Our Governors

Governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in all St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust schools. However, the ultimate responsibility for the school lies with the Board of Directors, with much of the work delegated to the Local Governing Body (LGB). 

The LGB has three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governors set the aims and objectives for the school and set the targets/policies for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. 

Governors bring a wide range of skills and expertise from their professional lives to the LGB, and schools benefit greatly from working with skilled volunteers.

We are currently looking to recruit new volunteers to join our LGB; please click here for more information. 

To contact the governors, or if you are interested in hearing more about becoming a governor, please contact the Clerk to Governors: MIC.clerk@stcmat.org

Meet Our Governors

JH photoMy name is James Heaver and I am a foundation governor at St Michael’s, having two children in the school. I became a governor in October 2018 when my daughter first started at St Michael’s and I wanted to be part of her journey throughout her education as well as being an active member of the school. I am an Assistant Principal at the Deaf Academy where my role is focused on residential care, safeguarding and quality improvement. I really enjoy being a governor at St Michael’s, supporting the Senior Leadership team and contributing to the vison and values of St Michael’s. 

Lh photoI joined the Governing board in January 2023 as an elected Parent Governor. With a background in teaching/school leadership and now working with Somerset County Council to support vulnerable learners I have a good understanding of the education system and the challenges that schools can face in order to achieve the best for its pupils. I attend Belmont Church in Exeter and am strongly committed to supporting the Christian ethos of St Michael’s. I have two children at St Michael’s and just love being part of this vibrant and supportive community. As a parent I am invested in making sure that all pupils at St Michael’s have access to an education that excites them and inspires curiosity about the wonderful world around them.  

Br photoMy name is Ben Rabjohns and I am the priest at St Michael’s Church in Heavitree. I’ve been in post since the end of November 2021, and part of my role is to be a governor at St Michael’s School. It is always a joy to welcome the school to St Michael’s Church for special services and to visit the school for collective worship each week. Being involved in schools has always been a big part of my work as a priest and is one of the things about my work which brings me joy. It is lovely that there are such close links between St Michael’s School and the church, and I enjoy working closely with the school and supporting its work in any way I can, but especially in my role as a governor.  


Eb photoHello, my name is Emma Bone. I am the Deputy Headteacher and I lead maths and the curriculum at St Michael’s. I am also the EAL Lead. I was the Staff Governor for four years, and since becoming Deputy, I am now an Associate Member of the Local Governing Body. The best bit of my job is making a real difference to the school that we all love! 

RD PhotoMy name is Rhys Davies and I am a parent governor. I have lived in Exeter for the past 14 years and both my children attend St Michael's.

I currently work for Transforming Futures Trust as an Assistant Headteacher. I have worked in education for 14 years, working my way up from TA to my current role as an Assistant Headteacher in an SEN setting. I love rewarding nature of education and seeing students thrive and succeed. I have worked across both primary and secondary and have been responsible for leading English and Assessment across the schools in which I have worked. As an experienced educationalist across multiple settings, I believe I have a lot to offer the Local Governing Body and look forward to using my experience to help St Michael's continue to flourish.

Kl photoHello!

My name is Karen Leach and I am delighted to have been appointed as Headteacher at St Michael’s. I hope that this short biography lets you know a little about me and how I’ve arrived at this role.

I have been teaching for over thirty years and for most of my career this has been in and around Exeter and North Devon. I have worked in a diverse range of schools, training in London, teaching on an army garrison and in a variety of schools across Devon in a range of roles throughout the primary phase, as well as heading up a large nursery. I have also committed to chairing the governing body of a large, local secondary school. Working as an advisory teacher in two local authorities, deputy head in two schools and acting head in three, as well as a short period as an Ofsted inspector has given me a breadth of knowledge and skills to draw upon in this current role. I am absolutely committed to ensuring that the whole school community works together to ensure your children get the best possible learning and life opportunities.

I live in Heavitree with my husband and two daughters. We worship locally, at St Michael’s and All Angels Church. In my spare time I have a productive, if slightly weed inhabited allotment and spend as many weekends as possible there or in Cornwall. Wherever I work, children get the opportunity to meet a very important member of our family, Oli, our four year old malshi. He is an experienced therapy dog who has been a regular (and very important) part of the school team.

