Our Governing Body

What do school governors do?

School governors are a team of people who work closely with the Head of School to make key decisions vital to the successful running of the school. 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!

For further details of our Governors on GOV.UK please CLICK HERE. 

How school governors work

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.

Details of Cockburn’s school governors can be seen below.

If you would like to contact our Chair of Governors please write to:

Mr P Nuttall – Chair of Governors
Cockburn School
Gipsy Lane
Leeds – LS11 5TT


Nuttall Peter


Term of office:
21.01.2016 – 21.01.2026
Register of Interests:
Member of The Cockburn
Multi-academy Trust.

Peter Nuttall: Chair of Governors / Foundation Governor

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Headteacher Performance and Admissions.
Monitoring Duty: Humanities

I have worked in education since 1971. From 1999 I worked at Cockburn School and was a member of the Senior Leadership Team until my retirement. As well as chairing the Local Governing Body at Cockburn School, I chair the Board of Trustees of the Cockburn MAT and I am also the chair of the Local Governing Bodies at Cockburn Laurence Calvert Academy. I am also a member of the Highfield Academy LGB in Blackpool.



Governor tough

Term of office:
Register of Interests:
No interests to declare.

Mr Raymond Tough: Community Governor

Monitoring Duty: SEND

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.


Shamim Miah


Term of office:
Register of Interests:
No interests to declare.


Shamim Miah: Community Governor

Monitoring Duty: ICT & Business

As a former student at Cockburn four years ago, I feel passionate about the standard of teaching and learning at Cockburn. I am currently a law student, who enjoys representing the youth in the political sphere and getting more young people engaged in politics. My previous role as a Member of Youth Parliament for Leeds, where I represented the young people of Leeds in the House of Commons gave me the ambition and determination to improve the education of young people. Being in the position of a community governor provides a unique and exciting experience to be involved with the school’s ‘Transformation to Excellence’. As a former student who has succeeded through Cockburn’s vision, I have seen the progress the school has made and wish to help the next generation of students on the journey to greatness.


Ryatt Akwal

Term of office:
01.04.2018 – 31.03.2025
Register of Interests:
No interests to declare.

Akwal Ryatt: Community Governor

Monitoring Duty: Science & Technology

I became a School Governor in March 2014. I am qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive and have been practising law for over 20 years. I have always wanted to volunteer my services as a school governor, and give something back to the community. I believe firmly in State Education and that it should be available to all children. If a child is going to be a high achiever they will do so in a State School and, they do not necessarily have to go to a Public School for this. I have personally seen the transformation in the school as my elder daughter was at the school before Mr Gurney was Headteacher. She has now gone on to Leeds Trinity University and wishes to train as a teacher. My younger daughter is currently at Cockburn in Year 8. I am very pleased in the way she is progressing and this is due to the excellent teaching and leadership within the school. She has been challenged and put in appropriate groups to further progress and achieve higher grades. Cockburn School has flourished under the leadership of Mr Gurney and I am sure that it will transform to an outstanding school due to the dedication of the teachers within a short time.


Culkin Kelly Director of Year & Teacher of Art

Term of office:
28.09.22 to 27.09.26
Register of Interests:
No interests to declare.

Kelly Culkin: Staff Governor

I have been a teacher of Art and Photography at Cockburn School since 2009 and I have a genuine love and passion for my subjects and tha school.

As staff governor for Cockburn School, I am committed, have the inquisitiveness to question and the willingness to learn.  I can positively represent the staff on the governing body and use the insight and professional experience I have developed during the past twelve years.

For the last five years I have also worked as a Director of Year within the CSG (Care, Support, and Guidance) team. My pastoral approach is centred on the needs of the students and ensuring that they are functioning properly and are cared for within the school setting.  Over the years I have built up many varied meaningful professional relationships with individuals on all sides – students, parents and colleagues which demonstrates a consistent and deeply embedded commitment to the role.

Despite the significant differences in the management approaches between my roles, I feel they both contribute significantly to a well-rounded sense of adaptability, critical thinking, and dedication . I am always looking for new challenges and opportunities to inspire me and to ensure that I feel a collective part of Cockburn.



Img 3035

Term of office:
07.10.2020 – 07.10.2024
Register of Interests:
No interests to declare.

Emily Luehrmann - Parent Governor

Monitoring Duty: English and Maths

My husband and I moved to the UK from America in 2004 for him to work as an assistant pastor in Edinburgh. For six years we led the university student ministry at our church. In 2010 we moved to Leeds for Michael to become the pastor of City Evangelical Church in Beeston. Throughout our ten years in Leeds I have enjoyed being home with our growing family (our three oldest, who are all at Cockburn, were born in Edinburgh and our two younger boys were born in Leeds) and getting to know people in the community. Having young children I helped run a weekly toddler group at our church, finding creative ways to engage the children and support parents and carers from the local community. Now I am part of the team at our church who helps to support and care for women in times of need. Being a parent governor is an exciting opportunity to use my skills and experience in organisation, leadership and nurturing young people to help cultivate a thriving learning environment at Cockburn School.

Lee martin governor

Term of office:
28.02.2023 – 27.02.2027
Register of Interests:
No interests to declare.

Martin Lee - Community Governor

Monitoring Duty: Health and Safety

I became a community Governor in February 2023.  Living in Beeston for over 50 years, it's important to me to give back to my community.  Especially at Cockburn School as they provided such a positive role in my daughter's education and continue to do so for many more children of south Leeds. I am new to working within education, but have over 20 years experience working professionally in the Telecom sector and many years working voluntarily with young people in the local community.  I'm hoping to put my skills and experience into use and work with the excellent team at Cockburn in their governance of the school, and continue the marvelous work they have done in attaining such high standards.  As a community governor I have the responsibility for Health & Safety, and I will be working with the school staff in reporting back to the governing body on any health and safety issues.



Historic Governing body members:


Gabriela Hlavacek - Parent Governor
01.09.2023 – 27.02.2024

Paul Crawshaw - Governor
29.08.2016 - 03.06.2024