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Governing Body Pen Portraits


Meet the Governing Body


Jill Knowles, Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor

  • Current term - 19/1/2016 to 18/1/2020
  • Resources Committee, Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Staff Dismissal Appeal Committee,  Complaint Committee.

I have been a member of the Governing body for over 5 years and was previously Vice Chair.  I live locally and     my daughter attended Norristhorpe until very recently now moving up to High School.  I have spent 5 years supporting the school in its growth and development and am very proud of where we are now and where we are going.

Outside Norristhorpe, I have worked in Surestart Children's Centres as a finance manager, and more recently as a School Business Manager in another Kirklees primary school.  I try and bring some of my professional knowledge and expertise into my role as a governor.  In the little spare time I have, I love spending time with my family, cooking and baking and I adore my 2 Border Terrier dogs.

Natalie McDermott(1)

Natalie McDermott, Vice Chair, Parent Governor

  • Current Term - 9/7/2015 to 8/7/2019
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee,  Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Staff Dismissal Committee

At the time of joining the governing body my son had recently started in reception and I knew that the school was going to be to a large part of my life for the next 10 years, so when a vacancy arose for a parent governor I decided to put myself forward in March 2011.  I have found the role to be very rewarding and enjoyable so far, spending time in school and using the skills and experience I have from my work outside of school to further enhance the school to the benefit of the children. I now have a son and a daughter who are both at the school. Outside of school much of my time is spent with my family, and we enjoy being outdoors and spend many of our weekends walking in the hills and fells.


Donna Ellis, Parent Governor

  • Current Term - 21/1/2014 to 20/1/2018
  • Resources Committee (Chair) & RE Governor, Staff Dismissal Committee

I have a son and a daughter who are both at the school. My main reason for applying to be a parent governor was to actively contribute my time, professional skills and parental experience to help the school and the pupils continue to improve and develop. I’vie been part of the Governing Body since November 2013. During that time I’ve attended half termly full Governors meetings, Resources committee meetings and have met with teaching staff to discuss Special Education Needs (SEN) and Religious Education (RE) provision within our school. It is a very rewarding and enlightening role allowing opportunities to provide support and challenge to the Leadership Team as appropriate.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family, Zumba and visiting the theatre.

HT CL(1)

Claire Lyles, Head Teacher, Ex-Officio Governor

  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee, Resources Committee,

This is my second experience of being on a Governing Body as I attended all meetings and committees at my previous school where I was Deputy and, later, Acting Headteacher.  As a teacher I have taught across the school and have led most subjects and phases. 

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 enjoy shopping, eating out and renovating my home; my husband and I bought a derelict house and have completely converted it into our new home.  Each Monday evening I lead 19th Batley Guides (Hanging Heaton) with my sister, Paula.  We take the Guides on various trips and camps in this country and abroad. 

Adrian Cresswell

Adrian Cresswell, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 2017 to 2021
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee

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 a was a teacher for 34 years and retired this Easter. 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 Head of Brighouse High School. Both my children are History graduates. My eldest son Joseph is a corporate lawyer in the City of London. Sean is currently doing a Masters degree and is a well known DJ in Hull. 

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. 

Mark Pollard

Mark Pollard, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 2017 to 2021
  • Standards & Effectivness Committee

It's a pleasure to be a member of the governing body at Norristhorpe. I have been a governor at another local primary school since 2007 where I also serve as Chair of Governors. This means I can bring experience and also share learnings across the schools which can be of enormous benefit. 

I'm married to Catherine and have 4 children in high school and college. I'm a Director of Customer Experience and I have a background in communication.


Katrina Money, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 1/9/2015 to 31/8/2019
  • Resources Committee, Staff Dismissal Committee, Governor Discipline Committee, Complaints Committee

I have been a Governor  at Norristhorpe Junior and Infant school for over 2 years. I have 2 daughters at the school, 1 in Year 5 and 1 in Year 2 so knew I would have a lot of years being involved with the school and thought that I could offer my skills to assist the school by joining the Governing Body.

I have seen a lot of changes in the years that my eldest child has been at this school but also from when I was a student here. We now have an excellent management team who are fully dedicated to every child.   I hope to assist the Governors and the school to gain the recognition it deserves in being judged an outstanding school.

