Welcome to Eckington C of E


Caring and Sharing... Believing and Achieving Together.


School Governors

'The governing body is made up of parent, staff, local authority and community representatives. They are deeply involved in the school and may be a point of contact if you have any queries. In the first instance please address any correspondence to Governors to the Clerk to the Governing Body, c/o The School office. The role of the school governors is a complex one involving overseeing diverse matters including the curriculum, and management of  the school buildings.

The governing body was reconstituted in order to fulfil new requirements in September 2015. Approved minutes of the governing body meetings are available on request from the school office.


Governors of Eckington School - may be contacted by letter addressed to the school, or by email to: office@eckingtonfirst.worcs.sch.uk

  'The governors are a dedicated band who strive to carry out their statutory duties, but more than that, they are concerned to maintain concord within the whole school family enabling the school to achieve well.  

Eckington School is a church school and we feel strongly that the children should be nurtured in an active Christian environment. We rejoice at seeing evidence of engaged and fulfilled pupils reaching their full potential. 

As Governors we seek to ensure that staff feel appreciated, encouraged and supported and that the voice of parents is heard and reacted to wherever possible. In our close-knit village we greatly value involvement with the community and are keen to support and foster these links. 

Eckington is a vibrant school with happy children and we have pleasure in contributing, in a very small way, to its undoubted success.'


List of Governors

Sarah Haughan (Co-opted Governor) Chair of Governors. Teaching and Standards Committee
Sarah Haughan (Co-opted Governor) Chair of Governors. Teaching and Standards Committee

I have been a governor at Eckington School since 2011, initially I was a Parent Governor and when my term expired I became a co-opted Governor. In 2015 I was appointed Vice-Chair of Governors and since October 2017 I have been Chair of Governors.

I am a local girl having lived in the area most of my life and followed the three-tier schooling system Eckington is part of.

Initially my interest in being a Governor was due to my daughters attending the school and my involvement with the Church of England; but over the last 4 years my awareness of the challenges facing schools and teachers has resulted in a passion to support the school to reach its full potential.

Since returning to work after having my children my working life was initially spent in Primary Schools in Worcestershire & Gloucestershire giving me a great insight into many different models. I have recently moved to a national role and am enjoying and interested in working with a huge variety of schools from tiny village ones to large multi academies from Cornwall to Manchester.

For the last 11 years, I have been part of the leadership team at Holy Trinity, Tewkesbury working alongside the Vicar and his wife. This has involved me in every aspect of a busy church with a large congregation and thriving youth and children’s ministry. I am passionate about the Christian message being communicated in a relevant and inspiring way to all and the wonderful opportunities we have at Eckington to instil the Christian values into our children’s school lives which I believe will have a positive influence both now and in the future in a dramatically changing world.

This academic year I am continuing my role as the Governor link for maths, Christian distinctiveness and curriculum. Throughout the year this will involve making regular visits to meet with the staff overseeing these areas within school and referring to the school development plan and the aspirations we have for the year ahead. I am also part of the Head Teacher Performance Management Review working alongside our School Improvement Adviser to build upon the strong leadership we have in place.

I enjoy being part of the Open the Book team from Eckington Church which goes into school every other week and have just started work on my Grade 6 ballet exam – whether I ever get to the standard required is debatable!

Sarah Marsh (Co-opted Governor) Vice-Chair of Governors. Teaching and Standards Committee & Finance and Premises Committee
Sarah Marsh (Co-opted Governor) Vice-Chair of Governors. Teaching and Standards Committee & Finance and Premises Committee

I was appointed a Parent Governor in 2013 and then became a co-opted Governor in 2016. I was elected Vice-Chair in October 2017.

I obtained a degree from Nottingham University in French and German and then went on to do a PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages (MFL).

After qualifying, I worked in a school within the cluster as Assistant Head of Department, then Assistant Head of Year and finally Head of Department. I took on the role as Director of Languages where I co-ordinated projects and headed up the introduction of Modern Languages into the First Schools within the cluster. I appointed the teachers to deliver this initiative and was involved in monitoring the teaching and evaluating its success. I also introduced the teaching of a second language into the local Middle Schools.

I have worked as a Student Mentor with student teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers this also involved lecturing at University.

Having been involved in teaching all my working life I enjoy bringing my experience and knowledge to my governing role at Eckington. I understand the pressures and challenges of teaching and the support and encouragement needed so that teachers can inspire and lead within their subject areas. I am motivated to help children harness and achieve their full potential. I want them to have access to a varied and exciting curriculum, so that they can develop the right skills to take forward to the next steps in their lives. In the current academic year 2018/19 I am the link Governor for Early Years (including the new nursery provision) and Behaviour and as well as my committee membership, I am involved in head Teacher performance management and the school pay panel. 

When not providing a taxi service for my children I enjoy reading, adventures with my family and time spent with friends.

Alan Exell (LA Governor) - Finance and Premises Committee
Alan Exell (LA Governor) - Finance and Premises Committee

I have been an LA appointed governor for 9 years. I live in the village and have two children, both of whom attended Eckington School. I currently work in Oxford and I am a senior manager in the NHS.

Reverend Canon Susan Renshaw (Foundation Governor) – Safeguarding & Teaching and Standards Committee
Reverend Canon Susan Renshaw (Foundation Governor) – Safeguarding & Teaching and Standards Committee

I moved to Eckington 11 years ago, having been appointed Vicar of Eckington and Defford and Besford. In 2008 I also became Associate Priest in the Beckford Group of Parishes, with special responsibility for Overbury.

