Meet Our Governors
Jan Stokes - Chair of Governors & Local Authority Governor
My wife and I moved to Lynton in 2012 to be closer to our family, especially the youngest son, wife and grandaughter, now added to by her brother! I joined the Governing Body of West Exmoor Federation in April 2013 and was elected Chair in January 2014. However, our relationship with the area is not new, as my wife's family (Parents, sister, niece and nephews and their offspring) have been here for over 25 years, so I am not the stranger I might appear to be!
My background is in education. I am a graduate PE specialist and taught in Cheshire, and Sheffield in 3 schools, becoming a Head of Department in all. In 1987 I was appointed as Adviser for Outdoor Education to Leicestershire Local Authority, and in 1991 became Principal PE Adviser in the same Authority. Two years later I became an Ofsted Inspector, and worked as a School Improvement Officer to schools in Leicestershire until 2006. I then left to work as an independent consultant, working, to begin with in the Midlands. I was then contacted by a major training company to deliver staff training courses across England and Wales. This led to me working with the American Independent Schools. I then went on to work as a consultant to the Independent schools in Dubai, and for 2 years worked with the Government and Churches of Malta to re-organise their Primary transfer system. I also worked as a consultant and course assessor for Association for PE (AfPE), and remain one of the members of the Institute of Expert Witnesses.
Now, nominally retired I maintain my love of sport by being an active member of Lynton and Lynmouth Bowling Club, where I compete regularly, and contribute as a qualified Coach, as well as remaining active for AfPE. My passion continues through my work as Chair of Governors to WEF, and as a contributor to a wider group of Primary schools working together across North Devon. I want the Federation to continue to improve and move forward. I have an obvious interest in that my grandchildren, and nephew attend Lynton, but I wish this for all children in all of the schools of the Federation. I am particularly pleased that all three schools gained an Ofsted grade of “Good” in their respective inspections in 2016, and I am sure that we will all work hard to gain a higher accolade next time around.
For the last three years I have been a member of the Devon Schools Independent Appeals Panel working to resolve disputes over school places and excluded children. I have also in this time organised a North Devon Primary Schools Bowling competition for yrs5/6 at Lynton and Lynmouth Bowling Club.
I hope that I am approachable to all about their feelings and concerns about the Federation, and will endeavour to do my best for all the children in all of the schools, to ensure they receive the best possible education they can.I can always be contacted via any school office or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Squire - Vice-Chair of Governors & Foundation Governor (Lynton)
I was brought up in Lynton, I am married to Robin and we have two daughters: Haven, who is currently at The Ilfracombe Academy, and Aura, who attends Lynton Church of England Primary School.
I am a graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art with an MA in Communication Design and Oxford Brooks University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
My teaching career began at South East Essex College, later moving to North Oxfordshire College and School of Art, before I returned to the area in 1997 as a lecturer at the University of Plymouth.
I have held a number of roles within the university: course leader for the BA Hons Graphic Communication with Typography programme; Subject Forum Chair for Arts (responsible for liaising between the Faculty of Arts and University of Plymouth Colleges Faculty which validates undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Colleges across the South West and Jersey, including Petroc locally); a harassment advisor; an external examiner for BA Hons Creative Industries at Southampton University.
After having Haven, I reduced my working hours, and I am currently a 0.6 lecturer on the BA Hons Graphic Communication with Typography programme and Partnership Coordinator for the School of Art, Design & Architecture. I also lead the ‘Message’ research group and I am a co-founder and co-editor of the Message Graphic Communication Design Research Journal, published by the University of Plymouth Press. My research/design practice has been exhibited in the USA (most recently New York) and Denmark.
I joined the West Exmoor Federation as Foundation Governor in 2011 when Haven started at Lynton Primary School. Having a background in education, attending the school as a child, and with my two daughters being the fourth generation of our family to be educated at Lynton School, I wanted to be involved and contribute to the development of education provision for all children across the Federation.
Being a Foundation governor continues to be extremely rewarding as I endeavor to utilise my knowledge and skills in my roles as Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Ethos and Community Cohesion Committee. I am committed to developing the Ethos and Christian distinctiveness of the Federation and am passionate about actively supporting the Federation to achieve the very best education for all children.
My name is Esther. I grew up in Cornwall where I attended a small, village primary school. My secondary school education was in a larger comprehensive school, where I completed my A levels. I graduated from Cardiff University with a Masters degree in Pharmacy in 2003, then moved to Worcester where I worked as a Hospital Pharmacist whilst also completing a Clinical Pharmacy diploma. I moved to North Devon in 2007 to take up the role of Antimicrobial Pharmacist at North Devon District Hospital.
I am married to Matthew. He is a dairy farmer and his family have always lived and farmed in the area. We have two boys, Henry who is in year 3 at Parracombe and William who is in Year 1 at Kentisbury. Ever since Henry started at Kentisbury, I have been very impressed with both the quality of the care and education he has received.
As a family, we attend Brookdale church in Ilfracombe. I am keen to support the federation in bringing Christian faith into the children’s daily lives. I have experience of helping at youth groups and the summer holiday club within our church. I enjoy learning about the running of the three schools and supporting the federation by being part of the governing body.
I am a Primary School Teacher with 35 years experience. I am an Early Years Specialist with an MA Ed from Winchester University. I have taught in a range of settings including schools in London, Essex, Wiltshire, Hampshire and most recently North Devon.
