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: Lisa Asprey, Mark Harris (Vice Chair), Craig Polles, Tara Sanchez, Alec Smallwood (Chair of Governors) and Helen Tonks. Currently, there is one vacancy for a co-opted governor. 

Associate Governors: Rachel Woollam and John Frankland


Alec Smallwood - 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 4. 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 ten 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 One 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 acting as an advisor to Government on R&D investment in clean energy. 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.


Councillor Patrick Redstone  - Local Authority Governor


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 keeps on being successful. 

It is my tenth as a teacher: five years as a secondary Geography teacher and five 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 am now in my fourth year as a co-opted member of the Governing Board.  I have enjoyed the role so far and am looking forward to many more years of being involved in the life of the school. 

I am mum to Benjamin in Year 6 and have previously been the treasurer of the Parents Association.  I have worked in the school environment for a number of years and am currently a Bursar in a Staffordshire primary school.



Mark Harris - Vice Chair, Co-opted Governor

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

I am delighted to be on the team 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 learner experience and outcomes of this fantastic school.

I have 3 passions. The first (and the priority) is to ensure my family are confident, happy and safe – with the opportunity to pursue whatever they want (Isabelle is in Year 4 and Maisie in Year One).

Secondly – education is my vocation, with the passion to transform lives for the better, currently holding a senior role across two Colleges leading on curriculum and quality within Further and Higher Education. And finally, the third passion is football as a lifelong supported of Stoke City! 

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 childrem who have attendende 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, Website Compliance and Parent, Pupil and Staff Surveys

I have been a school governor since 2014. Three of my children have attended Rode Heath Primary; Emma and James are now studying A' Levels at Sandbach and Alsager respectively and Rebecca is in Year 7 at Alsager.

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.


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  



Contact the School

Rode Heath Primary

Heath Avenue,

Main Contact Person :
Mr Carl Leech
SENCO Contact Person :
Miss Hayley Scott

Tel: 01270 314414
Email: School E-mail Address
SENCO E-mail Address