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Believe, Aspire, Achieve


A Local Governing Body are actively involved in supporting and challenging  the staff at Willow Primary School to be the best we can. 


The Local Governing Body’s overall purpose is to:

  • ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school;
  • hold the Headteacher and senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its children and the performance management of staff;
  • oversee the financial performance of the school, making sure delegated money is well spent against the identified priorities and within the agreed budget;
  • actively embrace community, parental and staff engagement to raise the profile of the school within the locality and beyond; encourage growth of the pupil population and support in staff recruitment and retention.


Governors operate within the remit of a Scheme of Delegation which can be downloaded from the Trust website at


The Governing Body consists of the following members:

Willow Primary School

Governor Links



School Improvement Priority link

Other monitoring focus

School link leader

Ellie Churchward

Chair of Governors



Mental Health and Wellbeing

Remote Learning


Davina Sumner

Michael Hart

Vice Chair of Governors

 Equity & diversity


Davina Sumner

Cllr. Neil Gethin

Appointed Governor


Pupil Premium

Recovery Premium



Pupil Premium


Mike Parkinson

Kate Ward

Saffy Alam

Appointed Governor

Reading and oracy


Careers Framework/ Curriculum

Sally Burgen

Laura Pownall


Iona Fairham

Appointed Governor

Behaviour and Attitudes

Website Compliance

Laura Pownall

Diane Morley (website)

Liz Barkham

Parent Governor


 SEND and Inclusion



Tracy Kirsopp (SENCo)

Mandy Kean (Inclusion)

Scott Smith

Parent Governor




Health and Safety

PE/ Sports Premium



Davina Sumner (H & S)

Alice Moores/ Kate Ward (PE)

Diane Morley (GDPR)

Chris Huntington

Appointed Governor



Assets, Site and Grounds

Davina Sumner



Angela Winter

Staff Governor




Laura Pownall

Staff Governor





For further detail about attendance at Governance meetings including minutes of Academy Trust committee meetings, please click this link:


Governor Pen Portraits


Ellie Churchward (Chair of Governors)

I have an extensive career working in education, working as a maths and English tutor with adults, families and communities.  I am passionate about learning, and being part of a team that creates a positive environment where children can learn, and thrive.  I have many interests that involve keeping fit, and immersing myself in local culture when time permits a holiday.


I have many aspects to my career that includes training as a chef, nine years as a soldier, and finally fulfilling my childhood aspiration to become a teacher.  I have worked for Doncaster Council for ten years, and latterly as the Quality Assurance Manager within the education directorate.  I feel that my skills, experience and expertise in the world of education, can be utilised to support the school effectively, and have a positive influence on the pathway ahead for the children. I have a passion for adult learning which can hopefully support the aspirations of families too.


Michael Hart (Vice Chair of Governors)

Michael Hart is Chief Executive of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT, a multi venue organisation which provides health, leisure and entertainment facilities for people across the borough. 

He started his career as a lifeguard at the Dome in Doncaster, a venue that he now runs, along with the seventeen other venues that make up Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT)

 With a business degree under his belt and a stint in Manchester, Michael returned to his home town and took up a marketing role at the Dome. After becoming CEO, Michael was instrumental in the agreement that saw the creation of the town’s leisure trust back in 2011. The Trust works closely with partners in the local authority, health and the arts to deliver heath and leisure services both in venues and in the local community with the goal of delivering healthier communities across Doncaster. 

Named business person of the year by the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce in 2016, Michael works tirelessly for the town that he loves. He is Doncaster through and through and can often be found in one of the many independent shops or at the local market.

 Michael is a founding member of Right Up Our Street, the Arts Council England funded project, that brought and continues to deliver arts and community engagement to life in the town. He also played a significant role to the creation and delivery of CAST, Doncaster’s spectacular theatre. 

A key operator in the town’s business, arts and health sectors, Michael works hard to make sure that his home town is delivering the best possible environment for its residents.


Angela Winter

I have been a member of staff at Willow Primary for many years in various roles and responsibilities. I am committed to making sure that Willow continues to progress and develop ensuring all children are provided with the best education to meet their individual needs. I have experience of working, both at home and at work, with a range of different professionals. Outside of work I have been involved in a range of volunteering roles and committees. I am married with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. I enjoy walking, cooking and voluntary work. 

I look upon myself as being a second mum to the younger staff (some may say just like their Grandma) Only member of staff who can have four names in one year, depending on the season.


Neil Gethin

I have been a Councillor for Bessacarr Ward since May 2014. I am currently the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny of the Childfren's and Young People.

I have 2 grown up children who were both educated in Doncaster schools.  I have been a School Governor for over 20 years, This is because I believe that a good education sets a child up for the rest of their life. I like to see opportunity for all and like to see within the school a wide curriculum.


I have been on the Willow school board of Governors for 3 years.
I look forward to continuing my association with Willow and supporting the pupils to achieve their potential.


Iona Fairham

I have been a Governor at Willow since 2017 and enjoy being part of a team that has real interest in the education and personal development of young children


As the mum of a young daughter at another local Primary School I have a real interest in how schools provide children with the both academic and social skills to give them that all important start in their lives


I work for one of the UK’s largest Banks which, alongside the customer and financial aspect also has a real focus on individuals and their wellbeing. I am able to use some of my own experience of working in this industry to help the development of children at Willow.


Scott Smith

I have recently become a parent governor at Willow. Both my children attend the school and are in year 3 & 5. I’m looking forward to playing a part in the development and progression of the school in the coming years. 


My current employment is with a global logistics firm called GEFCO. My role is site Manager for a large vehicle storage and technical facility near Epworth, responsible for 100 staff. Being part of a large organisation means I also have key responsibilities for Health & Safety, Quality and Environmental activities.


Currently I manage Bessacarr FC U10 Green’s, I have done this for 2 years and hold a FA Coaching Level 1 badge. My squad contains eleven boys all in year 5 at Willow.


Liz Barkham

I became a parent governor in June 2020, in the middle of the COVID pandemic. 

I am a Consultant Forensic Psychologist, currently working as a Head of Service for a local organisation providing specialist residential placements for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism.  I have spent my professional career developing and maintaining clinical services for many groups of people. I have authored academic textbooks for students and for over fifteen years have played a senior role in examination assessments for a national exam board.  

I am committed to assisting the school in whatever way possible, and contributing to the development and experience of all Willow students. 


Chris Huntington

I was delighted to join the Willow Local Governing Body in the Spring 2021. I volunteered for this important role because I wish to share my professional experience within my local community, supporting and challenging the staff at Willow to make the school be the best it can.


I have 30 years’ professional experience working across a diverse range of challenging and highly regulated market sectors in the UK and abroad. My academic qualifications include MBA, Project Management Degree, and various Engineering certificates. I am a Company Director of a global scale Engineering and Construction company.  


I live in Bessacarr with my wife and primary school aged son, and I also have two grown up children. In my spare time I enjoy watching football, cooking, and playing golf.  


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