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 3 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  2 Trust appointed Governors, 1 Parent Governor, 2 Staff Governors and the Headteacher. The Trust Board can also appoint another governor and the intention is to fill this roles over the coming months with someone 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.



Annie Blackie - Headteacher

  • Responsibility: Whole school
  •  Term: 25.04.22 - 
  • Attendance 2023-24: 2/2

My name is Annie Blackie and I am privileged to be the Headteacher of Stoke Damerel Primary Academy.  I have been at this school for 10 years, arriving as deputy head teacher in 2013.  I love the community feel of this school and know it offers an excellent education for all pupils at the school.  

I am a married mum of 4; I have two boys and two girls aged 23,20,16 and 12.  I have recently become a Nannie and I am thoroughly enjoying time with my grandaughter.  We have a pet dog, a poochon called Teddy, who keeps us all entertained.   As a family we like to go on family dog walks and visiting Home Park to support the Green Army; we are big Argyle fans in our house!   




Nick Buckland OBE (Chair) - Trust Appointed Governor 

  • Responsibility: Leadership and Management
  • Appointed by Trust Board
  • Term:  12.05.21 - 11.05.25
  • Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
  • Declaration of interests:  Joint owner of Ditchen Farm ( 1989), Chair of Parnall Group (2019), Trelonk Ltd (2020), Parnall Aircraft Company (2020), Riverford Organic Trust (2018), Plymouth Waterfront Partnership (2018), St Petroc’s School Trust (2017), SA Certification (2016), HRC College (2021), Shebbear College (2010) and Director of TWSW Ltd. Trustee of PML (2016), Karst (2014) and Future First (2023). Chair of Governors of UTC Plymouth (2016), Millbay Academy & High Street Primary LGB (2022), Stoke Damerel Primary School LGB (2018) and Thomas hall (2023). Fellow of IMA, RSA, IET, BCS and CMI. Member of IoD and RI.


Eur Ing Nick Buckland OBE is a very experienced Governor and is currently the Chair of the Local Governing Bodies for Millbay & High Street, UTC Plymouth and Stoke Damerel Primary and is the Chair of the Improvement Board for Thomas Hall School. Originally a mathematician, he spent many years in the IT industry working on high performance computers, the early years of virtual reality and the internet. From the mid 1990’s he has had a portfolio career as a Chair and Director of organisations in private, public and voluntary sectors. Nick has been a strong advocate of STEM and its importance for the UK economy and is passionate about ensuring young people are given the opportunities to gain a good education that will ensure they can take up exciting, well paid jobs and careers. He was appointed OBE for services to Innovation and Technology in the 2009 New Year Honours List and is a Chartered Engineer, Information Technology Practitioner and Manager. He is also a Fellow of a number of professional bodies.

Allison Flack  - Staff Governor 

  • Responsibility: n/a
  • Elected by staff
  • Term: 25.03.24 - 24.03.28
  • Attendance 2023-24: 1/1
  • Declaration of interests: tbc



    Klara Friend - Parent Governor

    • Responsibility: tbc
    •  Term: 05.12.23 - 04.12.27
    • Attendance 2023-24: 1/1


    I am the mother of one little boy currently in year three at the school. I am also a former pupil of the school and spent two years during my A-levels working with reception classes for work experience.

    I have been working for Plymouth City Council for 10 years in various roles, in that time I have gained a number of communication, administrative and business related skills that are transferable to the role of Governor as well as building upon my passion for the City of Plymouth as a lifelong resident. My current role has a strong focus on wellbeing linked to nature and I am excited to work with my fellow Governors in a school setting that provides a wealth of access to nature and outside space.

    Prior to working for PCC I worked in early years childcare for 5 years focusing on early years development, care and communication and I fully intend to draw on that experience in this role. I also worked in a Children’s Centre where I gained valuable safeguarding knowledge and developed a passion for keeping families, in all their many forms, engaged and fully involved in all aspects of their child’s care and education.

    I am passionate about our community and representing the best interests of the children, parents and guardians of Stoke Damerel Primary Academy. I am extremely excited about this opportunity and will work hard do my absolute best to support the school to deliver the incredible service they provide us all with.

    Jennie Hartley -  Staff Governor

    • Responsibility: n/a
    • Elected by staff
    • Term: 23.03.21 - 22.03.25
    • Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
    • Declaration of interests: None


    I been a teacher for nearly 6 years. Before I trained to teach, I worked in the media including five years at Heart Radio where I worked up from the street team, to an unpaid internship and then to a permanent job helping develop ideas to go on the air! My head turned to teaching because I wanted a job where I could do something different every day and make a difference.

