High Peak Federation

Governing Body

The Governing Body have a key role to play in supporting the school. The Body meets regularly during the year and ensures the school is doing everything that is required to ensure the children are kept healthy and safe, are taught well and make progress and are provided with a broad and balanced curriculum. The Governing Body also ensures all legal responsibilities of the school are followed properly and that future plans are clear and well thought out. The Governing Body is also involved with all new school appointments and ensures the school uses its budget effectively too.

The Governing Body are volunteers from the community - some are parents, some are staff, some work within the area and some come from farther afield! They also visit the school outside of more formal meetings and help to evaluate how well the school is doing in supporting the children.

We have reconstituted our Governing Body to meet the needs of the Federation..

We are also now working even more collaboratively with our Cluster - which is named PEGS (Peak Edge Group of Schools). Governors are now meeting with colleagues from other schools to tackle issues together, offer support and find common goals. Initial meetings have made some significant steps towards the common vision of better outcomes for the children.

The Governing Body ensures the school monitors closely all aspects of provision. The Governors support the schools yearly monitoring process. The school carries out a monitoring schedule and detailed evidence, findings and reports are produced. These are published for all Governors to share on the secure area of the Governing Body area of the website. 

Our Governing Body

Staff Governors:

A Parry 

I have been Executive Head teacher at Thornsett since September 2010 and am also Executive Head teacher at Newtown Primary School too. My recent appointments have been in small schools and I understand clearly the many benefits, and also challenges, that result. The collaboration between the two schools has been a very positive experience. The knowledge, support and passion to improve outcomes the governing body has demonstrated, is a key to providing positive learning experiences for our school community.

R Belli 

I have a long association with Thornsett Primary School and am Assistant Head teacher. I have much experience in teaching across the whole of the Primary age range and I have a keen interest in Music too.

C McGuckian

I joined Newtown Primary School in 2013 and teach Year 5/6. In September 2015, I became a governor. I share the role of assistant Headteacher. My role on the governing body helps to represent the staff in school and I am on the Staffing and Standards sub- committee.

R Tong

Hello! My name is Rose Tong and I am the Reception and Year One teacher at Thornsett Primary. I have been teaching since 2017, after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University. Having grown up in Bristol and then moving to Manchester for my degree, I was so excited to move into the High Peak to enjoy an outdoors-y lifestyle.

In November 2021, I was co-opted on to the High Peak Federation governing body as a staff governor, hoping to become more involved in the formalities behind the running of our schools, and to represent my colleagues. I feel very lucky to be part of a team who are so dedicated and hardworking, striving to provide our children with the best possible education.

As well as being a governor, I am also the subject lead for the Arts and the Early Years. I believe the first years of our children’s lives are crucial to developing the resilience to lead a happy and fulfilled life, and it is my privilege to play a role in this journey.

My weekends are filled with running and walking with my husband Ben, and our dog, Monty, and spending as much time as possible outside.


Parents Governors:


R Bowen

I have been a parent Governor since 2018 and have two children who attend Newtown. I run the Newtown gardening club where children have the opportunity to improve their school environment, play, learn and also teach me a few things about gardening! I'm also passionate about literacy and volunteer to listen to children read in school.

M Armstrong

I live in New Mills and have two children at Newtown Primary School. I was pleased to be appointed parent Governor in 2019. I’m a chartered account, with experience in audit practice, budgeting and financial planning. I’m committed to supporting the school to achieve its goals, using my skills and knowledge to and add value where I can.

M Tomlin

My name is Mark and I am a parent governor. I live in New Mills with my wife Kirsty and three children- Joshua, Annie and Otis. I moved to the area in 2016 following living and working in London for 10yrs and growing up in Sussex on the south coast.
I joined the Governing body in 2021 and am link Governor for [TBC]. This means I am responsible for monitoring the Federation in their delivery of [TBC] to our children.
I believe successful education is ensuring all children are aware of and receive opportunity; and that they are prepared for and resilient to the adaptions the world is going through.
My day job is with KPMG in Manchester where I advise organisations on how to deploy IT safely and avoid the growing cyber threat we all face. In that role I deliver online safety training and awareness sessions to primary and secondary school children.
I work four days per week, and on my ‘day off’ share the care of our youngest as my wife rebegins her professional career after eight brilliant years of being a full time mother.

