Highburton CE (VC) First School


Whilst the Headteacher has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school, the main function of the Governing Body is to act as a critical friend in order to secure a good education for the children in a safe environment. The task of the Governing Body is to provide the strategic leadership. It is responsible for the proper conduct of the school, the promotion of high standards and ensuring that the children attend a good school which provides a good education and promotes their overall development and well being.

The Governing Body meets at least five times a year and has three main Sub-Committees – Finance and Premises, Staffing and Welfare, and Curriculum and Standards. Involvement in the Governing Body provides a challenging and interesting way of being involved in children’s education. We work as a team and make raising educational standards a priority for the school.

Chair of the Governing Body


Instrument of Government

Click here for the Code of Conduct for School Governing Boards (NGA) 

Click here   for Register of Business Interests.

Click here for a Governor Visit and Monitoring Sheet.

Click here for a Policy for Scheme for payment of Expenses to Governors and Associate Members Highburton C E (VC) First School.

Click here for the Terms of Reference Curriculum and Standards Committee.

Click here for the Terms of Reference Finance Committee.

Click here for the Terms of Reference Staffing and Welfare Committee.

Click here for Governors' attendance at meetings.

Click here for Register of Business Interests form.







Susan Middleton

Foundation Governor 

Date of Appointment: 16.4.18

Current Term of Office: 16.4.18 - 15.4.22


Glyn Phillips

Foundation Governor

Date of Appointment: 13.9.97

Current Term of Office: 13.2.18 - 12.2.22 

Chair of Governors

Year 5 Class Governor

Staffing and Welfare Committee 



Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee


Emma Noke

Co-opted Governor

Date of Appointment: 15.10.12

Current Term of Office: 1.12.20 - 30.11.24



Reception Class Governor

Chair of Staffing and Welfare Committee 




Matthew Evans                                             

Parent Governor

Date of Appointment: 18.10.16

Current Term of Office: 30.11.20 - 29.11.24 


Chair of Finance and Premises Committee

Year 1 Class Governor



Clare Slater

Parent Governor 

Date of Appointment: 7.3.17

Current Term of Office: 3.4.21-2.4.25

Finance and Premises Committee

Health and Safety Governor



Neil Hollis

Co-opted Governor

Date of Appointment: 10.6.20

Current Term of Office: 26.6.20 - 25.6.24

 Finance and Premises Committee

Year 3 Class Governor


Rebecca Rowland

Co-opted Governor

Date of Appointment: 6.2.18

Current Term of Office: 28.3.18 - 27.3.22

Vice Chair of Curriculum and Standards

SEND Governor

Wellbeing Governor


Sue Wimpenny

Co-opted Governor

Date of Appointment: 9.11.16

Current Term of Office: 9.12.20 - 8.12.24


 Vice Chair of Staffing and Welfare Committee

Year 2 Class Governor

Safeguarding Governor

Looked After Children Governor

Vicki Beresford

Parent Governor

Date of Appointment: 21.3.22

Current Term of Office: 21.3.22 - 20.3.26 




Graham Booth

Staff Governor

Date of Appointment: 30.9.13

Current Term of Office: 6.1.20 - 5.1.24

Curriculum and Standards Committee

Finance & Premises Committee

Governor Training


Gaynor Leadbeater


Date of Appointment: 2.9.13

Current Term of Office: 2.9.13 - ongoing as ex-officio



Finance and Premises Committee

Curriculum and Standards Committee

Staffing and Welfare Committee



Laura Brown

Parent Governor

Date of Appointment: 9.8.21

Current Term of Office: 9.8.21 - 8.08.25

 Staffing and Welfare Committee









Clerk to the Governors

Pen Portraits


Susan Middleton: Foundation Governor

I became Chair of the Governing Body in September 2021 after serving as a Governor since 2018. I am extremely proud of the achievements of all our staff and pupils, particularly through the difficult times of the last couple of years. We aim to continue to build on our strengths to achieve very positive outcomes for all our pupils, while working hard to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of our children and staff. I am looking forward to visiting the school on a regular basis as restrictions allow, and seeing the children learning in the classroom, taking part and directing collective worship, and creating works of art, design and music. 

Emma Noke: Co-opted Governor

I have been a governor for four years and currently chair the Staffing & Welfare sub-committee as well as support and represent Year Two. I live in Lepton but lived in Highburton for over 18 years and both my children attended the school. Whilst the demands of being a wife, a mum and a manager of a busy conveyancing firm can be challenging, I love being part of our local school and giving something back to the community. When time allows I enjoy playing netball, interior design and running.

Clare Slater: Parent Governor

I'm the newest Governor, I started my four year term in April 2017. I have two fantastic boys, Matthew started year 6 in September and Nathaniel will be going into year 4.  I have quite a hectic life, as well as the boys, I'm married to Paul and I also work full time looking after property for a High Street bank.  This is quite a diverse job ranging from looking after engineering, health and safety, and cleaning, to project management and catering - a recent visit to Starbucks HQ was quite interesting!  Mine is a UK role which means I spend quite a lot of time travelling so consequently have become quite an anorak on the different train companies, it could be my specialist subject in Mastermind!

As part of my Governor role I will serve on the Premises and Finance committee my current role looking after a P&L account and my previous job in Finance will help along with my current Premises and Heath and Safety focus.

