Who’s who on the Local Board

In January 2016 the governance structure of the school changed.  The school now shares a Local Board with Seagry Primary School and Somerfords’ Walter Powell Primary School.  All three schools are members of the Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust.

The new structure creates an opportunity for higher quality governance. The combined Local Board will have a more strategic perspective and the ability to compare and contrast between the schools. It also enables us to fully realise the sustained benefits of school-to-school collaboration, which include: a richer and wider curriculum; better professional development and career progression opportunities for staff, and better retention of key staff as a result; financial efficiency; and better prospects for pupils.

The first meeting of the combined Local Board was held on 25 January 2016.

DBAT Appointed Local Board Member

Claire Kennedy (Chair) – Claire has one child at Christian Malford School in Year 5.  She was a Trustee of Acorns Pre-school for five years until October 2013 and Chair for the last two years.  Claire is a Chartered Accountant and runs her own practice locally.  Claire is organised, determined and keen on clear, open communication which stands her in good stead for her role.  Claire is Chair of the Staffing and Pay Committee and also sits on DBAT’s Audit Committee.  Claire is the Link Local Board Member for Early Years Foundation Stage and the pre-schools.

Foundation Local Board Members

Evelyn Bone (ex-officio) – Evelyn was ordained in 2008 is the Assistant Minister working in the Draycot Benefice which comprises five parishes including Christian Malford and Seagry. Her role within the Benefice is to work with schools and families in exploring faith issues and to help ensure the Christian ethos makes our school distinctive. Evelyn came to Ministry after a career in teaching working for many years in Germany with primary aged children whose parents were in the Forces. On moving to Wiltshire she took a diploma with Dyslexic Action in specific learning difficulties and worked with pupils with moderate learning difficulties. Evelyn sits on the Staffing and Pay Committee. Evelyn is the Link Local Board member for English.

Heather LeeHeather Lee (ex-officio) – Heather has been a governor for some years. First at Somerfords’ Walter Powell School, then at Seagry School, and then Federation of Somerfords and Seagry Primary Schools. Now retired, Heather was licensed as a lay minister in 1992, and she is attached to the Woodbridge Group of Churches. She takes a particular interest in collective worship in the schools, and in links with the pre-schools. Heather sits on the Staffing and Pay Committee and is Local Board member for RE and Worship.

Shirley Palmer – Shirley has over 40 years’ experience in Primary education, teaching in London and Wiltshire. She taught at Christian Malford School for a total of 16 years and was Head Teacher of the School for the last 9 of those years.  Since leaving the School Shirley has had many roles and has developed expertise in induction, appointing and mentoring head teachers, gifted and talented programmes, developing Newly Qualified Teachers, supporting Governors and is OFSTED trained.  Shirley sits on the Standards and Curriculum Committee.  Shirley is the Link Local Board Member for Child Protection.

Vacancy Foundation Member – Following Margaret Palmer’s resignation we have a vacancy for a Foundation Member.

Community Local Board Members

Richard Jefferson (Vice-Chair) – Rich has two children, one in Year 3 at Somerfords’ Walter Powell School and one in Reception. After more than 20 years working in London and New York in Banking and Commodity Trading, Rich and his family have settled in Great Somerford. Rich holds an MA in Maths and Management Studies and is helping the Great Somerford PCC with their fundraising for “2020 Vision”. Rich is a speaker and facilitator for the Ambition Schools Leadership “Executive Educators” programme on finance and risk management.  Rich is Chair of the Resources Committee and is the Link Local Board member for Maths.

Julia Harle – Julia Harle is recently retired from teaching. She has worked in education for 22 years and has been a headteacher in both village and town primary schools for 12 years. She has lived in Seagry since 2001 and is an active member of St Mary’s Church, Seagry. Julia is passionate about primary and early years education and the role of village primary schools in their local community. She is a Trustee of The Rise Children’s Centre and is Chair of Chippenham’s Multi Agency Forum. She loves to garden, read and spin (wool). Julia sits on the Staffing and Pay Committee and is Chair of the Curriculum and Standards Committee.  Julia is Link Local Board Member for Assessment, PSHE and Science.

Vacancy Community Member – Following Paula Jenkins’ resignation we have a vacancy for a Christian Malford Community Member.

Parent Local Board Members

Nick Jarman – Nick has a son in Year 1 at Christian Malford. He has recently left the Army and now works as a project manager for Nationwide Building Society where he specialises in IT infrastructure and audio-visual solutions for their property portfolio. Whilst in the military, Nick held a variety of front line command and Ministry of Defence based strategic planning roles, though his last tour was at a multi-national headquarters based in Malaysia. Following postings around the UK and beyond, Nick is putting down roots in the area and is keen to get involved in the local community.  Nick is on the Resources Committee and is Link Local Board member for PE and Computing.

Elaine Naughton – Elaine has two children at Seagry School.  Elaine is on the Resources Committee and is Link Local Board member for Art, DT and Music.

Vacancy Parent Member – we have a vacancy for a Somerfords’ Walter Powell Parent Local Board member.  An election is being run with a close date of 22 February 2018.

Staff Local Board Members

Jill Rowe (Executive Principal) – Jill is the Executive Principal of Christian Malford, Seagry and Somerfords’ Walter Powell schools.  She is a strong advocate of the ‘Village School’.  Jill enjoys leading the three local schools and seeing the benefits this close relationship brings to the staff, pupils and the local communities.

Andrea Kaye (Christian Malford) – Andrea has been involved in education and training for more than 25 years. After having worked as Assistant Headteacher at a large North Wiltshire primary school for a number of years, she was keen to further her professional career in a small school setting. Andrea is the Deputy Principal of Christian Malford, Seagry and Somerfords’ Walter Powell Schools and Head of School at Christian Malford. She is thoroughly enjoying the unique benefits and challenges that a village school has to offer.  Andrea is a member of the Standards and Curriculum Committee.

Debbie Luter (Somerfords’ Walter Powell) – Debbie is the School Business Manager for all three schools.   She joined Somerfords’ Walter Powell in November 2006 as Admin & Finance Officer having previously worked for the National Grid as Finance Assistant for South West Area, progressing to Finance Officer for the National Stores and Helicopter Unit.  She loves the friendly atmosphere in school and is a big supporter of small, rural schools.  Debbie is a member of the Resources Committee.

Emily Edmonson (Seagry) – Emily is Head of School at Seagry. She is a member of the Standards and Curriculum Committee.


We have a vacancy for the position of clerk to the Local Board.

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