exe valley federation

Exe Valley

Governor Information


The governing board of the Exe Valley Federation comprises 13 members, many of whom are parents, former parents or members of local communities. Mr Jolliffe is also a governor as the Executive Headteacher, and the 5 Heads of School and Business Manager are Associate Members. Each of the governors, apart from Mr Jolliffe, are linked to one school for the year so that they can get to know the children, staff and parents there really well. The pen portraits may also be found on the federation website but are reprinted here to help you get to know them better.





I became a Foundation Governor in December 2017. My background is in primary education and I have been teaching for over 30 years.

I have also been an assistant Headteacher, SENDCo, designated Safeguarding Lead and a staff governor. After achieving my teaching degree, specialising in Early Years, I gained a BA in Psychology. I currently work part-time in a Foundation Stage Unit. With my experience I aim to support staff across the Federation in providing an inspiring learning environment where all pupils develop into well-rounded citizens. I am lead governor for SEND and Inclusion and deputy lead governor for Early Years.





My background is in art, design and education. I was a governor at Brampford Speke C of E Primary School from 2008 to 2017, when the school joined the Exe Valley Federation and was Chair of Governors for six years. I enjoy the challenges of strategic governance and working with staff and pupils to help enable the schools to develop to their full potential.



                                                                     SOPHIE DUNN                                                                          Having studied music at the University of Oxford, I initially trained as a secondary music teacher. I taught in a big London comprehensive school for four years, before deciding to
move into education and outreach work with a London orchestra. I am now a Project Manager for a national music outreach charity, Live Music Now, which focuses on training professional musicians to work with older people and children with special educational
I joined the board of governors for Exe Valley Federation in 2015 because I was keen to get more involved in my local community and help ensure that the schools continue to provide a fun and inspiring learning environment for children. I am a parent governor, with children at Newton St Cyres School. I have particular responsibility for Early Years.



I have a business back ground, with many years’ experience working as a Director of Finance and Administration, in both smaller and larger companies. During my working life I have also lived and worked in New Zealand. I am now retired.

I have been an Exe Valley Federation governor since the start of the federation in 2012. In that time, I have been a lead governor for Health & Safety and Finance. In September 2018 I was voted back in by the governing board as the Chair of Governors. I am enjoying the challenges that this strategic role brings and working together as a team with like-minded people to ensure staff and teachers are supported and challenged and the children in the federation come first.






I am a co-opted Governor with responsibility for Finance and have a child at Brampford Speke. In my current working role I am chief officer and responsible financial officer (under section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972) at Cranbrook Town Council and hold a Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA). As part of the latter I have trained extensively in law and procedures, finance, management, including staff and contracts, as well as community engagement – and these also form the core areas I am responsible for in the organisation.
As responsible financial officer, I am responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of the organisation, for completing monthly, quarterly and year-end financial returns, for submitting VAT returns, for overseeing the internal and external audit processes as well as budgetary planning and budget setting for future financial years. As part of this role I have trained extensively in law and procedures, finance, management, including staff and contracts, as well as community engagement – and these also form the core areas I am responsible for in the organisation.



I taught for many years in Exeter and Tiverton as a primary school teacher and lead teacher and then worked for Devon as a National Strategies Literacy Consultant, delivering training for teachers around the county. Much of my time was taken working intensively with head teachers and their teams to improve school performance. This helps in my current role as Chair of the School Improvement Committee.

In Southampton I ran a Nursery School, offering a highly creative curriculum and this attracted both gifted and talented children and children with special needs. I have a keen interest in autism, setting up a Young Explorers unit for Foundation Stage children. I worked for 10 years as a Foster carer for hard-to-place short and long-term placements. I believe passionately that all children deserve to learn, grow and have fun in a safe, caring and supportive environment. I am also a Foundation Governor.


I moved to Devon over twenty years ago, with my two children, to begin my teaching career after previously working in banking. I am one of the foundation governors and have previously served on the governing board at Silverton, where I work part time as a year 3/4 class teacher. I have been part of the leadership team at Silverton and am now part of the federation maths team As a school governor, I look forward to joining a team dedicated to providing our children with the best chance of success. I will be involved with the development of the Christian ethos in the church schools and am in the Thorverton home team.




As a governor, I’m motivated by a desire to see all children achieving their full potential. I was a teacher for ten years, I’ve been a GCSE examiner since 2014, and a governor since 2016. Because of my experience, I know what young people are capable of, and I know that the best schools are the ones which are both highly performing and strongly committed to improvement. As a governor, I read and question reports, consider and query school decisions, carry out inspections, gather evidence and write reports of my own. By doing this, I help the EVF to recognise its strengths and goals, so that the schools can continue to get better, and so that the pupils can continue to thrive.


I joined the Board of Governors in September 2017 as a Parent Governor and then became a co-opted Governor. My daughter attends primary school in Thorverton. I studied law at the University of Cambridge and the College of Law in Chester before working for a number of years as a solicitor in London and Bristol specialising in employee benefits. My mother and one of my sisters are teachers so I have an appreciation of both the challenges and the joys of teaching. I am committed to bringing both my professional skills and my perspective as a parent to the role of governor in the EVF. I am Lead Governor for safeguarding and a member of the Newton St Cyres School Focus Group.


                                                            JONATHON STEVENSON-PAUL
I am a parent of two boys who attend Cheriton Fitzpaine Primary School and I live with my family near Cadeleigh. By profession, I am a Chartered Surveyor.  My work has focused on property management.  In more recent times, I have been a risk management consultant which involves conducting insurance surveys (specialising in listed and unusual buildings).  Before moving to Devon last year, my wife and I lived in a boarding school where she was employed as a houseparent and I was employed part time (assistant houseparent). During this time, I learnt a great deal about the world of schools and how positive and proactive care and compassion for children in the school environment can influence their lives. 




