Alison Cooper

When I was elected Parent Governor in 2010 I had three children enjoying our school at various stages. They have now moved on, and I remain a Governor (now Co-opted) as I passionately believe every child deserves the very best Primary School experience possible.

I feel it my duty as a Governor to ensure our school offers a whole range of opportunities and experiences in challenging financial times and has great teachers who really care about the children.  I am very proud to be Chair of an experienced team of Governors with a range of backgrounds and expertise.

Together with our Leadership Team we aim to ensure your child reaches their full potential and leave us well-equipped for their next stage of learning.



Chair of Governors

Clerk to the Governors

Lea Dempster

I have been Clerk to the Governing Body since January 2011. Unlike the governors who are volunteers, I am an employee of the school who undertakes the administrative and organisational tasks associated with the work of the governing body. I work closely with the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher to help ensure that meetings are efficient and that governors are able to focus on their strategic roles and responsibilities. As well as undertaking administrative tasks, it is my role to advise the governing body on procedural matters and help them fulfil their statutory responsibilities. Both my children attended WRPS and I enjoy being able to continue supporting the school as Clerk.



Board of Governors

Helen Fenner

I joined the team in 2014 as a co-opted Governor.  I was keen to join the team to gain more of an understanding of the running of the school and to bring any relevant experience I have to the team.

My background is in Human Resources. I currently work as a part time HR Manager for a company based in Exeter. I am using my skills to support the school on recruitment and development of staff, setting and monitoring objectives and policies plus advising on commercial matters regarding the school budget.

I recently attended a training course on HR for Governors to develop my knowledge specifically for schools.

I have two children at our school. We relocated from Kent in 2010 and choose Exmouth as a place to live based on its strong sense of community and the range of experiences it offers children whilst they are growing up.

I am also actively involved in the PTFA organising fundraising events, for example, school discos, fayres, bedtime stories and the Cardiff shopping trip. The money raised supports extra curricular activities for our children enriching their learning opportunities throughout the curriculum.

I am keen to act as a voice for parent views and work together with the team to continue to develop our school over the years to come.

Jenny Hooper

My name is Jenny Hooper and I have been a teacher at Withycombe for 18 years. I also have two children at this school in Foundation & Year 4. I believe that our school is a very special place which promotes a love for learning and values for life. This is my second time on the governing body and hope to be able to continue to build on the success of Withycombe School.

Sue Humphries

I became a Foundation Governor in March 2014, and am very pleased to have the opportunity to ‘give something back’ to the School and wider community. Growing up in Exmouth in the sixties, I attended Withycome Raleigh Primary, then the Grammar and Exmouth School before going to Rolle College to train as a teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Withycombe, developing a love of learning that inspired my choice of teaching as a career. During my professional life, I have taught children of every age from pre-school to GCSE, and for 14 years I was a Headteacher and consultant head in Wiltshire. My background in education gives me the professional skills and knowledge to support the school community, continuing all the good work that goes on in the school and seeking ways to improve and enhance it further. I understand the School Improvement process, am very familiar with Ofsted, and areas such as school finance and Safeguarding Children. I am a member of the Governors’ Teaching and Learning Committee, and of the committee for Headteacher Performance Management. As a Foundation Governor, I help to maintain and develop the Christian ethos of the School. I have been fortunate to combine a teaching career with accompanying my husband on his RAF postings and raising our family. Our three grown up children all have children of their own, and I retired a few years ago to care for our youngest grandchildren while their mums work (as teachers!). Apart from our busy home life, we are members of Exe sailing club and love exercising the grandchildren and our dogs on the beach.

Alison Rich

My name is Alison Rich and I have been a parent governor since 2012. In September 2014, my daughter, Daisy, will be starting year 4 and my son, George, will be in Foundation. I chose Withycombe Raleigh C of E Primary School for my children because I wanted them to have the best possible education and opportunities, and strive, as parent governor, to ensure that this is achievable for all children at this school. I am fully supportive of the school, recognising the important role parents play in the early education and development of their children. I have been a primary school teacher for 17 years and have been teaching at a local Exmouth school for the last eleven years. I am part of my school’s Senior Leadership Team, and so I understand the challenges that currently face primary schools. I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee at Withycombe where I can use my knowledge and experiences working within primary education, as well as my experiences as a parent, to contribute towards discussions and decisions that are made.

Fr Robert Sellers

I have been a governor of various schools since ordination in the Church of England 20 years ago. The schools have been in Gloucester, Cornwall, North Yorkshire and now here in Withycombe Raleigh, all of which have been either primary or junior schools. I became a school governor first of all because, in the early years my three daughters were at school and in any case, to serve the wider community in which my parish was set. It has been a real joy to work with other governors, staff, parents and especially the pupils in all of these schools, but it is always particularly so when the school has a genuine Christian ethos as is the case at Withycombe Raleigh. I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee where I trust we act as “critical friends” to ensure that we continue to provide the very best education for every pupil in the school regardless of their background or abilities. As the Team Rector of Withycombe Raleigh with Exmouth it is not just an obligation to serve as a foundation governor, but also a privilege.

Jo Wibberley

I was raised in Exmouth and educated locally (at Exeter Road!) and then spent twenty years studying and working in Leicester. I have a degree in modern languages, and experience of working in the fashion industry, initially for Next and then for an independent design house where I was Production Director and Company Secretary. I moved back to Exmouth twelve years ago with my husband and two sons, both of whom attended Withycombe and are now flourishing at the Community College.


As a governor since December 2014, and a teaching assistant for the last seven years, I feel that I am in a unique position to help improve communication between staff, management and parents. We all want the best for the children who attend Withycombe, and I am proud to be part of such a dedicated and talented group of governors. I am on the Resources Committee, where I hope that my business experience will make a difference.


Clare Babbage

I joined the team of Governors in 2016 as a Local Authority governor. My background is predominantly financial, having run an Exeter based finance business for a number of years.  It is a privilege to work with a team focused on achieving the best outcomes for all our children, making the best use of all resources available. I am a strong believer in comprehensive education and the way in which it benefits wider society.


Originally from Topsham, I have lived in Exmouth for six years.  We have five children, aged 20-2, two of whom currently attend Withycombe Raleigh Primary School. Having older children has given me a broad view of the many challenges children face as they navigate through the education system. I am confident that WRPS nurtures and supports our children as they start school, and equips them with the many tools they need as they move on to secondary education.

Nick Pearce

I am a co-opted governor and have recently retired from working as a local government officer for Devon County Council.  I have three sons who went to Withycombe, been to university / apprenticeships, qualified and have left Exmouth.  I now have some time to help Withycombe maintain its level of excellence.


I started my working life as a Primary School teacher for 13 years and have continued working to support schools until I retired.  I hope to bring a wealth of experience to the governing body in the field of IT, education and business.  I have been a parent governor and chair before from 1996 to 2004 and fully understand the importance to the school of having a body of critical friends!



Andrew Holder

I was elected as parent governor in 2017, shortly after Evie joined Foundation, having the urge to understand a bit more about how the education sector operates and improving a link between parents and the school. With my commercial background in construction I sit on the resources committee and am able to provide a critical eye in that role, as well as bringing some expertise to the fore to support the good work that goes on behind the scenes.

It's great to be part of a well respected school with a motivated board of governors who I feel are well respected by teachers and parents alike, and that the school environment is open to change and challenge.


Will Newport

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Audrey Williams

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Antonia Burrows

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Jon Maxwell-Batten

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