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Governing Body Pen Portraits


Meet the Governing Body

Jill Knowles(3)

Jill Knowles, Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor

  • Current term - 19/1/2016 to 18/1/2020
  • Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Pay Committee, Complaint Committee

I have just entered my 11th year as a governor at Norristhorpe and have been the Chair of governors for the last 3 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 have working experiences as a School Business Manager in another Kirklees primary school and more recently I have taken on the role of Internal Services Manager of a local charity supporting children’s mental and emotional health in Kirklees.   In the little spare time I have, I love spending time with my family, I enjoy cooking 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, Governor Discipline Committee, Pupil Premium Governor

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. My son has moved on to a local High School, my daughter is still a pupil 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, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 23.11.17 to 22.11.21
  • Resources Committee (Chair), Staff Dismissal Committee, Pay Committee, Equality Governor, SEND Governor

I have a daughter who did attend the school before moving onto a local High School and a son who is still a pupil 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.

Claire Lyles(2)

Claire Lyles, Head Teacher, Ex-Officio Governor ( Maternity Leave)

  • 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 - 16.3.2017 to 15.3.2021
  • Resources Committee, Staff Dismissal Appeal Committee, Governor Discipline 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 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. 

Haley Hall - Parent Governor Designate

  • Current Term - 13.12.2018 to 12.12.22
  • Committee - Standards and Effectiveness

I am a mother of one, my daughter has recently started at the School in class RW, having a child in school is a new experience to me which I am gradually getting used to.

My daughters school journey has just begun and I felt it was important to me to start this journey with her. Upon reflection of 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 almost 12 years, throughout this time I have specialised in Safeguarding, namely Child Protection, Adult Safeguarding and of late I have become specialised in Modern Slavery. 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 have a keen interest in the protection of vulnerable persons, I have of late been awarded the Adams McGill Award which was a force wide nomination under the category of Protection of Vulnerable Persons. My work has seen me working closely with schools and children with different levels of ability, I have good knowledge of Special Education Needs and have worked closely with Social Services around Looked After Children.

I feel it is important to have a good work and home life balance so out of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, I have a keen interest in Netball and play regularly for local teams and also for the Force team.

I am looking forward to joining the Governing Body, taking on a new challenge, becoming more involved with the school and assisting the school in making positive progress.

Diane McConnell

Diane McConnell, Co-Opted Governor

  • Current Term - 23/11/2017 - 22/11/2021
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee, LAC Governor, Safeguarding and Child Protection Governor

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.


Katrina Money, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 1/9/2015 to 31/8/2019
  • Standards and Effectiveness 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 a daughter at the school, and one who has now moved on to a local High School  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 was at the 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 16 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.

Vicky Shea(2)

Vicky Shea, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term 16.3.17 to 15.3.21
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee​

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) and 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.

Ian Moody(1)

Ian Moody, Staff Governor

  • Current Term - 16.3.2017 to 15.3.2021
  • 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.


Ashley Smith, Co-opted Governor

  • Current Term - 1/9/2015 to 31/8/2019
  • Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Resources Committee, Staff Dismissal Appeal Committee, Pay Committee, Sports Premium Governor

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 (2015-).

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 - Acting Head Teacher

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 16.3.2017 to 15.3.2021
  • Standards & Effectiveness Committee, Resources Committee, Complaints Committee, Pay Committee, Shadow SEND Governor

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.

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