Come here to find out all about the school's committed Governing Board.

The role of a governor is to contribute to the work of the governing body in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school. It does this through;

  • providing a strategic overview
  • acting as a critical friend
  • ensuring accountability

The day-to-day management of the school is the responsibility of the headteacher and staff. Rather than manage, governors are there to help shape the school's future direction and focus.

Governors work as a team. Individual governors have no power or responsibility. It is only the full governing body which has legal duties and powers and all governors share in that corporate responsibility.

Important Governor Documentation

Statutory Information 2022

Annual Governor Statement

Rebecca White


I am thrilled to be the newly appointed Headteacher at Sharp Lane Primary School.  I have worked as a senior leader in both Leeds and Wakefield and led previous schools through two successful ‘Good’ Ofsted Inspections. I am passionate about leading Sharp Lane and excited about the journey we are on and I look forward to ensuring every child not only reaches their full potential but has an opportunity to experience a vast range of opportunities in a full and enriched curriculum.  I love working at Sharp Lane Primary School and I am always so proud of the children, staff and parents who make it such a safe, caring and happy place to learn.  As a Local Leader of Education and a former Vice-Chair of Governors at two local primary schools, I have been able to use my skills to support school improvement across the city of Leeds.  I understand how important my role as the Headteacher and member of the Governing Board is in shaping the future of all the children at Sharp Lane.  We strive as a Governing Board and as a school leadership team to ensure every child leaves Sharp Lane equipped with our key values of aspiration, belief, commitment and discovery so they are able to deal with the rapidly changing world around them. 

Gemma Haynes

Local Authority Governor

I am delighted to offer a parent’s perspective on the governance of Sharp Lane Primary School, having lived in South Leeds all my life. I have two children, one of them has moved on from Sharp Lane and is now at High school and my youngest is in Key Stage 1. 

I have worked for Leeds Local Authority for 18 years in a variety of roles: several years in housing; a couple of years in Children’s Social Care where I became familiar with key safeguarding matters and the importance of the wellbeing of children; now I am the Projects and Programmes Manager within Employment and Skills, promoting attractive career paths and opportunities for young people as well as overseeing and commissioning adult and family learning provision and tutors in the City. As I work to ensure that young people, at the end of statutory education, have opportunities for personal advancement, I am reminded of the importance of what children learn in their early years. I am a Governor to help ensure that the children at Sharp Lane Primary have the opportunities and provisions to help them to achieve their maximum potential. My vision for an excellent Primary School is one that gives children real joy from learning so that they continue to learn and develop throughout their lives. I firmly believe that children learn best when they are happy, feel safe and understand the purpose behind their learning.

My professional career in Project Management gives me the skills to analyse, understand and interrogate performance to ensure Sharp Lane Primary is managing its resources and budgets well, to best meet the needs of our children. I understand the importance of agreed timescales and expect interim progress reports at governor meetings.

I am accustomed to external evaluation as Ofsted inspects our service. I am also familiar with new national guidance and expectations linked to the apprenticeship agenda.

Dave Colley

Co-opted Governor

I was proud to have been elected as a co-opted Governor at Sharp Lane Primary School, having seen at first hand the effort, care and dedication that all the staff put into making sure my daughter received the best well-rounded education possible, helping her to grow with high expectations and achieve aspirational targets. Within my role as a Governor, I am the designated Governor for Health and Safety. 

I started work as an apprentice trained Mechanical Engineer and later retrained to work with toxic solvents and chemicals. Whilst working as a Coating Manufacturing Technician, I trained as a company health and safety rep with TUC courses and COSHH course at Bradford College. I have also attended numerous training courses run by the Leeds governor support unit with particular emphasis on Child Protection and Safeguarding.

I believe that, with the skills I have learnt in the workplace, I can help and support the safety and well-being of the children and their learning environment. From my experience of being a governor and visiting schools, I believe that primary education should be engaging and memorable for all children based on their first-hand experiences. We, as governors, should be challenging the Senior Leadership Teams to ensure that the children receive high-quality teaching throughout the curriculum and develop as independent learners.

