Connect Academy Trust Covid-19 Notice to all Visitors and Suppliers

Our schools are minimising the number of visitors they receive, as well as the amount of time visitors spend on the school premises, during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This will help to minimise group mixing and make it easier to maintain social distancing in school.

We expect all visitors to: 1. only visit the school premises if absolutely necessary. Please phone instead, request a call or request an online meeting if possible. 2. not enter the premises if you or any members of your household have symptoms of coronavirus. 3. clean your hands with alcohol gel (provided) when you enter and leave the building. 4. follow the same procedures as those in place for staff, ie social distancing (2m), avoid touching surfaces and do not enter areas of the school without the permission of staff.

Thank you for your support in keeping our pupils, staff and families safe.

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Local Governors

Strategic Plan 2018 - 2021

In September 2015 the governing body elected to reconstitute, in keeping with statutory guidance from the Department for Education. We took this decision as it allowed us to change the numbers and types of governors we have and to appoint more people on the basis of the skills they could bring.


The Governing Body now consists of:The headteacher


  • One elected staff governor
  • Two parent governors
  • Five co-opted governors


The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The chair and vice-chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year.


Contact email address:

          Mr Michael Carter - Chair

  • Co-opted by governing body as a Business governor 13/09/2018 - 01/08/2020
  • Responsibility for:
  • English and Communication.
  • Year group responsibility for Year 6
  • Governor attendance 2017/2018 (as of 12/7/18) 8/8 Full Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2018/2019 7/7 Governing Body meeting
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 17/10/2019 6/11/2019
  • Register of interest: married to member of school staff

Born in St Budeaux in 1960 and educated at Southway Junior/Comprehensive schools with further education at Plymouth College of Further Education. I Spent 14 years as a Quantity Surveyor until 1993 when I became employed at the Child Maintenance Service.
I have seen both of my daughters very successfully move through Widey Court School, the eldest has completed her Degree course (working in television) and my youngest is currently at university completing her Masters in Zoology.

I have been a Governor at Widey for about 19 years, starting as a Parent Governor then a Community Governor and now Co-opted. I have previously been Chair of Governors and Chair of the Buildings Sub-Committee.

The key issues for me at the moment are the political agenda that we have to work under, regardless of the political party in Government and the financial constraints placed upon us by them. Both of these issues have a direct bearing on the quality of education at Widey, and all schools, so it is part of my role to ensure that we achieve the best possible funding and we achieve value for money in its expenditure.

The role of the Governor can be time consuming, frustrating, challenging but more than anything, interesting and immensely rewarding to know that I can have a positive impact on the education and social inclusion of all the pupils at the school.

      Mrs Maria Dawes

  • Co-opted Safeguarding Governor 14/06/2017- 01/08/2020

  • Responsibility for :

  • Safeguarding

  • Arts & Sports

  • Year group responsibility, Year 3

  • Governor attendance 2017/2018 (as of 12/7/18) 7/8 full Governing Body meetings

  • Governor attendance 2018/2019 6/7 Governing Body meeting

  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 

  • Register of interest: casual employment at Widey Court School.


I have worked in the voluntary role of Parent Governor at Widey Court since May 2013, having been inspired to apply for the post after seeing how my children, as new Service Pupils, were embraced by the school. I wanted to give something back and was impressed by Widey’s willingness to target the Service Pupil Premium to support children affected by the challenges of their parents’ service to society; an approach which has earned the school national recognition and continues to see members of staff called upon to advise other schools on how to do such a great job.

I help to run the Keeping in Touch (KIT) Club for Service pupils at Widey, enjoy the opportunity to assist in bringing various forms of Service support and funding to the school (which then benefits the entire school community) and have been Chair of the Curriculum Committee. Currently, I have the role of Safeguarding Governor, which is a critical and ever-changing area and provide opportunities to work with a range of Widey’s valued members of staff.

As a parent, being connected to education by my previous work as an English teacher and being an active member of Plymouth’s Service community provides me with good awareness as a Widey governor. I therefore value the opportunity to help ensure Widey Court Primary School offers each of its amazing pupils, and their families, the best possible experience of primary education.

            Mr Jonathan Thomas - Vice Chair


  • Parent Governor - Elected by Parents - 15/06/2017 - 11/08/2020 
  • Responsibility for:
  • STEM
  • Maths
  • Year group responsibility for Year 5
  • Governor attendance for 2017/2018 (as of 12/7/18) 8/8 Full Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance for 2018/2019 4/7 Governing Body meeting
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 17/10/2019 6/11/2019
  • Register of interest: Married to a member of school staff


I became a Parent Governor in 2017 as I wanted to support the school in providing the best possible educational experience not just for my own children, but for all children attending the school.  My eldest son is now enjoying his time at secondary school building on his great experiences of primary education provided by the wonderful staff at Widey Court.  My second son started at the school in September 2018 and continues to thrive and develop in all areas.  My personal connection to the school extends beyond my children, in that my wife works at the school and shares the same passion I have for the continued success of Widey Court.


Professionally, I have worked for the Lloyds Banking Group since 1994 and am currently responsible for managing the Bank’s relationships with some of its largest corporate clients in the South West.  Outside work, family is everything, but I also enjoy playing golf, cooking and travel.  We live in a small village on the edge of Dartmoor, where we designed and had our house built in 2007.



           Mr Shaun Nicholls, Headteacher

  • A member of the governing body by virtue of position,  September 2013 onwards
  • Sits on all committees
  • Governor attendance 2017/2018 - 8/8 Local Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2018/2019 - 7/7  Local Governing Body meeting
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 17/10/2019 6/11/2019
  • Register of Interests: Director of the Excellence Cluster.


  Mr Barry Sullivan

  • Parent Governor - Elected by Parents - 15/6/2017 - 01/08/2020
  • Responsibility for:
  • SEND
  • Pupil Premium (Disadvantaged)
  • Year group responsibility for Year 2
  • Governor attendance for 2017/2018 (as of 12/7/18) 7/8 Local Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance for 2018/2019 4/7 Local Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 17/10/2019
  • Register of interest: 


I became a governor in 2017 because I wanted to help Widey Court offer the best education and experience for my son in Year 1, and my baby son when he is old enough!  Since becoming a governor I have realised that this duty extends to all of the children that Widey Court serves and our local community.  As an Educational Psychologist I work with a number of schools throughout Plymouth and I am hoping that this experience will help me to support Widey Court in its vision of ensuring all children receive an outstanding education through the very best teaching and support.
I grew up down the road in Hartley Vale and attended another primary school that is part of the same Multi-Academy Trust as us.  I have many happy and fond memories of playing in Widey Woods and even the occasional game of football for the Cubs on Widey Court’s playing field!

          Mrs Georgia Carney  


Elected to Governing Body by staff - 01/11/2017 until 01/08/2020

  • Responsibility for
  • EYFS
  • E-Safety
  • Humanities
  • Religious Education
  • Year group responsibility for Year 4
  • Governor attendance for 2017/2018 (as of 12/7/18) 6/6 Local Governing Body meetings 
  • Governor attendance for 2018/2019 - 7/7 Local Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 17/10/2019 6/11/2019
  • Register Of Interest: member of staff


I have worked as a Year 3 teacher at Widey Court since September 2016, and I am currently the Year 3 leader.  I have been a staff governor since 2017 and I'm proud of this responsibility.

I have experience working in both key stages, and prior to this I worked in a variety of pre-schools and nurseries.  This has given me a good grounding for my current Governor responsibility of the EYFS.

As the current computing lead across the school, I am aware of the ever growing importance of equipping children with the skills and confidence to stay safe online.  It is key that children are aware of the risks so that they are able to deal with them effectively. Technology gives children an enormous range of opportunities and prospects so long as they are able to master it.

             Mrs Alyson Lawrence 

  • Co-opted by Governing Body as IT governor - 25/09/2017 until 01/08/2020
  • Responsibility for:
  • E Safety
  • EYFS
  • Physical Environment
  • Year group responsibility for EYFS
  • Governor attendance for 2017/2018 (as of 12/7/18) 8/9 Local Governing Body meetings & 1 Finance Board meeting
  • Governor attendance for 2018/2019 6/7 Local Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 17/10/2019 6/11/2019
  • Register Of Interest: member of staff


It has been my pleasure to have been employed at Widey Court since 2001 in an IT capacity. I have worked with all year groups over the years and experienced many changes to the computing curriculum which is the area I have been involved with. The school's IT infrastructure has also undergone significant improvements, from the era of one very small room in which 14 desktops were shared between 28 children to a purpose built 'Davis' suite capable of hosting a class of 30.

Devices such as tablets and laptops introduced into daily school life present opportunities and challenges associated with the evolving curriculum and the budget constraints upon the school.

Previously as a governor of both the buildings and finance committee I have been able to see the impact and effects of the decisions made by the government, staff and governing body to the life of the school.

        Mrs Hayley Gilbride, Deputy Headteacher


Associate Governor - Invited to attend meetings by the Governing Body - 28/09/2017  

  • Non voting governor
  • Governor attendance (as of 12/7/18) 9/9 Full Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2018/2019 4/7 Governing Body meeting
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (18/9/2019 06/11/2019
  • Register of interest:   None

                  Mrs Veronica Clarke


  • Co-opted by Governing Body as Pastoral governor - 18/09/2019 until 01/08/2020
  • Responsibility for:
  • Year group responsibility for Year 1
  • Governor attendance for 2019 2/2 Local Governing Body meetings
  • Governor attendance 2019/2020 (
  • Register Of Interest: member of staff

            Mrs Julie McDonald - Clerk


Commenced July 2015

Retired Governors


Governors who have served on Widey Court’s Governing Body in the last twelve months are:


Mr Andy Moore -         01/1232006 - 19.07.2019 Attendance (as of 11/07/2019) attended 4/10 Full Governing Body Meetings.

Governors Declaration of Business Interests 2019 - 2020