Meet Our Governors
Our Governing Body is formed of eleven Governors drawn from staff, parents, local authority representatives and members of the local community. In addition to the appointed Governors, we also have four Associate Members of the Board, two of whom are members of the Senior Leadership Team. They input expertise to the business process but do not have voting rights on the Governing Board. Each Governor serves a four-year term of office, which may be renewed by agreement, and is appointed to the Full Governing Body (“FGB”).
All of our Governors are expected to abide by a Code of Conduct detailing their roles, responsibilities and the standards expected of them. A copy of the Code of Conduct is included in the Files section at the foot of this page.
Details about each of our Governors are provided below. Further information about the Governing Body and its structure and operation is provided on the Governor Information page which can be accessed via the link in the panel to the right or through the drop-down menu above. A copy of the Register of Governors is available in the Files section at the foot of this page.
Dave Dawson (Chair) – Local Authority Governor (second Term of Office)
Ruth Walters (Vice Chair) – Co-opted Governor (first Term of Office)
Stuart Ludford – Headteacher
Kelly Harnett – Co-opted Governor (second Term of Office)
Samantha Atkinson – Co-opted Governor (first Term of Office)
Ruth Doughty - Co-opted Governor (first Term of Office)
Jasmine Banning – Staff Governor (first Term of Office)
Kirsty Prentice – Parent Governor (second Term of Office)
Kevin Gough – Parent governor (first Term of Office)
Paul Hamilton – Parent governor (first Term of Office)
Lee Goodenough – Associate Member (Deputy Headteacher)
Kit Hardee – Associate Member (Assistant Headteacher)
James Heike – Associate Member
Sarah Leaman – Associate Member (Deputy Headteacher of Watcombe Primary School)
About our Governors
Dave Dawson – Local Authority Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Chair of Governors, Pay Committee & Finance Portfolio Holder, Chair of School Improvement Committee
Pen Portrait: I moved to the area 4 years ago after taking early retirement from a senior position in a multi-national building materials company. During my years as a business manager, leading teams of people to achieve organisational goals, I came to realise how vital it is for young people to leave school/college / university with the necessary social and subject skills for life after education and to allow them to progress to a fulfilling career.
I have been a Governor since mid-2016 and from my involvement so far, I firmly believe that Hazeldown is committed to providing the very best outcomes for local children. I am presently using the skills gained during my working life to hold the school Finance Portfolio and to help with, and constructively question, decisions relating to financial expenditure.
Ruth Walters – Co-opted Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Vice Chair of Governors, Vulnerable Pupils Portfolio Holder
Pen Portrait: I became a Governor in March 2021 as I live in Teignmouth and wanted to get more involved in the local community.
Having been a primary school teacher, and supported adults on probation who often missed out on their childhood education, I’ve seen first-hand the importance of a good education. I am currently doing national policy work for the prison and probation service.
On the home front, I live with my two dogs, son and husband (yes, the dogs come first). We all love living in Teignmouth and having the moors so close by too. I am also in a virtual choir and, like so many, discovered during lockdown that I enjoy a bit of crafting.
Stuart Ludford – Headteacher
Pen Portrait: I have been headteacher at Hazeldown since January 2008 and have enjoyed working with all of the staff, parents, and children who have been part of the school community. I choose to be a governor, alongside my headteacher role as it is a key aspect of driving the strategic direction of the school. Being a headteacher-governor entails a balance and understanding of the role of the governing body and how I fit within it. I don’t hold a portfolio area but report on progress and outcomes across all areas of the school to each individual portfolio holder and the full governing body.
I enjoy and thrive on the challenge that comes with every aspect of school life and am passionate about working towards high-quality education where each and every child reaches their full potential. Excellent outcomes for children are paramount and much wider than a single test figure. I firmly believe in the concept of ‘the whole child’ and inclusion. Crucial elements of education such as breadth of the curriculum, a wide range of opportunities and equipping children with the values, skills, and attributes that will enable success should be maintained whatever the educational climate throws at schools.
I live in Torbay – close enough to school but not too close to have children on the doorstep at the weekend! Out of school time, I enjoy family time with my own children, kayaking and mountain biking. As a family, we spend time camping and exploring in this country and abroad.
Kelly Harnett – Co-opted Governor (previously a Parent Governor)
Specific Responsibilities: Personnel Portfolio holder, Head Teacher Appraisal Committee
Pen Portrait: I became a Parent Governor in January 2018. My knowledge and experience provided by my career to date, has given me the opportunity to hold the Personnel Portfolio.
