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Governing Body Pen Portraits


Meet the Governing Body

Jill Knowles(3)

Jill Knowles, Co-opted Governor

  • Current term - 20/1/2020 to 19/1/2024
  • Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Resources Committee, Staff Dismissal, Governor Training, Website Compliance

I have just entered my 12th year as a governor at Norristhorpe and have until recently been the Chair of Governors for 5 years and the vice chair prior to that.

I live locally and my daughter was once a pupil of Norristhorpe. I am passionate about ensuring children are given the best possible opportunities and develop to their best potential. I find the role as a governor very rewarding and hope that I bring skills and experience to Norristhorpe to help support and challenge it in all areas of school life.

Outside of school, I am currently the Internal Services Manager of a local charity supporting children’s mental and emotional health in Kirklees. Prior to this I worked as a School Business Manager in another Kirklees primary school.

In the little spare time I have, I love spending time with my family, I enjoy cooking and I adore my 3 Border Terrier dogs.

Donna Ellis

Donna Ellis, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 24.11.21 to 23.11.25
  • Resources Committee (Chair), Equality Governor, 

I’m thrilled to be a co-opted Governor at Norristhorpe, having initially joining the team as a parent Governor in November 2013.  I’m dedicated to working with the Norristhorpe team to ensure we maximise resources and facilities, so that all children have every opportunity and the support required to be the best they can be.

I have worked as an Accountant in the Financial Services sector for 25 years, undertaking Audit, Risk Management and Change Management roles and I’m currently the Assistant Finance Director at a local high school.

I’m mum to two children who both attended Norristhorpe and are now at high school,  I enjoy spending time with my family and supporting my children with their numerous activities - football, cricket, dancing and musical theatre. Also, I enjoy walking and going to the theatre.

Claire Lyles(2)

Claire Lyles, Head Teacher, Ex-Officio Governor

  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee, Resources Committee

I have been a School Governor for over ten years now.  I was a Governor at the last school I worked in where I was Deputy and later, Acting Headteacher. 

Throughout my career I have taught across the primary phase and have led most subjects and Key Stages. 

I was brought up and educated locally in Kirklees schools and have taught in various primaries across the Local Authority. 

I thoroughly enjoy my job at Norristhorpe and am keen to work with the Governing Body to help move our school to ‘Outstanding’.  I believe we are making great strides towards this goal.  I feel privileged to work with such fantastic children, staff, parents, Governors and community. 

Outside of school, I am married and have two young children.  I enjoy days out as a family, shopping, eating out and going on cruise holidays.  I am also a Guide Leader at St. Paul’s Guides in Hanging Heaton. 


Adrian Cresswell

Adrian Cresswell, Vice Chair, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 5.6.21 to 4.6.25
  • Vice Chair, Resources Committee, Head Teacher Appraisal Committee, Early Years Governor

I am from Bradford. As a boy I attended Cardinal Hinsley Grammar School in Tong. I am BSc(Hons) graduate from The University of Sheffield and I have the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). I was a teacher for 34 years and retired in 2017. I started my career in Bradford, then Cleckheaton and finally Hartshead.  I was Head or Deputy for over 20 of those years and I have been a governor in all three schools. I am also a veteran of 7 Ofsted inspections! I was the SENCo at Hartshead alongside being the Head for 4 years.

I am married with two grown up boys. My wife, Liz is the Director of the Valley Learning Partnership. Both my children are History graduates. My eldest son Joseph is a corporate lawyer in the City of London. Sean is an Account Manager at Havas Media in King's Cross, London.

I am a keen sportsman and have swapped rugby and cricket for league tennis for Cleckheaton in recent years. I am a Bradford Bulls supporter and watch as much test match cricket as I can. I love the theatre and I am a patron of The Leeds Grand Theatre. I am a keen traveller and I enjoy eating out.

I believe schools belong at the heart of their community, educating the children to be valuable members of that community. Excellent schools educate the whole child and prepare them to become happy, healthy and productive in their adult life.  I see Norristhorpe as a fantastic example of such a school. I am proud to be asked to serve on the governing body and I hope I can contribute, in some small way, to its continued success. 

Megan Bailey

Megan Bailey, Staff Governor

  • Current term  -  1.9.2019 to 31.8.2023
  • Resources Committee

I am currently the SENDCo at Norristhorpe School and have taught for just over 10 years now. I started my career in another local Kirklees school where I was also the shadow SENDCo, before taking on my Masters Degree in special educational needs. I completed this degree while teaching full time in a mixed year 1/2 class as well as being the maths lead.

