Village Schools Partnership

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Parkham Primary School, Parkham, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 5PL

Buckland Brewer School, Buckland Brewer, Devon, EX39 5LX

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Tel: 01237 451334 | 01237 4513

Village Schools Partnership

Small Schools - Big Futures

 The Role of the Governors

This page is in the process of being updated following the first meeting of the Board of the new Village Schools Partnership which took place on 26th April 2022.

The Governing Board of the Village Schools Partnership consists of fourteen governors: the Executive Headteacher, two elected parents/carers, one member of staff, one representative from the local authority, two foundation governors and seven co-opted governors from the community. Each Governor’s term of office generally lasts for four years but all of our Governors have provided longer service with the Flying Start Federation or Woolsery School. The Governing Board also benefits from two  Associate Members with a special interest in the curriculum and the welfare of the school community.

Governors are responsible for promoting high standards of education and planning for the future of the schools. They are the accountable body to parents and the community, and provide strategic direction to the schools by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the schools. Governors are not involved in the day to day running of the school- that is the Headteacher’s responsibility. Governors monitor and evaluate the work of the schools and the effectiveness of the Strategic School Development Plan. Governors act as a ‘critical friend’, supporting and challenging the Headteacher and leaders and holding them to account. 

Our work is supported by our Clerk to the Governors. She can be contacted by email should you wish to make contact with the Governing Board.


Governor Information

Governor Information (appointment and training) .pdf

Governor Policies

Code of Conduct for Governors

Governors Visiting School Policy

Virtual Attendance at Governor Meeting Protocol

Governor Allowance and Expenses Policy

Terms of Reference

First Committee

Headteacher Appraisal Committee

Pay and Performance Committee

Finance Lead Governor

Inclusion/SEN Lead Governor

 Safeguarding Lead Governor

Second Committee


Minutes of Governing Board meetings 

Previous Governing Board minutes of the Flying Start Federation and Woolsery schools can be obtained by contacting the Clerk to Governors.

Full Governing Board Meeting 23.05.2022

Full Governing Board Meeting 26.04.2022

Full Governing Board Meeting 07.09.2021

Full Governing Board  28.09.2021

Full Governing Board 19.10.2021

Full Governing Board 16.11.2021

Full Governing Board 25.01.2022

Full Governing Board 08.02.2022

Full Governing Board 08.03.2022

Full Governing Board 05.04.2022


Our Governors

Alan Jones   Chair of Governors and Finance Lead Governor

Following a career in the Construction Industry both in the UK and overseas, mostly in Project Management and Finance, I was persuaded, on retirement, to volunteer as a Governor at a Primary School in Gloucestershire.  In the role of Chair I was heavily involved with the conversion of the school to a sponsored academy working with the Local Authority and Department for Education. My wife and I relocated to Devon in late 2013 to be nearer to our daughter and grandchildren in Barnstaple although this is slightly further from our son and other grandchildren in East Sussex and we are gradually getting to explore the surrounding area and have discovered plinth of walks. My main skill sets are Financial and Organisational. I believe passionately about education and learning and on how best to prepare our children to thrive in life in an ever changing world and hope that I may contribute to this.  

 Sarah Broom   Vice- Chair of Governors; Foundation Governor

My name is Sarah Broom and I have been a governor since 2019; I initially became a governor at Woolsery Primary School as I had two children at the school who had been really well supported and wanted to contribute something back. I was appointed as the ACT governor and then took on the Co-Chair role in 2021. I was involved with the federation and am very happy to be continuing on in the role of Vice Chair for Village Schools Partnership. I work in further education with a focus on teaching Access to Health Care and also providing Functional skills English and Maths for apprentices entering the medical industry


Peter Cox     Foundation Governor

I am semi-retired having served in Devon and Cornwall Police for thirty four years finishing as a custody Sergeant at Barnstaple. I currently work part time as a security colleague at Bideford Asda. I have nearly completed ten years as a parent and community governor at Pilton Academy. I live in Bideford and wish to serve the community further as a governor at a local school as well as Pilton. I am committed to assisting in providing the best possible education that the Village Schools Partnership can provide .

Siobhan Brennan     Co-opted GovernorSEN Lead

 I have been a Governor for Woolsery Primary School for over 2 years and since become a co-opted Governor for the Village Schools Partnership. I have 2 children who attend Woolsery and 1 who has recently transitioned to secondary school from Woolsery. Over the years I have worked with children, from teaching dancing, supporting children with additional needs and looked after children in Residential Children Homes. I am passionate for ensuring children and young people are advocated for with their individual needs being met and for all children to have access to a high quality of education.

