Chair of Governors
I am a co-opted governor and have recently retired from working as a local government officer for Devon County Council. I have three sons who went to Withycombe, been to university / apprenticeships, qualified and have left Exmouth. I now have some time to help Withycombe maintain its level of excellence. I started my working life as a Primary School teacher for 13 years and have continued working to support schools until I retired. I hope to bring a wealth of experience to the governing body in the field of IT, education and business. I have been a parent governor and chair before from 1996 to 2004 and fully understand the importance to the school of having a body of critical friends!
Clerk to the Governors
I became Clerk to the Governors in February 2020. I am a familiar face at school as I am now in my sixth academic year working as an administrator in the school office. My work career started within the civil service which suited our lifestyle as a military family and moving around regularly. Whilst on a posting in Cyprus I worked for 3 years in the primary school on our base and absolutely loved it. Once my husband completed his time in the Forces, we settled in Exmouth and I got my job at WRPS, knowing that education was where my heart was. The school’s support network are the cogs that make it great and I am privileged to be part of it.
Board of Governors
Alison Cooper, Vice Chair
When I was elected Parent Governor in 2010 I had three children enjoying our school at various stages. They have now moved on, and I remain a Governor (now Co-opted) as I passionately believe every child deserves the very best Primary School experience possible.
I feel it my duty as a Governor to ensure our school offers a whole range of opportunities and experiences in challenging financial times and has great teachers who really care about the children. I am very proud to be Chair of an experienced team of Governors with a range of backgrounds and expertise. Together with our Leadership Team we aim to ensure your child reaches their full potential and leave us well-equipped for their next stage of learning.
I became a Foundation Governor in March 2014, and am very pleased to have the opportunity to ‘give something back’ to the School and wider community. Growing up in Exmouth in the sixties, I attended Withycome Raleigh Primary, then the Grammar and Exmouth School before going to Rolle College to train as a teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Withycombe, developing a love of learning that inspired my choice of teaching as a career. During my professional life, I have taught children of every age from pre-school to GCSE, and for 14 years I was a Headteacher and consultant head in Wiltshire. My background in education gives me the professional skills and knowledge to support the school community, continuing all the good work that goes on in the school and seeking ways to improve and enhance it further. I understand the School Improvement process, am very familiar with Ofsted, and areas such as school finance and Safeguarding Children. I am a member of the Governors’ Teaching and Learning Committee, and of the committee for Headteacher Performance Management. As a Foundation Governor, I help to maintain and develop the Christian ethos of the School. I have been fortunate to combine a teaching career with accompanying my husband on his RAF postings and raising our family. Our three grown up children all have children of their own, and I retired a few years ago to care for our youngest grandchildren while their mums work (as teachers!). Apart from our busy home life, we are members of Exe sailing club and love exercising the grandchildren and our dogs on the beach.
Fr Robert Sellers
I have been a governor of various schools since ordination in the Church of England 20 years ago. The schools have been in Gloucester, Cornwall, North Yorkshire and now here in Withycombe Raleigh, all of which have been either primary or junior schools. I became a school governor first of all because, in the early years my three daughters were at school and in any case, to serve the wider community in which my parish was set. It has been a real joy to work with other governors, staff, parents and especially the pupils in all of these schools, but it is always particularly so when the school has a genuine Christian ethos as is the case at Withycombe Raleigh. I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee where I trust we act as “critical friends” to ensure that we continue to provide the very best education for every pupil in the school regardless of their background or abilities. As the Team Rector of Withycombe Raleigh with Exmouth it is not just an obligation to serve as a foundation governor, but also a privilege.
I was elected as parent governor in 2017, shortly after Evie joined Foundation, having the urge to understand a bit more about how the education sector operates and improving a link between parents and the school. With my commercial background in construction I sit on the resources committee and am able to provide a critical eye in that role, as well as bringing some expertise to the fore to support the good work that goes on behind the scenes.
It's great to be part of a well respected school with a motivated board of governors who I feel are well respected by teachers and parents alike, and that the school environment is open to change and challenge.
I am a parent governor at WRPS and became a governor in 2018, a year after my first daughter started at the school. My background is in public sector policy and management and I currently work closely with the NHS.
As a Governor at the school, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the education system and the particular challenges and opportunities facing our school. I look forward to bringing my experience of being a parent of children at WRPS to the Governing Body and to contributing to its work.
My life has always centred around music – I attended the Royal College of Music in the 50s, studying piano and violin which I taught for many years. I also played the organ and played in various churches in Sussex before moving to Devon in 2008. It was a wonderful surprise and privilege to be appointed as Musical Director at St. John the Evangelist in 2011, where until recently I played the organ and looked after the choir. I became a Foundation Governor at WRPS in 2018, in the hope that I would be able to involve children from the school with singing in the church. Sadly this has not happened but I am passionate about the value of music in education and I know that the music at WRPS is extremely good. I hope that I will be able to offer some inspiration in that direction. I am now more than ever interested in early learning, having acquired three great grandchildren in the last three years.
I am a Parent Governor, originally from Mallorca. I came to this country 20 years ago and I have two girls that both attend our fantastic school, one in Year 5 and one in Year 2. I am passionate about Modern Foreign Languages and I currently teach Spanish in school. I became a Governor because I am passionate about the children’s education, welfare and opportunities.
I believe Withycombe Raleigh Primary School offers a varied and exciting curriculum for the children that will enrich their path in the future. I feel very privileged to be sitting on the Board and helping to make decisions in the best interest of our children and the school’s future.
I am a co-opted SEND Governor at WRPS and am honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to a great school. I attended school in Uganda and Lyme Regis Grammar school and then obtained an Honours degree in Psychology and a Teaching Certificate followed by a two year MSC in Educational Psychology at Strathclyde University, Glasgow where I specialised in Action Research and Project Development in schools. I am a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
Up until retirement I worked as an Educational Psychologist for 30 years in Shropshire and Devon with several spells in the Middle East.
I enjoy supporting Clare Hollingsworth, our SENCO‘s workshops on Friday afternoons on a voluntary basis.
My interests include badminton, swimming, and motor homing around France and Spain.
I became a co-opted governor in April 2020 and am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in the life of the school. I attended WRPS (my first school!), came and went a couple of times (we were a service family) and then the Grammar and Exmouth School. I trained as a speech and language therapist and worked in the NHS for nearly 40 years. For the last 20 years of my career I managed the children’s speech and language therapy service for Cambridgeshire. I have always worked with and in schools and worked directly with children as well as being a manager.
I have a special interest in children who have severe speech difficulties and have wide experience across the range of speech, language and communication needs.
I have one daughter who is a teacher in Birmingham and two lively grandsons. My interests include walking and reading.
Patrice dos Santos Rosello
First of all, I am very honoured to be invited to be a candidate for the governor’s board. I am a Brazilian family doctor, working to revalidate my degree in UK at the moment. I have many responsibilities at church, too, as a Free Church of England bishop's wife. And, most of all, I can say that I am a mother of an 8 year old lovely girl who studies at Withycombe Raleigh Primary and this makes me want the best for this school. I am very happy with the teachers and the staff in general and I am proud to say that my daughter studies at this school. I am sure I have a lot to learn from all of you, beginning with my English. To finish, my goal is to help the school to be always one of the best in the town so that our children can reach their dreams in the future.