Who are we? What do we do?
The Governors’ role is not about fundraising nor about cheer-leading for the school – although governors might well do these things! Their role is to provide strategic leadership and accountability in the school. This means they do not take decisions about the day to day running of the school but have a general responsibility for the effective management of the school. This includes involvement with the appointment of staff, finances, the curriculum and the school buildings.
Each governor is a member of the Governing Body. All decisions are those of the Governing Body as a whole and no governor can act independently of the rest of the Governing Body.
Much of the work of the Governing Body is done by committees which also usually meet twice a term with governors on the whole being a member of just one committee. At Pool we have the following committees:
Resources which includes Finance, Premises, Staffing, Health and Safety,
Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA)
Pupil Support which includes Foundation (Church)
The standard term of office for a governor is four years. Whilst the Governing Body may at times look for various specific skills, there are no particular qualifications or requirements, other than a willingness to give time and commitment to the role, undertake any necessary governor training and be able to work with others as a team – although an ability to question and analyse does help!
For more information on being a governor, please see the National Governornance Association
Who’s who …?
The Governing Body of Pool School:
Headteachers have an automatic right to a place on the Governing Body. At least one staff governor place should be available for an elected teacher. Staff governors may not chair the Governing Body meetings, or committees. Staff governors are only excluded from discussions of the salary and conditions of employment of other members of staff.
Sally Fox was appointed Headteacher at Pool in February 2015 after being Acting Headteacher for a year and Deputy Head since 2007. She qualified as a teacher from Middlesex University in 1997 and has taught across Rec/KS1 & KS2 in several schools. She was previously the Deputy Headteacher at Fieldhead Carr Primary School, Whinmoor. She has a son at a high school in the Bradford Authority.
Joanne Pellow (elected by the Local Authority) is the Chair of our Governing Body and the LA Representative. She trained and worked as a solicitor specialising in property development. She has lived in Pool since 1998. Joanne sits on the TLA and Resources committees and aims to make a positive contribution with her organisational and team management skills. (22/07/2011 - 22/07/2023. Joanne is now in her 3rd term of office)
Rachel Worsnop (elected by the staff) has worked at Pool CE Primary school since 2008 teaching in Year 3, Year 1 and Reception. She is the SENDCo and part of the Safeguarding team in school. She graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2001 with a degree in BA Early Years Education with QTS. Currently, she is completing her SENDCo qualification. She has 2 children and lives in Menston. (11/06/20 - 11/06/2024)
Alison Finlay (appointed by the Governing Body) is the school's Business Manager and is an Associate Member of the Governing Body. She has worked within the education authority and the Otley, Pool and Bramhope family of schools since 2004. She sits on, and has voting rights on, the Resources sub-committee. (30/09/2022 - 30/09/2023)
Richard Parker (appointed by the Governing Body) ('Mr P'), who sits on the Resources Committee, was a teacher at our school for 37 years, retiring in 2010. For 15 years, between 1995 and 2010, he was the Teacher Governor of the school and on retirement, was invited to be an Associate Governor until his current role of Co-opted Representative. Richard enjoyed every year of his teaching appointment at Pool CE School and his involvement in the broader community of Pool Village, moving to live in the village in 2001. He is Chair of the Pool Recreation Ground Management Committee (RGMC), Chair of the Pool Feast Committee, a Pool Parish Councillor and member of the congregation of Pool St Wilfrid's Parish Church. Richard is a frequent visitor to the school and since retiring has been pleased to accompany pupils and their teachers on residential visits. Apart from his activities within the village, Richard enjoys the cinema, choral singing, theatre, sport, walking and the company of his three grandchildren. (18/11/2018 - 30/11/2022)
Vikki Farrar (appointed by the Governing Body) is an Underwriting Delivery Manager with 30 years experience in financial services in insurance and IT software. She is a Prince 2 practitioner in project management and ITIL certified. Vikki is the vice-chair of our Governing Body and chairs the TLA Committee. (20/07/2020 - 20/07/2024)
