Our Governors

A school's governors are its strategic leaders and have a vital role to play in ensuring every child gets the best possible education. There is a basis for this in law, which states that the purpose of the governing body is to "conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school".
School governors have a focus on three strategic functions:
a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
b. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
As our school is Voluntary Aided the Governors also have additional responsibilities. See the information on Church Aided status <link to church aided status in the Statutory Information section>.
The Governors are aware of St Sidwell's excellent reputation and are committed to doing everything within their power to ensure high standards are maintained. All the St Sidwell's Governors are volunteers who devote much time and energy to helping move our school forward.
All our Governors, and our Parent Governors in particular, are keen to hear ideas and suggestions from parents and friends. They are also able to give advice and information and to address concerns. The Governors make every effort to be available to parents: some are able to pop in during the school day and attend school events and special occasions but they can always be contacted in writing via the school, or by email at governors@st-sidwells-ce.devon.sch.uk
The complex and rapidly changing world of education makes great demands on teachers and on governors. Central to it all, however, must be the child: your child. With this in mind our priorities are:
  • To give your child the benefits of a full, rounded, first rate education
  • To maintain the highest standards of professional skill and dedication in our excellent teaching and support staff
  • To make the most of opportunities above and beyond the curriculum.
  • Jackie Willey

    Co Opted governor

    Hi I've been involved with St Sidwell’s school for many years. I was a pupil myself and my 3 children have also attended here. I have been a Meal Time Assistant for about 15 years and I'm really proud to be a part of the wonderful family of St Sid's. I have been a governor for 6 years, it is hard work & time consuming but I enjoy doing my best for the children & staff of our school. I am the governor’s link with the St James Forum & Queen’s Crescent project.I raise funds for the governing body by letting the car park out for football parking every home game. I have had a lot of involvement with F.O.S.S.S. and was chairperson for over 10yrs. I still help out with fund raising at discos, fetes, community gardening etc. Those of you that know me are aware that I've supported Exeter City for many years and am a season ticket holder. I also help Exeter & Tedburn Rangers Ladies FC by helping organise games, referees, friendlies, fund raising, etc.

    Register of business and financial interests: Member of staff

  • Richard Smith

    Foundation Governor / Chair of Resources

    My name is Richard Smith, and I have two children at St Sidwells; Luke in Year Six and Lottie in Year one. I joined the Board of Governors in September 2015 as a Foundation Governor, hoping especially to help support and strengthen the Christian ethos of the school, and currently worship around the corner at Sidwell Street Methodist Church. I only moved to Exeter in 2013, after nearly 10 years in Norwich, and before that in many places including Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, and York, Cambridge and Bristol in the UK, although originally from Derby. I am an economist by training, but have worked mostly in University Medical Schools during my career and for the last eight years have been Professor of Health System Economics and Dean of the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – so you will mostly see me around on Thursdays and Fridays as the rest of the week I tend to be based in London. I used to enjoy globe-trotting and have been to many wonderful places and had some interesting adventures – and still occasionally do! – but these days like nothing more than being at home, or out in the campervan with the family exploring the many wonderful parts of Devon and the South West.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Hayley Dymond

    Deputy Headteacher / Staff Governor

    I have been a teacher at St Sidwell's C of E Primary School since 2001. Throughout that time I have taught across the year groups and key stages. I currently teach PPA and release time in Years 2, 4, 5 and 6. I am passionate about the school and achieving the very best for the children.
    In my spare time I enjoy participating in a range of sports, including running, spinning and bootcamp!

    Register of business and financial interests: Member of staff

  • Vanessa Briggs


    I am very excited to take on the new role as Head teacher at St Sidwell’s C of E School and am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the coming months and working together. I have already been very impressed by the children’s positive attitude to learning. The children, staff and governors have made me feel very welcome and I am excited about sharing in the vision and high expectations to ensure St Sidwell’s continues to be the welcoming and happy school where children can achieve their very best, both academically and socially.

    Register of business and financial interests: Member of staff

  • Julian Ghail

    Parent Governor

    Julian was elected as a parent governor in July 2017

  • Bob Price

    Foundation Governor

    Bob joined the Governing Body in July 2017.