Neil Kinrade

Co-opted Governor (Chair of Governors)

I am proud to be a Co-opted Governor at Sharp Lane Primary School. Within my role, I am the link Governor responsible for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Children Looked After (CLA). I also sit on the Headteachers Performance Management Committee. I believe in making a positive impact on the school as Primary school age is when children are most impressionable. The Board of Governors can set strategic goals with the children’s best interests at heart to set them up for a positive future.

Originally from Liverpool, I moved to Leeds to study and graduated from Leeds Beckett University. I started work as an HR & Employment Law Consultant, having dealt with, and being exposed to, sensitive and high-value cases I quickly became a Director of HR. I also work with fellow Directors on setting short and long term strategic priorities as well as translating key data into an effective and commercially focused approach.

With the skills, I have acquired through university and with my corporate background, I believe I can bring a skill set which will encourage and challenge the Senior Leaders at the school and make me an effective member of the Board of Governors.

Sarah Lawton

Co-opted Governor

After retiring from over 30 years as a GP in Leeds I wanted to give something back. ( Hence my involvement with the Vaccination Programme). When my four children were at school I was heavily involved with the PFA of two schools and was Chair of the PFA of one of them for many years. After they left school I became a Trustee of the PFA.

When my name was put forward I visited Sharp Lane and was most impressed so was proud to become a Governor. I have learned much about Primary Schools and how they function which is of great interest as I have eight grandchildren (four at Primary School). I am the Governor with an interest in attendance and have worked on sub-committees and attended relevant training to help in all aspects of work to help with governance issues at the school. I hope that I can bring a different perspective to the governing board as my background in education has only been personal or related to training GPS!

Naomi Bowden

Parent Governor

I have had the pleasure of having been elected parent governor in July 2021. I am a stay at home parent to my three daughters, the eldest has just left for high school after attending Sharp Lane for the last 8 years, the second is in year 4, and the youngest is in the nursery.

My last child starting school is what prompted me to put myself forward for a governor role, after 11 years I found myself with no children at home during the day and thought it was time to "give back" to the school that had been nurturing and helping my children to fulfil their potential.

I have a degree in English literature from the University of Nantes in France, where I am from. Before moving to England and focusing on my family, I was a primary school teacher in France. I taught the French equivalents to nursery, reception and year 1, though I started by being a supply teacher for a year which allowed me to gain experience in all years. In France, a parent would not be given the opportunity to be on a governing board, so I am very pleased to be given this chance as I believe that for all pupils to thrive, a school should work in a partnership with their families. 

I am passionate about education and I believe school is the place where every child should get the same chance to learn and blossom, regardless of their background. I intend to support and challenge the school towards this goal. 

Anna Weeks

Co-opted Governor

This is my first Governor role and I'm extremely excited to be involved at Sharp Lane Primary I'm looking forward to getting more involved with a school just down the road!

I currently work for a large transport firm, with bus and train operations across the UK and Europe. My experience ranges from operational, staff and financial management of bus depots, to managing the customer and staff operations at London Paddington station My current experience as Regional Director for a national train operating company involves budget setting, financial reporting, performance improvement plan development and delivery, engagement with the Department for Transport and local community groups, in addition to safety accountabilities and management of the local teams.

This background puts me in a good place to support Sharp Lane Primary in their financial structures, accountability, management and resourcing. My family background has always made me hugely admire the hard work and commitment teachers put into their roles, my Mother has been a primary school teacher and early years advisor and my brother a headmaster. I am really looking forward to supporting the headteacher and all the staff in delivering their vision to nurture, encourage and support all the children at Sharp Lane.

Clare Gill

Parent Governor (Vice-Chair of Governors)

I became a Parent Governor at Sharp Lane in July 2017. My responsibilities at the school are for the Early Years Foundation Stage and I also chair the Pupil Support Committee. I decided to apply to be a governor because, with my eldest starting Sharp Lane reception in Sept 2017, I wanted to make a positive impact on his and his younger brother’s education, and because I believe primary education sets the foundation for a love of lifelong learning.

