Governors Who's Who

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 over staff employment, capital works, admissions and are responsible (in law) for maintaining the Christian ethos of the school.
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 to the Chair of Governors
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

    My name is Richard Smith, and I have a daughter (Lottie) in Year 5. 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 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 am currently Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Exeter Medical School. Though I enjoy globe-trotting in my professional life, I like nothing more than being out in our 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 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

  • Vacancy

    Parent Governor

  • Vacancy

    Local Authority Governor

  • Rev. Ed Hodges

    Ex-Officio Foundation Governor

    With my wife Jessica, I lead St Matt’s Exeter, the parish Church. Having been students at the university, we moved back to Exeter in 2019 with our two daughters from London. I’m passionate about the role our church can play in the growth and development of Exeter, especially through education and in local schools. It’s a privilege to be able to support the staff team and contribute to the ethos of St Sidwell’s.

  • Jane Strachan

    Parent Governor

    I’ve lived just around the corner from St Sidwell’s since we moved to Exeter eight years ago. Our daughter (Eimear) is in Year 1, and our little boy has just started nursery, so I’m committed to supporting the school make decisions that will strengthen St Sidwell’s for many years to come. I’m a climate scientist at the Met Office, leading the International Applied Science team, which works on supporting climate-resilience projects around the world. I’ve worked with school and community groups as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador, and I’m passionate about global science education as a central part of the holistic learning journey. I loved every day of school and I want to support the children and staff of St Sidwell’s to embrace that lifelong love of learning.

    When I’m taking a break from science, I enjoy sewing, painting, printmaking and yoga. You’ll know me from recent summer/Christmas fairs as the lady painting faces!

  • Vacancy

    Foundation Governor

  • Nick Day

    Foundation Governor

    Nick is a successful public sector entrepreneur, founder and owner of Nicholas Day Associates (nda). For 30 years he has run a small national consultancy, training, coaching and project management company that helps organisations who tackle complex social issues, such as homelessness, addictions, crime and healthcare, improve the way they work. He is also a Trustee of the South West Community Chaplaincy, a faith-based charity that provides mentoring to prisoners to help them reintegrate back into the community.
    Nick came to Exeter almost 40 years ago to begin work as a probation officer, having gained an MA in Social Work from the University of East Anglia. He is married to Philippa, who is a qualified TEFL teacher, and they have two grown up children who also live locally. They are members of the Roman Catholic Parish of the Sacred Heart, and for 18 years they were involved until in setting up and running the Parish Pastoral Centre.
    In the past Nick was a Foundation Governor of St. Nicholas RC Primary School, becoming Chair between 2002 and 2005, and lead the planning and move to the new site in Whipton from St. Leonards. His interests include swimming, gardening, sudoku, and travelling, particularly by train around rural France!

  • David Price

    Foundation Governor / Interim Chair of Governors

    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 TLC

    I moved to Exeter in 1997 with my husband and 3 children (now grown up) and have loved living and working in Devon ever 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’m a member of St Matthew’s church in Newtown.

    I trained as a textile designer - I still experiment with printing in my spare time. Later I became a primary teacher and 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, especially outdoors and am committed to multicultural education in a Christian context. I have been a governor at several schools, both as a teacher and a parent and have enjoy being involved as a governor at St Sidwell’s since 2017.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Bob Price

    Foundation Governor

    Bob joined the Governing Body in July 2017.

    My name is Robert Price, I am retired & have lived in Exeter with my wife of nearly 50 years, Janice, since 1984. We have 2 sons who were both mainly educated in Exeter before moving on to university. They are both married, one with 2 daughters and the other with a daughter and a baby son.

    My career was mainly with a major international Insurer latterly in management positions ending up as manager of the Exeter branch covering operations in Devon and Somerset with a staff of around 75. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurer. I was President of the local Insurance Institute in 1993

    Upon early retirement in 1995 I took up a position managing a well known and respected local solicitor’s practice, this together with my various roles within the Insurance profession has given me extensive practical financial and business experience.

    I’m a bit of a sports fanatic, and locally played for Exeter Saracens rugby club until, at the age of 50 I suddenly found I wasn’t being selected as often as I would have liked. I was chairman of their youth rugby section for about 10 years when I also refereed. I was chairman of Exeter Cricket Club for 20 years up until 2016, where I was closely involved in the new developments there, which produced enviable new facilities and secured the future of the ground. I play racquetball regularly at the Devon & Exeter Squash club and am a keen motor sport competitor and marshal, being particularly interested in classic car competition. Locally often competing at the Wiscombe hill climb.

    My wife & I are lifelong Methodists, attending Sidwell Street Methodist, which has a long and friendly association with the school. I have been active in the church with young people for over 55 years. Currently I am a serving Boys Brigade officer (some school pupils are members of our company), having first joined the Boys Brigade in 1952. I am one of two Child Protection officers at the church and also head up the church property committee.

    All of the above keeps me pretty busy and I’m hoping that my varied experience will be useful in maintaining the improving standards of this excellent school.

    Register of business and financial interests: None

  • Mel Cleveland

    Foundation Governor

    I am very pleased to have joined the St Sidwell School Community and look forward to getting to know you all better. So here is a little bit about me - previously I worked alongside my husband in a busy, multi-cultural parish in Coventry, where I was also a School Governor. In that role I was particularly interested in developing links between the school, the community and the church. Throughout my career I have been involved in supporting families in a variety of ways, so that they can make the best of their situations . I enjoy the company of children and my 4 little granddaughters keep me up to date on current trends.
    By training I am a pastoral counsellor and have lived in India and worked for short spells in Africa. We moved to Exeter a couple of years ago, joined St Matthew's Church and live near the school. I really enjoy being outdoors, bird-watching and gardening and we have an allotment beside St James Park Station.

    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.