Combe Down Primary School

Combe DownChurch of England Primary School

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Working Together Aiming High


Our School Governors - email us on

Name: Lead / Responsibilities: Committee(s) Member of: 
Karen Coates   Chair of Governors;
Co-opted Governor 
- Strategy
Richard Bullard Headteacher, ex officio Governor * - Strategy
- Finance & Staffing / Land &
- Curriculum & Standards
Stewart Holness Parent Governor - Strategy (Chair)
- Finance & Staffing / Land &
Rev. Paul Kenchington  Foundation Governor, ex officio *  
Dave Locke Parent Governor - Curriculum & Standards (Chair)
Susan Fletcher Parent Governor - Finance & Staffing / Land &
Claire Morrish  Foundation Governor  - Strategy
- Curriculum & Standards
Kirsten Barnes Parent Governor - Strategy
Helen D'Souza Parent Governor - Curriculum & Standards
Vacancy Parent Governor - Finance & Staffing / Land &
Laura Warner Parent Governor - Finance & Staffing / Land &
Sarah Knedel Foundation Governor - Curriculum & Standards
Karen Eyre  Local Authority Governor  - Finance & Staffing / Land &
- Curriculum & Standards
Vanessa Tilbury Staff Governor - Curriculum & Standards

* ex officio - This category applies to those individuals who are entitled to a place on the Governing Body due to another position they hold, for example the Headteacher.  Their term of office only ends when the individual leaves their post. 

The Board of Governors is made up from staff members, parents, people from the community and from the Local Authority (LA) who are passionate about ensuring the best possible education for the pupils at the school. Together, they take decisions on school policies, where money is spent, what is taught, and where the school is aiming to go. They can be involved in selecting new staff, and act as critical friends to the Headteacher and the School Leadership Team.

There are currently 2 Co-opted Governor Vacancies. The Governing Body would welcome applications.

Anyone with an interest in the school can become a Governor - there are no special qualifications. If you would like to know more, please contact the School Office. The current Board of Governors and their particular areas of involvement are as follows:


Karen is a partner in a Bristol solicitors’ firm, specialising in planning and environmental law. She has two children who both attended Combe Down Primary. She began as a parent governor, was then appointed as a community governor when her younger child left school and since July 2015 has been a Co-opted Governor. She is a member of Holy Trinity Church and in her spare time, when not gardening, is an assistant Cub Scout Leader in Combe Down and a not-so-secret Morris dancer.

Co-opted Governor - Chair of Governors, Safeguarding Governor, and Link Governor for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)


Mr. Bullard started his teaching career in 1985 and has been Headteacher at Combe Down CEVC Primary School since January 2007 following four years as Headteacher at High Littleton CEVC Primary School. He taught in three other schools in the Bath area prior to that. He is committed to providing a caring, supportive and exciting learning environment in which children can do as well as they can in all areas.

Mr. Bullard is a geographer through and through as well as a keen sportsman and follower of Bath Rugby. He has run many extra curricular clubs over the years as well as coaching at City of Bath Hockey Club. He is a trustee and president of the south west Testicular Cancer charity Its’s in the Bag and is married with three children.



Stewart is a Co-opted Governor with two children at Combe Down (and two elder ones at Ralph Allen). He is the Chief Executive of a technology company and is Chairman of three other large technology businesses based out of the UK, as well as being a non- executive Director of a national UK retailer. Stewart sits on the board of Byte Night, a charity which raises money for homeless children in the UK. In an attempt to keep fit and sane, Stewart coaches under 9’s rugby at Oldfield Old Boys.

Parent Governor - Link Governor for Art, Link Governor for DT


Paul is the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Combe Down, and has been here in the village for four years. He ministered previously in Gloucester, then Hong Kong, and then in Versailles, France. He is married to Clare and they have four sons, three of whom are married. After years of moving around the world, Paul and Clare relish living in the settled community of Combe Down, where they enjoy walking in the beautiful countryside around the area. Paul also loves music; he plays sax, guitar and piano, and is interested in films, books (especially historical novels), and learning ballroom dancing.

Foundation Governor - Link Governor for Music


Dave is a parent governor, who has a daughter at the school.  He is an Assistant Head teacher at a large secondary school and a passionate believer in comprehensive education. A Physics and Science teacher for 15 years, he now spends much of his time analysing school data, tracking pupils' progress, and ensuring quality teaching and learning takes place in the classroom - in addition to carrying out hair-raising experiments with the Van de Graaff generator!

When not at work, Dave and his family can often be found in Rainbow Woods with their dog Berkeley - a Weimaraner who just loves to run and run!

