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The Governing Body


The Governing Body consists of eight individuals representing different parts of our school and wider community.

There are:

  • 2 Parent Governors
  • 1 Local Authority Governor
  • 2 Foundation Governors, appointed by the West Yorkshire and the Dales Diocesan Board of Education
  • 1 Co-opted Governor, appointed for their specific skills
  • 2 Staff Governors one of whom is the Headteacher

The Governing Body agrees policies and has a shared ownership for the development and strategic direction of the school. It acts as a ‘critical friend’ by asking searching questions whilst at all times respecting the position of the Headteacher as professional leader of the school.

As a full governing board we meet regularly, endeavoring always to ensure our children receive the best education possible, in a safe and supportive environment.

The minutes of Governing Body meetings are available at the bottom of this webpage and on the Governors notice board located in the rear entrance vestibule of school. 

Business Interests of Governors

There are no interests declared by the current Governing Body.

Duties of the Governing Body

Governors are elected to serve four years. Governors are like a Board of Directors who meet six times a year and make decisions about how the school is run.

The main duty of the governing body is to maintain and improve our school's standards of education; our work can be divided into these key areas:

setting the school's vision and strategic aims, agreeing plans and policies and making creative use of resources
monitoring and evaluating performance
acting as a critical friend to support and challenge in the management of the school
ensuring that the school is accountable to the children and parents it serves, to its local community, to those who fund and maintain it, as well as to the staff it employs

As a Governing Body we:

  • give support, advice and help to the school
  • take a real pride in the school and the achievements of its pupils and staff
  • work on and agree general school policies and the school's own Development Plan
  • work in partnership with the staff and education advisors for the benefit of the school
  • visit the school in order to gain a clear understanding of the working of the school
  • accept and act on collective decisions of the governing body
  • participate in school activities in particular those which promote the school
  • participate in training sessions
  • ensure financial probity
  • ensure the premises are well managed

Members of the Governing Body

Governor’s Name Representation Date of Appointment Appointed By Date Present Term Expires
Miss Victoria Kirkman Executive Headteacher September 2021 Ex Officio N/A
Mrs Linda Turvey (Chair) Co-Opted Governor July 2021 Full Governing Body July 2025
Rev. Suzy McCarter Foundation Governor September 2021 Diocese September 2025
Mrs Kathryn Morrison Local Authority Governor January 2022 Elected December 2025
Mrs Jamie Willis Staff Governor  September 2021 Elected September 2025
Mr Chris Probert Parent Governor January 2023 Parents January 2027

Past Governors

Retired Governor’s Name Representation Date of Leaving Governor Body
Mrs Rosemary Bird Foundation Governor January 2023
Mrs Helen Dabin Parent Governor November 2022
Mr Paul Hill Parent Governor November 2022
Mr Matt Walker Local Authority Governor December 2021
Mrs Liz Bedford Headteacher August 2021
Mrs Katey Lacey Staff Governor July 2021
Dr Kate Jones Parent Governor June 2021
Mrs Debbie Britton Chair of Governors August 2020
Mrs Tracy Robinson Parent Governor July 2020

Governing Body Attendance

2021-2022 Academic Year

Number of meetings in the year: 7

Number of meetings in brackets = number possible to attend due to date of appointment or retirement

Name Number of Meetings Attended
Miss Victoria Kirkman (EHT) 7
Mrs Jamie Willis 6
Mrs Linda Turvey 7
Mrs Rosemary Bird 5
Mrs Kathryn Morrison 7
Rev. Suzy McCarter 4 (6)
Mr Paul  Hill 3 (3)
Dr Helen Waterworth 0 (2)
Mr Matt Walker (retired Dec 2021) 2 (2)

Meet the Governing Body

Linda Turvey - Chair of Governors

I have been actively associated with Birstwith CE School for 12 years, since my grandson and then later my granddaughter joined the school and subsequently flourished here. I am very pleased to be able to support a school with such a caring, professional staff and unique environment and have lived in North Yorkshire all my life.

I enjoy walking, swimming, cycling, reading, the theatre and most of all having fun with my grandchildren! I have a B.A. in English and a Certificate in Education and I began my teaching career in Whitby in 1976. I was elected to Hambleton District Council in 1986 where I served for 8 years, including as Vice Chair of the New Swimming Pool Committee and as a Local Authority Governor at Northallerton School.

After 20 years teaching, I took early retirement and was delighted to be asked to join the Governing Body of Birstwith in 2018.


Kat Morrison - Local Authority Governor

I have a long history with Birstwith school and take a real pride in our school -I really believe our school is something special in our beautiful village!

I have lived in the village for over 30 years and with husband Shaun and my two children (Lucas and Hector) who both happily attend the school.

I have worked with children, young people and families in supportive roles for over 20 years and now I work for North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership. I am extremely passionate about the safeguarding of children and young people and am immensely proud to have taken the lead governor role in this area.




Reverend Suzy McCarter - Foundation Governor


I have just commenced my new role as incumbent of the Benefice and Foundation Governor of Birstwith CE School. Prior to this, I was ordained in 2007, served my curacy in Blackburn Diocese and then in 2010, moved to Bradford Diocese.  I have two children, Kathryn and David who are both at University. My interests are art, literature, film and theatre and myself and husband Brendan look forward to exploring the pubs around the Vicarage, when we can. I look forward to meeting you all soon. 

God Bless.



Victoria Kirkman - Executive Headteacher 

Following completion of her Honours degree, QTS with specialism in Music, Victoria’s experience in education has spanned from Nursery to Adult education: Local Authority Maintained schools, Independent schools, Service Children’s Education, Ministry of Defence Army Education (Royal Engineers) and as part of a highly successful Multi-Academy Trust. Victoria’s previous roles have included Lead Teacher, Curriculum Development Manager, Head of External Communications, Assistant Headteacher, Acting Headteacher and Principal. She has led training for Senior Leaders in IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) on Assessment for Learning and was part of the LEAF Leadership Trust (Love, Enterprise, Aspiration, Faith) completing research projects regarding the tracking of pupil progress in order to secure improved outcomes.

Victoria has had extensive leadership training including: From Good to Outstanding – The Essential Leadership Steps, Outstanding in Leadership and Management, IAPS Aspiring Senior Management Team, Moving into Headship, Managing Change in Difficult Times, Leadership – Managing performance, capability and conduct, Managing Teams and Women in Leadership.

As Executive Headteacher at Admiral Long and Birstwith C.E Schools, Victoria plays a leading role in the continued development of not only the schools but their communities also.

Jamie Willis - Staff Governor








Mr Chris Probert - Parent Governor

Chris Walker - Clerk to the Governors

Declaration of Interests

Standing Orders for Procedural Workings of the Governing Board of Birstwith C. E. Primary School

Governor Code of Conduct

Governing Body Minutes

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