School Governors

School governors are the largest volunteer group in the country and are drawn from all walks of life. What governors share is a passionate belief that all children deserve to have access to effective schools.


What do school governors do?
School governors are a team of people who work closely with the head teacher to make key decisions vital to the successful running of the school. The governors appoint the head teacher and make decisions that directly affect the education and well-being of the children. They play an important role in improving standards throughout the school and agree the school's budget. In other words, it's a very meaningful role!

Click here for more information about how school governors work

Details of Cockburn's school governors can be seen below:

Mr Dave Westwell: Chair of Governors / Community Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Heateacher Performance, Admissions and Post 16 Tracking (Also a SOUTH LEEDS LEARNING TRUST GOVERNOR) I worked in education for 40 years, all of them in inner-city high schools. I relished the challenges presented to me and I thoroughly enjoyed my career. My three children attended state schools and all went on to university and successful careers. For the last eleven years of my career (1992-2003) I was deputy head at Cockburn and I played my part, as a member of a strong team, in the development of the school. Doing voluntary work was one of my aims on retirement and I was delighted to be invited to join the Governing Body in 2005 and be elected Chair in September of that year. I believe wholeheartedly in comprehensive state education and the opportunities it can give to ALL our young people. My mission as Chair of Governors is to work with governors, headteacher, staff, pupils and parents to make Cockburn the best school in Leeds and beyond. Team Cockburn is close to my heart and "Transformation to Excellence"is the road we are travelling.

Mr John Ellis: Vice Chair / LEA Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Finance/Budget monitoring (Also a SOUTH LEEDS LEARNING TRUST GOVERNOR) I am an ex-Chief Superintendent of Police with over twenty years experience as a governor at Cockburn. I remain a governor at Cockburn because I am excited about the potential in the new, young leadership team and their commitment to "Excellence" for the pupils here at Cockburn.

Mrs Anne Brotherton: Race Equality Governor / Community Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Racial Equality I have been involved with further education in the city since the 1980s, working as Programme Manager/Lecturer for a major Leeds college for many years. Most recently my focus has been on apprenticeships and work based learning. I have been a Governor for several years and feel privileged to witness the tremendous progress this exceptional school has made, and continues to make.

Cllr Adam Ogilvie: LEA Representative

I have been a Leeds City Council elected member since 1999 and represent Beeston and Holbeck ward. In May 2010 I was appointed as Executive Board Member for Leisure and Skills on Leeds City Council. This portfolio covers culture, museums, heritage, libraries, events, tourism, jobs and skills, sport and active recreation. I am also on the Leeds Grand Theatre Board, the Aire Valley Homes Inner South Area Panel, Holbeck Elderly Aid Board, and the Board of South Leeds Community Radio Station.

Cllr David Congreve: LEA Representative

I have many years experience in management both in the private and public sector, and of working as a professional in a sensitive front line service. I was elected to Leeds City Council in 1990 representing the Beeston Ward and subsequently, following the ward boundary change in 2004, the Beeston & Holbeck Ward. I have a broad experience of working with individuals and communities to help empower local groups. I have always been passionate about supporting young people in South Leeds to help them attain their full potential. I am a former Chair of the Governing Body at Cockburn and have been a member of the governing body for almost twenty years.

Shabir Ahmed: LEA Representative

Awaiting details

Mr Allan Chapman: Parent Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Child Protection I was recently appointed as a parent governor and although I'm an ex grammar school boy, I'm also ex Cockburn (1965-1972), and a firm believer in comprehensive state education and the vital importance of education and not just as something to get a better job. After I left Cockburn I did business studies and professional examinations at Leeds Polytechnic. For several years I've been a governor at Beeston Primary, the last two years as vice chair. In the late 1980's I decided a change is as good as a rest and spent the best part of a year backpacking around the world. Ten years later I decided to be a full time student again and in 2001 got a BA (Hons) in geography at the University of Leeds. I believe education ends when you die. I'm in customer relations at O2, like mountain walking, pot holing, Leeds United and too many other things to mention.

Ms Dawn Raybould: Parent Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Looked-after children I have worked as a teaching assistant at a local primary school for 7 years and have a degree in learning support. I feel that as I am a parent, a governor and a member of staff within a local school, I can help to provide a good insight into all the different aspects of school life. Previously, I worked in the accounts office of a large solicitors practice. My daughter currently attends Cockburn. My son, who is currently at a local primary school, will attend Cockburn in September so I am committed to the future of the school. I have been a parent governor since the beginning of 2011 and my wish is to be part of the team that intends to make Cockburn the best high school in Leeds. I am passionate about the school and education and look forward to being part of its future.

Mr Raymond Tough: Community Governor

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Special Education I have recently retired from Cockburn School having been a non-teaching staff governor for the past three years. I am now a Community Governor with responsibility for Special Educational Needs. This entails a close liaison with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and reporting to the governing body on matters affecting this most important aspect of school life here at Cockburn. I have had a professional working relationship with the deputy chair of governors for many years and Cockburn was a school I wanted to come and be a part of especially as I have lived in the area for over 25 years. It is good to be involved in what is more than a school. The future really is an exciting one not just for us but for everyone associated with it. Without exception the staff are totally dedicated, professional and committed to Cockburn and I am pleased to be a part of that team.

