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Your Governors 

Find out a little more about each of our governors who help lead the school by reading their pen portraits below:

John Kelly (Chair of Governors) 

My name is John Austin Kelly and I feel privileged to have been elected as chair of governors, a responsibility I take very seriously.  This is driven by my long association with educational provision in the area and by the fact that both my now, grown –up daughters, attended Ainderby School as children.

I have been fortunate that my passion for wanting the best learning and educational experiences for young people has meant that my professional life has included being a teacher for forty years, firstly in York, then as Vice Principal of Northallerton School and Sixth Form College and finally as the Head at Risedale Sport and Community College in Catterick for eight years before retiring.  This together with the joy my family continues to give me, has kept me pretty well occupied. Walking, reading and gardening have filled the gaps!


Joan Walker

I have been a Governor at Ainderby Steeple School since 2001. When I first became a Governor I was still teaching at Mowbray School in Bedale. I am now retired but still have a strong interest in children with special educational needs. I have been a member of St Radegund’s Church Council and regularly attend St Radegund’s Church. I am a Foundation Governor. I am a link governor for Child Protection, Numeracy, Special Educational Needs, Personal, Social & Citizenship Education, Religious Education and Collective Worship.


Richard Turner

I was appointed in September 2013. I have shared responsibility together with other members of the governing body for Health and Safety, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography & History and Numeracy. Prior to moving to Northallerton I lived at Snape and served for 10 years on the Governing body of Snape CP School.


Louise Watts 

I am a Staff Governor and one of the more recent recruits to the Governing Body. I have been teaching at Ainderby since September 2014 and, prior to that, have taught in a variety of other settings. My children (now both adults themselves) attended a small, rural school similar to Ainderby and I was an active member of the PTA and a regular volunteer during the time they attended. I am also an active member of a church in Teesside where I live, so particularly value the Christian ethos of our Church school.

I love working at Ainderby and especially value the family feel of our school which I have experienced first-hand through the generosity and care of our school community when I seriously injured my leg 3 years ago.

In my role as subject leader for Maths, I have worked closely with governors to monitor and report on teaching and learning and therefore appreciate the importance of the strong and supportive accountability relationship between school and the Governing Body.


Helen Brown

Prior to becoming a parent I spent 20 years nursing in various disciplines: Practice nursing, District/ Community nursing, Health visiting and Occupational health. Within my Occupational Health Advisor role I gained experience in aspects of Health and Safety, sickness absence management and health screening. When our eldest daughter started at Pre-School in 2012, I joined the Pre-School Committee as Secretary and remained in this role until the school took over the running of Pre-School in 2017.

Childhood lasts a lifetime and as a Parent Governor I am committed to helping ensure that children’s experiences and memories from Ainderby Steeple Primary are happy and positive ones to carry throughout their lifetimes.

Rebecca Peacock


Shawn Costello

I am a retired Nurse and Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Public Health with over forty year’s experience. As member of St Helen’s Church at Ainderby Steeple I have the role of Safeguarding Lead and have been actively involved in Children’s and Young People’s ministry for twenty years. I also represent St Helen’s Church as a member of the Parochial Church Council of the Benefice of the Lower Swale. I am a Co-opted Governor with the Link Governor shared responsibilities for Science and Religious Education and Collective Worship. I am passionate about, through learning and teaching, encouraging children to value and respect God’s wonderful world and universe and have the values of compassion and Christian love. I also believe that a culture of respect and care for others is essential for fostering children’s aspirations so that they can enjoy fulfilled lives and develop a commitment to life-long learning.

Jenni Lane 


Julie Hutton

Prior to becoming a Governor, I have predominantly worked in the public sector leading stakeholder management, establishing successful relationships with politicians and other leaders in business and local authorities. In addition I have been involved in the performance management of teams and the performance of the whole organisation. My background includes corporate governance, managing finances at programme and operational level with budgets up to £240M. Policy development and Equality and Diversity, plus the development of teams have all played a part in my previous experience and current role at Hambleton District Council as a Business & Economy Officer. This role allows me to support businesses to develop and grow. I am also Deputy Chair at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (Member) supporting the Chair, Board and officers to take forward the work of the Authority.   

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