N Boyle

I have two children at Thornsett, one at each end of the school. Having observed the operation of the school for some time, and being impressed by its actions, I welcomed the opportunity to take on the role of Parent Governor, in order to support the future work of the school.
My background is largely focussed around science and engineering, but since the birth of our first child I have taken on the role of househusband, carrying out the bulk of the daytime childcare, and enabling my wife to pursue a full time career as a high school teacher. Alongside this task, I have been carrying out a barn conversion, completing a significant proportion of the building work myself. We have recently moved into this, despite it not really being finished!  
I am a very practical person and when not building can usually be found mending or making things, and can turn my hand to most practical tasks.
The remainder of my time is spent looking after our menagerie of livestock on our small farm, which includes; local rare breed sheep, ponies, chickens, geese and dogs, and occasionally lending a hand with my fathers cows.


Co-opted Governors:

S Monteath (co-chair)

I have been a Governor at Newtown since 2008, and been the Chair of the Governing Board and the Standards and Staffing committee since 2013. I am also a parent governor at New Mills School. Our ethos is about helping children to flourish academically, socially and emotionally – and getting that balance right is challenging, but I find it highly rewarding.
Please get in touch through the schools' contacts.

P Pearson (co-chair)

Originally from the West coast of Scotland, I moved to New Mills in 2004, and I love it here. I live with my husband, and two sons who both attend the school. I have worked in learning in Museums and Visitor attractions for 15 years and I am lucky to still learn something new every day. I would like to support the school to inspire a love of learning in every child.


S Woodgate (vice-chair)

I have been a Governor at Newtown since 2002, during my time as a governor I have been both Chair and Vice Chair, and Chaired both sub-committees I am currently the Vice Chair of Governors and Chair the Finance and Premises subcommittee. My background is in education and I have 39 years’ experience in the field and 30 years as a school governor in all phases.  I have a particular interest in SEND and vulnerable groups.

A Clarke

Originally from Norwich, I now live in Hayfield. I have a longstanding interest in education and was a primary school teacher for 25 years prior to taking up my present role in Tameside, as Divisional Secretary for the National Union of Teachers. My current job gives me the opportunity to speak to teachers and headteachers working across a range of educational settings, which provides me with a useful insight into the operation of a variety of schools.

R Webber 

I have a PhD in English Language and Education and have worked as an education adviser for over thirty years in many third-world countries. I am currently working part-time for the European Union on curriculum development in Tajikistan. I have two primary age grandchildren and am eager, through being a Governor, to support the development of the very best education system for primary school children in England.”

LEA Governor:

L O'Keefe

“I am the Local authority Governor appointed by Derbyshire County Council. I have a PhD in consumer behaviour and spent 8 years working at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research at The University of Manchester before moving to The University of Sheffield in June 2019 where I manage a research hub looking at electrical machines. I am committed to making a positive difference to the education of children across the Federation and feel the skills gained while working in the education sector will help me achieve this.”



Governor Responsibilities at The High Peak Federation





Anne Clarke


Art + Design & Technology



Pamela Pearson





Co-Chair, Pupil Wellbeing, Pay & Finance


Sam Monteath





Co-chair, Safeguarding, Support / challenge for pupils,

Pay & Finance, NGA

Sue Woodgate





Vice-chair, SEND,

HTPM, Pay & Finance, Staff Well-being.

Richard Webber





Rhian Bowen




Health & Safety

Laura O’Keefe


Modern Foreign Languages 


Pay & Finance

Melissa Armstrong



Pay & Finance

Ashley Parry


EHT, Parent Survey

Mark Tomlin





Nigel Boyle






FGB Meeting Minutes 21-22

September 2021 FGB