In August 2018, I retired after working as a Science teacher for 36 years at an Independent School in Newcastle-under-Lyme. During my time at the school I had a wide range of responsibilities with the main focus being pastoral care. As Head of Year 7 I was responsible for organising transfer from a range of Primary Schools into Year 7. I have been Contingent Commander of the Combined Cadet Force at the School since 2003 and I continue to undertake this role in my retirement.
In my retirement I wanted to become involved in a Primary School so that I could use my many years in education for the benefit of a School Community. As a teacher in my liaison visits to Primary Schools I realised that it is at these Schools that the foundations of a great education are laid. Such an education will assist pupils to achieve their full potential in life. Consequently, I became a Governor at Abbey Hulton Primary School in 2017. Since retiring, I have volunteered at the School assisting with Science teaching in Year 5 and 6. This has enabled me to help introduce pupils to the wonders of the Scientific world.
In 2019 I was appointed a Trustee at the Orchard Community Trust of which Abbey Hulton Primary School is one of the member Schools. My retirement has enabled me to rekindle a lifelong interest in railways aided by my Senior Citizen’s railcard!
I started my NHS career as a Domestic Assistant at a Learning Disabilities Hospital (cleaning toilets!) so I feel I have started from the bottom and done a range of jobs. I have worked as either a Commissioner or Provider of Primary Care in Northern Staffordshire for nearly 20 years and am absolutely committed to high quality General Practice in the area that I’ve been brought up and live in. I am particularly interested in the ongoing evolution of General Practice and how other services can be integrated into how Primary Care is delivered so that not everything is down to the General Practice to do. This includes Voluntary Sector organisations which are a particular interest of mine. I am also interested in how the use of IT technology and social media can be better utilised in how services are delivered and make service delivery more efficient.
In November 2017 I took on the post of Associate Director of Operational Services for North Staffordshire GP Federation and work with our Board and member Practices to continue to develop the Federation so that it supports the member practices, grows the provision of its services to support Primary Care and is the voice that enables Primary Care to shape how other services work with us in Primary Care for the benefit of our patients.
I have always had an interest in education and services for children and have been a Governor at Abbey Hulton Primary School for over 5 years. With working full-time I am not always as visible in the school as I would like to be but hopefully my contributions ‘in the background’ help the Head Teacher and the rest of the team to make the school the best it can be for the children who go there. I have enjoyed being able to give a health perspective to the school during this very challenging period due to Covid-19 and will continue to work with the other Governors to ensure Abbey Hulton Primary School is a school we can all be proud of.
Sharon Ballantyne Staff Governor.
Over the last twenty years, working in education, I have gained an extensive knowledge and experience of working with children and young people, I have been at Abbey Hulton Primary for the past 13 years. I am part of the Family Team, under this umbrella I am a DSO, Mental Health Lead and Behaviour management.
I feel a great sense of pride to be part of such a wonderful community, not only in Abbey Hulton and Abbey Hulton Primary School, but also across the Trust. Recently I have extended my qualifications to include a Psychology Diploma, a qualification in Understanding Children and YP Mental Health, a CBT Diploma and a Counselling Qualification.
I would describe myself as a solution focussed, goal directed practitioner, I work creatively and imaginatively. It is a privilege to be able to represent the views of the staff as part of the Governing Body as I feel it provides me with further opportunity to work alongside staff, families and our community, I feel I have both the experience, skill, qualifications and desire to make a positive impact on the continuing success of the school, and play an active role in the school community.