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Meet Our Governors

Welcome to the Governors page of our school website. Every school has a Governing Body made up of volunteers who play an important part, together with the parents and teachers, to make the school a success. 


The Role and Responsibilities of the Governing Board

Governing boards are the key strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school, helping to set the school’s aims and values. In all types of schools, governing boards should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:


  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the Federation Head Teacher and Head of School to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governing boards have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring that resources are used well to give every child the best possible education. They also make decisions on matters such as performance targets, school policies, and the school’s development plan. They oversee the use of the school’s budget, and have responsibility to obtain value for money for that budget, and are responsible for the appointment of the teachers. In addition, governors monitor, support and challenge the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and staff on how well those policies and targets are followed through. They do this by visiting the school, getting to know its strengths and weaknesses, and asking useful questions that foster an ethos of continuous improvement.


Declaration of business or pecuniary interests


All the governors and associate members of Northill C of E Lower School are asked to declare any pecuniary or business interests at each full governing body meeting. This is a declaration of any personal or business interest they or any relative or person closely connected with them, have with businesses or other organisations that may have dealings with the school. This could for example include owning or having a relative work for a business that had dealings with school; having a relative working in or for school or being a governor of another school.

If any interest a governor has could be seen to cause a conflict of interest they would be asked to withdraw from any decision making concerned. This is to ensure that our governors can always be seen to be putting the interest of the school first.


Examples of business or pecuniary interests that should be recorded include:


  • Business interests such as directorships.
  • Working for an organisation that may quote or carry out work for the school or provision of extended services.
  • Owning or having at least a 10% share of a company that may carry out work for the school for example, a local builder.
  • If they are the leader of voluntary organisation using the school facilities.
  • If they are a member of a parents group using school facilities.
  • If they are related to a member of staff or a governor at the school.
  • Any business or pecuniary interest of relatives and other individuals who may exert influence on a governor.


Ratified minutes of Governors’ meetings are displayed on the Parent’s noticeboard in the school and can be downloaded below. Details of attendance is recorded in each of the minutes, and a summary is also available to view using the link below. 


The board of Governors includes three members of teaching staff (Miss Zoe Linington, Mrs Sharon Longmuir, and Mrs Judy Cutmore), along with the following board members:

Darren Harbar

Chair of Governors

Safeguarding Governor


Darren joined as a Parent Governor at the beginning of 2016, and currently has a daughter in year four at the school. Having served as an Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, an international buyer for Dixons Stores Group, Editor of a photography magazine and now running his own photography business, Darren brings a wide range of commercial and practical skills to the board. As a Parent Governor, Darren feels he has an important role in ensuring that the school delivers not just for the children, but also for the expectations of the parents. He plays an important role in creating a link between the school and the parents who he is around on a regular basis. Taking on the role of Vice Chair in 2017, Darren has been developing his skills with a wide range of governor training and is now our Safeguarding governor and took the position of Chair in October 2018. 

Sarah Slater

Vice Chair of Governors

SEND Governor


Having grown up in Biggleswade, Sarah moved to Ickwell in 2013, taking up her role as Foundation Governor in November 2017. She has spent her career working in education, firstly, as a teacher in the Junior School of what was Bedford High School, and since 2000 in student disability and wellbeing services at a number of universities, including King’s College London, the University of Bedfordshire, UCL, Cambridge University and most recently as Head of the Disability and Wellbeing Service and Deputy Head of Student Wellbeing at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sarah is an ardent supporter of inclusion in the teaching and learning environment. She is passionate about ensuring children at Northill acquire effective literacy and numeracy skills whilst also developing lifelong curiosity and an interest in learning, and personal resilience that promotes positive wellbeing. As such, Sarah will take the governor lead on SEND and EYFS at the School, and is looking forward very much to working alongside the staff and children, and her fellow governors, of Northill Lower School. She became Vice Chair of Governors in October 2018. 

Simon Bryant



Simon has been a local resident for over 50 years, and is a former pupil of Northill School. He joined the governing body in 2010 as a Diocesan governor, before becoming Chair of Governors in 2011. A parent of three daughters, all of whom attended the school, Simon is passionate about the importance and power of education. Drawing on the knowledge and skills gained while engaged in the running of local businesses, Simon works closely with all stakeholders. 

