Swaffham Prior C of E Primary School

Keep Growing

An Introduction to our Governors 

The Governing Body

Swaffham Prior Church of England Primary School is part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust. The school has a partnership with another local DEMAT school, Swaffham Bulbeck Primary School. Whilst each school retains its own ethos, vision, values and character, there is one governing body and one headeacher between the two schools and the curriculums are closely aligned with each other.

Our governing body is a voluntary group of local people, who are appointed for four-year terms of office. Governors represent parents, the local community, the Church, the Local Authority and staff. Our responsibilities include strategic planning and finance, helping to appoint our staff, oversight of child protection, behaviour and health and safety, and monitoring the school curriculum. We also focus on building and maintaining close relationships between the school, parents, the Church and the local community, and on maintaining our school vision and our inclusive, welcoming,supportive ethos.

Contacting the governors

The governors may be contacted at any time via our Clerk, Dee Colegate, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the school office. You can also contact the chair of governors - Chris Goodfellow, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Written correspondence can be sent to the school address and will be forwarded to the Chair of Governors.

Minutes of our Local Governing Body Meetings are posted on Governor Hub. If you wish to have access to them please contact the Clerk or Chair on the contact details above.

Please follow the links below to find Terms of Reference and Scheme of Delegation,

DEMAT Scheme of Delegation August 2020

DEMAT LGB Terms of Reference August 2020

and here is the link to the Academies Financial Handbook  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academies-financial-handbook


We warmly welcome your comments and feedback about our school, and your involvement with the governing body.

    Committee Details       Declarations of Interest       Meeting Attendance 2020 - 21

NamePositionTermAppointed ByRole / Commitees
Mr Chris Goodfellow Chair & Foundation Governor November 2016 –  November 2020 Diocese of Ely Board of Education on recommendation of PCC Resources
Christian Distinctiveness
I work in the software industry, having held a number of management roles. I'm a father to two children, and my family is part of the congregation of St Mary's.
Mrs Helen Bartley Headteacher Ex-officio Ex-officio Resources

I have been Head Teacher at Swaffham Prior since September 2018.  Previously, I was Deputy Head Teacher at St Andrew's, Soham and before that I taught at a number of schools in both the UK and internationally.

Mr Franc Carr Co-opted Governor July 2018 - Jul 2022 Governing Body Resources (Chair)
I live in Burwell and am dad to two boys who attend school at Swaffham Prior. I work in Cambridge for one of the high street banks, looking after corporate clients of the bank in the region. In my spare time, I enjoy family time and watching most sports.
 Mrs Tania Verdonk Co-opted Governor July 2018 - Jul 2022 Governing Body TLC (Chair)
I was a parent at Swaffham Prior for 10 years up to July 2019, when my daughter moved to secondary school to join her older brother.  In my day job, I run a marketing agency in Burwell.  As an avid networker, I am quite used to serving on committees.  My previous experience in education includes being the chair of the local pre-school from 2007 -2012 and volunteering as a business advisor for Form The Future.
  Mrs Rebecca Doggett Staff Governor February 2020 – February 2024 Governing Body TLC
I have been a teacher in the Early Years Centre at Swaffham Bulbeck since September 2014. I am now the Early Years Leader and English Co-ordinator, as well as currently studying for the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination. Having worked at a number of schools before completing my teacher training, I whole-heartedly believe Swaffham Bulbeck is a school like no other. It’s uniqueness, nurturing and ‘family feel’ are what attracted me to the school as a Newly Qualified Teacher, and are also the reasons I choose the school for my daughter to attend. I am passionate about the journey our school is on, and want to be part of our on-going development; both in the classroom and in the wider strategic planning. Outside of school, I enjoy horse riding, going to the gym (weightlifting!) and spending quality time with my husband and two children, often venturing to our favourite beaches in Cornwall.

Revd Susan Giles


Ex-officio Foundation Governor Ex-officio Ex-officio TLC
Dr David Unitt Co-opted Governor July 2018 – July 2022 Governing Body TLC
Mrs Donia Mercer Staff Governor March 2018 - March 2022 Staff Body TLC
I am Assistant Head Teacher, English co-ordinator, Pupil Premium lead and Swifts (Year 1 and 2) class teacher at Swaffham Prior.  I joined the school in January 2018 and became staff governor shortly after that. Before that, I taught for 12 years in a range of year groups in Essex primary schools, gaining experience as a senior leader and helping to shape and drive improvement in teaching and learning. I live locally and my two children attend Swaffham Prior School. 
Vacancy Co-opted Governor   Governing Body  


Ms Laurinda Vale Co-opted Governor  September 2020 - September 2022 Governing Body  
I’m Mum to Lylha who is currently in Owls). I joined the governors because the school has gone above and beyond in supporting Lylha. Not only do I want to help give back to the school, but to (hopefully) be an asset to the school going forward. 
Lylha and I share our home in the village with 3 dogs; Nutmeg, Annatto and Bailey. Prior to motherhood I worked for many years as a Mortgage and Financial Advisor. Subsequently promoted, I spent a further couple of years as a manager for a well known Building Society. Since having Lylha I have studied English Literature with The Open University. Currently, I’m part way through a business and social media marketing course. In addition to freelance writing and blogging. In my spare time I love being with my family, the dogs and our friends. We enjoy the outdoors, geocaching, great food and watching the little ones in our family flourish
Mr Alexis May Co-opted Governor  November 2019 - November 2021  Governing Body  
Vacancy Clerk   Governing Body