A former pupil of Winton Community Academy in Andover has returned after eight years to join the school governing body.
24 year old Rebecca Stockwell, who studied at Winton from 2001 to 2006, hopes through her experiences she can help raise students aspirations and educational attainment.
The former student decided to apply to join the governing body as she has a long-standing interest in education particularly around the issue of social mobility.
“I know that some people may think I am too young to be a governor, but governing bodies should reflect the community and that includes people of various ages,” said Rebecca.”A key part of the role is to contribute fresh ideas and ask challenging questions, and those skills are not exclusive to just one demographic.”
“Having been to Winton myself and knowing how difficult it can be to compete against your more privileged counterparts in higher education and work, I feel a responsibility to try and help the current students navigate their way through this. This starts with improving their school. There is a strong team of people at the school, both staff and governors, and I am confident that we can change Winton for the better. It is equally important that we raise the aspirations of the students so that they have the motivation and the determination to achieve as well as they can. I believe they are capable of achieving great things and I want them to believe that too.”
After Rebecca left Winton she went on to study at Andover College and then did a BA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in central London. She graduated two years ago with a 2:1.
“I was the first in my immediate family to go to university. When I was at Winton the staff did make efforts to encourage us to consider university, but the level of expectation and support was not as great as that afforded to those in some other schools, especially private schools; certainly no-one suggested that the top universities were within our reach.”
It was while she was studying at University that Rebecca became involved in a number of extra- curricular activities such as being a mentor with the charity IntoUniversity and completing an internship with the charity Elevation Networks.
The former Winton pupil now lives and works in London. Her first permanent job after graduation was in the Home Office as an immigration case owner. She is now in the Cabinet Office (Civil Contingencies Secretariat) where she’s a policy manager for humanitarian assistance helping plan for disasters that may happen in the UK.
Winton Community Academy principal Nathan Thomas said, “It’s fabulous to have a successful former pupil return to us to give something back to the community which supported her to achieve excellent results. I know Rebecca will be a great addition to our governing body as we continue on our journey towards outstanding education for all our students in Andover.”
Amanda Tarbart, Chair of the governing body at Winton added,” Rebecca brings another dimension and a complementary skills set, which further strengthens the governing body. Holding the school accountable and asking difficult and probing questions is an important element that will lead to whole school improvement and Rebecca is strong in this area. We are delighted that Rebecca has joined our team and that the school can benefit from her unique view point and passion.”