In 2011 I became Rural Dean of Pershore and in 2015 was privileged to be made honorary Canon of Worcester Cathedral.

Before ordination I was a peripatetic woodwind teacher, teaching flute, clarinet and saxophone for Dudley Music Services but I’m afraid I don’t have much time to play these days.

I have previously been a parent governor at the primary school which my two sons attended and after ordination was a community governor at a large high school in the Dudley Borough.

As well as being an ex-officio governor at Eckington CofE First School, I am also Chair of Governors at both Overbury CofE First School and Defford and Besford CofE First School so am always busy with school concerns. It seems that one of them is always expecting Ofsted!

When I have time to relax I enjoy reading, being nanny to our 8 year old grandson, walking the dog and spending time at our 300 year old cottage in Wales.

Sarah Roberts (Head teacher)
Sarah Roberts (Head teacher)
Aaron McDonagh (Staff Governor) - Teaching and Standards Committee
Aaron McDonagh (Staff Governor) - Teaching and Standards Committee

Ruth Kessell (Co-opted Governor) – Teaching and Standards Committee

I moved to Eckington in May 2015, and joined the governing body to contribute to the local community.  I have worked as a Governor Trainer for Governor Services at Gloucestershire County Council since 2005, and good governance in schools is not just a job but something I am passionate about. In the 2018/19 academic year I am Governor link for Safeguarding and English 

I have been a governor at various schools since 1999 when I became a parent governor at my 2 sons’ Primary School (Bishops Cleeve Primary).  I was there for 11 years (1999-2010), 7 of which I was Chair of Governors, before joining the governing body at their Secondary school (Cleeve School) for 5 years (2010 -2015), 2 years as vice-chair. I have chaired a number of committees, including Standards, Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety, and have taken on individual responsibilities from time to time particularly for SEND, Safeguarding, Literacy, Music and other areas as required.  I have also been a clerk to governors for 2 years.

In addition to my current role as a co-opted governor at Eckington First School, I am also a director/trustee on the Gloucestershire Learning Alliance (GLA) multi-academy trust board and chair of governors for Longford Park Primary Academy which opened in September 2017 as part of the GLA. 

In my previous working life I was a part-time lecturer in English as a Second Language at Gloscat, now Gloucestershire College, and prior to that I taught English language at a school in Hong Kong. I am a qualified teacher with a BA in Linguistics & Education, a PGCE and a post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management.

In my spare time I enjoy singing with 2 choirs, reading, gardening and cooking. In my school days I wrote a musical cantata about the life of St.Wilfrid (our local church was St. Wilfrid’s) to celebrate the anniversary of his founding the bishopric of Chichester in 681AD!

Tony Cocks (Foundation Governor)
Tony Cocks (Foundation Governor)

I was appointed as foundation governor in early 2016 for a term of 4 years and I am currently a member of the Finance, Premises and Health and Safety committee.
I have lived in Eckington since 1988 with my wife Kath. We have 3 children – now grown – who have been through the local 3 tier education system of Eckington, Bredon Middle and Prince Henry’s.
I have been largely ‘retired’ for the last few years having had a career in IT (or ’computing’ as it was called when I started) for some 40 years. I did my secondary schooling in Hong Kong before studying Physics at Leeds University and then landing a job with International Computers Ltd (ICL). The latter part of my IT career was, along with several other colleagues, operating our IT consultancy firm providing consultancy primarily to central government IT projects.
I was particularly involved with the school for a number of years as my children passed through and my wife was a governor for a number of years. I was able to establish the first computers and network in the school – both for office use and for the use of the children and staff.
Whilst largely retired I have been kept busy walking our dogs, doing some property renovation/maintenance for my children and bell ringing.

Alan Underwood (Parent Governor)
Alan Underwood (Parent Governor)

Our family relocated to Eckington during the summer of 2015 and we currently have two children at the school with another due to start in 2018. As a parent, I am keen to be involved in the development and running of the school, and have a particular interest in STEM.

After studying Mechanical Engineering at university and working as an engineer for 4 years, I switched to a software programming career, as it was a personal interest. Self-taught, I have been programming for sixteen years in a variety of languages for MoD, Government and private clients. In 2012 I decided to step-out of employment and go freelance. I believe such independence and autonomy are key skills for our children and our school should be nurturing their ability to think critically and learn independently.

Previously, I ran a Computer Club at our son's junior school, sponsoring equipment and programming music, Minecraft and electronics. I also provided staff INSET on aspects of the computing curriculum, including programming and networking. Given that, I would like to ensure we make the most of  fabulous IT facilities, and help the children and staff try new things, particularly if I could help.

I am a new-comer to being a school governor, but I want to support the school practically and strategically, in any way I can, to ensure it is the best it can be for our children.

Daniel Butler (Parent Governor)
Daniel Butler (Parent Governor)

My career started working in a busy Finance Department for a local manufacturing company.  I then moved to the NHS in Gloucestershire where I have been employed for nearly 20 years in a Management role for the Countywide IT Service.  I moved to Eckington in January 2008, and have three daughters.  Two that are in school in Years 3 & 1, and a third daughter who will join reception in September 2017.  I joined the governing body in spring 2016 as an associate governor, and was elected a parent governor in autumn 2016.  I am the current Chair of the Finance, Premises and Health and Safety committee.  Music, sport and the great outdoors have been hobbies of mine for as long as I can remember.  I try to take an active part in all things within the village, certainly those that help support all of the children.  My desire to become a parent governor originated from wanting to help support and expand the schools strong links within our wonderful village community.


Clerk to the Governors – Robin Powell