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Upton St James CofE Primary School

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Welcome to our Governors’ Section 


We would like to welcome you to Upton St James CofE Primary School. Everyone at the school, works hard to achieve the very best they can; teachers, learning support assistants, support staff and especially the children.


We believe that every child should be enabled to 'rise to their best' and the school ensures that every child gets the support they need to do well academically, socially, emotionally and, to enjoy their years at the school.


Our aim is for everyone to reach their full potential and, by working together with parents and carers, provide a firm foundation for life at secondary school and beyond.


The Governors at Upton St James work closely with the school to fulfil their statutory role and to shape the school’s policy, curriculum, accountability and ethos. The Governors, who are volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, all contribute to the work of the Governing Body through regular meetings and visits to the school.


It is a tribute to the school’s senior leadership team and staff, and a matter of pride to us all, that children progress so well and are happy at Upton St James CofE Primary School.


Governors are volunteers from the local community who care about the school and who give their time and skills to help it to thrive, grow and become a better place. If you are interested in becoming a governor … please get in touch.


If you would like to speak to a governor, please contact usj.clerk@stcmat.org

Alyson Tyler - Chair of Governors, Safeguarding

It’s a privilege to be serving as the Chairperson of the school’s governing body.  I am also the link governor for Safeguarding.  I work with the Headteacher and other governors to monitor the vision and standards at the school.  It was in 2017 that I settled in Devon, having moved from London, where I was a Headteacher.  I also serve on the Board at St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust. 


Devon has been a delight for me.  Growing up in Wales, I was fortunate to spend time near the coast and mountains fairly often.  So now I spend a lot of time kayaking the Devon coastline and the River Dart.  I love spending time with family and friends, many of whom visit me regularly, given how lovely Devon is. 

Izzi Mardon - Headteacher, Safeguarding

I am very proud to be the Headteacher of this wonderfully nurturing Church School. It is a privilege to work in partnership with the Governing Body and staff team to enable everyone in our school community to 'rise to their best'. The scripture that supports our shared vision is 'Love your neighbour as yourself' (taken from Mark 12 v30 - 31). Central to my role on the Governing Body is working effectively with all stakeholders to ensure that every pupil really does 'rise to their best'. In my spare time, I am kept busy with two young children. We are often found exploring new places around Devon and further afield - on foot and by bike! 


Claire Dickerson - Parent Governor, Joint SEND

I have recently joined the team as a parent governor. I hope to be able to help be the voice of parents on the school governing board. I have one child who attends Upton St James. I moved to Torquay 11 years ago and love living in such a beautiful part of the country. I'm mainly kept busy by my very active son and all his afterschool activities, but when  I do get some free time I enjoy reading, catching up with friends listening to live music or a great movie. 

Zac Allen - Co-opted Governor, Disadvantaged Pupils

Hello, my name is Zac Allen. I am a coopted governor appointed on behalf of the charity Governors for Schools and I am responsible for disadvantaged pupils. In my spare time I appreciate a good book, fiction or biography and I am a keen athlete, you'll normally find me in the gym!

Leah Whitcher - Foundation Governor, Curriculum & Standards

I am part of the Upton St James governor team, and have a focus on performance and standards. I was a Primary Teacher for almost eight years, including 6 years at one school where I was also the Outdoor Education Lead and temporary SEN Coordinator. I've also worked as the Education Office for The Botanic Garden in Oxford and for Torbay's 3 museums. I'm currently a Community Builder in Torre and Upton (part-time), with the Community Development Trust. My passions are growing fruit and veg and planting for pollinators in my small garden, researching ancient history and exploring Torbay and further afield. 

Greg Bell - Foundation Governor, Christian Distinctiveness & Ethos

I have recently become a governor at Upton St James, of which I am a Foundation Governor; with responsibility for Health and Safety and have previously been a parent governor at a school in West Sussex. I work as Head of IT for a group of independent schools all around the UK as well as the Operations Manager for Together church, which is also on St James road. I am a husband and a father of four children and we love wild swimming, walks on Dartmoor and exploring the lovely coves in the Torbay and wider area. We moved to the area to help the church and the local community of Upton. 

Joy Payne - Foundation Governor, Joint SEND and Health & Safety

I have recently become a Foundation Governor at Upton St James, I am a member of St Mags Church, having previously been treasurer and now on the Parochial Church Council for St Mags. I work as a Compliance and Contract Manager  inspiring, developing and supporting people to make positive change across the South West. I am also the Deputy of a Saturday Club for Children with Additional Needs. I have previously been a Chair of Governors and after a long break I am excited by the challenge of returning to a Governor Role. I have also worked as a Careers Adviser with a focus on young people with SEND.  In my spare time I enjoy swimming, reading and cross stitch.

Sarah Wright (Staff Governor)

If you are interested in becoming a Governor or would like to contact the governors please email:  usj.clerk@stcmat.org 

School Motto

"Rising to our best"


‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12 v:30 – 31)

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