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Governors' Information

The Governing Body represents:


  • The Local Authority                      

  • The Parents/Carers

  • The Community

  • The Staff


The Governing Body, Local Authority, Parents/Carers and Community share the responsibility for the school, the building and environment, and the curriculum.


The Headteacher is responsible to the Governing Body for the day-to-day leadership, management and administration of the school and the curriculum. We have a committee of Governors, who are volunteers interested in helping the school to be a full part of the local community and further develop our fantastic provision to support high achievement for all. We have regular meetings every few months to talk about the work of the school and plan future developments.


Meet our Governors

Mrs Cathy Bednal - Headteacher and Governor

I am the Headteacher at Ripley Nursery School and have been in post for 10 years, prior to that I was the Deputy Head for 8 years. I have been an advocate of high quality nursery education for 30 years and moved from a large Nursery School in London to relocate to Derbyshire. I live in the local area with my husband, teenage son and two contrary but lovable dogs.  I am passionate about the outdoors and in my free time you will find me camping, cycling or walking in Derbyshire or in North Wales.  My achievements are completing the 100km London Ride the Night, in aid of women’s cancer charities and managing to keep up with the school team to complete the 5k Mud Run to raise money for our outdoor refurbishment. I am proud of developing the reflective nature of Ripley Nursery School which inspires all of us to view ourselves as lifelong learners and continually improve our offer to all the children of this very special school.    


Mrs Melissa Eggleston - Chair of the Board of Governors & Co-Opted Governor 

I think Ripley Nursery School is an excellent nursery school, delivering high quality learning opportunities both within, and outside, the classroom. I have two daughters, both of them started at the nursery and went into nursery school when they were old enough, my eldest has now gone up to primary school and my youngest is in school. Just like every other parent at Ripley Nursery School, I want the very best for my children. I want them to be happy, confident and become the very best they can be. As parents, we need to support the school but when necessary we should also put the school under tough scrutiny. I am not afraid to ask difficult questions and I am used to speaking out and up for what is most important. Frankly there is nothing more important than our children. Ripley Nursery School is already a super starter school and just like everyone else, I want it to continue to succeed and improve further. The role of Chair of Governors is a vastly responsible one and I do not take the responsibility lightly, I believe that the first years of a child’s education are crucial to their later academic achievements and – just as importantly – to the development of social and other life skills.


Mrs. Dee Hill - Clerk to Governors 

I have spent 40 years working in the education sector, starting as a secondary school history teacher before joining the middle and then senior leadership teams in schools from Portsmouth, through London, to Lincolnshire and ending in Rotherham.  I moved from the chalk face to working in Local Authorities and enjoyed the challenge of working with a number of schools.  Initially, I was an Area Education Officer in Nottinghamshire, working across all aspects of running a school from the curriculum, to HR issues, to Governor Training and support, to the introduction of Local Management of Schools (LMS) and the need to develop financial expertise in Head Teachers and their SLT – fast!  The challenge and the variety were exciting and rewarding.  After a side-step into working for the police force, for Education Welfare and for a Diocesan Education Board, I returned to Derbyshire Local Authority as a senior officer responsible for planning school provision across the County.  My role covered everything from planning and designing new schools, to supporting and developing provision at others, to the toughest of decisions – school closure.  When I retired, I felt that I still had a lot of knowledge and experience to give back and so here I am – the Clerk to Governors in this lovely school and yet another super team of people with whom I enjoy working immensely!


Mrs Donna Brown - Assistant Headteacher and Staff Governor

I am the Assistant Headteacher and work full time at Ripley Nursery School. I consider my Governing body role to be very important. Through supporting our Headteacher Cathy to create an environment where every child can reach their potential, and also sharing first-hand experience of the teaching and learning taking place in our school with the rest of our governing body. I have lived in Ripley since I was a child, attending the local primary and secondary schools myself, therefore I feel a strong connection to the local community and want to ensure we continue provide an exciting, stimulating environment at Ripley Nursery School where children form the foundations to their education and are encouraged to be enthusiastic learners and investigators. I am also Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) and enjoy working in partnership with parents and outside agencies to provide excellent care and education for our children with additional needs. Outside of nursery I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, walking in the local countryside with my dog, listening to music, reading and skiing.  


Mrs Kerry Hartwell - Co Vice Chair of Governors

I have been Business Manager at Ripley Nursery since January 2020, prior to this role I worked at a secondary school in Chesterfield for 12 years as Assistant Business Manager. My son attended Ripley Nursery School and loved every minute of his time here - he would definitely come back if he was given the chance! My main role in school is to look after the office and administration including finance and HR but I also enjoy getting involved in fundraising projects and organising the Christmas parties too!


Daniel Jones - Parent Governor

Kerry Coxon - Parent Governor

Sarah Somerset - Parent Governor


James Benn - Parent Governor 

I have recently relocated to Ripley from ‘down south’ where I worked for many years at a children’s activity centre. Having started a new role as a School Business Manager at William Rhodes Primary School I felt I could offer a useful skill set to the governing board and hopefully contribute positively.


Ripley Nursery school is already fantastic; both of my children attend and absolutely love the school and all the staff, they do an amazing job. My wife grew up in Ripley and attended Ripley Nursery herself so I have a great incentive to serve on the governing body. I also wanted to join the team to contribute to the continued success of the school and to ensure that all the children have the best possible learning experiences at all times.


I believe that the foundations children are building in the early years will set them up for life. The role of early education is a massive responsibility and therefore I strongly believe the staff need as much support as possible from their governors to shoulder the load and to help develop every aspect of school through creative thinking, challenging the status quo and celebrating the successes.


Governor Vacancies

2 Co-opted governors 


RNS Governors' Statement 2022 - 2023

Financial Information


Please note that we do not have any employees with a gross annual salary of more than £100,000


Please Click here to view our school's financial data.