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Meet the Governors

Welcome to the Governing Body


The Governing Body has a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction:
• Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff: and 
• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.


Keri Quertier - Chair of Governors

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support, Resources and Strategic planning and evaluation committee (SPEC).


Keri is coming into her 5th year as a governor, with a background in the accountancy profession she originally came onto the governing body to use these skills. Since becoming Chair of Governors Keri has been involved in all aspects of school life from reviewing the progress of the children, to recruiting new members of staff and building new classrooms! As a parent of two boys in school she sees the school as both a parent and a governor. This provides a great insight into the fantastic commitment that everyone in school has in ensuring that our children have the best school life that they could wish for.



John Lawlor - Vice Chair of Governors

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served:  Resources and SPEC


John has been a governor for four years and prior to that for twenty years as a governor at a similar sized school in the West Midlands. This combined with a career, before his retirement, as a senior project manager in the aerospace industry means that he has able to contribute to many aspects of the school.
Besides being vice-chair he serves on the SPEC committee that oversees the school’s overall performance. In particular, he monitors the school’s pupil progress and attainment performance.
He is a Chair of the Dartmoor Co-operative Learning Trust and ensures that the schools in our local area work together for the benefit of our children. Currently the Trust is exploring the feasibility of local schools moving into a more formal partnership.
"I believe that Okehampton is one of the best primary schools in the country. All the staff are focused on maximising the potential of all our children. It is a joy and privilege to be associated with the school."

Matt Parkins - 

Category of Governor: LEA Governor

Committees served:  Resources 


Matt is a self-employed woodland manager and outdoor environmental tutor. He has a background in community based environmental conservation projects and land management, combined with 8 years of running rural grant schemes covering much  of Devon.

Matt is keen to encourage children to appreciate the environment as they will be the next generation given the task of caring for the planet in the future. Good food is an essential ingredient of successful education and he is keen for children to eat well and enjoy a varied diet based on fresh, healthy and local food.

 Matt's other interests as a Governor are to maintain the safety of the school and its grounds.


Suzie Stevens 

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support and SPEC


After graduating from Liverpool University in 1995 with a B.Ed in Early Childhood Education, Suzie has been teaching ever since in a range of schools and settings across the UK. She has also been lucky enough to spend a year working in a Nursery set up by Barnardos in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was an exciting and memorable opportunity. Suzie has had experience throughout her career of working as a class teacher, a Foundation Stage Co-ordinator, a Deputy Headteacher and most recently, as an Early Years Consultant for Devon Learning and Development Partnership, where she supported schools and settings in providing high quality, inclusive care and education for all children from birth through to the end of their Reception year in school.
Suzie worked with Okehampton Primary School as an Early Years Consultant and absolutely loved the school, the community and most importantly, the excitement, passion and enthusiasm of the children. She was therefore delighted to join the Senior Leadership Team of the school in January 2011 as Early Years Leader. Suzie has responsibility for the Early Years Foundation Stage, which includes both our on-site, maintained Nursery and our three Reception classes, Bee Tor, Bray Tor and Bell Tor. From September until December 2013, Suzie also took on the role of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for one term, in addition to her current responsibilities for Early Years. Suzie has been a Staff Governor at Okehampton Primary School since January 2013 and has recently changed to become a  Co-opted Governor. She thoroughly enjoys this role as she has an opportunity to discuss wider school issues. Suzie has recently taken on the role of leading the area of “Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare” across the school and is currently working towards completing her NPQH (National Professional Qualification of Headteachers).






Heather Richards

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support and Strategic planning and evaluation committee. 

Lead Governor: Teaching, Learning & Assessment 


Heather is a Co-opt Governor and has been on the Governing body since September 2012.  Heather became a school governor because she wanted to know more about the school culture and its aspirations for education in a large rural school.  Heather has witnessed and experienced many changes within the education system over the years.

Heather serves the Curriculum & Pupil Support committee which subsequently means she reviews and monitors the challenging, but exciting, curriculum we have on offer and ensures that we are covering national requirements.  In terms of pupil support, Heather monitors and challenges pupil performance for all children and ensures all children access relevant provision for their needs. 

You will often see Heather wondering around the school speaking to staff, parents and pupils as she partly governs the teaching, learning and assessment framework.  If you see Heather around the school and want to know more about the Governing Body, then she’ll be happy to answer any questions. 