Moira Keith is a Foundation Governor (appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education for the Diocese of Leeds): a retired Clinical Physiotherapy Manager for Neurosciences at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and now a Licensed Lay Minister in our local Benefice of Lower Wharfedale. She is part of the Pupil Support Committee and Foundation Governor Committee. (07/09/2021 - 06/09/2025. Moira is in her 4th term of office)
Helen Pratten (appointed by the Leeds Diocesan Board of Education) - Helen qualified as a primary school teacher in 1998 and has worked in a variety of schools in both teaching and leadership positions. She became Headteacher at a Church of England Primary School in Leeds in 2011 and is currently Co-CEO/Executive Principal at a Multi Academy Trust that serves schools across Leeds and Calderdale. As well as bringing educational knowledge and skills to the governing body, Helen also brings skills and experience in HR and finance. Helen is passionate about children receiving an education that develops the whole child, thus enabling them to ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). Helen has lived in Pool since 2006 with her husband and daughter (who attended Pool CE) and she is a member of the congregation at St Wilfrid’s Parish Church. (29/11/2019 - 28/11/2023)
Luisa Di Palma-Heath (appointed by the Governing Body) - Luisa is the Deputy Headteacher and Maths leader at Pool. She is an Associate member of the Governing Body. She has worked in Y5, Y6 and Y1 classes since joining the school in 2015, having taught at her previous school for 16 years. Luisa lives locally with her family and enjoys cycling, running and looking after her many pets! (30/09/2022 - 30/09/2023)
Joe Allen (appointed by the Governing Body) - Joe currently works in digital marketing within the independent education sector and has previously worked at multiple universities in roles covering student recruitment, widening participation and admissions. Joe has been also been a governor at a local secondary school for just over two years and joined Pool's Governing Body in 2021, interested in applying his skills and experience within the primary phase of education.
(03/02/2021 - 03/02/2025)
Alex Allen (elected by the Parents) - Alex
sits on the IT Services Senior Leadership team at Leeds Beckett University. This department of c130 are responsible for the provision, development, and support of digital technologies for approximately 2200 staff and 24,000 students. Alex has a passion for developing people and processes and, through continual service improvement activities, has led their service desk to achieve the highest international SDI certification of any university service desk. Holding a BSc in Music Technology and Audio systems, Alex has just completed a Master of Business Administration degree with distinction and is looking forward to using the skills and knowledge developed to help govern the school. Alex is a Pool resident with two young sons and with a passion for sport, he combines the two to help coach his son’s football team at the weekend. (11/11/2022 - 11/11/2026)
Andrew Riley (elected by the Parents) -
Andew is a chartered accountant and works as a corporate finance director at a large accountancy firm, advising clients on acquisitions and disposals of businesses. Prior to training as an accountant, he completed a PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Hull. Andrew has lived in Pool since 2012 and has two young children. Andrew's other interests include tennis and cycling. (11/11/2022 - 11/11/2026)
Claire Kirk (appointed by the Governing Body) -
Claire is an HR professional and has worked in the NHS for over 18 years. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and is currently working in Cyber Security for NHS England, leading on how the NHS attracts and retains top cyber talent. Claire lives locally with her husband and 2 children, and outside work enjoys running and baking. (13/07/2023 - 13/07/2027)
Pat Morrison-Gray (30/09/2022 - 30/09/2026) - resigned August 2023
Register of Interests
Rev. Craig Marshall (18/06/2020 - 18/06/2030) - Resigned February 2023, due to relocation
Susy Rhodes (03/02/2022 - 03/02/2026) - Resigned September 2022
Sally Fox, Luisa Di Palma-Heath, Rachel Worsnop and Alison Finlay are members of staff.
Helen Pratten is Co-CEO/Executive Principal for Abbey Multi Academy Trust which is a diocesan Trust, is a governor at Christ Church Upper Armley CE Primary School (since Sept 2018) and a Trustee at The Tutor Trust (since September 2021).
Joe Allen is a co-opted governor at Lawnswood School.
To enable our Governors to be an active part of our school and well-known to our pupils, they are assigned to classes and stay with that class throughout their school journey at Pool. The Governors often come into school to work alongside the children; accompany them on school trips and attend class and whole school assemblies or Collective Worship.
Rec Governors: Claire Kirk
Y1 Governor: Joe Allen
Y2 Governors: Moira Keith
Y3 Governors: Joanne Pellow and Andrew Riley
Y4 Governors: Alex Allen
Y5 Governors: Richard Parker and Vikki Farrar
Y6 Governor: Helen Pratten