St Francis School is proudly part of Kernow Learning. Within the Kernow Learning governance structure, St Francis School has a Local Advisory Board and their work feeds into the on-going work of the Kernow Learning Board of Trustees.  The Local Advisory Board meet half termly.

The 3 Core Functions Of Governance

Governance exists to provide strong strategic leadership to a school, ensuring accountability for its educational and financial performance.
The 3 Core Functions Of Governance
Governance exists to provide strong strategic leadership to a school, ensuring accountability for its educational and financial performance.

The GOVERNANCE HANDBOOK assigns 3 core functions::

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
Current School Governors:
Mr Scott Wilson

Chair of Governors - Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 07/02/2019 - 06/02/2023

Scott has been a Governor at St Francis since 2010. As Vice Chair, he helped the Primary School in its transition to academy status. Scott has also served as a Parent, LA Governor and a Co-Opted Governor.

He has significant experience and skills in leadership and management. In his private life, Scott is an Accountant, and has been in Private Practice in Budock since 1989, but much prefers being in his garden.

As Chair of Governors, he is passionate about the importance and need of Local Governance within a MAT structure. That belief has been instrumental in driving forward Governance at St Francis. This has been highlighted as of a high standard in both internal School Improvement Reports and a recent external Governance Review.

Miss Christina Hourigan

Vice Chair of Governors - Parent Governor

Term of Office : 25/05/2018 - 24/05/2022

Responsibilities: Safeguarding (Including Inclusion and Attendance), Children in Care and E-Safety.

Christina has been a Governor at St Francis School since 2018. She has worked in secondary education for the past 16 years as both a teacher and a teaching assistant.

When her daughter started school she wanted to become actively involved in the school she was attending. Christina is currently the Vice Chair of Governors and the named Governor for Behaviour, Safeguarding and Attendance. She is committed to helping St Francis School promote excellence by providing a positive, inclusive environment for learning and growth.

Mrs Hannah Stevens

Headteacher - Ex-Officio Governor

Term of Office: From 01/02/2018

Hannah Stevens is the Headteacher at St Francis CE primary school in Falmouth.
She has been the headteacher of this school since February 2018, and is proud of how the school lives out its vision of every person matters, every person helps, every person succeeds. The school achieved Outstanding in its SIAMs inspection in March 2018, and in July 2019 was the first school in Cornwall to achieve the Wellbeing Award. St Francis is a large school with a family feel, placing Christian and family values as its heart so that the children who attend flourish and develop a love for learning.

Hannah has been working in education for twenty years, and has taught in four very different school across Devon and Cornwall during this time. She has been a Literacy Lead Teacher for Cornwall Council, and worked with Truro Diocese to lead a successful Initial Teacher Training programme. In 2018, Hannah attained a Post Graduate certificate in Coaching and Mentoring achieving a distinction pass.

Mrs Vicky Peters

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 07/02/2019 - 06/02/2023

Responsibilities: Standards (Including Curriculum).

Vicky is an experienced operational and strategic leader, with 20 years spent working within the education sector; primarily in Further Education but more recently working with businesses across Cornwall to support their training and development needs.

During her career, Vicky's passion for supporting local communities and individuals led her to enjoy roles working with some of the county's most vulnerable groups such as young parents, those at risk of leaving education, and those who were NEET (not in education or training), individuals living with addiction or struggling with their mental health, and those with SEND and LDD. These areas of education continue to drive Vicky in her work.

Vicky is a member of The National Association of Governors and The Society of Education.

Mrs Tracy Stepney

Community Governor

Term of Office: 13/06/2019 - 12/06/2023

Responsibilities: Pupil Premium and Sports Premium.

Tracy is a chartered accountant currently working for Cornwall Council as a Strategic Finance Manager supporting the Neighbourhoods and Economic Growth and Development directorates. She is an experienced Manager and has a range of financial and analytical skills.

Tracy is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and specialises in supporting, coaching and mentoring trainee accountants.

Tracy has daughter who attends St Francis School.

Rev Geoffrey Bennett

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 07/02/2019 - 06/02/2023

Responsibilities: Christian Distinctiveness.

Geoffrey and his wife have 2 grown up children and 5 wonderful grandchildren. In his spare time Geoffrey enjoys woodturning, playing guitar and watching football, he can often be found in church playing his guitar. Geoffrey began his working life in Devonport Dockyard as a Fitter & Turner but then realised his call to the ministry. He trained at Oak Hill Theological College and served his curacy at St Matthews Church in Ipswich. Geoffrey has been the Vicar at Budock Church since 1998.

Mrs Sharon Bullock

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 13/11/2019 - 12/11/2023

Responsibilities: Special Educational Needs.

Sharon is retired but previous to this she had a long and varied teaching career. She has taught in a special school, secondary school and has also taught in Australia. Sharon has also run an Area Resource Base attached to a Junior school and spent many years in the role of SENCo.

Sharon is delighted to be the Governor attached to SEN as this is an area of special interest to her.

Mrs Nicki Sweeney

Parent Governor

Term of Office: 18/03/2019 - 17/03/2023

Responsibilities: Stakeholders and Wellbeing.

Nicki has been a parent governor since 2019 and is the link governor for Wellbeing. Nicki has a son in Year 2 at St Francis and is able to experience the school from different perspectives.

Nicki is the Grants & Compliance Lead for Cornish charity CRCC, responsible for managing the Wellbeing Community Grants programme under a Council & NHS contract; Nicki is also responsible for the operational aspects of data protection within the organisation. Previously Nicki has worked in mental health, adult disability care, and travel.

Mrs Rachel Marsh

Staff Governor

Term of Office: 20/01/2022 - 31/08/2022

St Francis Local Governing Board – Governance Impact Statement 2020/21

St Francis School made a successful transfer to Kernow Learning on 1st September 2020. The Chair, Vice Chair and all Governors have undertaken induction training. In addition to this, the Chair of Governors regularly takes part in the Kernow Learning Chair of Governors meetings.

Working with the Headteacher, the Senior Leadership Team and school staff, the Local Advisory Board (LAB) contribute to all core functions, including, but not limited to;

  •  Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  •  Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school.
  •  Ensuring the finances of the school are utilised appropriately and managed effectively.

To fulfil these responsibilities there have been six formal meetings this year and these have fed into the Kernow learning governance structure.  There has also been monitoring in key areas to support the school’s development plan.  Governors have been mindful of the pandemic and the added pressures this has placed on the school community whilst providing appropriate support and challenge where necessary. 


Context and rationale

The LAB established the following priorities for the current year:

  • Working with the Kernow Learning Trust Board, the LAB will support and challenge leaders to provide the absolute best educational experiences for the pupils who attend the school, ensuring that all statutory duties and responsibilities are met.
  • Hold leaders to account for the standards achieved and the broad and balanced curriculum provided for all pupils in all subjects. Including the assessment and support for Catch Up following the enforced closure of the school due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • Ensuring that pupil wellbeing and our school and Christian values were at the forefront of the reconnect curriculum and Catch Up spending.
  • Continue to be part of the school improvement journey.
  • Working with Trust leaders to ensure that the statutory responsibilities as laid out in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 are met at St Francis C of E School.
  • Working with school leaders to continue to raise the profile of the school within the community, working closely with all stakeholders in an open and transparent manner.
  • Placing training and development of the LAB at the heart of this development work to ensure the board’s skills set is as extensive as possible.


Strengths of the LAB

  • The Chair of the LAB is very experienced with wide experience of governance in different contexts.  The LAB also has a dedicated Vice Chair.
  • The LAB is supported by a hardworking and talented clerk who ensures that documentation is of a high quality, readily available and filed appropriately.
  • Governors’ commitment to training is evident and a training record has been developed.
  • Responsibilities have been shared out according to experience and skills set and includes safeguarding, standards/curriculum/ Christian distinctiveness/ remote learning/wellbeing and SEND/pupil premium pupils.
  • Governors meet half termly and provide challenge and support to the headteacher.  There is evidence in the minutes that the LAB hold school and Trust leaders to account for the performance of the school.
  • We have continued to provide feedback to the Trust board and value the support of the Trust’s senior leadership team during our LAB meetings.
  • Governors complete detailed written reports for all monitoring visits they undertake and make note of the impact of these visits.


Areas of Impact

  • Governors recommended for a Trust level Ethos Group to be put in place so that best practice could be Shared across Kernow Learning.  This was put in place in the Spring term.
  • Christian Distinctiveness monitoring (which focussed on the actions from the last SIAMS report), showed that during the challenges of the pandemic, collective worship remained an integral part of the school’s work and it pleasing to see that the children had a clear understanding of Christian festivals.
  • The Chair of Governors continues to support schools around the Country after being approached to share best practice.  This is in keeping with our Christian Values.  The Chair of Governors has also been supporting an IAB within Kernow Learning.  The Chair of Governors was honoured to also be asked by the CEO to support a new Chair of Governors within Kernow Learning.
  • The Governors have taken part in extensive training in preparation for OFSTED and SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican Methodist Schools) visits.  In keeping with our Christian Values, these training sessions have been shared with The Bishops School Newquay, Mabe School and King Charles C of E School.
  • A review of Governance as part of the Governor Space program has taken place, and had a positive outcome. The Chair of Governors was used as a Case Study on the effectiveness of the programme.
  • A Governor Handbook was introduced, with an annual monitoring plan incorporated. This plan has been dynamic in response to the pandemic to ensure that key areas are still monitored and staff workload is not heavily impacted.
  • During the year Governors have undertaken training in Adverse Childhood Experiences, Diversity in Governance, E-Safety, Online Safety, Foundation Governance, GDPR, Peer on Peer Abuse, Safeguarding, Anti-bullying, Preventing Radicalisation and Prevent training. All of which allow Governors to be more informed.
  • The Chair has created a way for fellow Chairs to share and support each other within Kernow Learning.


Priorities for 2021/2022

  • Assign Governors to key monitoring areas and ensure that their monitoring links in with the priorities from the School Improvement Plan.
  • Continue to be part of the school improvement journey, providing appropriate challenge and support where necessary.
  • Continue with high quality training.
  • Look at succession planning for the Chair of Governors.
  • Continue with robust monitoring but remain dynamic to the challenges of the pandemic.
  • The LAB will write termly Governor newsletters for parents and the local community to raise the profile of Governance.

It is an honour to work alongside the dedicated, supportive and hardworking team at St Francis School and the LAB is looking forward to what 2021/22 will bring.


Mr R S Wilson

Chair of Governors

Should you wish to contact the governors, please e-mail the clerk, Mrs Claire Collins

Governor Newsletters
In 2020-21 there were no formal complaints received at St Francis C of E School.
Governors that have served in the last 12 months:
Mrs Beth Medlyn - Staff Governor from 29/03/2019 - 06/09/2021