When I first heard about school governors, I admired and respected the role as it would help influence the futures of our young people.
It was 16 years ago that I was invited to put my name forward as a Parent Governor at Abbey Hulton Primary as my youngest daughter was a pupil here. All my four children have been pupils at this school over a period of years. When my daughter left Abbey Hulton Primary to go to Mitchell High School I resigned my position as Parent Governor. I then became a Parent Governor at Mitchell and went on to become Vice Chair of Governors until the school converted to The Discovery Academy. I then returned to Abbey Hulton in December 2011 as a Local Authority Governor and am now Chair of Governors.
As a school Governor it is important to understand the needs of the children and also the staff. We also help to keep the school focused in a positive direction.
I am very proud to be a Governor and always will be as we have a lot to offer the children.
Mr Ian Gibson – Vice Chair
My entire working career has been in the Health Sector, initially working in a Learning Disabilities Hospital and then moving into the commissioning of Primary Care Services (mainly General Practice and Dentistry) before moving into my current job 4 years ago where I am now at the `coalface’ in managing a Company that provides General Practice in the Longton and Meir areas of Stoke-on-Trent. I have always had a passion for the services that are provided to the public being safe and of a high quality and my current job gives me the ability to really influence that. We are a Community Interest Company that is managed by a Board of Directors so this – and my previous roles in commissioning Primary Care – means that I have an excellent understanding of Governance and the role of a Board and its Directors.
I have always been interested in the education sector and all my experiences above meant that I felt I could fulfil a role as a School Governor and hopefully contribute to a safe, high quality service in a school. From my day-to-day work in General Practice, I can acutely see that improving the lives of young children is of massive importance, which is why I felt I could have most influence in a Primary School setting, so I was very pleased when I was accepted as a Governor at Abbey Hulton Primary School. From first coming to the school, I felt it had a lovely `feel’ about it and that teachers had a real commitment to improving the lives and education of the young children. Long may that continue.
Mrs Linda Williams – Headteacher
I am very proud to have been Headteacher of Abbey Hulton Primary School since January 2010. When I left university as a youngster I started work in a large retail store as a Trainee Manager but once I had my own children I realised how much I wanted to be a teacher – retail was not for me! As soon as I could I became a mature student at Manchester Metropolitan University and have been a teacher ever since! I have taught in schools in Stoke-on-Trent since 1989. As a teacher I have always been determined to help children achieve their potential and beyond. In recent years our school, along with many other schools, has been faced with many challenges but my commitment to education remains as strong as ever and we are striving hard to achieve excellent results for all our pupils.
I enjoy working with the Governing Body who challenge and support the school in its determination to improve in every way. Recently we have been able to recruit new governors and I am looking forward to working with them over the next few months. We are always seeking new ways of providing excellent resources and exciting experiences for our pupils. Since coming to Abbey Hulton Primary School, I have tried to make improvements to our beautiful Victorian building in a sympathetic way. We have super new toilets for the children and a new sports field and although this is small we can at least practice and hold some of our sports days on home territory! We have an impressive new outdoor area for the Foundation Stage children which has helped develop children’s early language and physical skills. The perimeter fencing has recently been upgraded and my next plan is to improve the children’s entrance to the building!
Outside school I have two very new grandsons who I try to spend as much time as possible with and to relax I have started to knit baby clothes for them. In September this year I decided to get a bit fitter and so I joined a yoga class and although I am not as good at it as I used to be – it is getting a bit easier!
Miss J Marsh – Staff Governor
If said I’d always wanted to be a teacher, that would be a lie… but a career in retail management made me evaluate my skills and I realised I would probably be a good teacher. I completed a 3 year BEd. in 2001 and my first teaching post as an NQT was at Abbey Hulton Primary. I soon realised that my time as a child at school had been easy and I had been relatively successful but that school for many children was far from easy. I also realised that my role as class teacher was much more than an educator and how we impact on a child’s life is much greater than we realise.
I left Abbey Hulton in 2006 to spend 5 years at a school in Crewe but somehow found myself returning to `the fold’ in 2012. The staff, the place and most of all, the children, make doing this, at times very demanding role, worthwhile. I decide to become a governor as I feel I can bring ‘coal face’ to the governing body and speak on behalf of the staff, providing a balanced opinion as I see the challenges for staff and governors alike.