Governor information

Welcome to Holystone Primary School Governors' section.  Here you will find information about our Governors and their roles and responsibilities.
We believe a successful Governing body is most effective when it has a good working relationship with all members of the school community. Our Governing body is made up of parents, staff, local residents,  and members of the wider local authority community who work together to secure the best possible education for our pupils.
Our Governing body Comprises:
  • Headteacher
  • 7 Co-opted Governors - (Elected by the Governing Body)
  • 4 Parent Governors - (Elected by parents)
  • 1 Staff Governor
  • 1 Local authority Governor (appointed by the local authority)
The Governing body has a collective, legal responsibility for the effective management of the school, acting within a framework established by national legislation and the agreed policies of the school.  Its main aim is to maintain and help to improve the quality of education and the standards of achievement.  The Governing body meet regularly and are involved in decisions about the budget,  the curriculum, the recruitment and selection of staff, the maintenance and improvement of the premises and also discipline.  
Our Committee structure comprises:
  • Finance and staffing committee
  • Buildings and Health and Safety committee
  • Curriculum committee
  • Pupil discipline committee (when required)
The Governing body has three main responsibilities:
  • To ensure their is clarity of vision and strategic direction for the school
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of the staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school, making sure it's money is well spent
Governors do not take detailed decisions about the day-to-day running of the school:  that is the responsibility of the Headteacher.  
Governing body meetings
The full Governing body meets at least 3 times a year.  The agenda covers a range of topics including budgets, policy reviews, staffing and school development.
Much of the detailed work of the Governing body is carried out by the sub-committees which meet each term. It is at these meetings where Governors discuss budgets, review policies and performance, plan and consult with the Headteacher, ensure compliance with school policy, legal and regulatory obligations and carry out initiatives to further the development of the school plan.
Our current School Governors:
Mr Stephen Baines
Mr Steve Hallowell
Chair of Governors - Co-opted Governor - Appointed by Governing Body
Member of Finance Committee - Buildings, Health and Safety Committee
Subject links - Art, Music
Date of appointment January 2019
Term of Office - 4 years 
The Governing Body are responsible for ensuring that the school continues to provide the best possible environment for children to develop and learn. We work closely with Mr Baines and his team to set school development plans and priorities, we monitor performance and we try to support the school in any way that we can.
I have seen first-hand what a great school Holystone is - my two daughters attended the school and had a fantastic start to their education which they are taking forward at high school – and the Governing Body’s aim is for all children who attend the school to get the best possible start to their education.
I am really proud to be Chair of the Governing Body and am lucky to be supported by a brilliant group of Governors as well as the hugely talented staff who make Holystone the fantastic school that it is.
My working background is in finance – I currently lead the finance team of a large registered provider of social housing.
Mrs Sarah McLennan
Co-opted Governor - Appointed by Governing Body
Member of Curriculum Committee
Date of Appointment - January 2015
Term of Office - 4 years
Mr Peter Douthwaite
Co-opted Governor - Appointed by Governing Body
Chair of the Curriculum Committee
Subject link - Humanities (Geography, History, RE)
Date of appointment - January 2019
Term of Office - 4 years
I have been a Governor of Holystone Primary School for four years and also chair the Curriculum Committee. I have worked in secondary education in the North-East for 15 years and I am currently the acting Head of School at George Stephenson High School.
I believe my experience in education makes a valuable contribution to the school and contributes towards the excellent work of the Head teacher and Staff at Holystone Primary. I am particularly keen to ensure that the school provides the best possible education for students from all backgrounds and abilities and that students fulfil both their academic and personal potential during their time at Holystone.
I thoroughly enjoy working with people who have a passion for education and are dedicated to helping Holystone continue to make a positive contribution to the local community.
Mr Phil Malthouse
Elected Parent Governor
Member of Buildings, Health & Safety Committee
Subject links - PE, Health & Safety, First Aid
Date of appointment - June 2016
Term of Office - 4 Years

I serve on the Governing Body as a Parent Governor and have done for over 3 years. I am both proud and fortunate that my two children are able attended this excellent school.

