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Meet the Board

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 was a Police Officer for 30 years retiring in 2016. During his time with the police, as a detective for for the majority of his career Phil was a senior investigating officer managing investigations and investigating team in a variety of reactive and proactive criminal investigations.  Phil was also a serious case review officer, reviewing the quality investigations. Since August 2014, Phil was been involved in working for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, reviewing police forces, providing feedback on efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy and writing reports for the public. In 2018, Phil moved to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and inspected the provision and quality of probation services across the country.

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 at being a school governor.  From his roles within the police force, and most recently as an inspector of police forces and the probation service 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. Member of The Challenge Academy Trust Central Executive team. Represents West Warrington Association of Head teachers on the Behaviour and Welfare group and the SEN working group for the Local Authority. Vice Chair of the School Improvement Alliance.

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 an outstanding and highly effective 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 with proven outstanding outcomes and delivery. 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 as well as being a founder member of The Challenge Academey Trust.

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.

Niall Smith - 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 September 2018

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

Career experience:

Skills and experience:

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 intercsts: 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.

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 tpe board: Joined the governing body as an associate governor in November 2015 and is now a parent governor on the board.

Current directorships/business interests: Parent 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.

Rebecca Eves - 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 November 2017. 

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

Career experience: Rebecca was formerly employed for 10 years by the Environment Agency as a Team Leader. She has a wealth of experience in project management, data analysis, reporting, people managment, HR, risk management, strategic planning, health and safety and well-being. 

Skills and experience: Rebecca is currently a 'stay at home mum' with three children, two of which attend the school. Rebecca is a very pro-active member of the school community and is able to use her skills and experience to contribute to school life. She is passionate in ensuring children receive the very best opportunities and education at Great Saneky Primary school. 

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 Gladys 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. He has led in the development of Science nad English at GSP and has recently been appointed onto the senior leadership team.

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 gssociate 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.

Leanne Keavey- Associate Governor

Committee membership: Finance & Resources, Quality Assurance

I am an associate member of the Governing Body at Great Sankey Primary School. I was asked to continue in the new role as I had been a parent governor for 6 years & was keen to remain part of this remarkable school. During our time working with the staff and pupils of the school we have seen an amazing transformation from an old building to a new high tech facility, the appointment of a new head teacher & senior leadership team, new and improved ways of working, joining TCAT and pupils & dealing magnificently with the ever changing challenges from the national education policy. All of this has been done with the inclusion of the local community & the staff at GSP.

 

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 an associate governor 2018

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

Career, skills and experience: Leanne currently works for the Civil service as an Executive Business Support to a senior civil servant. She has experience in HR, project management, leadership, complex policy reviewing and writing, resource planning, staff development, training development & delivery, line management, engagement & staff reward & recognition.

 

 

 

 

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