Our Governors

All schools in England have a Governing Body. The Governors are the strategic leaders of our school and have a vital role to play in making sure all our children get the best possible opportunities to achieve their potential, thrive and be happy. As governors we are proud to be associated with Mawnan Church of England VA School and its high standards of education. Working together we will continue this tradition and move the school forward to even greater achievements.

The Governing Body has a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Head Teacher and staff, the Diocese of Truro and Cornwall Council. Whilst the Head Teacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved in overseeing admissions, staffing, the curriculum, policies, finance and buildings. They ensure the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.

The Governing Body of Mawnan Church of England VA School consists of seven Foundation Governors appointed by the Diocese of Truro, a Governor appointed by the Local Authority, two Governors elected by the parents, and a Governor elected by the Staff. The Head Teacher and Parish Priest are ex-officio members of the Governing Body.

The full Governing Body meets four times a year and appoints sub committees which also meet a minimum of four times a year.
Governors of Mawnan Church of England VA School and the date their appointed term ends:
Foundation Governors

Ms Rachel Stevenson

Chair of Governors



Mrs Helen Hickman

Vice Chair of Governors


Mr Richard Rae

Chair of Finance, Personnel, Premises and Health & Safety Committee



Mrs Marcia Smith



Mr Greg Parekh



Mrs Ruth Rawley



Local Authority Governor

Mrs Helen Trelease



Parent Governors

Dr Matthew Fox

Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee



Miss Anna Hart

Staff Governors

Ms Jasmine Moon

Teaching Assistant/Teacher


Miss Jilly Pridmore


Parish Priest - Vacancy

Julie Tayler

Clerk to the Governors

Governors' Committees
Finance, Personnel and Premises:  
Richard Rae (Chair)                                  
Rachel Stevenson                                   Ruth Rawley
 Helen Hickman                                     Jilly Pridmore
Curriculum and Standards:                                            Rachel Stevenson 
Matthew Fox (Chair)                                                  Marcia Smith 
Helen Trelease                                                 Helen Hickman
Jilly Pridmore                                                  Louise Wylie
 Rachel Stevenson(Chair)                                                                  Ruth Rawley
Helen Hickman                                                                Anna Hart                                       
Jilly Pridmore  
More Information on our governors
Rachel Stevenson is our Chair of Governors. Rachel has four children currently at Mawnan School - Elizabeth, Kit, William and Tilly. They moved here in 2017 from London, and have been made to feel like part of the Mawnan family since the day they arrived.

Rachel is an award-winning news journalist and has spent the past 20 years working for major media organisations such as the BBC, the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Observer and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. She has reported on many subjects including business, politics, miscarriages of justice and human rights, as well as conflict and humanitarian crises in the Middle East and West Africa. She has won a Bar Council reporting award and an Amnesty International Media award.

She grew up in Durham, went to Manchester University and via London and Beirut, now lives near Maenporth.  An experienced communicator, she likes to cut through complex issues to get to the heart of what really matters - at Mawnan, that means ensuring the best possible education and learning environment for all pupils.

With four children at the school, she has a long-term interest in seeing it thrive. Her children all have different needs and abilities, but all benefit from the special character, ethos and values that run through every aspect of Mawnan School life. 

Her goal is to ensure that every single child at Manwan is encouraged to be the very best they can be.  

Helen Hickman was born in Worcestershire where she spent her childhood and, in addition to Birmingham and Solihull, much of her adult life. She was awarded a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Birmingham in 1982. Helen worked for 33 years with children from birth to 18 years and their families in Birmingham and Worcestershire, initially in Local Authority residential children’s homes and day nursery provision, and subsequently in primary schools. She has been privileged to have held the position of headteacher in three schools over a period of 15 years, her final headship being for 10 years at a highly regarded and successful 3-form entry Church of England Voluntary Aided Infant School in the south west of Birmingham.

Following retirement Helen and her husband Gary moved to Cornwall in April 2019. They live in the village of Gunwalloe. Prior to retirement Gary was the Director of Social Work Education at the University of Birmingham. Now enjoying living in ‘paradise’ they spend lots of time with family: their daughter Ruth, her partner Josh and their grandchildren Loke and Zennor. Loke joined Oppie class in September 2022 and Zennor is two years younger. As well as being Nanny and Gramps, Helen loves spending time at the beach, walking and gardening, and Gary is an avid triathlete.