Glyn Phillips: Foundation Governor

I have been a governor at Highburton for nearly twenty-four years, including nine years as Chair, originally as a parent governor and then latterly as a foundation governor (i.e. appointed by the church). My background is in finance and accountancy, working for many years as the finance director of a large local company. I retired (early) in 2009 following a merger with another company, a move that I have certainly not regretted, even though I do seem to be busier than when I was working. I am also a Community First Responder for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, a church council member at the parish church in Kirkburton and on the organising committee for the annual Kirkburton Beer Festival. I have lived in Highburton for 42 years and have four grown up children all of whom have been taught at the school. Three of our children swam competitively meaning lots of early morning training – a part of my life that I am glad is now behind me. Two of the children are now primary school teachers in Leeds and York respectively, so something must have rubbed off while they were at Highburton!  I think that we are very fortunate to have such a wonderful school in our community and feel very privileged to be able to serve as a governor there.

Matthew Evans - Parent Governor

I was appointed as a Parent Governor in November 2016 and currently Chair the Finance & Premises Committee.

I have lived in Highburton for over 30 years and attended Highburton First School as a child. I now have two wonderful daughters, both of whom are currently enjoying their education at the School .

In my daily life I work as an accountant at the University of Huddersfield within its Research & Enterprise directorate, where I manage the budgets and contracts for a variety of grant funded research projects along with overseeing enterprise and consultancy activity.

Away from the office I enjoy a range of sports including cycling, triathlon and golf, as well as generally being outdoors!

Aside from my main job, I also work with Ironman UK to co-ordinate their long-distance triathlon events as well as co-ordinating some of the world’s largest IronKids events, aimed at getting children from the age of 3 up to 15 involved in the sport.

I’m delighted that the School has maintained its excellent reputation and positive ethos in the time since I attended and I’m proud to now be part of the School again and to have the opportunity to build on this for the future.


Sue Wimpenny - Co-opted Governor

My first contact with the Highburton First School was in 2006 when myself and my husband Ben looked around the school hoping to be offered a place for our eldest son, Alexander the following year. There was a warm welcoming feeling about the school that day and we didn't have any doubts that this was the right school for him and us. Alexander and our second son Nicholas both had a wonderful 6 years before moving onto middle school as 2 confident and happy boys.

During this time I was a member of the Friends of Highburton (formerly the PTA) and chair for 7 years until Nicholas left in 2016. Heavily involved in fund raising and organising events I enjoyed the involvement with school life and seeing the impact of the money we raised on the pupils' education. I was disappointed at the prospect of losing that link with the teachers and children so when the opportunity to become a governor arose I was delighted. 

Working at Mamas and Papas head office since 1996 I am responsible for pulling together sales and profits budgets, for forecasting and for team building and management which are skills that can be used during my time on the board and on the Staff and Welfare sub-committee. 

As a co-opted governor I am looking forward to helping build on the already successful development and growth of Highburton First School and supporting the head and staff whenever necessary. 



Rebecca Rowland:Co-opted Governor

My name is Rebecca Rowland and I am a mum of three (Charlie 6, Elizabeth 4 and Martha 16 months). My eldest child, Charlie, is in Year 2 at Highburton First School.

I have been a primary school teacher for over 15 years and am passionate about education. During this time I have been a Staff governor, Assessment Leader, English Leader, Maths Leader, Key Stage Two Leader and Assistant Headteacher. I currently work in a large three form entry school in Dewsbury.

I am delighted to be on the governing body at Highburton First and bring with me my family values, commitment to our local community and professional experience.

Currently, I am the governor with responsibility for SEND and Vice Chair of the Curriculum and Standards Committee.


Neil Hollis: Co-opted Governor

I became a governor in the summer of 2020 and have lived in Highburton since 2005. My partner, Louise, and I have a daughter, Madeleine, who's currently enjoying life at the school as a Year-3 pupil. 

My academic and professional background is predominantly scientific and since leaving full-time education, I have worked in the chemical industry in various roles. My current position is related to regulatory and government affairs within the sector, where I get the opportunity to deliberate topical and political issues with industry associations, government departments and occasionally, politicians.

From an early age, I've had an interest in science subjects and I've been a STEM ambassador for my company, supporting initiatives such as careers talks with upper school pupils and science experiment labs for Years 5&6. 

In my spare time I like to be outdoors, whether that's out cycling, walking the hills and fells of our neighbourhood and local national parks with my family or simply looking after the garden. I am also a long suffering fan of Leeds United.

As a resident of the village and the parent of a Highburton pupil, I'm proud of the school and its reputation. I welcome the opportunity to spend some time to support its development in the future. 


Vicki Beresford: Parent Governor

 I am mum to Isaac and Albie and we live in the village with their dad Mike. We moved here as a family in 2020 but I grew up in Highburton and attended the school myself. In fact my dad was a parent governor during that time too!

 I work in the NHS, developing the strategy on how digital technology can transform how health and care services are delivered across the country. A big part of my role is engaging with people about the work we're doing, which I love. I also really enjoy working with others and developing members of the team. 

 I feel passionately about children having the best possible school experience and achieving the best they can. I'm hoping this passion, teamed with my skills and experience in the workplace will help me provide a positive contribution to the school.