This page introduces the members of our Governing Body who, along with Jill Mahon, our Headteacher, form the strategic lead for our school. Each of the Governors serve on at least one committee, as well as attending Full Governors meetings.
Abigail Read (Chair of Governors & Personnel Lead):
I have been a parent at Dartington C of E since 2011. Both my children have benefited from being part of a supportive, inclusive learning community.
My background is in community legal advice and legal education. Currently I am involved in a number of community projects in Devon.
I am proud to be part of a church school, where we combine our ethos of inclusion with exciting and challenging learning, high expectations and quality outcomes for all children.
Tony Gregg (Vice Chair of Governors, Safeguarding Lead, English Lead, Christian Distinctiveness Lead and Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee):
I am a Foundation Governor. All my professional life until my retirement in 2000 was spent in Primary Education. I was educated at Totnes Grammar School and began teaching in 1966 in Weston-super- Mare, but returned to Devon in 1969 to a Primary school in Brixham. I became headteacher of Chudleigh Primary School in 1976, and in 1984 “came home” to become headteacher of The Grove Primary in Totnes. I am passionate about child-centred education and have always believed that we owe it to our children to give them every opportunity to develop their own skills and abilities to reach their true potential. Over the years I have seen many changes in the primary field and am very aware of the challenges faced by schools today. I hope that, in my role as school Governor at Dartington Primary, I can give support, help and encouragement to the very excellent work that is going on to give your children the very best start in their educational lives. As a Foundation Governor and also a Lay Minister in the Totnes Team Ministry, I am also entrusted to support the Christian ethos of the Church of England school.
Elaine Hopkins (Chair of Finance & Personnel Committee and Finance Lead):
Hoping to make a contribution to my son's school, I became a parent governor in 2011. Until September 2016, I was lead governor for Mathematics and PE, following my long-held interests in mathematics and science combined with active participation in a range of sports. My main focus is now finance.
Amelia Poore (Vice Chair of Governors, Pupil Premium & Dartington Disadvantage Lead):
I am currently on the Governing body as an Associate Member, having previously been a Staff Governor. Through my time on the Governing body and as a member of staff I have been a part of the journey of the school for three years. I am keen to maintain my links with Dartington C of E Primary School, and strengthen them over time. My family and I have strong connections here and I am passionate about the work of the school. Having lived in Totnes now for almost 15 years I feel I am beginning to know and learn about our unique community, and this knowledge, I feel, gives me some insight into how working with and alongside the school community is both possible and positive. I am committed to education, both in our community and globally.
Michael Potter (Attendance & Safeguarding Lead):
I hold an MSc in Educational Studies and am a university lecturer, giving me a firm grasp on the practicalities and theories of teaching and learning. I am also a practitioner of complementary medicine (acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine). I have lived in Totnes for over 16 years and have been a Governor since 2003.
Anne Lamble (Maths Lead):
I have lived in Dartington for 31 years, my husband was born and lived in Totnes all his life. I was pleased to be asked to return to Dartington C of E Primary and Nursery School as a Governor, my connection to the school going back to February 1990 when my youngest daughter started at the school’s nursery at Brimhay.
While my daughter was at the nursery I was treasurer of the PTFA. My daughter commenced Reception at the Main School in January 1992 and when an admin post became available in the School Office I successfully applied and started work there in April 1992 as a Finance Assistant. In 2003 I took over the role of overseeing the office, the finance, personnel, booking of supply and the admissions. I later became involved in the health and safety at the school. I was Staff Governor for 12 years serving on the then Finance and Personnel and Sites and Grounds Committees.
Geoff Breckin (Health & Safety Lead and Chair of Premises Committee):
I have been a governor of Dartington C of E Primary School since 2015. I am a retired chartered civil engineer with over 40 years experience in the delivery of major projects. I have 2 adult daughters and am married to a retired Key Stage 2 teacher. I regard my experience as managing resources, both materials and people, to achieve results and that this can be applied to situations that occur outside engineering. This will be of particular use in resolving the current property issues.
Martyn Johnson (Maths Lead):
I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in September 2015. My four children all attended the school with my eldest daughter starting at the school in 1979. I have had thirty years local government experience with sixteen years at Management Team level. I am a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. When I retired from local government I was invited to join the board of two Housing Associations. I was chairman of Dartington Housing Association for six years and a board member of Devon and Cornwall Housing for ten years. I am able to bring a sound knowledge of project management and governance to contribute to the work of the board.
Lucy Woollett (SEND Lead):
As the first member of my family to attend university I believe access to a stimulating and rigorous education essential to improving social mobility and ensuring that our young people have the widest range of life choices available to them. After gaining a BSc in Applied Biology I went on to complete a PhD (also biology based) at Lancaster University. A (very) brief stint in industry followed before I trained as a secondary science teacher in 2003. In 2011 I became a parent, and my son joined our school community. I am thrilled to be able to support the hard work and dedication of our Head teacher Jill, all of her wonderful staff and the Governing Body in caring for and educating our children.