Parent Governor - Link Governor for Assessment


Susan joined the governing body as a parent governor in September 2016.  She has two sons at the school.

Susan has worked in communications and community engagement for over 20 years’, in health, social care, housing and support organisations.  She works closely with a number of local organisations and stakeholders including our local MP and councillors in her role as Communications Manager for the development of Mulberry Park, the former Foxhill MOD site.  Susan is passionate about arts and heritage.  She works with organisations including the Arts Council and Bath Festivals to deliver an arts programme for Foxhill and Combe Down.  

In her spare time, Susan can be found running in Rainbow Woods or curled up with a good book!

Parent Governor 


Claire joined the governing body in December 2012 as a Foundation Governor, having been a faithful member of the parents Friday School Prayer Group. She is the Children’s Minister at Holy Trinity Combe Down and St Andrews Churches – working with children and families across our whole parish.

Claire is married to John and they have 3 sons, the eldest Ewan has now moved on to Ralph Allen, William is in Year 6 and Alfie is in year 4. Claire was a secondary school science teacher and a lecturer in Science Education at Bath Spa University, where she was part of the PGCE secondary course team until August 2016 so brings knowledge and experience of the wider education world.

“I have a passion to work as a governor to support all that is fabulous about Combe Down School and shape its future development with a special focus on its Christian Values and Ethos.”

Foundation Governor - Link Governor for RE and Humanities subjects.


Kirsten has been a governor at Combe Down since summer 2013, and has a daughter at the school. Kirsten is a member of the governing body’s Strategy Committee and is link governor for PE.

Kirsten taught English as a foreign language in Indonesia and undergraduate politics courses at the Universities of York and Sussex. She is a civil servant in the Department for Education where she has worked on policies across the range of the Department’s responsibilities for schools, further education and children and families. Currently Kirsten works with academies across the South West on governance and funding issues. Kirsten believes that schools have a fundamental duty to ensure that all of their pupils are given the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Kirsten loves travel and food, although opportunities for the former are a bit restricted with two young children.

Parent Governor - Link Governor for PE


Helen has been a Parent Governor since 2014.  She has two children currently at Combe Down Primary School.

Helen is a primary school teacher, a Special Educational Needs Coordinator and a member of the senior leadership team in a Somerset primary school, where she has worked for the last 11 years.

Prior to that, Helen worked abroad teaching in Mexico City and Oman for 5 years. Helen developed a love of rugby in those days and joined the Oman ladies team, traveling to many areas of the Middle East in competitions. These days Helen prefers the more relaxing and gentle past time of raising children. 

Parent Governor - Link Governor for SEN, Link Governor for Pupil Premium Grant (PPG)


Laura is married to Mark and they have one daughter currently at Combe Down and another yet to start.

Laura's background is Human Resources and before having children held Human Resources Leadership roles in a variety of companies. She is a Trustee for a local children's play charity based in Midsomer Norton and a firm believer in the importance of play for children, especially outdoor play.

Parent Governor  


Sarah joined the governing body in September 2016 as a Foundation Governor and has 3 children at the school.  She works at Holy Trinity Church as vicar's PA and has a background in teaching.  She taught German and also spent several years teaching English in Berlin. 

She is a keen linguist, and her hobbies include anything outdoors, singing and the occasional park run in an attempt to keep (or rather get!) fit.   

Foundation Governor  


Karen moved to Combe Down in 2008 to be near her husband’s family who have lived here for generations (her mother-in-law is an ex head girl at Combe Down Primary).  Karen’s youngest son joined the school in year 5 while his older siblings went on to Ralph Allen.  Karen has worked for the local authority (BANES) since 2009.  Currently she is working as a Data Analyst with responsibility for education and children’s social care.  Karen was the LA governor and Vice Chair at a junior school in Surrey prior to moving to Bath.  In her spare time she enjoys walking and swimming.

Co-opted Governor - Link Governor for Literacy


Vanessa Tilbury joined Combe Down Primary school over 10 years ago and has worked as a class teacher across the school.   She has also held the positions of Science Co-ordinator and PHSE Co-ordinator (current responsibility), Phase Co-ordinator (Years 3 and 4) and has been a member of the School Leadership Team.  Vanessa is committed to providing quality, differentiated and stimulating education to all children and is proud to be a member of such a strong school. 

Vanessa’s hobbies include tap dancing, socialising and she is currently attempting to write a book!

Staff Governor


 Former Governors:        

TIM DEWES - resigned 20.07.2016
MATT WHEELDON - resigned 20.07.2016