West Croft School

01237 473548


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School Governors

Welcome to our Governors' page.

What do school governors do?

School governors are responsible for setting school strategy together with the Head and Senior Leadership Team (SLT), while the Head and SLT are responsible for day-to-day operations. Governors’ key functions are:


  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Head to account for the students’ educational performance, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the school’s finances in the short and long term


Ultimately, we are responsible for strategic decisions, for keeping the school solvent, for ensuring that targets are set and met, and that the school meets its statutory requirements – from health and safety to SEN provision.


It’s also our job to look ahead to the long term and plan for future developments, funding, and long-term decisions.


The Headteacher (who is also a governor in most schools, West Croft included) is responsible for how those objectives are achieved: the organisation, management and day-to-day control of the school. The governors should both challenge and support the Head; an approach often referred to as the critical friend.


Mostly our role is to observe and make sure the school is doing what it should be. Not to get actively involved. School governors do however have a few more active functions:


  • They appoint the Headteacher and other senior leaders
  • They appraise the Headteacher
  • They set the Headteacher’s pay
  • They agree on pay recommendations for other staff
  • They hear staff grievance appeals and disciplinary matters
  • They hear pupil exclusion appeals


Governance Handbook

What do governors NOT do?

We don’t get involved in the day-to-day running of the school. So, to give you one example, the decision to appoint a full time SENDCo (or an assistant headteacher for student development) has to be agreed by governors – it’s a strategic decision – but we don’t get involved in how the timetable should be organised to accommodate it.


We also have nothing whatever to do with how teaching and learning are delivered. We are not trained or qualified to make judgements on teaching, and wouldn’t presume to do so. If we are not satisfied with the academic performance in a particular area we will say so and agree on targets to improve it, but we won’t give any direction as to how the target is to be achieved.

So who are we?

West Croft School governing body is made up of 13 governors. We’re all volunteers, and almost all have busy day jobs as well. There are five types of governor here:


Staff governor 

We have one of these, plus the Headteacher. Their function is to be representative of the staff (but not staff reps) and lend their expertise and knowledge of the school.


Parent governors 

We can have a maximum of four, who are likewise representative parents, not parent reps. They have an important perspective on the school through their children’s experience and a strong vested interest in the school’s performance.


Community governors are made up of the two categories below. They help to strengthen links with the local community and often bring specialist skills such as finance or law. They can be either staff or parents, but don’t have to be.


Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body, and we can have up to six.  The one Local Authority governor is appointed by the Local Authority but is normally a person recommended by West Croft School to the LA



“Staff governors are representative staff, not staff representatives”



Some governors are elected but most are appointed, so we can make sure we have the skills we need around the table. We meet as a full governing body 8 times a year.


What’s a “lead governor”?

We appoint individual governors to take responsibility for a particular key area of importance, such as safeguarding, or health and safety. A lead governor keeps a close eye on behalf of the whole governing body, and provides a communication channel between us and the key staff responsible for the area in question. The lead governor will make sure that the school is fulfilling its legal requirements, and will support the relevant member of staff in doing so if necessary.


We also appoint link governors to each subject area, which is a wonderful way to gain insight into a particular or favourite interest.

Our Governors



Type of Governor

Appointed by


Term of Office commenced (4 year term)



Dawn AshfordStaff GovernorUncontested 11.07.2023 - 10.07.2027Sport, Personel/HRStaff Member

James Ebsworthy

Co-opted GovernorGoverning Board

Vice Chair

04.09.2023 - 03.09.2027

Health & Safety, Premises, Sports, HT Appraisal

Married to staff member

Carol Ley

Co-opted Governor

Governing Board


03.03.2020 - 02.03.2024

Teaching & Learning and Curriculum, Finance, GDPR, HT Appraisal, Deputy Safeguarding


Lisa Johnston

Acting Headteacher






Staff Member

Sam McGregorCo-opted GovernorGoverning Board 05.03.2024 - 04.03.2025  

Martha Mills

Co-opted Governor

Governing Board


25.05.2021 - 25.02.2025

SEN and Safeguarding,Staff Wellbeing, HT Appraisal

Devon Partnership Trust

Morgan Taylor

Co-opted Governor

Governing Board


20.07.2021 - 19.07.2025

Behaviour and Attendance, Pupil Premium, Parental/Community Engagement


Fiona Lowe






Employee at Castle Primary & The Tarka Trust


Governors who have left in the last 12 months



Type of Governor

Appointed by


Term of Office commenced (4 year term)



James EbsworthyParent GovernorElected by Parents 04.09.2019 - 04.09.2023  
Charlotte PengillyParent GovernorElected by Parents Ended 12.09.2023  
Charlene MarstonEx-Officio Head TeacherEnded 31.08.2024






Parent Governor x 3

Co-opted Governor x 1

LA Governor



Parent Governor Election. Please find below documents related to our current Parent Governor vacancies:

How do I contact the governors?

The governing body welcomes your views and comments.

To contact the Chair of Governors, please email: clerk@westcroft.devon.sch.uk


Any concerns to do with your child, their teaching or any other aspect of school life should, in the first instance, be directed to the appropriate member of the school staff or the Headteacher.