Phil Priest     Co-opted Governor

I have been a Governor since the start of the Flying Start Federation and now co-opted onto the Village Schools Partnership Governing Board. Both my children attended Parkham and I believe that the heart of a vibrant community is a successful local school.

Sue Kersey    Co-opted Governor

I have been a teacher at Woolsery School for the last 7 years, working across the key stages and now currently in Year 5/6 class. I have led Literacy across the school, implementing a number of changes to bring consistency, coverage and cohesion. Throughout that time, I have been a staff governor and recently changed to a co-opted governor.
I moved to Devon over 30 years ago and have two grown up children.  I am a keen gardener and runner in my free time.

Lizzie Nisbet   Co-opted Governor

I initially became a parent governor when my son joined Woolsery Primary School in September 2021 and am now delighted to be continuing as part of the governing board for the Village Schools Partnership. Although I had no prior governance experience, I have taught as a classroom teacher in primary schools for the last 10 years and am dedicated to delivering high quality education for all children. I previously taught in inner city schools in London but have taught more locally in North Devon since relocating here in 2020.  

Miranda Roper   Parent Governor 

I joined the Flying Start Federation Board of Governors as a parent governor as my daughter is a member of Parkham Primary School. I currently live and work in Parkham. I feel that being a part of the Board will allow me to help to develop the school and the education that it provides for the children.


Heather McCarthy   Local Authority Governor

I joined the Governing Board in the summer of 2019 keen to contribute to both Buckland Brewer and Parkham Schools. I have a son at Parkham and I am also on the PTA at Parkham School which I thoroughly enjoy. I work locally and am a Town Councillor in Northam so life is full.

Emma MCGuire    Co-opted Governor

I joined Woolsery Primary School Board of Governors as a Parent Governor and have two daughters that attend the school. I am thrilled to be continuing as part of the Village Schools Partnership Governing board. I have been a teacher in primary schools for over 15 years and am passionate about working collaboratively to equip our children with the skills and opportunities they need to become lifelong learners. 

Ewan Wallis    Parent Governor

Dave Watson    SEN and Community

I recently retired after more than twenty years as a Child Care Social Worker with Devon County Council and previous involvement in Community Work. I was born in Buckland Brewer and attended Buckland Brewer School, as have my four children and grandson. I am involved in community activities in Buckland Brewer on the Parish Council and other groups. I am the school representative to the Buckland Brewer Hall. I am also involved in the Methodist Church in the village and wider area, but also with both Churches in Buckland Brewer. I am particularly interested in helping to build up links between both schools and the wider community.


 Loyce Peter     Staff Governor


Matt Cole    Executive Headteacher

I began my teaching career in the mid 1990s having completed my training in Bristol. The experiences I had as a child growing up in a south Devon village and attending the local three class primary school has shaped my values and love of learning ever since. I became Headteacher at Woolsery Primary in September 2007. Throughout my time there, I have worked to ensure that the school is proud of its village and the village is proud of its school: that is something I am truly honoured to be given the opportunity to do with the formation of the new Partnership, in Buckland Brewer and Parkham schools as well. I passionately believe that rural education can give children something special if it is delivered and organised properly, with high aspirations and a no-excuse culture. Small schools of course bring challenges, but those challenges are often also their strengths and I always hope that the years our children will spend in our village schools will shape them for the rest of their lives.


Di Bennett  Associate

My husband and I retired to North Devon , near Woolsery in 2016 to be nearer to our daughter and grandsons at Braunton. Previously I was a year 5 / 6 teacher and Assistant Headteacher at a village primary school in South East Cornwall for a number of years. Since becoming a governor at Woolsery five years ago, I have enjoyed maintaining contact with children through voluntary teaching intervention in reading comprehension and grammar, including online throughout the pandemic. I have also worked closely with the English subject leader, this being my area of interest and expertise, and I am keen to continue and develop this work within the Village School Partnership in the role of Associate Governor.


Rev Madeleine Bray   Associate

In February 2018 I became a vicar in the Hartland Coast Mission Community, with Buckland Brewer and Parkham being two of my parishes. I live in Parkham.  I’ve lived in the North Devon area since 1976 – so I’m not quite local yet!  I have a son who lives near Taunton and who is married. They have a 1 year old son and on one of my days off each week I go up and look after my grandson while his parents are at work.   Since being here, I take the occasional school assembly, including some which are in church, and, as Associate to the Governing Board, I look forward to becoming more involved with each school.

 Caroline Boother

Clerk to the Governing Board