Governing Board

Penair is an Academy Trust and has a board of trustees known as the Governing Board. The role of our Governors is to ensure the quality of educational provision and to challenge and monitor the performance of the school.

Meeting minutes are available for inspection upon request by contacting the school at 

James Davidson - Headteacher

James started his teaching career sixteen years ago at Humphry Davy School in Penzance, and has lived in Cornwall ever since. He was later employed at Mounts Bay Academy as Director of Sport and then Assistant Headteacher. In 2010 he joined The Roseland Community College as First Deputy Headteacher where he held both pastoral and curriculum responsibilities.

James lives in Perranporth with his wife and young daughters and completely understands why, as parents, we want the very best for our children. He feels very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world and take advantage of this by spending time with his family on our wonderful beaches and in the countryside. He continues to pursue competitive sport particularly surfing, triathlon and golf.

As someone for whom education has made a real difference, he is thrilled to be leading a school which provides such fantastic opportunities to young people in the Truro area.

James is a firm believer that young people learn in different ways and in diverse places both within and beyond the classroom. He has an excellent local knowledge of the challenges that face the students and staff. Our young people are our community’s future and there is no greater responsibility than helping them to find their way to the right career for them, developing their social skills and their moral compass.

James was delighted to have been appointed Headteacher of Penair School in 2015. It is an exciting time for him to be involved with the school and to build further on the many fantastic academic, pastoral, creative and sporting achievements of the school. James feels it is a great privilege to lead such a highly committed staff who he knows are determined to get the very best for all students.

David Matthew - Chair

After graduating from Nottingham University in 1976 David spent ten years teaching history and mathematics in Lincolnshire. He then moved to Truro to work in the Education Department at County Hall.

In 1992 he became Director of Finance and Administration for the newly created Truro College- a post he held until his retirement in November 2013. His experience in Educational Administration and the twenty years as a member of the Leadership Team for one of the most successful colleges in the country (during a period of rapid expansion and development) have given him a real insight into the challenges that are faced by leaders in the educational sector.

David has been a governor of Penair School for almost 20 years, acting as Chair of the Business & Enterprise Committee. In December 2014 he was appointed as Chair of the Governing Board. His children both went to Penair School and David has always been a tremendous supporter of the school’s values and ethos. He enjoys squash, tennis and walking the coastal path.

Liz Seale- Vice Chair

Liz is an experienced independent governance and risk consultant with wide-ranging experience and has a grand daughter at Penair.

Liz was born in Cornwall and went to the Girl’s Grammar School in Truro before building a successful track record working in regulation and inspection at a national level, and holding director-level governance posts in provider organisations, giving her a unique perspective on the challenges facing those delivering services.

Liz is passionate about the quality of service delivery and the possibility of consistently achieving high standards underpinned by sound and effective governance arrangements.  Good communication systems and effective relationships are key success factors.

Liz’s experience is considerable and covers a range of different organisational models.  Leading on governance and managing change programmes, she has worked with a range of organisations across health and social care, including acute, mental health, learning disability, nursing and care home providers.

Lynne Bray

Lynne grew up locally and was educated in Truro before taking up a career in Law, she has specialised in Family Law for over 30 years which has given her a vast insight into the more complex aspects of modern relationships.

Lynne has been a Guide Leader for more than 30 years and is also Chair of an active Guide Campsite committee. She is passionate about the development of children and the role parents and careers play in that role. As a parent herself she adopts a very hands on approach to the education of her children and believes communication and personal involvement are key elements required to get the best from the education system.

Over the last 4 years Lynne has played an active role on the APFPS committee and enjoyed working with other parents and teachers to put on events for the children and raise money for the school. Now as a parent Governor Lynne is committed to building on those close working relationships she has already established with the staff and management at Penair School and work with them to implement new initiatives and surpass the targets set by OFSTED.

Peter Hodge

Peter is a Parent Governor at Penair – his youngest son presently attends Penair-all three of his older children also attended the school.

Peter grew up in Feock, went to the Feock Primary School, Truro Tech and then to Camborne Technical College to obtain ‘O’ & ‘A’ levels.

He worked for 32 years at Carrick District Council in Truro where he trained and qualified as a Public Finance Accountant (CIPFA), latterly holding the statutory position of Responsible Financial Officer for the Authority which had a turnover in excess of £120m.

Peter and his family are interested in natural history – he loves being outside and enjoy walking with his dog and running, having previously completed three London Marathons.

Since retiring, as well as becoming a Parent Governor at the School, he has qualified as a Football Association level 1 Coach. He is the Manager for a Truro City Youth Football team (10 of the players are from Penair School including his son) as well as being a Community Football Coach.

Within the extent of his role and influence, he will endeavour to ensure that all young people attending Penair School are given the best opportunity for success.

Marie Gendall

Marie has always lived in Cornwall, and currently works for Cornwall Council managing a team that provides payroll and HR Administration Services to Cornwall Council directorates, schools and associated employers.  As part of her role Marie is familiar with the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document, as well as the terms and conditions for support staff in schools.

During her career Marie has undertaken many courses, including the Certificate in Personnel Practice, and an HNC in Business and Finance.  She is currently in the final year of studying for a Foundation Degree in Payroll Management.

Marie is married to Andrew, and they have 2 daughters, the elder of whom is at Penair.

Marie has been a Parent Governor since March 2014, and has recently been appointed as Chair of the Raising Achievement Committee; Marie is also Penair’s nominated Safeguarding and Child in Care Governor.

Marie believes that all pupils are capable of achieving great things within the right environment and support system, and if they are given the right opportunities.  Marie would like to ensure that all children receive not only the very best education but also leave the school as “well-rounded” individuals.

