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St James CofE Primary and Nursery School

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St James CofE Primary and Nursery School

Our Governors

Welcome to our Governors information!


When St James C of E Primary and Nursery School opened in September 2018, we were operated by St James Academy Trust, a 'single academy trust' that had a Board of Directors who were also the governing body for the school. 


St James joined Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust on 1st October 2020.  Now that St James is a member of Dartmoor MAT, the role of Directors changes and the school will now have a Local Academy Committee.  Plans are currently underway for shaping the look of the new Academy Committee for St James.


The Local Academy Committee play a vital role in shaping the education of young people by helping to set the ethos, vision and strategy for school. They provide leadership, support and challenge to the senior management team. 


This section will be updated to set out how the Local Academy Committee is structured, the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each member. 

Meet the Local Academy Committee!


The Local Academy Committee comprises of those appointed and elected individuals. The term of office for individuals is four years, after which period members are able to stand for reappointment or re-election. No individual will serve more than two terms of office. 


Ian Courtney: Chair of Governing Body: Member Appointment: 28 March 2018


Ian was a senior manager in banking with Natwest / RBS for over 30 years. He has been a school governor for 17 years and a Chair for ten. He is currently the Chair of the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust and Chair of the National Governors Association. Ian is accredited by the National College of Teaching and Learning (NCTL) as a National Leader of Governance (NLG). He speaks at national conferences, has regular meetings with government ministers and speaks at all party parliamentary groups on school governance.


Hazel Fox: Vice CEO, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust: Member Appointment: 28 March 2018


Hazel has significant experience of being a Head Teacher in the primary sector in Devon in both a small and large schools.


In late 2009, Hazel was asked by Devon County Council take up a short term secondment at Okehampton Primary School which had been placed in Special Measures by Ofsted, after which she was appointed to the substantive post. In 2011, Ofsted judged the school to the Good with Outstanding leadership and management.

In 2015, Devon County Council asked Hazel to support Chagford school with leadership as the school was considered vulnerable. After four months of her support, the school was judged ‘Good’ by Ofsted.


Hazel has chaired two ‘Local Learning Community’ groups of headteachers and delivered the transition of the group to a Cooperative Trust group. She also led the primary phase lead in the conversion process to Multi Academy Trust status.


Amanda French: Member Appointment: 4 June 2018


Amanda is a qualified solicitor with 10 years legal experience in private practice and in house for a huge variety of companies from the BBC and multinationals to start up companies. In her former role as Legal Manager and Panel Relationship Manager for a Peer2Peer finance business, Amanda recruited a panel of skilled lawyers, maintained high standards from the Panel and delivered new processes and teams. Amanda is a former Company Secretary and Governor of Okehampton Primary School.


Beverley Johnson: Sponsor / Foundation Appointment: 28 November 2018. 

More information about Beverley Johnson will be posted here shortly. 


John Lawlor: Member Appointment: 28 March 2018


Prior to retiring, John was a Senior Project Manager in the aerospace industry. He has twenty five years’ experience as a school governor, most recently as the Vice Chair of Okehampton Primary School where he specialised in monitoring the schools’ pupil progress and attainment performance. John has also served as Chair of the Dartmoor Cooperative Learning Trust.


Michaela Myerscough: Parent Governor (Elected by Parents) 16 October 2018

As a parent governor, Michaela is able act as the ‘eye and ears’ of parents, and, having grown up in Austria, brings fresh scrutiny to how things work both within St James School and the wider English education system.

Marcia Horsley: Parent Governor (Elected by Parents) 31 October 2018


Marcia is a parent at the school. In her professional capacity, she is a ‘Partner Voice Representative’; a democratically elected role which mirrors many of the responsibilities of a school governor.


Suzie Stevens: Staff Governor (Elected by School Staff) 31 October 2018


Suzie is the Head Teacher. Her career to date has included roles as a Teacher, Subject Coordinator, Foundation Stage Leader, Deputy Head, Local Authority Adviser, Head of Early Years, Assistant Headteacher and Acting Head of School.


A qualified Headteacher, Mrs Stevens holds a B.Ed (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and is a Department for Education designated Specialist Leader in Education.


As Head Teacher, Mrs Stevens oversees the day to day management of the school and drives high standards of teaching and learning. 


Meetings of the Governing Body


The governing body meets on a regular basis.


The approved minutes of governing body meetings will be published here shortly. 

Contact the Governors


Our Chair of Governors, John Searson, can be contacted as follows:


St James Academy Trust
Diocese of Exeter




Tel: 01392 294 938


Key Governance Documents


Effective, transparent and accountable governance is at the heart of St James Academy Trust and St James Church of England Primary and Nursery School. The documents below set out our governance arrangements and demonstrate how we comply with these principles as part of our commitment to best practice.