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St Nicholas C of E Primary School East Challow

A caring community where all pupils are valued and achieve well.

Local Governing Body

Local Governing Body


Tim Benbow: Chair, Parent Governor, Teaching & Learning 


Tim joined the governing body as Chair in 2021, having previously served as a member and vice-chair of the LGB at Millbrook.  He is a university lecturer at King’s College London, where he teaches history and politics.  He lives in East Challow and has two daughters who attend St Nics.



Vacancy: Vale Academy Trust Governor, Special Needs




Rev. Alec Gill: Foundation Governor


Alec became part of the LGB following his move to the local area in September 2016, taking up the role of Associate Vicar for the Vale Benefice. Alec has been a Church of England minister for 4 years, previously working as a church youth worker. As one of our local vicars, Alec’s concern is for the school to achieve the best outcomes for all its pupils and staff, through its identity as a Church of England school.


Jenny Penfold: Foundation Governor, Safeguarding


Jenny has been a foundation governor on the LGB for three years. She also has special responsibility for safeguarding. She is a member of the congregation at St Nicholas Church in the village and part of the Open the Book team which visits St Nicholas school each week. She also organises the annual prayer space. She worked as a secondary teacher for a number of years and then after a career break, She returned to work as a teaching assistant in a local secondary school until she retired.


Heather Richards: Headteacher


Heather joined as Headteacher at St Nicholas CE Primary in January 2021 and has over many years of experience teaching and leading in small Church of England schools across Oxfordshire. Interestingly St Nicolas Primary was her first teaching position in Oxfordshire.  Prior to this she worked at a large two-form primary in Southend-on-Sea and prior to that taught in South Norwood in London.  She brings twenty-five years teaching experience across a wide range of settings.



Steven Gillott: Parent Governor


Steve joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2018. He is an Assistant Headteacher at an outstanding secondary Academy in North Wiltshire, and wanted to use his experience in school leadership and governance to help support the excellent work all the staff at St Nicholas do to provide the best possible education and opportunities for the children. His responsibility within the governors is to work in partnership with the Headteacher to ensure the pupils are taught an outstanding and varied curriculum. He feels it is a privilege to represent parents and carers on the governing body in ensuring the school community continues to succeed and improve further.



Katie Mallinson: Staff Governor


This is Katie's first year as Staff Governor at St Nicholas School. She started teaching at the school just over a year ago. She has worked as teacher in Wantage for almost 10 years and has lived locally for nearly as long. Immediately before coming to St Nicholas, she worked at one of the larger Vale Academy Trust schools, but she has previously taught in other small schools. Before becoming a teacher, she worked as a TA in Oxford and volunteered for a national help line.


Lisa Speakman : Parent Governor

Lisa has been recently appointed to the role as Parent Governor (June 2021).  She has two children at St Nicholas and works as a P.E teacher in a secondary school. She is looking forward to supporting the school in her new role over the coming years.



Katy Wells: Clerk (Interim)


For more information about the role of LGBs within the Vale Academy Trust and to view a register of interests of the members of the St Nicholas LGB, please refer to the documents below.

St Nicholas c of E Local Governing Body Register of Interests 2020-2021