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Our Governance

Welcome to the Governing Body


Okehampton Primary School Academy Committee is an academy committee within the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust.

Our Academy Committee 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.


The Academy Committee consists of 17 Governors, a mix of Staff,  Parent, and Co-Opted Governors. There are six Academy Committee meetings each academic year. There are a further three committees that meet throughout the academic year, each has its own elected chair and vice chair:


The School Improvement Committee

The Resources Committee

The Strategic, Planning and Evaluation Committee  


For more information about our Committee Structure, Register of Interests, Meet Our Team, Minutes, Cycle of Business, or anything else, including how to contact us, please visit the links below. 


Contact Us


Clerk to Governors, Ann-Marie Bowles

Governor Attendance

For copies of minutes, or previous years' minutes, please contact the clerk. 

Meet our Governors


Richard Parsons - Chair of Governors 

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: SPEC, Pay and Performance, Appeals and Resources Committee

Lead Governor: Ethos

Contact address:

R Parsons Chair of Governors

Okehampton Primary School

Glendale Road, Okehampton. EX20 1JP



I live in Okehampton with my wife Deborah, we have four children and ten grandchildren, three who currently attend OPS, along with many school runs each week I also work as a volunteer two days a week, in a Year 1 and Year 4, together with some pupil coaching.


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.


Miss Sarah Godbeer

Category of Governor: Ex Offico  

Committees served: SPEC, Resources and School Improvement





Emma Goodwin

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served:  School Improvement

Lead Governor: Mental Health and Wellbeing


I am Assistant Head Teacher at Okehampton Primary School. This gives me the best of both worlds - two days a week teaching our wonderful children and the rest of the week as a member of the Senior Leadership Team with responsibility for Personal Development, Behaviour and Attitudes. The ever-evolving dynamics of teaching means that, as a team, we are always looking to develop strategies for improving children’s attainment and progress. Helping children overcome barriers to learning, develop emotionally and achieve their potential are, in my opinion, the most rewarding aspects of teaching.
With my degree in Environmental Science, I have particular interest in teaching children about sustainability and fostering a love of the outdoors. I feel privileged to live and work in such a beautiful part of the country. 
I enjoy working with other governors, parents and the wider community in preparing our young people for becoming creative, assertive and compassionate citizens of the future and working to ensure our school provides the best education possible for each and every child.


Caleb Stevens

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served:  School Improvement and SPEC

Lead Governor: SEND

Deputy Safeguarding Governor 


As a Teaching Assistant at Okehampton College and formerly a Child Workforce Enabler for Children with Additional Needs, I have understanding and knowledge of supporting and enhancing the learning of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Alongside my employment, I also work within the Ministry of Justice for Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service as a Magistrate within the Cornwall District Bench, a Youth Referral Panel Member for the Youth Offending Team in Plymouth and an Independent Monitoring Board Member for HMP Exeter.


I also preside as a Trustee Lead for Mental Health, Safeguarding and Prevent for multiple organisations across the South West Region, including but not limited to Tor Support Services in Okehampton. I have been a Governor for Exeter College and am currently the Vice Chair of Trustee’s for the South East Cornwall Multi Academy Regional Trust. I am also currently studying a University Degree in Public Services at Exeter College and enjoy living next to Dartmoor and taking advantage of the amazing scenery and what it has to offer. 


Education is the foundation of every individuals’ life and is an overriding necessity to ensure a successful and rewarding future. I therefore have a deep passion and interest for providing outstanding education to students within Okehampton Primary School, alongside providing the correct support and guidance, to enable every student to progress into independent and successful people in the future.


Jo Arnold 

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Committees served: SPEC, First, Pupil Discipline and Headteacher Performance Review Group. 

Lead Governor Early Years


Jo lives in Okehampton and has two sons, Callum who has attended Okehampton College since September 2016 after completing his primary education here at Okehampton Primary school and Caiden who started his primary education here at Okehampton Primary school in September 2016.
Jo works in Food retail as a Store Manager and has done for 25yrs, She currently manages The Co-op Food store at Brook Street in Tavistock.
As many parents with children and a full time career she does 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 social lives and 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!!!

Hannah Bancroft

Safeguarding Governor and Looked after children

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: School Improvement

My family relocated to Devon in January this year, our two boys have settled in and are very happy at Okehampton Primary School.  It is great to be part of the community and we are really enjoying living in Devon.  I have been a teacher for 15 years and am passionate about the education of  children.  Helping a child to make progress in their learning and flourish as a young person is a wonderful privilege.  I have taught across all primary years  and have also trained as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.  In 2015 I was thrilled to be offered the Headship of a school and led a great staff team and community of children until we moved.  It was a wonderful and rewarding opportunity, leading a school where we were continually striving to improve the learning experiences of our children and watch them grow!  I have taken a small break to settle my family into Devon and now have started working as an Additional Needs Lead across four schools in the Tavistock area.  It is so far proving to be an exciting and interesting role, it is great to be back in schools supporting children and their families.  I feel I have much to offer as a Governor, I am enthusiastic and supportive and look forward to making a sportive contribution to the school community.

Neil Payne

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Committees served: School Improvement, Pay and Performance and First Committee. 

Lead Governor: Pupil Premium


Neil is a Co-Opt  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.



Ian Meese
Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor
Committees served: School Improvement and Appeal.

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. 





Martin Evely

Category of Governor: Staff Governor

Committees served: Resources 

Lead Governor Premises, Health and Safety.


I am an animated, passionate and dynamic teacher who loves all aspect of school life. I am one of the deputy head teachers at Okehampton Primary and I relish this role as it allows me to share my love of learning with all the staff and children alike. I have been teaching for over 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! I started at Okehampton Primary as a class teacher before being promoted to the KS1 English leader and then to an assistant head teacher. I have loved all of these roles and have learnt a lot from the amazing staff and children at the school. Additionally, I am an SLE (Specialist Leader of Education) for the Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance which means that I can work with colleagues in many schools across the alliance. Within this role, I help to coach other teachers to improve their practice and the progress of the children in their class as well as learn new ideas to bring back to Okehampton. All teachers are like magpies!


There are many aspects of school life that fire me up. I find the most rewarding aspect of the job is the rapport you build with the children and their family. Being a governor also means that I get to check that the school is doing everything it can to improve outcomes for all.


Outside of teaching I love spending time with my family and going on holiday. I have six year old twins so life is never dull!



Rob Hicks


Category: Co-Opted Governor

Committees Served: School Improvement and Strategic Planning and Evaluation 

Lead Governor: IT (Social media/safeguarding)


I was elected to the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in May 2015. I sit on the school improvement 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.



Ann-Marie Bowles

Clerk to Governors

Contact E-Mail:




Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust


For information about Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, our Trustees and their duties, and our governance structure, please visit the link below.

Governance structure - Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust