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An inspirational place to learn and play, helping us make the most of everyday “All things are possible to those who believe.” (Mark 9:23)



Thorner C of E Primary School has been part of Elevate Multi Academy Trust from July 2018 and is happy to be part of the educational vision of the Trust, whilst retaining it's own strong identity.   


The core functions of the local governing board are:

To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.

To hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its children.

To oversee the financial performance of the Academy and make sure its money is well spent.

To ensure the Christian ethos is upheld and taught to its children. 


Chair of Governors: Dawn Scargill

Contact:  or Thorner C of E Primary School Kirkhills, Thorner, Leeds LS14 3JD



Together, the Governors are responsible for:

  • Setting aims and targets for the Academy and checking the academy’s progress towards attaining these.

  • Monitoring how well the Academy's policies and plans are working.

  • Accounting for the performance of the Academy and the Governing Body.

  • Working with the Headteacher to make sure that teaching at the Academy is effective and good quality and the children are making the best possible progress.

  •  Challenging and supporting the senior management team and taking opportunities to show interest in and appreciation of staff and children.

  • Promoting the interests of the Academy and its children in the wider community.


Types of Governors 

There are several different types of Governor:

  • Parent Governor

    Elected from parents at the Academy by parents at the Academy.

  • Staff Governor

    Elected from staff at the Academy by staff at the Academy.

  • Co-opted Governors

    Appointed by members of the Governing Body. They are intended to be representative of the local community and may add particular kinds of expertise.

  •  Foundation Governor    Foundation governors are representatives of the Church of England. 

           The local vicar is normally appointed as the 'ex-officio' foundation governor;

           The other foundation governor will usually be appointed by either Leeds or York Diocese, following consultation with the local PCC.


Pen Portraits:

Dawn Scargill :Parent Governor and Chair of Governors
I am privileged to have become a Parent Governor and Chair of the Governing Body at Thorner in November 2014. My background is in commercial property law where my work often involves making challenging decisions, finding consensus and understanding/interpreting legal documents. I also run my own business providing after school maths, English and science tuition in the Oakwood area of
Leeds, which has only increased my passion for education. My reason for becoming a governor was to try and give something back to both the Academy and community, and to contribute some of my own work experience/skills to the local governing body. As a governor, my duties involve supporting the Headteacher and staff, in our vision to provide an inspirational education for all the children at
Thorner, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to be the best they can be, each and every day. 


 Gemma Whawell: Acting Headteacher 
I joined the team at Thorner C of E Primary School in September 2013. I feel extremely fortunate to work in my role as Deputy Headteacher and Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo), with such wonderful children, staff, parents and governors. I enjoyed my school days so much and knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher. I find it both a pleasure and privilege to work with children. Since qualifying as a teacher in 2007, I have taught in almost every year group across the Primary phase. I previously worked as Class Teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Harrogate and was a Leading Teaching for Early Years in North Yorkshire. Living and working in the community of Thorner is an absolute privilege. I am incredibly proud to be part of a hard working team who are dedicated to making Thorner Primary School the best it can possibly be for the children at the Academy. I always seek to make school a positive and enjoyable experience for the children that I work with and do all that I can to support each individual in overcoming any barrier to learning. I am passionate about enabling children to reach their full potential and helping them develop the values and skills to support them in their future life.

Sharon Robertson: Executive Headteacher 

Andy Nicholson: Foundation Governor 

I am the vicar of Thorner Church, as well as Barwick in Elmet and Scholes. Before training for ordination I was a Secondary School Teacher of RE and previous to that an English Teacher in Spain and China. My interests include hill walking and the Asturias region of Northern Spain. I was born in Sheffield and through my grandfather I am a freeman of the City of York.


Susan Graham:  Foundation Governor 
I have been associated with Thorner School since my child started here in 2006 and have been a foundation governor for seven years. My youngest child is also still a pupil at the Academy. I am a Chartered Accountant by background with over 15 years’ experience in advising businesses and organisations in both the private and the public sector. I am committed to helping to make the Academy the best it can be for the benefit of all our children.


Paul Spurrier: Co-opted Governor
My association with Thorner Primary School began in 2014 when my child joined. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to become a co-opted governor in November 2015.
Professionally, I am one of HM Inspectors of Health and Safety, and have been for over 26 years working across a range of industry types. I have over 18 years of frontline management and policy development experience in HSE. This has included operational research, improving targeting,  developing policy and strategic approaches to changing government policy. I hold professional qualifications in project and portfolio management and sit on recruitment and promotion interview panels for new and existing staff. I hope my experience will be of use and benefit to the local governing body in helping the Academy develop and be the best that it can. My interests include skiing, horse riding, sailing and infrequent visits to the gym. My sporting passion is rugby union, having played it for many years before putting something back into the sport and becoming a coach for minis and juniors teams.

Carol Daniel:  Staff Governor
I have been a member of staff at Thorner CofE Primary for 14 years now and in that time have enjoyed a number of fulfilling roles across both KS1 and KS2. For KS1/EYFS I run an afterschool club, which is aimed at those children who are not necessarily sports minded, but just want to have fun whilst learning different skills. In addition I co-ordinate the upper KS2 Play Leaders and have become a member of the Academy's OPAL team, which I am very enthusiastic about, as I am passionate about promoting arrange of outdoor activities/learning. I do enjoy and thrive on the challenge that comes with every aspect of school life and am passionate about our Academy's vision: An inspirational place to learn and play, helping us make the most of every day.


Sam Capstick: Associate Member
I began my teaching career as an NQT at Thorner School over 20 years ago and over the years I have accumulated a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience. I was Assistant Head for nine years and am currently a member of the Senior Leadership Team. I have taught in years 3, 5 and 6 and am currently teaching in year 6. The children at Thorner matter to me. I care about their learning, their welfare and their entitlement to enjoy their time in our school. I believe it is my job to make a difference to their lives. I have been on the governing body since 2010 and during this time I have been involved in the recruitment of staff and been on both the Teaching and Learning Committee and Resources Committee. I have enjoyed working closely with members of the governing body when recruiting and selecting new members of staff, short listing, interviewing, observing lessons as part of the process and helping to make an informed decision. As an experienced governor and member of staff, I believe that maintaining high quality relationships with a local governing body that continues to offer challenge and support is a vital component for the long term success of the Academy.


 Local Governing Body

Our Local Governing Body is made up of the following members: 






Name and Nature of Business

Nature of Interest

Gemma Whawell

Acting Headteacher





Acting Head teacher

Sharon Robertson





Elevate Multi Academy Trust


Carol Daniel


To 26.03.2023




Dawn Scargill Chair


To 29.11.2022



 Safeguarding/leadership/quality of education including EYFS



Beth James


To 14.09.2025




Susan Graham


To 06.11.2022





Andy Nicolson


Ex officio





Paul Spurrier

Co opted

To 21.10.2023


 H&S/personnal development

HSE/Health and Safety

HM principal inspector

of H&S, Head of DST

Chemical Regulation 



Co opted











Dianne Mousley


Compliance Officer





Sam Capstick


















Governors Attendance

 Governor Attendance at LGBs 2018-19.docxDownload
 Governor Attendance at LGBs 2019-20.docxDownload
 Governor Attendance at LGBs 2019-20.docxDownload
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