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St Leonard's (CofE) Primary School (VC)

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Brief Overview of the Governors' role

A new Local Governing Body was created when we joined St Christopher's Multi Academy Trust on 1st September 2018.

A school's governors are its strategic leaders and have a vital role to play in ensuring every child gets the best possible education. There is a basis for this in law, which states that the purpose of the governing body is to "conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school".

School governors have a focus on these key strategic functions:

a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

b. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff

How to contact the Local Governing Body:

By email: 


By post:

Chair of Governors, 

C/o Clerk to Governors

St Leonard's (CofE) Primary School (VC), 

St Leonard's Road,



Governors Who's Who

RUTH CLARKE - Chair of Governors

Foundation Governor

Safeguarding Governor









Having worked as a primary school teacher in Devon for 11 years, I now work full time with children and families at St Leonard’s Church. Part of my job includes coming into St Leonard’s Primary School to lead some of the collective worships and to run a lunch club. I love being part of the school community, spending time at the school and getting to know the staff and children. I will use my faith, my teaching background and my experience to help support the school.


SIMON DRAKE - Co-opted Governor

Champion for Resources & Risk

Deputy Safeguarding Governor 






I am a Chartered Accountant with over 8 years’ experience of auditing and providing financial advice to the education sector – from single academy trusts, to some of the country’s largest multi-academy trusts, as well as a number of independent schools. With my daughter recently joining St Leonard’s Primary, I felt this was the perfect time to put my skills to good use in supporting the local community. I live on the edge of St Leonards with my wife and two children.

JESSICA HODGES - Co-Opted Governor

Champion for Disadvantaged Pupils








I am Jessica Hodges and I am the kids and families worker and co-lead pastor of St Matt’s Church Exeter. I have had 10 years' worth of experience going into primary schools, working with children and families, leading assemblies and generally being involved in the life of the school. Over the years I have seen how critical it is to have a strong governing body to help support the school, teachers, staff and pupils. I am excited to be able to offer my experience to the team and support the vision of the school to 'Be the best you can be'. My husband and I have two daughters and our eldest daughter joined St Leonard's in the 2021 reception intake. 

Chris Warren - Director Appointed Co-opted Governor

Champion for Curriculum & Standards

I applied to be a Governor in early 2022 as I want to give something back to my local community. I have lived in St Leonard's for 25 years and both of my children attended the school in the 2000s. My wife and I were always grateful for their happy time here. 

I retired early in 2021 and I offer my commercial experience (I was a senior bank manager and management consultant), and a life-long interest in education, to help the school and its pupils be the best that they can be.

CHRIS KEANE – Ex-Officio Foundation Governor

Lead Governor for Ethos & Communication






I have had strong links with St Leonard's Primary since arriving in Exeter in 2011, as a parent of three children at the school, as Associate Rector of St Leonard's Church, and as a member of the previous Governing Body since 2015.  It has been a joy to be part of such a warm and vibrant school community, and one which has such strong links with the local church.  Before becoming a minister, I did a degree in Computer Science and worked in IT. My wife and I love running and exploring the Devon countryside with our children.

ANNA LOPEZ - Staff Governor







I joined St Leonard’s in September 2019 as Assistant Headteacher and was promoted to Deputy Head in November 2020. I have worked in education for 20 years, starting in North London and then in Devon. This year, I am excited to have taken on the role of English Leader, as I firmly believe that reading sits at the heart of learning. I care deeply for our school and have established a new relationships policy that embeds the importance of developing positive relationships in order for children to feel safe and cared for and therefore learn effectively. On a personal note, my husband and I have two boys of our own and we love living near the beach in Exmouth!

NEIL SEWELL - Parent Governor / Vice Chair of Governors

Champion for Resources & Risk







As parent of a child at school and having a background in university pedagogy, I believe that education is the most valuable gift for children.  The desire to learn, explore and investigate is innate and primary education is the place to nurture curiosity to give our children the best tools to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s world.  But schools must currently be highly strategic to balance teaching needs, reducing budgets and increasing pupil numbers – a tricky task!  I will bring my management, education, strategic leadership and common-sense skills to this role to help the school be the best it can be.

EMMA SLAVEN - Headteacher








I was delighted to join St Leonard’s as Headteacher in September 2020. I have been in education for 25 years and have a real passion for learning and development and how we can inspire young people. I have been fortunate to have always taught in Devon and I worked closely with early teachers for many years. I feel very fortunate to be so well supported by our governing body and we work well as a team. My husband and I have three girls together; our eldest has recently gone off to study law at Durham.

Clerk to Governors

In order to contact the Governors please contact 

School Motto

Be The Best You Can Be

Mission Statement

'And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,'Hebrews 10:24

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