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Lea and Garsdon Church of England Primary School

Lea & Garsdon CE Primary School Healthy trees bearing good fruit

- Matthew 7:17


The School Governors

The School Governors meet every half term (now called a term).  They are guardians of our school and play an important part in our liaison with the Local Authority. They are free to visit the school regularly and talk to the staff and children.  

In addition there are three sub committees, which focus on specific areas.  They are:

  • Curriculum - Jo Burford (Chair)
  • Finance and Staffing - Clive Nicholls (Chair)
  • Buildings, Health and Safety - Simon Hay (Chair)

Details of Governor's Term of Office and Committee responsibilities can be found below.

Mr John Wallace, Co-opted Governor
​Chair of Governors

Elected by Governors (4 year term from August 2021)
Serves on Buildings, Health & Safety Committee

Link Governor for MFL
Pecuniary Interests: None​

Having moved into the area 2-3 years ago I am keen to offer support in the local community.  With recent Governor experience in a village CE primary school in Hampshire, I hope I can support the school through an exciting period of expansion and development.  
I served for 32 years in the Army and my 3 children attended numerous primary schools both in UK and overseas. I now run a business locally on a part-time basis. 
I am an enthusiastic skier and rugby supporter and cycling is the latest hobby including recent trips to India, Italy and Sri Lanka.
​My wife Cicely has also supported the school with PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog, Gatsby.


Dr Phil Yates, Co-opted Governor

Vice Chair of Governors
Elected by the Governors (4 year term, from July 2021)

Serves on Curriculum Committee.

Link Governor for Science, PSHE, SRE and Music

Pecuniary Interests: None

I have lived in Lea since 2015 and have always believed that investing in children and their education is a high priority. I have been a doctor (mainly as a GP) for over 40 years, training and working in Bristol predominantly, where I was a parent governor of a 1,900 pupil state secondary school for 8 years. In that role I chaired the curriculum committee and worked closely with the PHSE coordinator. My wife and daughter are primary teachers. I have actively supported my wife’s school, a large primary school and, with her, developed and run parenting classes. I’ve led children’s clubs in local organisations. Two of my grandchildren are / will be attending Lea & Garsdon School.


Peter Bown, Foundation Governor
Elected by Bristol Diocesan Board of Education (4 year term from February 2022)

Serves on Buildings, Health and Safety Committee
Safeguarding and Staff Well-being Governor
​Pecuniary Interests: None

I am a retired veterinary surgeon. I came to Malmesbury in 1968 and I bought my first house in Lea in 1974. As a former employer of a significant number of people varying from graduate status to basic GCSE I am aware of the importance of a good education. I am fully supportive of the stated school ethos and I look forward to supporting the Head and all the staff as they manage the proposed expansion of the school.


Ann Suter, Local Authority Governor
Elected by the Governors (4 year term, from November 2020)

Serves on Curriculum Committee

Link Governor for Art and DT
​SEN / Inclusion Governor
Pecuniary Interests:  None

I have lived in Lea for more than 30 years and we brought up our 2 boys here. I became a governor at Lea & Garsdon after retiring from my job as SEN teacher in a primary school in Gloucestershire. I love being a part of the team and coming into school to help with various activities, including reading and Forest School. My particular role on the governors is chairing the Curriculum Committee and I am link governor for Special Needs and Pupil Premium.


Clive Nicholls, Co-opted Governor
Elected by the Governors (4 year term from January 2022)

​Serves on Finance and Staffing Committee (Chair)
​Link Governor for Maths and Computing
Online Safety Governor

Pecuniary Interests: None

​I moved to Cleverton in 2010 since when all 3 of my grandchildren have attended the school. They have now left but I am still committed to helping the school provide an excellent education.
I am a Chemical Engineer by training graduating from the University of Bath and have worked in the petrochemical and food industries. For the last 20 years I have worked for a major IT Consultancy during which time I had a diverse range of clients from Aerospace to Logistics companies, the Law Society to various Government departments. I retired in 2016.


Kate FossKate Foss,  Parent Governor
Elected by the parent body (4 year term from January 2023)

​Serves on Buildings, Health & Safety Committee
​Link Governor for EYFS

Pecuniary Interests: None


I am a CIPD qualified HR professional with over fifteen years’ experience in talent acquisition and early careers recruitment and development. I have worked across a number of sectors including insurance, law and the transport industry. Having moved from London to Wiltshire in December 2020, I now enjoy living in Lea with my family and being part of this thriving community. I am also loving my new role as a Teaching Assistant at the school where I support children in a KS1 class. My son attends the school and my daughter will join in due course, so my commitment to Lea and Garsdon school is for the long term. I look forward to working with the governing team over the coming years to ensure that all children are happy at school and are given the best opportunity to reach their full potential.


Kat Curtis, Parent Governor
Serves on Finance and Staffing Committee
Elected by Parents (4 year term from June 2022)
​Pecuniary Interests: None


I am a qualified intellectual property and commercial law solicitor, having trained and worked at Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in the City for almost a decade.  I have worked within various FTSE 250 companies and am currently the General Counsel, Company Secretary and Head of Data Protection for YASA - a tech company owned by Mercedes Benz.


I have lived in the village for a number of years and have children attending the school.  I believe in the right of every child to an education in a safe, nurturing and inspiring environment.  Together with the governing team and our dedicated staff, we will work hard to achieve this for every member of our school.

Helen Barnish, Parent Governor
Elected by Parents (4 year term from March 2021)

Serves on Finance and Staffing Committee
​Link Governor for Geography and History
Pecuniary Interests: None

I have lived in Lea since 2006 and our two children have had the benefit of attending Lea and Garsdon School for the whole of their primary education.
My background is as a HR professional having worked across a wide range of industry sectors and I am looking forward to supporting the school as it moves forward with the expansion plans.



Rachel Humphries, Staff Governor
Elected by the staff (4 year term, from January 2023)

Serves on Curriculum Committee 
Pecuniary Interests:  None

​After 5 years spent working in retail, I went back to university to retrain as a teacher and have spent over 20 years loving every minute of my chosen career.  I joined Lea and Garsdon School in 2014 having taught in Calne, Offord D’Arcy in Cambridgeshire and Trowbridge.   I have taught all KS2 year groups and I am currently teaching Year 3 in Beech class.

​Out of school, when I’m not spending time with my family, I spend as much time as I can at my allotment; for me, digging is the perfect way to relax and exercise simultaneously!  I have brought my love of gardening and nature into school with the development of the vegetable patch and involvement in creating natural habitats for local wildlife.  



Joanna Burford, Co-opted Governor
Elected by the Governors (4 year term, from July 2021)

Serves on Curriculum Committee (Chair)

EYFS and Pupil Premium Governor
Pecuniary Interests: None
I have lived in Hankerton for 34 years with my partner. Having completed my teaching degree at Gloucester Teacher Training College in 1978, my first teaching position was at Highworth Warneford Secondary School.
During my full-time teaching career of over 38 years, I have also achieved Masters degrees from Oxford and Leicester and taught across secondary, tertiary and higher education. 
For 10 years I was responsible for two Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ nursery settings.
The latter stage of my career culminated with a 5-year Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality role at Somerset College with overarching responsibility for 7,000 students achieving continual improvement over the period. I was the College Ofsted nominee with validated achievement from a number of Ofsted Inspectors.
I wish to share my passion for enabling all learners to be the best that they can aspire to be.
I have significant management experience and recognise the value and impact that motivated staff can make to the learning experience of all learners.
Since retirement in 2016 I have taken on a number of voluntary roles including school reader at a neighbouring primary school.


Karen Briggs, Foundation Governor 
Elected by Bristol Diocesan Board of Education (4 year term from September 2021)

Link Governor for RE
Pecuniary Interests: None

I am delighted to have been appointed to the Governing Body as a Foundation Governor by the Diocese to represent our priest-in-charge to oversee Christian themes in the activities at the school.  I live in Cirencester, being formerly resident in Milbourne and am a member of the electoral roll of Garsdon Church with family links to the area and Woodbridge Group of Churches. I work in Gloucestershire as a career development specialist within financial services, working particularly with early careers’ employees on their professional pathways through qualifications, coaching and mentoring, also engaging with schools, colleges and charitable organisations supporting young people with particular needs into work. I look forward to understanding more about early years education and supporting the school with its development plans and strengthening links with both Lea and Garsdon churches. 


Simon Hay, Co-opted Governor
Elected by the Governors (4 year term, from July 2021)
Serves on Buildings, Health and Safety Committee (Chair) and Finance and Staffing Committee
Pecuniary Interests: None

Having lived in, or around Malmesbury, for 29 years, I am just about being considered a local! As a self-employed Management Consultant, specialising in Procurement, Supply Chain and Project Management, with experience drawn from across many industries in both the Public and Private Sectors, including Central Government, I look forward to helping the school develop as the expansion progresses.


Governor Committee Structure

​Finance and Staffing Committee:
Clive Nicholls (Chair)
Helen Barnish

Kat Curtis
​Simon Hay
​Sian Alderson

Curriculum Committee:
Joanna Burford (Chair)

Ann Suter
Rachel Humphries
Sian Alderson
​Phil Yates
Buildings, Health and Safety Committee:
​Simon Hay (Chair)

Peter Bown
Sian Alderson
John Wallace

  • Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
  • Any material interests arising from relationships between governors or between governors and school staff: None