The Governing Board

Members of the Governing Board

Mrs Helen Giblett

Ex. Officio Governor 4.09.2014 - current

Helen grew up in the west of Ireland and is one of six siblings. Having worked in London for 12 years as a teacher and deputy headteacher, she moved to Cornwall in 2001. Prior to taking up the headship of Archbishop Benson Primary School in 2014, Helen had the privilege of being the headteacher of two other schools in Cornwall. After more than fifteen years of headship, she still remains enthused and excited about how schools can make a real difference to the life opportunities of children. She loves Truro and the special place that Archbishop Benson holds within the local community.

When away from work, Helen enjoys the chance to relax and spend time with her husband and daughter. A perfect day would involve some sight-seeing, a nice walk, a beach BBQ (weather permitting!) and the chance to read a good book.

Mrs Karen Standen

Vice Chair Co-opted governor from 25.11.2016 - 24.11.2020

Karen grew up in Northern Ireland and continued her education at Aston University in Birmingham where she graduated with a first class BSc honours degree in Optometry. Karen worked as an Optometrist in York and London before moving to Cornwall in 2000 to set up an Independent Opticians business with her husband in Truro. They thoroughly enjoy being part of the local community.
Karen and her husband have 2 boys who are currently 12 and 9. Their eldest son had a wonderful primary education at Archbishop Benson school before moving up to Penair in 2017. Their youngest is still at Archbishop Benson and enjoys all that the school offers.
Karen has been involved with FABB for many years before having the privilege to be co-opted as a member of the Governing Board in 2016. Karen is keen to ensure that the Governors, Headteacher and Staff all work together to give all the children the best opportunity for success.
Karen loves to travel with my family and tries hard to be a good cook!

Mrs Jo Matthews

Non Teaching Staff Governor 20.03.2015 - 19.03.2019

Having been a member of staff at Archbishop Benson for 15 years, Jo was elected onto the Governing Board to represent the non-teaching staff within the school.
As an HLTA, Jo has experience of all year groups and also a real passion for the happiness, progress and all round development of our children.

Mrs Amanda Colwill

Parent Governor 12.05.2017 - 11.05.2021

Amanda is a parent governor with two children at the school. Whilst new to the governing board, she has been a class representative for FABB for the past 5 years.
When she isn’t at work she is an assistant Headteacher at a large primary school in Cornwall, Amanda likes to relax by baking, reading and spending time with her family (preferably on a beach!).

Melanie Grose

Appointed Governor 13.11.2017

Mel was born in Truro and attended ABB (both infants and juniors). She is an Appointed Governor who joined the panel in Autumn 2017 and also has 2 daughters with the school. Mel is also a Class Representative and member of FABB.
Mel’s qualified as a solicitor in London and worked in the City until 2005 when she returned to Cornwall and is now a Partner at Coodes Solicitors. Any free time is spent with her husband and daughters.

Sarah Lillicrap

Appointed Governor 13.11.2017

Sarah Lillicrap – Sarah is a Members Appointed Governor and joined the panel in 2017. Sarah has lived in Cornwall for most of her life and is married with two daughters. A former journalist, Sarah worked for the West Briton and Pirate FM before joining ITV where she served as the Cornwall Reporter for more than a decade.
She is now Director of Marketing and Business Development for an independent girls’ school in Truro handling communications, admissions, events and development amongst others.
When not ferrying her children between gym classes and untold birthday parties, Sarah enjoys cooking, reading and lying in the sun.

Mrs Penny Churcher

Appointed Governor Jan 2019

Penny grew up in rural Hertfordshire and worked for ICI on the research and development of plastics.
She moved to Cornwall in 1972 and has three daughters, two currently involved in education. It was during the early years of her children’s school life that she started observing what affected them in reaching their full potential. From that time on she became passionate in what influences a child’s ability to learn and believes that the early years of a child’s education form the building blocks for their career path and their role in society.
Penny has over 30 years of experience in staff management which included the preparation and monitoring of budgets within three quite diverse companies.
Now retired she is enjoying having time to dabble in so many things such as restoring old furniture, gardening, sewing, Pilates lesson, reading a good book and favourite of all watching the whole of a tennis game on TV , not just the highlights.

Chair of the Governing Board:

Andrew Gendall

Vice Chair of the Governing Board:

Mandy Hoare & Karen Standen

Designated Safeguarding Governor:

Mandy Hoare

Designated Health and Safety Governor:

Miles Topham

Designated SEND Governor:

Mandy Hoare

Disability Governor:

Mandy Hoare

Whistle Blowing Governor:

Melanie Rowson

Recently Resigned Governors

Mr Phil Orwin

Appointed Governor 23.11.17 - 1.11.19

Phil lives in Truro, with his wife and two children, but is originally from Derbyshire.
Phil is a director in his own health consulting business, and specialises in operational and financial turnaround for healthcare organisations throughout the UK.
Phil originally read History at London University (BA Hons) and also holds a MSc in management.
In his spare time Phil also Chairs UniTED Social Ventures, a charity which supports the development of social business ventures in Uganda.

Fr Christopher Epps

Ex. Officio Governor 13.09.2015 to 20.12.2018

Father Chris spent 23 years in the City working as an International Reinsurance Broker placing business in Lloyd’s and international reinsurance markets. That experience has stood Father Chris in good stead in his role as Parish Priest. Father Chris has been Vicar of St. Paul & St. John and St. George, Truro since 2003 and served as a governor of CofE schools as Chairman or Vice Chairman since 1995.


Mrs Mandy Hoare

Vice Chair 09.2017 - 02.2020 / Appointed Governor 02.2016 to 08.2017

Mandy was born and has lived in Truro all her life. She went to St.Paul's School (Archbishop Benson's predecessor) and the County Girls Grammar School in Truro (now Sainburys).

Mandy is a local business person. She currently owns and runs with her sons the popular Zafiros -Bar/Restaurant - and the Office Nightclub.

All of Mandy's close family have been to the school, her grandson is at the school at the moment.

Mandy is a Members appointed Governor, she is currently the Governing Board’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Governor. She sits on the Governing Board's Personnel, Pay & Pastoral Committee and on the Governing Board's Focus Group for School Improvement Data.

Mandy is a trustee of LARF Cornwall a charity set up in memory of her daughter to help support teenagers and adults undergoing cancer and leukaemia treatment. The charity has raised over £140,000 to date for more details go to

In what spare time she has Mandy likes to escape to the sunshine in Spain, despite her love of Cornwall.

Mr Andrew Gendall


Andrew is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in local government. He currently provides financial management support to the Adult Social Services Directorate of Cornwall Council.
Andrew has been an Appointed Governor at Archbishop Benson since 2011, when he was appointed Chair of Finance (subsequently Chair of Resources). He was elected as the Chair of Governors in September 2017.
Andrew is married to Marie; both of their children attended Archbishop Benson – their younger daughter moved up to Penair School in the autumn of 2017. Andrew is a keen supporter of Archbishop Benson’s values and ethos; his aim as a governor is to support the staff in giving the children the very best opportunities and experiences in their learning journey.
Away from work and school life, Andrew is a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church, a Street Pastor, and enjoys performing in stage musicals and plays.

Rev Roger Bush

Ex Officio Governor

Roger has lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years. He has been Dean of Truro since 2012, and prior to taking up his appointment at the cathedral, he was the Rector of Redruth for over ten years, followed by seven as Archdeacon of Cornwall. The cathedral’s strap-line is sacred place and common ground in which every person matters, and Roger is committed to applying this to all aspects of cathedral life. He is married to Lois, and they have two children and two grandchildren. Roger reflects his Norfolk ancestry by being a keen Norwich City supporter, an exercise of hope over expectation! He also reads Scandi noir, listens to classical music and sings tenor in a local choir.

Mrs Carolyn Power

Appointed Governor 20.11.2015 - 19.11.2019

I have been a primary teacher for 23 years and have taught in a variety of schools across the country and have been Deputy Head here at Archbishop Benson for 11 years. I really enjoy the leadership aspects of my role working with colleagues and parents, however I still very much see myself as a class teacher as I love teaching, building relationships with the children and the thrill of seeing a child succeed and enjoy learning.
I have also been a governor for 11 years through my leadership role at Archbishop Benson. My governor experience has included working with the governing body and with committees on Curriculum & Assessment, Finance and Communication & Engagement.
To relax, I enjoy exploring and camping in our beautiful county with my family. I’m also partial to a potter in the garden.

Mr Miles Topham

Appointed Governor 01.10.18

Miles grew up in South Yorkshire moving to Cornwall in his late twenties in 1995.
Miles is a serving police officer in Cornwall. Over the last 21 years he worked in various departments and currently is responsible for partnership working to address the communities strategic priorities. Miles is passionate about early intervention and prevention and is involved in key areas of work around safeguarding children.
Miles is married with two grown up daughters and lives in Truro.

Jenny Webster

Appointed Parent Governor Feb 2019

Born in Cornwall, Jenny has two daughters at Archbishop Benson School. She qualified as an occupational therapist in 2001 and specialises in working with people, both as an occupational therapist and case manager, who have sustained catastrophic injuries. Jenny enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Mr David Galler

Associate Member (by invitation)

Having taught for many years in west Cornwall first, David joined Archbishop Benson in 2011. Since then he has taught across a number of year groups and splits his time between his class teacher and school management responsibilities. In recent years, he has taken a leading role in developing literacy across the school and supporting staff and governors with the national changes to assessment policy.

Mr Mike Williams

Clerk to the Governors

Mr Alex Smith

Finance Manager (by invitation)

Business and Compliance Committee
Lead Governor: Mandy Hoare
Andrew Gendall
Amanda Colwill
Melanie Rowson
Sarah Lillicrap
Jo Matthews
Miles Topham
School Lead: Helen Giblett
Outcomes for Pupils Committee
Lead Governor: Amanda Colwill
Andrew Gendall
Matt Thomas
School Lead: David Galler
Admissions Committee
Lead Governor: Carolyn Power
Penny Churcher
Matt Thomas
School Lead: Helen Giblett
RE, Worship & Spirituality Focus Group
Lead Governor: Karen Standen
Jo Matthews
Carolyn Power
Matt Thomas
School Lead: Jamis Kitto
Personal Development Behaviour and Welfare Focus Group
Lead Governor: Melanie Rowson
Amanda Colwill
Karen Standen
Mandy Hoare
School Lead: Jo Williams & Becky Morriss
Effectiveness of Leadership & Management Focus Group
Lead Governor: Phil Orwin
Andrew Gendall
Mandy Hoare
Sarah Lillicrap
Helen Giblett
School Lead: Carolyn Power
T: 01872 273185

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