In trusts, the purpose of governance is to provide:

  • strategic leadership
  • accountability and assurance
  • strategic engagement

The board has collective accountability and strategic responsibility for the trust. It has a focus on ensuring the trust delivers an excellent education to pupils while maintaining effective financial management and must ensure compliance with:

  • the trust’s charitable objects
  • regulatory, contractual and statutory requirements
  • their funding agreement

The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust. They act as Directors in terms of Company Law, Trustees in terms of Charity Law and Governors in terms of Education Legislation.  As a mixed MAT, the Trust Board lead on the responsibilities to maintain the Christian Distinctiveness of our church schools in line with the SIAMs framework, and, to preserve the non-religious nature of our community schools.


For further details of the Trust's governing structure click here.


St Philip's Interim Executive Committee

The Trust Board can convene committees as it sees fit to support its work and delegated responsibilities to ensure and assure that actions taken by the school means that safeguarding is effective, a well-delivered, inclusive, broad and balanced curriculum is leading to the best possible outcomes for all children and that the school is engaged with its wider community and the views of stakeholders are taken into account.  For St Philip's, rather than the more usual Local Governance Committee there is currently an Interim Executive Committee (IEC) in place to perform this function, which enables closer working with the executive and the Board.  The (IEC) is chaired by Ruth Balch who is a Foundation Trustee, appointed by the Diocese of Bath and Wells, she is also the Chair of the Trust Board.  She can be contacted at:

Minutes from the meetings are available on request from the Governance Professional, Mrs Binky Clark, who can be contacted at: 




Mr Andy Joy  (Ex Officio)

Headteacher designate Mrs Jo Coppens

Foundation governors

Mrs Kirsty Mokebo

Mr Jack Wiggins

Mr Chukwudinma Eluwah

Chair of IEC Mrs Ruth Balch
IEC Members

Mr Ross Wolverston

Mrs Kirsten Holland

Mrs Claire Hudson


Mrs Binky Clark


Governors' Attendance at Meetings 2021 - 22

Governors' Attendance at Meetings 2022 - 23

Governors' Attendance at Meetings 2023 - 24

STP IEC Attendance April 2024 - 2025

Governors' Register of interests 2023-24


Mr Andy Joy

I've been a governor since 1/9/06 by virtue of being the Headteacher.

After graduating from teacher training in 1991, I taught in a junior school in South Wales for 10 years.  I then moved to Bristol to become deputy headteacher in a primary school in Keynsham where I worked for 4 years before taking up the headship at St Philip's in 2006.  I love this school and our community - it's a pleasure to work with such a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who serve in such a variety of ways to ensure the best provision for the children in our care, enabling them to flourish and enjoy life to the full.

Mrs Jo Coppens

Staff governor since September 2018 

I have worked at St Philip’s since 2002; I started as a class teacher; mainly in Key Stage Two.  I am now the deputy head teacher and non-class based.  I have a variety of roles in school which include the oversight of children in receipt of Pupil Premium Funding and whole school assessment.  As a result of having a wide range of roles in school and being part of the schools journey for a number of years I feel that I have a lot to contribute to the governing board as we continue on our journey of self-improvement.

Mrs Ruth Balch (Chair)

Ruth is a National Leader of Governance, former local authority governance adviser and consultant to a number of organisations on effective governance in schools.  She brings her qualifications in communications and executive career in project and systems management to the role of non-executive director.  Ruth’s facilitation skills help her chair the board with precision whilst ensuring our governance responds to the needs of the organisation.  Having delivered recognised improvements in governance effectiveness in both the maintained and academy sectors, Ruth is driven by a commitment to ensuring the pupils and wider stakeholders of the organisation are kept at the centre of our decision making at all times. 

Mrs Kirsty Mokebo

Foundation Governor since December 2021

I am a parent to children at St Philips, live locally and also attend St Philip's Church. It has been so encouraging to see the strong, positive Christian values at St Philip's and how this affects the feel of the school. It has been good to see the school and church work together. I hope to work alongside the other governors to ensure the school provides for pupils and staff, and provides a safe, supportive environment for all. 

Mr Chuks Eluwah

Foundation Governor since June 2023

I have over 14 years of experience working in health, 10 in my home country and 4 years in the NHS. I am currently rounding off the 2nd year of my training as a GP. 

I have completed foundation courses at the NHS Leadership academy and currently am a member of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. 

I have a keen interest in studying systems and devising ways of improvement. 

I have great interpersonal skills which I think will be key in identifying the ideas, concerns and expectations of those I will encounter in the course of serving as a Governor and try my best to address said ideas, concerns and expectations. 

I have come to love the St Philip's family. I have 3 precious jewels there at the moment. I naturally would want to give all I can to ensure that the high standards and dedication to excellence which have attracted me to this school is maintained. 

Mr Jack Wiggins


Mrs Claire Hudson

Claire has significant education governance experience at primary, secondary and specialist school phases; she was a National Leader of Governance from 2016-2021. Claire currently works for the Diocese of Bath & Wells, in the Education team, where she delivers governance improvement training as well as having a role in the management of school property, school maintenance and environmental issues.  She is a trained ACAS investigator and has undertaken a number of independent HR investigations for LAs and MATs.

Claire is a trustee of the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership, of the Horizon Therapeutic Education Trust and of Citizens Advice Somerset; she served as a local authority councillor from 2003-2019 and remains politically active.

Mrs Kirsten Holland

My name is Kirsten Holland and I love working in schools; I think it is an absolute privilege to work with young people. I have been teaching since 1999 and started my career in Croydon where I led Y7 transition in a large comprehensive school. I moved to Bristol in 2005 and have since taken on pastoral leadership roles in three comprehensive schools. I am very excited to be joining the team at St Phillips and look forward to meeting everyone and working with you all in the months and years to come. I know what a fantastic school St Phillips is and look forward to contributing using my own lived experiences.

Mr Ross Wolverson

I am delighted to serve on St Phillip's IEC. I am the Headteacher designate for Queen Elizabeth's Hospital Junior School (Bristol) taking post from September 2024. Prior to this I was the Head of School at Winsley CofE Primary School (another Palladian School) and before this I served as Head of English in a number of state and independent secondary schools. Alongside my teaching career I have also served on numerous schools' governing bodies including as Chair, and have lectured at various local universities.  Outside of work I am a practising Christian and enjoy reading, running and spending time with my young family. 

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