School Logo


Welcome to the Governors page of the school's website.

School Governors are one of the country’s largest group of volunteers with over 300,000 people contributing to the development and improvement of schools.

The Local Governing Board represent a cross section of stakeholders and includes members of staff, parents and the local community.


Governors have 3 core functions:

· Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

· Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of staff

· Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent

At Stoke Damerel Primary Academy the Local Governing Board meets approximately 6 times each year helping to set the school's overall aims and ensuring that key areas such as the curriculum, standards of attainment and progress, finance, personnel and the building and site are regularly monitored to ensure value for money and the best possible outcomes for the whole school community.

As well as regular meetings, Governors visit the school and communicate with pupils, staff and parents to help them in their role of monitoring and evaluating what is happening in school and then supporting the school in developing future goals.



Governors at Stoke Damerel Primary Academy


A Local Governing Board has now been established at Stoke Damerel Primary which currently consists of a co-opted governor, 2 parent governors, 2 staff governors, the headteacher and an associate governor. The Trust Board can also appoint 4 governors and the intention is to fill those roles over the coming months. with people who have links with the community, Arts, industry, sustainability and outdoor education.


The Local Governing Board has appointed Nick Buckland OBE as Chair of Governors who has extensive educational and governance experience who is looking forward to working with the school, parents, staff and pupils to continue the good work already underway.



Tina Boon -  Staff Governor

  • Responsibility: tbc
  • Elected by staff
  • Term:  23.03.21 - 22.03.25
  • Attendance 2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: None




Nick Buckland OBE (Chair)

  • Responsibility: tbc
  • Co-opted by the Local Governing Board
  • Term:  31.03.21 - 30.03.25 
  • Attendance  2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests:  Director of PACentral, Chair / Director of Parnall Group CSW Group Riverford Organic Goram Homes and SA certification. Chair / Trustee of KARST, TRP, PML, PMF, EDT and MIST. Chair of Governors for UTC Plymouth and Millbay Academy and High Street Joint Improvement Board. Fellow - IET, IMA, BCS, CMI, RSA and Member - IoD, R. I Panel Member for SWW Watershare+ Panel


Nick Buckland OBE has extensive experience of governance across a wide range of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. He was the Chair of Governors and Pro Chancellor of the University of Plymouth and currently Chairs UTC Plymouth, a specialist STE(A)M school in the city and Millbay Academy. He previously sat on the board of the Regional Learning and Skills Council and other school and college boards. He is a Mathematician by education and spent a number of years in the IT sector before embarking on a portfolio career. He is excited to be able to work with Stoke Damerel Primary on its journey of continuing success.




Jennie Hartley -  Staff Governor

  • Responsibility: tbc
  • Elected by staff
  • Term: 23.03.21 - 22.03.25
  • Attendance 2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: None





Lindsey Leary -  Parent Governor

  • Responsibility: tbc
  • Elected by parents
  • Term - 18.03.21 - 17.03.25
  • Attendance 2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: None


I am the parent of a year 4 child at Stoke Damerel Primary Academy and recently became a Parent Governor for the school. I am an Intensive Care Nurse and also a Clinical Educator within ICU. I hold a BSc (hons) degree in Adult Nursing, and also a BSc (hons) in Psychology. I have worked and lived all over the world, notably within a Children’s Home in South Africa, as an ambulance medic in South Africa, for an American Investment Firm in the Middle East and for the NHS on their corporate side in London. I qualified as a nurse in 2014 and have lived and worked in Plymouth since then. I have been involved in school activities since my boy started in Foundation and spent a year as the Secretary for the PTA, then a year as the PTA Treasurer. I also worked with another parent to regenerate the wildlife area, clearing and reinstalling the pond, replacing the fencing and arranging a fire pit and bug hotel area. I am very committed to improving the school environment for the children, the teachers and all associated staff.




Samantha Smith – Headteacher 

  • Responsibility: Whole school
  • Term: 23.04.19 - 
  • Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher/principal
  • Attendance: 2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: Governor at UTC Plymouth


Samantha has been in the Education profession for 25 years, and has experience both in the UK and internationally. Her first experience of working in primary education was as a consultant for an NGO in Calcutta, India. From this point, she made a decision to develop her knowledge, skills and understanding of education so that she would be able to effectively support the provision of high-quality education for all. Samantha was previously a Headteacher of an inner London primary school for 10 years, Samantha's clear vision for ensuring the best possible education for every child, along with strong leadership and management skills, has delivered improved outcomes for all children regardless of their starting points. 




Katherine Turner -  Parent Governor

  • Responsibility: tbc
  • Elected by parents
  • Term: 18.03.21 - 17.03.25
  • Attendance 2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: None


I am a parent to a son in Foundation, have a younger son starting in September 2021. I admire how the school has focused on the pupils’ and parents’ wellbeing during the pandemic, and am very much looking forward to supporting the school through hopefully brighter times ahead in my role as a parent governor.


I currently work as an Evaluation Officer for Next Steps South West based at the University of Plymouth, which provides targeted higher education outreach. Before moving to Plymouth, I was a Senior Scrutiny Officer at the Professional Standards Authority, responsible for assessing the performance of the health and care regulators, such as the General Medical Council. I have also been a Caseworker at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, making final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS. My background means that I can offer skills in performance assessment, evaluation, data analysis and complaint handling to the role of governor at Stoke Damerel Primary Academy.


My eldest son has additional needs. I am passionate that every child should be met where they are at, supported to develop a strong sense of their self-worth and that the whole child should be nurtured.




Polly Lovell – Associate Governor,  Executive Principal UTC Plymouth and Head of Secondary at Millbay Academy

  • Responsibility: tbc
  • Appointed by the Local Governing Board
  • Term – 31.03.21 - 30.03.22
  • Attendance 2020-21: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: Executive Principal UTC Plymouth and Head of Secondary at Millbay Academy


Polly Lovell is Principal at UTC Plymouth, a local 11 - 19 engineering college and Head of Secondary at Millbay Academy. She also leads on STEAM and vocational education for Reach South Trust. Polly is an experienced governor having been a parent governor at her children’s secondary school, a staff governor at Lampton School, Hounslow and recently deputy chair at Stoke Damerel Community College. Polly also brings experience to the board as a trained SENDCo, Designated Safeguarding lead and STORM Mental health lead. Polly has led the UTC PLYMOUTH through a journey of improvement as is well versed in school restructures and developing data led instruction.


Governors of the previous 12 months 


Contacting the Chair of Governors

The Chair of Governors is Mr. Nick Buckland OBE and he can be contacted via the school office or by email via the clerk:

To find out more about Reach South Academy Trust governance, click on the following link: