Arbourthorne Community Primary School

Arbourthorne Community Primary School

'... a place of joy, inclusivity and learning' OfSTED 2022

Meet the Governors

All governors serve a 4 year term, unless otherwise specified.  All associate Governors have no voting rights unless otherwise stated. 

Caroline Beattie - Chair of Governors

Co-opted,  Chair of Teaching, Learning and Attainment Committee

Caroline initially joined the governing body as a Parent Governor when her eldest child started at Arbourthorne Community Primary School. She wanted to give something back as she was impressed by the education provided to her son. Caroline continues to serve as a Co-opted Governor even after her three children have left the school and has been the Chair for over 10 years. As a member of the Arbourthorne community herself, Caroline feels passionately that all children have the right to a good education and she wants to work with the school to encourage local children to aim high and achieve all that they can. Her drive is to work with the school leadership team to make decisions, hold accountability and shape the future directions of the school with the childrens’ best interests at heart. Caroline currently works as a Teaching Assistant in another Sheffield primary school but prior to having her family, she worked in HR and Hotel Management after finishing University. She has a wide range of experience and understanding of primary education from both the perspective of a parent and as an employee. She has experience of recruitment, training and public speaking in the paid and volunteer sectors. Caroline is the Chair of Governors, Chair of the Pay Matters Committee and has responsibility for the areas of Safeguarding and SEND. She is also the linked Governor for the tracked target: Wider curriculum: To develop engagement in outdoor learning and the environment to support mental health and well-being of children and families (AEBA). Outside of her role on the governing body, Caroline loves to walk and regularly clocks up 40-50 miles each week with her four legged friend, a terrier cross. She also loves to read, go to the cinema or theatre and spend time cooking.

Fiona Smith

Local Authority Governor (Inclusion)

Fiona is an Assistant Service Manager for the Inclusion & Attendance Team within Sheffield City Council. She is passionate and dedicated to improving school attendance and reducing exclusions in all forms. The children and families of Arbourthorne have a special place in her heart and she feels that Arbourthorne Community Primary School specifically is a magical place full of creativity, love and fun. Fiona has worked in the education sector for over 20 years and is dedicated to ensuring every child has a sense of belonging and an opportunity to thrive and succeed. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience which has been developed through working in primary schools, specialist settings and more recently, the Local Authority. Fiona’s areas of expertise  are Inclusion, Attendance and SEND. Outside of her role as a Governor, Fiona loves to spend time with her family, go to the gym, enjoy country walks and travel to see new places.

Julie Scott Whitehead 

Co-opted Governor (Inclusion) & Chair of Teaching, Learning and Attainment Committee

Julie believes that all children are entitled to be offered the best education available to them, to become the best they can be, to reach their full potential and prepare for later life. She has a wealth of life experience through the work she has undertaken, which started in retail as a Display Manager. After having her two sons, Julie became involved in Youth Work which led to being a Project Worker in the voluntary homeless sector, including working with people of all ages being detained by the courts. Progression within this field led to her becoming a Senior Residential Social Worker for a neighbouring Local Authority. From this, Julie became an Education Welfare Officer which developed into the post of Advanced Practitioner for Attendance and Inclusion. For a number of years she has worked independently supporting a number of schools tackling absence and improving attendance. Julie has supported and worked with many young people and families to cope with a multitude of difficulties. Julie is the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Health and Safety Governor and the Attendance Governor. She is linked to: Approaches to Writing KS2 Strategy, Outdoor Learning and the environment to support mental health and well being. Outside of her school duties, Julie has bought land and then designed and lived in two homes, both locally and on the West Coast of Ireland (where her family is from). She has also managed to squeeze in managing a village Newsagent and living in New Zealand for almost a year!

Lisa Shackleton

Co-opted Governor (NHS) & Vice Chair,  re-appointed 01/09/20

Lisa's children attended Arbourthorne Community Primary School and she initially became involved in school governance because she was keen to best understand the way in which her children's school operated and how she could support and challenge using her expertise working in the NHS. When her children left the school, she stayed on as a co-opted Governor. Lisa has worked for the NHS for 18 years and has significant experience in service redesign, financial management and quality improvement. She finds these skills are useful for sitting on the governing body. Lisa actively engages in school self evaluation monitoring and has a particular interest in core subject teaching.She loves to spend any spare time she has with friends, family and the dog. Lisa is a keen traveller and tries to go to Australia every couple of years to see her close family.

Stacey Hunter

Co-opted Governor (Health)

Stacey is a parent in school and works for the NHS. She is a former pupil of the school.

Melanie Biggs

Co-opted Governor (Education)

Melanie has over 10 years of experience as a Secondary School Science teacher and currently works at Sheffield Springs Academy. She is passionate about access to education for all and the success of the local community. Through working in a school, she is aware of the pressure schools find themselves under, as well as the barriers to implementation of new strategies. Melanie understands the long term impact of literacy and numeracy interventions on the life chances of young people. Her areas of specialism on the governing board are curricular and securing consistency in assessment. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys cross stitch and crochet.

Vanessa Langley


Vanessa has been the Headteacher of Arbourthorne for over 10 years, seeing the school through a period of rapid development and improvement over this time. Vanessa is keen to secure the best outcomes and opportunities for families in the community. She has chaired the locality Poverty Strategy and works with Learners First to deliver the NPQH programme for aspirant Headteachers. She has been commissioned to support schools within and beyond Sheffield. In 2020 she was nominated by colleagues for an Inspirational Women of Sheffield Award and was the judges overall winner for services to children and families living in challenging circumstances. Vanessa leads on wider curriculum and innovation and her ambition to enhance the lives of children and families living in challenging circumstances. This has been realised through a number of key initiatives such as the conversion of the caretakers property into a life skills house for the families The school has featured in a number of articles including The Sunday Times and TES for its vision and action in creating the school as a community hub. Vanessa has engaged external partners and funders to raise aspiration and ambition and works closely with the University of Sheffield to lead the Sheffield STEM Maker school, supporting South Yorkshire schools to deliver a Maker curriculum and internationally with the Reggio Emilia Foundation and The University of Modena in Italy in an innovative research and best practice partnership.

Lucy Hanson 

Staff Governor, appointed 15/07/2020

Lucy is the Lead teacher of Arbourthorne's Integrated Resource Unit (IRU) and the school SENCO. Lucy became a Staff Governor as she felt her expertise could be well used by the Governing Body, she wanted to make a difference to the young people in our school and also to give back to the community. She provides a key link with other parent schools and the Local Authority, attending SEND meetings, and providing input into local strategy through the IRU network in Sheffield. She is passionate about inclusive approaches and is a highly regarded practitioner. In her free time, Lucy is a keen runner and has completed two half marathons. Impressively, she also played the cornet and trumpet for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain.

David Connor

Associate Governor, appointed 16/12/2020

David is an Education Consultant. He brings high levels of challenge and support to the schools he works with. He became a Governor to share his expertise and experiences widely with the Governing Body and support it through its further development. He has over 20 years experience in teaching, including Headships in three schools and University lecturing with a specialism in Early Years education. He was also formerly the Deputy Director of Education for Derbyshire. David is currently working with a number of Sheffield schools as an adviser for school improvement. Outside of this impressive career, David  was born and brought up in Sheffield but now enjoys time with his wife, three children and seven grandchildren in Derbyshire; he describes them as the joy of his life. David is also an ardent Derby County FC supporter.

Adewale Ogunsanwo

Parent Governor

Adewale is a Parent Governor  with professional experience and focus in Process/Business Improvement, Quality Management and Sustainability Management. He is an Academic Researcher and so has the skillset for evaluating reports that schools produce. Adewale’s link area is with the Early Years team, working on parental engagement. He joined the Governing Body as he saw it as an opportunity to give back to the school, Arbourthorne community and Sheffield as a whole. Adewale believes wholeheartedly in helping the younger generations in our communities to have the best start possible in life and understands that this starts with working behind the scenes in schools. He is keen to actively participate in the educational journey of our children and make a positive impact on the community through his support of the school. In his spare time, Adewale loves reading, music, travelling, cooking and sports.

Rebecca Gillot

Co-opted Governor (Finance)

Rebecca is an Accountant with CAPITA and uses this financial expertise within her position in the Governing Body. She wanted to be a Governor as she found the running of a school very interesting and wanted to give something back to the school. Rebecca is a busy Mum of 5 with one of her children in the school at the moment. She is an ardent supporter of the school and as a keen baker, often bakes for school fundraising events.

Angela Marshall

Co-opted Governor (Health) & Chair of Finance, Premises & Personnel Committee

Angela originally became a Governor when her two children attended the school as she wanted to have a voice in her children’s education. Currently Angela is a receptionist / administrator for a GP surgery but was previously a Teaching Assistant at Arbourthorne. She has had many roles in the past, including managing Spires Community Centre. Angela is the Chair of the Finance, Premises & Personnel Committee as she is good with figures and enjoys the challenge this brings. She is linked to the Curriculum school target of securing consistency in assessment across all subjects and completion of handbooks. In her spare time, Angela enjoys reading and crafts, with crochet and knitting being particular favourites.