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 tstapleton@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.
  • Tania Stapleton

    Chair of Governors/ Parent Governor

    When we decided to move to Exeter over four years ago, I viewed a lot of schools. As soon as I walked into St Sidwell's, I knew it was where I wanted my children to go. I loved the atmosphere, the strong feeling of care and community, and the diversity of the school. My eldest Bailey now goes to Colyton and was really happy during his time at the School. Currently our son, Miles is in Year 6 and daughter, Evie is in Year 2.

    In my day job, I work for the University of Exeter Medical School raising money for medical research into dementia, cancer and other disease. Before that I spent 18 years raising money for the very best of theatre and the arts in London. I am as passionate about the importance of the arts and creative industries in our life, as I am about curing disease!

    I am really proud to be part of the team of governors, staff and parents who together make our school a school to be proud of. As governors we are all here to do our best for the children and to promote the highest standards at the school. If you have any ideas or want to help - please do get in touch.

  • Veronica Lee

    Vice Chair of Governor

    I have worked in Primary schools, as a teacher and a head teacher, for most of my working life. Whilst I was training for ordination, I worked for the University of the West of England and had various opportunities of doing some work abroad in Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. I was ordained 16 years ago and, as part of my parish duties I was a governor and a volunteer at a Nursery and Children’s centre.
    I am very much looking forward to being part of the team of Governors at St. Sidwells.

  • Vanessa Briggs

    Headteacher

    I have been the headteacher at St Sidwell's for just over 4 years. St Sidwell's is a wonderful school community that I am very proud to be a part of. Our children are amazing and it is a privilege to be able to work in a team who wants the very best for every child. With our ever changing world, we are excited to continue working together to uphold our school vision and ethos and make a difference for every child and family in our community.

    Register of business and financial interests: Member of staff

  • 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!

  • 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

  • Jakir Hussain

    Local Authority Governor

    I am self-employed. I am living in Exeter for about 17 years. My daughter goes to Year 2 at St. Sidwell's school.
    I have worked and still working as a volunteer with few organisations. Currently I am working as a volunteer COVID-19 safety Officer and management team member at Exeter Mosque. I have also been selected as Devon Lockdown legend for helping people during the first lockdown. And still trying to help people in any way or form who needs help.

  • Keith McLeod

    Staff Governor

    I have been teaching at St Sidwell’s for almost 15 years and have always felt a great pride in our school. I have formerly taught Year 6 and held the role of Assessment Lead, so I am well aware of the academic pressures on schools. Having been Staff Governor previously, I have now returned to the fold and look forward to being able to support the school again, in this role. Outside of school, weekends are generally the active times for us, which include cycling, the beach or popping away for a night with the dog- after playing some favourite music on the Phonic fm breakfast show.

  • 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

  • Vacancy

    Governor

  • Vacancy

    Clerk