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: 
Stewart Holness

Chair of Governors; 
Co-opted Governor

- Performance Management
- Health & Safety 

- Teaching & Learning / Resources
Jane Gascoigne Headteacher,
ex officio Governor *
- Lead Professional 
Teaching & Learning / Resources
Claire Morrish 

Vice-Chair of Governors;
Foundation Governor 

- Teaching & Learning 
Susan Fletcher  Parent Governor - Resources
John Beaver Co-opted Governor 
- Teaching & Learning 
Laura Speller  Parent Governor - Teaching & Learning 
Laura Warner Parent Governor
- Performance Management
- Resources
Sarah Knedel Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning (Chair)
Karen Eyre  Co-opted Governor  - Resources (Chair) 
Nick Hussey Co-opted Governor
Caroline O'Neill  Staff Governor  - Teaching & Learning 
Catherine Winchcombe

Co-opted Governor 
- Assessment

- Safeguarding

Jerram Bird Co-opted Governor















         * 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:


Stewart is a Co-opted Governor with two children at Combe Down (and two former Combe Down pupils now at Ralph Allen). He is the Chief Executive of a technology company and is  Executive Chairman of three other international 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 11’s rugby at Oldfield Old Boys.

Co-opted Governor 


Mrs Gascoigne  started her teaching career in 1989 and has been Headteacher at Combe Down CEVC Primary School since January 2018 following almost ten years at St Julian’s Wellow, alongside Camerton (2010) and Shoscombe (2012) Church Schools as part of Church Valley Schools Federation. Prior to this Jane was Deputy Head at St Stephen’s CEVA Primary School in Bath having moved from Cheshire in 2004. Whilst in Cheshire Jane taught in three other schools.

Jane is committed to providing a caring, supportive and exciting learning environment in which children and staff can do as well as they can in all areas.

Mrs Gascoigne has a science background. She enjoys music and singing, gardening and is a committed member of her local church. Jane is married with two children.



Claire joined the governing body in December 2012 as a Foundation Governor, having been a faithful member of the parents Friday School Prayer Group.

Since August 2016 she has been the Children’s Minister at Holy Trinity and St Andrews Community Church.

Claire is married to John and they have 3 sons, the eldest two Ewan & William have now moved on to Ralph Allen, the youngest Alfie is in year 5. Claire was a secondary school science teacher and also worked as a  lecturer in Science Education at Bath Spa University, where she was part of the PGCE secondary course team. This involves many visits to local secondary schools to support the training of teachers and gives her a working knowledge of many aspects of education and school life.

“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, Humanities and PHSE


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 - Link Governor for PE and Art, Design & Technology


John joined the governing body as a Co-opted Governor in February 2018. He moved to Combe Down with his family in 2012 and his daughter is a pupil at the School. John is the IT Director at Bath Spa University having previously served in senior technology roles at the University of Bath and, before moving to the South West, at the BBC in London. 

Co-opted Governor - Link Governor for Computing & E Safety


Laura is married to Barney and has been involved with the school since 2001 when she began her teaching career there as an NQT.  After nearly 10 years teaching, she left to be a full-time mother to Daisy and Felix who are at the school.  Their third child Alyssa is due to start this year.

Prior to that, Laura studied languages at Bath University and spent time teaching in Nice and living in Rome.  When Laura has spare time she enjoys Pilates, yoga, walks with her family and Studio Ghibli films.

Laura is very interested in the Scandinavian education systems where play and the outdoors are greatly valued and seen as key in producing innovative, happy learners. 

Parent Governor - Link Governor for Music 


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 - Link Governor for Science


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 - Link Governor for Modern Foreign Languages, Maths and Pupil Leadership Team (formerly School Council) 


Karen moved to Combe Down in 2008 to be near her husband’s family who have lived here for generations.  Her youngest son joined the school in year 5 while his older siblings joined Ralph Allen.  Karen has worked for the local authority (BANES) since 2009 and is currently the Business & Marketing Manager of a cluster of Children’s Centres.  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.

Co-opted Governor - Link Governor for Literacy & Phonics


Nick joined the governing body in January 2018. A resident of Combe Down, Nick is married to Emmalou and they have a son at the school. Their daughter will join him the school soon.

As an entrepreneur, board director and consultant, Nick hopes to bring a range of management skills and experience to the board of governors, alongside a inclusive and empathetic attitude. Nick believes in the pivotal nature of education and the relationships formed within a school, in a child's future. Particularly children who may struggle or have difficulties inside or outside school, for any reason.

A passionate cyclist since childhood, Nick is fascinated by all creativity, particularly cinema, music and design. He and his family can often be found exploring, walking their dog and sploshing in mud!

Co-opted Governor - Link Governor for Early Years 


Caroline has been teaching for almost 7 years, and most of that time has been as a year 6 teacher.  Before coming to Combe Down Primary School she taught in London, but trained here in Bath.  She studied drama before becoming a teacher and still very much enjoys the performing arts, and a bit of a song and a dance!  Caroline loves living in Bath, being a teacher at Combe Down and continuing to develop within her career.

Staff Governor


Catherine is a serving head in a local independent school. Prior to this she worked overseas in Jordan holding both Primary and Secondary school posts. Alongside her school roles she worked with the Syrian and Iraqi refugee community with her husband Simon. Before spending time abroad she was Deputy Head at a Church of England school in Surrey. Catherine has two grown up daughters, lives locally in Combe Down and is a member of St Andrews Community Church in Foxhill. 

Co-opted Governor 


Jerram is a Co-opted Governor who lives locally and knows a number of children and parents of the school. He joined the governing team in September 2018 and brings a number of skill sets, not least his strategic thinking and architectural expertise.

Jerram is a father to one daughter, a husband of a teacher and works full time for an Architectural practice based in Bath. He is a member and regular attendee of Widcombe Baptist Church. In the past he has served as trustee and employee of two large charities. 

Whenever time allows Jerram enjoys the outdoors by gardening, sailing or climbing. He can also often be found undertaking some sort of practical DIY task at home or church. 

Co-opted Governor


Former Governors:       

DAVE LOCKE - Term completed July 2018
Term completed July 2018
 - stood down 31.08.2017
REV. PAUL KENCHINGTON - stood down 18.09.2017
VICTORIA WILLIS - resigned 12.02.2017
RICHARD BULLARD - stood down December 2017 (former Headteacher) 
VANESSA TILBURY - stood down 31.12.2017
KIRSTEN BARNES - stood down December 2017