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


Executive Head Teacher:

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.

Staff Governors:

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.

L Holt

Hello! I currently teach in the Reception and Year 1 class at Newtown. I am a returning governing body member and an experienced teacher, with the role of Assistant Headteacher too. I have two young children who attend a primary school in Marple. In my spare time I enjoy sewing, reading and gardening. It's fantastic to be back on the governing body, helping to make the best decisions for the federation.

Parents Governors:

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 accountant, 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 (Chair)

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 IT. This means I am responsible for monitoring the Federation in their delivery of IT 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.  

N Rainey

I was delighted to be appointed as a parent governor for Thornsett and Newtown in November 2022. My twin boys attend Newtown Primary and my youngest is due to join them in September 2023. For the last 15 years I have worked as a Family solicitor specialising in Divorce/Dissolution and the negotiation of child care arrangements for those parents unable to reach agreement directly. I am currently taking a break from Law to tackle the renovation of our home, spend more time with the family and grow as much fruit and vegetables as possible! I have watched the teachers and staff at the school battle the exceptionally tough challenges of the last few years with an unwavering pragmatism and perseverance. Their selfless drive to prioritise the childrens’ welfare, wellbeing  and education has been remarkable and I hope to support the team to continue to push those priorities forward as best I can.

Co-opted Governors:

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.



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



HTPM, Creative Curriculum


Naomi Rainey


Strategic Priority - Reading / Oracy




Sue Woodgate





Vice-chair, SEND,

HTPM, Pay & Finance, Staff Well-being.


Laura O’Keefe


Strategic Priority - Assessment


STEM, Fundraising

Melissa Armstrong


Strategic Priority - Maths


Pay & Finance, HTPM

Mark Tomlin




Chair, Website, Safeguarding, Pay & Finance

Nigel Boyle





Health & Safety, Pay & Finance,

Governor Induction


FGB Meeting Dates 22-23

15th September - Development Meeting 1
2nd November - Business Meeting 1
10th November - Development Meeting 2
1st March - Development Meeting 3
3rd May - Business Meeting 2
28th June - Development Meeting 4
12th July - Business Meeting 3