Grayrigg CE School - Start Small Think Big

Grayrigg Church of England Voluntary Aided School Governing Body

Welcome to the Governors page of the website where you will find an overview of our governing body structure and core functions.

The Department for Education has high expectations of governing bodies. They are the strategic leaders of our school and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. The role of the governing body is a strategic one, its core functions are to:

Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils,
and the performance management of staff

Oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies.

Our constitution requires that the governing body has 12 governors in total. Of these, 2 are elected parent governors, 1 LA governor appointed by the Local Authority, 1 elected staff governor, the Headteacher and 7 foundation governors appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education. Governors are voluntary and unpaid.

Each individual governor is a member of the governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.

Governors appoint the headteacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.

The full governing body meets six times a year. We also have three sub committees, each meets six times a year and reports to the full governing body meetings. They are the Finance, Staffing and Premises Committee, the Teaching & Learning Committee and the Marketing Committee.

A little about each of our governors:

Craig Butterworth
Parent Governor - Chair of Marketing Committee

My son Joel started at Grayrigg last year. During this time my wife and I have appreciated the level of support given to help integrate him into school life.

I have also started to recognise the kind of role we as parents can offer too - from general support, help with fundraising and drawing on knowledge gained from our professional lives. I am a strong supporter of the school ethos and principles: inclusivity; every child can achieve their best; inspiring; unique. All in a nurturing and supportive environment.

Work-wise, my background is in design and branding. I have been lucky enough to have gained a broad understanding of business strategy and implementation of standardised processes along with development of people and teams. I’m proud of Grayrigg School and want to help it achieve it’s goals.


Kirsty Cooper
Headteacher - Teaching & Learning Committee - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee - Marketing Committee

As headteacher I have the pleasure of being part of all governor committees. Whilst more can be read about me on the staff page and in my BLOGs, the dedication and support provided by the governors never fails to astound me. They have a huge range of skills and are more than willing to give extra support. They hold myself and school leaders accountable - often governors meetings can be quite challenging as they quiz me about latest developments, but these meetings are always exciting, as together we look for ways to keep moving and improving for the children. They are part of the fabric of the school, intrinsically involved in school developments. They are an amazing team of volunteers who genuinely get pleasure from seeing the school continue to grow and develop,


Nigel Davies
Foundation Governor - Chair of Governing Body

I am a fan of Marvel Action Heroes especially Iron Man.

I have 25 years of experience as a Governor, much of that as ‘Chair’ although I would prefer to be a futon! Noted for my irreverent sense of humour, with previous experience as a teacher in another life, I am committed to excellence in education through a child centred approach, enabling children to thrive and develop to the best of their ability. Data, whilst important, is not the be all and end all of education, just a measurement of pupils’ attainment. Children need to develop ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills in order to develop into fully rounded human beings.

Grayrigg CofE Primary School, exemplifies this approach to education, which is why I am proud to be a small part of such an inspirational team of ‘professionals’.


David Dean
Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee

My career in education spans more than forty years. I was a primary school teacher specialising in maths and science and then an advisory teacher, supporting schools with the introduction of computer assisted learning in the early 80’s. I took a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and went on to work in the Education Faculty of Manchester University where, as well as lecturing and research, I was part of the team that advised our government on the first SATs (but don’t tell anyone – I don’t have many friends as it is!). And it gets worse; I also completed the Ofsted training as a registered inspector.

For the last twenty years I have worked overseas on education development projects in some of the world’s poorest countries, mostly in Africa and Asia.

Now retired, I was keen to maintain an active involvement in education and became a Foundation Governor in July 2015. I also sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee.


Richard Eastwood
LA Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee - Marketing Committee

I became a Governor to support the local school my children attend, this was because I passionately believed, and still do, that community is important and our village school is right at the heart of my community.

The people management skills acquired at work and the ability to ask challenging questions means that I can help ensure that the leadership of our school is designed to meet the needs of both children and teaching team.

Lastly, my personal values are to be supportive, transparent and to find the fun in all I do.


Barbara Ellis
Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee

I have been married to John for over 40 years and have three grown up children. After living around the Wigan area, where John had his accountancy practice, for most of that time, we moved to our present home eleven years ago.

I taught Primary-age children for about twenty-five years. I became a Governor of Grayrigg School in 2011. I am passionate about keeping our small school alive. At present I am on the teaching and learning committee and always enjoy visiting the school.