At present I work for West Yorkshire police and have done for 13 years where I achieved my Certificate in Education (Cert ED) prior to that worked my way up from being a trainee travel agent to managing the Heckmondwike and Ossett Stores.

Outside of work and school I love spending time with my family and friends, including days out, theatre and holidays including the odd camping trip whenever possible.

AH VS(1)

Vicky Shea, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term 2017 to 2021
  • Standards & Effectivness Comiittee​

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

It is my first year at Norristhorpe and I am thoroughly enjoying my role as Assistant Head teacher of Lower School. The staff, children and parents have made me feel very welcome. I am looking forward to working with everyone in our school community to achieve our goal of being ‘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.

BM KN(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.

Ian Moody(1)

Ian Moody, Staff Governor

  • Current Term - 2017 to 2021
  • Resources Committee

I have been in teaching for more than 25 years. I started my teaching career in Bradford, before moving on to do supply work. Prior to this I was an Industrial Research Chemist. I began teaching at Norristhorpe as a supply teacher and have been here since 2009.

This is my first time serving as a school governor, although I have served on other committees within education and on the School Appeals Panel. I consider teacher representation on the Governing Body to be really important and this is why I have put myself forward for this role. I am really pleased to be a part of the continuing success story here at Norristhorpe.

Outside of school I consider family time important and love to start each day with an early morning swim.

Danielle Fisher 2

Danielle Fisher, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term 2017 to 2021
  • Resources Committee

I am the Inclusion Manager at Orchard Primary Academy and have a keen interest in Safeguarding, behaviour and extra curricular activities. I started volunteering at Chickenley Community School when I was just 18 years old. I have been with the school for the last 6 years, starting as a casual staff member, then becoming a support staff member, and then as a cover supervisor for 2 years. I completed HLTA training during this period and was successful in gaining my current position of Inclusion Manager in November 2014. I am a staff governor at Orchard Academy, and felt the next step was to branch out to Norristhorpe when the vacancy arose. I am very passionate about all children being able to reach their full potential. Before joining education, I completed a childcare course and A Levels in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy.

Outside of school, I enjoy watching rugby, swimming and visiting friends and family.


Ashley Smith, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 1/9/2015 to 31/8/2019
  • Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Resources Committee

I am delighted to have been recently appointed as a Governor at Norristhorpe Junior and Infant School.

With my son being in Year 1, I wanted to try and be as involved as much as possible including supporting the school develop and achieve its goals and ambitions. I can hopefully do this by offering my support through the governing body.

I believe my professional experience will help me in this exciting new role. I am currently an 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, health & safety and HR matters.

Outside of my work and governor commitments I am a keen sports enthusiast. I follow most sports, particularly Rugby League (I have been a season ticket holder at Bradford for over 25yrs). I also like to cook and enjoy going out to see comedians.

DH LS(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.

Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term 2017 to 2021
  • Standards & Effectivenes Committee, Resourses

I was born and raised in Batley and attended Margaret Clitherow Grammar School in Bradford before completing a BA in Combined Studies at Newcastle University.

I spent all my working life in retail and completed 29 years with Morrisons before retiring in 2014. I specialised in Human Resources with the last 14 years spent as Retail HR Director. This involved all aspects of HR including recruitment, training & development, remuneration & benefits, appraisals, union negotiations, hygiene & health & safety. It was a company & job I loved and I hope that the skills & experience I gained will be useful to the school over the period of tenure.

I am pleased to have been appointed to Norristhorpe as I have 3 granddaughters at the school. I look forward to contributing to the ongoing success and high standards set by the school, its management team, teachers &  parents.

Jack Mitchell(5)

Jack Mitchell - Governor

  • Current Term 2017 - 2021

I am extremely pleased to have been appointed to the governing board of such a wonderful school. Working closely with the colleagues, helping Norristhorpe to achieve its aims and ethos, is an exciting job.

Currently, I am in post as an upper key stage 2 teacher in one of the largest schools in South Leeds. Being so passionate about my career and education, I wanted to be able to give something back to a school in my locality. Supporting the governing body, and helping the school and pupils achieve, is something I feel I can contribute to.

My career in education and my experience of the new primary national curriculum, will enable me to collaborate with the staff at the school to support in, and enhance the school’s objectives.

Outside of school, I have lead local youth organisations which gave me the direction into teaching. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

I look forward to working with the staff and pupils of Norristhorpe to help achieve that ‘Outstanding’ goal.