Mr Paul Crawshaw: Community Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Attendance Before retiring in 2007 I worked as a policy adviser with, among others, HM Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government in London and Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire. During my career I was concerned primarily with the renewal of disadvantaged neighbourhoods and worked closely with residents and the community and voluntary sectors to achieve this objective. Since retiring I have completed a qualification in Urban Regeneration at Sheffield Hallam University as well as undertaking voluntary work for Leeds CAB and Cockburn School. In September 2012 I was appointed as a Community Governor and have since taken on responsibility for school attendance on behalf of the Board. I am deeply committed to supporting all at Cockburn ensure that every student reaches their full potential. I am also keen to do all I can to help the school and its wider community face the challenges ahead with confidence.

Mr Stephen Wilson: Staff Governor

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Governor training I started my teaching career at Cockburn in June 2000 as a Teacher of English and in this time I have seen Cockburn go from strength to strength. I am thrilled to be involved in the school's 'Transformation to Excellence' and with our outstanding examination results last year, the road ahead is tremendously exciting. For the last six years I have been responsible for students with Special Educational Needs and I can truly say Cockburn is a fully inclusive school. Our success with all students including those who have a range of needs including Autism, physical disabilities and specific learning difficulties stems from our commitment to teaching and learning and our extensive Care Support and Guidance team. My particular interests are in dyslexia and how to remove barriers to learning and this is the basis of my current development as I undertake a Masters degree in Inclusive Education.

Mrs Sharon Mann: Staff Governor

As someone who did all their schooling in Beeston, and who still lives in the area, I have seen Cockburn's "Transformation to Excellence" as both an outsider and an insider. As such, I felt that being a Governor allowed me to continue to see the school from a multiple perspective. My pride in being a Staff Governor at Cockburn extends beyond my role as Subject Leader of English. For me, becoming a Trust school is a very exciting time, not only as a teacher within the school, but as a member of the local community, and as a parent of a child who starts at a local Primary school in September. I know that the effects of the hard work between Cockburn and its Trust partners will be far-reaching and I am proud to be part of those changes that can only see Cockburn transform further.

Mr Philip Orchard - Support Staff Governor

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Pupil Premium I have being employed in the capacity of Senior Science Technician at Cockburn for 13 years. I became Support Staff Governor in December 2012. I have seen many changes at Cockburn and can honestly say that the last 5 years, with the increased focus on values and expectations and our transformation to 'good with outstanding features', have been the most exciting and rewarding. I feel very proud to be part of a very positive, productive and motivated team of individuals who focus not only on the importance of every child's education, but also on their moral and social development. I believe strongly in our ultimate goal of not only raising standards and achievement but continuing to build on them.

Mrs Lynn Beese: Parent Representative

I qualified as a certified accountant in 1997 and since qualifying I have worked in accountancy private practices until December 2012. In January 2013 I moved into industry and became the financial controller for a group of companies. I became a parent governor in early 2013, my son currently attends Cockburn and my daughter who attends a local primary school, will attend Cockburn next year hopefully. From the first time I looked around the school, I was pleasantly surprised at the attitude of the students and the facilities available at the school. I feel privileged to be part of the team striving to make Cockburn the best high school in Leeds.

Mrs Nabila Akram: Parent Representative

I have recently joined the amazing governing team at Cockburn. I qualified as a teacher of Science in 2002 and, having worked several years at an outstanding school, I am very enthusiastic about sharing good practice and ideas. Cockburn has gone from strength to strength in recent years. I am very keen in getting involved and playing a part to further enhance the school's role within the community. Having lived in the local area for nearly 12 years it is very pleasing to see the neighbourhood flourish with young educated citizens and I firmly believe that Cockburn is providing the platform for this. I am confident in saying that, having witnessed the commitment and dedication applied by the staff at Cockburn, we are not far off from achieving outstanding!

Michelle Whitaker: Parent Representative

I became a school Parent Governor in 2013. I have one son at Cockburn in Year 8, three children at Beeston primary and one son at Northumbria university. I am also a grandma with three grandchildren. I wanted to become a Parent Governor to be part of Cockburn's journey to outstanding. My son has grown and flourished since being at Cockburn and I want to be part of the team that maintains this so everyone who attends Cockburn gets the same opportunity to reach their full potential. I work for the Local Authority as a Childcare Consultant so I am aware how important a good education is for children's future outcomes. I am also pleased that Cockburn offers lots of opportunities for children to attend extra-curricular activities to broaden their horizons. I am hoping my younger children will be attending Cockburn in the future so I can remain as Parent Governor for the foreseeable future.

Mr Martyn Sharp: Community Representative

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Health and Safety I am a retired Fleet Manager with 35 years of service working in the public sector. I have been a school governor for about 15 years now. I have recently taken on the task as the governor responsible for Health and Safety. Both my daughters attended Cockburn and went on to study at the University in Leeds. Both are now in successful careers. I believe education is the key to success in life and enjoy working with the team at Cockburn.

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