Governor Profiles

This page provides a brief background to each of our elected Governors.  Many of our Governors are very visible around school, so if you have an issue to raise, feel free to introduce yourself and have a chat with our Governors.

Rachael Allen – Staff Governor
I started at St. John’s in February 2015 in the role of HLTA. I am now a class teacher at the school and currently working within the Reception class and leading PE. I have always wanted to work in education and support children to achieve their full potential. Teaching in Tanzania whilst on a gap year provided me with vital life skills as well as developing my ability to communicate effectively and engage a wide variety of children and adults in their learning. 

I have always been passionate about sport and exercise participating and competing in many activities some of which include; football, gymnastics and trampolining. I currently enjoy taking part in trampolining fitness classes! 

I chose to be a support staff governor as I wanted to offer a teacher's perspective on important school matters; whilst also being able to communicate the viewpoint of teachers at meetings. St. John’s has a strong feeling of solidarity with a warm and strong community driven school with excellent  support from parents and staff and it is a pleasure to be part this environment.

Richard Valentine – Co-opted Governor
I have a daughter in Year 2 and a son who left St John’s in 2014. My wife works at the school as Reception teacher so my ties with school run deep! I work as a manager for a well known supermarket and prior to that I worked in IT for a major UK bank and then in my own property business. I am passionate about the well-being and development of every child here in the school and am a strong believer in giving every child a great education, to help them reach their full potential.

Since becoming a governor I have had an increased awareness of the complexities of a running a primary school and greatly admire the dedication of those who work in school and those that volunteer their time to the governing body. I see myself as a critical friend to our school – someone who is not afraid to ask the awkward question, challenge the way something is done but at the same time offer support where I can. I am proud of our school and have been a governor here since 2013.

Keith Ross – Vice chair, development governor, chair of resources committee and year 1 link governor.
My past experience includes, diesel engineer, design draughtsman, sales engineer, general manager and managing director.  I have 25 years experience as a school governor( four schools ) and spent 10 years as an  OFSTED lay inspector.  I currently manage a community centre and am pastoral care co-ordinator for St john’s church.  My relaxation interests include amateur dramatics, photography, reading and classical music.

Andrew Moore – Chair of Governors 

My association with St John’s began in 2017 when my daughter Isla started in reception. Erin  joined her sister at the school in 2019. We’ve lived in the Heatons since 2011. My wife Anna and I have been impressed with the community feel of the school and the effort that goes in to helping every child try and reach their potential. Being a governor affords me the opportunity to support the school in its aims (plus, I am definitely not creative enough to get involved in most PTA activities!).

By occupation I am a family solicitor and mediator for a national law firm. I help parents, children, and other family members through significant periods of change and upheaval in their lives, primarily following divorce and separation. I am experienced in advising upon and mediating disputes involving children such as choice of school, change of name, objections to travel, and most commonly the time children shall spend with each parent. I am able to bring that background and insight to my governor role and support of the school.

John Hodgkinson - Foundation Governor

'This is my third term as a governor, the first time was approximately 30 years ago when I was a PTA governor and then as a Foundation Governor on the second and now this the third occasion also as a F. G.  I was very involved as a Governor with the establishment of the mobile classrooms,which we hope, will remain after the new school has been built.

I live locally, and am married to Anne and both my children spent most of their primary school years at St John's. I am a Chartered Electrical Engineer and spent 43 years in the Electricity Supply Industry, the last 20 of which was as a Senior Manager.

My interests are: snow skiing, dingy sailing, water skiing, public speaking, wine and playing bridge.'

Richard Penberthy - Parent Governor

I became a Governor at St Johns in 2018. I'm originally from Exeter and moved to Stockport in 2007 to be with my now wife Elaine. My links with the school started immediately as Elaine had a son in St Johns who has now finished College. My Step-Daughter and eldest daughter also attended St Johns and are now at Priestnall. I have 1 daughter who still currently attends and she is in Year 4.

As a family we were actively involved in campaigning for the re-build of the school and feel passionately about the school and the family environment which has enabled our children to thrive and I am so pleased this has continued in the new building. 

Outside of being a Governor I work as a Key Account Manager for an Automotive Insurance Company and my hobbies include most sports especially football and following the fortunes of Liverpool & Exeter Chiefs.

Lynsey Williams - Parent Governor

My involvement started with St John’s in September 2013 when my eldest daughter started in Reception.  Later that year I became the Treasurer of the PTA, a position I held for 4 years.  I am still a very active member of the PTA.  I became a parent governor in January 2019 as I saw this as a further opportunity to support the school and take an active part in creating an environment in which every child can thrive.  My younger daughter joined in September 2016.


Having studied law, I went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant before joining the investment department of an insurance company as an equity analyst. I then moved into corporate banking at an ethical bank!  My legal and accountancy background will be skills the governing body can utilise. I am currently the bank’s relationship manager for a number of school PFI projects; this has provided a valuable insight into all the other aspects involved in running a school outside of the core educational element.   

The school has a really warm, community atmosphere which all my family have appreciated.  It will be exciting to see this continued in the new school building.

My hobbies include running, baking, getting out and about as a family and seeing friends. 

Cllr Dena Ryness - Local Authority Governor

As a secondary school teacher, I am very excited to be serving as a primary school governor. I have taught French, German, Spanish and Italian at schools across Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire, and I currently teach French at KS4 and KS5.

I also have an English degree, and am particularly interested in literacy. Before becoming a teacher, I spent several years working in the City, first in the luxury jewellery industry, and later for a contemporary art auction house, where I got to travel the world and indulge my passion for languages. I moved to the north west in 2009, and was elected as a councillor for Heatons North ward in 2019. I am delighted to be serving as a governor in the area I represent and love.


Sara Fovargue - Co-opted Governor

I have worked in education for over 20 years as a legal academic, specialising in medical law and family law. I am passionate about teaching and believe that education must offer the best opportunities for pupils of all ages and abilities.

I have lived in the Heatons for over 15 years and I have a child in year 8, so I have fairly recent experience of primary education from a parent’s perspective. I wanted to become a governor because I wanted to contribute to our community. I am delighted to have been appointed as a governor at St John's, where everyone has been so welcoming and friendly.

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