Governing Body - Who's who

Mrs Valerie Royston

Chair of Governors - Local Authority Governor

Curriculum, Standards & Engagement Committee, Finance, Personnel & Premises Committee; Headteacher's Performance Management; Overall Effectiveness; Governor Training; Safer Recruitment

After taking early retirement, I became a classroom volunteer which was a joy and offered me much more than I could have imagined. Over time, this experience of life inside a primary school led to my interest in becoming a governor.

I have been a governor at Perran-ar-worthal since December 2017 and I became Chair in October 2019.

I look forward very much to continuing to develop my understanding of the school and the work of its skilled and committed staff as they guide and support their pupils to not only achieve academically but also to develop all round life skills and enjoy a rich and happy school life.

In my working life I spent several years in banking , then into graphic design and printing and finally I headed the team of business advisers for Business Link in the county . I was a magistrate for 22 years, specialising in family work for the last 6 years. I live in Idless with my husband, Ashley. I have four children and four grandchildren .

I am an enthusiastic ( if very average ) member of the village Community Choir and I also play bridge at the club in the village . One of my greatest pleasures is watching live theatre.

Mr Ben Ackner

Co-opted Governor

Finance, Premises & Personnel Committee; Financial Oversight

I trained and worked as a Chartered Accountant in London before hitting the well-trodden road back to Cornwall in 2014 with my wife. We have since had two children, the first of which having recently joined the school as a Puffin, and love being part of a fun and vibrant village community.

My professional background is based around accountancy. I started off in one of the biggest firms in the UK and have since meandered my way through a number of positions (a highlight of course being one at a local brewery) before opening a small practice locally.

As well as the mandatory love for numbers, I have been involved in sport of all kinds since day one. Here in the county we have unrivalled access to the countryside and coast, so to help children engage in whatever activity gets them muddy and smiling is a real passion of mine.

As a former pupil of this wonderful school, it’s fantastic to see it evolve into such an engaging and progressive institution, and I am privileged to play a part in helping shape its future.

Mrs Dawn Aytoun

Co-opted Governor

Curriculum, Standards & Engagement Committee; Pay & Performance Committee, Health & Wellbeing/Personal Development; Community Engagement

I have worked in education for 14 years, across a variety of roles and contexts. During this time, I have become incredibly passionate about the key part education can play in young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and the development of the skills to maintain these into adulthood.

I have always worked with children, studying Development Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. I started my journey in education working with children special educational needs. I had the brilliant opportunity to work with the British School in Netherlands for 18 months developing their Wellbeing and SEN practices, and then returned to the UK 8 years ago where I focused on mainstream education and developing my skills in school leadership.

Having achieved various qualifications in Educational Leadership, Mental Health, Psychology and Wellbeing, I was keen to share my expertise and be part of a community working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children.

I moved to my dream cottage in Trehaddle last year, after my husband secured a post at the University of Exeter, working in Penryn. We are both keen kayakers and open water swimmers, but generally enjoy exploring nature and the outdoors in any way possible. We are very much looking forward to covering as much of the coast as possible, both on land and on water.

Mrs Sarah Childs

Co-opted Governor

Curriculum, Standards & Engagement Committee; Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND); Pupil Premium

I have one daughter at Perran-ar-worthal, Bethany, and one son at Penryn College, Harrison. Through my role at Penryn College I have a longstanding working relationship with Perran-ar-worthal school and was keen to become a governor to contribute to the life of the school.

Along with my husband we moved to Cornwall in 2003 after starting our careers in Bristol. I originally took up the role of Head of Music at Penryn College and subsequently developed into a range of other roles which includes working across the Penryn Partnership teaching music from EYFS to GCSE. I now work as a Lead Practitioner developing teaching and learning across the school and partnership.

As a family we embrace all the joys that Cornwall can provide. We are avid sea lovers and can be found most often either sailing or surfing. If not on the water we are chasing the children around the county with either rugby, hockey, cricket or dancing.

Mrs Helen Forster

Parent Governor

Curriculum, Standards & Engagement Committee; Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

I am mum to Amelia aged 6 currently in Robins, Charlotte aged 3 who will hopefully be starting the school in September and Hugh who was born this August. With so many years of education ahead I look forward to the opportunity to be involved in the school’s future and help it continue to succeed.

I am an Officer in the Royal Navy and moved to Cornwall in 2009, falling instantly in love with the county! I am an Aircraft Engineer by trade and my career within the Navy has enabled me to work with and manage large teams, intimately understand risk management, and comply with regulation and governance with the absolute safety of personnel at the core.

