The Governing Board

Members of the Governing Board

Mrs Helen Giblett

Appointed by Members 04.09.2014 / Accounting Officer / Head Teacher

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

Co-opted by the Full Governing Board 25.11.2016 – 25.11.2020 / Vice Chair of Governors

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 Amanda Colwill

Parent Governor Appointed by the Full Governing Board 2.05.2017 – 12.05.2021

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 by Members 13.11.2017 – 13.11 2021

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.

Mr Julian Roberts

Appointed by Members 29.01.2020 – 29.01.2024

Julian was born abroad (Papua New Guinea) and spent some of his childhood in Iran before his family settled in England. Julian has been involved in education for over 20 years and first worked at Cornwall College where he became Head of Foundation Studies which specialised in working with students with additional learning needs. Julian moved to Truro College in 2009 and is part of both the management and safeguarding teams. Aside from his safeguarding duties Julian has responsibility for employability and transition and is on the Government’s advisory panel looking at vocational and technical education. Julian is married and has two children who both enjoy attending Archbishop Benson. In Julian’s spare time he is Secretary of Truro Squash Club and the Welfare Officer for Truro Community Football. Julian is passionate about providing all those in education with the skills and knowledge to be able to meet their full potential.

Chair of the Governing Board:

Mandy Hoare

Vice Chair of the Governing Board:

Karen Standen

Designated Safeguarding Governor:

Julian Roberts

Designated Health and Safety Governor:

Miles Topham

Designated SEND Governor:

Mandy Hoare

Disability Governor:

Miles Topham

Whistle Blowing Governor:

Melanie Rowson

Webpage Governor:

Melanie Rowson

Pupil Premium Governor:

Jenny Webster

Sports Premium Governor:

Jenny Webster

Parish Incumbent Representative Ex Officio Governor:

Dean Roger Bush

Marketing & Promotion:

Georgina Miner

Recently Resigned/End of Term Governors

Mr Euan Beattie

Appointed by Members 29.01.2020 – 01.09.2020

Mr Andrew Gendall

Governor until 19.11. 2015 - 19.11.2019

Mrs Penny Churcher

Appointed Governor Jan 2019 - 09.12.19

Sarah Lillicrap

Appointed Governor 13.11.2017 - 28.11.2019

Mrs Carolyn Power

Appointed Governor 20.11.2015 - 19.11.2019

Mrs Jo Matthews

Non Teaching Staff Governor 20.03.2015 - 19.03.2019

Mr Phil Orwin

Appointed Governor 23.11.17 - 1.11.19


Mrs Mandy Hoare

Appointed by Members 31.01.2020 – 31.01.2022 / Chairman of Governors

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.

Rev Roger Bush

Appointed by Members 01.07.2019 – 01.07.2023

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.

Mr Miles Topham

Appointed by Members 01.10.2018 – 01.10.2022

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

Parent Governor Appointed by the Full Governing Board 31.01.2019 – 31.01.2023

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.

Mrs Georgina Miner

Appointed by Members 28.01.2020 – 28.01.2024

Georgina grew up in Essex and moved to Cornwall in 2010. She has worked with children for much of her life in various professional and voluntary roles, most recently as an HLTA and as a Foundation Governor in Cornish Schools. Georgina has 4 children and a Grandson, her 2 youngest children attend ABB. She enjoys being a member of FABB and a Class Representative. In her spare time Georgina enjoys family time, especially on the water.

Mr Matt Williams

Appointed by Members 28.01.2020 – 28.01.2024

Matt grew up in Truro and despite spending several years away chose Cornwall as the place to raise his family. He has a child who has just started their journey at Archbishop Benson and another who can’t wait to start. Matt has worked in a variety of educational settings over the past 10 years, teaching in the Middle East, working with children in care, secondary and post 16 before deciding that primary was the age group for him. He is now an Assistant Headteacher in a large school in Newquay overseeing Data and Assessment. Matt enjoys spending time with his family and playing sports

Mrs Melissa Thorpe

Appointed by Members 28.01.2020 – 28.01.2024

Melissa was born and raised in rural British Columbia, Canada. She studied economics before moving to the UK to attend the London School of Economics in 2010 to complete her Masters. Since graduating, she has worked on several aerospace development projects in Cornwall, and has been part of the Spaceport Cornwall team since its inception in 2014. Spaceport Cornwall will be the first place ever in the UK to launch to space, and Melissa is passionate about communicating this exciting project to a wider audience, including local schools. Melissa’s daughter, Robin, is currently in Reception at Archbishop and they love spending time outdoors as well as travelling back to Canada as often as they can!

Mr Mike Williams

Clerk to the Governors

Mr Alex Smith

Finance Manager (by invitation)

If you are interested in becoming a Governor please download the application form above:
Business and Compliance Committee
Lead Governor: Mandy Hoare
Amanda Colwill
Melanie Grose
Miles Topham
School Lead/Link: Helen Giblett & Alex Smith (Finance Manager)
Quality of Education Committee
Lead Governor: Amanda Colwill
Jenny Webster
Matt Williams
School Lead: David Galler & Matt Thomas
Admissions Committee
Lead Governor: Georgina Miner
Helen Giblett
Melissa Thorpe
School Lead: Carolyn Power DHT & Austen Banks Data & Comms Officer
Christian Ethos, Worship & SMSC Group
Lead Governor: Karen Standen
Jenny Webster
Rev. Roger Bush
School Lead: James Kitto RWS
Personal Development Behaviour and Welfare Focus Group
Lead Governor: Melanie Grose
Karen Standen
Amanda Colwill
Julian Roberts
School Lead: Carolyn Power
Effectiveness of Leadership & Management Focus Group
Lead Governor: Mandy Hoare
Karen Standen
Amanda Colwill
Miles Topham
School Lead: Helen Giblett HT
T: 01872 273185

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