I joined the Exe Valley Board of Governors in September 2019 as an Associate Governor after previously being involved on Silverton’s Governing Body.  I am a Silvertonian and attended Silverton Primary School myself (although a number of years ago now!). I have a degree from Sheffield Hallam University in Sports Management but returned to Silverton to start a family. I currently work for the School Admissions Team as part of the Education Department at Devon County Council which means I’m fully aware of the pressures on schools and teachers.  My four year old son has just started Silverton Primary, therefore I am very committed to bringing both my professional skills within the Education Dept and my perspective as a parent to my new role of governor in the EVF.  As well as the Parent Link Governor role I am member of the Silverton School Focus Group.




As senior lecturer in Geography and newly elected Parent Governor, I am looking forward to contributing my expertise to the Governor team, having published work on teaching practices including appropriate use of technology enabled learning. I am executive trustee of ‘Learning On Screen’ so am familiar running a successful educational business. In my teaching I incorporate the United Nations Sustainability Goals and can advise the school on how to incorporate these, inspiring and educating our children to ensure a cleaner, sustainable future. As a parent I am invested in the schools’ success, teaching ethos, social development and creating memories and experiences that will stay with our children for life.


Victoria Scott-Hake

Having a BA Hons degree in Theatre Studies and experience of being a teaching assistant, teacher and mum of two young children, I consider myself very fortunate to have had a variety of opportunities that develop and inspire children’s minds. Being a teacher for ten years, I understand the importance of providing outstanding teaching through an inspirational curriculum so children become lifelong learners. Currently, I am Mental Health Champion across the federation and I believe that my role is vital to everyone who is returning to the school environment. It is undertaking this role and my current position as Early Years teacher at Newton St Cyres Foundation Unit that has prompted me to become a staff governor. My knowledge and experience will enable me to continue providing insight to the wellbeing of the staff and our children as well as ensuring that children in Early Years are provided with a truly magical start to the school journey.





As the Executive Headteacher I am also a member of the governing board. I have been a teacher for 25 years, having previously trained as a building surveyor. I have worked in a wide range of schools in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset and have been a Head of both Church and Community schools since becoming a Head in 2002. In 2016 I moved to Devon with my family and now enjoy the challenges and privileges of working with the five Exe Valley Federation schools. For me, working as part of a dedicated and professional leadership team is one of the best parts of the job, along with teaching children across the schools on a regular basis.





I have been Head of School at Newton St. Cyres for 3 years after working in the federation at Cheriton Fitzpaine Primary School and Newton St. Cyres as a class teacher. I have worked with a wide range of age groups and still enjoy teaching, working across the classes during the teacher’s PPA time.
I have a keen interest in sport and this led me to my career path as a teacher. Working at Saracens Rugby Club in London I worked closely alongside the local primary schools as a community development officer and followed this up by completing a PGCE at Exeter University.
I am incredibly lucky to work with such a dedicated teaching team here at Newton St. Cyres and we are also fortunate to have a new school building, fit for a modern education and one which facilitates fantastic teaching and learning.



Before entering the teaching profession 25 years ago, I worked as a technician at the University of Hertfordshire and before that in a number of secondary schools. This inspired me to become a teacher! At the University of Hertfordshire, I completed a B Ed, specialising in Science. I have always had a love for teaching this subject.

During my teaching career I have taught in a huge variety of schools, from a small special school in Middlesbrough to a large inner- city school in London. However, the majority of my teaching career has been in small rural schools. I am now Head of School at Thorverton and an associate governor.



I have been the Head of School at Brampford Speke C of E Primary School since January 2018. Before moving to Devon, I taught in Hertfordshire and Essex for several years both as a KS2 teacher and a Deputy Head Teacher. My degree is in Outdoor Adventure Education, this gave me an insight into the benefits of experiential learning for both children and adults. Before becoming a teacher, I worked in the outdoor and health and fitness industry in the UK and Canada.    As Head of school I am committed to providing learning opportunities which allow all learners to succeed. I enjoy working with all stake holders to ensure all children are supported socially, emotionally and academically in an environment that fosters a lifelong love of learning.



I have been Head Teacher at Silverton for 5 years and am looking forward to my new role as Head of School and working as part of The Federation. I have been teaching for 26 years across EYFS and both Key Stages, firstly in East London and then in Exeter after relocating in 2002. My degree is in Theology, although most of my career has mostly been spent leading on Maths, Literacy and SEN. Education is my passion and I still get a real ‘buzz’ from teaching  and enjoy learning more every day from my pupils! We have a wonderful staff team at Silverton and I feel privileged to be part of such a supportive and caring school.




My name is Claire Theedom, and I am the Head of School at Cheriton Fitzpaine.
I grew up in Crediton, where I still live now with my husband and two young girls. My previous role was teaching Years 5 and 6 at Newton St Cyres as well as leading maths. I was also a governor and I am committed to taking our schools forward and achieving the best possible outcomes for all children. As Head of School, I am committed to developing an inclusive, engaging and supportive learning environment where children develop a love of learning and are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. I am fortunate to be working with such a committed and imaginative team at Cheriton and enjoy working with colleagues from across the federation.



I joined Exe Valley Federation in May 2018 as the Federation Business Manager, then became Clerk to Governors in  September 2018.

I have worked in education for the past 19 years based at the same school for most of this time. I started off as an MTA and then progressed to a Teaching Assistant supporting children with additional needs, then a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. In 2005 I moved from the classroom into the school office as the admin assistant and ICT support, which was a new challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed. Since joining the federation I have really enjoyed working across all the schools and have been made to feel welcome by all the staff, governors, children and families. I am looking forward to the future challenges a new role can bring.