The path that led me to teaching was an unusual one, I initially attended Leeds Trinity and All Saints University in Leeds completing a degree in Forensic Psychology. I then chose to focus on child psychology and as part of my dissertation I worked with children in a local primary school, looking at emotions and colour. I had always wanted to teach and this year in a school ignited my love of teaching even more. I went on to complete my teacher training at Leeds Beckett University taking on the PGCE course. Throughout my 4 years at university I volunteered in various schools local to where I grew up, I also had a casual post within a nursery.

I have recently got married and settled into a new home with my husband and two step-daughters, both our daughters previously attended Norristhorpe but are now at high school. I like to keep busy and from previous work within a florist, love to do flower arranging and crafting. I also like to keep busy by attending fitness classes, walking, seeing friends and family as well as visiting new places for days out.
I thoroughly enjoy my job at Norristhorpe and am keen to work with the Governing Body on the school’s journey to be ‘Outstanding’.

Haley Hall

Haley Hall, Parent Governor

  • Current Term - 13.12.2018 to 12.12.22
  • Standards and Effectiveness Committee, Looked After Children, Safeguarding and Child Protection

I am a mother of two, my eldest child is now well into her school journey, she is thriving and loving her school life here at Norristhorpe. I have a few years yet until I have to start applying for schools for my baby however Norristhorpe will be our preference. 

I started my journey as a Governor at Norristhorpe at the same time my daughter started school, it was important to me for us to experience these journeys together. 

Having reflected on my working experiences I felt it would be beneficial to the school to share my skills, experience and knowledge around Safeguarding and Child Protection resulting in me putting myself forward for the role of Parent Governor. 

I have worked for West Yorkshire Police for 14 years, throughout this time I have specialised in Safeguarding, namely Adult Safeguarding, Missing Persons, Child Protection and I currently specialise in Modern Slavery investigations. 

I have ample experience of working together with external agencies, information sharing, protecting vulnerable persons and regularly making risk averse decisions. 

I enjoy working with children and thrive to achieve the best for them. 

I was lucky enough to be awarded the Adams McGill award which was a force wide nomination under the category of Protection of Vulnerable Persons. This was a huge achievement. 

My work has seen me working closely with schools and children with different ability levels.  I have good knowledge of Special Educational Needs and have worked closely with Social Services and Looked After Children. 

I feel it is important to have a good work and home life balance.  Out of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  I have a keen interest in Netball and play for a number of local leagues and also the West Yorkshire Police Team. 

I am enjoying this new challenge as a Governor and am continuously learning.   


Cheryl Boulton, Parent Governor

  • Current Term - 22.7.19 to 21.7.23
  • Standards and Effectiveness Committee, Staff Dismissal Committee, Wellbeing Governor

I am a mum of two girls who both attend Norristhorpe school. I am delighted to be involved from both a parent and Governor perspective. My reason for applying to be a Parent Governor was to offer my support to the school to achieve its goals and core values. I have seen these first hand in the Look and Learn sessions I attended last year and look forward to this year with my youngest daughter. One of the key things I tell my girls in all that they do, is to have a go and if something doesn’t work out as they expected, it is ok! I love seeing them find out and discover new things and develop as they do so. I really believe the school drives this and want to use my experience and support to help this continue. 

I have worked for a large bank for over 12 years in Change Management roles. In my role as a Project Manager, I am responsible for the overall ownership and delivery of solutions to resolve or improve business issues. I like to get under the skin of a problem and ask questions to look for alternative solutions to better benefit the customer and the business. 

In my spare time I enjoy reading, both myself and with the girls. I spend as much time  as possible with my immediate family (my husband and the girls) and our new puppy Jennie, who is keeping us very active and on our toes! I also enjoy catching up with friends and going to the gym. We try to visit our family as often as possible who are spread out all over the country.

I am looking forward to challenging myself in the role as Parent Governor and being part of the continual growth of the school.


Di New pic 2021(1)

Diane McConnell, Chair, Co-Opted Governor

  • Current Term - 24/11/2021 - 23/11/2025
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee (chair), Resources Committee,  Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Attendance

I started my teaching career in a Manchester comprehensive school in 1975. After returning to Liversedge in the early 1980s I began teaching mathematics at Liversedge Secondary School, which later became Spen Valley High School. In 2001 I became Deputy Headteacher and remained at the school until I retired in 2016. After retiring I spent two summers on a small Greek island looking after my young grandson, Brodie, while my daughter worked as a hotel manager.

