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The Vaynor Governing Body

Governors 2021-22



Type of Governor

Skill Set

Penny Riddle

Chair of Governing Body

Hi, I am Penny Riddle, and I became a Governor at Vaynor in February 2021.

I have lived in Bromsgrove for the past 20 years and have two grown up children and an eight year old grandson.

I have worked in schools and colleges for over 40 years and I am passionate about education, and giving the opportunity to excel to all children and young adults. Setting a firm foundation for learning to children in their first years at school is crucial to their later success, and this is the reason that I am delighted to be joining Vaynor, with its commitment to helping all children to achieve their best.

I graduated in Chemistry from Manchester University and have taught both Chemistry and Physics and vocational science up to first year degree level. I started my teaching career in Oldham, before moving to London and becoming Head of Department in 2 Secondary Schools and a Sixth Form College. On moving to the Midlands, I taught in a secondary school and a Sixth Form College before moving to Halesowen College, where I worked for over 35 years until my retirement in April 2020. During this time I held various management posts, and most recently I was Director of Business Development and Apprenticeships – a post I held for over 12 years.

My husband and I lived in Shropshire for 23 years, renovating a derelict farmhouse and attempting to be self-sufficient while bringing up our son and daughter. When they flew the nest, we moved to Bromsgrove in 2000.

I am a very keen cook, and love catering for family and friends. As a family, we like hill walking, and rugby and cricket feature pretty large, watching matches whenever we can.

Co-opted Education
Tom Slater

Co-Opted Vice Chair

Link Governor for Maths

Hi, I am Tom Slater. I joined the governing body in January 2016 as a Parent Governor.   I have two children at Vaynor. I have lived in Redditch for a little over 31 years. I originally put my name forward for the role of Parent Governor as I regard the school as a very important part of our local community, and I was very keen to play a part in the continued development of the school and help build on the progress achieved in recent years. I am a Money, Banking & Finance Graduate from the University of Birmingham and have over 13 years’ professional experience, holding a number of Advisory and Management roles for two of the UK’s largest and most reputable financial institutions. When I’m not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, exploring new places,  and I really enjoy sport. I play golf at club level and until very recently played amateur football for a local team.


As Chair of Governors, I and the vice chair meet with the Head Teacher on a monthly basis to understand the successes and challenges in the school and to support both the Leadership team and Staff in meeting these challenges as well as celebrating the wins.

Parent Business




Nikki Wnuk

I became parent governor when my youngest joined in 2018. After a career break from teaching to start a family, becoming governor has allowed me to re-join education before restarting my teaching career in September 2019. I have two children at Vaynor both at varying levels of abilities and needs. With my past teaching experience in SEND, this is one of my responsibilities as link governor along with pupil premium, inclusion, safeguarding and community governor.

I believe the school provides an excellent environment for our children to flourish; and I want to assist the school to continue achieving their high standards. I grew up in Redditch, I think it's a great place to raise a family; and being part of the governing body is another way for me to contribute to my local community.

In addition, I am heavily involved with the PTA and happy to support their efforts as much as possible, I do this through helping the PTA team run events and with planning and preparation for their fundraising goals. 

I have just over 20 years experience within childcare as an Area Manager for a large activity day camps provider with over 50 sites based in and around London. During my time with the company I have gained more experience within safeguarding, SEND and Inclusion out of the education setting which can be quite challenging. 


Louise Underwood

Hello my name is Louise Underwood and I am delighted to have been selected as Parent Governor for The Vaynor First School. I am a mother to two boys and my eldest joined the Vaynor family in Reception in September 2020. In my spare time I enjoy outdoor pursuits with my family, particularly walking and camping - when the Great British weather allows!

I have lived in Redditch all my life and am eager to contribute to the local community through supporting this fantastic school in preparing our children to be the best they can be.


I am a Deputy Headteacher at a large Primary School in Birmingham and have enjoyed a career in teaching for the past 14 years. As both a parent and an Educator, I am passionate that all children should feel safe and enjoy school, creating happy memories that will stay with them forever.


I am excited to join the Vaynor Governing Body and to also join my son at the start of his learning journey. I look forward to contributing to the future progress of this school as it moves forward towards continued success.

Parent Education

Nicole Craddock-Zhang

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Hi, I am Nicole Craddock-Zhang, and I joined the governing body as a co-opted governor in July 2021.


I am a programmes and client manager for a UK Top-10 university in the midlands, following a career in International Relations, Marketing Communications, and Business Development.


Having worked in higher education and supported the university’s outreach initiatives for a number of years, as well as a young child now in primary education in Worcestershire, it felt like the natural next step for me to work with Vaynor, lending my experience and expertise to the school strategy.


Being a school governor, to me, means being a critical friend who looks at aspects of the school from a strategic point of view. It means being open and able to effectively challenge. It also prioritises the importance of the well-being of all pupils, learners and staff.


It has been a pleasure being part of the Vaynor family and getting to know the schools within the trust. Stepping into the school ground, seeing the children and meeting the staff brings a smile to my face every time.


In my spare time, I enjoy fitness, playing the piano, travelling with my family, learning new things and trying new food!


Helen Colcombe

Deputy Head Staff Education

Sal Dunstan


Ex Officio & Accounting Officer


Leadership and Education

Natalie Chandler

Hi my name is Natalie Chandler. Prior to joining the Vaynor family in 2018 as School Office Manager, I worked at local level within the management team of a large supermarket chain for 28 years. I became a Staff Governor in January 2021, as I am very passionate about the welfare and education of our children and wellbeing of my colleagues. My role as School Office Manager is vast and varies day to day, enabling me to offer a diverse viewpoint on the many aspects that me and my team experience, from within the school and its parental community.


I live in Bromsgrove with my partner, 3 grown up children and my 7 year old daughter, who keeps me very busy when at home.