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Welcome to Governors Page and Pen Portraits


"Governors play an important role in our school. They support and challenge the School Leadership Team to ensure we provide our children with quality teaching within a secure environment in which all pupils have the opportunity to develop and achieve their full potential.  Governors act as a critical friend.

Governors are dedicated to supporting the school in achieving its strategic objectives. As well as attending meetings and monitoring standards, Governors regularly attend Unit and Celebration Assemblies.  Unit visits take place termly to ensure Governors build links with individual classes and teaching staff and get to see at first hand how the School Development Priorities are being actioned and the impact of these changes on progress and attainment.

Our Chair of Governors is Mr Michael Benn. Amongst our team of governors, we have a mix of parents, staff,  Local Authority and Community representatives. This allows our Governors to bring a huge range of skills to their role.

The Governors and the Head Teacher work closely together to ensure that we offer opportunities and experiences to support all children and each child is treated equally. The Governors endorse the Kirklees admissions policy."

Governor Pen Portraits

Michael Benn (Chair)

I have been a Governor at Kirkheaton for a number of years now, I have served on several governing bodies in Calderdale and currently am vice chair of Governors in a Calderdale school. My expertise is in School Finance as I work for the Calderdale Local Authority in Education finance.  In my spare time I love to sing. I am in several choirs including the Cathedral Choir in Wakefield.

Sandra Broadhead Staff and SEN/Looked After Children Governor

My current role in school is ICT Technician but before  I started in that role I worked as a TA working with SEN children.  I am very passionate about every child having the opportunity to be part of mainstream school working alongside  their peers.  I have two SEN children of my own who are now grown up so I feel I have lots to offer in the support of the children and parents of the children.


Bernie Ah-fat

My grandson is a pupil at Kirkheaton Primary School, which is what first inspired me to become a governor. Before I retired I was a senior manager at Barnsley hospital with major involvement in hospital governance, health and safety, risk management, asset management, safeguarding, policy development and management of staff. I have a Masters in Management and Leadership and am a co-opted governor at the school. My former experience and skills have proved helpful and transferrable to governance within education.

I volunteer on a regular basis at the school and in my governor role I have several  responsibilities including safeguarding and being a link with Early Years Foundation Stage. I firmly believe that a happy environment is important to learning and am reassured by what I see in school that this is the case.



Leigh Blanchard

(Vice Chair – Parent Governor)

Leigh Blanchard is enjoying an extensive career in Communication and Marketing Services. He has held various positions within Xerox Global Services until becoming Service Delivery Leader for one of the largest European Retail accounts back in 2014.

Leigh was born in Lincoln in 1972 relocating to the Huddersfield area with his wife Nicola in 2001, they have 2 young daughters Zara and Amber. Zara is currently in Y1 and Amber is heading to school in 2017. 

I became a governor in 2014 to take an active interest in my children’s education and to make a positive contribution to the school’s development.  We as a team all want to ensure every child receives the highest quality learning experiences whilst making their time at Kirkheaton challenging, memorable but also fun. 

He likes to spend time with his family and can be regularly seen walking the beaches on the North Yorkshire coast, he is also being a big sports fan, especially football, and regularly attends games involving his team, Lincoln City.

Diane Baldwin

My name is Diane Baldwin and I am the mother of 2 boys.  Jake is 6 and has just recently started in Year 2 at Kirkheaton Nursery, Infant and Junior school.  Casey is 2 and will hopefully start in Nursery in September 2017.  I was brought up in Kirkheaton, attending this school and I still live locally at Lascelles Hall.  Having lived locally all my life and having attended this school myself I have a real interest in the school and the local community.  I feel a great way to get involved and input into the School would be in this Governor position.  I believe I would be an asset to your Board of Governors and would be committed to fulfilling the role to the very best of my ability.

The majority of my working career has been in Financial Services, during which time I attained several qualifications in financial planning, taxation and other relevant subjects.  This has put me in good stead not only for my career but all other walks of life such as managing home finances and historically running a self-employed business.  I enjoy working with finances, managing budgets and balancing resources.  My role as a Data Analyst expanded my skills to be able to work logically to identify spending anomalies, trends and overspending. 

The last few years of my career has been in Medical Education working for the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust.  This role entails managing the successful education and training of Junior Doctors across Wakefield, Barnsley, Calderdale & Kirklees in Psychiatry, with a small team of 3 people reporting into me.  I very much enjoy working in education and intend to undertake qualifications to expand my knowledge in the management of education.

Nick Thorpe

Born in Huddersfield, I left school and followed my dream to join the British Military. Serving fifteen years as a Commando Officer, I had some amazing experiences, deploying all over the globe. These experiences have included HR, eduction, project management, policy making and front line positions. I now have a number of business interests based around investment. 

Ive gained a keen understanding of leadership, people and problem solving over the years; skills that I hope to use to help improve Kirkheaton Primary School with as a parent governor. I have one Child (nearly two) at the School and if successfully appointed, I intent support the School leadership team where I can, as well as ensuring the parent/guardian’s voices are heard and school standards are maintained.   

Adam McNeely

(Parent Governor)

I have been a manager in the leisure industry for over 17 years with a focus on facility management.  I am currently a senior operations manager working for Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) who are a charitable trust that manage thirteen leisure facilities accross the Kirklees area.  I manage the day to day operations of four leisure centres & I am responsible for all aspects of these facilities from health and safety to financial management.  I am  


I believe that my work managing these facilities has given me some transferrable skills that could contribute to the school govenor team.  My centres promote a healthy lifestyle & create opportunities for people to get active.  My role also involves working in partnership with Kirklees council, sports clubs & schools for education swimming lessons. 


More than two thousand children attend the swim schools I operate at my sites each week and hundreds more attend public swimming sessions & coach led sports sessions.  Providing a fun, safe environment & safeguarding is at the forefront of everything I do.  Over the past few years I have helped to manage budget cuts, implemented new ideas to drive my business & create plans to improve efficiency.  I sit on several strategic boards within KAL to help guide the decisions about products, workforce & services.  I manage the performance of over fifty contracted staff and many more casual employees.


I have one child currently in year one with another due to start reception in September 2017 and as such I have a vested interest in the performance of Kirkheaton Primary School for several years.  I would be happy to lend my time and experience to help the school in any way I can.

Mrs Samantha Gallant

I have been head teacher at Kirkheaton since September 2008.  I am very proud of our school and love our fantastic children.  We are working really hard to take the school forward and give all the children the best start in life.  Above all, we want them to enjoy their childhood as this is so short in the 21st Century!  We want our children to leave our school with a wealth of happy memories but also equip them with life skills for their future.  Being a positive British citizen alongside using literacy and numeracy skills fluently is our main aim.

Our governing body is a passionate set of people who work tirelessly to drive our school improvement work.  They offer challenge and support and keep a close eye on all the statutory requirements of a school too.  I am privileged to have these people on board who support our school and ensure our work is the best it can be.

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