School Governors have a varied and important role.
The governor role is strategic rather than operational. Governors don’t get involved with the day to day running of a school, instead supporting and challenging the school’s leadership team to drive forward school improvement.
“As stated in the DfE’s Governance Handbook, the responsibilities of the governing body are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent”
Term of Office
Ex-officio by virtue of office as Head Teacher
Chair of Governors / Co-opted
06/07/22 – 05/07/26
16/04/21 – 15/04/25
27/01/21 – 26/01/25
08/12/21 – 07/12/25
08/12/21 – 07/12/25
01/09/23 – 31/08/26
05/07/23 – 04/07/26
01/09/23 – 31/08/26
Mr Scott Rowland; Chair of Governors / Co-opted Governor
I've been honoured to serve on the Governing Body since my election as a parent governor in 2018. My dedication to the role was recognised when I became the Chair of Governors in December 2021.
Over the past 16 years, I've led and developed small businesses, implemented strategies, and fostered growth. This journey has taught me how to pinpoint key success factors, streamline complex issues, and apply commercial insight. These skills stem from my 26 years of management experience across various sectors, including hospitality, live events, and creative services.
What drives me is the opportunity to make a positive difference in people's lives. As a father of three, my youngest child, Oskar, is currently in Year 6 at our school. My older children, Ida and Felix, are now at secondary school, having also attended Parkhead.
I strongly believe in the core ethos of Parkhead and am committed to ensuring we provide the best possible experiences for all our pupils and staff.
Miss Karen Ward; Co-opted Governor
I have worked in education for just over 3 years now, as a secondary school teacher and as a tutor and have recently joined the governing body of Parkhead Primary school. I am passionate about helping children achieve their best through education, and I also really value wellbeing in education. I am looking forward to supporting the children and staff at Parkhead Primary School.
Mrs Sophie Leach; Co-opted Governor / Deputy Head Teacher
I have been a member of staff at Parkhead Community Primary School since 2007, at first as the 5/6 Phase Leader and then as Deputy Head since 2016. I have been a member of the Governing Body since 2017. It is my job to work alongside Mrs Chard; Head Teacher to report back to governors on a whole range of areas. As part of my role as Deputy Head, I am English lead and I enjoy working with the other members of the governing body to ensure we provide a curriculum, which is engaging, challenging and inspiring. I love working with the pupils, families and staff in our community and aim, through the work of the governing body, to continue to make Parkhead a place where children can learn, thrive and become the best they can be.
Rev Alison Stewart Smith; Co-opted Governor
I was born and raised in Northumberland and worked in various roles in education before training to become a priest in the Church of England. I became the priest-in-charge of the parishes of Ryton and Winlaton in February 2020 and was co-opted onto the governing body of Parkhead Primary School in December 2021. Having worked variously as a Modern Languages teacher, a teaching assistant and in school administration, I am passionate about education and the opportunities it gives to all children. I am looking forward to becoming part of the school community as a governor and getting to know and supporting our wonderful staff and students.
I am married to Richard who works in IT and sound engineering. In my spare time I am a keen musician and I enjoy playing in a ceilidh band and singing, I love dancing and my two cats, and I spend most of my time off trying to subdue the overgrown Rectory garden!
Mrs Michelle Thompson; Parent Governor
I have been a governor at Parkhead for many years and I feel very privileged to say that my daughter attends this fantastic school and is thriving! I wanted to become a governor to simply give something back to the school that has offered so much to my child throughout her tenure here.
I have a background in education having previously worked in a secondary school as a PE teacher. I predominantly have a sporting background and, alongside my PE degree, have completed other qualifications. These include an FA level 1 coaching badge, boxercise instructor training and, most recently, a boogie bounce course. I am fortunate enough to be employed by the school to deliver boogie bounce sessions to many of the children through curriculum PE, breakfast club and after school club. Alongside this, I often run an after-school football club for our pupils.
Throughout my tenure as a governor, I have involved myself in many aspects of school life, most notably supporting reading across the school. I am also the chair of a charity that has recently been registered, named SPLAT, to work alongside the school in raising funds to further support Parkhead’s learners to achieve and thrive! It also provides a great way to help foster good relationships with other parents/carers and the wider community.
I am very proud to be a governor here and just like every parent at Parkhead Community Primary School, I want the very best for my child and feel it advantageous that I can bring a parents’ perspective to governing body meetings. I feel it is important that every child at Parkhead is happy, safe, confident and strives to become the very best they can be. I believe strongly in the core values of Parkhead Community Primary School and am fully committed to ensuring that all children and staff get the best experience possible.
Councillor Julie Simpson; Local Authority Governor
I am proud of having served Parkhead Primary School for over a decade, seeing it go from strength to strength.
I serve as a local ward councillor, hold a number of national roles, and am a former local government manager, having served as a school governor in the area for 25 years.
I have been chair of governor for two schools, and vice chairperson for 1 school, also having supported some schools through special measures.
Delivering a first class education to our local children is what motivates me to be a school governor. Education, free at the point of delivery, everyone being treated equally. Local schools play a pivotal role in the wider community, through their links working with the local libraries, community centres, church and uniform groups. Many families seek valued support from their local school, including having the choice for their children to receive an affordable hot nutritional meal.
It is important to me, that everyone gets the best start in life, and this is why I am a school governor.
Mr Keith Hill; Parent Governor
I'm Keith Hill, a freelance musician with a passion for Cuban percussion, vibraphone, piano, and the drum kit. Over the past twenty years, I've had the pleasure of performing in over twenty countries. I also compose music for dance, short films, and street theatre.
My educational journey took me to Cuba, where I studied both religious and secular music, and to Ireland, where I honed my skills on the jazz vibraphone. I also hold a BA in Music.
For the last fifteen years, I've been a resident musician at Dance City, playing for their CAT, BTECH, and Degree programmes, and even teaching on occasion. In addition, I serve as a peripatetic music teacher for the Gateshead music service.
Calling all community-minded individuals!
Parkhead Community Primary School is seeking a dynamic and dedicated individual to join our team as a Co-opted School Governor. 🏫
Are you passionate about education and the future of our children? Do you want to give back to your community and help shape the direction of our school? This is your chance to make a real difference. 👩🎓👨🎓
As a Co-opted School Governor, you'll play a vital role in ensuring the highest standard of educational achievement for all pupils. You will work closely with other board members to set the school's vision and strategic direction, hold the headteacher to account for educational performance, and ensure the school's money is well spent. 💼
We're looking for someone who:
- Has an interest in and commitment to improving education for all pupils
- Can think strategically and contribute to effective decision making
- Has good independent judgement and the ability to work as part of a team
- Can commit to attending six full governing body meetings per year
Previous experience in education or governance is not necessary as full training will be provided. What matters most is your enthusiasm, your commitment, and your passion for our school and its community. 👍
If you're ready to take up this rewarding role, we want to hear from you! Please email your expression of interest to enquiries@ParkheadPrimary.org
Join us on this exciting journey and help us shape the future of Parkhead Community Primary School! 🌟
Note: This is a voluntary role. Parkhead Community Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.