Governing Board Information

Our new Governing Board came into office on 25th April, 2022 when the Village Schools Partnership formed into a federation of schools.

Our Governing Board consists of:

  • 2 Parent Governors
  • 1 Staff Governor
  • 1 Local Authority appointed Governor
  • 2 Foundation Governors (appointed by the Atlantic Coast Co-operative Trust)
  • 7 Co-opted Governors
  • 1 Executive Headteacher

The Clerk to the Governing Board is Caroline Boother. She can be contacted via

The Governing Board of the Village Schools Partnership consists of fourteen governors. Each Governor’s term of office generally lasts for four years but some Governors have provided longer service. The Governing Board also benefits from two Associate Members with a special interest in the welfare of the school community and in literacy.

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 school improvement plan. Governors act as a ‘critical friend’, supporting and challenging the Headteacher and leaders and holding them to account. 

During the year, we attend a minimum of six full Governing Board Meetings. Please locate the terms of reference for each committee by clicking on the committee below. In addition to Chairs of various committees, there are Lead Governor roles which helps to share the workload.

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


Peter Cox     Foundation Governor

I am retired having served in Devon and Cornwall Police for thirty four years finishing as a custody Sergeant at Barnstaple. I have nearly completed six years as a parent and community governor at Pilton Academy. I live in Littleham 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 Flying Start Federation can provide . 

Siobhan Brennan     SEND 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     Premises and Health and Safety Lead

A Governor since the start of the Federation, I am currently chair of Resources and Lead Governor on premises and health and safety. Both my children attended Parkham and I believe that the heart of a vibrant community is a successful local school. 

Sue Kersey     Curriculum

I have been a teacher at Woolsery School for seven years working across the key stages and now currently in Year 4 /5 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    SEND 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.


 Caroline Boother        Clerk to the Governing Board