School Community  »  Governors

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. In September 2019, Sally began studying for a Masters Degree in Education which focuses on research and evidence-based practice. She has a son in Y7 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 for 11 years teaching in Year 3, Year 1 and Reception. She leads computing in school and completed a middle leaders project last year which focused on developing this subject. She graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2001 with a degree in BA Early Years Education with QTS. Currently, she is completing a course in Understanding Mental Health. 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. (30/09/2020 - 30/09/2021) 

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)

Moira Keith (appointed by, what was, the Ripon Diocesan Board of Education) recently retired after being a Clinical Physiotherapy Manager for Neurosciences at Chapel Allerton Hospital. She is also one of our Foundation Representatives, who is part of the Pupil Support Committee. (01/09/2017 - 31/08/2021. Moira is in her 3rd term of office)

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)

Debbie Hillerby (appointed by the Governing Body) is a co-opted member of the Governing Body. She is currently School Business Manager at another Leeds Primary school and therefore brings to our Governing Body a wealth of experience in financial and HR procedures. She is also currently developing knowledge and skills in Health and Safety through the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). (08/02/21 - 08/02/25)

Pat Featherstone (appointed by the Governing Body) is a co-opted member of the Governing Body. She is a Registered Nurse who trained at St James’s Hospital Leeds and has a BSC (Hons) in nursing and an MA in Independent Healthcare practice. She has worked for many years in the NHS, most recently as a Deputy Director for Bradford PCT, commissioning services for people with very complex care needs and those at end of life. She also had responsibility for safeguarding adults and represented the PCT on the safeguarding adults citywide multi-agency committee. She is now working independently as a healthcare consultant and also as a Specialist Advisor for the Care Quality Commission (CQC). She has lived in Pool for six years with her husband and has two adult children and two grandchildren. (26/09/2018 - 30/09/2022)

Sarah Mallinson (elected by the Parents) Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2009. She trained with RSM in Leeds, and is now a Senior Manager in Audit. She works with a range of corporate clients but also specialises in the Charities and Education sector. Sarah has been an active member of the PTA and has a daughter in KS1. (01/01/2019 - 31/12/2023)

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 for 13 years 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)

Rev. Craig Marshall (appointed by the Leeds Board of Education) - Prior to becoming a parish priest in 2001, Craig was a primary school teacher. Over a twelve-year period, he taught in schools in London, Bristol and latterly in Wiltshire where his last teaching post was as head teacher of a rural school. He was ordained in Wells Cathedral in 2001 and following a curacy of three years, was appointed full time chaplain of King’s College Taunton. In 2006, he became rector of a six-parish benefice at the foot of the Quantock Hills. In 2014, he was appointed to another multi-parish benefice in Hampshire in the Winchester Diocese. Craig arrived in the Lower Wharfedale Benefice as rector in March 2020. He has served continually as a governor in a variety of schools for thirty years. He is married to Jane and has four adult children. He has a love of art and is a keen painter of abstract pieces. (18/06/2020 - 18/06/2030)

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! (18/11/2020 - 18/11/2021)

Sue O'Leary-Hall (elected by the Parents) -
Sue has twenty years’ teaching and leadership experience across both the maintained and independent sectors, having held posts including Head of Faculty, Head of Sixth Form, Director of Student Leadership and Director of Teaching and Learning (3-18).  She also holds a Master’s degree in Education and since 2017 has run Thesan Coaching and Training, working closely with school leaders, teachers, parents and pupils to drive improvement in pupil outcomes.  Sue has lived in Pool since 2010.  Her son, Will, is in Year One and her daughter, Rose, is approaching her second birthday. (17/12/2020 - 17/12/2024)

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)

Graham Hutton  (03/02/2021 - 03/02/2025) - Resigned July 2021

Jatinder Ubhi  (10/07/19 - 10/07/2023) - Resigned May 2021
John Welsh (01/01/2021 - 01/01/2025) - Resigned April 2021
Sarah Mather (18/09/19 - 30/09/2020) - Term ended.
Chris Walker (20/07/19 - 20/07/2023) - Resigned September 2020
Nicola Berry (10/07/19 - 10/07/2023) - Resigned September 2020
Sarah Parker (20/03/2019 - 20/03/2023) - Resigned July 2020

Register of Interests
Sally Fox, Luisa Di Palma-Heath, Rachel Worsnop and Alison Finlay are members of staff.
Debbie Hillerby's partner is the Director of Monks Security Ltd. She is not employed by or linked financially to this company in any way.  
Helen Pratten is co-CEO of a local Academy Trust.
Joe Allen is also on the Governing Body of a local high school.
Sue O'Leary-Hall is owner of Thesan Coaching & Training and has worked in our school to support pupils, staff and parents.

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: Joanne Pellow and Craig Marshall
Y1 Governor: Joe Allen
Y2 Governors: Richard Parker and Vikki Farrar
Y3 Governors: Helen Pratten and Sue O'Leary-Hall
Y4 Governors:  Debbie Hillerby and Sarah Mallinson
Y5 Governors: Pat Featherstone 
Y6 Governor:  Moira Keith
How to Contact a Governor

The school Governing Body is working hard in partnership with staff and parents to ensure that the school and pupils reach their full potential. We welcome constructive feedback and are keen to respond to any concerns.

If you wish to discuss your child, we would encourage you to speak directly with your child's class teacher, or with the Headteacher, in the first instance.

Some governors have children in the school and would be happy to be approached in the playground. The Governing Body is also represented at parents' evenings and school events. Alternatively, please ring the school office on 0113 2843151 and a message can be passed on.
Pool-in-Wharfedale CE Primary School Arthington Lane, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Otley, LS21 1LG