Richard Rae moved to Mawnan in 1992 after a career in music in London.
He moved to London after university in Scotland with the aim of becoming a famous musician (failed!) Fortunately, other avenues opened up and he was appointed a Director of Our Price Records 1980 to 85 and then Retail Development Manager for Virgin Retail until 1992.
Youngest daughter Beth was born in 1990. At this point he realised he needed to spend less time travelling and more time at home. A couple of years looking at options resulted in a major career move to Lloyds Bank in Cornwall from 1992 until retirement in 2013.
All three of Richard’s daughters attended Mawnan School from 1992 and went on to further education in Falmouth.
Continuing the trend his two granddaughters now attend, and to complete the circle, eldest daughter Hannah (Martin) is a 1-1 Teaching Assistant at the school.
Wife Jill is a passionate Christian who is part of Anchor of Hope Church in Falmouth, a member of Mawnan Mothers’ Union and currently involved in the Diocese of Truro’s Accompanied Ministry Development plan ‘Leading Your Church into Growth’ for Mawnan Parish.
Richard has always loved the passion and enthusiasm shown by everyone connected to the school and joined the Board of Governors as a Foundation Governor in Spring 2019.
In his spare time, he enjoys golf, tennis, badminton, travelling and playing drums for Jonah’s Lift as well as the village panto each year. (15 years and counting!) He also perfects his role as “grumpy grandpa” although Keira and Olivia reckon he’s nailed it!
Marcia Smith was born in Mawnan and attended the village school before going on to Penryn College and then to Falmouth School. She went on to study Modern Languages at the University of Wales, working in Germany as part of the course. This was followed by a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Exeter University. She taught French and German in several schools in Devon and Nottinghamshire before returning to Cornwall with her husband, Mike, and her two daughters, Amy and Katie, who also attended Mawnan School. Marcia also has experience of teaching French to primary children and German to adults, both for business and leisure, and has been a GCSE Examiner. In 1997 Marcia joined Truro High School where she was Head of Modern Foreign Languages for nine years and subsequently Deputy Head Academic and then Senior Deputy Head for a further ten years. This included a period spent as Acting Head. She has previously been a Governor at Mawnan School, serving as Vice-Chair for a number of years. Marcia retired from full-time work in 2018 and is delighted to be once again involved with the school and its community. In her free time she enjoys travelling abroad, walking the coast and meeting up with friends and family as often as possible.
Greg Parekh was born in and grew up in Cornwall, having moved to Winchester to attend University and then train as an RE teacher. Having taught in Southampton for a few years he moved back to Cornwall to teach, firstly at Tretherras in Newquay and then onto Penryn College as Head of RE. Greg is currently an Assistant Headteacher at Penryn College as well as being a consultant for Cornwall SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education). The consultancy role involves working with schools across Cornwall on supporting their RE delivery in line with the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus. His wife is a Primary teacher and he has two young children who are at Primary school. He has an interest in Rugby and Badminton and a busy time entertaining his children!
Ruth Rawley moved to Cornwall from Hampshire in September 1993 when her husband’s career brought about the move. Ruth and Nick have two children, Hannah and Luke. Both children were educated at Mawnan School followed by Penryn College. Hannah then attended Truro College and Luke went to Camborne College.
Pre-children Ruth worked in banking in Torbay, Somerset and Hampshire, which she left when she had her first child. Later she became a registered child-minder before joining the school in September 2000 as a T/A with years 5 and 6. In March 2007 she then became the school administrator.
Ruth was treasurer of the PTA from November 1994 until October 1998.
She was then nominated as the Non-teaching Staff Governor in September 2001, moving to Foundation Governor in March 2015.
Penryn College – Ruth became a member of the Parents’ Forum at Penryn College in March 2002, later spending a number of years as Chair. In September 2008 she was appointment as a Parent Governor of the College where she remains as a Governor. Being a Governor of both Mawnan School and Penryn College enriches the links between both establishments.
In her leisure time she plays badminton each week, enjoys walking, travelling and spending time with the family.
Helen Trelease Todd has had the privilege of being a governor at Mawnan since 2010. It is a role she loves and takes immense pride in. Working full time makes it a challenge to go in and see the children as often as she would like but she does take every opportunity she can. Professionally her background is in children’s social work. After working on the ‘front line’ for several years she went into a training and learning and development role. She now splits her time between her local authority role and working independently, primarily delivering safeguarding children training but also taking on some advisory work . Much of her work is with schools across the county. She currently has specific responsibility on the governing body for safeguarding, whistle blowing and is deputy early years governor. She lives very locally and can often be seen on, or around, the Helford River with her husband and their two dogs.
Dr Matt Fox moved to Cornwall for the second time, this time to stay, in 2014 with his wife, Hannah and daughter, Rosemary. His son, Robert, was born in Cornwall in 2015. He trained as an astrophysicist at Imperial College in London where he gained his PhD. He continued his research there for 8 years and used telescopes around the world and satellites to look at the very early universe. Matt then retrained as physics teacher and now brings his enthusiasm for science to the classroom. His ambition is to inspire the next generation of curious and questioning minds to become scientists. He has lived and worked in London, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire and taught at various schools. Rosemary and Robert are thriving in the Mawnan School environment. In any available time Matt is active; surfing, cycling, swimming, running, house destruction and construction, and assistant gardener to his wife.
Governor Pecuniary Interests