Welcome to the Local Governing Board  - September 2019

Carole O'Donnell

Chair of Governor

My family have had connections with Coaley C of E Academy for over 50 years. I attended the school and all three of my children have also.
I am and always have been a regular churchgoer and am a member of the Parochial Church Council at St Bartholomew’s and Lay Chair of Wotton Deanery Synod.
Professionally I have worked in the nuclear industry for the last 21 years as a Procurement officer and previously in local government. I have experience in governance, processes and procedures.
Outside of work I am District Commissioner for Cotswold Vale Scout District, overseeing 120 leaders and nearly 500 young people. Safeguarding, health and safety, communications and training as my focus in this role. Working alongside the school curriculum Scouting helps to provide young people with skills for life.
I have a keen interest in the running of the school and it’s future development.

Mr Richard Lucas

Head Teacher

My name is Richard Lucas and I have been a Headteacher for over 10 years, and the Headteacher at Coaley since September 2019. I started teaching more than 20 years ago and absolutely love my job. Working with children and being a Headteacher is such a privilege. Being able to improve children’s lives and make a difference is what makes my job so special and being a part of the school’s journey to improve is very exciting. I am a passionate supporter of Forest Green Rovers (and Arsenal), which I supplement by playing 5-a-side once a week – badly! I also play the drums in two rock bands and record and gig quite often. I love walking my two crazy dogs with my family and I find cooking strangely relaxing.

Mark Snape

Co-opted Governor

After studying Architecture, I started a practice in Oxford in the late 90s. Exposure to the housebuilder market lead me to set up Centaur Homes in 2006 and we’ve been building fantastic new homes across the region ever since. As part of the Snape Group of companies, a family organisation that consists of various Construction based companies, we are able to maintain a high-level of integrity both in the design and delivery of our new homes but also within the communities we become embedded in during the delivery process.
I’m also a firm believer in affordable housing. It is an essential part of keeping communities together especially in more rural locations where affordability of open market housing can exceed the financial capabilities of the younger generations. Affordability provides the opportunity to keep a balanced community in place.
I live with my wonderful wife and two beautiful little girls in a small village to the north of Cheltenham where our eldest daughter is a pupil at the local primary school. Our home is part of a Centaur Homes development that was completed 18months ago and we have been lucky enough to forge great friendships with our neighbours and the wider community.

Vicki Smith

Staff Governor

I have been working as TA at Coaley since January 2017 and am currently working as a teaching assistant in the Robins class. I have worked in education since 2000 and I am a qualified teacher having taught science in a secondary school in Bristol for 13 years. I find working with children very enjoyable, especially when they have that light bulb moment. Being a staff Governor at Coaley C of E Academy is a valuable and rewarding experience. I have two children, one now at secondary school and the other at primary, and we all enjoy cycling as a family.

Charlotte Johnson

Parent Governor

Charlotte lives in Coaley with her husband and two daughters, the eldest of which attends Coaley Academy, with the youngest due to join shortly. Charlotte is a Chartered Engineer and a passionate supporter of all things STEM. She is a Civil Servant, qualified Lead Auditor and a recognised expert in Maritime Safety. Charlotte joined the board of governors in February 2019 as a Parent Governor.

Richard Morgan

Parent Governor

I became a parent governor in November 2018.
I was brought up in the village and attended the school in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
I have two children at the school, one in each class, and therefore I have a vested interest in contributing to making the school a happy place of learning.
I have first-hand knowledge of struggling in the education system because I am dyslexic. My past educational experiences have only resulted in me being committed to helping the children and the school overcome problems.
I live in Dursley but I have many friends and relatives in the village and still feel like a local.
I have always been interested in farming/agriculture and am employed as an agricultural machinery salesman.

Mr Kenneth Hitchings

Ex-officio Governor

Clair Oxley



I became the Clerk in September 2019. I have three children, one child at Coaley primary, one who has been through the school and is now in secondary and one who is due to leave playgroup and will be attending Coaley in 2020.
I am a nurse and a health visitor by trade but wanted to do a little extra to help the school out.
I also work in the school office as an administration assistant one morning a week.
Outside of work I enjoy running and am the Chair of Coaley Playgroup.