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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; its building 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 responsibilty 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 


Mrs Sherida Morgan - Co-opted Governor

I believe Ripley Nursery School is an excellent school, providing and delivering high quality care and education for children 0-5 years. I am passionate about early years. I have a background in this age phase both as a Teacher, Headteacher and Early Years Quality Improvement Officer and consultant. I am very interested in Early Years educational research, child development and the challenges for the Early Years sector. It will be a privilege to be a Governor and be part of the journey the school is continuing to make to create and enhance the unique and exciting learning opportunities for all the young children at Ripley and therefore, achieve the best outcomes for them.    


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 Nicola Brown - Co-opted Governor

Hello my name is Nicola Brown and I am delighted to be a Governor at Ripley Nursery School. I have a passion for early education and have had the privilege of teaching within outstanding nursery schools for nearly 17 years (Ripley Nursery School for nearly 12 years); this includes work with 0-3 year olds, as well as 3-5 year olds. I believe every child has the right to a high quality, aspirational early education, where they are valued, respected and viewed by the adults around them as competent, curious, knowledgeable and full of potential. I know that this is what Ripley Nursery School strives to offer every child and I am looking forward to supporting them in their mission. In September 2014, with the support of Ripley Nursery School I started working as an Early Years Consultant; supporting the Derby City Early Years Quality Improvement team by mentoring and coaching early years teachers and practitioners; providing high quality CPD and project managing an early communication, language and literacy programme funded by the DFE. I have been leading the ECaM (physical development programme) training in the city for both schools and the PVI sector for the last 2 years. I am also an SLE (Specialist Leader in Education) for Early Years in Derbyshire; supporting schools to develop effective child-centred provision for 0-5 year olds, with an affiliation to Ripley Nursery School.    
A quote that captures my philosophy on early education;  
‘…each child is valued as infinitely capable, creative and intelligent. The job of the teacher is to support these qualities and to challenge children in appropriate ways.’  
Carla Rinaldi

Mrs Kerry Hartwell - School Business Manager - Associate Governor 



Mr Jonathan Morley - Co-Opted Governor

The opportunity to become a governor of a school that is dedicated to high standards excites me greatly and I believe I can offer much to the role. I have ambitions to be a useful strategist to further assist the school's improvement and make a positive difference to the local area I live in.

My career to date has a vast wealth of experience in sport and community development, working in various countries and community settings including nurseries and with families. Currently, employed as a Sport Strategy Director for The Renewal Trust in Nottingham, I manage three preschool children programmes; Cricket stars, Socatots and Tennis Tots, as well as creating a unique sport movement programme to inspire younger children to be physically active at school. I have a very keen interest in developing meaningful skills of younger children to help them realise their potential.


Tina Heslop - Parent Governor


Silvia Roberts - 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 x Co-Opted

1 x Parent  

1 x LA           



Governor details and Attendance