Simon Walker

Diocese Governor


Simon lives in the nearby village of Ickwell, and both of his children have attended Northill School, with his youngest leaving in the summer of 2016. Simon runs a local business in Biggleswade, and has been an influential member of the governing board. Working within a sales based environment has given Simon not only life skills, but also the ability to stand back and assess various situations objectively and see reasoning from both sides. Simon believes that he is in a position to be able to judge situations from both a parent and commercial perspective. He is passionate that Northill remains a CofE school, with all the values and ethics that brings. He knows how important it is to give our young children a good and balanced start to their school lives.

Vicky Reid

Parent Governor


Vicky joined as a Parent governor in the summer of 2017. A former pupil of Northill she grew up in neighbouring village of Ickwell until moving to local town of Sandy. Vicky currently has 2 children attending Northill, daughter in year 4 and a son in year 1. Vicky has a keen interest in education and enabling all children to have a great start in their learning journey. Vicky visits the school regularly to support the teaching staff by listening to the children read.

Vicky works as an Assistant Practitioner within the NHS Community Occupational Therapy team and has held this post for 16 years. Supporting residents in the local community.

David Milton

Foundation Governor


David has been a Northill school governor for over 37 years, since first being appointed by Northill Parish Council in 1979. He is a former pupil, as were some of his ancestors. His three children and five grandchildren have all attended the school and one is still a current pupil. David is a retired accountant and financial controller, which brings valuable skills to the Board. He is currently a Parish Councillor and has served several years as Chairman. He’s also the treasurer and vice chairman of Ickwell May Day Committee, Chairman of Ickwell Village Hall Trustees and Chairman of Northill P3 Group. David is dedicated to the wellbeing of the school.

Gillian Webster

Foundation Governor


Gillian came to Northill in 1991 when she married her late husband, who was a church warden and the church organist for the village. Upon her arrival in Northill, Gillian discovered there hadn't been a Sunday school for many years so she set about canvasing every household with children, to see if demand was there. She was instrumental in setting up the village Sunday school, starting with eight children and it went forward from there. She has been involved with Northill church since 1991, taking on many roles. Gillian retired as a local magistrate in 2015 and at that time she was approached about a vacancy for a church foundation governor at Northill School. She accepted the challenge and was appointed into that role later that year. She’s finding it a very interesting position and plays an important role in representing the Church within the board. 

Tudor Fox

Foundation Governor


Tudor has been a governor at Northill since 2000, when his children attended the school. Tudor has been Chairman of the Governing Body and has also chaired the Finance and Management committees.  Coming from an engineering management background, working with industry and government, Tudor has brought his professional skills and experience to improve the school’s policies and management practices; helping the school to provide the best environment and learning opportunities for the pupils and staff. Tudor lives in Northill and is now self-employed as an aerospace engineering consultant. His hobbies and interests include, followings sports, cycling, music, sailing and travel.

REV Frank Coleman

Incumbent Governor


Frank has been Rector of Northill Church for 18 years and a governor at the school for all of that time. Frank’s Grandson attended Northill School and there has been a close connection between church and school for many years. Frank has a wide experience of education, including having been chair of governors at eight different schools over a period of more than thirty years including a spell in this role at Northill. He has also worked on the Boards of Education of two different dioceses and has undertaken training and consultancy work in helping to promote church schools. Frank is involved in many aspects of community life and passionately believes in the benefits of village schools and village life. His greatest ambition, apart from Liverpool winning the Premier League, is to become the longest serving Rector of Northill for more than a century which he will achieve, should his sanity remain intact, in a few years time.

John Jones

Parent Governor


Details coming soon

Frank Firth

Local Authority Governor


Frank, as the Northill Ward member on Central Bedfordshire Council is Local Authority appointed Governor at the school. He is also the Local Authority Governor at St Swithun’s School Sandy and the Chair of the Finance Committee there. Frank came into the village of Northill in 1985 having served in the Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm for 24 years, to take up employment initially at BAe Hatfield, before returning to the Ministry of Defence (Procurement Executive) in London. He retired from the MoD in 2003. His background is that Aeronautical Engineering and has experience in Procurement, Project Management and Quality Assurance.