Meet the Local Governing Body
Lazonby Church of England Primary School has 10 members of the Local Governing Body (LGB) bringing a range of experience to help our School achieve its vision. Although we are volunteers, we are professional, committed and passionate about what we do.
Role of the Local Governing Body:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
Chair (Parent Elected)
Hello, my name is Harry, I am Chair of the Local Governing Body for Lazonby C of E School. I have a long history and connection with Lazonby School, as my eldest son (now 23!) enjoyed his formative years, being guided and cajoled by the staff and teachers at Lazonby School. Currently, I have two children at school in Years 2 & 5 and a third who was schooled at Lazonby, and has just entered Year 9 at Ullswater Community College. I have lived in the village intermittently since 1995 and really enjoy the community spirit that is present within the village. This spirit, in my opinion centres around the school and all the activities that are undertaken throughout the academic year. I think we have an excellent and ever growing school with dedicated staff, who put our children at the centre of all their thoughts.
I currently work as a Commissioning Manager for the Children’s & Families Team in North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, but my background is in Children’s Physiotherapy, which I found very rewarding and enjoyable. My formative years started in Liverpool, up to the age of 16, when I joined the Royal Air Force and spent 10 happy years as a Physical Training Instructor at various camps and locations throughout the UK and Europe. I have a keen interest in all sporting activities and love the outdoor environment that is offered in Cumbria. I feel, that I have lots of transferable skills, that I have acquired over many years of work, being a member of Penrith Mountain Rescue Team and being a Scout Leader in the Eden Valley, that will benefit Lazonby School.
My aims are to ensure that all the children who attend Lazonby C of E School reach their maximum potential, enjoy their time at school, make some strong friendships for the future and to think that ‘whatever they want to do in life is possible and within their reach’.
I graduated from Charlotte Mason College in 1998 with a BA Honours degree in Environmental Science and Outdoor Studies in Primary Studies. I gained my first position as an NQT at Eaglesfield Paddle CE Primary School where I quickly took on different roles with in the school.
In the year 2000 I was honoured with the title of Most Outstanding New Teacher in the North East and Cumbria. I continued my journey at Eaglesfield becoming Deputy head and also acting headteacher. I then took on the role as acting head at Lazonby CE School in January 2016. In September 2016, after interview I was delighted to accept the role of Headteacher.
I believe that the children should be at the heart of what we do here in school and that the decisions we make are based around those children in our care. Using the outdoor environment, our local community, and church to learn are important in the way that we teach children. It is of utmost importance that we help our children to Dream, Believe and Achieve as well as helping them to live life in all its fullness.
In my spare time I love to get out biking both on road and off road, riding the trails and mountains in the Lake district. During my holidays you can find me fishing at Neist point on the Isle of Skye or on Loch Dunvegan. Weekends are always family time walking, cycling and geo-caching.
I graduated from St Martin’s College in 2007 with a BA Hons degree in Primary Education and Advanced Study of Early Years. I gained a position at Lazonby School in the October of 2007. I completed my NQT year here and I have continued to develop and complete my NPQSL for senior leadership in more recent years. During my time at Lazonby I have had classroom responsibility from Nursery up to year 3 children. Most of my time has been spent with the Early Years and lower KS1, including being the Foundation Stage and KS1 leader.
I really enjoy working with children in the Early Years and scaffolding their learning through play. I’m always striving for ways to improve the continuous provision that they have both indoors and outdoors. I have taught PE through the school since 2008, when I took on PE Co-ordinator. During this time, I have worked closely with Eden Valley School Sport and the primary link teachers, as well as attending ACPEN meetings in our local cluster. In 2013 I took on the role as maths co-ordinator. I remember many friends who have bad memories of maths from their education. I want to make sure that all children at Lazonby are becoming confident mathematicians and aren’t afraid of the subject. I also have various other roles within school, including being a mentor for both student teachers and NQT’s.
I believe that children in Lazonby are at the centre of what we do. Children need to be developing a love for learning in an environment where they feel safe and happy. They need to be given the opportunity to excel and celebrate their strengths. A child’s learning journey should be enriched with memories of exciting opportunities that we have given them.
In my spare time I love being in the outdoors with my family, we regularly go for walks up fells and enjoy exploring the natural world. I am a sports enthusiast and you can find me taking part in fitness classes, running, swimming and biking. I have completed a number of half marathons and I’m always on the lookout for a new challenge. I also enjoy reading books, and having a nice meal out with friends and family.
Vice Chair Foundation
After moving to Lazonby in January 2016, I was keen to support the school especially as I have two children at Lazonby School, my son is currently in Year 6 and my daughter is in Year 3, I am pleased that I have been able to recently join Lazonby School as a foundation member.
After graduating from the University of Northumbria in 2004 with a degree in Human Resource Management, I have gained over 14 years’ experience in various HR roles where I have developed my experience of leading cultural and organisational change and managing complex employee relation matters.
I am currently the Head of People and Culture at HF Holidays, where I am responsible for delivering a great people experience, with a key focus on driving our values and culture.
After spending as much time as I can with my family and friends, any left over time is spent walking in the Lake District with my black labrador Poppy.
I am a retired nurse, mother to two daughters, one a doctor working locally, her sister a physiotherapist working for a Christian charity in China.
I have been married to Neil for almost 50 years, we have two twelve year old grandsons, who spent seven years at Lazonby school.
