Primary School


ESF Strategic Plan

Welcome to our Governors’ section. Please find below details of how the Governing body for the East Somerset Federation (Bruton and Upton Noble primary schools) is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor. 



Meet the East Somerset Federation Governors 

Currently there are 13 members of the Governing Body, representing the Local Authority, local community, parents and staff. We are all volunteers, and we all have the same aims and ambitions for the schools. We are interested in children, their education and their development.  The Full Governing Body meets 6 times a year, with sub-committees in and Business & Finance and Pay & Head Teacher's Performance meeting 3 times a year each.


We recognise that there are three important core roles to our contribution at both Bruton Primary School and Upton Noble Church of England Primary School.


  • The first is strategic. It is our responsibility to agree policies and to monitor their impact.
  • The second is to be a ‘critical friend’. It is important that we ask relevant but probing questions. We examine the performance of the children in the school, and we give praise where it is good and seek ways of making improvements when expectations are not achieved.
  • Thirdly, we must ensure accountability. For instance, if we delegate a task to a committee or working party, the terms of reference for the group must be clearly set. We must evaluate ourselves and the actions we take.


Introducing the members of the Governing Body (2018/19 school year):


Phil Butler (Chair)

Phil has been a Governor on the body since it first federated in April 2013. Before that Phil was a Governor for Bruton Primary School. Phil is a business leader in Bruton and took over as Chair in September 2016.


Melanie Bowes-Lyon (Vice Chair)

I became a co-opted governor in September 2017 because I am a mum who very much enjoys being part of, and contributing to, the local community.  For the last 10 years I have been a secondary school mathematics teacher, working initially in central London state schools and now working at Kings’ Bruton in the mathematics department. Prior to my career in teaching I was an Engineering Officer in the Army which developed many skills that I find useful for governance.

I am enjoying immensely being a part of the school and federation that I hope my daughter will attend next year.  My responsibilities include progress and attainment in mathematics across the Federation.


Chris Collier

Chris works at Bath Spa University where he is a lecturer in the School of Education. He is involved in teaching across the undergraduate Education Studies course and the postgraduate initial teacher education programme. Before joining the University, he taught in a primary school on the Isle of Wight and prior to that he worked as an environmental geologist. He became a governor for the East Somerset Federation when it was formed in 2013 and is a member of the Federation’s Education Committee. He hopes his experience of education, both policy and practice, is of value to the Federation.


Victoria Christophers

I have one child at Upton Noble Primary School and began my role of Governor in September 2018.


Sandra Leggett

Interim Executive Headteacher of the East Somerset Federation from 1 January 2019


Jemima Newman

I became a parent governor in 2016 and I put myself forward having two children at Bruton Primary School and wanting to contribute to, and support the running of the schools.  I grew up in Bruton and attended Bruton Primary School myself (many years ago) and it still has the same great feel about it now.  

Before children, I was an HR Manager and I feel this experience will be beneficial in fulfilling my role  in helping the children achieve the best school experience possible and start to their education.  I am now the staff governor and have responsibility for progress and attainment in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  


Karen Cook

Karen has a very busy family life, she has three daughters, the youngest is in KS2 at Upton Noble and the elder two are continuing their journey in further education.  Karen lives in South Brewham and for over 10 years has played an active roll on the Village Hall Committee. Her kind and friendly attitude and experiences as a mother have all helped to organise many fantastic events in Brewham.

Working in Bruton, Karen loves meeting people and as a Governor looks forward to both schools in the federation work together in making them great places of learning for all the children of the community.


Mary La Trobe-Bateman OBE

I have lived in Batcombe for 40 years and have three children who went to Upton Noble Primary School; I’m impressed by the wide variety of careers they and their contemporaries have achieved.  I have always valued the start to their education and am a co-opted governor so that I can help to maintain excellence in both schools.  My nine grandchildren go to three very different primary schools – an all Welsh speaking in N Wales, a rural village school in Wiltshire and a private school in central London.  This gives me a chance to see how our two schools compare.

