Home Page



VA Primary &

Nursery School


The governing body has specific statutory responsibilities and its main tasks are: to provide a sense of direction for the work of the school; to support the work of the school as a critical friend; and to hold the school to account for the standards and quality of education it achieves.


The key tasks are:

- Supporting the strategic direction of the school

- Promoting high standards of education and achievement

- Monitoring and evaluating school performance

- Budgetary allocation and control

- Ensuring that the appropriate checks and balances are in place


The governing body’s overarching role is to act as a critical friend and to support school staff in their work to provide the best possible standards of education, and to help children throughout the school to realise their aspirations and expectations within a safe and secure environment. The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher and his Senior Management Team.


Apart from the teacher governors and the Head Teacher, most of the school’s governors are parents, come from the local community (co-opted governors) or are representatives from the church. Governors can come from any walk of life, and consequently have a range of skills to complement one another in supporting the school’s main functions.


The key attributes of a governor are:

- The ability to work in a team

- A desire to help the community

- An external perspective

- A willingness to challenge assumptions and express their opinions

Our governors are drawn from the local area and as such, have a strong commitment to establishing the school to serve Newcourt. Between them, the governors offer a wealth of experience and expertise in primary education, school governance and church schools and are committed to establishing the school to serve the community of Newcourt.


Our Governing body consist of 12 Governors including

- 2 Parent Governors

- 1 Local Authority Governor

- 1 Staff Governor

- The school HeadTeacher

- 7 Foundation Governors (one of whom shall be Ex-officio)


The governors are supported by a team of staff from the Diocesan Board of Education which oversees church schools across Devon.


Our governors are:


Chair: Lucy Porter Goff - appointed 1st September 2017 by The Diocese

Lucy has lived in Exeter for over 25 years, is married to Jonathan and they have one son. She has previous experience of being a Parent Governor and Chair of Governors at her son’s school, St Leonards CofE Primary. Lucy and her family are active and long standing members of Trinity Church, Exeter.


Lucy has worked in the private, public and charitable sectors, initially in financial services and then in a local authority. Her area of expertise is learning and development and she currently leads the training team in Guinness Care, a local social care provider.


Having gained a lot of knowledge and experience in her governor role at St Leonards, Lucy is really pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to the development of a new Church of England school in Exeter, especially as it is situated within the parish of Trinity.


Vice Chair: Stacey Hedge -  appointed as a Parent Governor 5th October 2017 by GB/Board (due to no election candidate) 

Stacey has lived in Newcourt since 2014 with husband Jon-Paul and their two children.

She is experienced marketer who currently works as Business Development Manager for Exeter CITY Community Trust.

Stacey has extensive experience and knowledge of marketing in education, publishing and theatre.

She has a keen interest in theatre, having studied and worked professionally in performing arts when she left university.

Stacey volunteers her time to leading the communication team for Exeter’s ideas festival, TEDxExeter.





Rev Jonny Elvin - ex-officio - appointed 1st September 2017 by The Diocese

Jonny is responsible for the Christian distinctiveness of the school and property.

He has been vicar of Trinity Church since it started in 2003. In 2005 Trinity Church moved to Clyst Heath to serve the people of this parish with the good news of Jesus Christ. The church currently meets in Clyst Heath primary school and the Newcourt Community Centre. As well as Clyst Heath, King’s Heath and Southam Fields, Trinity’s parish now also includes Newcourt, Greenacres and Seabrook Orchards. He is married to Jane and they have four school age children.

His main passion in life is to see people come to discover and respond to the love of God in Jesus Christ. He is also keen on sport and music. His main sport at present is cycling, though he will participate in a number of other sports given the chance. He plays guitar, trumpet and sings, though not all at the same time.






Ian Brown - appointed 1st September 2021 by The Diocese

Ian Brown is a Foundation Governor of Trinity School and this is his second term of office. He has lived in Newcourt since January 2015 and has a wife and two young children, not yet of school age.


Ian is a solicitor in Exeter, specialising in accidents abroad and insurance. He grew up in Ottery St Mary and has spent his working life living in Exeter. He is a member of the congregation at Trinity Church, plays hockey and enjoys cooking.




Mark Stevens - appointed 1st September 2017 by The Diocese

 Mark is the governor responsible for overseeing the teaching and learning within the school, as well as being one of the governors responsible for the performance management of the headteacher.

Mark is a Science teacher in a local Secondary school, specialising in Physics. He has experience teaching in the Midlands as well as the South West. Mark lives near the school with his wife, Hannah. They worship at Belmont Chapel in Exeter. Mark is passionate about showing God’s love for people in the different communities he’s a part of. He enjoys watching sport and plays touch rugby, and whenever he can will get out to walk or cycle in the beautiful Devon countryside.



Sarah Laws -  appointed 5th October 2017 by the staff

I have been a teacher for 25 years – teaching in a range of different settings including inner city, rural and international. I am also a fully trained Montessori teacher and passionate about the early years.


