Our Governing Body

Please click here to read our latest bulletin February 2020

All schools in England have a governing body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a 'critical friend': to support, challenge, ask questions and represent the school community. Our Governing Body is made up of a range of people from a range of different backgrounds including: parents, staff members, local councillors and community representatives. The standard term of office for a governor is 4 years. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected every year.

The current committee structure:

Full Governing Body - termly

Standards and curriculum committee - termly

Resources - termly

Pen portrait of each governing body member 2019/20

Tony Szczepanek: I joined the Governing body in May 2019.  I have heldsenior technology, operational and strategic change positions across severalindustries including financial services and hope to bring some of this business experience to help the school meet its challenges and deliver the best possible outcomes for children, parents and staff. Having originally studied physics at university I have an interest in the sciences.


Claire Lawton: I joined the Governing Body in November 2017 as a Co-opted Governor. I strive to use my knowledge and experience in Primary Education to inform and enhance Governor discussions and decisions. I am currently Assistant Headteacher at Barrow Hall Primary School in Great Sankey Warrington.


Natalie Palmer: I joined the Governing Body in autumn 2017 as Finance Governor. I will act as acritical friend in order that the finance performance of the school continues to support the growth and continuous academic achievements seen to date. I am currently Director of Compliance and Technical Services for a national social housing provider.


Kate Gibbons: I have been a Governor since being elected in 2012. Both my children attended the school and have now moved onto secondary education. I have a background in HR and have advised businesses in the private, public and charity sectors.


Emma Newman I have been a Governor since joining the school in 2002. I have taught across all three Key Stages and led the respective department. I am currently Head of Key Stage 2. During my time at Grappenhall Heys, I have coordinated various subjects and held roles of responsibility imperative to the school improvement plan. I continue to use my knowledge and extensive experience in education to support and guide governor discussion


Gen Wallace-Dean: I am fairly new to the role as a parent Governor, having joined the Governing Body in April 2018. I am hoping to bring some of my business knowledge and experience to support the school in delivering on its targets and continually striving to be the best that it can be for children, their families and staff. I am currently Head of Digital Automation at United Utilities and in my spare time, coach at Appleton AFC


Laura O’Callaghan: I Joined the Governing Body in October 2017. I strive to validate the school’s incredible achievements and bring together the school community to drive forward innovative practices. I am currently a Lecturer/Researcher at Liverpool John Moores University.


Jane Green: I have been a member of the Governing Body for many years as a staff Governor. I have worked in school since it opened and have had the pleasure to watch, all the children blossom over the years at our school. I always try to help make decisions that benefit both the children and the staff


Steve Barker: I have had the pleasure of sitting on the Governing Body for nearly 10 years now. I was initially elected as parent governor and I am now a co-opted governor. During my tenure I have sat on many committees and was elected as Chair of Governors for three years. The effective running of the school has always been my main priority. Both of my children have attended the school and my background is the military service and senior management with corporate aviation. 

Catherine Walkden: I became a Parent Governor in July 2019.  I’ve 3 children at the School, and a toddler yet to start.  I’m a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries; employed to advise Exec Boards and Trustees on their investment and pension scheme arrangements.  I’m the Treasurer of Friends and been heavily involved in School fundraising since 2014

Please click here for Governor newsletter September 2018

Please click here for Finance newsletter July 2019

If you are interested in becoming a school governor, please speak to the Headteacher or the Chair of Governors, Laura O'Callaghan via the school email address on GrappenhallHeys_Primary@warrington.gov.uk.

Governors attendance at meetings 2018/19 academic year


Governors with Specific Responsibilities

Safeguarding - Laura O'Callaghan

Quality of Education - Laura O'Callaghan
Culture and Communication - Catherine Walkden and Tony Sczepanek 

Science - Tony Sczepanek

Language in the Environment - Doreen Henderson

EYFS - Jane Green

Inclusion - Gen Wallace-Dean

SEND - Claire Lawton                                                      
Training - Laura O'Callaghan

Staff Well-Being - Kate Gittins and Jane Green

Staff Disciplinary

Chair of Governors and then, if needed, three Governors selected in line with the process for Complaints Committee taking into account a balance regarding gender etc.

Complaints Committee

Chair of Governors and then, if needed, three Governors selected in line with the procedure in the Complaints Policy taking into account a balance regarding gender etc.

Staff Disciplinary Appeals

Three Governors selected in line with the process for Complaints Committee taking into account a balance regarding gender etc.

Pupil Discipline Committee

Three Governors selected in line with the process for Complaints Committee taking into account a balance regarding gender etc.