governor (Deputy Head)



Appointed Staff Governor 30 Sep 2018 to 30 Sep 2021

Governor attendance for 2019 - 2020 school year

LSC meetings 


I became a governor in September 2015 after joining Mandeville in September 2013 as the Year 6 class teacher and Assistant Headteacher with a responsibility for Key Stage 2. The following year I moved to teach in Nursery and took the role of  Early Years and Foundation Stage leader. It was a big change that I welcomed and an excellent opportunity to learn! I have become passionate about early education and using children's interests to achieve their next steps. I am extremely proud of the EYFS unit and team and believe we provide outstanding provision for our children. I love that every day is different and totally led by the children and I really value the opportunity to have a role in setting children up on their educational journey. 


I undertook my teacher training in Essex after completing a Psychology degree at Nottingham University. Prior to moving to Mandeville, I spent 5 years teaching at St Peter's just half a mile away. I predominantly taught in Key Stage 2 and was on the senior leadership team with a responsibility for teaching and learning across the school. During this time, I also did a Masters in Education. 


In September 2015, I became the acting Deputy Headteacher and SENCo which became my substantive role in June 2016. It has been a fantastic opportunity and I have thoroughly enjoyed increasing my knowledge and understanding of inclusion and SEND within education.


In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and being active.


Sarah Jones - Vice-Chair and Parent Governor



Appointed Parent Governor September 2019 to September 2022

Governor attendance for 2019 - 2020 school year

LSC meetings  6/6


A proud Mum to children in year 4 and year 2, I am delighted to be a Parent Governor here at Mandeville Primary School.


I was educated at Dr. Challoner's High School in neighbouring Buckinghamshire before completing my degree at The University of Exeter. After gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, I worked for 3 years as a secondary English teacher in Hertfordshire before moving to Hong Kong in 2007 to teach at an KGV International School. 


Having returned to St Albans in the summer of 2018, I am now working towards a Masters Degree in Shakespeare and Education. 


I am also a volunteer with the local branch of The Stroke Association and am due to start helping with our local Brownie Guide pack next term.






Prinz Nagalingam - Parent Governor


Appointed Parent Governor 22 Nov 2016 to 22 Nov 2022

Governor attendance for 2019 - 2020 school year

LSC meetings 6/6


I am a Civil Servant based in St Albans.


I was schooled in Hertfordshire before spending 16 years studying and working in Yorkshire. I have been a St Albans resident since 2012 and have two children who attend Mandeville.


I joined the PTA when my eldest son started in Reception and have seen first hand the passion and high regard in which the school is held by both parents and teachers alike. I am very proud to be a Parent Governor and will do all I can to help the school achieve and set new goals in the coming years.


I am also a Youth Hockey Coach for Welwyn Wasps and a Beaver Leader for the St Albans 4ths.

Katie Ellingham - Staff Governor



Appointed Staff Governor - September 2019 to September 2022

Governor attendance for 2019 - 2020 school year

LSC meetings  6/6


I joined Mandeville in 2004 after moving to England from Australia where I had been a teacher for four years.  After gaining my degree in psychology and history at Monash University, I then went on to secure a post-graduate diploma in education. 


My main teaching experience is in KS2 and I have taught Year 6 for the past 5 years.  I am very passionate about giving children a rounded experience in their final year of primary school – getting through SATs, as well as developing lifelong resilience skills.  I am qualified to teach the Penn Resilience Programme and the mindfulness programme known as. Breathe.  Throughout my time at Mandeville I have lead many curriculum subjects and am currently in change of PSHE, as well as Relationship and Sex Education across the school.  During the last three years, I have taken on extra duties as a senior teacher and am often asked to demonstrate teaching and learning to trained and less experienced teachers within my capacity as an expert teacher. 


I have always enjoyed working with children and love the way that every day is different.  Mandeville is by far the best school I have ever worked at, and I passionately believe in the principles which drive everyone to do their best for every child who walks through the door.

Paul Richards - Community Governor



Appointed Community Governor 2nd October 2019 to 2nd October 2022

Governor attendance for 2019-2020 school year

LSC meetings  4/6


I moved to live in St Albans in late 2000, just before my wife and I married. She was born in St Albans and raised in the Cottonmill area. Her parents still live near the school. I have three children, two girls and a boy, who are now in secondary education or sixth form at Beaumont School in St Albans, having all attended St Alban & St Stephen Catholic primary school.

I joined Mandeville as a community governor in October 2019. When I was asked by Cathy to consider being a Governor I was eager to take the opportunity to give something back to the community and Mandeville school. 
In terms of my background, I was born in the UK and lived in Essex and East London before moving to Australia where I spent over three years living in Sydney with my now wife. I have worked in the insurance industry in the City of London for over 25 years and held a variety of client service, broking and senior leadership roles. I have a BSc (Hons) degree in Financial Services from Manchester University and have studied at Cranfield School of Management.
I am absolutely delighted to be part of Mandeville as a governor. I hope my financial service industry and strategic experience, as well as being a devoted Dad, will bring value and a different perspective to benefit the school and children. I am inspired by the results at Mandeville and the commitment of the teachers, parents and governors to deliver the very best environment for Mandeville children to learn and grow.

Mary Willatt - Community Governor 



Appointed Community Governor 6th October 2021 to 6th October 2024


I joined Mandeville School as a governor in September 2021 and am delighted to be a part of such a forward thinking school with its wonderfully positive environment in which pupils can develop not only academically but learn the many skills needed for further education and for later life.


I was educated in schools in Potters Bar and then studied Primary Education, Geography and Music at King Alfred's, Winchester (now a university). My first teaching post was in Borehamwood and later at schools in St Albans. I retired in 2014 after 23 years as headteacher of a Church of England village Primary School in north Hertfordshire. 


I attend St Stephen's Church, St Albans where I serve as secretary to the PCC and am involved in voluntary work in the parish. I continue to be a Guide Leader in Potters Bar, where I live, and am learning to play both the euphonium and the guitar.

I am looking forward to working with the governors as they develop further the many educational opportunities on offer to the pupils.

Mandy Abley - Community Governor 



Appointed Community Governor - 6th October 2021 to 6th October 2024


I have worked in education for over 30 years, the last 11 of them as head teacher of Aboyne Lodge primary in St Albans. I have a degree in English literature from UCL, studied for my PGCE at the Institute of Education in London and returned there to complete a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management., and my NPQH.


In 2017 I was invited to join the first cohort of the Herts for Learning Executive Head Teacher training programme and in September 2018 took over as headteacher at Templewood Primary in Welwyn Garden City, alongside my headship at Aboyne Lodge. I remained head at both schools until August 2021.


I was appointed a local leader of education in 2013 and supported many schools across Hertfordshire, until I became a Hertfordshire Improvement Partner in 2017. While I have now retired from Headship, I continue to work as a HIP, offering support and challenge to school leaders across the County.


Patsy Harding - Associate Governor



Appointed Associate Governor 01 Sep 2018 to 01 Sep 2022

Governor attendance for 2019 - 2020 school year

LSC meetings 6/6


Having moved to St Albans in 2007 I became a parent at Mandeville in 2010 when my daughter started in Reception during the rebuilding project.


I had previously worked as a buyer for a London Department store so have a background in managing budgets and financial accountability. I am now the School Business Manager responsible for the school's finances and contracts.