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The Vaynor Governing Body

Governors 2022-23



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

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. 

Paul Nimmo

I am a qualified accountancy professional (ACMA) with over 20 years’ experience across both the private and public sector.  I am currently the head of management accounts and business planning for a housing association in the West Midlands, leading a team of 14 staff to deliver high quality and timely management information to a range of stakeholders, including the directors, executive team and board.

I lead the business planning team and am responsible for the preparation of the annual business plan which is submitted to the regulator each year and scrutinised by the finance and growth and executive committee.

I regularly prepare a range of financial reports for consumption by a range of stakeholders and present financial information to provide assurance.

I also lead the management accounts team in the preparation of monthly management accounts, annual budgets and quarterly forecasts and work closely with business partners across the organisation to ensure effective delivery and discharge of the corporate plan.

I am confident I have the skills and ability to effectively evaluate financial performance, ensure investment is prioritised and hold the school leadership to account. I would be able to review existing processes and the control environment and advise where any improvements are required.

My son recently started at the Vaynor first school and I would like to offer something back to the local community using my skills and experience to benefit others.

I enjoy sport, keeping fit and socialising with friends when time permits.

Parent Accounting

Nicole Craddock-Zhang


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!


Sam Ammar

Sam is the Managing Director and founder of a Birmingham based marketing consultancy and agency established in 2016. Sam's experience in sales and marketing spans over 20 years; she has worked for brands including Grand Hyatt, Porsche, Unilever and Colliers. 

 Sam was born in London and grew up in Maidenhead Berkshire, where she attended Newlands School for girls and completed  3 ‘A’ levels in Maths, Physics and Business Studies. 

 Sam then went onto university in Birmingham and undertook long travels after completing her degree living a few years in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai, and India. She speaks fluent Arabic and holds the following academic qualifications:  

  -Masters of Science (MSC) in Global Marketing (Liverpool University, UK)

 -BA in Tourism Business Management (University of Birmingham, UK)

- Diploma in Digital Marketing (Digital Marketing Institute, Ireland)

 Sam has two children and her fascination in child leisure and family unit coherence led her to undertake a research project on family holidays for her Masters Degree Dissertation obtaining distinction level for original work. 

 Sam believes that a happy school experience for children allows them to find their passion and that is the cornerstone to future life fulfilment.


Helen Colcombe

Acting Headteacher Staff Education

James Walker


Acting Deputy Headteacher



Rebecca Radway




I have lived in Redditch and worked at Vaynor for just under two years as a 1:1 TA.

I believe VFS provides a wonderful  environment for local children to learn and grow; and I want to assist in whatever way I can to ensure the school continues achieving high standards. One example in which I have started contributing is helping with PTA fundraising events.

I have lived all over the UK and abroad. However, since moving to Redditch I feel I have found a town I want to settle in.  I am becoming active in local politics. I have an interest in politics, economics and current affairs.

I developed an interest in education and education policy when studying social policy at university.

I have previously worked for a Member of Parliament and the DWP (JCP) which involved handling constituents/customers problems as well as how government policies impacted constituents/clients/customers lives.   I have also worked for the MET police which involved handling sensitive information, some of which involved safeguarding cases as well as some very confidential/sensitive information.

I would like to use my current role and bring my professional experience and knowledge to the VFS governing body as well as championing support for our children with SEN.

I feel it is important that the school's governing body is represented by people from all walks of life.