The principles of governance are the same in academies as in maintained schools, but the governing body has greater autonomy. Governors have a wide range of responsibilities. They are responsible for strategically planning the Academy’s future direction and can thereby help raise the standards of children’s achievement. Governors are also accountable to parents and their wider community for the performance of the Academy. School governors are the largest volunteer workforce in the country, giving freely and generously of their time to help schools achieve the highest standards. People from all walks of life offer their services as governors.

The Tregolls Governing Body is body is broken down into two groups; the Raising Achievement committee and Business and Enterprise committee. Both committees meet termly and the minutes of their meetings can be found on the website under ‘Governor minutes’. They come together termly to form the full governing body and collectively they are responsible for the strategic running of the school.

How to become a Governor

Some governors are elected by members of staff or parents, while others are appointed from the wider community. The members of Tregolls School – An Academy are responsible for appointing governors so if you are interested in becoming a governor please contact the school office.

Matt Middlemore (Headteacher – September 2013)

Matt joined the school when it converted to become an Academy and was appointed in the first instance as Head of Primary Learning. After 12 months he was appointed as substantive Headteacher and led the school out of special measures. Matt has a track record of school improvement success with his previous two schools moving from special measures to outstanding. He was acknowledged for his work by the TES and BBC Pearson Teaching Awards and was the first Headteacher to be shortlisted for both awards in the same year. Matt subsequently went on to be crowned BBC Pearson Headteacher of the Year for 2016. Matt also works for Ofsted and leads inspections across the South West. He has two young boys who he dedicates all of his spare time to and his wife, Karen, is also a Headteacher in Cornwall.

Sam Walker (Chair of Governors) – Penair-appointed governor September 2012

A former Vice-chair of governors at Penair School, Sam was part of the team that set up Tregolls when it converted to academy status in 2012. He was Vice-chair when the school reopened and went on to become Chair in February 2016. Sam is a numbers man and he likes digging into the reality behind raw data. In a school context this means analysing how we work well and what we can do better while keeping a keen eye on progress and attainment to ensure every child reaches their potential. An award-winning sports analyst, Sam has also been shortlisted for national writing awards, although he says he gets greater satisfaction from being part of the team at Tregolls during its incredible journey. Sam grew up locally and, after earning an engineering degree from Leeds University, he worked for a short time in a school for children with special educational needs. He shares his passion for education with his wife, who is a primary school teacher. They have two school-age children.

Judith Smitham (Vice-Chair of Governors) – appointed September 2012

Born and educated in Truro, Judith worked for eight years as the area manager for a group of Spar stores covering west Cornwall before returning to the city. Married with two grown up daughters, Judith has been the owner and sub-postmaster of Trelander Stores for 18 years and is committed to the community. Judith owns a number of businesses in and around Truro and works with local secondary schools offering work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for young people and is passionate about making a difference. She also sits on the board of the Truro Community Land Trust, which was set up to provide affordable housing for young families in Truro.

Nicole Barnett – Staff Elected Governor – April 2017

A former chair of governors at Mullion C.P school and a director of the Southerly Point Cooperative Trust, Nicole was part of the team that took Mullion School from requires improvement to Good. Nicole has been living in Cornwall since 1995 when she moved to join her now husband who is stationed at RNAS Culdrose. She started her career as a data analyst and IT manager. Over the years Nicole has enjoyed working in finance and business administration. In 2012 she decided she wanted a career change and enrolled herself on a degree in Education, she now enjoys working at Tregolls. She devotes her spare time to her three children, volunteering in the community and naval community teaching young people to swim.

Jackie Parker – Penair-appointed governor April 2015

Jackie has worked in school business management in both the primary and secondary sector for over 20 years and served as a member of her own school’s leadership team for 12 years. Her areas of strength include a deep understanding and knowledge of schools at both a strategic and operational level. Jackie is a Specialist Leader in Education and has worked with a number of schools, both secondary and primary, offering a variety of support and advice to both Headteachers and school business managers. She is currently involved in setting up a Multi Academy Trust, where her work involves developing strong working relationships and partnerships with other schools and procuring joint contracts for various services including payroll, cleaning and school meals.

James Davidson – Penair-appointed governor September 2015

James is the Headteacher at Penair School. He started his teaching career in 1999 at Humphry Davy School in Penzance and has lived in Cornwall ever since. He worked as Director of Sport and Assistant Headteacher at Mounts Bay Academy and as First Deputy Headteacher at the Roseland Community College before being appointed Headteacher at Penair in 2015. As someone for whom education has made a real difference, he is thrilled to be leading a school which provides such fantastic opportunities to young people in the Truro area. James lives in Perranporth with his wife and young daughter and completely understand why, as parents, we want the very best for our children. Despite his busy day job, he continues to pursue competitive sport, including surfing, triathlon and golf.

Patrick Bailey – Parent governor December 2015

Patrick is a parent governor – his two children have attended Tregolls since 2014. He has many years’ experience working in schools across the UK and abroad as a composer and workshop leader. He has run outreach programmes and departments for major UK music organisations including the BBC and a spell as Education & Community Director for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His current freelance work includes the Cornwall Music Education Hub and teaching at Truro College alongside his role as Associate of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, leading music outreach projects across the county.

Patrick is the Governing Board’s Disadvantaged Pupil (Pupil Premium) Governor.

