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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,



Summary of Governors, Roles & Attendance

Governors Who's Who

RUTH CLARKE - Chair of Governors

Lead Governor for Standards

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.


NEIL SEWELL - Parent Governor / Vice Chair of Governors

Lead Governor for Resources

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.

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.

CHRIS CAMPBELL - Parent Governor

Safeguarding Lead Governor

I am Chris Campbell a local GP who has worked in the community for over 10 years.  I am heavily involved in Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education as well as Senior Medical Management.  I am keen to bringing the principals and knowledge I have learnt over the years to Primary Education and further improve the school.  I have a daughter, Amelie, at the school.


VANESSA FOX - Co-opted Governor 

Lead Governor for Disadvantaged Children and SEND

I live very nearby and becoming a governor feels like a great way to give back to the local community. After a decade working overseas in the international development sector - including with the BBC and United Nations in East Africa and Geneva - I relocated to Exeter in 2018 to take the reins as CEO at Farms for City Children, the charity founded by children's writer Michael Morpurgo.  Through my work I interact with hundreds of primary schools across the country, especially schools from disadvantaged communities and those that support children with complex challenges.  I strongly believe that every child deserves a positive learning experience and am looking forward to supporting the school to meet the needs of its brilliantly diverse students, particularly those with SEND.  I have one grown-up daughter who is a secondary school science teacher in London. I am excited to join the team at St Leonard's and am looking forward to meeting the staff, students and their families over the coming months (covid-willing!).

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!

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.

VACANCY - Co-Opted Governor


HANNAH FUJITA - Clerk to Governors

I am very pleased to support the work of the Local Governing Body, especially as 2 of my children have attended the school.  As Clerk it’s my role to provide advice on governance and procedural matters, give administrative support and manage information in accordance with legal requirements.  I do this role alongside other work and have a background in contracting and procurement processes, compliance and data management. 

In order to contact the Governors please use my email address ( and I will pass on the mail to the most appropriate member of the LGB.

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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