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Welcome to the Meet the Board page.

Great Sankey Primary School is led by a board of governors, a Headteacher and a senior leadership team. Each individual has been chosen on the basis of their experience and expertise, as well as their commitment to achieving the very best results for Great Sankey Primary School. Together, members of the board of governors develop policies and strategies for implementation by the Headteacher and senior leadership team.

Neil Pearson - Chair, Co-opted Governor 

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Is responsible for the leadership of the board, setting its agenda and ensuring its effectiveness on all aspects of its role.  Close working relationship with the Headteacher.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body in September 2001.  Appointed as Chair in June 2011.

Current directorships/business interests: Chair of Governors at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Neil is an experienced Commercial Manager within the Construction Industry. Having worked in construction since leaving school, Neil has owned and managed two construction and construction service companies from 1998 to 2010.  More recently Neil has joined Keepmoat Ltd (a community regeneration and housebuilding company) as a Quantity Surveyor.

Skills and experience: As a senior leader and former Managing Director, Neil has over 35 years’ experience in ensuring that systems and processes are followed, setting agendas and leading strategic meetings. Neil has also had two children go through Great Sankey Primary School and has over 15 years of Governance experience.  Therefore, through his professional life and governance experience, Neil brings a wealth of strategic, commercial and business management experience to the governing body.

Philip McEwan, Vice Chair - Co-opted Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Co-opted governor in November 2015.

Current directorships/business interests: Co-opted Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Phil has been a serving Police Officer since 1986.  In his time with the police, he has managed various police investigation teams and been a detective for nearly 30 years, investigating a variety of reactive and proactive criminal investigations.  He has also been a serious case review officer, reviewing the quality investigations. Since August 2014, Phil has been seconded to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, reviewing police forces, providing feedback on efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy and writing reports for the public.

Skills and experience: As a former Parent Governor and Chair of Governors at Great Sankey Primary School, Phil has had a great deal of experience as being a school governor.  From his roles within the police force, and most recently as an inspector of police forces, he brings a vast amount of inspection and audit knowledge and experience to the governing body.

Victoria Briggs - Headteacher

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Is responsible for the strategic leadership of Great Sankey Primary School and to implement the strategy and policy approved by the board.

Appointment to the board: Joined the school in September 2012 and appointed as Headteacher in January 2014.

Current directorships/business interests: Staff Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.  Co-opted governor at Penketh High School, from September 2012. Chair of West Warrington Association of Head teachers since September 2014 and member of the Warrington Education Board.

Career experience: Graduating in 2000, Victoria was a class teacher at Westbrook Old Hall Primary School for one year and then moved to Barrow Hall Primary School, where she became a team leader and leader of literacy and assessment. She joined Great Sankey Primary School as Assistant Headteacher in September 2012 and then moved into Headship in January 2014.

Skills and experience: Victoria has a vast amount of experience working across all key stages in various educational settings since qualifying in 2000. She has experience of leading a variety of subjects and whole school initiatives and improvements. Her subject specialism is in English and she also has significant experience in maths and assessment. Victoria has gained a National Professional Qualification for Headship. She works alongside an alliance of schools on school improvement and system leadership.

Claire Range - Co-opted Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a parent governor in June 2012 and appointed as a Co-opted governor in April 2013.

Current directorships/business interests: Co-opted Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Claire commenced her teaching career in September 1998 at Allanson Street Primary School, St Helens.  She worked as a classroom teacher across EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and KS1 (Key Stage 1) with responsibility for RE and Music for 5 years.  Then in 2003 progressed onto the leadership team when she was appointed as the school SENCo.  In 2011 Claire took on the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead with a promotion onto the Senior Leadership team.

Skills and experience: As a senior leader, SENCo and Designated Safeguarding Lead Claire has a wealth of experience and expertise to bring to the governing body.  Her vast education and leadership experience working as part of a team in an Outstanding School will help Great Sankey Primary School on our journey to becoming outstanding.

Avril Topping - Co-opted Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Co-opted governor in November 2013.

Current directorships/business interests: Co-opted Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Avril was a class teacher and Deputy Head until 1989 when she became Headteacher at Palacefields Infant school, Runcorn.  In 1994 she moved to the Headship of Birchwood CE Primary School, Warrington and then in 2000, she moved to take on the role of Headteacher at Ravenbank Primary School, Lymm.  Under Avril’s inspirational leadership, in 2005 and 2008 Ravenbank was judged to be ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.  Avril then left Ravenbank in 2009 to become a Senior Adviser at Warrington Borough Council until 2013, when she retired.

Skills and experience: Whilst at Ravenbank Avril gained a Department for Education accreditation as a School Improvement Partner (SIP) which involved supporting schools in Warrington and Stockport with their data analysis and school improvement planning, and supporting governors with the Headteacher Performance Management process.  Avril therefore brings a vast amount of educational and leadership experience from her time as a Headteacher and Senior Adviser to schools.

Judith Wright - Co-opted Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Co-opted governor in April 2013.

Current directorships/business interests: Co-opted Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.  Also a Governor at Penketh High School in role as Vice Principal.

Career experience: Jude’s teaching career started at Birchwood High School in September 1992.  Her first role was as a part-time teacher of Science.  She then joined Penketh High School in September 2002 as Head of Year 10 and was appointed Vice Principal (Climate for Learning) at Penketh in September 2014.

Skills and experience: With 24 years’ experience as a teacher in secondary education and nearly 10 years’ experience as a senior leader, Judith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Governing Body, including that all important transition from Primary to Secondary School.