As Governors, our role is often described as being a ‘critical friend’ to Mr Baines and his team. This means finding the right balance between supporting the school, questioning decisions and not assuming that because we’ve always done something in a certain way, it’s right. I hope I’ve got this balance right most of the time - after 3 years, I’m not afraid to ask the ‘silly question’ and I definitely don’t know it all.

I have over 18 years’ experience of working in the Private sector, with qualifications in Civil Engineering, Health and Safety and Project Management.

Mr John R McColl
Local Authority Governor - Appointed by the Local Authority
Member of Finance Committee - Buildings, Health & Safety Committee
Subject link -  Design & Technology
Date of appointment - September 2013
Term of Office - 4 years
Hello my name is John McColl and I have been a Governor at Holystone Primary School for 29 years.
I started as a Parent Governor seeing my three children through the school. I enjoyed the experience so much that I have carried on in the role, becoming a Co-opted Governor and now I am one of the current Local Authority Governors.
I have seen Holystone grow from a small village school to the very successful organisation that it is today. We have a wealth of excellent teachers and first class office staff that keep the school at the top of the educational tree.
I am so proud to have been part of the success of Holystone Primary School.
Mrs Helen Moore
Staff Governor
Member of Finance Committee - Buildings, Health and Safety Committee
Date of appointment - March 2014
Term of Office - 4 years
Mr Anthony Otterson
Co-opted Governor - Appointed by the Governing Body
Member of Finance Committee
Subject link - English
Date of appointment - January 2015
Term of Office - 4 years
I have lived nearby in Heathfields since it was built in 2005 and had been interested in finding ways in which I could use my training and skills to do something positive in my local community.
I qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and currently work for Siemens providing commercial legal advice and support on energy and engineering contracts in the UK. I decided to apply to the local authority to become a School Governor and joined the Holystone Board of Governors in January 2013.
I have a daughter of primary school age who attends a different school in the borough and so I am also able to share my experiences as a parent as well as provide objective feedback and suggestions on how to help Holystone School maintain its high standards.
I am proud to play a part in the continuing success of Holystone School in the place where I live.
Mrs Donna Henesey
Elected Parent Governor
Member of Curriculum Committee
Subject link TBC
Date of appointment - June 2016
Term of Office - 4 years
I have two children who attend Holystone School. I am keen as a parent governor to have an active role in promoting and contributing to maintaining the school’s high standards and achievements. I am also a member of the curriculum committee. As a Nursing Sister, I have valuable communication and advocacy skills which I feel will be beneficial in the role of parent governor.
Ms Gemma Swan
Elected Parent Governor
Member of Building, Health & Safety Committee and Curriculum Committee
Subject link - Child Protection/Safeguarding
Date of appointment - December 2015
Term of Office - 4 years

I have one daughter in the school, currently in Key Stage 2, and a younger daughter at home. I work full time in the tax department of a global accounting firm, but also enjoy a variety of other pursuits, including being Leader at 1st West Allotment Rainbows and Brownies and being involved with various local amateur drama groups.

I am a member of the PTA and Parent Focus Groups, and was elected Parent Governor in December 2015. I enjoy having a hand in ensuring our school continues to be the best it can, and find it very interesting sitting on the Curriculum Committee at a time when there are so many changes and challenges faced by schools in this aspect. As safeguarding governor, I also sit on the Building & Safety Committee, which allows me insight and input into a wide variety of aspects of school life.

I am also a qualified primary teacher, and have taught in other schools within our Local Authority. It's a privilege to be able to apply my knowledge and experiences as both a teacher and a parent to helping the school continue its fantastic achievements.

Sam Booth Malone
Co-opted Governor - Appointed by Governing Body
Member of Curriculum Committee
Subject link - TBC
Date of Appointment - March 2016
Term of office - 4 years
Mrs Raja Belghiti
Elected Parent Governor
Member of Curriculum Committee
Subject Link - TBC
Date of appointment - October 2018
Term of office - 4 years
Mr Stephen Dagg
Elected Parent Governor
Member of Curriculum Committee
Subject Link - TBC
Date of appointment - October 2018
Term of office - 4 years