The school is lucky to have a very proactive Governing Body. They carry out a very important job in supporting and challenging the school staff to continue to improve outcomes for children. They are a very strong team with a variety of skills. They work well together and have a shared commitment to continuing the journey together for the benefit of all our children in the future.
The tasks in which the governors are involved, particularly with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team, include:
- Developing a strategic plan for the school
- Determining school aims, policies and priorities
- Setting targets
- Monitoring and evaluating the work of the school
- Appointing staff
- Managing the budget
- Securing high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour
- Ensuring that all children have access to a broad, balanced and diverse curriculum
- Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff
- Ensuring the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff
The Resources Committee's work focuses on: staffing, buildings/premises and financial matters.
The Strategic Committee's work focuses on: overall provision/outcomes for pupils, self evaluation, school improvement, curriculum and policy review.
The Governing body may also appoint a Discipline, Complaints and Appeals Hearing Body if necessary.
We also have a Safety Management Team that reports to the Full Governing Body with regard to the management of Health and Safety and a Performance Management team that review the pay and appraisal policies and the performance of all staff.
Mr Barry Nelson
Chair of Governing Body - Resources Committee
I have been on the governing body at Ellington for over twenty years and I am proud to be the Chair. I was formally the chair of the PTA and have been involved with the school since my daughters attended many years ago.
I live locally and own my own business which sees me working in the village throughout the year! I help the school in any way that I can; through interviews, monitoring, meetings, maintenance, summer fairs and other community events. I am passionate about helping the children at Ellington be the best that they can be and have the very best start to their education.
Mrs Danielle Towers
Vice Chair of Governing Body - Safeguarding Lead - Strategic Committee
Following a degree in Psychology I began working in Secondary Education and I have done so for 15 years. Due to my current role as Head of Sixth Form and Careers, I am able to contribute many of the skills required to support the school in ensuring our children achieve their potential. I myself attended Ellington l and I have continued to live in the village for the majority of my adult life. As a result, I care greatly about the community the school serves and by taking on the role of Vice-Chair of Governors I can actively give something back. I am passionate about the education and opportunities that children receive and believe this is key to them making a successful transition to secondary school and beyond.
Mr Ian Redford
Curriculum Lead Governor - Strategic Committee
Following the completion of my BSc Honours degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science I completed my PGCE in Secondary Geography. Using a few years in between these major qualifications I explored the world and assist others less fortunate than myself. In 1999 I joined Thornhill school as an NQT gaining promotion over the next 17 years until I achieved headship in September 2017. At this point the school was acadamised into a newly formed trust where it slowly evolved into a school where the pupils were centric to everything we did.
During the last 22 years I became a parent governor in a Northumberland Primary school and used my educational knowledge and understanding to challenge and support the headteacher over a four-year term of office. I also took over the leadership of a local authority specialist educational unit in 2017 which supports pupils with anxiety and mental health issues. These issues often prevent pupils from accessing main stream education. I lead this unit over a 3-year period from Requires Improvement to Good under the new Ofsted framework in January 2020.
I have been the chair of a management committee for an independent school which supports pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues in Northumberland. This school faced many challenges over the two years I was chair, but has recently been taken over by a national charity and is now establishing itself as the lead education provider in the North East.
In October 2021 I decided to refocus my priorities and family life and am currently employed by another local City Council as a specialist in School organisation and Capital projects. A very different role to previous but one that enables me to support schools and create enhanced learning environments which allow children to enjoy their surroundings and their time in school.
Mrs Claire Tait
Mental Health Lead Governor - Strategic Committee
I live in Ellington and I have two children, one who attends Ellington Primary School and I was a pupil here many moons ago.
I work as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse within Northumberland’s 0-19 service. Within this role I specialise in safeguarding children, reducing inequalities through the promotion of health and well-being, delivering public health advice and supporting families and children with additional needs, health problems and mental health issues. I work closely with all health professionals, community support services and schools.