I have worked within the Dental industry for the last 16 years, within both clinical and management areas. My current role as Practice Manager combines, Personnel, Health and Safety, legislation, and areas of Finance. This has given me the perfect opportunity to serve the school and the Governing board.
I am married with two young children. Both Children attend Hazeldown Primary School, one in key stage 1 and the other in key stage 2.
During my time on the governing board it has provided me a with a different insight into the school from a parent’s perspective. I am proud of the ethos of the school, its ‘Super North Star’ approach with the focus and direction that all members of the Hazeldown family strive to achieve for our children. The emphasis on achieving the future aspirations of our children are clear for all to see throughout the school.
On a personal note, as a family we enjoy coaching and playing rugby (as well as watching!), family time, including wellie walks, exploring the beach and also our beautiful countryside.
Sammy Atkinson – Co-opted Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Curriculum Portfolio Holder
Having lived locally for the past decade, Teignmouth is very close to my heart. The beaches, scenery and community all make this part of Devon a very special place to bring up my young family. We enjoy all that the area has to offer from summers spent on the beach to winter walks on the moors. My eldest has just joined Foundation Stage and is thriving on the care and support from Hazeldown Primary as he takes his first academic steps in school.
As a local deputy headteacher I appreciate the important role that education plays in our children’s lives and strongly believe in the power of learning to foster and nurture well rounded children capable of taking their unique place in this world. At a point where the world is changing rapidly, school is perhaps more important than ever, offering stability and a sense of belonging to all. I am committed to helping young people do their best and enjoy the challenge of working with other likeminded people to shape our tomorrows.
Ruth Doughty - Co-opted Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Safeguarding Portfolio Holder
Pen Portrait: I moved to the area in January 2023 after holidaying here since 2015. Previously I lived in London and worked in Kent as the CEO of a multi-academy trust. I have many years’ experience as a Head Teacher and then CEO and therefore a wealth of knowledge within the education system to support Hazeldown in the role of governor. During my time in the education sector, I have been privileged to work alongside some extremely dedicated governors and trustees and now that I have more free time I am delighted to give something back to the system. Hazeldown was an easy choice for me to begin my journey as a governor as the ethos and values of the school sit very comfortably with my own. Mental health, well-being and inclusion are very important to me.
I live with my husband and cat and I enjoy reading, walking, swimming and Pilates.
Jasmine Banning – Staff Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Curriculum Portfolio Holder
Pen Portrait: I have worked at Hazeldown for two years as a class teacher in the Foundation Stage. I was lucky enough to start my career at Hazeldown as a student teacher in Year 1. I am also the Art and Design Subject Leader and enjoy organising exciting art activities for children across the school.
I have a passion for the Early Years Foundation Stage and take pride in supporting our youngest children to achieve their very best. I am always looking for new ways to enhance the provision and enjoy creating interesting lessons that foster a love of learning in our pupils.
I was born and raised in Teignmouth and enjoy living by the the seaside. Out of school time, I enjoy supporting my local football team, dog walks and spending time with my family.
Kirsty Prentice – Parent Governor (previously a co-opted Governor)
Specific Responsibilities: Community & Parent Links Portfolio Holder
Pen Portrait: I have worked at Hazeldown School for 10 years now, originally as a Learning Support Assistant. I am now a Class Teacher for Year 6 and SENCo.
My passion is to ensure all children are included and are mindful of their well-being. Developing an understanding of Autism and promoting sound mental health is a particular interest of mine.
As a governor for Hazeldown School, I hold the Community and Parent Links portfolio and am a member of the School Improvement Committee. My role is to increase parental involvement and include pupil and parent voice whenever we can.
I have three children, all currently, or have previously, attended Hazeldown School. Out of school hours, I enjoy spending time with my family: camping, walking the dogs on the beach or cycling.
Kevin Gough – Parent Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Premises and Health & Safety Portfolio Holder
Pen Portrait: to follow
Paul Hamilton – Parent Governor
Specific Responsibilities: Finance Portfolio Holder
Pen Portrait: When one of my two children started their educational journey at Hazeldown in 2021, I took an active interest in ‘how things were done’ at Hazeldown – I was suitably impressed and when some vacancies arose for positions on the Governing Body arose, I decided to volunteer my time and see what I could offer. Having a background in business within the local community, I have been pleased to hold the portfolio for Finance. My role requires me to scrutinise expenditure to ensure best value for money, but also and more importantly the best outcomes for the pupils and to assist with setting and agreeing the School's annual budget.
