Our Governing Body
Our Governors are all dedicated to the continuous improvement of our schools and come from all walks of life. We have a Priest, a tree surgeon, a retired school business manager, consultant psychiatrist and local business owners from a range of sectors currently appointed to our board. Click on the pictures below to find out more about our great Governing Body.
Governor Category: Head, holds a place by virtue of their office and attends all meetings and committees I was born & raised in the Bristol Area & that is where my career in teaching started. I moved to North Devon in 2007 to take up the post of head teacher at Berrynarbor VC Primary School. After Federating in 2012, I now lead both Berrynarbor & West Down Primary Schools. Although I no longer teach a class, I know all of our children and I enjoy watching them grow into wonderful young people
Governor Category: Co-Opted, Head Teacher Appraisal Panel Member Biography coming soon.
Governor Category: Co-Chair, Parent, elected by parents Health and Safety Lead, Member of the Pay and Performance Committee I have spent over twenty years in the Armed Forces split between the Army and the Royal Navy. This in turn has given me leadership and mentoring qualities as well as a whole host of engineering, management and quality training and qualifications. I have also been involved in many aspects of Health and Safety throughout my career.
I have taught across all year groups within West Berry Federation. In Sept 2017 I was appointed as Deputy Head & in Sept 2018 I became Co-Head alongside Su. Both of my children have attended West Down. I feel extremely privileged to be part of such a fantastic team, surrounded by fantastic children!
Governor Category: Foundation, Appointed by the Diocese Member of the Ethos and Vision Committee I am the Assistant Curate at St Calixtus West Down. I was ordained in Sept 2015, and since then have been working in the parishes of West Down, Marwood and Heanton. I enjoy working within schools as part of my role. Before becoming a Priest, I worked as a nurse for 38 years, spending most of my career at the North Devon District Hospital. I am a widow & have brought up our son alone since he was 3.
Category of Governor: Foundation, appointed by the Diocese Chair, Ethos and Vision Committee Since moving to Combe Martin, I was keen to continue my involvement in my local community. Becoming a governor allows me to do this; as well as continuing to encourage Christian Ethos within the Federation in my role as Foundation Governor. I also regularly take assembly for the Federation and other local schools in the area.
Category of Governor: Staff, Elected by Staff
Chris Townsend Governor Category: Co-Opted, appointed by the board, GDPR Lead. I currently run my own tree surgery business in the area, employing a number of staff. Prior to this I have experience within the telecommunications industry. I have 3 children at Berrynarbor School in years Reception, 4 and 6.
Co-Chair Governor Category: Parent, Elected by Parents Personnel Lead Governor, Chair, Pay and Performance Committee, Member of the Ethos and Vision Committee, Head Teacher Appraisal Panel Member Having attended West Down School, I went onto study at Braunton School & North Devon College. In 2007 my husband & I set up a company that specialises in the rental of giant Nordic inspired tipis for events, distributing in the UK & overseas. My children attend West Down & we live in the village.
Clerk to Governors I was appointed as Clerk in Feb 2017 & I am the “Governance Professional” on the board. This entails administrative tasks such as writing agendas & taking minutes as well as providing advice & guidance to the board, ensuring we are compliant within our statutory and legal duties and facilitating strong governance. I am usually the first point of contact for anybody wishing to communicate with the board. I am also Clerk for Kingsacre School.
Our Governing Body
All governing boards, no matter what type of schools or how many schools they govern, have three core functions:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
• Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
• Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
In our schools, the full board meets throughout the year, between these meetings individual governors are responsible as Lead Governors for a portfolio, and have delegated responsibility for defined areas of work. You can find out which areas our governors are responsible for in our Register of Business Interests below. We are abiding by our duty to publish relevant business and pecuniary interests and attendance at meetings of all governors. We also sign up to Code of Conduct - this can be viewed below:
In addition the board has the following committees:
Pay and performance committee, which meets three times a year, with delegated responsibility for ensuring that staff appraisal is appropriately carried out.
Head teachers’ appraisal committee, which carries out the head teacher’s appraisal.
1st (Hearings) Committee and 2nd (Appeals) committee are convened as required to consider any formal proceedings, such as a staff disciplinary issue or the permanent exclusion of a pupil (extremely rare in our case).
The terms of reference for each for each lead governor, committee and panel can be found in the Scheme of Delegation below. They explain what delegated authority the governor or committee has been given to make decisions on behalf of the board.
Any work undertaken by Lead Governors is reported to the full board at their next meeting - you can view minutes of the full board below.
If you would like more information on the work we do to ensure continuous improvement in all aspects of school life, to apply to join the governing board or to contact a governor please contact the Clerk, Natalie Stanbury, at email@example.com or our Co- Chairs, Donna Wright at or Andy Isaac at