Our Governing Body


We are Helen Richardson and Michelle Taberham and we are Co-Chairs of the Governing Body. We would like to introduce you to the other members and to the work that we do on behalf of the children.

The Governing Body carries out a very important job behind the scenes in supporting and challenging the school staff to improve the outcomes for children.

Currently there are 13 members and all have voting rights on their committees and in the Full Governing Body:

  • 4 parent governors (appointed by parents):
    • Mrs Thelma Valarie Lewis (Safeguarding) - Term of office Jan 2016 - Jan 2020
    • Mr Gary Dixon - (Chair of Team B) - Term of office December 2014 - December 2018
    • Mr Carl Bennett (SEND) - Term of office Mar 2017 - Mar 2021
    • Mr Kevin Barrass - Term of office July 2017 - July 2021
  • 2 Foundation governors (appointed by the Governing Body):  
    • Mrs Michelle Ann Taberham - Term of office March 2018 - March 2020
    • Mr Fergus Hegarty - Term of office July 2018 - July 2022
  • 2 Staff governors (appointed by the staff):
    • Miss Ellie Dockey - Term of office Oct 2018 - Oct 2022
    • Miss Ellie Sewell - Term of office Dec 2016 - Dec 2020
  • 1 Local Authority governor (appointed by the LA):
    • Mrs Helen Linda Richardson (Safeguarding & SEND) - Term of office Sept 2018 - Sept 2022
  • 4 Co-opted governors (appointed by the Governing Body):
    • Mrs Julie Stuart - Headteacher
    • Mrs Jennie Elizabeth Jones - Term of office May 2018 - May 2022
    • Mrs Coralee Comstock - Term of office May 2018 - May 2022
    • Mr Gary Daines - Term of office July 2018 - July 2022
  • 1 Associate Governor (appointed by the Governing Body):
    • Mr Darren Kidger - Term of office Oct 2018 - Oct 2022

We have two Governing Body committees with the following members:

Team A (Curriculum, Pupil Performance and Community)

  • Mr Gary Daines
  • Mr Carl Bennett 
  • Mr Kevin Barrass
  • Mr Darren Kidger
  • Mrs Helen Richardson (Chair)
  • Mrs Julie Stuart
Team B (Finance, Staffing and Premises)
  • Mrs Thelma Lewis
  • Mrs Michelle Taberham
  • Gary Dixon (Chair)
  • Mrs Helen Richardson
  • Mrs Julie Stuart
  • Mrs Jennie Jones
  • Mrs Coralee Comstock 
  • Miss Ellie Sewell

Gary Dixon is Chair of our Team B, Resources Committee (Finance, Staffing and Premises) and Helen Richardson is Chair of Team A, Curriculum, Pupil Performance and Community Committee.

Full Name Pecuniary Interests Attendance Meetings Attendance Committees
Thelma Lewis None 4/4 4/4
Kevin Barrass None 4/4 3/3
Carl Bennett None 4/4 2/3
Gary Daines None n/a - new n/a - new
 Ellie Dockey None  n/a 0 new  n/a - new 
Michelle Taberham None 4/4 3/4
Darren Kidger None 3/4 3/3
Ellie Sewell None 4/4 3/3
Helen Richardson
OWL Trust Chair of Board of Directors
4/4 2/4 & 3/3
Julie Stuart OWL Trust Operations Lead 4/4 4/4 & 3/3
Jennie Jones St Mary's Church 3/4 4/4
Lee Comstock None 4/4 4/4
 Fergus Hearty Walbottle Campus  n/a - new   n/a - new
Previous Governors      
Stephen Hill - resigned July 2016 Walbottle Campus    
Louise Swan - resigned Dec 2016 none    
Anna Mabin - resigned Dec 2016 none    
Martin Gresty - resigned Jan 2017 none    
Tom Clough - resigned July 2017  Walbottle Campus    
Stuart Tilley - resigned       


We work closely as a team particularly with the Headteacher and senior staff on a wide variety of tasks which include:

• developing a strategic plan for the school;
• determining school aims, policies and priorities;
• setting targets;
• monitoring and evaluating the work of the school;
• appointing staff;
• managing the budget;
• securing high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour;
• ensuring that all children in the school have access to a broad and balanced curriculum;
• ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff.

This list may seem daunting (and a bit boring!) but we can honestly say that we really enjoy the huge satisfaction we get from seeing how rapidly the school is improving and feel valued for our part in it. We are a strong team with a variety of skills who work well together and have a shared commitment to continuing the journey together for the benefit of all our children in the future.

The minutes of our Governing Body meetings are available on request from the School Office.