Gm photoHello, my name is Georgina Maddocks (George), I am currently a Foundation Governor, with responsibilities covering Safeguarding, Attendance & Behaviour, Disadvantaged Pupils and Admissions. Both of my children previously attended St Michaels and I have been a Governor and previously member of the school PTFA for many years. I am a social worker who works within the fostering field across Devon and Cornwall.  Some of you may have known me in my previous role as the Manager of Heavitree Community Preschool.  St Michaels school is a wonderful nurturing environment and I feel privileged to be a member of its governing body supporting the school in enriching children’s lives in our lovely local community.

GWM PhotoMy name is George Marshall and I am a Parent Governor. I have lived in Heavitree for the last ten years and my boys attend St Michael’s.  

I currently work for the City Council as a town planning manager. Working for the Council gives me a good insight into the amazing work of the public sector but also the real challenges we face, including in our schools. I come from a family of teachers and so I understand the massive efforts which our staff make to give our children the best start they can. I really look forward to helping St Michael's in a small way in continuing to be fantastic school it is.

Rr photoMy name is Rowenna Rutherford and I'm newly appointed as one of the School Governors. I have a son in year 5, at the school and a daughter in year 11 at St Peters, who previously attended St Michaels. I live with my husband in Pennsylvania. I have lived and worked in Exeter since 2005 and love being part of this local community.

I work locally at the RDE as an Administration Manager; having previously managed a number of clinical services.  I hope that I can bring enthusiasm and some of the experience from my working life into the school in my role as governor. 

I was secretary and then co-chair of the PTFA for a number of years before becoming a governor and this gave me an opportunity to work closely with the leadership team. I am really excited to play a more active role supporting the senior leadership's vision for the school. 

Jt photoI have been a teacher for almost 20 years and have worked in two different large primary schools in that time. I have worked as a class teacher across KS2 and have taken on a number of other, varied responsibilities alongside my teaching role, including leading English across both schools, overseeing Initial Teacher Training and leading PE. I have been involved in extra-curricular provision, including leading residential opportunities, and I spent time on the PTA committee as a staff representative in my last school.  

As a classroom practitioner, I feel I can bring extensive and varied classroom experience to the Local Governing Body and can give an accurate reflection of the learning experiences of pupils in the classroom. Furthermore, as an English subject lead, I can also bring a current picture of English across the school. Since English is both crucial and hugely wide in its role, including reading, writing and phonics, I feel that this insight is enormously helpful in discussions with governors around school priorities, actions and impact.  

I am committed to the pupils in this school and feel strongly about providing them with the best possible learning opportunities during their time with us. 

Sw photoHi, my name is Sue Whiffin and I am currently a Foundation Governor. Before joining the governing body, I was secretary of the PTA for many years while my children were at St Michael’s. 

I am a Research Group Manager at the University of Exeter, where I have worked since 2006. I also volunteer with St Peter’s High School, East Devon County Netball Association and Parklife, and worship at St Michael’s Church. Living in Heavitree, I can see first-hand how integral the school is within the local community. 

It is a privilege to be a Governor at this school, and a role I enjoy enormously, and despite my non-teaching background it is always fascinating and inspiring to see the work done not only behind the scenes but in every classroom every day of the week, as we look to support and challenge the leadership team in our roles as Governors. I aspire to bring a non-educational fresh pair of eyes to our meetings, while helping to encourage and contribute to the values and vision of St Michael’s. 

I joined St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust in 2022 and now clerk for three local schools, providing administrative support to their Local Governing Bodies. Previously, I have taught IB and A Level German, and worked as a junior school Teaching Assistant, as well as in translation proofreading.

I find the clerking role interesting, rewarding and enjoyable, particularly because it is varied and draws on my organisational and written communication skills, and gives me opportunities for continuous professional development and for building relationships with others.

I always come away from Local Governing Body meetings feeling inspired by how deeply our governors and school leaders care about achieving the best possible outcomes for our children. I feel privileged to serve our school community in my role as clerk.


To contact the governors or the clerk, please email: mic.clerk@stcmat.org

LGB Meeting Minutes