Richard Hill

Church of England Primary School


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Contact Details

Meet the Governors

Governors' Information

Ms Sharon Deackes - Chair of Governors

I became a Foundation Governor at Richard Hill in November 2017 and am really looking forward to the next 4 years of office.

I have two grandchildren who attend Richard Hill; I have always enjoyed my visits to the school as their Nanny and welcome the chance to be on the governing body of such a lovely school.

I retired in August 2016 after teaching in Primary Schools in Leicestershire for 38 years; a career I loved. During that time I taught in five very different schools; I was headteacher of a village school for 4 years and a town school for 8 years. I have always believed that children should be given as many opportunities as possible in order to fulfil their potential. Primary school should be the place where strong foundations are laid and memories are made. I hope, with my experience, I can make a valuable contribution to the education of the children at Richard Hill now and in the future.


Mr Oli Whittaker - Vice Chair (Parent Governor)

I’ve been a Parent Governor since March 2018 and am currently Vice Chair of the Governors. I became a Parent Governor to share my knowledge and experience with the school’s leadership and wider staff and be a ‘voice’ for parents in supporting our children’s development.

My philosophy is simple: Imagination, inspiration and innovation, coupled with a strong dedication and passion towards ensuring everyone I encounter is empowered to work hard and nurtured to achieve their goals and ambitions. I’m particularly passionate about seeing artificial, societal barriers to personal development broken down and that there are “opportunities for all and not the few".

I’m currently employed by Leicestershire County Council as an Economic Growth Manager, supporting businesses to start-up, grow and invest in Leicester and Leicestershire.


Rev David McDonough (Ex-officio, Foundation)

 Hi, I’m David I’ve been a governor at Richard Hill since 2011 when I came to Thurcaston and Cropston as Rector.

I had been previously a Governor in Staffordshire for 12 years at a Community Junior school and a Secondary school there.
Like most governors I am acutely aware of my inability to give the time and have the expertise necessary for the role I have to fulfil but I do want to be the best I can be for our school and particularly for all the individuals, children and adults, it represents.
I have a grown up family that are spread around the country. I have been doing this job as a ‘Minister of religion’ for the last 28 years and before training spent 15 years in industry as a mechanical engineer making British army tanks in Leeds where I grew up and went to school, I am a proud Yorkshireman.


Mrs Jan Knox - Executive Head Teacher (Ex-officio Governor)

Have a look at the welcome page for more information from Mrs Knox.


Mrs Sally Appleebee-Lewis - Head of School (Ex-officio Governor)

I started at Richard Hill in January 2021 as Head of School. I have worked in Leicester City Schools prior to my appointment at Richard Hill. My previous post was Deputy Head and SENCO at Eyres Monsell Primary School. I hold my National Senco Award, I am a trained safeguarding lead and I have been a KS1 moderator for 5 years. I am currently completing my National Professional Qualification for Headship. I am also a co-opted governor at Green Lane Infant School. I think working collaboratively with other schools is a fantastic way of sharing with and supporting each other. 

I am looking forward to sharing my skills and knowledge both to help develop the Richard Hill community and The Vines Academy Trust.


Mrs Linda Bennett (Foundation Governor)

In 2013 I was asked to become a Foundation Governor as I had been involved with the school in a volunteering role since my son started at Richard Hill in 2007. I am a committed Christian regularly worshipping at Trinity Methodist Church in Loughborough though I live in Thurcaston. I studied pharmacy at University and worked full time as a community pharmacist for nearly 20 years . When my son was born I decided not to return to pharmacy and now work part time in my husband’s retail business as well as continuing to volunteer at Richard Hill, running the gardening club and helping out in a class one morning a week, as well as being a Governor. I was initially told that being a Governor would only be a couple of meetings a term! At times this has become more like a couple a week!! However, I do enjoy being involved in such a lovely school and helping to support the children, staff and parents through my role here.

Mrs Alison Dickerson (Staff Governor)

I took up my position as staff governor at Richard Hill in October 2019. I want to support this fantastic school the same way as it supported three of my four children.

After moving to Leicester from Kent in 2005 we visited this lovely school and from that moment we knew it was the place to be. I then applied for my first job as lunchtime assistant here in 2009, whilst working within the school as a Midday Manager I found a desire to want to teach the children so, volunteered as an LSA. I absolutely adored this role so put myself through a training course to become a Higher-Level Teaching Assistant, which is a role that I have done for nearly five years.

I really enjoy being able to make a difference within Richard Hill School and I hope to continue for many more years.


Miss Antonia (Toni) Fall (Parent Governor)

I'm a Parent Governor at Richard Hill. My interest in the school comes from my daughter attending Richard Hill. I would like to help, support and develop Richard Hill on improving for our children's future and others to come. 


I am a Technical Manager at Parker Fine Foods and also Company Director for my own Driving School. With my every day skills I'm hoping I will be a valuable member of our Governing Body: I work well within a team and always willing to improve my skill set. I look forward to helping Richard Hill school staff , parents and most importantly our children.


Mr Michael Corner (Foundation Governor)

I became a foundation governor in September 2020 when I started my job as Growing Faith Minister. I work across 3 of the 4 schools in the Vines Academy Trust, as well as at Houghton Church to grow faith in schools, church and in the home environment too. I’m now learning how to do this last element first hand, as my first child was born in April 2020. My wife, daughter and I live in Leicester City, where I was a primary school teacher.  After 4 year of teaching years 3&4, leading on educational visits and ICT, I moved to part time supply work to enable the completion of my ministry training for Youth and Children’s work with the church. This supply work introduced me to a wide range of approaches to primary teaching.

I am looking forward to developing the Christian ethos of the school, and seeing how knowing Jesus can change everyone for the better, and give us hope for the future.


Mr Dale Richardson (Foundation Governor)

I have recently joined Richard Hill as a foundation governor and look forward to supporting the school in it's prosperous future.  I have two children at the school and have found the school to be a supportive environment for them. I previously worked for the Royal Air Force having supported and lead on many operations over a 12 year career. After leaving the Royal Air Force I found a career in the world of Facilities Management. I currently work as Head of Estates, specialising in the Education sector.  I have worked for colleges such as Loughborough College and Brockington College where I was also a governor supporting in their academy growth. I am very much looking forward to being involved to help guide and support the school in its ambitions to develop and improve upon its success to date.


Updated 01/03/2021

Name Position Term of Office



Register of


Sharon Deackes Chair of Governors 9/11/17-8/11/21 2/2

Syston CCTV & Alarms - partner's business

Supply teacher in various Vines Academy Trust schools

Oli Whittaker Vice Chair & Parent Governor 15/3/18 - 14/3/22 2/2  
Rev David McDonough

Foundation Governor (Ex officio)

30/08/13 2/2 Trustee - Richard Hill School Trust
Linda Bennett Foundation Governor 19/6/17 - 30/6/21 2/2 Bennetts (Evington) Ltd Husband is director, Mrs Bennett is an employee
Michael Corner Foundation Governor 1/09/20 - 31/08/22 2/2

St Catharine's Church - employee

Brookside Primary School - wife is employee

Jan Knox Headteacher & ex officio governor 11/03/20 - 10/03/24 2/2

Head Teacher, Houghton-on-the-Hill Primary School

Trust Leader, The Vines Academy Trust

Sally Applebee-Lewis Head of School & ex officio governor 04/01/21 - 03/01/25 1/2 Head of School - Richard Hill Primary School
Alison Dickerson Staff Governor

01/10/19 - 08/10/22

Antonia Fall

Parent Governor 


9/10/18 - 





Dale Richardson Foundation Governor 26/11/20 - 21/11/24 1/2