Edale CE Primary School

John Payne (Foundation (Church) Governor and Chair)


I have been based in the village for over 26 years, and am currently on the Edale Church Parochial Church Council – I was also a churchwarden for 7 years. I am a trustee of Sustainable Edale, and, for my sins, co-directed the Edale Pantomime three times, as well as acting in several other productions, over the past 15 years.


Once, long ago, I was a secondary school teacher and have a teaching qualification, but for nearly 40 years I worked for the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, spending periods of time both in the UK and overseas (the latter including Egypt, Sri Lanka, Pakistan (twice) and Ghana). Most recently I was managing development contracts in South Asia and travelled fairly frequently to Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Nepal. I retired in summer 2017. While in the UK, two of my children spent periods of time in Edale School before going on to Hope Valley College. My interests include walking in the hills, wine-making, reading and listening to classical music and opera. Now that I am retired, I do a range of voluntary activities.

Education has been at the heart of a lot of what I was doing in my working life. I managed overseas students taking British examinations, set up school linking programmes between the UK and overseas, managed programmes of study visits from and to the UK for teacher professional development, and managed education projects (I was until summer 2017 managing a project funded by the EU in Pakistan, which involves supporting the Government in areas such as teacher education, textbooks, curriculum development and management). I have engaged with Ministers of Education (including British ones – I once had to take Kenneth Baker round a souq in Cairo) and teachers in slum areas, with private schools systems and Government ones, with huge urban schools and small multi-grade village schools.


I hope some of this experience, in education, and as a practising Christian, will be helpful in the development of Edale School, and in supporting its students and teachers, particularly now I have retired and have more time to devote to the school.