The Governing Body of Wolviston Primary School is made up of nine members of the local community. Collectively governors are responsible for the strategic management of the school, setting the school vision and policy framework and the school budget and to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school. Members of the Governing Body meet at least twice per term to make sure that all decisions are in the best interest of the pupils.

The Head Teacher, who is also a member of the Governing Body, is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the school and provides professional advice and support to the Governing Body. 

The work of the Governing Body focuses on:

  • helping the school set high standards by planning for the future and setting targets for continual improvement.
  • working with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review.
  • exercising its responsibilities in partnership with the Head Teacher and staff.
  • making the school accountable to the public for what it does.
  • helping the school respond to the needs of the parents and community.
  • being a critical friend to the school offering support and advice.

Any parent, with a child in the school, can become a parent governor if there is a vacancy. Parents will be notified when an election is to take place. Governor’s training is provided for governors by the Academy Trust, the school and the local authority which will equip them with the necessary skills to robustly challenge the school.

NameGovernor TypeTerm of Office
Mr H. BeckwithCo-opted Governor01/10/2018 – 30/09/2022
Miss H. BigerstaffParent Governor01/10/2018 – 30/09/2022
Mrs M. FootCo-opted Governor05/09/2019 – 04/09/2023
Mrs S. HawesHead Teacher01/01/2021 – ongoing
Mrs D. HenryParent Governor01/10/2018 – 30/09/2022
Mrs G. ThirlawayCo-opted Governor01/10/2018 – 30/09/2022
Mr G. ThirlawayCo-opted Governor28/03/2019 – 27/03/2023
Mrs K. WhiteParent Governor01/10/2018 – 30/09/2022
Mrs J. WhitehillStaff Governor01/10/2018 – 30/09/2022

Mr H. Beckwith

I joined the Governing Body of Wolviston Primary in December 2000 and became Chair of Governors in November 2011. As chair of governors, I have a particular responsibility for safeguarding and I am the Health and Safety governor.   I thoroughly enjoy my regular visits to their classes and events in the school. I meet regularly with other Governors, the Headteacher, Staff and pupils.  I also provide the school with a voice on the Academy trust Board.

I was brought up in Billingham, but I spent most of my working life in the Royal Navy.  Since leaving the Navy I had various roles but finished my working life in Further Education.  I am married to June, and we have two grown up children who both attended Wolviston Primary. Both my wife and I are now retired.

In my spare time I enjoy trying to keep fit, walking, watching rugby and gardening. I have recently been licensed as a Lay Reader in the Church of England and I am involved with Billingham Team Parish. 

I love being a part of Wolviston Primary and will continue to work hard with staff to ensure that our pupils have the best possible opportunities to succeed, to provide them with the best possible start in their education and to give them a solid foundation for their future.

Miss H. Biggerstaff

Mrs M. Foot

I’ve been a parent governor for two years at Wolviston and chose to participate primarily to be more closely involved in the education my son is receiving but also, as an education professional, to offer my support to the school in that capacity.

I grew up in Marske-by-Sea and moved to the Wolviston area in 2012. The people of Billingham have been wonderfully welcoming, I’ve made great friends and I’m proud to be part of the community.

I work as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sunderland where I teach and research Education and specialise in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages. I was previously a secondary school Art teacher in Middlesbrough for twelve years after which I spent some time travelling and re-training in Barcelona before entering the world of higher education. My interests are in art, travel and culture but being ‘Mum’ is the best.

Being a parent governor has given me a profound insight into the complexities and delights of running a small school like Wolviston that is striving to and succeeding in being a fantastic place to learn.

Mrs S. Hawes

I have been a teacher for over twenty-seven years, teaching across the primary age range in a range of schools, including those of different sizes and contexts. I strongly believe in a child-centred approach, where consistency, praise, encouragement yet challenge are key. All children are unique and it is an absolute privilege, to lead Wolviston Primary School as Head Teacher. In my role I aim to inspire, enthuse, motivate and nurture all pupils, staff and governors. I am passionate, dedicated and driven by my core values that include honesty, respect and integrity. As a school and community, I believe we can achieve excellence and I am committed to ensuring that children who attend Wolviston Primary have the highest standard of education.

I am a firm believer in providing an ambitious, broad curriculum where talents can develop and shine in a nurturing, happy and safe environment. My ambition is for all our children to become inquisitive, global citizens who are well prepared for their journey into our ever-changing world.

