Information Regarding Newtown Primary School and the  

Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust


Letter from Ms Jill Mather, Chair of Newtown Primary School's Governing Body


Dear Parents and Carers


As you may be aware, over many months the Governors at Newtown Primary School have been exploring ways we might work in partnership with other schools to secure the best education and outcomes for the children in our care.


I am writing to let you know that on 24th May 2018, we voted to start the process of joining the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust, and that on 4th June 2018 the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ted Wragg MAT informed us that our request had been approved.


Our request will now be submitted to the Regional Schools’ Commissioner and the Department of Education to gain permission to convert to academy status in order to join the MAT.


We will then move to a period of consultation with all stakeholders, including parents and staff. Meetings will be arranged to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hear our reasons for choosing to join the Ted Wragg MAT and to ask questions.


There will be several opportunities to hear exactly why we have chosen to join this local group of schools, comprising St James’ High School, Isca Academy, West Exe School, Exwick Heights Primary School and Cranbrook Education Campus. Let me assure you that school improvement and educational excellence are at the heart both of our decision-making and the Ted Wragg MAT’s vision for education in the Exeter area.


On our Governors’ pages on the school website, you can read the letters from the Governing Board and from the Chair of the Ted Wragg MAT. You can also find out more about the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust from its website:


You can also contact me on


With very best wishes





Jill Mather

Chair of the Governing Board








Welcome to our Governors’ section.

Please find below details of how our Governing Board is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


The Chair of the Governing Board can be contacted via the school office or by email

Jill Mather Co-opted Governing Board Chair of Governors Teaching & Learning Lead Governor 26.02.15 - 25.02.19
Laetitia Brochon-Harmsworth Parent Governing Board Vice Chair Parent & Community Links Lead Governor 02.11.15 - 01.11.19
Saxon Spence Co-opted Governing Board Chair of Pay & Performance Committee

Inclusion & SEND Lead Governor

Pay & Performance Committee

15.01.15 - 14.01.19
Sally Herbert Ex Officio Right of Office Headteacher   01.09.17 - present
Claire Ward Staff Elected by staff   Teaching and Learning lead Governor 11.01.2018 - 10.01.2022
Jenny Lloyd Local Authority Nominated by the Local Authority (Devon County Council) Chair of HT Performance Management Committee

Finance Lead Governor

HT Performance Management Committee

03.12.15 - 02.12.19
Richard Westlake Co-opted Governing Board   Inclusion & SEND Lead Governor 15.01.15 - 14.01.19
Philippa Danvers Co-opted Governing Board  

Staffing Lead Governor

HT Performance Management Committee

26.05.16 - 25.05.20
VACANT Co-opted Governing Board      
Sandra Dalgleish Co-opted Governing Board   Safeguarding Lead Governor 15.01.15 - 14.01.19
Claire Baker Co-opted Governing Board  

Finance Lead Governor

Pay & Performance Committee

Mike Cox Co-opted Governing Board  

Premises and Health & Safety Lead Governor

Pay & Performance Committee

19.05.15 - 18.05.19
Jane Morris Parent Elected by parents   Teaching & Learning Lead Governor 16.11.2017 - 15.11.2021
David Thompson Co-opted Governing Board   Safeguarding Lead Governor 19.10.17 -18.10.21
Jessica Benger Clerk to governors Recruited Clerk to Governing body   01.09.13 - present
Victoria Darious Staff Elected by staff   Resigned 01.01.2015 - 10.01.2018
Penny Burnside Co-opted Governing Board   Resigned 15.01.2015 - 01.09.2017
Steve Fearn Parent Elected by parents   Term of Office ended 05.07.2013 - 04.07.2017
Ruth Jones Ex officio Right of Office Headteacher Retired 15.04.2014 - 31.08.2017


Delgation of Authority of the Full Governing Board

Delgation of Authority of the Full Governing Board 1

Meet the Governors


Jill Mather - Chair of the Governing Board

Although I only recently joined the Governing Body at Newtown, I have known the school since the 1980s when my children attended what was then Newtown First School. We chose Newtown because it was a small community school and our children thrived in its friendly atmosphere. I have enjoyed getting to know the school again as a Governor, and more recently as Chair, and I will be working hard to ensure your children also have a happy and successful time here.


I live locally and have had a life-long interest in education, having taught English in state secondary schools for nearly 40 years. I am also a member of St JamesChurch in Exeter and enjoy allotment gardening, long-distance walking and being with our five grandchildren.


Laëtitia Brochon-Harmsworth - Vice Chair of the Governing Board

I am a parent governor and I became vice-chair in September 2017. I am a mother of two. My eldest child is a pupil at Newton Primary School and my youngest is three years old. Until recently I worked at Exeter University but I left to start my own business as a translator and a private tutor. This provides the flexibility to work the hours that suit my family and me.


I am very keen to help Newton Primary School provide an excellent education in a safe environment for all children. I am a qualified teacher and so I understand the educational system.


I want to make sure that Newtown Primary School continues to be the small but vibrant community that attracted us and made my husband and me want to bring our children here.


