Governor Pen Portraits

Mrs Jenny Hersey | Chair Person | LA Governor | Lead for Core Curriculum & Personnel

I am a mum to 2 daughters who attend Abbotskerswell School and are very happy here.

I have 25 years of experience in primary education starting out as primary school teacher and later working for Manchester LA as a maths consultant.

Being a governor means that I can really get involved at a strategic level, to help our School continue to be the nurturing and lively learning environment my girls enjoy.

Mr Richard Whiffin | Co-opted Governor | Lead for Finance, Premises & Personnel 

Pen Portrait Coming Soon!

Mr Martin.PNG
Mr Kevin Martin | Headteacher

I have been Headteacher at Abbotskerswell Primary School since January 2019, which was swiftly followed by an Ofsted inspection 6 days later.

I have now been working in schools for nearly 20 years.  Some of my Previous roles and schools have included Acting Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher at Topsham School, Assistant Headteacher at Gatehouse, Senior teacher at Ide and class teacher at Preston Primary School. 

As a Headteacher Governor I report to the Governing Body on the progress the school is making in all areas of our development plan and advise the Chair and other Governors on a range of matters in relation to the strategic development of our School as well as keeping the board up to date on the ever-changing national education agenda.

It is a pleasure to work at Abbotskerswell alongside a highly talented staff and governor team who strive to make the school the best learning environment they can for all children. I am very proud of their efforts in developing the school into what it is today and as it continues to strive to produce the best possible outcomes for the children in the school. The children at the school are definitely our key asset and I know that all of the staff and governors here at the school feel privileged to be able to work with them.

Mrs Catherine Denning | Co-opted Governor | Lead for Core Curriculum 

I have been a governor for over 10 years, and was previously the Chair.  I have three boys who attended the school, and was a pupil there myself.

I am an accountant at a local firm, and have enjoyed the challenges that being a governor brings as it is very different from my day job.

Abbotskerswell is a lovely primary, and being a governor enables me to give something back to a school that my family has had a lot from.

Mrs Joanne Baird | Parent Governor | Lead for Health & Safety 

I have two boys at Abbotskerswell school, who are very happy here. 


I have been a registered nurse for 20 years having worked in a few hospitals, a variety of specialities and various levels of responsibility. 


My experience as a nurse in the NHS lead to and supports my role as the Health and Safety link Governor for the school. 

In this role, I work with the school ensuring the policies and the required checks are up to date, carried out and the school is regularly reviewed, so that our school can continue to provide education in a safe, nurturing and fun environment.

Mrs Jane Ashworth | Parent Governor | Lead for Health & Safety 
Mr Chidler.PNG
Mr Ryan Chidler | Staff Governor | Lead for Communication & Community Links

I first came to Abbotskerswell in 2016 on a university teaching placement, right from the first moment I met the staff, children and families I knew it was the type of school I wanted to work at upon qualifying. Luckily for me, I applied for a full time teaching post at the school to begin in September 2018 and was successful in being offered the job. I have been teaching in Years 1 and 2 since I began at the school and took on extra responsibility of the computing curriculum in September 2019, this was also when I began the role of staff governor.

Mr David McNee | Co-opted Governor | Lead for Wider Curriculum

My family joke that I have been in education forever.

I started at 4 in Jarrow-on-Tyne and ended in 2004 at Coombeshead in Newton Abbot as Vice-Principal.Soon after I retired I joined the governors.

I have always been passionate about children having the best possible experience in school. They should be challenged and clearly make progress as well as being happy and enjoying their years in our school.

Mrs Gemma Nalder | Co-opted Governor | Lead for SEN, Inclusion & Pupil Premium
I have 2 children at the school, and despite not living in the village we were drawn to the school due to its small, friendly environment. In my work life as a careers consultant one of my roles is to work with young people with SEND, ensuring they receive impartial advice and guidance helping them transition successfully into adulthood.  I was interested in becoming a governor as I believe it is essential that the strategies put in place are inclusive and have every child's best interest at heart.
Mrs Heidi Reeves | Parent Governor | Lead for Wider Curriculum

My 2 boys attend Abbotskerswell Primary School and are very happy here.
Before having my children I spent 12 years as a teacher at Sherwell Valley Primary School in Torquay, teaching predominantly in Years 1 and 2. I now enjoy working at our village preschool, preparing our youngest children for their educational journey.
Being a governor is a great opportunity to be able to help the school achieve its aims

Mrs Louise Walker | Parent Governor | Lead for Safeguarding

Pen Portrait Coming Soon!

Mrs Suzi Small | Co-opted Governor | Lead for Finance & Premises

I’m Suzi a Market Relationship Manager for Barclays Bank in South Devon, I enjoy my role being able travel around the beautiful countryside and meeting many different people. Outside of work my 2 daughters’ energy and love for adventure keep me busy.  Since my eldest daughter started Abbotskerswell school this has lead to a new interest and becoming a School Governor which I naturally found myself involved on the Finance committee. I thoroughly enjoy being a Governor and understand the importance of Abbotskerswell school providing the best learning enviroment for its pupils. I strive to achieve a balance between family life and a successful career and to be a role model for my daughters.

Mrs Farrelly.PNG
Mrs Marie Farrelly | Clerk to Governors

I have been the clerk at Abbotskerswell since 2018 and find the role varied and interesting. It can also sometimes be challenging but I am well supported by the Board. I need to keep up to date with any changes and try to always be one step ahead!
The main purpose of the clerk’s role is to:

• Provide advice to the governing body on governance, constitutional and procedural matters.
• Provide effective administrative support to the governing body and its committees.
• Ensure the governing body is properly constituted.
• Manage information effectively in accordance with legal requirements.