I have experienced a range of educational environments including large inner-city schools, an independent sector school, and small village schools with their strong ties to the local community. Whilst I have not experienced working within a Federated School, I worked closely with the Headteacher and Governors during the amalgamation of Nomansland School where I was based and Landford School, a local village school a mile and a half away. The schools (in Wiltshire) amalgamated in 2009 and was renamed The New Forest School. I oversaw the design and alterations to the KS1 classroom and outside area. Once the school started to work across two sites I had responsibility for the KS1 site when the head teacher was based on the KS2 site.
My husband and I moved to North Devon in 2010 and consider ourselves privileged to live in the Heddon valley, a very beautiful part Exmoor. We attend Christ Church Parracombe, and both of us serve on the PCC. We have two sons and two daughters, who all gained much from being taught in small village schools.I hope to use my knowledge and experience to fulfill my role as Foundation Governor and support WEF to offer an excellent education to all the children in their care.
As a family we run a catering business. I have a level 3 NVQ in hospitality and training. I have also worked as sports manager for a government scheme 'Sport for All' teaching sport and fitness to young and old alike. I feel that I have some skills that could help the federation become even stronger and better.
Jayne Peacock - Ex-Officio (Executive Headteacher)
Early in my teens I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. This was, in no small part, due to having a younger sister who is profoundly deaf. I spent a great deal of time supporting her learning as she progressed through school and I found this to be extremely rewarding. However, I made a conscious decision not to go straight to University when I left school and spent two years working as the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director of a construction company. During this time I also worked on a voluntary basis for ‘Friends of the Young Deaf’, organising holidays and training programmes for disadvantaged hearing and deaf children/young adults; my involvement with this organisation continued until I moved to Devon.
I graduated from Brighton University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Education (Hons) Degree, specialising in English and Special Educational Needs. My teaching career began in East Grinstead, West Sussex before I took up a post in Hammersmith, West London, where I taught in a Unit for Hearing Impaired children. Eventually I returned to mainstream teaching in Lindfield, West Sussex, where I took on the role of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator before being appointed as the Deputy Headteacher and eventually Acting Headteacher. During this time I also completed a Masters of Arts (Education) Degree and successfully completed the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH). In 2001 I moved to Devon to take up the Headship of Lynton CE Primary School and, in turn, was appointed to the Executive Headship of the West Exmoor Federation in January 2007. Alongside my Headship of the federation, I have worked as a remodelling consultant for the Local Authority, trained as an Ofsted inspector and been appointed, amongst other things, as a Local Leader for Education by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. I am married and have a young son, Henry, who is now in Year. 3 at Parracombe.
Reverend Samantha Stayte - Ex-Officio & Foundation Governor
I am the Rector of the Lyn Valley Mission Community which includes the Church of England churches in Brendon, Countisbury and Lynmouth, Lynton and Barbrook, Parracombe, Martinhoe, Trentishoe and Parracombe. I live in Lynton, and have been here since May 2017.
Before I was ordained, I was a Teacher of Religious Studies for fifteen years, and a school chaplain for five. It was the experience of exploring life's big questions and what God is like alongside children that led to my becoming a priest and so my involvement with the Federation, both as a governor and through Collective Worship and festival services, is something that is really important to me in my life and ministry here.
Sue Stokes - Co-Opted Governor
I joined West Exmoor Federation in April 2013 with my husband Jan, currently the Chair of Governors. We moved to Devon in 2012 to join family and have 2 grandchildren living in Lynton. Our Grand daughter attends Lynton School and Grandson Stepping Stones.
Having made a firm decision at the age of 18 that teaching was what I wanted to do, I have spent my working life involved with young people. I have a Master’s Degree in Education Management and taught young people from ages 11 to adult. My teaching has essentially been in large secondary schools, comprehensive, traditional selective grammar schools, sixth form colleges and establishments for adult education. The last 20 years of my career were in school management, initially in a Community College and for the later 13 years as a High School Deputy Head with extended periods as Acting Headteacher. My principle responsibilities involved the management of standards within the school, curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning. I have always felt privileged to spend my career doing a job that I loved.
I have over 20 years as a governor working within the school system and try to bring this experience into my current role as Chair of the Federation Improvement Committee. I am passionate about ensuring that young people are given the very best education possible and hope that I can make an effective contribution to the communities of Lynton, Kentisbury and Parracombe
My name is Jill Kelly and I am the staff governor at West Exmoor Federation.Having graduated with a BEd (Hons) in Secondary Physical Education (PE) in 2005, I went on to work within the role of School Sports Co-ordinator, where I was responsible for all of the Primary PE within our local learning community. After having my own 3 children, who all attend our federation schools, my passion for teaching began to shift. Through my own children I was able to see the importance of teaching the whole child rather than an individual subject and it was then that I made the big leap to taking on a position as Early Years Practitioner at Little Berries pre-school. Instantly knowing that this was the right decision for me, my love of early years has flourished. I truly believe in the child centred approach where every child is on a unique learning journey and am very fortunate to work within a federation where this is celebrated.My role within Little Berries saw me progress on to Deputy Manager and then onward again into our Reception class and more recently our Key Stage 1 class. Currently now Early Years lead across the federation, as well as responsible for Year 1 and 2, my passion for Early Years is firmly embedded. I am in the very fortunate position of working alongside our Little Berries team and children as well as then being part of the children’s lives as they begin their journeys into school and then onto Years 1 & 2.