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Meet the Governors

Welcome to the Governors' page.

Who are the governors at Cherry Burton CE Primary School?


We have three foundation governors appointed by the parish and diocese. One governor is appointed by the local authority and three governors are parents, elected by the parents and one members of staff chosen by the rest of the school staff. There are also 3 co-opted governors. All members of the governing body are appointed for a period of four years except the head teacher who is an ex-officio member.

The Chair of Governors is Mrs Christine Bennison


Picture 1

What do governors do?


Governors oversee the development of the school but don’t manage it day-to-day. Governors are responsible for providing strategic management, being a ‘critical friend’ and making executive decisions.


The governing body makes sure the school provides a good quality education, and sets the school aims and policies together with the Head teacher. There are different categories of governor on a governing body, some elected and some appointed. This mix ensures a diversity of views and experience, but doesn’t mean that governors of a particular category “represent” that group. For example, parent governors don’t act as representatives of the parents of the school and don’t report back to them – rather, they bring a broad parental perspective to discussion and debate.


Governors are responsible for promoting high standards of educational achievement and enabling the head teacher and the staff to deliver these, as well as planning the school's long-term future, overseeing its aims, values and ethos, and monitoring its performance.  This involves:

  • setting the school’s vision and aims
  • establishing & maintaining the school’s ethos
  • setting the school’s plans and policies
  • monitoring and evaluating school performance
  • agreeing budgets, policies and objectives and making sure these are met


Meetings of the full governing body are held at least once a term, normally in an evening, with governors normally giving up around 6-8 hours per month. Governors can also sit on some of the committees that look at things like finance, curriculum, staffing and premises. Occasionally, being a governor can be hard work. There may sometimes be a lot of papers to read, meetings to attend and, sometimes, difficult decisions to be made. 

The Governing Body March 2018


Local Authority and Chair  Mrs Christine Bennison
Co-opted and Vice Chair Mrs Katrina Hotham
Headteacher  (ex-officio)    Mrs Dawn Joy
Co-opted Governor  Mrs Donna Sandbach
Foundation Governors 

Rev Richard Parkinson, Mrs Elisabeth Wallace, Mr Denis Healy

Parent Governors   Mrs Kirsty Thackray, Mrs Ruth Mortimer, Mrs Kay Thomson
Associate Governors Mrs Victoria White, Mrs Val Holmes
Staff Representative  Mrs Bev Rowley



None of  the Governors have registered any business or pecuniary interests.


There are no material interests arising from relationships between governor or governors and school staff.

Governor Pen Portraits



Mrs Christine Bennison – Chair of Governors

Local Authority Governor

Appointed by The Governing Body

Date of Appointment 27/2/2018

Term of office ends 27/2




Dawn Joy - Head Teacher

Staff Voting Head


Date of Appointment 1/1/2017


I joined the school in January 17 after previously being a Deputy Head at a large school in Bridlington. I am committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to access a curriculum that is engaging and that provides them with the key skills, knowledge and independence they require to flourish in future life.


Outside of school I enjoy weekends away in my touring caravan, exploring undiscovered areas of the country where I can go for long walks with my cockapoo, Eddie.



Katrina Hotham – Vice Chair

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by The Governing Body

Date of Appointment 23/3/2015

Term of office ends 26/3/2019


I have been on the governing body at Cherry Burton for three years, first as a Community Governor and now as a Co-opted Governor.  I am Vice–Chair of Governors and sit on the Finance and Personnel Committee. I spend time in school each week supporting the children with their reading and have governor responsibility for Gifted and Talented and Modern Foreign Languages.


Following a career in magazine publishing in London, we moved to Yorkshire about 10 years ago and have three young children. I’m currently overseeing the comprehensive renovations and development of the Dalton Hall gardens and run a weddings and events business in the grounds. 



Rev Richard Parkinson

Ex Officio Governor

Appointed by The Diocese

Date of Appointment 24/01/2014

Term of Office Ends 23/01/2018


I have been the Rector of St. Michael and All Angels here in Cherry Burton, Curate for St. Mary’s Etton and Dalton Holme, and Chaplain to Bishop Burton College since November 2013 having served as Curate at All Saints in Ilkley for three years in West Yorkshire.


 I am married with three children, two still at Cherry Burton Primary and the eldest at Longcroft Secondary School.


Before becoming a priest in the Church of England I was a business leader in retail – mainly in independent bookshops – and latterly working in I.T. specialising in network infrastructure. Originally from Northern Ireland and having lived in various parts of the UK such as Belfast, Swansea, Leeds and Durham (studying theology and the formation of religious doctrine on the way) I have a broad perspective on community and a passion for education.



Kirsty Thackray

Parent Governor

Appointed by Parent Election

Date of Appointment 24/11/2014

Term of Office ends 23/11/2018

I was appointed as a Parent Governor to our lovely little school in September 2014. I have one child remaining at Cherry Burton Primary school and he is thriving here. I applied for Parent Governor as an interested parent, passionate that Cherry Burton Primary School reaches its full potential and that in turn our pupils do too. I was chair of the Friends of Cherry Burton School (FOS) for some years and I really enjoy working with the school and the FOS team, raising money for resources for school.

I am now a stay at home parent. My previous career was in the Court Service.. I served 23 years in a variety of roles mostly in management. I now re-upholster chairs and upcycle old furniture. In my spare time I like to keep fit.

As well as being on the Curriculum committee, I am the Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Health & Safety (H&S) governor.


