Our Governing Body

The Governors are responsible for the strategic direction of the school, and for working with the headteacher and staff  to raise standards and provide the best possible education for the children of West Jesmond Primary School. We are there to support the leadership team of the school as critical friends.

We learn about what has been going on in the school from regular communication with the school staff, participation in the preparation of the school’s development plan, and regular visits to the school.  We also take an active role in monitoring and analysing the progress of pupils in their learning.

Governors meet twice a term as a governing body and also have the following committees which meet twice a term:

  • Curriculum
  • Finance
  • Personnel
  • Inclusion

How to Contact us

If you have any concerns about your child’s education or experience in the school, please contact the class teacher or Headteacher in the first place.  If you remain concerned, please contact the Chair of Governors, Jane Edminson, via the school office, marking any letters Private and Confidential. 

Governors are keen to hear from parents more generally and we are often at Parents’ Evenings or in the yard or can be contacted via the school office.

Ms Jane Edminson

Co-opted Governor

I am Chair of Governors and have been on the Governing Body since 2001. I live locally and my own three children attended the school. I work for Newcastle City Council where I support school governors. I am also Chair of Governors at Benton Park School and, until academisation, I was Co-Chair at Heaton Manor. I am on the Personnel, Finance, Curriculum and Admissions committees. I very much enjoy being a governor at West Jesmond; it is a great school and it is a privilege to be part of the leadership of the school.

Mrs Laura Robb

Co-opted Governor

I am the Vice-Chair of Governors and have been on the Governing Body for almost 9 years. I was a West Jesmond parent until 2019, when my youngest child moved to secondary. I live in Jesmond and really enjoy serving as a Governor at my local school. I lead the Personnel committee, which taps into my previous career knowledge and I love being involved in recruitment and supporting the school strategically in this area. I am also Chair of the Local Governing Body at Westgate Hill Primary.

Mrs Laura Cordy

Parent Governor

I have just started my second term as Parent Governor and have recently become Co-Vice Chair of Governors alongside Laura Robb. It is a real privilege to be part of the governing body at West Jesmond Primary and I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of it. This year, I am a member of the Inclusion and Curriculum committees and link governor for disadvantaged children. I feel very honoured to have had, and continue to have, all these opportunities and I am very excited to be part of another exciting chapter at West Jesmond Primary.

Mrs Hannah Evans

Co-opted Governor

I've been on the Governing Body as a Co-opted member since January 2019, serving on the Inclusion Committee. I own a local business and place a high value on being an active part of the West Jesmond Community and, as such, I love to support the work of the school where I can. I get to help out with activities as well as receive groups of children to my place of work, where we discuss enterprise and entrepreneurship. I consider it a huge privilege to be involved in helping to shape these children's understanding of their community and the opportunities open to them now and in their futures.

Mrs Deepa Gibson

Parent Governor

I am a new parent Governor and started my tenure in December 2021. I have two children attending the school. We chose to live in Jesmond so our children could attend West Jesmond Primary School. We are a diverse family and want to use that knowledge to help the school and children.

Before moving to Newcastle, I worked for a TV listings magazine. I now work in Digital Marketing for an agency that specialises in Employee Advocacy. We coach executives on how to use social media.

I am looking forward to learning more about the school and offering my support to the Governing Body.

Mr Adam Goldwater

Co-opted Governor

I am currently serving on the Governing Body having joined in 2016. Although I did not attend the school (my dad did in the late 1940’s!), I grew up locally and spent a lot of my childhood in Jesmond. I work for the Great North Museum as Learning, Engagement & Research Manager, valuing every opportunity for all children in the school to learn outside of the classroom allowing access to cultural and science opportunities. I am Chair of the Curriculum committee and excited by the inspiring breadth and progressive depth of the outstanding school Curriculum.

Mr David Griffiths

Co-opted Governor

I am a Co-opted Governor having originally been elected Parent Governor in 2014. I am a Chartered Surveyor and am on the Finance committee. I liaise with the school management on property issues. Being a governor at West Jesmond is very rewarding and I hope that my professional and commercial expertise and interest in PE are of benefit to the school and its fantastic pupils.

Mr Matthew Hearn

Parent Governor

I am the father of two children thriving in the nurturing environment of the school. I have a background in the visual arts and Higher Education. I am a passionate supporter of arts education and I believe it is a vital pathway that encourages free-thinking, resilient and creative children. I was elected as a Parent Governor in 2019, and I am on the curriculum and inclusion committees. It is a privilege to be able to support the school and its dynamic staff team as part of the Governing Body.

Mr Matt Ward


As headteacher of West Jesmond Primary it is a privilege to work alongside such a talented, dedicated and experienced governing body who are dedicated to improving our school for every child.
The governors offer the school leadership both challenge and support. They offer a fresh viewpoint helping us to review our decisions and to strengthen our work in each part of the school. Through our regular committee meetings, monitoring visits and focussed discussions they are encouraged to scrutinise, question and, at all times, champion the needs of our children. At the same time they offer much needed advice and encouragement and help us to celebrate our successes.