Jo Arnold 

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: SPEC

Lead Governor Early Years


Jo lives in Okehampton and has two sons, Callum currently in year 6 who will be moving on to Okehampton College in September 2016,  and Caiden who currently attends Stepping Stones Day nursery and will be starting at our school in September 2016.

Jo works in Food retail as a Store Manager and has done for 23yrs, She currently manage The Co-operative Food store at Brook Street in Tavistock.

As many parents with young children and a full time career she do not have much time to spend on her hobbies and interests, and if she does find any ‘spare time’ the boys have it covered with their activities, whether it is Rugby, Football, Swimming or just play dates.

Jo is outgoing, social, loves purple, and admits to being a bit of a technophobe!!! Oh and finally...  She loves to listen, and talk about anything and everything!!!



Richard White

Category of Governor: Foundation Governor

Committees served: SPEC


Richard was born in Exeter and has had close connections with Okehampton all his life.  Richard recalls holidays in Sticklepath with his Aunt as far back as the 1970’s as great sun packed adventures! – He is now lucky enough to live here in Okehampton with his wife and two girls.

After a short career in the Army Richard has worked at a senior level in business all over the UK and has gained enormously from the cultural and horizon broadening experiences this has given him.

Richard now works in Social Care, and understands many facets’ of this profession having worked with children, young people and the elderly.  He is a Strategic Commissioner for Devon County Council, and is responsible for managing the Private Residential Care Market for Devon County Council. 

Richard is used to operating in a statutory environment and managing both people and large budgets.


Neil Payne

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support 

Lead Governor: Pupil Premium


Neil is a Parent Governor with two children at the school.  He wanted to become a Governor to make more of a contribution to the school and to promote educational values within the community.  As a Deputy Headteacher at a Secondary School he has a great deal of interest and experience in education particularly within Religious Education, PSHE and Citizenship, SEN, Safeguarding and the Curriculum.  Neil has also served as a Governor at two schools in Torquay where he is originally from and has also been a member of the management board of a Pupil Referral Unit.  Presently Neil is also a Director of a Pre-School Company, attached to the school where he works.  Neil is keen to use his role to promote continued high standards and to support the school in the next phase of its development.


Nathan Walker

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support 

Lead Governor: SEND


My name is Nathan Walker, I am currently a Community Governor within the Curriculum and Pupil Support team and I am primarily involved in parental engagement. I have three children, two are enrolled at Okehampton Primary School and the third will be joining in 2016 so I have a keen interest in the school and it's future. I am employed within the public sector and work in and around the Okehampton area. When I am not working I like to surf, walk my dog, play with my children and work on my allotment.


Rob Hicks

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support

Safeguarding Governor 

Lead Governor E-Safety


I was elected to the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in May 2015. It was a fantastic feeling to have been successful among a strong field of candidates and since starting my journey as a Parent Governor I have learnt lots and taken every opportunity for training and development.

Our family moved to Okehampton in the summer of 2012 and quickly threw ourselves into Okehampton life. It really is the best place I have lived and I’m proud to call it home. There is a strong sense of civic pride among the residents and Okehampton Primary School is a credit to the town. All of our children, Arthur, Stanley and Laurence attend the school (Year Two, Reception and Nursery).

I sit on the Pupil and Curriculum Support committee and believe this is the area of governance that best suits my skills and personal qualities. I have chaired this committee since November 2016 and despite the steep learning curve I have enjoyed the additional responsibility. At a typical committee meeting we look into a few key areas of school life from an annual cycle, analyse performance data, discuss current success and opportunities, review policies and invite key speakers to give us information about their role and subject or organisation.

I am also the Safeguarding Governor. Within education Safeguarding is an area which must be given due resource and attention and I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved in such a core element of our children’s school life. Talking to our children, reviewing school procedures and seeing the staff in action gives me confidence that Safeguarding is an area we are managing well.

I have been fortunate enough to have crossed paths with a huge chunk of the parent body through school and out of school life and would hope to be considered friendly and approachable. I will always make time to talk to parents and staff and look forward to a long, interesting and effective term in governance.