In my professional life, I have gained an English Language and Linguistics degree and have worked across Yorkshire and the North East for a national construction company in Community Investment. I work part-time, look after my two sons and in my spare time I like cake decorating and gardening. Having moved to Belle Isle from York 10 years ago, I see a wonderful community spirit in the area and we have some amazing facilities on our doorstep. I feel that with my skillset and fresh eyes on the area, I’ll challenge Sharp Lane to ensure we continue on the path to success as the school grows further in the coming years. I’m excited to be part of Sharp Lane’s journey and my hope is that every single child has the aspirations, self-confidence and enthusiasm to be whatever they want to be – the sky’s the limit!

Laura Poulter

Staff Governor

In February 2022, I was appointed as Staff Governor to the Sharp Lane Governing Board. In my role as TA, I have worked in Nursery, Reception and Year 1; prior to this appointment, I was a Lunchtime Supervisor. I very much enjoy being part of a school that aspires that every child realises their potential to be the best they can be whilst undertaking their individual and unique childhood journeys.

This is my second tenure within the Governing Board, having previously been a Parent Governor at Sharp Lane since early 2018. I am the mother of 3 boys aged 13, 12 and 9, all of whom have been or are being educated at Sharp Lane Primary School. In the role of Parent Governor, I helped guide the school through the changing of Head Teacher and the recent OFSTED inspection. I am very proud of what we have achieved to date and believe we can meet the challenge of our long term strategic goals.

Prior to being a mother, I worked as a Contracts Manager within a Children’s Services department having previously gained a First Class Law Degree at Leeds Metropolitan University. I was one of the first people in my family to have attended University and I understand the hard work and commitment that this requires. I discovered my enthusiasm for a career in the law whilst working in a contracts department within the Ministry of Defence. Through this job I came to know how the guidance and support of key people in your life can help you to find your passion and fulfil your potential.

Donna Broadbent

Parent Governor

I am honoured to have been voted in as Parent Governor at Sharp Lane Primary School.

I am a mum to 3 boys; 6, 5 and 2. My sons attend the school and my youngest will be attending the nursery as soon as he can. I love seeing the progress my children have made during their educational journey so far and look forward to watching them continue to thrive.

Observing how my sons have grown and progressed since attending Sharp Lane is part of the reason I’m delighted to be working with the school as a Parent Governor.

I am very passionate and enthusiastic about education and believe our school has a duty to provide the best learning experience possible to every child.

Before starting my family I was a learning mentor and volunteered at various facilities, including a local SILC. I am a qualified Level 4 higher level teaching assistant with a Level 3 diploma in Special Educational Needs. I like to keep my knowledge up-to-date and regularly complete level 2 courses in topics related to children and education; I’ve recently completed Understanding Autism and Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health.  In addition to this I am Chair of the PTA and volunteer as much as I can.

I understand there will be challenges in my Parent Governor role but I look forward to helping the school improve and seeing the rewards.

Deborah Park

I am delighted to join the Governing Body and look forward to working with the Sharp Lane Team to help develop what is already a wonderful and inclusive place for children to learn. I have a background in education and have been a teacher, SENCo and until recently was a Primary Headteacher in Leeds. My current role is Headteacher Support Service for Leeds City Council, which is a wellbeing service for school leaders across the city. Prior to this I was in the Arts Sector and worked as a Stage and production manager at Leeds Playhouse, Phoenix Dance and The Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. Following this I managed a charity, using drama and the arts to support young people who were disengaged with school. I have been a Governor in three schools during my career and have a specific interest in inclusion and SEND. I have one daughter, who has just started University, one husband and a very needy cat! I hope that my background will enable me to support the Headteacher and school staff to ensure that all children leave Sharp Lane equipped with everything they need to access their next stage of education, as confident and resilient young people.

Good schools have strong governance

The National Governors' Association has produced this short film with ITN to showcase what outstanding school governance looks like. For more information and to find out how to join the NGA visit our website: