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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 (August 2021 - August 2025)
Serves on: Buildings, Health & Safety Committee

Link Governor: for MFL

Pecuniary Interests: None​

Having moved into the area a few 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: Governors (July 2021 - July 2025)

Serves on: Finance and Staffing Committee.

Link Governor: History, Geography, PSHE, SRE, Music and OPAL

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 (February 2022 - February 2026)

Serves on: Buildings, Health and Safety Committee
Link Governor: Safeguarding, Mental Health and Staff Well-being
​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 complete the proposed expansion of the school.

Gill SmithGill Smith, Foundation Governor

Elected by: Bristol Diocesan Board of Education (January 2024- January 2028)

Serves on: Buildings, Health and Safety Committee
Link Governor: for R.E, Deputy Link Governor for Safeguarding

Pecuniary Interests: None


I have lived in Lea since the beginning of 1998.  Both our daughters attended the school here and my husband continues to go in and read with the children on a weekly basis.  We are heavily involved with the local church and I am currently lay chair of the Parochial Church Council – which basically means that I help the churchwarden get all the jobs done! 
I spent my professional life working as a patent attorney, first in London and then at Dyson – which triggered our move to Lea.  I have a head for getting practical things done and also attention to detail – especially in the written word. I am looking forward to contributing to the work of the governors in whatever ways I can.

Ann Suter, Local Authority Governor
Elected by: Governors (November 2020 - November 2024)

Serves on: Curriculum Committee

Link Governor: Art and DT, SEND and Inclusion
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 is link governor Art and DT and for Special Needs and Pupil Premium.


Clive Nicholls, Co-opted Governor
Elected by:
Governors: (January 2022 - January 2026)

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

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: Parent body (January 2023 - January 2027)

Serves on: Buildings, Health & Safety Committee
Link Governor: EYFS

Pecuniary Interests: Teaching Assistant at L&G CE Primary School


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 (June 2022 - June 2026)

Link Governor: PE
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.


Matthew Loveday, Parent Governor

Elected by: Parent body (November 2023 - November 2027)

Serves on: Curriculum Committee

Link Governor: Science and Pupil Premium
Pecuniary Interests: Wife is a teacher at L&G CE Primary School


Rachel Humphries, Staff Governor
Elected by: Staff (January 2023 - January 2027)

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 4/5 in Maple 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: Governors (July 2021 - July 2025)

Serves on: Curriculum Committee (Chair)

Link Governor: English (Reading, Writing and Phonics), Attendance and Behaviour 
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.


Simon Hay, Co-opted Governor
Elected by: Governors (4 year term, from July 2021)
Serves on: Buildings, Health and Safety Committee (Chair) and Finance and Staffing Committee

Link Governor: DT
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)

Kat Curtis
​Simon Hay
​Sian Alderson

Phil Yates

Curriculum Committee:
Joanna Burford (Chair)

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

Peter Bown
Sian Alderson
John Wallace
Gill Smith

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

Governor Meeting Attendance Record 2023/24




Full Governing Body 



Finance & Staffing


(Buildings, Health & Safety)




John Wallace4/4 1/2 

Phil Yates

4/42/3 1/1
Clive Nicolls3/44/4  
Simon Hay4/44/42/2 
Jo Burford2/4  3/3
Kat Curtis3/44/4  
Kate Foss4/4 2/2 
Peter Bown4/4 2/2 
Ann Suter3/4  3/3
Rachel Humphries4/4  2/3
Sian Alderson4/44/42/23/3
Matthew Loveday (Joined Nov 2023)3/3  2/2
Gill Smith (Joined Jan 2024)2/2 1/1 


Governor Meeting Attendance Record 2022/23




Full Governing Body 



Finance & Staffing


(Buildings, Health & Safety)




John Wallace6/6 2/3 
Phil Yates5/6  4/5
Clive Nicolls4/66/6  
Simon Hay5/64/53/3 
Jo Burford5/6  4/5
Kat Curtis5/63/6  
Kate Foss4/4 3/3 
Helen Barnish3/65/6  
Peter Bown4/6 2/3 
Ann Suter5/6  5/5
Rachel Humphries6/6  4/5
Sian Alderson6/66/62/35/5
Karen Briggs4/6