Ian Meese
Category of Governor: Co-Opt Governor
Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support

Lead Governor: School Website


I have been working in  Customer service within the Automotive industry , Currently with Audi UK for a large part of my life since I left school which is longer than I wish to remember.  I have managed a couple of public houses in between, I am a keen listener and love problem solving. Within in my role at work I manage my team and problem solve events throughout the day I believe I will be a great asset to the current Governors and am looking forward to the opportunity to work within Okehampton Primary school. And help to achieve an outstanding mark.  I can also make a mean lemon Drizzle cake.


Joseph Wood

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: Resources

Born and raised in Devon, I have now lived in Okehampton for a number of years and have 3 children at Okehampton Primary School.  I am a trained teacher (secondary – history) who taught briefly in secondary schools in Plymouth and Cornwall.  In the intervening years I worked in the private sector, but I am now employed by Devon County Council where I work in a traded advisory service for Devon County Council maintained schools as well as academies and a small a number of independent schools.


Andy Brint

Category of Governor: Co-Opt Governor

Committees served: Resources

I was born in Okehampton and have lived in the area all of my life. I am married to Lucy and we have 2 children, Isobel and Oscar, who are at the school.

I became a co-opted governor in March 2015 and sit on the resources committee. 

I have a background in business management, having been General Manager at The Manor House Hotel for 15 years, until the end of 2014. I believe my experiences of budgetary controls and strategic decision making will be of benefit to the governing body in moving the school towards achieving its ‘outstanding’ target.

My wife and I now own a local business in Okehampton.

I enjoy most sports including football, rugby and golf and currently help coach Okehampton under 6’s. 


Tessa Petts 

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support 

Lead Governor Parental Engagement and Deputy Safeguarding Governor


Martin Evely

Category of Governor: Staff Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support 

I am an animated, passionate and dynamic teacher who loves teaching. I am one of the senior leaders at Okehampton Primary and I relish this role as it allows me to share my love of English with all the staff and children alike. I have been teaching for 10 years and in this time I have worked in a variety of different schools. I am Devon born and bred – I wouldn’t want to live and work anywhere else!


There are many aspects of teaching that fire me up. I find the most rewarding aspect of the job is the rapport you build up with the children and how you see them progress and develop overtime. I still enjoy trying out new ideas with my class and continue to get excited when I learn new things with them. I love the challenge that teaching provides and try to make learning infectious and fun in my classroom for all learners, no matter what their ability or background.


I am the Keystage one English lead at Okehampton Primary. Recently, I have also become an SLE (Specialist Leader of Education) for the Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance which means that I can share my expertise in English across many schools in the alliance. Additionally, I was also filmed for the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ programme written by the Devon Babcock team.


Outside of teaching I love spending time with my family. I have three year old twins so life is never dull!


Richard Parsons 

Category of Governor: Co-Opt Governor

Committees served: Curriculum and Pupil Support 


I live in Okehampton with my wife Deborah, we have four children and ten grandchildren, three who currently attend OPS, along with school runs each week I also volunteer in a Year 4 class.

I have previously been involved as both Governor, Vice Chair and Chair of Governors of the primary school in which our four children attended and maintained supporting the village school even when they moved to senior school. During my time as Vice Chair and Chair we went through two early Ofsted inspections, with good positive results, all due to our Head and teachers, parents, stakeholders and our governors working with energy to maintain high standards and move our school forward year on year.
My work background at the time of retirement was within social housing, working with a number of London housing associations handling referrals of anti-social behaviour, working with a mixed group of tenants, closely coordinating with many external agencies, local authorities, social services and mental health teams, and of course much daily working relationships with Police, family solicitors and County Courts.
I have much positive energy to offer to our local community and intend to make a valuable contribution to the Governing Body of the primary school.

Amanda French

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: Resources

Lead Governor: Sport


Amanda is very excited about the appointment and hopes that her broad experience across a number of sectors, from legal firms to global retailers, will stand her in good stead to support the governors navigate through and implement statutory and strategic changes. A challenging professional environment has provided a good platform to enable her to effectively probe and ask questions of the school leadership team with a desire to help the school maximise its potential and, most importantly, provide the children with the best opportunities (and of course fun) during their informative primary school years.


At work she manages the demands of complex financial regulation alongside an aspirational national expansion plan, and feel as a result I am well positioned to assist the Resources Committee, a sub-committee of the Governors.


Amanda was born in Okehampton and has returned to her roots in beloved Devon with her daughter starting in Reception this year. She is a lawyer and passionate about sport and all things outdoors.


Ann-Marie Bowles

Clerk to Governors

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