Fiona Forrest
Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee

I have been a foundation governor for our fabulous school for the past 2 years and also have 2 children in the acorn class.

I have been a vet for 10 years, and have recently bought my own practice in sunny Blackpool.

As a vet, my education was very important, and I wanted to ensure my children have the same opportunity as I did, to progress and be the best they can be in life. I have a strong belief that this will only be achieved by getting the best foundations, by being exposed to an amazing education during the most important years….the primary years. I have been fortunate enough to become a governor and to see first-hand the procedures put in place at Grayrigg to ensure every child reaches their full potential. Grayrigg is a unique school and every child is treated as an individual with individual targets and lesson plans. Throughout my life I have been heavily influenced by my mother who was a senior teacher at several schools and also held a master’s degree in special needs education, and, as a part of the teaching and learning committee, together with the many hours I have spent in schools with my mother, I can honestly say the teaching at Grayrigg is second to none, and delivered in fun and imaginative ways.

I have been both a tutor and a clinical mentor for maths, science and veterinary medicine, teaching primary, secondary and university students during my life and am honoured to have some responsibility for the delivery of the science curriculum at Grayrigg, it is such a pleasure to work with the fantastic team of staff and motivated children who are always so excited to learn.


Claire Hendrickse
Staff Governor - Marketing Committee

More can be read about me on the staff page. Being governor has been excellent professional development and enabled me to develop a further understanding of school leadership beyond the classroom. I am proud to represent the staff on the governing body.


Caroline Kennedy
Parent Governor - Chair of Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee - Marketing Committee

I’ve just started my second term as parent governor. I receive immense enjoyment and satisfaction from being actively involved in such a wonderful school. I am very proud to say my eldest daughter attended Grayrigg and my youngest is still here.

As I am a finance manager for a northern charity, I took the role as chair of the finance committee. Each governor adds strength to the governing body and I am pleased that my financial experience and expertise also further strengthens the governing body.


Joe Parkins
Foundation Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee - Marketing Committee

My work on the Governing Body includes responsibility for buildings and premises matters.

My daughter attends Grayrigg and my son left a couple of years ago to go to Queen Katherine School. I also went to Grayrigg in the 1970’s, so I have a very long and happy association with the school.

I am an Associate Director of a Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers, which employs 30 people, so I have a lots of experience looking after and constructing buildings, dealing with H&S and HR issues, I try to help and advise Mrs Cooper when building works and repairs need to be done.

In my spare time I love to go fell running.


Pauline Robson
Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee - Marketing Committee

I started my teaching career in 1974 in a Cumbrian school similar to Grayrigg. I took a break when my children came along, then returned first as a teaching assistant to a special needs child before a spell of a supply teaching at several local schools of varying sizes. I went on to teach KS1, Reception and Nursery classes, then for several years I was teacher in charge of the Southern Mobile Nursery Unit. After twelve years teaching the Nursery class at St,Mary’s School, Kirkby Lonsdale, I retired to care for my two grandchildren.

I have been associated with Grayrigg School for almost 30 years, as a parent, friend and governor as well as running the nursery there 20 years ago! My children all had a happy and successful start to their school lives at Grayrigg and I want the same for all children who attend, including my grandchildren who will be starting there in a couple of years. It is important that we have a good school at the heart of our community.

I am interested in all aspects of our school, particularly the Early Years and the links with our Church. I have seen many changes over time and look forward to being part of an exciting future.


Tony Womack
Foundation Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee

I was a member of the armed forces from 1976 till 2000 and moved to Grayrigg in 2002. I am married with two children; both attended Grayrigg School before moving on to secondary school.

I have been actively involved with the school over a number of years, as a parent, past Chair of FOGS and now as a Governor. I also enjoy helping with the forest school sessions, whole school swimming tuition and being part of the adventure that is Grayrigg Primary School.

During my time in the Royal Navy I instructed health and safety risk assessments and risk management and this experience is useful as my work on the Governing Body includes responsibility for health and safety matters.

I have been a member of Kendal mountain rescue team since 2008.


Wendy Wiseman
Clerk to Governors - Associate Member of Finance, Staffing & Premises and Marketing Committees

A Governing body is only as good as its clerk - and we are fortunate to have an excellent clerk who has great attention to the finest of details. She keeps the whole governing body on our toes and is a regular name in all our in-boxes.


Further details on governor attendance, terms of office, business and pecuniary interests for the 2014-15 academic year can be found here: Governor attendance 14-15.pdf