Meet the Governors

Minnie House, Chair of Governors

I retired as a Headteacher of an Infant and Nursery School (Academy) in Somerset, in 2015, having been in teaching for 39 years and within, that time I was a Headteacher for 27 years. I was also a Leading Learner in Education ( LLE) and an Assessment Moderator for the Local Authority, supporting schools in Somerset and continued in this role during 2015-2016. I knew from a very early age and as a pupil at Chapmanslade School, that I wanted to teach and felt incredibly fortunate to be able to share my passion for learning with pupils and adults over this period of time, as a teacher and Headteacher.

I have lived in Chapmanslade throughout my life and on retirement wanted to be able to support the school and the community by utilising the skills, knowledge and expertise that I had  developed throughout my career, in a very different role, and by becoming a Governor.

I was appointed by the Diocese and Chapmanslade Governing Body as a Foundation Governor in February 2016 and this was renewed in 2020. I became Chair of Governors in September 2017, having been Co-Vice Chair from September 2016. I am also a Governor in another Wiltshire School and in a Somerset School. I am able to bring a range of experiences from each of those roles to my role at Chapmanslade and have also been able to develop my role further through a wide range of courses supporting Governance.

I am strongly committed to my role as a Governor and feel very privileged to be able to do this within the community, in which I have lived for the majority of my life. I have a strong and passionate commitment in ensuring that every child is able to enjoy learning, is motivated to learn, is able to access excellent learning opportunities, within a culture of high expectations and that all children are supported in becoming confident, lifelong learners.

Sally Evans, Vice Chair of Governors

I was appointed as a Co-opted governor by the governing body in March 2016.

The majority of my career has been spent working for various organisations within the Ministry of Defence (MOD). My roles have mainly related to Human Resources tasks such as recruitment, discipline, capability issues and absences. In addition, I was responsible for setting up MOD’s first workplace nursery in Whitehall and produced the Department’s Childcare handbook: its policy on how to provide childcare support for working parents. I also provided advice to other MOD organisations setting up nurseries in places such as Foxhill, Bath & Abbeywood.

Now that I no longer work, I am Chair of a Wiltshire pre-school as well as a governor at another Wiltshire primary school. This has enabled me to be involved in the development of children from when they join the pre-school until they leave for senior school. I believe it is very important for children to have a secure, happy, interesting and stimulating environment in which to learn and becoming a governor has enabled me to support the Headteacher, and the staff in helping to achieve the school’s visions, aims and values.

Maggie Thackway, Foundation Governor

I am a retired Dental Surgeon living in Chapmanslade with my husband and two grown up children. Most of my dental career was spent in the military, where I travelled extensively, worked in several war zones,  and was also involved in many sporting activities. Nowadays I am an active member of the local church, travel to France frequently and enjoy gardening and dog walking.

I became a governor as I wanted to support my local school, which my children attended when they were younger. I have served as a governor for over 4 years and hope my experience can be put to good use. The education of our children is so important and I feel it is a privilege to be involved. As a Foundation Governor I am also a link between the school and the church and I am part of the team that regularly visit the school to lead Collective Worship.

Rev. Pauline Reid, Foundation Governor

I’m Rector of St Philip and St James Chapmanslade, St Margaret’s Corsley, St Peter and St Paul Longbridge Deverill, St Michael Brixton Deverill, St Mary Kingston Deverill and St John the Baptist Horningsham. Because I’m Rector I am Ex Officio Governor of Chapmanslade school. I’ve been a vicar for nearly 20 years always in rural communities as I love the countryside and find the natural world feeds my spirituality. When I’m not driving around looking after people in the parishes and taking services, I like to walk with my dog Betty, read and cook. I enjoy sitting in coffee shops with a black coffee and a book.

Tom Dore, Parent Governor

I am a secondary Science teacher with over 17 years experience teaching across both state and independent schools. During this time I have also held a variety of middle and senior leadership roles. I am also the Director of Education for the British Esports Association and Head of the Education Focus Group of the Global Esports Federation.

As a parent of two children who have attended Chapmanslade, I became a Governor because I want to ensure all young people in our community have the best possible chance to succeed in education and therefore improve their overall life chances. My experience working with young people and across different educational institutions allows me both to support and challenge staff at Chapmanslade School  to achieve this goal.

Ann Gomez, Co-opted Governor

I was appointed as a co-opted governor in April 2022.

Having recently moved to Chapmanslade with my husband, daughter and her family, I was eager to find ways to support the village and local community. Chapmanslade Primary School is the heart of the village nurturing the next generation of young people and providing them with the foundations on which the future educational success will be built.

The latter half of my career was spent in education, mentoring and supporting young people on their path to employment, and enabling them to achieve the qualifications required to successfully do this. It is my firm belief that children need a secure and energising environment to enable them to flourish, something that I can see, through my Granddaughter, that Chapmanslade strives to do. I look forward to supporting the Headteacher, staff and rest of the governing body in continuing to do this in addition to enhancing and developing ways to achieve the schools mission.

Robert Cottrell, Staff Governor, Headteacher


Parent governors are elected by the parents of pupils for a fixed term of 4 years. Parents are advised in writing when a vacancy for a parent governor arises either if a governor completes their term of office or stands down. Full details of the eligibility criteria and the process for nominations and any election are provided at the time.

Local Authority governors are nominated by local councillors.

Staff governors are members of the school staff who are elected by the staffing body (both teaching and non-teaching).

Foundation governors are only to be found on the governing bodies of voluntary schools and some foundation schools. They are appointed to preserve and develop the religious character of the school, if it has a religious character, and to secure compliance with the trust deed. Normally, foundation governors serve for a four year term of office.

Co-opted governor is a person appointed by the governing body and who, in the opinion of the governing body, has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. Co-opted governors may have an area of specialist knowledge or experience or bring a wide range of skills and experience to their role as a governor.

Partnership governors are only to be found on the governing bodies of foundation schools which do not have a foundation or trustees. They must be members of the community served by the school who are committed to the good government and success of the school. The governing body is responsible for seeking nominations for and appointing partnership governors.