  • Richard Hein

    Parent Governor / Chair of Governors

    I wanted to become a Parent Governor because I believe that it is important to be involved in the local community, of which the school is a very important element. I hope to use my skills and experience in project and financial/budget management to help decide the priorities for improving the school and to contribute to education within the local community.

    I am currently taking a career break to take on the role of looking after our three children. Two of our children are at St Sidwell’s (Year 1 and Year 3) and our youngest stays home with me. I do the school run every morning and afternoon and am very happy to make myself available to parents and to listen to other parents’ opinions. Just come and say hello!

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Pete Grigorey

    Foundation Governor - Chair of P&P

    I joined the Board of Governors back in May 2011 and was Chair from 2013-2017. Collectively we are committed to ensuring St. Sidwell’s is an outstanding school for our children. I am married to Marilyn and have one son, Harry, at the school. I have worked for the Environment Agency (formerly the National Rivers Authority) since 1990 and am based here in Exeter. My family and I worship at Exeter Vineyard Church, which meets at St Leonard’s Primary School. I am a bit of a techno / gadget geek, an avid sports enthusiast as well as an adult fan of LEGO. I'm a big fan of Manchester United and, time allowing, play golf at the Downes in Crediton.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Mark Clemoes

    Community Governor

    I attended schools in West Dorset and then studied at the University of Sussex. I came to live in Exeter in the late 1970's along with my girlfriend (now my wife). Following a postgraduate education course at Exeter University I worked locally as a science teacher. Our family have now lived in Oxford Road, near the school, for 35 years. We have had a lengthy connection with St. Sidwell's as parents. All 4 children attended the school; our eldest son, Joe, started in 1987 and Jim, our youngest, finished Year 6 in 2008. Now retired, I am looking forward to renewing contact with St Sidwell's as a community governor, having joined the Board of Governors in July 2014.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Dave Vinall

    Foundation Governor

    I came to Exeter in 1995 to study Art and have been in Exeter, more or less, ever since. My wife, Sarah, and I are the leaders at Exeter Vineyard Church, a family church that meets at St Leonard’s School on Sundays. We oversee a number of community activities run by volunteers. I love travelling and experiencing new cultures. I'm passionate about music, I play guitar and enjoy movies and reading. In my spare time I try to keep fit by running. I am a Spurs fan and regularly feel depressed as we blow significant leads in the race for Champion League football. I enjoy learning interesting things and I'm a big fan of education. We have two children at St. Sidwell's.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • David Price

    Foundation Governor

    I live in Exeter with my partner and two children and work as a flood forecaster at the National Flood Forecasting Centre - which means you are likely to see more of me when the weather’s fine and dry! I am a keen swimmer and cyclist, a swimming teacher, and, true to my heritage, an ardent supporter of the Welsh Rugby team! I am a member of St. Mark’s church.

    I am committed to the ethos and values of St Sidwell’s which I believe help to develop our children’s self confidence and respect for others. I became a Governor because I want to help our school to continue to provide the best possible education for its children, and a safe, happy and stimulating environment within which they, and the teaching and support staff, can thrive.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Ruth Lewis

    Foundation Governor / Chair of C&C

    I moved to Exeter 18 years ago with my husband and 3 children (now grown up) and have enjoyed living and working in Devon since. I currently work for the National Trust, advising places in Devon and Cornwall on how to create great experiences for all visitors, including families. I have recently joined St Matthew’s church as part of the new congregation.

    I trained as a textile designer and then became a primary teacher in the eighties and have worked with a range of ages in schools in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Tanzania, Somerset and Devon. I am particularly interested in how children learn through the arts, heritage and play in the outdoors and am committed to multicultural education in a Christian context.

    I have been a governor before, both as a teacher and a parent and am looking forward to getting involved as a governor at St Sidwells.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Jane Lucas

    Clerk to the Governors

    I am very pleased to support the work of the Governing Board in the role of Clerk to Governors. I have a background in school governance which goes back over twenty years, working as a governor advisor as well as serving as a school governor in a number of different schools in Exeter. For relaxation, I like to walk, read, meet friends and plan adventures in my very small camper van.