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

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
Beeston
Leeds – LS11 5TT

  • Peter Nuttall: Chair of Governors / Foundation Governor

    RESPONSIBLE FOR: Headteacher Performance and Admissions.

    Monitoring Duty: Humanities


    I qualified as a teacher in 1971, working firstly in the south of England for twenty years before moving back north to Leeds, twenty-five years ago. I ran the education arm of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, organising staff from local and national companies to help mentor pupils in most of the Leeds secondary schools, as well as organising the annual Leeds Careers Conference. In 2000 I was asked to set up the Mentoring Department at Cockburn and since then have also been closely involved with the writing of the bids for Arts Mark Gold, The Learning Trust (South Leeds), of which I was secretary, and the development of the movement of the school to Academy Status.  I believe that Cockburn has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, and despite retiring I felt that I still wanted to be a part of the outstanding  journey that the school is taking, as well as  being involved with the Learning Trust. Thus I was extremely proud to agree to become the Chair of Governors of the school.


    Term of office: 21/01/2016 – 21/01/2024

    Register of Interests: Member of The Cockburn Multi-academy Trust.

  • Mr Paul Crawshaw: Vice Chair / Community Representative

    Monitoring Duty: 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.


    Term of office: 01/10/2020-30/09/2024

    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.


    Term of office: 31.12.2020-30.12.2024

    Register of Interests: No interests to declare.

  • Mr Philip Orchard: Community Governor

    Monitoring Duty: Health & safety


    I have been 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.


    Term of office: 13.01.2021- 12.01.2025

    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.


    Term of office: 13.01.2021-12.01.2025

    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.


    Term of office: 01/04/2018 – 31/03/2022

    Register of Interests: No interests to declare.

  • Amy Skelly: Staff Governor


    I am Subject leader for History here at Cockburn School. I have been teaching since 2012 and started my career in Sussex and London. These varied settings have given me a solid understanding of education more nationally, but also locally in understanding different authority priorities and has given me the chance to learn from a wide range of professional and skilled practitioners.

    Prior to coming to Leeds, teaching down south allowed me the chance to work in SEN specialist settings, inner city and more rural schools and in single sex education. All taught me different skills, but provided me with an overarching sense of adaptability, critical thinking and dedication to this wonderful vocation. My reasons for working in education are largely two fold – firstly my love and passion for my subject, I feel it is vitally important for young people to grasp a sense of who we are, how our present world has been shaped and how they can apply this knowledge to their futures. Secondly, I grew up in Northern Ireland, experiencing a divided city and being acutely aware of the deprivation and inequality that this meant for some. I have always been driven by a desire to make a difference.

    My journey here has taught me a lot already, not least the unwavering commitment of the staff I am honoured to work with daily. As Staff Governor I have chance to have a more active role, one which enables me to share with more clarity the vision, ethos and direction of our school. Being able to present and represent the views of staff reasonably and faithfully enables me to play a positive role in our community and offers me a greater sense of perspective.


    Term of office: 04/12/2019 – 03/12/2023

    Register of Interests: No interests to declare.

  • Emily Luehrmann - Parent Governor

    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.


    Term of office: 07/10/2020 – 07/10/2024

  • Kelly Parker - Parent Governor

    I am really pleased to be invited to join Cockburn School as a parent governor and to be able to offer my time, skills and experience to support the school and its parents.

    I have a background in customer service, finance and administration – my current role as admin in a local primary school.

    I am passionate about supporting children to be the best they can be and look forward to speaking with parents along the way.


    Term of office: 07/10/2020 – 07/10/2024

  • John Ellis - Stepped Down

    Former Chair and Vice Chair of Governors


    Term of office: 01.11.2015 to 31.08.2020