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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 13th September 2017 by GB/Board

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 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 13th September 2017

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.



John Arkell - appointed 13th September 2017 by GB/Board

John has lived in the Newcourt area of Exeter for over 6 years, and is a member of Trinity Church, where until January 2017 he was Associate Minister. He and his wife, Kate, helped to launch the Newcourt Community Association (NCA) in 2012 that supports and encourages the development of community life throughout Newcourt – the same area served by Trinity Primary School. He is one of twelve NCA trustees. He and Kate also lead the Digby and Newcourt Community Choir.


John was one of the Interim Governors that helped establish Trinity School in Newcourt.




Ian Brown - appointed 13th September 2017 by GB/Board

Ian Brown is a foundation governor of Trinity School. 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 13th September 2017 by GB/Board

 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 GB/Board

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.





Kate Taylor -  appointed 9th September 2018 by GB/Board

Kate is currently studying speech and language therapy at university, including working with children with language and communication needs in primary and pre-school settings.  She is also a qualified accountant, with significant experience advising and auditing accounts for charities, owner-managed businesses and academy schools.

Kate is a foundation governor, and has lived in Newcourt since 2016.  She is a member of Trinity Church, and in her spare time enjoys swimming, reading and exploring the Devon coast and countryside.






Roland Gulvin- Parent Governor appointed 4th October 2018 by GB/Board (due to no election candidate)

 Roland has lived in Exeter since 2011 with his wife Leanne and in Newcourt since August 2013. Since then, they have added twin daughters to their family, both of whom attend Trinity School.

He has worked in the NHS for over 14 years, in both research and latterly in governance and is also a qualified secondary school teacher, specialising in Geography. He is dedicated to his family and when not spending time with them, he can be found at the beach enjoying a spot of windsurfing.


Roland recognises the responsibility of being a parent governor at Trinity School, “Primary school is such an important time in our children’s educational lives and to play a part in shaping this is a real privilege.”





Ruth Maxwell -  appointed 13th February 2019 by GB/Board

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 13th September 2017 by GB/Board

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 - LA Governor - appointed 6th November 2019 by GB/Board


 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






Previous Governors

Ann Cordery - appointed 13th September 2017 by GB/Board- stepped down 10th July 2019

Sarah Clarke - appointed 13th September 2017 by GB/Board- stepped down 13th Dec. 2018




Lead Governor Roles 2019-2020

Trinity Governors Attendance Record 2018/2019

Governors Attendance Record 2017/2018

Trinity Primary School, Exeter Governors Relevant Business Interest Register 2017-2019

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