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Governing Body

Chair of Governor Statement - Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to another academic year. 

I am pleased to say that Stuart Road continues to grow and deliver impressive results.  The performance in KS2 SATS was the best in the Trust for the second year running and above the national average; the KS1 results were also above national across the board. In Foundation, the development of the children was above the national average:  All of the staff and pupils are justifiably proud of their achievements. The determination of the school to ensure a solid grounding in the core subjects, whilst continuing to enrich the curriculum is great to see.

The LGB works with the school’s Leadership Team and Reach South Academy Trust, helping to set the vision and strategy; providing support and challenge to ensure that the school continues its journey towards outstanding. We are committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment where every child loves to learn and explore, with the opportunity to fulfil their potential and be ready to move to secondary education from a sound base in Year 6.  Whenever we visit, we are always impressed by the good behaviour, politeness and engagement we see from the students of all ages.

There have been a few staff changes over the last year, the most significant being the appointment of Mrs Nicholls as the substantive Headteacher, a decision that we were all extremely happy with.  We look forward to a year or two of stability in staffing, which will help the school consolidate its strengths and expand the offer where practicable.  The Governing Body has also gained one or two members, but there is room for one more if anybody feels that they have the time to offer.

I would also like to acknowledge the help and support given to the school by the PTA, led by Charlotte Kelly.  Her enthusiasm and the success of the fundraising activities has delivered real benefits for the children and any assistance or engagement you can provide is most welcome.

 Gary Blake, Chair of Governors

Our Governors
Please read our pen portraits for the Governing Body.
If you would like an appointment with our Chair of Governors, Gary Blake, please contact the school office on 01752 57668 or via email to the clerk to governors Lindsey Johnson, lindsey.johnson@reachsouth.org 
Mr Gary Blake

Chair and Trust Appointed Governor

Responsibility: Chair, Quality of Education (Maths and English) and Finance
Appointed by the Trust Board
Term: 12.10.20 - 11.10.24
Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
Declaration of Interests: None

I have had a strong connection to Plymouth since 1977, when I began my engineering training at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon. I retired from the RN in 2012 after an interesting and varied career as a Submarine Weapon Engineer and volunteer locally as a case worker with SSAFA - a military charity supporting service personnel, veterans and their families. I have also worked with young people preparing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme; training for and supervising expeditions on and around the moor. I have been a Governor at Stuart Road since April 2016 and my son and daughter have both worked as Primary Teachers in the local area so have a fair understanding of the issues that affect the education sector. I strongly believe that encouraging children to enjoy learning from an early age is crucial and I am proud to be part of a committed and inspirational team. In addition to my volunteering, I enjoy being a grandad, walking, music, hockey, cricket and golf.

Mr James Humphries

Trust Appointed Governor

Responsibility: SEND and Statutory Grants
Appointed by the Trust Board
Term: 11.10.23 - 10.10.27
Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
Declaration of Interests: A family member is employed at another Trust school and a family members is employed by the Trust at Stuart Road Primary.

My name is James Humphries and I have lived in Plymouth most of my life. I have two boys at Stuart Road one in Year 2 and the other in Year 6. I started my working life at 15 as a ski instructor before joining the Royal Marines at 17 where I served for 10 years in the UK and abroad on exercises and Operational tours of duty. After leaving the Royal Marines I joined a city post 16 college as a public services lecturer before moving into my new job role at a special educational needs college as a tutor teaching everything from maths and English to life skills and independence to students with a vast array of needs including but not limited to ADHD, autism, down syndrome and learning disabilities.

I have a varied background with a vast array of expertise and knowledge ranging from risk assessments, fitness instructing, gym instructing, mountaineering, climbing instructing, teaching in a special educational needs setting, supporting with EHCPs.

I look forward to using my knowledge and expertise to guide Stuart Road into the coming years and make it a popular school of choice within the city.

Charlotte Kelly

Parent Governor

Responsibility: Early Years, Behaviour, Attitudes and Equalities
Appointed by Local Governing Body
Term: 19.03.21 - 18.03.25
Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
Declaration of Interest: Chair of Friends of Stuart Road Primary Academy and sister is a teacher at a Trust academy (Began 19.03.21)

I was brought up just down the road in St.Cleer, completing my education in Liskeard and St.Austell before heading for the Bright Lights of London. I spent an amazing 10 years in the Travel trade, traveling the world for free and experiencing different people & cultures. I then spent another 10 years in the Estate Agency business, working my way up in a very male dominated world to a Senior Branch Manager. A year travelling the world (while we could) before getting married at Kitley House, just up the road. A bit of fun managing Bars around Barnet before starting a family and a new adventure in Plymouth. My daughter has been coming to this school since Nursery and loves the Urban Village atmosphere of Stuart Road Primary Academy. I re-instigated the Friends of Stuart Road (PTA) 2 years ago and am hoping as we get out of lockdown that it will take off again with the support of the wonderful parents and volunteers of Stuart Road School. I am also instigating a Palmerston Street Community group with the inaugural event in June of The Big Lunch.

Sharon Mackenzie

Staff Governor

Responsibility: Staff Governor
Elected by Staff
Term: 31.01.23 - 30.01.27
Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
Declarations of Interest: None

I joined Stuart Road Primary Academy in January 2020 as Office Manager. This being my first role in a primary school but being previously employed at Stoke Damerel Community College for 13 years in various administration /data roles.
Stuart Road Primary is a wonderful community school and we are very lucky to have talented educators here, inspiring our children every day. I am a very proud to be a member of the team.

Mrs Britta Nicholls


Responsibility: Whole School
Ex-officio by virtue of office as Headteacher
Term: 15.06.21 -
Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
Declaration of Interest: None

I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself as Headteacher.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to support the children, families and staff within the Stuart Road
community. I bring with me over 20 years of teaching experience and more recently experience as the
Deputy Head teacher of Goosewell Primary Academy. I will be working as acting Headteacher to ensure
the school continues to deliver high quality education during these unusual times.

To find out more about Reach South Academy Trust, click on the following link : https://www.reachsouth.org/governance.
Stuart Road Local Governing Body meeting dates 2023-24

Wednesday                12 October 2023

Wednesday                21 February 2024

Wednesday                26  June 2024



Mr Daniel Swabey

Vice-Chair and Trust Appointed Governor

Responsibility: Curriculum, Safeguarding and Looked After Children
Appointed by the Trust Board
Term: 30.11.22 – 29.11.26
Attendance 2023-24: 2/2
Declaration of Interest: Family member runs TGS Coaching who is a sports provider to schools including Stuart Road Primary.
I have two children who attend Stuart Road, one in Foundation and another in Year 2 and both girls are flourishing. I was taken aback my the community nature of the school and in particular the staff – I see how much care they have for the children and this has made me want to take a more proactive role and support however possible.

I currently work in the Civil Service, with the majority of my time being spent working for DWP, covering ESA and then Universal Credit benefit payments. My current role is within the Land Registry, working with Local Authorities across England and Wales.

I also have experience of working with a community centre in Devonport, volunteering and then leading youth clubs ranging across Primary and Secondary school ages – giving the children in this community a safe space.

Governors who have left the Local Governing Board over the past 12 months:

 Scott McGuire -  30.11.22 - 11.12.23
Scott Amies:  18.05.21 - 20.02.24