Jackie Parker

Jackie has worked in school business management in both the primary and secondary sector for 20 years and served as a member of her own school’s leadership team for 12 years her areas of strength are a deep understanding and knowledge, on both a strategic and operational level of schools.

Jackie is a Specialist Leader in Education and specialise in issues relating to school business management.

Jackie has worked with a number of schools, both secondary and primary offering a variety of support and advice to both Headteachers and school business managers, work alongside her own school’s partner primary schools in delivering a range of services and support, which range from the provision of services and staff to advising on multi-academy trust arrangements and school company models.

Jackie is currently involved in setting up a Multi Academy Trust for her school and a number of our partner primary schools.  She has developed strong working relationships and partnerships with other schools and as such has procured joint contracts with other secondary schools for various services including payroll, cleaning and school meals.

Patrick Polglase

Patrick was brought up in Cornwall and studied Rural Land Management before qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor. After serving for a short time in the Scots Guards he worked in London and Sydney as a valuation surveyor before returning to Cornwall.

Patrick is a Non-Executive director of a local tourism and transport business, founded a retail internet business and together with his wife Pen, runs self-catering and glamping on their small holding.

Patrick is a parish councillor, a fundraising committee for Cornwall Community Foundation and enjoys running and supporting his children’s sporting activities.  Patrick is married to a Landscape Architect and they have four children who  have attended or attend Penair.

Patrick is the science and sports Governor and his ambition is to help make Penair School one of the best schools in the country so that all can reach their full potential- artistically, academically, and in sports.

Neil Standen

Neil moved to Cornwall 15 years ago to set up an Optician’s practice with his wife in Truro. He studied in Bradford and has worked in several locations reaching an area position with a multiple looking after 38 practices.

Neil and his wife Karen have 2 children aged 10 and 7. The eldest will be starting in Penair in September 2016.

Neil’s role within the Governors is Chair of the Business & Enterprise Committee and is very focused on making sure that the students education is always the priority.

Nick Vincent

Andy Brigden

Andy used to work at sea prior to joining the local authority as a Harbour Master. He is now employed by Cornwall Council as the Maritime Manager and together with the Maritime Section looks after all the local authority owned ports and harbours in Cornwall.

Andy is married to Debbie and they have a daughter who is at Penair. Both of Andy’s grown up children attended Penair as did Debbie who was in the first intake after the school was built.

He is keen to ensure that the Governors, Headteacher and Staff all work together for the benefit of the pupils and the school. 

Henry Lewis

Henry has worked in educational settings for nearly 6 years. This is his 3rd year as a member of staff at Penair, and prior to this he worked in the residential provision at Pencalenick School. He studied Sports Coaching with a focus on sport psychology at UWIC University in Cardiff, during which time he spent over 240 hours volunteering with SEND pupils in PE departments in both Cardiff and Cornwall.

In his spare time, Henry plays premiership hockey for the 1st XI and is Social & Events Officer at Truro Hockey Club. He has represented Cornwall Men’s 1st XI for 9 years and helps to coach the boy’s hockey at Penair. On the rare occasion Henry isn’t playing hockey, he likes to spend time not catching fish on his boat.

Henry’s role at Penair mainly involves directly supporting pupils with SEND in the Bywva Centre, and working with the

Director of Inclusion to promote inclusivity and to ensure a suitably differentiated curriculum is available to those that need it.

Graham Groves- Clerk to the Governors

Graham has been the Clerk to the Members and Governors of Penair School’s academy Trust Company since October 2014.

Graham is a qualified solicitor and was a Partner in a large Cornish Legal firm for nearly 15 years before leaving first to set up his own practice. He then did consultancy work with other legal practices locally. He was then an in house solicitor for a large transport company for 3 years. Graham’s specialisation in practice was employment law and civil/commercial litigation. He works part time at the school and still does legal work for several local companies.

Graham is an appointed Governor at Archbishop Benson Church of England Primary School which is one of Penair’s partner feeder schools  he has two daughters and son all currently at that school. His eldest daughter is due to start at Penair in September 2017.


Graham has a strong interest in education and the difference it can make to young peoples lives. His legal background and knowledge is of assistance to the school in the ever changing structures of school governance. He is currently studying for the National accreditation for Clerks to Governors.

Since July 2016 he has also been Clerk to the Members and Governors at Penair’ partner feeder school Tregolls School.

Graham can be contacted via e-mail  or via the schools main telephone number or leaving a message with the Headteacher’s PA.

Full Governing Board

  • Mr J Davidson  (Headteacher)
  • Ms. E. Blues (Company Secretary)
  • Mr D Matthew (Chair)
  • Mrs E Seale (Vice Chair)
  • Mr H. Lewis
  • Mrs M Gendall
  • Mr P Hodge
  • Mrs L Bray
  • Mrs J Parker
  • Mr N Standen
  • Mr P Polglase
  • Mr A Brigden


Business and Enterprise

  • Mr N Standen (Chair)
  • Mr D Matthew
  • Mrs E Seale
  • Mr P Hodge
  • Mrs J Parker
  • Mr P Polglase


Raising Achievement

  • Mrs M Gendall (Chair)
  • Mr D Matthew
  • Mrs E Seale
  • Mr A Brigden


Community & Ethos

  • Mr D Matthew
  • Mrs E Seale
  • Mrs L Bray
  • Mr H. Lewis


Strategy Group

  • Mr  D Matthew (Chair)
  • Mrs E Seale
  • Mr N Standen
  • Mrs M Gendall


Clerk to Governors

Graham Groves-