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).

In trusts, the purpose of local governance is to provide:

  • strategic leadership
  • accountability and assurance
  • strategic engagement

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 governing body and schools benefit greatly from working with skilled volunteers.

If you are interested in hearing more about becoming a governor please contact;

Type of Governor
Appointing Body
Term Start/End
Registered Interests
Attendance 23/24
Chris Conners Ex-officio Trust Headteacher 01/09/2019 Post related   St Matthew’s CofE Primary and Nursery Academy 6 out of 6
Jacklyn Barry Foundation Trust Co-Chair of LGB 01/09/2021 - 31/08/2025 Ethos University of Plymouth mentor and PhD student; Hub Advisory Board member for Westcountry Schools Trust 6 out of 6
Justin Bailey Parent Parents Co-Chair of LGB 01/09/2021 - 31/08/2025     6 out of 6
Keith Murphy Foundation Ex-officio Trust   19/12/2019 Post related Ethos Associate Minister, Parish of Eggbuckland with Estover 4 out of 6
Katie Howell-Head Foundation Trust   14/06/2023 - 13/06/2027   Ministry of Defence 5 out of 6
Sally Eales Foundation Trust   01/09/2023 - 31/08/2027 Ethos Plymouth Marjon University Lecturer 6 out of 6
Nisha John Parent Parents         4 out of 6
Lucy Babb Staff Staff   11/05/2023 - 10/05/2027   St Christopher’s MAT – Operations Lead 5 out of 6
Ruth Cadoux   Trust Clerk 09/10/2023 Post related   St Christopher's MAT; Clerk to St George's LGB; Clerk to Cann Bridge Governors 6 out of 6
Siw Wysome   Trust Clerk Resigned Aug 2023     4 out of 6
Mark Tribe Foundation Trust   Resigned July 2023     5 out of 6
Andrea Howard Foundation Trust   Resigned July 2023     4 out of 6
Sally Shipton Staff Staff   Resigned April 2023     2 out of 2


Name of Governor
Monitoring Responsibilities
Jacklyn Barry Leadership; Attendance and Behaviour; Maths
Justin Bailey Safeguarding; Disadvantaged Pupils
Keith Murphy Ethos & Christian Distinctiveness
Katie Howell-Head Writing
Sally Eales Early Reading and Phonics
Nisha John SEND; KS2 Reading
Lucy Babb Operations (Health & Safety, Risk and Wellbeing)


Chris Conners

In his role as Headteacher for St Matthew's, Chris is also part of the governing body. He works closely with all of the governors through school visits and at our termly meetings.


Jacklyn Barry

Co-chair to the Governors

First as an elected parent governor and now as a foundation governor, Jacklyn (known as Jackie) has been a member of Saint Matthew’s local governing board since 2019. She is an experienced teacher, lecturer in education, mentor to training teachers and she has recently earned her doctorate which focussed upon the impact of evidence-based practice on teachers’ pedagogies. She uses this expertise to hold leaders to account, ensuring that our school’s strategic priorities are maintained and that all our pupils are able to let their light shine.

Justin Bailey

Co-chair to the Governors

Justin has a son and daughter who currently attend the school, and he joined the board of governors to help the school to be the best possible environment for his own children and all the other children who are attending now, and will be attending in the future.

His aim as a governor is to be an effective bridge between the parent body and the school. He wants to be able to represent not only the wishes and objectives of the parents, but also their concerns, fears and frustrations and help the school achieve sensible, realistic and pragmatic outcomes.

In his professional life, he works as Head of Programmes at Taking Care, part of AXA Health. They help support around 110,000 elderly and vulnerable adults across the country with technology enabled health and well-being solutions. His role within the business is to manage strategic implementation and the various programmes of change, skills that he can transfer to his role as a governor.

You’ll see him on the school run regularly, and he is always happy to stop and chat, or make time to discuss anything specific that’s on your mind.

Keith Murphy

Keith joined the team in September 2019. Having previously overseen the governors' Safeguarding and SEND responsibilities, he now focusses on Ethos and Christian Distinctiveness. He is married to Annette, and they have a son who is a pupil at the school.

Katie Howell-Head

Katie has recently joined the board of governors as the Military Lead. Having served within HM Royal Navy and now working within the MOD, Katie’s role is to provide sound and current advice to the board, ensuring that the school remain up to date with information and knowledge which is relatable to the Forces Children within St. Matthew's.


SESally Eales

Sally is a foundation governor and has been involved with the school since before it was even built! It's been great to see the development over the years and a privilege to work with such committed staff and enthusiastic pupils. She has recently retired after working for 20 years at Marjon where she worked in training primary school teachers. Prior to that she was a teacher in primary schools in Devon for almost 18 years. She is interested in all aspects of school life but particularly passionate about English and reading. She lives in Derriford and loves walking on the moor and coast, gardening, swimming and reading! 

Nisha John

Nisha offered to volunteer her time as a parent governor as she wanted to be more involved in the school that her children love. 

She is the link-governor for the SEND provision at St Matthew's and this year has taken on Reading at Key Stage 2 as well, meeting with the staff who have these areas of responsibility within school. She truly admires the dedication and commitment of the teachers she interacts with and is looking forward to being part of the school's progress in the coming years.

Prior to becoming a full time mum, she worked in the banking, retail and public relations sectors.

Lucy Babb

Lucy has been elected by the staff at St Matthew's to be the staff governor for St Matthew's.

Diversity Data

The board believes that it is important that we reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. Diverse boards promote inclusive school environments and provide diverse role models for staff and young people. We collect data on the diversity of the board, including age, ethnicity, and gender and we use this data to inform our recruitment and training needs, ensuring there is always a diverse range of perspectives around the table to support robust decision making. We do not publish diversity data online as individual governors could be identified and we have a legal obligation to protect their personal data.