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Welcome to the Governors' Section!
School governing bodies are responsible for working with the school to ensure that it delivers a good quality education. Together with the headteacher, who is responsible for day-to-day management, they set the school's aims and policies.

Governors have three main roles:

  • To provide strategic direction for the school
  • To act as a critical friend to the Principal
  • To ensure accountability

They also carry out a number of other important duties, which include:

  • Determining how the school's budget is spent
  • Hearing appeals and grievances
  • Forming policy on the school's curriculum and collective worship
  • Setting standards for pupil behaviour
  • Making sure school buildings are welcoming and safe
  • Setting and monitoring the school's aims and policies
  • Staff recruitment and retention

We are incredibly fortunate to have a fantastic team of governors who have a real energy, enthusiasm and desire to help provide our children with the best possible education.

Board of Members and Board of Trustees (Governors)

The board of Members of Sparken Hill Academy Trust is made up of four Members who meet three times a year to review and develop the Academy's strategic and financial direction.


Sparken Hill  Academy Trust Members

Mrs Sue Cutts

Mr John Shephard 

Mrs Fran Walker

Rev Dave Gough


The board of Trustees of Sparken Hill Academy Trust is made up of twelve Trustees who meet six times per year as a main body of Trustees (Governing Body).

Two main sub-committees (Finance and Audit) meet three times per year and feedback to the main body of Trustees.



The constitution states that the Governing Body should be made up as follows:


1 x Principal

2 x Staff

2 x Parent

3 x Co-opted

2 x Partnership

2 x Community


Current Governors





Mr Richard Lilley



Mrs Kate Phoenix


Vice Principal




Mr Philip Gawthorpe


Chair of Governors 

Mrs Sian Wichmann



Mrs Marie Norton Allen



Mrs Mary Paton



Mrs Sue Sparks



Mrs Clare Middleton


Vice Chair of GB  & Chair of Finance

  Ms Donna Carter Co-opted


 Cllr Nigel Turner Co-opted 

Safeguarding & Safer Recruitment

  Mrs. C Middleton

Performance Management

Mr. Philip Gawthorpe 

Complaints Governor

Mr. Philip Gawthorpe

  Clerk  Mrs. Jayne Littlewood



Link Governors

Every Board of Governors has a statutory responsibility to establish and monitor school policies and evaluate the effectiveness of the school and its curriculum. Governors are also held to account for the school’s performance. The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) assumes that Governors know the strengths and weaknesses of the school and will test this assumption during a school inspection.


The role of the Link Governor is to provide a link between the Governing Board and the school. When Link Governors visit the school and report back to the Governing Board they help to deepen all governors’ understanding of how the school operates, how the strategic objectives are being pursued, how financial resources are being used and what extra support the school may need to meet its objectives. Without Link Governors, the Governing Board is totally reliant on the Headteacher, or other staff governors, for their understanding of the school. The presence of Link Governors provides an additional source of evidence upon which governing decisions can be made. This additional evidence should enable the Governing Body to better challenge information presented by the school and also better support the school to meet its strategic objectives.


At Sparken Hill Academy, we ask our Link Governors to:

  • Gain insight into the life of the school
  • Create and develop relationships with staff, children and where appropriate parents
  • Better understand the Governors roles in raising standards
  • Enable a deeper understanding of the school’s current performance, practice, strengths and areas for further development.
  • Observe policies and plans being implemented on a day-to-day basis


What is the purpose of Link Governor Visits?

  • To increase the governing board’s first-hand knowledge about the school and its daily operation; thus helping to inform ongoing and future strategic decision making
  • Monitor how the school is managing areas for further development
  • Demonstrate to staff that the Governing Board takes its responsibilities very seriously
  • See in context the monitoring systems employed by the school
  • They provide OFSTED with concrete evidence about the involvement of the governors in the school



Structure for Link Governor Roles 2023/24


For the year 2023/24 we have aligned our Link Governor Roles with the aims of our School Development Plan so that governors can oversee their fulfillment. We have also introduced a Link Governor Role for KS1 and 2 so that a governor can follow a cohort of pupils through the Key Stage and get a fundamental understanding of how the curriculum develops and shapes our pupils. Our Link Governors report their findings to the Board and also share their experiences with parents through our weekly newsletters. 



Named Governor

Frequency of Visits to School

Linked Staff Member



Mrs Clare Middleton

One per term (3)

Mr Richard Lilley


Reception to Year 2 Cohort

Mrs Clare Middleton

2 per academic year


Mrs Kate Phoenix / Miss Helen Brentnall


KS2 Cohort

Mrs Marie Norton-Allen / Mrs Sian Wichmann

2 per academic year

Miss Laura Grayson / Mrs Vicky Marshall



Mrs Mary Paton

2 per academic year

Mrs Kirsty Willsmore


SEN & Pupil Premium

Mrs Sue Sparks

2 per academic year

Mrs Jodie Reay and Mrs Jess Parker


Mental Health & Wellbeing inc. Sports Premium

Mrs Marie Norton-Allen &

Mrs Mary Paton

2 per academic year

Mrs Karen Gardiner and Mr C Johnson


Health & Safety

Mrs Donna Carter

2 per academic year 

Mrs Vicky Dashper


Whole School Curriculum Approach (incl Humanities specicially 2022-24)

Mr Phil Gawthorpe

2 per academic year

Mr Richard Lilley



Mrs Donna Carter

2 per academic year

Mr Richard Lilley 





Register of Business Interests

Members and members have a legal duty to act only in the interests of the academy. Where a situation arises in which they cannot do this due to a personal interest they have, steps should be taken to identify, prevent and record the conflict. This ensures that Members/Trustees are acting only in the best interest of the academy. Members and Trustees complete a Declaration of Business Interests on an annual basis. The declaration confirms that each Member/Trustee confirms that they have read the notes of guidance and are aware of the requirements of the Department of Education Academy Handbook.

Members/Trustees are asked if they have connections/membership/shares in companies etc. as explained in the notes of guidance, which have a direct business interest in the academy.

Members/Trustees are also asked if they have any other business interests as explained in the note of guidance. A copy of the register for business interests can be found further on this page. A summary is provided:


Mr R Lilley -

1. Family member employed by Notts Training Group Ltd (formally BTA) – a potential provider of (adult) students to the trust

2. (No benefit) Director of Bassetlaw Primary Behaviour Partnership (BPBP) - a partnership that supports Bassetalw Primary Schools manage SEMH pupils 

3.  Governor role at another local Primary school (Chair of Governors)     


Mrs V Dashper - 

1. A family member provides a paid service to the Academy.


Mrs C Middleton  - 

1. Governor and HT at another local primary school. 


Mr P Gawthorpe

1.Chair of Governors at 3x further local Primary Schools (EIB Chair).  


Cllr N Turner

1. County Councillor for Worksop South Bassetlaw


Mrs Sue Sparks

1. Employed by Bassetlaw Primary Behaviour Partnership

Reporting Salaries 

Archive Governor Information