I now work part-time curating exhibitions, having run Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in London after my own gallery in Batcombe.


Norman Hutchinson

I am now retired after a 34-year career as a Royal Air Force Officer followed by 11 years as an Overseas Business Development Manager with BAE Systems. I moved to the area near Upton Noble in early 2017 and hope to use my past knowledge and experience to support the local communities through the role of Governor in the East Somerset Federation.


Michael Gorman


Tanya Sherriff-Prest


Chris Partridge

I was appointed as a Parent Governor in 2018 and have a  child who attends Bruton Primary where my wife is also a teacher. I have been a Head Teacher for the last fourteen years.  I serve as the Chair of the Business and Finance Committee. During the many years, I have had links with the schools. I have witnessed the wonderful environment the schools provide for our children in many ways. 

I joined as a parent governor in order to make a positive contribution to children’s education and I consider it a privilege to help support the parents, staff and governors by bringing my knowledge, experience and skills to the Governing Body towards maintaining the high standards of achievement and Financial security. I feel honoured to be a parent governor at East Somerset Federation.


Susan Simpson

Having spent over 10 years in Further Education in both teaching and management roles, and as an employer for 25 years, I have seen first-hand what can happen to a person's life when they miss out on a great primary education.  I am, therefore, totally committed to ensuring that our children do not suffer that fate. 

I have a degree in Accounting & Economics, a wide experience of successfully dealing with Ofsted and other inspection bodies along with County Councils, funding bodies, auditors and banks. 

I help my partner run a local, longstanding family business and currently have 2 children in school.


Helen Gadsden (Clerk)

I started as Clerk to the Governing Body shortly after the formation of the East Somerset Federation 2013.  As first point of contact for the governors, please get in touch at  


No. Name Category Term of Office Responsibilities
1 Phillip Butler Local Authority 15/4/13 - 31/8/19

Chair, Full Governing Body

Business & Finance Committee (Chair)

2 Karen Cook Co-opted 23/9/13 - 22/4/21

Business & Finance Committee

Health & Safety

3 Sandra Leggett Exec Head (Interim) 1/1/19 - 31/8/19

Business & Finance Committee

Pay & HTPR Committee

4 Christopher Collier Partnership 15/4/13 - 14/4/21 English
5 Mary La Trobe Bateman Co-opted 16/3/15 - 15/3/23 Pay & HTPR Committee
6 Jemima Newman Staff 16/11/18 - 15/11/22 Early Years (EYFS)
7 Melanie Bowes-Lyon Co-opted 18/9/17 - 17/9/21

Vice Chair, Full Governing Body

Pay & HTPR Committee


8 Tanya Sherriff-Prest Parent 16/11/18 - 15/11/22 SEND
9 Michael Gorman Co-opted 16/4/18 - 31/8/19

Pay & HTPR Committee (Chair)

Pupil Premium & Pupil Wellbeing

10 Victoria Christophers Foundation DBE 18/02/19 - 17/02/23

Pay & HTPR Committee

Safeguarding, inc. e-safety & safer recruitment

Christian character & ethos

11 Chris Partridge Parent 3/12/18 - 2/12/22 Business & Finance Committee (Chair)
12 Norman Hutchinson Co-opted 12/11/18 - 11/11/22

Business & Finance Committee

Wider curriculum: sport, art, forest school, languages, humanities, science

13 VACANCY Foundation, ex-officio    
14 Susan Simpson Co-opted 11/02/19-10/02/23

Business & Finance Committee

Wider curriculum: PSHE, RE, Christian character & ethos, e-safety

15 VACANCY Partnership    
  Kelly Ann Hambleton Staff until 8/11/18  
  Margaret Pritchard Foundation (DBE) until 30/10/18  
  Rhiannon Tidby Exec Head until 31/12/18