Until recently I served as an Exeter City Councillor and was part of lots of initiatives aimed at benefitting our great city. I am a mum to two grown up girls Nancy and Hope who are wonderful. I love yoga and swimming and escaping to the wilderness in my VW campervan.





Ruth Maxwell -  appointed 13th February 2019 by The Diocese

After growing up in Liverpool, I found myself in Exeter 28 years ago, via Nottingham, Germany, London and Bexhill on Sea.  I have 3 grown up children and 2 young grandsons, who I love to spend time with. After my husband, who worked full time for the Church of England, died, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for several years before completing a PGCE.  For 13 years I worked in a local Junior School and now work in many different school in Exeter and the surrounding area, as a supply teacher. 
I have been part of Trinity Church since it started in 2003 and am currently the Parish Safeguarding Representative.  I am looking forward to getting to know Trinity School and supporting the staff, pupils and their families to dream, believe and achieve.


Owen Wilder - Headteacher - appointed 1st September 2017 by virtue of office

I am so proud to be the Head Teacher of Trinity CofE VA Primary and Nursery School. Every one of our

children is special, and their welfare and learning is at the heart of everything we do.

We have a commitment to the highest standards and highest quality in our work and in our lives, which is shared throughout our school family.


I have been a teacher for 20 years and a Head and a Deputy for the past 7 years and aim to bring my experience to this new school setting.




Sally Robertson - appointed 6th November 2019 by the Local Authority

 I grew up in Scotland and qualified as a dentist there. I then began working for the military in various parts of England before settling in Devon in 2013 where I met my husband who is also Scottish. We moved to Newcourt in 2018 with Trinity School in mind for our 2 girls, the eldest of whom started at Owlets in 2019.
I moved from practice into teaching when I began as a clinical supervisor at Plymouth Dental School and I am now a tutor and lecturer and have gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Education.


My roles as a mother, clinician and educator has lead me to become a governor as I have come to understand the importance of the early years in education



Simon Kain - elected 11th November 2020 by parents 

Simon is a parent governor of Trinity School, with responsibilities for Parent & Community Links, Safeguarding, and is the link governor for Pupil Premium.  Born in Devon, he has spent his working life in various places including New Zealand, but has lived in Newcourt since 2014 with his wife and two children.  He is proud to have been elected to bring a parental perspective to the issues discussed at the Governing Board.  Simon is a biology teacher at a local secondary school and has previously taught in London.  With the little spare time that he has, he enjoys doing triathlons and watching Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.






Antony Hart - appointed 13th January 2021 by The Diocese

Antony is the governor with responsibility for finance within the school. He has lived in the area since 2018  with his wife and two daughters, who attend Trinity School. He is really proud to have been appointed as a governor, recognising the importance of the school in the local community.   Antony is a police officer but has previously qualified as a chartered accountant. He grew up in Cornwall, studied in Cardiff, and worked for six years in London in the financial sector.  In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, kayaking, and going to the beach with his family when the weather is good!




Previous Governors

John Arkell - appointed 1st September 2017 - completed terms of office 31st August 2021

Kate Taylor - appointed 8th October 2018 - stepped down 16th December 2020

Roland Gulvin - appointed September 2018 by parents - stepped down 23rd September 2020




Type of Governor









FGB Meeting

Attendance 2020/21

Ian Brown




1/9/2021 - 31/8/2025

Premises, H&S Lead Governor

Pay & Performance Committee

TOCA Liaison – Devon SCITT

Partner at Trawers & Hamlins Solicitors


Jonny Elvin

Ex Officio Foundation



1/9/2017 - ongoing

Christian Distinctiveness (School Ethos)

Admissions Committee



Antony Hart

Foundation Governor



13/1/2021 - 12/1/2025


Pay & Performance



Stacey Hedge

Parent Governor


Vice Chair

5/10/2017 - 4/10/2021

Parent & Community Links (incl. GDPR)

Extended Provision



Simon Kain

Parent Governor



11/11/2020 - 10/11/2024


Safeguarding, Parent & Community links, Link Governor for Pupil Premium



Sarah Laws

Staff Governor



5/10/2017 - 4/10/2021

SEND & Inclusion

TOCA Liaison – Trinity Church



Ruth Maxwell




13/2/2019 – 12/2/2023

Safeguarding Lead Governor



Lucy Porter Goff




1/9/2021 – 31/8/2025


Pay & Performance Committee

Husband is Churchwarden at Trinity Church


Sally Robertson

LA Governor



6/11/2019 – 5/11/2023


Staff Mental Health & Wellbeing

Admissions Committee



Mark Stevens




1/9/2017 – 31/8/2021

Teaching & Learning

School Improvement

HT Performance Management Committee



Owen Wilder

Ex Officio HT




1/9/2017 - ongoing

Admissions Committee












Left within last 12 months

John Arkell

Foundation Governor




(End of Terms of Office)

Christian Distinctiveness (School Ethos)

HT Performance Management Committee




Roland Gulvin

Parent Governor



Resigned 23rd September 2020




Kate Taylor




Resigned 16th December 2020


Speech & Language

Pay & Performance Committee



Last updated 7th September 2021

Google Translate