Down Ampney Primary School

School Governors

The Governing Body of Down Ampney C of E Primary is made up of representatives from the Local Authority, the Diocese of Gloucester, Staff, Parents and the Community; they offer a variety of skills that are required to manage the school effectively. The appointment of Governors and the way they conduct school business is laid down by an Education Act.

The principle job of the Governing Body is to provide a strategic view, to act as a critical friend and to ensure accountability. The Full Governing Body meets regularly, at least once a term. The detailed business is delegated to one committee who meet often as necessary and is called  Finance, Premises and Personnel. All key policy decisions proposed by the committee require the approval of the Full Governing Body. Visits to the school also take place on a regular basis.

Our Chair of Governors is Mrs Penelope Morse and our Vice-Chair is Mr Chris Nott.

Further details including dates of appointments and terms of office will be uploaded soon.

Message from our Chair of Governors

Our Governing Body represents a broad spectrum of expertise and occupations that brings invaluable experience to the leadership of Down Ampney C of E Primary.

Governors are assigned specific responsibilities and visit the school regularly as part of their monitoring and control duties. The School’s Development Plan is reviewed regularly and forms the basis of prioritised actions.

The Board of Governors is immensely proud of the school and its ability to provide a high quality of education and care to its pupils. Together with staff and parents, we strive for excellence and for attaining the very highest standards for our pupils.

Mrs Penelope Morse
Chair of Governors
Down Ampney C of E Primary School

Meet Our Governors

Chair of Governors

Mrs Penelope Morse – Foundation Governor

My husband and I moved to Down Ampney at the very end of 2014. Both fully retired we were keen to become involved in the local community in a voluntary capacity and as I had always worked in education (I was a Primary Head Teacher and Local Authority Advisor) it seemed only natural to offer my services to the local school.

I help in both classes once a week and have got to know both pupils and staff well. I was delighted to be elected as Chair of Governors earlier this year and hope to be able to use my knowledge and passion for education to assist the school to grow and develop.



Mrs Rebecca Gray -Head Teacher





Mrs Sharon Woodruffe – Staff Governor

I am Mrs Woodruffe, The Schools Business Manager. I am the first port of call in the school office and I take care of all the day-to-day administration.

In my capacity as a School Business Manager, I get to know all of the children really well as I am able to observe them in their work and play and can see how they are developing and progressing. It is this pupil insight as well as my knowledge of the school’s day-to-day administration that I believe can add value to the Governing Body.




Mr James Powell – Co-Opted Governor

I am a Parent Governor, and I also chair the Finance & Premises Committee.

My daughter and son attend Down Ampney School.

I currently work at Nationwide Building Society in Swindon and hope to be able to bring my business experience to the fore within the Governing Body.


Mr Chris Nott – Parent (Vice-Chair) Governor

I am a Parent Governor, having served since November 2015. I have two children at the school and live in the village, so have an interest in seeing the school become an excellent environment to provide the education and start in life that every child deserves. As well as being Vice-Chair on the full governing body,  I also sit on the Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee.

I work in IT, specifically as a software developer – I design software and write code. I have experience in running my own company and providing software and consultancy services to other organisations. With my background and skills in IT, I hope to be able to help develop and improve the IT strategy within the school.



Mr Trevor Gillis – Parent Governor

I have been a Parent Governor since November 2015. I am a member of the Finance and Premises Committee.

I now only have one child at Down Ampney School as my other child has now moved on to Secondary.  My motivation for becoming a Parent Governor? Quite simple. I want to ensure that my children and all of the other children in Down Ampney School get the very best education and learning environment that they can.

For the last 30 years, I have worked in the IT Industry in various roles and am currently Business Development Director for a major Global ICT Company. The skills that I bring to the role of Governor include a thorough understanding of IT, Marketing, Strategic and Business operations, Management and running Projects. I also like to think that I know how to get things done and what ‘good looks like. I work in London but my job takes me all over the UK and into Europe.

When I am not at work I enjoy time with all of my family and friends. Along with my eldest son and middle daughter we support Manchester United and attend as many games as we can. I also enjoy good food and wine and anything to do with History.

Rev Canon John Swanton – Ex Officio Foundation Governor

I have been Team Rector of the South Cotswolds Team Ministry in the Gloucester Diocese since July 2014, which comprises some 22 historic churches across 15 rural parishes with a team of the clergy. I have direct responsibility for five rural parishes in ‘The Ampneys’ near Cirencester and have been there since September 2011.

Before that, my career had been in housing for some 26 years. I have a wide range of experience and expertise in housing management, development, finance and community engagement. I championed rural housing and housing options for older people and people with special needs. I was a member of the Local Government Association’s expert advisory panel on the reform of Council Housing (HRA) Finance (2008-2011). When working for a local authority, I had a lead role in safeguarding and liaison with health and social services.

At present, I am a Governor of two small village Primary Schools; a Trustee of a small educational trust and a local community trust. I am a member of the Diocese of Gloucester’s Houses Committee and Diocesan Synod. I am a Trustee of a national grant-making Trust – ‘The Sons and Friends of the Clergy’.

I enjoy gardening, historic buildings, walking the family dog and keeping bantams. I am married to Nicola and we have a daughter Eleanor, who is studying medicine at Leeds University.


Mr Geoffrey Booth  – Authority Governor

I was appointed as the Local Authority Governor in November 2018.  My family and I moved to Down Ampney in 2003 and my son spent his last two years of primary education at the village school.  I had a full career in the RAF, serving for nearly 35 years, before hanging up my uniform in 2012.  Since then I have primarily worked as a consultant covering Defence, Aviation and Crisis/Emergency Response Planning.  I have also held a pro-bono governance and scrutiny position with a housing association.

My son had an excellent two years at the school and I believe that the school is an essential asset to the village. I aim to bring my wide experience of both public and private sectors to help the school deliver the education that all children deserve and to be the one which parents choose for their children.


Mr Phil Fryer-Ward – Parent Governor