I have been a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador for 10 years and am deeply passionate about providing opportunities for children to participate in STEM activities. The Parent Governor role is a position that I feel I can positively apply my experience, military ethos, discipline, and enthusiasm to and as I learn and develop within the position I am looking forward to adding value where I can.

Mrs Philippa Laval

Co-opted Governor

Chair of Curriculum, Standards & Engagement Committee; Headteacher's Performance Management; Overall Effectiveness

I have a son who is now in Year 11 at Penryn College and daughter who is Year 6 here at school . I was originally elected as Parent governor when my son was in Year 1 , but now am a Community Governor. I am also the chair of the Curriculum committee and Maths Governor.

I originally moved to Cornwall (Mylor) when I was 6 where my parents farmed. I went on to study Engineering at Bath university and then did a MSc in IT at Herriot Watt in Edinburgh. We moved back from London when my son was due to start reception at Perran-ar-worthal school and have never looked back! I work 4 days a week from home for EY a large accountancy firm as an IT project manager.

We both love living in such a vibrant village and both enjoy all of the walking, coastal and cultural aspects that Cornwall has to offer. I also feel very honoured to help support such a wonderful school by being a Governor.

Mr Chris Littlejohn

Co-opted Governor

Finance, Personnel & Premises Committee; Financial Oversight

Having had two children attend local Truro schools, I was directly involved on a voluntary basis at both these schools, serving as a school governor at their first school, and then as an auditor on a voluntary basis at their second school. Working closely with these schools I witnessed first-hand the importance of the governing committee, and the invaluable support they provide to the schools.

I am originally from Falmouth and grew up spending most of my childhood on the water or camping in the countryside that we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep. I now live In Truro with my wife and children - most weekends you will find us either kayaking on the Falmouth River or going on a long hike with our Beagle.

Professionally, I have been working in accountancy for 35 years, commencing my training in an accountancy practice in Falmouth, then progressing onto being an auditor for an accountancy practice in Newquay. Currently, I am the Finance Director for a local company, which is a position that I enjoy immensely, however I am looking forward to retirement in the very near future.

I hope my experience and knowledge may be of benefit to the school.

Mrs Emily Lord

Parent Governor

Finance, Personnel & Premises Committee; Pay & Performance Committee; Equality & Diversity; Sports Premium; Safer Recruitment

I have two children, one currently at Perran-ar-worthal and my second will join her in a few years. Through my passion for development in sport I have a keen interest in helping our village school maintain its excellent values and thrive as much as possible.

I have worked within education for the past 12 years, specifically with the 16-19 age group. Running a vast array of successful Sports Academies has enabled me to gain experience in transport, budgeting and facility management. I am hopeful that I will be able to bring my experience and ideas to aid the development of the school.

Having moved from Birmingham in 2008, I developed a strong bond to the area. My husband and I married in the local area in 2012 and we fully appreciate how lucky we are to raise our children within the village. We are a sporty family that likes to stay active. I am keen to help with activities and am a big advocate for how sport can help holistically within education.

Mrs Sarah Smith

Parent Governor

Finance, Personnel & Premises Committee; Health & Safety

As a parent with two children in the school (Agnes in Year 3 and Barnaby in Reception), I have a solid understanding and experience of the school’s values and vision, particularly the motto that "Every Moment Matters". From Fab Fridays to the extra clubs after school, I firmly believe that every interaction and experience can shape a child's education and foster their personal development. Providing children with opportunities beyond academia is important to me.

With a background in strategic integrated communications in healthcare, charity, and pharmaceutical industries, I thrive on knowledge and ideas. I am passionate about fostering self-esteem, confidence, and self-belief in each and every student and I am keen to help sustain the culture where everyone feels valued and recognized.

Mrs Kitty Teff

Co-opted Governor

Curriculum, Standards & Engagement Committee; Safeguarding; Safer Recruitment

I grew up in and around the village and after attending university in Brighton, gradually worked my way home again. Both of my children attended Perran-ar-Worthal CP and although they are now at Penryn College, being able to remain linked to the school is very important to me. While my children were at PAW, I used to love my role volunteering for Fab Fridays and for Sports Days. Being a school Governor is an opportunity to continue to contribute to a part of the community from which we have gained so much as a family.

I have been a qualified physiotherapist for over 20 years and have a breadth of experience from working within healthcare that I feel will translate well to the educational setting. As well as my clinical role, I managed a team of physiotherapists and provided representation for the Therapies Department at RCHT on a number of hospital committees. I now work as a Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist in the Helston area.

When I am not ferrying children around, I enjoy singing, reading, gardening and crafts.

Mrs Rachel Heffer


Mrs Hannah Pallôt

Staff Governor

Mrs Julie Tayler

Clerk to the Governing Body