Having moved to Teignmouth in my teens, I couldn’t think of a better place to raise my children. We enjoy spending our spare time either in, on or around the local waters and visiting new places in the West Country in our campervan. We also like to watch live music, preferably outside on long summer evenings!
Lee Goodenough – Associate Governor – Deputy Headteacher
Pen Portrait: I am the Deputy Headteacher at Hazeldown and have worked at the school since 2014, when I initially joined as Assistant Headteacher. I have been a member of the governing board – in an Associate Governor capacity – since 2015.
Within the school, I currently have a non-teaching role so am fortunate enough to spend time working in classes across the school to support our teachers with providing the best possible opportunities for our children. As designated teacher for Children in Care, and Pupil Premium Lead, I also work closely with some of our most vulnerable pupils.
As a leader, I am always looking for ‘marginal gains’ – areas where small tweaks to our provision can transform practice and have significant positive impacts on our pupils’ experiences and outcomes. I believe that having high expectations of pupils is vital in helping them to fulfil their potential and have initiated the introduction of the ‘Growth Mindset Theory’ and the ‘Compass for Life / Super North Star’ concepts within the last few years. I am also a keen advocate of the importance of positive teacher:pupil relationships and promote the fact that every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can be.
I love the variety of primary school life and the fact that no two days are ever the same!
Outside of school, I love spending time with my wife and two primary-aged children. I am also a passionate athlete and enjoy playing football for a local, Torbay-based, team.
Kit Hardee – Associate Governor – Assistant Headteacher
Pen Portrait: I am really enjoying my role as the assistant headteacher at Hazeldown, which started in September 2019. Previously, I have been part of Hazeldown’s leadership team in my role as an upper key stage 2 team leader and have taught pupils predominately in year 6. Since joining the school in 2015, I have thrived as part of a successful leadership team who have had, and continue to have, a passion and determination to drive the school forwards- always looking for new ways to give our children the best possible opportunities within their education and to train them to have vital lifelong skills and learning attitudes.
I am extremely passionate about supporting, developing and inspiring all staff to excel in their careers and look forward to what the future holds. I am also the initial teaching training coordinator which involves the development of trainee teachers and liaising with three universities.
On a personal note, I am a keen footballer and, after having a semi-professional music career, I am now a drummer in a local covers band.
James Heike – Associate Governor – Former parent
Specific Responsibilities: Associate Member, formerly member of the Governing Body with responsibility for Health & Safety Portfolio and Premises Portfolio.
Pen Portrait: I was formerly a parent governor and I have been involved at Hazeldown for many years. I live locally to the area having attended Stokeinteignhead Primary School, TCS and Plymouth University.
Following a transient career in construction, I have now settled back in Teignmouth with my family. I have a background of over 20 years in construction management and a range of associated skills and qualifications. My hobbies include scuba diving, radio controlled aircraft, and D.I.Y.
Sarah Leaman – Associate Governor
Pen Portrait: Sarah is Deputy Headteacher at Watcombe Primary School and brings a wide range of skills and expertise in primary education to the activities and decision making here at Hazeldown.
Join the team
As at Autumn Term 2023, the Governing Body has a strong complement of appointed Governors. We are always interested to hear from those who believe that they can contribute to the work of the Governing Body and the School, so please do drop us a line if you would like to find out more about the role and about opportunities. In the first instance, please contact either Stuart Ludford (Headteacher) or Tim Synge (Clerk to the Governors; contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org) for an informal chat. If you do not currently have a child at the School but you feel that you can support the Governing Body by sharing your links with the local community, whether through local government, local business activity or other connections with Teignmouth and Teignbridge, then we would be pleased to hear from you. If you are interested in becoming a school governor, see this guidance from Devon County Council.
Any advertisements for vacancies in the future will be notified on this page of the website.
All new governors are supported in their work through an induction programme. All governors, both new and existing, are provided with access to a range of training opportunities to keep them informed about their responsibilities and developments in education and to help them perform to the highest standard.
Governor skills and knowledge are regularly audited each year and a training and recruitment plan is drawn up to address any gaps as necessary.
Wherever possible, the governors aim to be a visible presence in school. We are always keen to speak to our parents, carers and children. Your thoughts and feedback are important to us. If you have any concerns or questions you would like to ask, you can often find one of us on the playground before or after school for an informal chat. Alternatively, you can leave a message in person, by phone or by letter through the school office. You can also contact governors by emailing us at email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can.