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Sherford Vale School

Sherford ValeSchool

Sherford ValeSchool


What types of Governors are there?

Depending on the category of the school, the governing body will be made up of different numbers and categories of governors. The term of office for each type of Governor is 4 years.

These are the types of Governor:

  • Parent governors - appointment from parents and carers of children at the school following a selection and interview process.
  • Staff governors - selected by election from teaching and support staff paid to work at the school.
  • Co-opted governors - co-opted by Local Governing Board subject to approval of the Trustees.
  • Community governors - appointment subject to approval by Trustees.

What are School Governors?

School Governors are people from the school’s community who wish to make a positive contribution to children’s education.  They must be aged 18 or over at the date of their election or appointment, and there is no upper age limit. 
Governors are the largest volunteer force in the county and have an important part to play in raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring and evaluating school performance. 

What Do Governors Do?

Governors work as a team. They are responsible for making sure the school provides a good quality education, as raising educational standards in school is now a key priority. This has the best chance of happening when there are high expectations of what pupils can achieve.

Governors also promote effective ways of teaching and learning when setting the school aims and policies. They do this together with the head, who is responsible for the day to day management of the school. Heads are chosen by governors - and most heads choose to be governors themselves.
They may also include representatives from the church, charitable trust or business interests.

Numbers vary depending on the school's type or size, and appointments are for four years.

The Governing Body:

  • is accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community
  • plans the school's future direction
  • selects the Headteacher
  • makes sure the national curriculum is taught
  • decides how the school can encourage pupil's spiritual, moral and social development
  • makes sure the school provides for all its pupils, including those with special needs.

Governors are at the heart of how a school operates. It is important they get things right. How they do their job affects the interests of pupils, staff morale and how the school is seen by parents and others in the community.



Chair of Governors

Phil is our Chair of Governors here at Sherford Vale School. Phil is the in-house legal officer for a large further education establishment. He has previously held roles with the civil service and has worked on National and Local Government initiatives. Phil has served in the military.

Phil's skills and experience lend themselves naturally to provide support and guidance while remaining a critical friend to the school supporting the headteacher and staff as they provide the best possible education in its broadest sense for our pupils.

Phil is passionate about helping  young people achieve their potential through education and ensuring they have the best opportunities to succeed whilst growing into responsible and caring individuals. 

Phil has two children at Sherford Vale and is currently studying for his Masters in Law, specialising in employment law.

Date of appointment: 15/03/19 (4 years)

Appointed by: Trust Board


Our other Governors are listed below


To contact the governors please email:

 Cath Farrin - Education Standards Governor


Cath has been involved in school governance for over 10 years

Cath has been a police officer with Devon and Cornwall police since 1991 and has lived in the South Hams and worked in Plymouth since 2006.  She is currently the Chief Inspector with responsibility for local policing and partnership working in Plymouth.

Cath maintains her up to date knowledge with professional curiosity and as she lives in the area she maintains good connections with the local communities.


Date of Appointment - 15th March 2016 (4 years)

Appointed by - Trust Board

Business interests - None

 Susie Evans- Interim Headteacher


Susie is the Interim Headteacher of Sherford Vale School which is part of the Westcountry Schools Trust.  She is passionate about school improvement and has supported, and continues to support, other schools in their journey to success. She believes in the value of high quality early years provision and the importance of primary education in securing confident, creative learners.

Date of appointment - October 2020

Appointed by - Trust Board

Business interests -

 Tom Brassil-SEND Governor


My name is Tom and I’m 34. I am married to Meg and we have three young children, and we live in Elburton, very close to Sherford. I was recently appointed as the Church of England Minister for Sherford, responsible for providing spiritual and pastoral care to the residents of Sherford, as well as setting up a new Church of England church there in due course. I know the area well, having served my curacy in Elburton after I was ordained in September 2014.

My family and I love Plymouth and the surrounding areas very much, and in our spare time we enjoy exploring the South Devon coastline and Dartmoor. I’m also a keen musician, enjoying playing and listening to a variety of styles of music.

I have a long-standing interest in education, having worked prior to ordination as a children’s worker responsible for primary school relations in the Minster Church of St. Andrew, Plymouth. Part of this role included regular assemblies in three local primary schools, as well as welcoming school groups to the church as part of their Religious Education syllabus. I also have a keen interest in seeing the new community of Sherford grow and flourish, and I believe that Sherford Vale School will be a key factor in uniting and growing the community. I am delighted and privileged to serve on the school’s local governing board.


