School governors have an important role in helping the school run effectively, and have three core functions:

  • Planning the strategic direction of the school
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school
  • Holding school leadership to account

The governor role is strategic rather than operational. Governors do not get involved with the day to day running of the school, instead supporting and challenging the school’s leadership to drive development and improvement. The term of office for a governor is 4 years.

Meet our School Governors in their own words:

Abbi Jellyman, Head Teacher (Acting)


Paul Cotsworth, Chair of Governors

I am a Local Education Authority Governor and currently I act as both Chair of Finance and Deputy Chair of Governors. I have been a Governor at Miserden since April 2017. Professionally, I was a project manager in financial services which enabled me to gain experience both in managing budgets and chairing meetings.

Prior to my involvement with Miserden I was a Governor for four years at St Michaels Church of England Voluntary Aided Middle School in Cole Hill, Wimborne, Dorset; and for the final two years I was Chair of Finance at the school.

Claire Holder, Vice Chair of Governors

I am a Foundation Governor and Chair of Governors. I have been a Governor of Miserden School for 7 years now and chair for the last 2 and a half. In that time, I have focused on many areas of the school. I am currently the governor responsible for monitoring pupil progress as well as all the other chair duties, which I enjoy and find rewarding.

Both our children have been to Miserden school and it is much loved. I had no experience of governance when I started but had a keen interest in what was happening in my child’s school. I have a Building Services Engineering background. I have worked for large and small companies as well as running my own BS Engineering business. This specifically helps the school with premises, but also at management level looking at the schools strategic planning.

Rev Val Thorne, Ex Officio Foundation Governor

I'm an ex officio foundation governor and a Safeguarding governor. I have a background in Banking, have a BA in Visual Arts, and used this in the mental health sector and was once an accredited therapeutic counsellor before training for ministry in the Church of England.

Nicholas Wills, Foundation Governor

I am a Foundation Governor, I sit on the Finance School Management and Premises committee and I also assist Lucia Landino with marketing the school. I work with Hollie Bartlett to oversee the delivery of maths and monitor progress against the targets set in Class 1 to ensure the Board of Governors is aware of teaching standards in this particular area. Finally, I assist Caroline Priestley wherever possible with the Forest School to facilitate outdoor learning opportunities for the children.

Before returning to Miserden I was in the Army for ten years, with overseas exercises to the Falkland Islands, Kenya, Afghanistan and Corsica with the French Foreign Legion, which was a particular highlight. Miserden Primary School forms a vital part in our rural community and the estate provides a unique opportunity to enhance learning through so many varied experiences and I am keen that this should continue.

Clare Musgrave, Foundation Governor

I am a Foundation Governor. I am the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Pupil Premium Gov. I am also the Chair of the Curriculum and Ethos Committee. My son was at Miserden and I have been a Governor for over 20 year, 3 years as Chair. I also have 2 daughters and now have 4 grandchildren who are coming up for school age. I have been on the main Committee for Pony Club Polo and a local committee member of the NSPCC.

Matt Stinchcombe, Staff Governor

I am the current staff governor and have held this position for four years. I am Oak Class teacher (Years 4,5 and 6), deputy safeguarding lead and subject leader for both English and P.E. I have been at Miserden several years and I have always enjoyed working in a small school, in such a picturesque setting. I also enjoy being part of a rural village community with the opportunities for enriching outdoor learning that this location provides. Prior to teaching at Miserden I taught at an international school in Cairo.

Hannah McCurdy, Foundation Governor

I'm a Foundation Govenor and am part of the Finance Committee. I trained as a teacher in 2008 and worked in mainstream secondary education in a variety of settings, before having my two children who currently attend Miserden School. I now work in a local Special Education setting, working with young people with a wide variety of disabilities and educational needs. I am also involved in several local community groups and committees, so I aim to bring this wide variety of experience to my role at the school.

Venetia Robinson, Foundation Governor

I am a Foundation Governor and I sit on the Curriculum and Ethos Committee. I trained as a teacher in 2017 and since then have been teaching Key Stage 3,4 and 5 Drama and English which I enjoy immensely. I have also been a Teacher Governor, a role I found interesting and rewarding. Prior to teaching, I trained as an actress working predominantly in theatre and as a voiceover artist.

Marisa Vaughn, Parent Governor


Mark Taylor, Parent Governor


Elisabeth Skinner, LA Appointed