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The Governing Body

The Board of Governors currently comprises of 10 members:

  • 2 appointed by the Durham  Diocesan Board of Education;
  • 1 appointed by the Local Education Authority;
  • 2 elected by parents;
  • 3 co-opted Governors;
  • 1 Staff Governor;
  • The Headteacher

In the first instance all Governors should be contacted via the school office.

Head Teacher

  • Helen Malbon

Chair of Governors

  • Mr Kevin Cooper

Vice Chair

  • Mr Shaun Fryer

Parent Governors

  • Mr Paul McNally
  • Mr Shaun Fryer

Co opted Governors

  • Mr Kevin Cooper
  • Ms Alison Green
  • Mrs Clair Craggs

Local Authority Governor

  • Mr Mike Boyle

Foundation Governors

  • Mrs Norma English
  • Rev, Richard Radley

Staff Governor

  • Ms Kirsty Huddart

Strategic Role

The Board of Governors have an important strategic role in our school. They support us in setting Our Vision, and Ethos and help us decide on our strategic direction. The Board Of Governors also hold the school to account with regards to pupil and staff performance, as part of this we hold a School Improvement Committee to look at the school’s Phonics, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 results in the RAISE online document. This is usually held in November. Lastly, the Board of Governors oversee the financial perfomance of the school; they make sure our money is well spent!

How the Board of Governors Works

The Board of Governors has a corporate responsibility only and Governors have no individual powers. Governors may only take on the roles and tasks assigned or delegated to them by the Board of Governors.

The full Board of Governors meets once each term. All Governors are expected to sit on at least one of the two main Committees, which meet once each term to deal with the detailed aspects of the Governors’ work.

All Committees monitor the School Improvement Plan and the Headteacher’s Report.  

Working Parties are set up for specific tasks and report back to the Board of Governors usually via the Committee structure.

Our Governors

Chair of Governors: Mr Kevin Cooper   

I have served on the Governing Body of Prior’s Mill Church of England Primary School for 17 years and am currently the Chair of Governors.  Previously I served as a Governor at the Primary School I attended as a child as well as being a local Councillor. 

I joined the governing body when my son attended Prior’s Mill, initially as a Parent Governor and have remained on after he progressed to the secondary sector.The school ethos, passion of the staff and welcome I first received when visiting the school, in addition to the desire for educational excellence is the reason I selected Priors Mill Church of England Primary School for my own son.   We strive to continually improve what the school offers now and in the future for your children.

Originally from Lincolnshire, I now live in Wynyard having moved to the area to take up a new role 17 years ago.   My professional life is focussed on Business Improvement and Compliance Management in the I.T. sector in addition to business interests I hold in the Property sector.

If you have any suggestions as to how you think the governing body can improve its role or ideas/thoughts on the strategic direction of the school I would welcome your thoughts, please contact me via the school.  If you have any concerns regarding daily matters in school, then please direct your concerns to the Head who will be delighted to work with you to resolve your concerns.

Vice Chair: Mr Shaun Fryer

Parent Governor: Mr Paul McNally
I joined the Governing Body just before the end of the summer term in 2019 as a Parent Governor. Having one child attending the School and another due to start I felt that the opportunity to understand how the School  was run is important. Being able to interact with the School in this way has enabled me to see things from a different perspective. Understanding why decisions are made and the extensive effort the staff go to in order to ensure the children are at the centre of decision making.  

In my day job i work as an I.T professional for a large multi-national running a federated business model whereby aligning on strategy is important. I feel that this experience will assist me in supporting the Governing Body improve upon the already excellent work that has been implemented. Outlining strategic decisions and scrutinising the School in an open and supportive manner is of the upmost importance to me and I am hoping to carry out the role effectively.

Co opted Governors: Ms Alison Green

I have worked at Prior’s Mill since 2008 in a variety of roles including Midday Supervisor, Chair Person of the parents’ fundraising committee (SPA) and currently as a Teaching Assistant in Key Stage 2 as well as helping with finances linked to out Out of Hours Club. I feel very privilged and proud to support the Board of Governors from my experience as a parent in the locality and using my knowledge of the day to day life of the school. I am an avid supporter of the strong Christian ethos that pervades our wonderful school. 

Local Authority Governor: Mr Mike Boyle

I have been a qualified educator for the past 25 years teaching pre and post-16 education and training. I am delighted to have served on the Governing Body of Prior’s Mill School for the past 4 years, initially as a Parent Governor, where my 2 children attend, and now as the Local Authority Governor.

After initially visiting the school and receiving such warmth, passion, enthusiasm and commitment from all staff was the whole reason why I chose Prior’s Mill for my children. I am also a former pupil of the school and live in the local area.

In my profession I am a Manager within a Police Force, in charge of the design and delivery of all main training packages –  many focusing on Safeguarding; this is a topic which I am pleased to be the Lead Governor for at Prior’s Mill.

I feel I am very well equipped to support the Board of Governors to promote and improve the ethos and excellent work the School is achieving in educating and nurturing your children.

Foundation Governor: Mrs Norma English

I have been a School Governor for several years, and have had the pleasure of working alongside three exceptional head teachers.I have lived in the area over 40 years, and have 3 grown up children, all of whom attended this school. As Foundation Governor I represent the church, where I am also a Warden, St. Mary Magdalene’s, where we enjoy close links with  Priors’ Mill School.

Staff Governor: Ms Kirsty Huddart

I have been a teacher for over seventeen years and during this time have taught across the primary phases.  Along with my teaching role, for the past ten years, I have been involved in school leadership and management, enhanced now by my role as Deputy Head Teacher at Prior’s Mill.  Having attended Prior’s Mill as a child and living in the community for many years, I feel I have a thorough knowledge of the area which the school serves.  As staff governor, I am able to provide an understanding of the school’s ethos and culture as well as professional knowledge of its strength and areas for development, bringing the viewpoint of both pupils and staff to the discussion and debate. 



Governors must declare any relevant business interests as well as the details of any other educational establishments they govern.  The register must also set out any relationships between governors and members of the schools staff including spouses, partners and relatives.  It is important to address any perception of a conflict of interests by making clear where such potential personal or pecuniary interests might apply; this might be a conflict between personal interests and the interests of the school or the Council when dealing with outside organisations or individuals.

Note 1.    Pecuniary interest includes current employment, businesses (of which partner/proprietor), company directorship, charity trusteeship and other conflict.

Note 2.    Personal Interests can also include business involvement/company directorship or trusteeships or family or close connections to the governor (for example a company the school might have contracts with).

Examples (potential conflicts):

  • A governor whose spouse/partner is employed by the school – Should not take part in discussion regarding the school’s pay policy or any staffing matter that might impact on their partner.  Both direct and indirect decisions might impact on the salary range of senior staff e.g. increasing pupil numbers.
  • A governor involved with any committee group, business or after school club who hire part of the school – Should not be party to discussion involving the use of the school or their charging policy.
  • A governor who is a supplier of goods or services to the school – Should not take part in decisions regarding the letting of contracts for that type of goods or services where a sub-contract relationship might exist.

The register of governor interests must also include details of attendance record at the governing body meetings and committees over the year and reviewed and updated on an annual basis indicating also when a governor steps down.

Associate governors must be included on the register and it should be clear when they have voting rights.

The school is required to maintain a similar register of staff interests that should also be reviewed annually – as specified in the NCC code of conduct.  Staff had previously been included with the governor’s declarations but in light of the governing body register of interests being required to be published on the school web site, a separate register should be drawn up. Staff governors will need to be included on both registers.

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