Governor Profiles

All governors have a shared responsibility and work as a team, but at the same time actively draw on each other's expertise, skills and knowledge.


Head Teacher: Mr. Carl Leech

Parent Governors: Phil Barnish and Dr. Paul Nevitt

Local Authority Governor: Cllr Patrick Redstone

Staff Governor: Alistair Scott

Co-opted Governors:  Mark Harris (Chair of Governors), Alec Smallwood (Vice Chair), Lisa Asprey, Craig Polles, Tara Sanchez, Helen Tonks and Carl Ross. 

Associate Governors: Rachel Woollam and John Frankland



Mark Harris - Chair of Governors

Additional responsibilities: Maths Governor and Head Teacher's Performance Management Panel 

I am honoured to be the Chair of Governors, enabling me to be part of the Rode Heath School community and use my knowledge and experience of the education sector to further develop and enhance the pupil experience and outcomes of this fantastic school.

I have 3 passions. Firstly, to ensure my family are confident, happy and safe – with the opportunity to pursue whatever they want (Isabelle is in Year 6 and Maisie in Year 3).

Secondly – education is my vocation, with the passion to transform lives for the better, currently holding a senior role leading on the curriculum and quality in Higher Education at UCEN Manchester (part of Manchester College). And finally, the third passion is football as a lifelong supporter of Stoke City! 


Alec Smallwood - Vice Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor

Additional responsibilities: Chair of Staffing Committee, Finance Management Support Officer 

I joined the Governing Board for Rode Heath Primary in 2015 and have been Chair since 2018. I have enjoyed becoming part of the Rode Heath School community; I wanted to lend my support in the capacity of Governor. My eldest son left Rode Heath in summer 2019 and my youngest son, Aaron is in Year 5

In my career I have worked for the Local Authority in their Schools Finance team and currently lead the finance function of a Multi-Academy Trust. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, DIY and the occasional round of golf.   


Phil Barnish - Parent Governor 

Additional responsibilities: Safeguarding

I joined the governing board in November 2017 as a parent governor.

I am married and have a daughter, Grace, who is in year 5. I worked as a financial adviser for twenty years before deciding to re-train as a mental health counsellor. I completed my Masters Degree in counselling studies at Chester University, following my initial Counselling Diploma qualification and have worked for a well known, major mental health charity for the last 14 years. My work involves being a schools-based counsellor for three local high schools and also regular work with adults. I also provide clinical supervision to other qualified and trainee counsellors.

My hobbies include playing table tennis in the Potteries premier league and the Stone and Crewe leagues. I also recently started road cycling again after a break of many years.


Dr. Paul Nevitt - Parent Governor 

Additional responsibilities: Science Governor

I am dad to Martha in Year Two and I joined the governing board in November 2018 as a parent governor.  I really wanted to support the school and hope to contribute as best I can to its continued success. 

I’ve spent my whole career within scientific research and development, currently working as Technical Director within the UK National Nuclear Laboratory. As you’d expect I am a little bit passionate about STEM! Outside of work I get out on my bike as much as I can, try to go skiing each year and love making the most of our National Trust membership


Alistair Scott - Staff Governor


I was elected as the Staff Governor for Rode Heath. I am extremely pleased and proud to represent the staff and to assist with the governance to ensure the school continues to be successful. 

It is my eleventh year as a teacher: five years as a secondary geography teacher and this is my sixth year as a primary school teacher. My passion is to help learners progress and to see their enthusiasm for subjects grow.

In my spare time I love all things to do with sport. I thoroughly enjoy playing sport whenever I can and gain a great deal from these pursuits. Family is very important to me too, and I love spending time with them.


Lisa Asprey - Co-opted Governor

Additional responsibilities: Special Needs Governor and School Financial Value Standards

I have been a member of the Governing Board since 2015 and have enjoyed the role and the involvement in school life.

My son Benjamin had a very happy 7 years at Rode Heath and I am pleased to be able to work with the staff in an ex-parent capacity now that he's at high school.  I have worked in the school environment for a number of years and am currently a Bursar in a Staffordshire primary school.



Craig Polles - Co-opted Governor

Additional responsibilities: Health and Safety

I have been a Governor at Rode Heath Primary School since 2010. I have 4 children who have attended the school. 

I have been a driving instructor for the last 18 years and over the last 16 of these I have built up my own successful driving school.




Tara Sanchez - Co-opted Governor

Additional responsibilities: Pupil Premium and Governor Training 

I have been supporting the board of governors of Rode Heath School as their clerk for the last 3 years. When leaving to join another primary school I was delighted to be given the opportunity to continue to support as a co-opted governor. I live locally and have three children who have now left primary school.

I hope to be able to contribute to the diverse knowledge of the already strong and committed board at Rode Heath, and look forward to getting to know the school better and working towards furthering the opportunities for success for the children.    


Helen Tonks - Co-opted Governor

Additional responsibilities: Literacy Governor

I have been a school governor since 2014. Three of my children have attended Rode Heath Primary and have now moved on to high school and beyond to university.

On graduating from Bristol University I joined Barclays and began a 13-year career within the financial services industry. Much of my time was spent in strategic planning and implementation roles, where I often had to manage large teams across diverse work areas - usually within tight budgets and against somewhat challenging timescales.

In 2004, my husband and I started our own business. Our team now serve a global customer base; as Operations Director I have a vast range of responsibilities to juggle and always get stuck into anything that needs doing to drive the business forward.


Carl Ross - Co-opted Governor

Additional responsibilities: Website (Compliance)

After studying pharmacology at The University of Leeds, I decided to move away from a career in science and started working in hospitality management in my home city of Manchester. I moved to Rode Heath in 2014 when taking over as Licensee at The Broughton Arms, where I live with my wife Pam and two children; who both attend the school. Currently Dylan is in Year 3 and Ellie is in Year 1.

I have been a governor since 2020 and it's been great to join such a strong governing board at this fantastic school.




Councillor Patrick Redstone  - Local Authority Governor

Additional responsibilities: Head Teacher's Performance Management Panel

I joined the governing board in 2019 as a Local Authority Governor. I am a Ward Councillor for Odd Rode and find serving the local community very rewarding. Being a school governor for Rode Heath Primary School is a real privilege. I find the wonderful atmosphere at the school so uplifting and really appreciate being a part of it.



Never forgotten: Andrea Rutledge - Chair of Governors, 11/2015 to 25/05/2017 

"I just wanted to pass on my condolences to you, your staff and of course the family of your Chair of Governors; I was so sorry to hear of Andrea's passing.

It may not come as comfort at this difficult time, but the values and vision that she brought to the school alongside staff and other governors means that her inspiration has been felt by hundreds of pupils. This is a lasting influence that will guide these young people throughout their lives."

Mr. Stephen Bentham, Her Majesty's Inspector  



Rode Heath Primary School

Heath Avenue, Cheshire, ST7 3RY

Main Contact - Mr Carl Leech

Tel: 01270 314414


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