I have a particular interest in promoting the health and wellbeing of childrento ensure they have the best start in life, are happy and are given the best chance to thrive and meet their full potential.
I am relatively new to the role of School Governor, I enjoy being involved in the improvement of our school by supporting staff, sharing my experience and knowledge and helping the school to be involved within the community. I am very excited about the future of our school and the opportunities available to all of the pupils.
Mr Chris Roberts
Special Educational Needs Governor - Strategic Committee
I have recently taken up the opportunity to become a parent governor at Ellington Primary School and I am keen to support the school in any way that I can. My family moved to the village a couple of years ago from North Shields as we loved the idea of a more rural setting; Ellington seemed a wonderful place for us to put down roots. I have a son who attends Ellington Primary and a daughter who will be joining into early years soon.
In my professional life, I work as an Inclusion Coordinator at an all-through school (Reception to Year 13). I believe that every pupil should be challenged to excel at all they do through a high-quality education. I am passionate about ensuring that every child’s education is delivered in an environment where they are valued as an individual and that is why my family chose to send our children to our local school.
As part of my working role, I have Postgraduate Certificate National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination, a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA in Business Management with Sport. I qualified as a teacher through the Graduate Teacher Programme and have worked in education for twelve years.
Away from work, I enjoy sports playing and watching golf, football and tennis regularly.
I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to be a governor at Ellington Primary School and look forward to supporting the school in their journey.
Mr Derek Nickalls
I have been involved with Ellington Primary School for well over 30 years now as a parent and a governor. I work as part of the resources committee due to my career as an accountant. I want the best for the children at Ellington and work together with the other governors to ensure the school is always improving and moving forward.
Mr Dan McConville
Assistant Headteacher - Resources Committee
I am a Co-opted Governor at Ellington Primary School. I joined the governing body once I started working at the school in September 2022 as an Assistant Headteacher. I joined the Governing Body as I felt this would strengthen my ability to be a successful Assistant Headteacher at the school. Being on the Governing Body would also help in my ability to ensure all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
This role also appealed to me as it would allow me to support with the strategic planning and direction of the school. This would involve working with governors to develop the aims, policies and priorities. In addition, I hoped to gain experience of helping to manage school budgets as well as working with a governing body to aid with recruitment of staff.
Miss Louise Gray
Assistant Headteacher - Strategic Committee
I am Assistant Headteacher and Staff Governor, at Ellington Primary School. I started my role in September 2022 after being a senior leader in a Primary School in Bedlington. I have been teaching in Middle and Primary Schools for over 20 years - including schools in Blyth, Bedlington and Morpeth. I have coordinated various subjects including: science, maths, humanities and English and I have (almost!) taught in every year group within the Primary phase. At Ellington I lead on the curriculum and geography, history and science.
I took on the role of staff governor to help direct the school and provide our pupils with the best experiences and outcomes possible. I am passionate about education and preparing our children for Secondary School and beyond.
I live in Morpeth and have a son who is currently in Year 6. In my spare time I love to read and I'm always on the lookout for something new.
Mr Stuart Belshaw
Personal Development Governor - Strategic Committee
I am a parent governor for Ellington primary school and have been for the last few years. I decided to take up this role due to my daughter attending the school and wanted to be more involved in her education and the development in the school itself.
My family have close links to the school and community, as most of my family have previously attended the school and lived in the area, also being school governors.
I myself work as a civil servant and have done for 15 years. Within this role I have responsibilities for public protection, safeguarding and supporting people with their mental health.
I am dedicated to see that the school is heading in the right direction providing help and support to the children, as well as the best education possible.
Miss Louise Welsh
Pupil Premium Governor - Strategic Curriculum
I am delighted to be able to part of the governing body at Ellington Primary School. With over 20 years experience in education, I am a strong advocate for inspiring children to learn in a nurturing and inclusive environment and I believe the ethos and culture of the school plays an important part in that. I am currently a headteacher in a neighbouring local authority and I have a background in system leadership. Through this, I have vast experience in school improvement and providing challenge where needed as well as supporting in developing strategic direction.