Prior to moving to Lazonby ten years ago I was governor at a successful village school in Lincolnshire for ten years. I have been a governor and LGB Member here for 7 years.
I am proud to serve this community and regard the links between Church and school to be of great benefit to both and to the wider community.
As an active member of the Parochial Church Council, I am a regular worshipper at Saint Nicholas church, where Neil is a church warden. With a small group we pray each week for our school.
My name is Cathy and my youngest daughter is currently in Year Three at Lazonby C of E School. My family and I came to the village in 2015 and watching how both of my daughters thrived at the school turned my mind to giving something back to our school and community as a parent member of the LGB.
I currently run a small chain of specialist outdoor equipment shops with my husband Paul which over the years have given me a wide skill set in all aspects of running a business from marketing to finance to managing staff – all of which complement the wealth of experience held by the other LGB Members here at Lazonby School. In addition, I spent seven years as a committee member, treasurer and then Chairman of the nursery in the village where we previously lived. During this time I ascended a magnificently steep learning curve in all aspects of professional childcare and became a veteran of three OFSTED inspections.
My key aims as a parent member are to help parents navigate the sometimes baffling array of terminology used in today’s teaching environment (I know I’ve struggled with a few!) and to be part of ensuring that all children at the school receive the educational opportunities they deserve.
Hi, my name is Hilary and I am delighted to have been an LGB Member at Lazonby C of E School for nearly five years now.
I am a huge believer in the unique benefits that students receive from attending good village schools and consider that rural schools are a very good indicator of the health of their local communities.
My background has mainly been in the public sector, having worked for the Environment Agency and its various predecessor bodies for nearly thirty years in a wide range of jobs before taking early retirement in 2009. I have been an elected public governor for the Cumbria NHS Partnership Foundation Trust for four years and the County Councillor for Penrith North, which includes Lazonby and Great Salkeld for nine years and so I bring the knowledge and networks gained through these roles with me. The areas in which I can probably add most value to the governing body are in the relatively ‘dry’ area of corporate governance i.e. the controls that show the school is operating effectively, staffing issues and planning matters.
My aims as an LGB Member are to make a positive contribution to the LGB, to ensure that the school continues to be able to provide an excellent learning environment for our young people, and that it always puts their needs at the heart of everything we do.
Hi my name is Anna Bellas and I am a Parent Governor
I moved to Lazonby 14 years ago with my then partner Jeff, when we bought and renovated our first home together. We married and welcomed our son who now goes to Lazonby School. We are in the process of renovating our second home together, still in the village of Lazonby.
My husband started up his own plumbing business in 2009 and in 2018 when our son started school full time and our business grew, we decided I would take on the administration side of the business therefore being able to be at home more for our son.
Due to working from home I am more flexible with the days / times I work, so I like to volunteer for school trips, I regularly go into school to read with the children and be more involved with the school where possible. I believe this also helps me gain a greater understanding of what happens within the school.
When there was a vacancy advertised for a parent governor I wanted to apply as I felt I could bring a different perspective to the LGB. As, like some other parents at the school, whilst I don’t have a great level of knowledge around what happens in the background in a school, I felt that I would be able to provide a different point of view to the LGB providing challenge and support where needed.
Shortly after moving to the area in 2016, our family came along to Lazonby School’s Autumn Show and immediately felt the warmth and enthusiasm that continues to impress me throughout the school community. My daughter joined the school's nursery the following Autumn and her happiness and growth from then on - she is now in year 1 - is a constant pleasure to observe. The opportunity to help in any small way to support those involved in making the school such a special place to learn, work and visit is why I am thrilled to be part of the local governing body.
My background is mostly in secondary education though I hope my experiences across a wide range of educational institutions will feed into my role here. I studied at the University of St Andrews for my Masters in English and Modern History and went on to complete a PGCE in English at the University of Oxford. I have visited and worked at a number of schools both in the UK and overseas, including America, China and Japan. Amongst my happiest of memories in any school were the four years I spent teaching at the International School of Seychelles, an independent school for children aged 3-19. It took the birth of our daughter to tear us away from one paradise and bring us home to the UK, thankfully leading our family to another paradise here in the Eden Valley! We have lived in Great Salkeld since 2016.
It is my belief that the best education comes in settings that make individuals - that is staff, pupils and parents - feel happy, valued and safe as they explore who they are and who they want to be. Nowhere and nobody is perfect but a supportive environment that learns from imperfection is even better in my view. I hope that my passion for this kind of education and setting can feed into the amazing work that goes into this school.
I look forward to many years of connection to Lazonby C of E School with my son soon to start too.
Mrs M Chirnside
Clerk to the Governors
I started working at the school in 2013 as School Administrator and Clerk to the Local Governing Body.
I live in Penrith with my family and along with my administration and clerk duties, I also run a craft club once a week during clubtime.
Hello, I started moving back to Cumbria 8 years ago when my husband and I bought and renovated an old farmhouse in Great Salkeld. I grew up in Keswick, studied in Birmingham and worked as an Optometrist in the North East until I retired at the end of 2019.
I worked in the Hospital Eye Service specialising in children’s vision and our own independent practice. I was a primary school governor in the 1990’s at the school my 3 children attended. I have been a member of Hartlepool clinical commissioning group and Tees local optometric committee.
I look forward to being able to support the school as I learn more about the role of a governor in the 2020s.