I retain a strong interest in education and the teaching of mathematics in particular, and Norristhorpe is special to me as my two children attended the school in the 1980s.

My other interests include walking, travel, knitting, reading, theatre and ballet and spending time with family and friends, especially my grandson.

Vicky Shea(2)

Vicky Shea, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term 28.3.21 to 27.3.25
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee​ (Chair)

This is my second experience of being on a Governing Body, as I was a Staff Governor at my previous school.

I am Assistant Headteacher of Lower School, which means that I lead Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. I am also an SLE (Specialist Leader in Education) for Initial Teacher Training and Newly Qualified Teachers. I am also a a Key Stage 1 Moderator for the Local Authority.

I thoroughly enjoy working at Norristhorpe and as a Governor and teacher I am keen to make sure the school continues its journey from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’.

I have previously taught at Millbridge J, I & N School, Crossley Fields J & I School, where I was Year 2 Leader and spent time as Acting Assistant Head teacher and more recently Crowlees J & I School where I was English Co-ordinator.

Outside of school I love spending time with my family and friends, going out for meals and shopping.

Kay Newton(1)

Kay Newton, Observer

  • Resources Committee

I have been the School Business Manager at Norristhorpe since April 2014, the third school I have held the position in. My background prior to this is in Financial Services in private industry. I am proud to be part of the team at Norristhorpe and enjoy working alongside our Governors to ensure that every Norristhorpe child receives a first class education.

Outside of school I am a mother of three, all sporty, and so spend a large part of my free time supporting them in their interests. When not at the side of a pitch of some description, I love to travel and enjoy cooking and entertaining.

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell, LA Governor

  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee, SEND Governor
  • Current Term 29.01.20 to 29.01.24

I have been a primary school teacher for five years now and in that time I have seen the new National Curriculum and Ofsted frameworks being published and implemented in schools. Being a governor, to me, is a way of giving something back to the local community - it’s interesting. I like that I can see how the school is run from the side of management. I also enjoy being part of the decision processes that affect practitioners like myself. I aim to be the independent ‘teacher voice’ within governing body. In my current school, I work in a few areas such as music and initial teacher training and so hope to bring my experience to the table.

Returning as a governor to Norristhorpe means that I can once again take part in meetings that will, ultimately, further develop the education of Norristhorpe children. I look forward to being part of this great school.


Katrina Money, Co-opted Governor

  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee
  • Current Term 29.1.20 to 29.1.24

I am just entering my 5th year of co-opted Governor for Norristhorpe School albeit I had a 6 month break from the role.  I started when my eldest daughter was at the school and my youngest has now moved on to secondary school. 

My main reason for becoming a governor was to support the school in providing the best education for all the children including my own.  I felt I could offer the school a professional viewpoint using my own experiences from outside of the educational department.

I have worked for the Police Force for 18 years in various roles from dispatching, training, customer service manager to the role I am currently in as Performance Management specialist. I also hold qualifications and experience in Facilitation, coaching and mentoring as well as teaching adults.

In my spare time I love spending time with family and friends, travelling, reading and visiting the cinema and theatre as well as Pilates and swimming.




Ashley Smith, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 4/7/2019 to 3/7/2023
  • Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Resources Committee, 

I have been delighted to serve Norristhorpe as a Governor, firstly as an elected Parent Governor (2014) and more recently as a Co-opted Governor.

I initially joined when my son was in Year 1. I could see the great work the school was already doing and wanted to try and support it in any way I could. I felt with my professional experience I could offer a different perspective on matters which would benefit the school.

I am currently a Senior Operations Manager at the University of York, where I manage a number of sports and leisure facilities for both student and public use. My strengths relate to facilities management, finance, health & safety and HR matters. I am also a regional board member of CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity).

Outside of my work and governor commitments I am a keen sports enthusiast and follow most sports, particularly Rugby League. I also like to cook, going to see stand up comedians and taking part in quizzes (in 2017 I captained a winning team on BBC2's Eggheads).

Linda Shaw(1)

Linda Shaw, Deputy Headteacher, Observer

In my role as Deputy Headteacher I attend Governor meetings as an observer. I have had considerable experience of working with Governing Bodies during my teaching career and would like to say that the Governing Body here at Norristhorpe is the most enthusiastic, supportive and challenging one I have worked with. I work closely with the Headteacher and the Governing Body to support school on our journey to 'outstanding'

Outside school, I am often to be found indulging in my hobby of 4 X 4 off road trialling in my purpose built Land Rover.

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