Loic Rich – Community governor January 2016

Born and educated in Truro, Loic worked in catering, admin and retail before attending Falmouth University and working as a freelance journalist and copywriter for national and local publications and organisations. As a Truro City and Cornwall Councillor for the area, Loic is actively involved in supporting a range of community groups and activities locally, and campaigning on a variety of issues from housing to transport. He served as Mayor of Truro from 2014-15 and presently chairs the Cornwall Council Harbours Board. Loic also works as a singer /songwriter, performing in a local group across Cornwall.

Dr. Barbara Vann Members Appointed Governor June 2016

After 23 years as a Headteacher of two Secondary Schools, and Executive Headteacher of a Primary School, Dr Vann became Chair of Cornwall NHS Partnership Foundation Trust in 2015. Barbara holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Leicester (1993) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Tasmania (2006). She was Chair of the National Council of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society; she is still a Vice President. She was an Executive of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Management. Dr Vann has three sons and seven grandchildren. She has a long-held passion to enable children and young people to be informed decision-makers and change agents. Her style of leadership is to enable and empower those with whom she works to be creative and challenging in an environment where mutual respect and support is the norm. For children and young people, it means that they are encouraged to be aspirational about their life chances, including making positive decisions about their health and wellbeing. Whilst she was Head, her school was graded as outstanding by Ofsted on three occasions. It converted to Academy status in 2011 and sponsored the successful conversion of a local primary school which was in Special Measures, to become an Academy in 2012 and subsequently to become an outstanding school in its own right. This endeavour exemplified Dr Vann’s belief in the power of integration and collaboration; she is a proven system leader.

A Governor of Truro and Penwith College from 1997 to 2015, Dr Vann has chaired the Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers, the Cornwall School Centred Initial Teacher Training steering committee, and the Schools’ Forum. She has been a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth and the Hall for Cornwall. Currently Dr Vann is a Trustee and Chair of the Duchy Health Charity, and the Peninsula Medical Foundation (Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry). She retains her links with education through being Chair of Governors of a Nursery School and a Governor at a Primary School. Over many years Dr Vann has focussed upon the link between Health and Education, which has led to the establishment of School Based Integrated Health Centres on three secondary school sites and three more being planned. Dr Vann has published in academic journals and speaks at international conferences. She has been a keynote speaker in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, as well as in the UK. In 2008 Barbara was awarded a CCEAM Fellowship and became a Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall. In 2010 she was awarded the BELMAS Distinguished Service Award.

Dawn Howarth Members Appointed Governor January 2017

Dawn has been a school governor in Cornwall for many years, including serving as a Vice-chair and Chair. She has a degree in English & Related Literature from York University and spent 10 years working in the London publishing industry as an editor and literary agent. After her own happy Cornish childhood she was keen to raise her family in Cornwall and returned in 2001 setting up a literary services business and teaching Creative Writing to adult students. A change of direction took place in 2010 when she trained as a children’s yoga teacher in order to put the wellbeing and good mental and physical health of children at the centre of her work. She has taught yoga and meditation in a number of schools in the county and intends to train next to teach mindfulness in schools. Dawn is a Trustee of the Children’s Clinic for Cornwall and a member of the Friends of Daubuz Moor. She has three children and lives with her husband in Truro.

Dawn is the Governing Board’s Safeguarding Governor.

Giles Horne Members Appointed Governor January 2017

Based in Truro, Giles has worked in the Cornish commercial property sector in Cornwall for many years and currently runs his own practice. He has been the chairman of the Truro Chamber of Commerce and is currently the deputy chairman of the Council of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the board of the Truro Community Land Trust and the Truro Business Improvement District. Having two primary school aged children in Truro, Giles a has good understanding of the challenges and the joys of education in Cornwall.

Alison Richmond – Parent Governor 1 September 2015

Alison has always worked in finance, starting her career in a bank. She is the Business Manager at Tregolls School and she is also Finance Manager for a local charity that supports young parents known as WILD Young Parents Project. She has worked at Tregolls School for over 10 years and WILD Young Parents Project for over 20 years. Alison is a Safeguarding Officer in both of her employed roles and has undertaken many safeguarding courses and workshops to keep her knowledge up to date. Alison has lived in Cornwall for 30 years. She has 4 children all of them went to school in Truro; two are still in education.


Liz was educated at Truro County Grammar School for Girls (the current Sainsbury’s site) and graduated from Kings College London with an Honours degree in Human Biology. She has lived in Truro for over forty years and both of her children were born here and are proud to be Cornish. Liz taught at Cornwall College for over 20 years and she is currently a Team Leader for all the Health, Care and Childcare courses at Truro College, where she has worked for a little over 12 years. Liz is proud to have been part of the management team at Truro College when they were awarded Outstanding in their most recent Ofsted inspection. Liz is a former Parent governor of Penair School. She has two grown up children who were both educated in Truro and now has three grandchildren. Liz has many years’ experience working with young people and a deep passion to support those who are disadvantaged. In her spare time Liz enjoys yoga, walking and keeping fit, as well as spending time with her family.


Graham is a qualified solicitor and was a Partner in a large Cornish Legal firm for nearly 15 years before leaving first to set up his own practice. He then did consultancy work with other legal practices locally. He was then an in house solicitor for a large transport company for 3 years. Graham’s specialisation in practice was employment law and civil/commercial litigation.

Graham is an appointed Governor himself at another local primary school. He has 3 children and lives in Truro.

Graham has a strong interest in education and the difference it can make to children’s lives. His legal background and knowledge is of assistance to the school in the ever changing structures of school governance. He recently successfully completed the National College for Teaching & Leadership’ Clerks’ Development Programme.

Graham can be contacted via e-mail at