Date of appointment - 7th November 2017 (4 years)

Appointed by - Trust Board


 Craig Moore-Vice Chair of Governors, Finance Governor

Craig  is a member of the local governing board for Sherford Vale School. Craig is a Partner and Head of the Plymouth Office with Bond Dickinson (a top 40 National Law Firm).  He grew up in the City and returned following higher education in Hull and York.  He is a member of the Plymouth Area Business Council, and sits on the Regional Panel for the Bank of England.  His professional areas of expertise include Real Estate, Finance, and Business matters. He acts as Client Partner for a number of the Region's leading businesses. 

In his spare time Craig enjoys kayaking, snorkelling, walking, the theatre and skiing.


Date of appointment - 15th March 2016 (4 years)

Appointed by - Trust Board

Business interests - None


 Amy Pearce-Curriculum Governor

Amy  is a Yealmpton resident and mother of two girls aged 4 and 6.  Amy has been a Sherford Vale Governor from the start of the process and has a keen interest to support the positive growth of the Multi-Academy Trust in order to provide an outstanding education for all children in the area.  Amy’s background is in languages and education; she has a degree in German and Italian with Business Studies; a Post Graduate in Education and a PG Diploma in Education.  Amy is  Assistant Principal at Ivybridge Community College and provides challenge and support in order to deliver an outstanding provision from the day Sherford Vale’s doors open.


Date of appointment - 15th March 2016 (4 years)

Appointed by - Trust Board

Business interests - none

 Pat Skinner-Pupil Premium Governor

As a resident of Sherford I am very interested in the growth and progress of Sherford Vale School and enjoy volunteering as a Governor.

I have been most impressed by the School ethos and would like to contribute in any way I can.

I am currently a Governor at Pomphlett Primary School after joining the Team in 2013.

I served on the Curriculum based sub- committee for 3 years but recently this has combined with the Financial committee to discuss all aspects relating to School at full Governor Meetings.  I attend all of these meetings as well as relevant courses.

Finally, before retirement I had a career with HMRC as a Technician/Manager for 30 years, during which time I also attended School to deliver Taxes information and helped in class with hearing children read.


Date of appointment - 20th February 2018

Appointed by - Local Governing Board

Business interests - none

 Emma Barrett  - Clerk to Governors 

Emma is the Clerk to ​​​Sherford Vale School and works in the main office as a Senior Administrator. Emma has previous experience of the Clerk to Governors role in her previous school.

Daniel Broome-Estates Governor

Dan is a member of Sherford Vale Local Governing Board.  Sherford Vale has become somewhat of a 'family affair' for Dan.  With his 3 daughters attending the school and his wife Nicky in a Meal Time Assistants role, it has become a big part of his families life.  Originally from Newton Ferrers, he now lives in Sherford and has a keen interest in the development of the school and surrounding community.

His involvement with the school started prior to the arrival of the first children, by organising a team of Royal Navy sailors to come and assist in the final preparations for opening.  This naval connection has continued with periodic visits by naval staff to conduct exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workshops.

With over 20 years experience as a Weapons Electronic Engineer, Dan has had a varied career ranging from the Arctic Circle to the South Atlantic.  He is currently in a training role, teaching the next generation of Royal Navy platforms as well as a number of international navies to prepare for future tasking.

A keen footballer and cyclist, Dan aims to spend the next 3 years whilst based in UK waters concentrating on his family and their new start in a new community and a fantastic new school.

Date of appointment: 15/03/19 (4 years)

Appointed by: Trust Board



Yasmin Smith-Safeguarding, Mental Health and Well-being Governor

Yasmin is a member of Sherford Vale Local Governing Board.

She has three children, two who already attend the school and one planning to join Nursery when she is old enough.  Yasmin is originally from Hampshire and now works at the University of Plymouth as a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing. 

Prior to this role Yasmin worked within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and Infant Mental Health Team in Plymouth.

Yasmin has considerable experience in Safeguarding Children and in mental health promotion and mental health difficulties across all ages (infant, child and adult).

Yasmin has worked closely with schools for a number of years now to support the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and helped teaching staff to gain greater insight into mental health difficulties that children may experience. She has supported teachers to explore how to manage emotional difficulties and behaviour that challenges in a classroom setting, promoting the wellbeing of all involved.

When asked why she wanted to be a Governor Yasmin said "Naturally, when the opportunity arose to become a school Governor I was excited for the opportunity to bring some of these experiences into the setting that was taking care of my own children". 

Yasmin's primary role as a Governor is to ensure that the safeguarding and wellbeing needs of the children and team are held in mind by the school in planning and practice. 

Date of appointment: 15/03/19 (4 years)

Appointed by: Trust Board