As Head Teacher I work very closely with the governing body. In their role as ‘critical friends’, governors offer their full support and challenge in order to ensure that together we achieve our school vision of ‘Small School, Big Dreams: Learning, Caring, Succeeding…together’.

Mrs D. Henry

Mrs G. Thirlaway

I have been a Governor at Wolviston Primary School for over seven years. I have a close affinity with the school as my eldest grandson was a pupil until 2011and Head Boy in his Y6 year. My eldest granddaughter attended Wolviston School from Nursery until Y5 before moving on to her new school.

As grandparents my husband and I attended numerous events held at the school and have marvelled at the professionalism of the staff and the enthusiasm of the children. Being a governor is hugely rewarding especially during the transition from a Local Authority school to Academy status but it has also provided me with the opportunity see the hard work of the excellent staff who have given all of the children who attend the school a well- grounded, focused education and have continued to do so during the exceptionally hard times of the last 18 months.

I started my working career in the late 60’s with County Durham Library Service where I was given the opportunity to continue gaining my qualifications. I continued through the reorganisation of county boundaries from Co Durham to Teesside, Teesside to Cleveland and finally Cleveland to Stockton Library Service from where I retired almost eight years ago.

I worked in a number of schools during my working life on numerous projects, some in partnership with Oasis and Surestart. I ran children’s and teenage Reading Groups, presented certificates at school assemblies, became a Storyteller and visited school on reading days, World Book Day and I have been a part of the team working at the National Children’s Book Festival whenever I have had the opportunity. I have also worked with dementia groups and a number of groups who work with vulnerable adults.

Since retirement I have become a member of Wolviston WI, renewed my enthusiasm for knitting by joining St Peter’s “In Stitches” group, become part of the team hosting a Praise and Play pre-school Christian service held at St Peter’s church each Friday and most recently I have become a Steering Committee member of the Tees Valley Village Halls Network. Committee.

I still consider being a school governor at Wolviston an honour and a privilege as it is a truly outstanding and caring school which is very much at the heart of the village community. I will challenge decisions if I feel the need to and to support the staff as they endeavour to provide our children with the education, life skills and confidence to reach their full potential as they face up to today’s challenges. To be a Governor at Wolviston School is a challenge I am immensely proud to accept

Mr G. Thirlaway

I have lived in Billingham since 1969 and currently reside on Wolviston Court Estate. I grew up in a County Durham pit village during the 1950s and 60s in a home where education was seen as a way out of a life spent facing the dangers of working underground. A lifelong affection for Sunderland AFC also made its way into my DNA around this time. I qualified as a teacher in 1969 and retired in 2005. My 36 years of teaching experience was gained in primary schools in the Stockton and Billingham area and included eighteen years as a deputy head teacher and almost two years as an acting head teacher.

I am a co-opted governor at Wolviston but I have a close affinity with the school as two of my six grandchildren have attended the school and as grandparents my wife and I have done our best to support the school in whatever way we can. It’s probably this family connection that makes being a governor at Wolviston seem so special-there is a definite feeling of wanting to do something to repay all the hard work and excellent teaching that has been focused on our grandchildren. I like to think that there is more to it than this however and I glean a great deal of satisfaction from being a member of a really good team comprised of hard working, diligent staff and really committed governors whose aim is to make the school the best it can be for the people who really count-the children!

The role of a governor is not particularly easy as our current education system is very much focused on results and this can exert considerable pressure on both staff and children. At Wolviston I feel that the staff and governors want the children to achieve their full potential but not just with regard to test scores. They also want them to enjoy school and to be the recipients of a fully rounded education. Towards this end I find it particularly pleasing to note the way in which the school engages with outside agencies in order to broaden the range of learning experiences available to the children.

I also feel that I am aided in my role as a governor by the insight I am given into the workings of the local community by being a communicant member of the congregation of St Peter’s Church, Wolviston where I am involved in reaching out to family groups through our Praise & Play Friday Services and our monthly child friendly Second Sunday Services. I also represent St Peter’s on The Billingham Team Parish Church Council and at meetings of the Stockton Deanery Synod. I have found the skills needed to fulfil these roles to be invaluable in complementing and supporting my efforts to fulfil my duties as a governor of Wolviston Primary School.

Finally, I would like to say that I consider it to be an honour and a privilege to be a governor at Wolviston – it is so rewarding to be in the company of people who are determined to ensure that the school is a place that celebrates the positive joy of education for its own sake and influences children to become lifelong learners!

Mrs K. White

Mrs J. Whitehill

Governor Attendance Record 2020-2022

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