Saxon Spence

I have lived in Newtown for nearly four years and enjoy being part of this lively community, so welcome the opportunity to support our much-loved local school. My background is that I was a Devon County Councillor with a particular interest in education until I retired in 2013. 


Currently I am a governor of the Learn to Live Federation (Ellen Tinkham & Bidwell Brook Schools) and on the board of the Ted Wragg Trust which includes Isca, St. James’ and West Exe High Schools. Other interests are the Co-operative Movement and food policy.


Sally Herbert


Claire Ward


Jenny Lloyd

I’ve been involved with Newtown School as a parent, as a governor and as a member of the community. Our daughters were at Newtown in the 1980s and I was on the governing body in the 1970s.


When I retired from education, I was invited to become a governor at Newtown again. I’ve used my education experience in various ways and I’ve also developed new skills, learning to read budgets and making sure that we are spending our money wisely and efficiently. I now share the lead governor role for Finance.


I sing in various choirs, garden and enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren.


Richard Westlake M.B.E.

I have been a governor of Newtown Primary School for 10 years, focusing first on Health and Safety, and now sharing responsibility for Special Needs and Inclusion.   For more than 40 years I worked on the railway ending up as a high speed train driver. I was the county councillor for the area until May when I retired.


Currently I am a trustee of the St. Sidwell’s Community Centre and Exeter Food Action, am involved with health, chairing the Exeter Patient Participation Group, and transport issues. Still active  in politics and the Co-operative Movement, in my spare time I like travelling.


Philippa Danvers

I am lucky enough to have been a primary school teacher for many years, as well as bringing up three children who all went to Newtown during the late 80’s and 90’s. They enjoyed their time at the school immensely and it was a very special time in their education. During my career, I have had the opportunity to fulfil a range of leadership roles as well as writing online plans for teachers and teaching art to large numbers of children!


Now retired from teaching, I have the time to pursue a range of interests, as well as enjoying my grandchildren. I am still very passionate about primary education and delighted to once again be involved in the life of Newtown


Jane Morris

I am a parent governor and my son, Stan, is in Year 4.  My daughter, Maggie, also came here but is now at Isca.  I live nearby and I absolutely love this school.  I was previously a parent governor (and subsequently Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee) at Newtown when I first moved to Exeter and have recently returned to the fold as I really missed being involved in making our school better and better.

My day job is at Exeter College where I run the Teacher Education department.  It is an absolute passion of mine that education remains comprehensive, inclusive and that the experts are listened to.

In my spare time I like to go camping in our lovely van.  I also play the piano and very much enjoy colouring in and making Lego robots.


Sandra Dalgleish

I qualified as a primary teacher and for some years taught in Dagenham and Exeter. I then transferred to work in the Civil Service and later in Local Government, including working in the Careers Service. Finally, I spent many happy years with a large insurance company dealing with claims and loans. Now retired, I enjoy keeping fit, doing exercise classes and walking my dog. My hobbies include listening to music, gardening and bird-watching. I enjoy going to talks and visiting places of interest with a group I belong to. I also spend time walking with friends who live on the coast.


I am proud to have been a Governor at Newtown for six years, completing several courses to keep up to date with educational matters. I love the diversity of Newtown School and its happy atmosphere.


Claire Baker

I am delighted to have recently become a governor at Newtown Primary School. I have a degree in Economics and trained as a Chartered Tax adviser.  I am also a parent of a child in Year 2 at Newtown and my son will start in September 2018. Newtown will be a large part of our lives for the foreseeable future and I really value the opportunity to contribute towards its success.  My first impression was that the school would be a safe and nurturing place for my children to enjoy learning. I feel like the school shares my view that children are individuals and should be encouraged to develop socially and emotionally as well as on an academic level.

Through governance I look forward to learning about the education sector and developing my skills to support the school.


In my spare time I enjoy reading, teaching myself to crochet, going to the gym and walking.


Mike Cox

I joined the Governing Board in May 2015. Before I retired, I was Deputy Headteacher at St Peter’s C of E Aided School in Exeter. My role included responsibility for curriculum, assessment and reporting, data collection and analysis and the management of the school’s Management Information Systems.


I enjoy working with my fellow Governors at Newtown. It’s a vibrant school serving its local community. With a secondary education background I’ve had a lot to learn but I’ve found my previous experience helpful and the Governor Training very supportive.


I’m married, have three sons and four grandchildren. As well as spending time with my grandchildren, I enjoy walking, cycling, birdwatching, listening to classical music and photography. I’m a member of Newtown Community Choir and of Belmont Chapel and, along with my wife, run Marriage Courses.


David Thompson

Earlier this year, I relocated from London to Exeter and am enjoying exploring the city and surrounding area. I have recently been co-opted as a Governor and look forward to participating in the life of Newtown School and contributing to its success.


I studied Biochemistry, was a teacher for several years and then retrained as a tax inspector.  Subsequently I was employed as a management consultant by PwC and IBM. I am now self-employed and work part-time.


I enjoy the performing arts and was a volunteer usher at the Arcola Theatre, which has a strong commitment to diversity and community engagement. My hobbies are long distance walking and writing short stories. I have five children and three grandchildren.

The Role of the Governing Body

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • to hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent