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The Governing Body

 

Name of Governor

Category of Governor

 

Rev. Andy Farmer

Chair - Foundation

Andy Farmer is the relatively newly appointed chair of governors. My experience as a governor has mainly been 7 years in secondary education although I was a governor at St Andrew’s, many years ago, when my children attended the school. 

My day job is as a Programme Director for a business support organisation. I am a qualified coach/facilitator and I have extensive knowledge of business leadership. I am also an Ordained Associate minister in the local parish supporting the vicar and the team.

I am passionate about high standards of education in a Christian context. We have a responsibility to create an environment where children can feel secure to learn the personal, social and educational skills that will truly last a lifetime.

Should I have any spare time, I like to cycle, walk with my wife and our dog and read poetry... though not all at the same time

Dr. Jessica Jennison

Vice - chair - Parent

Jessica is our Vice Chair of Governors. Her strong desire to help people and enjoyment of a challenge inspired her to join our board. Jessica wants to support the school in its ambition to give all children a positive experience of learning and school life. She is married to Toby and both of their children attend the school.

Jessica trained as a nurse in Oxford before studying medicine in Manchester and now works as a GP in Plymouth. She enjoys exploring this beautiful part of the country with her family and loves to run a bit to escape when she can.

Mrs. Trisha Topham

Foundation

Hi, I’m Trish Topham and I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2019.

My background has always been in Education. I trained as a teacher of Home Economics and taught in Secondary Schools in both Bedfordshire and Essex for over 30 years.  For the last 10 years of my career I was an Assistant Head of a Secondary School on Canvey Island, where my key responsibilities were Inclusion, Safeguarding and Line Management of  SEN in the School.

 

I moved down to Devon at the end of 2017 and when an opportunity arose to join the Governing body at St Andrew’s, I felt it was meant to be……

 

I am passionate about children receiving an inclusive education where they can access opportunities to fulfil their potential, and it always gives me such pleasure see no them succeed in some way.

 

My main hobbies are walking, reading, cooking, singing, and I have tentatively started to cycle as well, though not the hills yet!

Mrs. Naomi Beck

Foundation

Naomi joined the Governing Board in January 2017 initially as a staff governor. She has been a Primary Teacher for 16 years before making the decision to pursue a new career. During her time as a teacher at St Andrew’s, Naomi taught throughout Key Stage One becoming an Early Year’s Specialist and her excellence in this area is evident through the Ofsted ‘Outstanding for Early Years’ judgment.

 

Naomi is pleased to continue to serve the school as a governor and being able to use her wealth of experience and expertise in coordinating Literacy and Assessment at St Andrew’s in the best interests of the children. She is on the Teaching and Learning Committee with the specific school focus on Assessment and the Early Years.

 

Married to James, they have one child at St Andrew’s. As a family they enjoy walking and visiting National Trust properties. They are active members of Plymouth Christian Centre and Naomi volunteers for Christians Against Poverty. Naomi loves reading and enjoy being part of a book club.

Mr. Terry West

Foundation

Terry West has been involved within Education for some time now both as a teacher, an advisory teacher, educational admin and as a school governor.

Terry has taught in 9-13 Middle schools in Dorset and primary schools within Devon, after a short interruption to teaching career I became an advisory teacher for IT. My last role within education before retiring was as an Assessment and Exam Officer in a Plymouth Secondary School.

Terry has had experience as a teacher governor, a secondary school governor and as a head teacher governor.  He has enjoyed and continues to enjoy my role currently as a church foundation governor.

Terry is married with two daughters – my wife Celia, also taught at one point in her career at St Andrews.  One of my daughters currently teaches in Cornwall.  My other daughter works as an employment lawyer.

Terry’s interests include being a National Trust Volunteer at Buckland Abbey and Castle Drogo.

Mrs. Elizabeth Middlebrook

Foundation

Liz Middlebrook has been a Foundation Governor for two years.  Liz works on the Personnel Portfolio and has recently joined the Curriculum and Assessment Portfolio.

Liz has had a diverse and varied career which has included working as:  a Navigating Officer in the Merchant Navy, the Administrator at The Garden House and a maths teacher at City College Plymouth with a specialism in teaching maths to students for whom English is a Second Language.

Liz became a Christian after moving with her family to Yelverton and seeing the Christian ethos brought to life as her three children attended St Andrew’s School.  She remains an active member of St Andrew’s Church

Liz was delighted when her granddaughter joined reception last year.  She believes in addition to providing a sound academic education, St Andrew’s equips its pupils with a foundation in faith which they can develop and which is always available for them to call upon in the storms of life.

 

Mr. Simon Newcombe

Co-opted

 

Mrs. Bex Murdoch

Staff

Having worked with young children since leaving school in a variety of settings, Bex Murdoch decided that teaching was the career path for me. I have not looked back and absolutely love being a part of a child’s journey in their education to help them reach their full potential.

 

I feel children should have people who believe in them and support them to be the person they aspire to be. Working with the children, assisting them with achieving their goals is a huge ambition of mine.

 

I put myself forward to be a staff governor not only to be a voice for the staff at St Andrew’s but to be the voice for the children in the school, making sure we do what is best for their educational journey.

 

Rev. Andy Bowden

Ex-Officio

Andy Bowden is the vicar of St Andrew’s Buckland Monachorum and the Church of The Holy Spirit, Milton Combe.  I am married to Bethany and we have three children: Benjamin, Thomas and Verity.

 

I spent many years working with young people.  Before Ordination I was a Youth Worker at St Andrew’s Church in Plymouth for 9 years. After that i went to Theological College in Oxford and was ordained in 2011.  My curacy took me to Laleham Upon Thames in Surrey.  After 4 and a half years there we returned to Plymouth, where I took on the role of Chaplain at All Saints Church of England Academy.

 

I am an avid armchair fan of most sports, now that my best playing days are behind me.  I particularly enjoy watching rugby, following Tottenham Hotspur FC and keeping an eye on NBA basketball.  Other passions include music, reading historical fiction and getting to the coast as much as possible – sometimes with a surfboard!

 

Mrs. Esther Rookes

 Clerk to the Governors

Esther became Clerk to the Governors in January 2003, providing invaluable administrative support to the Governing Body and ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.  The team would be lost without her!

 

Esther can usually be found in and around the school and is a well-known face to the children.  As well as her role as Clerk, she is a teaching assistant at the school carrying out Wave 3 Literacy Interventions with KS1 children, which involves giving extra 1-to-1 support to individual children, as well as doing some admin roles for the teachers. 

 

Esther lives on Dartmoor and loves country life. She enjoys walking and can be often found walking on Dartmoor and sometimes on the route to school. She has recently also started cycling to school.

 

Married to Trevor, they have 2 grown up sons – the eldest son is a Head Coach of a local swimming club & the youngest has joined the civil service, having graduated from Birmingham University in Biochemistry. Outside of school, Esther is a dedicated volunteer for Devon County Swimming Association, training and mentoring trainee swimming officials, having achieved her British Swimming Referee qualification. 

 

Mrs. Sarah Lakey

Head Teacher

 

 

Governor Meetings Minutes

Archives

Clerk to the Governors: Mrs. Esther Rookes
C/O St Andrews C of E Primary, Buckland Monochorum, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 7NA
Email: Clerk@standrewscofe.co.uk