Mrs Cathy Hogan

Staff Governor

I have been on the governing body as a co-opted member for four years and fully appreciate the importance of a strong working partnership.
As SENDCo and part of the school inclusion team, an essential part of my role is ensuring that inclusion is an integral part of our school development. I sit on the Inclusion committee which meets half termly to discuss, evaluate and plan to ensure all children are able to access all aspects of school life and I meet regularly with the link governor for vulnerable pupils.

Governing Body Minutes
Mrs Jill Maddison

Foundation Trust Governor

I have been a Foundation Trust Governor since 2012. I’m a local business person and social entrepreneur. My particular interest is in sustainable transport and cycling and I’m a co-founder of the Cycle Hub in the Ouseburn. I am passionate about ensuring that all of our young people are included in the provision of a quality education which can be accessed by all of the children. I work at ensuring that, as a school, we promote and encourage a sense of physical and emotional wellbeing for the children, staff and the wider school community . I’m also a parent of three young people, one of whom used to attend West Jesmond School.

Mr Imran Malik

Parent Governor

I joined the Governing Body in 2021 as a Parent Governor. I live locally and I have three children. I am a Solicitor and I currently work as Senior Counsel for a global manufacturing business listed on the New York Stock Exchange. For the early part of my career I was a Solicitor at a commercial law firm in Newcastle. I look forward to drawing on my legal background in my contribution to the leadership of the school, and to the benefit of the school and all its pupils.

Mr Paul Simpson

Co-opted Governor

I am Chair of the Finance committee and have been a governor for 8 years. I have two children who have been associated with West Jesmond, one is currently attends the school and my eldest previously attended and is now in Secondary School. I work for Newcastle City Council in providing ICT Services to Schools, I have worked in the Education sector for the previous 20+ years and I have a passion to work with schools to improve outcomes for all. I currently sit on the Finance and Admissions committee and thoroughly enjoy my role in school.

Mr Ben Van Wagtendonk

Parent Governor

I have two children at West Jesmond and I have lived in the area most of my life. I feel a real connection with the community and wanted to offer my support to the school.

In my professional life I have been a social worker for the past 14 years and worked with children and young people for 21 years. I currently manage services for cared for children, care experienced children and children with disabilities. Prior to this I have worked in Child Protection teams and felt that the skills I have learnt in my career would be helpful to the school in general. A lot of my time has spent working in and with school’s around issues to do with inclusion for children with additional needs.

I have only been a governor for around 6 months and I am so inspired by the school staff and wider school communities commitment to the children of West Jesmond.

Mrs Sally Watson

Parent Governor

I was appointed as Parent Governor in 2019 and sit on the Curriculum committee. My daughter is a pupil here and my son, who was also a pupil here, is now in secondary school. Following a career in museums and having latterly worked at the Great North Museum, I am currently a PhD researcher at Newcastle University where I am investigating urban environments which support children’s outdoor play. Over the last year, I have learned a huge amount about the school and how the staff work to support all children in their learning. I hope that my experience as a parent and my professional experience of working in the arts and in research will enable me to make a useful contribution to the governing body.

Mr Matt Ife

Parent Governor

I am a Parent Governor, having joined the Governing Body in 2019, and I sit on the Finance and Personnel committees. I live locally and have two children; one already at West Jesmond and one joining Reception in September 2020. I am a Chartered Accountant and have spent most of my career working in financial services, and I now run my own financial advice business. I am proud to be able to contribute to the leadership of such a great school.

Mr Tom Jones

Deputy Head

I joined the Governing Body in 2020 when I was promoted to Deputy Head. I have been teaching at West Jesmond for over 8 years now, and have held many roles including head of Science and Assistant Headteacher. Initially I only came for a year on secondment but since joining the school I have never looked back! I love working at the school and being involved in its current and future successes. As a Governor, I am on the curriculum and inclusion committees and lead the Safeguarding group. I get a great deal of satisfaction in shaping the opportunities for all of our children.

Mrs Lynsey Nicholson

Staff Governor

West Jesmond Primary has been a part of my life for over 26 years when I was first appointed back in 1995 as the school’s Nursery Nurse. Currently, I work as a teaching assistant within the Year 2 team and support children in class, as well as leading interventions throughout school. I am passionate about our children and I strive daily to make a difference to their learning and wellbeing. When the opportunity arose in December 2020 to join the governing body, I was keen to apply. I believe the knowledge I’ve gained over the years of both our school and the local community puts me in a strong position to reflect and comment on school life. I sit on the Inclusion committee, which meets half termly, to discuss, plan and ensure that West Jesmond is a fully inclusive school for all its pupils'

Miss Alex MacKellar

Staff Governor

I have been on the staff team at West Jesmond for over 6 years and feel very privileged to have joined the Governing Body in January 2022. Currently, I work as part of the Year 4 teaching team and I love contributing to the creation of confident, enthusiastic learners. In addition to my teaching role, I also hold the responsibilities of Science Lead across the school, as well as a Schools Direct Trainee Teacher Mentor. As a Governor, I sit on the curriculum committee and I am passionate about developing our broad, creative and inspiring school curriculum.

Governor Information