Andrew Bent, Co-opted Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Chair of the Finance and Resources committee, responsible for leading the committee, setting its agenda and ensuring its effectiveness on all aspects of its role.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body in May 2007.  Appointed as Vice-Chair in June 2011.

Current directorships/business interests: Vice-Chair of Governors at Great Sankey Primary School.  Chair of Governors at Great Sankey High School, from May 2008.

Career experience: Joined United Utilities PLC in 2006 working in the Finance department in various roles, including Management Accounting, Treasury Accounting and Finance Systems.  Moved to work in Asset Management in 2010 with responsibility for long-term asset planning and major capital investment sponsorship.  Then taking on the role of Regional Scheduling Manager and then most recently as the company’s Regional Planning Manager.

Skills and experience: With over 7 years’ experience as a school governor in both primary and secondary education and nearly 10 years’ service working in a FTSE 100 company, Andrew brings a wealth of experience on which to draw in his role as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Finance & Resources committee.

Sarah Dewhirst - Co-opted Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.  Sarah is also the board’s SENDCO and Inclusion Governor.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Parent Governor in April 2009 and was appointed as a Co-opted governor in April 2013.  Sarah then subsequently joined the school as a member of teaching staff, but has remained as a Co-opted governor.

Current directorships/business interests: Co-opted Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.  Trustee of Life Church Warrington.

Career experience: Sarah has been a teacher since 1997 after completing her music and teaching degree in Birmingham.  She has taught in a number of educational contexts from primary to sixth form, most recently as part of the teaching staff at Great Sankey Primary School.  In 2011 Sarah completed a PGC in Singing in the Primary Curriculum.  Sarah is also involved in leading community-based projects in Warrington.

Skills and experience: Sarah has been serving on charity trustee boards since 2005 and has been a governor at Great Sankey Primary School for 7 years.  She therefore brings considerable strategic and educational experience to the board and to her specific role on the board as the SENDCO and Inclusion Governor.  Sarah is the mother of 5 children all of whom have or are presently attending Great Sankey Primary School.

Nichola Doyle - Parent Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Parent Governor in January 2015.

Current directorships/business interests: Parent Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Currently employed at Trafford Council as a Social Worker within the Children in Care service. Prior to this Nichola’s experience has been in both the third sector and statutory services with previous roles at the NSPCC and St Helens Council.

Skills and experience: Nichola has been a Parent Governor at Great Sankey Primary School for over a year.  With her MA in Social Work and relevant practice experience, this adds a great deal of knowledge to the governing body and assists Nichola in her role as Safeguarding Governor.

Toby Tyas - Parent Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as an Associate Governor in November 2015.

Current directorships/business interests: Associate Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Toby works in the nuclear sector as a radiation shielding, criticality and safety assessor, based at Birchwood Park in Warrington.  Before moving into industry Toby spent twelve years working as a physics teacher and head of department in secondary schools.

Skills and experience: During his teaching career Toby gained experience in curriculum development, school self-evaluation and leadership of school improvement initiatives. Since moving into industry Toby has gained experience of delivering technical projects to time, cost and quality. He has also volunteered as a STEM ambassador and helped local schools with science related events, work experience and careers information.

Lisa Green - Staff Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Staff Governor in March 2014.

Current directorships/business interests: Staff Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Lisa worked at United Utilities for six years before gaining Qualified Teacher Status in 2010. She has worked across a range of schools in England and North Wales before joining Great Sankey Primary School in 2013.  In her teaching career Lisa has lead Information and Communication Technology and currently co-ordinates English and the development of growth mind-set across the school.

Skills and experience: Due to her experience across a range of settings, Lisa has knowledge of various sectors of education as well as extensive knowledge of past and current curriculums.  In her previous school, Lisa worked with SLT to gain academy status and supported the rapid improvement of the teaching and learning in KS1 and KS2.  Lisa has worked within a school alliance to lead a writing project across four local schools.  In 2015, Lisa gained the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership and now works closely with Great Sankey Primary School’s senior leadership team.

Thomas Gawne - Staff Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as a Staff Governor in November 2015.

Current directorships/business interests: Staff Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Thomas gained ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ in June 2013 and has taught across a range of Primary and Secondary Schools in central Liverpool.  Having been employed through CAPITA Education Resourcing from June 2013 until September 2013; progressed to employment in Gwladys Street Primary School, Walton and Valewood Primary School, Crosby as a PPA floating teacher across the primary age range and Y5 teacher.  In September 2014, Thomas was appointed as the Y5 class teacher at Great Sankey Primary School, and took on core subject leadership responsibility of Science in the Autumn Term 2015.

Skills and experience: With a large amount of experience of working with children and young people in various educational settings since 2010, Thomas has experience of delivering both primary and secondary national curriculums, with subject specialism and degree specialism in Design Technology.

Lewis McVey - Associate Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

Responsibilities: Responsible for ensuring the robust review and challenge of the financial information provided to the board and of the curriculum and school improvement information.

Appointment to the board: Joined the governing body as an Associate Governor in November 2015.

Current directorships/business interests: Associate Governor at Great Sankey Primary School.

Career experience: Started at AMEC in 2008 on an advanced training scheme in mechanical engineering.  From 2010, progressing to lead the continued development of new scheme participants through HNC and Degree qualifications, in parallel with the programme management of multiple projects within the nuclear industry. In 2015, Lewis moved to a local nuclear consultancy SME to lead the project management function and develop an international project management office.

Skills and experience: With 6 years of experience in leading the development of colleagues and delivery of numerous nuclear projects, Lewis has vast experience of ensuring objectives are met on time, to the required standard and within budget.