Bev Rowley

Staff Governor

Appointed by Staff Election

Date of Appointment 10/6/2014

Term of office ends 9/06/2018


I have worked in an admin role at Cherry Burton School for sixteen years and, since 2009, have fulfilled the role of School Business Manager. In addition to my management of all aspects of the school’s finances, I enjoy a pastoral role, supporting both staff and pupils in any way that I can. I feel a deep commitment to Cherry Burton School and like to take an active role in all aspects of its life. Out of school, I enjoy family-life and looking after my two black Labradors, Alfie and Lily.



Ruth Mortimer

Parent Governor

Appointed  by Parent Election

Date of Appointment 5/1/2015

Term of office ends 4/01/2020


I am an experienced teacher and department head.  My experience includes working in an international school in Madrid and in challenging inner city schools in Birmingham and Trafford.  My educational focus is staff development and teacher training.  I hope to use my educational experience to improve teaching and learning and increase pupil progress.   I am a member of the curriculum committee with a focus on literacy and physical education.  Personally I enjoy playing tennis, hockey and netball.



Patrick Granger

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by The  Governing Body

Date of Appointment 25/1/2016

Term of office ends 4/01/2020


I have lived in the Cherry Burton area for 15 years and don’t think I will ever leave, despite working in London.  I work for a large investment fund management company that is based in the Gherkin in the City, so spend a lot of my time on trains!  I have been married to Sally for 4 years and have a young son, so most of my spare time is taken up with the family.  I was previously a keen rugby player and raced motorbikes, although life is now a bit more sedate.  Sally and I recently restored a 1972 VW camper van, and family Granger now regularly attend music festivals in it.  I am passionate about ensuring the young people at Cherry Burton Primary School have the very best opportunities open to them.




Denis Healy

Foundation Governor

Appointed by The Diocese

Date of Appointment 1/9/2016

Term of office ends 31/8/2020


I have been involved with the school since the early 1990s when my two elder children went through the school. For part of that time I was a member of the Friends of the School.

More recently, my youngest daughter attended the school from 2011 to 2015.


I have a business development and marketing background, with  manufacturing companies. I currently work for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, helping engineers at all levels to reach their potential. I am particularly keen to see primary schools recognise the importance of science, maths, engineering and technology in helping to shape future careers.


I also have a political aspect to my life, and in October 2016, I was elected for the Liberal Democrats as an East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor in the Beverley St Mary’s ward. I hope that my work as an East Riding councillor will provide a particular insight to my role as a governor of our school.


When I’m not doing the day job or being a Councillor, I enjoy learning the piano (I am working towards Grade 3) and relaxing with the family.



Val Holmes

Associate Governor (Voting Rights Curriculum Committee)

Appointed by The Governing Body

Date of Appointment 14/7/2016

Term of Office Ends 13/7/2020


I have lived in Cherry Burton since 1969, and my three children grew up here and gained a firm educational foundation at Cherry Burton School. I was a school governor here and later a Longcroft as they grew, and then returned to the chalk face myself as teacher of secondary English working in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, and in the SEN Department. I am now retired but still an educationalist at heart.


As a long time member of the St Michael’s congregation I expressed an interest in becoming a Foundation Governor, with the reservation that as my family are now spread across the globe I spend as much as 4 months a year abroad. As an associate governor, I can serve on the Curriculum Committee, with a special interest in Literacy and Modern Foreign Languages. I don’t have voting rights in a full governors’ meeting, but can share the benefit of my experience and expertise.


My personal interests include creative knitting, reading, travel and family history.



Kay Thomson

Parent Governor

Appointed By Parent Election

Date of Appointment

Term of Office Ends


I have one child who currently attends the school and another child who will attend from 2019. I live in the village, although I originally grew up in Leeds and then moved to York where I spent most of my adult life before settling in East Yorkshire 7 years ago.


I spent almost 20 years working as a Quantity Surveyor however I realised this wasn’t fulfilling and so decided to embark upon a career change. I have a strong interest in educational psychology and in the last 4 years I have completed psychology based honours and masters degrees. I am currently working in a special needs school with a group of children with non verbal autism. I have a passion for supporting SEND children and firmly believe all children should be given an equal chance to succeed.



Matthew Peacock

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by The Governing Body

Date of Appointment 9/2/18

Term of Office Ends 8/2/21


After moving to Beverley aged 16 years, I completed by A levels before attending Humberside University, where I gained an Accountancy and Finance Degree.  I then continued by studies, whilst working, and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) in 2009.  I currently work as the Group Finance Manager for a freight forwarding company called Abnormal Load Services, which has the head office in Hull, but also offices in Belgium, Holland, Norway, Italy, South Africa and Germany.  I am responsible for a budget of £70m revenue.  I am also the branch manager for the Hull office responsible for 30 employees.


Outside of work, I am married to Jill and have three children, aged 8, 5 and 4, all of whom attend Molescroft Primary School.  I have also enjoyed playing golf since the age of 11, playing off a handicap of 2.





Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2017/18
Name of Governor Autumn 2017 Spring 2018 Summer 2018 Percentage Attendance
Mr Mike Ralphs Y      
Mrs D Joy Y      
Mrs Katrina Hotham Y      
Mrs Donna Sandbach Y      
Rev Richard Parkinson Y      
Mr Patrick Granger Y      
Mrs Kirsty Thackray Y      
Mrs Valerie Holmes Y      
Mr Denis Healy Y      
Mrs Ruth Mortimer Y      
Mrs Kay Thomson Y      
Mrs Bev Rowley N      
Mrs Elisabeth Wallace Y      
Mrs Victoria White Y