Peter Coleman (Finance Lead):
I am currently a stay-at-home dad, with children in years five and seven. I previously worked as a financial manager in the campaigning charity sector, specialising in running smaller charities championing human rights, disability rights, and economic justice. I also have five years experience as a non-executive board member in that sector, acting as charity trustee, treasurer and chair of finance committee.
Joanne Tisdall (Personnel and ICT Lead):
I am passionately committed to a fully inclusive education that gives all children access to a great learning experience in their mainstream local school. I have two sons, aged 18 and 19, who have just left Kevicc and have always attended their local community schools. I was a parent governor and vice chair of governors of their primary school for four years.
I have lived in Dartington for 6 years and am a parish councilor. I am also chair of a Community Land trust in Harberton. I worked in the creative industries for more than 20 years as a journalist and television director/producer, producing science programmes. I now work part-time as an investment manager specializing in funding start-up digital, media and creative businesses and am very financially literate.
I support my husband in the running of the family farm and letting business and have worked well with people over the years. I also care for my elderly parents so that they can continue to manage in their own home.
I have been part of school life at Dartington for many years. My children went to school here and I served on the PTFA. I was employed as clerk to Governors and as an administrator and have also served voluntarily as a Governor chairing a Resource Committee. My particular focus was Health and Safety and so I have a good understanding of these responsibilities on the present school site.
I value good teamwork, hard work and strong leadership and appreciate how important a governor’s role is in making sure that the school continues to improve the quality of its provision. Most importantly I believe in the ethos at Dartington; encouraging each individual pupil to blossom and enjoy their learning at school.
I am an Associate Member of Dartington Primary, having previously served for some years as a Devon Local Authority Governor on the same Governing Body. During that time my involvement has been as a member of the School Improvement Committee, previously known as the Curriculum Committee, with a particular interest in special educational needs. I work as an educational psychologist in private practice, both in London, as well as in Totnes, having previously been employed by both Devon County and Torbay in this capacity. In the latter I was Principal Educational Psychologist, with responsibilities for managing multi-disciplinary teams that included pre-school specialists, learning and behaviour specialists, advisory teachers for pupils with hearing-impairments, and students at various stages in their professional training. I am a qualified teacher and have two grown-up children, both of whom were pupils at Dartington Primary. My wife has in the past served as Clerk to the Governing Body.
Rev’d Debbie Parsons:
I am an Associate Member and an Anglican priest. I am Team Vicar of Totnes serving the parishes of Totnes, Dartington, Berry Pomeroy, Marldon, Ashprington, Cornworthy and Stoke Gabriel. I have lived and worked in Devon since 2007. For twenty years, I taught English at Epsom College, a large co-educational boarding school for 13-18 year olds and was appointed as their first Housemistress introducing co-education at 13+ before being appointed to the Senior Leadership Team as Senior Housemistress. My remit is to uphold the Christian ethos of the school and to promote an environment in which every person can flourish.
I am currently in my second year of teaching and feel very privileged to say that my place of work is Dartington. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a staff governor and am very much excited about the year ahead! I have interests within the fields of science, modern foreign languages and learning outside the classroom.
My daughter Issy started at Dartington in September 2017 and I have been impressed by the ethos, educational standards and generally positive and energetic vibe of the school. As a lecturer at Exeter College for the past 16 years, I believe it is imperative to promote high standards so the students can reach their full potential and resources are in place, in order for this to happen. My past experiences include being a former governor, working voluntarily in Issy’s former school, mentoring and observing teachers and being in charge of tutoring.
Mike King (P.E. Lead):
Mike King has a background in education working as a primary school Head Teacher, before changing career to work with Sport England as a Lottery Fund Manager for the South West region. In the last phase of his working life he worked for the Sedgemoor Learning Alliance (a Community Learning Partnership of 30 schools) in Bridgwater, Somerset where he set up the Somerset Children’s University and raised more than £1,000,000 for disadvantaged children in his area allowing them to partake in a variety of positive extra-curricular and educational opportunities that would not normally have been available to them. Mike is passionate about the benefits of a creative education, extra-curricular activity and outdoor learning. He believes strongly that this type of learning is significant in helping to raise aspirations and self-esteem, improve well-being and leads to higher levels of educational attainment for children from all walks of life. Now retired, his voluntary work includes working as a guide at Dartington Hall involvement with environmental conservation projects, local heritage and gardening at the Sharpham Trust. Mike is married with two grown up children and lives in Totnes.