Newtown Governors Page

The governing board focuses its time and energy on school improvement.  Governors work collectively to support and strengthen the leadership of the headteacher. Governors play a strategic role; the Headteacher is responsible for the routine running of the school.

The governing board is responsible for:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governors’ Handbook – Department for Education, January 2015

Latest News

Statement of Governance 2015-16

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News from the Governors Summer 2017

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Ms Jenny Lloyd
Local Authority Governor 03/12/2015 - 02/12/2019

I’ve been involved with Newtown School as a parent, as a governor and as a member of the community.  Our daughters were at Newtown in the 1980s and I was on the governing body in the 1970s.

When I retired from education, I was invited to become a governor again.  I’ve used my education experience on the Teaching & Learning Committee and in helping to appoint our headteacher.  And I’ve developed new skills on the Resources Committee, learning to read budgets and making sure that we are spending our money wisely and efficiently.

I sing in various choirs, garden and enjoy spending time with our grandchildren.


Mrs Ruth Jones - Headteacher
Ex Officio Governor

I have been the  Headteacher of Newtown Primary School since April 2013 and I was initially attracted to the school by its  all inclusive  multi cultural mix of  children  which I am proud to say still continues to be one of our strengths today. 

I have previously taught in three different Local Authorities as well as having been  the Executive Headteacher  of a federation of two  village schools in North Devon for five years. I am a keen musician and  understand the importance of a broad and balanced  curriculum for all of our pupils.

At present, over half of our pupils are learning  to play musical instruments from visiting music teachers, which shows our commitment to the importance of music in education.

We have a strong governing body at Newtown who are committed and hard working  in ensuring that our pupils have the best  possible start in their primary years.

VD 2016

Mrs Victoria Darious
Staff Governor - 01/01/2015 -31/12/2019

I have been lucky enough to work at Newtown Primary School for several happy years. I currently teach Beech Class (Year 6), but I have taught other year groups in the past. As well as being a class teacher, I have a strategic role as subject leader for English across the school.


 It is for this reason that I initially became a governor. I am a member of the teaching and learning committee and have a keen interest in school development. In the five years that I have been a governor, I have developed new skills.


Outside of school, I enjoy playing tennis and running. I'm also an avid reader.


SF 2016

Mr Steve Fearn - Chair of Resources Committee
Parent Governor 05/07/2013 - 04/07/2017
Mrs Jill Mather - Chair of Governing Board
Co-opted Governor 26/02/2015 - 25/02/2019

I joined the Governing Body at Newtown, having known the school since the 1980’s when my children attended what was then Newtown First School. We chose Newtown then because it was a small community school and our children thrived in its friendly atmosphere, an atmosphere and ethos which continues to the present. I’ve been Chair of Governors since September 2016 and I have very much enjoyed working with the staff and governors to provide the best education for our children and to secure a stable future in these challenging times for schools. 

I live locally and have had a life-long interest in education, having taught English in state secondary schools for nearly 40 years. I am also a member of St James’ Church and enjoy allotment gardening, long-distance walking and looking after our grandchildren. 

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Mr Mike Cox - Resources Committee
Co-opted Governor 19/05/2015 -18/05/2019

I became a governor at Newtown School in May 2015. I’ve been a parent governor at a primary school in Essex as well as a Middle School in Exeter.

Before I retired, I was Deputy Headteacher at St Peter’s C of E Aided School in Exeter. My rôle included responsibility for curriculum, assessment and reporting, data collection and analysis and the management of the school’s Management Information Systems.

I enjoy working with my fellow Governors at Newtown. It’s a vibrant school serving its local community. With a secondary education background I’ve had (and still have!) a lot to learn but I’ve found my previous experience helpful and the Governor Training very supportive.

I’m married, have three sons and four grandchildren. As well as spending time with my grandchildren, I enjoy walking, cycling, birdwatching, listening to classical music and photography. I’m a member of Newtown Community Choir and of Belmont Chapel and, along with my wife, run Marriage Courses.

Want to be a Governor?

Being part of a school governing board can be a rewarding experience.  As a governor you are a member of a team that works collectively for the good of the school.

The most important qualities for being a governor are:

  • enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education
  • being willing to question, analyse & learn.

You don’t need teaching experience, but it’s useful to bring skills from other areas of your life.  You will also develop skills be being a governor and by going on training.

Most governors are now co-opted (become a governor by invitation).  If you decide you’d like to be a governor, you write a short piece about yourself, saying something about the skills you would bring to the governing body and any relevant experience.  The governors then consider your suitability. 


Question.  How much time does being a governor take?

Answer:  There are four main things involved:

  1. Meetings: general two Full Governors’ Meeting a term and two committee meetings.  These are at 5.30 pm and last no more than two hours.
  2. Reading:  there is quite a lot to read before each meeting.  There are sometimes other relevant materials which are circulated ­for instance about new assessment arrangements; how to involve parents; a new governors handbook and so on.
  3. Visiting the school: this is to find out how well we are doing, either linked to our School Development Plan (the things we want to get better at) or to our statutory duties (e.g. keeping children safe; aspects of spending the school’s money)
  4. Training:  we are encouraged to attend training regularly.  There is a one day course for new governors on a Saturday.  There are evening courses of 2 hours on such topics as finance; understanding data; the primary curriculum and so on.

If you would like more information on the Governing Board please contact the Chair by email:

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Mrs Saxon Spence Teaching & Learning Committee
Co-opted Governor 15/01/2015 - 14/01/2019

I have lived in Newtown for nearly four years and enjoy being part of this lively community so welcome the opportunity to support our much loved local school. My background is that I was a Devon county councillor with a particular interest in education until I retired in 2013.  Currently I am a governor of the Learn to Live Federation (Ellen Tinkham & Bidwell Brook Schools) and on the board of the Ted Wragg Trust which includes Isca and St. James High Schools.  Other interests are the Co-operative Movement and food policy.

P DanversMrs Philippa Danvers Resources Committee
Co-opted Governor 26/05/2016 - 25/05/2020

I am lucky to have been a primary school teacher for many years as well, as bringing up three children who all went to Newtown during the late 80’s and 90’s. They enjoyed their time at the school immensely and it was a very special time in their education. During my career, I have had the opportunity to fulfil a range of leadership roles as well as writing online plans for teachers and teaching art to large numbers of children! Now retired from teaching I have the time to pursue a range of interests and become involved again in the life of Newtown.

Review of Governance

Supporting school self-evaluation and improvement

In June 2015, we commissioned a review of our work as governors.  The report was very positive and gave us some action points for further improvement.

You can read the full report here