Meet Our Governors

Our Governing Board is a Rapid Improvement Group which is made up of a range of professionals. They work as a team to ensure the best for our school.  
Rachel Clift

Head Teacher

Rachel is the Head Teacher at Pondhu. She joined the school in January 2022 and is excited about the improvement journey that the school is on. Rachel has many years of experience in school leadership and has taught children across the primary age range in a variety of schools in and around Plymouth. She is passionate about giving every child the opportunity to achieve.

Simon Disney-Pollard

Chair of RIG

Simon is Head Teacher at Carclaze Community Primary School and is proud to be a member of the CELT team. He has many years of experience of leadership in primary schools and is passionate about closing the gap. He believes being a reader is the key to success in school and beyond so has an ethos of reading for pleasure at the centre of the curriculum. He also brings the experience of being Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Richard Baker

Richard is the Executive Head of Penrice Academy and Poltair School. He is the School Improvement Lead for CELT.

Kate Webber

Kate is a full time EYFS teacher at Lostwithiel Primary School and our CELT Early Years lead. She is passionate about early education and has 23 years of teaching experience in a Reception class. She believes in providing the very best learning environment and opportunities for all of our youngest learners. She considers high quality teaching and modelling followed by purposeful and frequent opportunities for children to practice taught skills to be at the heart of Early Years education.

Amy Daniels


Amy is Trust Safeguarding Lead for CELT. Amy has had many years in school leadership, including being a Head Teacher. Amy believes providing a safe and stimulating environment for young people to thrive and increase their life opportunities both academically and socially must be a top priority for us all. Amy's passion is to enable leaders to grow through the support and challenge to ensure that every child leaves school with the skills and knowledge to excel in their next stage of life.

Ian Drake

Ian is one of the estates and facilities managers for CELT.

Clare Ridehalgh

Clare Ridehalgh Deputy Trust Lead joined CELT on 1st January 2021. Clare was previously employed as the Deputy CEO at Kernow Learning (formerly known as TLAT) her ability as a strategic and operational leader is recognised locally and regionally. Clare is designated as a Specialist Leader in Education for Academy Transition and Business Management.

She has been involved in school governance since 2010 when she was elected as a parent governor.

Daphne Johns

Co-opted Governor

Daphne is very pleased to have joined the governing body of Pondhu School. She is also Chair of Governors at Poltair school.

Daphne started her teaching career in a large Primary school in Hampshire, before moving to Cornwall with her husband Philip. They have three daughters, Catherine who is a teacher, Alison who is a food scientist and Emma who is a physiologist. All three girls attended Carclaze school before moving on to Poltair.

Her first teaching post in Cornwall was at Carclaze Infants’ school. After seven years, there followed her three headships, at Grampound, St. Austell Infants’ school (forerunner of Pondhu school), and Trenance Infants school Newquay.

In 1994, Daphne joined Cornwall’s Education Advisory Service with responsibility for the schools in north Cornwall. She enjoyed visiting schools and observing the quality of education in our schools. Most of all, she enjoyed talking to the children. She does have some tales to tell! Finally, after several moves ‘onwards and upwards,’ Daphne was appointed Cornwall’s Chief Inspector of schools, a post she held until her retirement.

It is Daphne's firm belief that all our children deserve the best education possible and working with everyone at Pondhu school, that is what she would hope we would achieve.

In her spare time she likes travelling, cooking, family history and reading. When she is not engaged in any of those pursuits, she contributes to the activities of St Austell Soroptimists. Last but not least, Daphne is Church Warden at St Paul’s Church, Charlestown.

Geoff Brown

Geoff was a Cornwall councillor for 14 years and was previously Cabinet Member for Communities, leading a nationally recognised “great fire service”. Followed by 4 years as the Duchy lead on Transport until 2021. Newquay born and married to Chris for 47 years, with 7 children, he knows the challenges that families face.
A former primary headteacher who spent over 30 years teaching in schools across Cornwall. He was awarded the Westcountry TV “Man of the Year” for his charity work. Geoff led the local Cliff Rescue team for 25 years and was twice awarded the Chief Coastguard’s Commendation. He dedicated 28 years to the RNLI both as crew and officer and together with his wife, they were recognised for their work to establish a teaching programme for secondary age students on the dangers of alcohol and sea safety which they delivered across the country.

Lucy Gambier

Lucy is the Head Teacher at Penrice Academy in St Austell. She started at Penrice in September 2009 and is pleased to now be able to work alongside Pondu as they transform as part of the CELT family of schools. Lucy has worked in three different secondary schools, teaching Art, Media and Photography, alongside working in teacher training and has extensive experience in school leadership at secondary level. Lucy is delighted to be able to support one of the key feeder schools into Penrice, to ensure that all students receive the very best opportunities that school can offer.