    Most people in the school will tell you that my passion is reading. My favourite children’s books I have read include The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and His Dark Material series by Phillip Pullman

    I have previously been the International Awareness lead helping the school to achieve a Foundation level of the International School Award.

    I am now the Reading lead, focussing on KS2 pupils, ensuring children love and are confident with their reading.

    Laura Owen - Parent Governor

    • Responsibility: tbc
    •  Term: 05.12.23 - 04.12.27
    • Attendance 2023-24: 1/1
    • Declaration of interests: None


    My daughter is currently in Year 1 at the school. I work for Babcock in the Health and safety department after leaving the Royal Navy after 15 years of service. As part of my role in the military, I was responsible for the coaching and mentoring of junior sailors under my care and ensuring that they met pre-determined milestones to reach the next rank. So, I know how valuable education and supporting individuals, or a team can be. I also wanted to become a Governor to help support the school and the wider school community and I am looking forward to doing this in whichever way I can.




    Gemma Smith - Trust Appointed Governor 

    • Responsibility: Quality of Education, Curriculum and Early Years
    • Appointed by Trust Board
    • Term:  12.05.21 - 11.05.25
    • Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
    • Declaration of interests: Creative Director for Take A Part (Apr 21)  Forum coordinator for Plymouth Culture (Sept 21), Gem Smith T/A Gem Ward - Photographer (2011), Member of the Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership (01.09.19) and South West Representative for Engage (01.09.19)


    Gemma has worked in arts engagement in Plymouth for over 10 years.  Over that time her work has crossed many different disciplines and involved a range of projects as diverse as community radio, public art, theatre, sculpture, mass dance, stone carving, tour guiding and orchestral outreach.  Always at the heart of these projects has been a desire to work with people, to support new audiences and communities to experience and enjoy artwork for the first time or to grow their passion for the arts in a new direction.  Gemma has worked with Take A Part for the last 13 years; starting as programme coordinator before moving on to become the Creative Education Director, over this time she has developed deep relationships within schools and communities in Plymouth.  In addition to her work with Take A Part Gemma has worked on Arts Council projects ‘iOrchestra’ and ‘Horizon’ both within an engagement capacity.  Gemma has also worked for the Cultural Education Partnership piloting a series of creative Education forum events and advised on Youth Performance Partnership Programme ‘With Flying Colours’ as Education Consultant.

    Gemma is Plymouth born and bred, she is an individual with a passion for the arts, a desire to support the local scene to cross-pollinate, share projects and flourish, and to share this local knowledge more widely to shine a light on Plymouth and grow the reach of creative work and projects to other areas of the region and beyond.  In 2022 Gem won a Marsh Award for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement.  In 2023, on behalf of Take a Part and in collaboration with Prince Rock School, she received a MaxLiteracy Award and she is currently in the Extend Leadership cohort.



    Katherine Turner -  Trust Appointed Governor and Co-Vice Chair

    • Responsibility: SEND & Inclusion and Statutory Grants
    • Elected by parents
    • Term: 29.11.23 - 28.11.27
    • Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
    • Declaration of interests: None


    I am a parent of children in Year 2 and Year 3. I became a school governor shortly after the covid pandemic when I admired how the school focussed on the pupils’ and parents’ wellbeing during that time. I want to support the school to continue to build an inclusive and diverse community where children develop a strong belief in their own self-worth and a passion for life-long learning.


    I have worked at the University of Plymouth for the last four years; firstly as an Evaluation Officer where I have measured the impact of outreach interventions on equipping young people to make informed decisions about higher education and I am now moving into a new role of Student Support and Conduct Advisor. 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.

      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:

      Stoke Damerel Local Governing Board Meeting dates 2023-24


      Thursday 5th October 2023

      Monday 25 March 2024 (rescheduled from Thursday 22th February 2024)

      Thursday 27th June 2024 



      Governors of the previous 12 months

      Lindsey Leary (Parent Governor)  - 18.03.21 - 28.09.23

      Katherine Turner (Parent Governor 18.03.21 - 28.11.23) - Role changed to Trust Appointed Governor as of 29.11.23

      Tina Book (Staff Governor)  23.03.21 - 25.03.24

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

      Governance | Reach South


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

      Financial Statements | Reach South