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 Co-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 Cordy

Parent Governor

I am Co-Chair of Governors and have been on the governing body since 2016. I attended West Jesmond Primary many years ago and so it is a real privilege to now be involved with the school, and to be part of a team helping to continually move it forward. This year I am a member of the Inclusion, Curriculum, Finance and Personnel committees. I am also link governor for disadvantaged children and maths. I feel very honoured to have had, and continue to have, all these opportunities in school 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

In December 2021, I proudly took on the role of Parent Governor for West Jesmond Primary School. Being a parent myself, with two children enrolled in the school, I want to use my experience and knowledge as a diverse family to benefit the students and the school. Our family chose to live in Jesmond because we believe in the quality of education and the opportunities West Jesmond offers our children. I am eager to contribute and make a positive impact in any way I can.

Before moving to Newcastle, I worked for a TV listings magazine. I now work in Digital Marketing for an agency specialising in Employee Advocacy.

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 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.

Mrs Tanya Pretswell

Co-opted Governor

I had the privilege of joining the Governing Body as a co-opted governor in November 2023.
I have been a lay activist with a trade union for the last 15 years, working at a branch, regional and national level. I am currently Vice Chair of the union’s Health Service Group Executive. I also served a 3 year term as a local councillor.
I have three adult children who have benefitted from their attendance at West Jesmond Primary School and it’s great to have the opportunity to put a little bit back.
I am really looking forward to working with the governing body.

Mr Graeme Tyndall

Parent Governor

I joined the governing body in December 2023 as a parent governor at the end of our eldest son's first term at West Jesmond, having moved to Newcastle from Hertfordshire in August 2023 to be near family (my wife and her brother grew up around the corner and attended West Jesmond themselves).
I have worked in secondary independent boarding schools my whole professional career in a range of academic, co-curricular and pastoral roles, most recently as a Head of Wellbeing. I am delighted to have this chance to learn more about and contribute to the school, and the education it can provide for our children.

Mr Raj Hoque

Parent Governor

I had the privelage of joining the governing body in December 2023 as a parent governor. Already I have seen great energy, drive and commitment from all those who are connected to WJPS.
I live in Jesmond with my family and my daughter currently attends WJPS.
I work in the Civil Service and sit on the board for the North-East Diversity and Inclusion Network. I am also co-chair of the National Race Network working with the Cabinet Office and ministerial steer, implementing strategies to set new standards for diversity and inclusion, championing a diversity of backgrounds to better promote fairness and performance in the Civil Service.
I will devote both time and energy to the role and ultimately ensure the best outcome for all children irrespective of differences in culture and lifestyle.

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 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.

Mr Matt Ife

Parent Governor

I have been part of the Governing Body at West Jesmond since 2019. I live locally, and my children attended West Jesmond. I am a Chartered Accountant, now running my own financial advice business, and I chair the school's Finance and Personnel committee, as well as being a link governor for maths and disadvantaged children. 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 since 2013 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 many years from 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 since 2016 and feel very privileged to have joined the Governing Body in January 2022. Currently, I work as part of the Year 6 teaching team, and I love contributing to the creation of confident, enthusiastic learners. In addition to my teaching role, I also hold the responsibility of Computing Lead across the school, and I have been a Schools Direct Trainee Teacher Mentor in the past. I have also recently completed a National Professional Qualification in Leading Teacher Development. As a Governor, I sit on the Curriculum Committee, and I am passionate about developing our broad, creative and inspiring school curriculum.

Mrs Georgia Ross

Parent Governor

This year, I am excited to have the privilege of joining the West Jesmond Primary School Governing Body as a Parent Governor. I have two children in the school and have lived in the area for the past twenty years. As a teacher in a local independent school, I am keen to learn, share ideas and get involved in education from a different angle. Having such a positive experience of the school as a parent, I am greatly looking forward to working with such a dedicated staff and governing team to contribute to further development of the school.

Mrs Jessica Callaghan

Parent Governor

I had the privilege of joining the governing body in December 2023.
My two eldest children attended the school and my youngest still attends so I am excited about positively contributing to the West Jesmond school community.
I have 16 years of experience working in education and currently work as a SENDCo and Designated Safeguarding Lead. I am passionate about enhancing opportunities for pupils with a keen focus on providing a safe, inclusive and enriching environment.
I am proud to be part of this dynamic governing team and look forward to the year ahead.

Governor Information