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Sharp Lane Primary School

Working together to capture and nurture the imaginations of young minds


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

Rebecca White


I am thrilled to be the newly appointed Headteacher at Sharp Lane Primary School and as such become a governor also.  I have worked as a senior leader in both Leeds and Wakefield for the last seven years before my secondment as Acting Headteacher to Sharp Lane Primary School in February 2019.  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 believe the key to success for all children can only be achieved through working in partnership with staff, parents, carers and the community.


In addition to my role at Sharp Lane Primary School, I am also the Vice Chair of Governors at two schools in Leeds; KSA Primary Academy School and Lane End Primary School.  I thoroughly enjoy my role as a governor helping to shape the future and support with the success of other schools.  In addition to my governor roles I am also a Local Leader of Education for the Noctua Teaching Alliance and have worked with schools in Leeds to raise standards through systematic leadership support.




Neil Kinrade

Co-opted Governor (Chair of Governors)

I am proud to be the new Co-opted Governor at Sharp Lane Primary School. Within my role I am the link Governor responsible for Vulnerable Children, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Children Looked After (CLA). 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 a 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 on the Board of Governors.




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 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 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!


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 in to 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 work place, I can help and support the safety and wellbeing of the children and their learning environment. From my experience of being a governor and visiting school, I believe that primary education should be engaging and memorable for all children and 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.



Gemma Haynes

Parent Governor


I am delighted to offer a parent’s perspective in 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 provision 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.


Sarah Lawton



After retiring from over 30 years as a GP I wanted to give something back. When my 4 children were at school I was heavily involved with the PFA and was Chair of The Committee for many years. After they left school I remained a Trustee of the PFA.

I now have 4 grandsons, 2 of which are at Primary School so I continue to take an interest. I was invited to visit Sharp Lane after my name was put forward as a Governor and was most impressed.

Laura Poulter

Parent Governor

I have been a Parent Governor at Sharp Lane Primary School for the last 2 and a half years and have found the experience of working with the School at a strategic level to be fulfilling, challenging and a privilege. I relish the opportunity to continue this role under the new leadership as I believe the Parent Governor role is essential; this role is the conduit between the school and the parents, which engenders and enables partnership working as well as a true understanding between the two environments, which is of primary importance in ensuring all our children fulfil their potential.


I also have the honour of being a staff member within the school as I am a teaching assistant, which is a role I very much enjoy. This enables me to have a wide perspective and a fuller understanding of the school as I can see its impact from several different perspectives.


Outside the school, I am a mother to 3 boys, 2 of whom attend Sharp Lane Primary, with my oldest child having moved onto high school in 2019. Prior to having a family, my career consisted of office administration at various levels, including management. My field of expertise was in service design, contract writing and negotiation, firstly on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and then with a Borough Council. To further this career, I took the opportunity to study to degree level at Leeds Metropolitan University, obtaining a law degree in 2001. I look forward to completing my term as a Parent Governor and am proud to represent my family, my community and Sharp Lane Primary School within this role.



Liz Watson

Co-opted Governor


I have spent all my working life in education, most of it as an English teacher and then a headteacher in secondary schools. For many years, as a young teacher, I worked in a South Leeds Secondary School, and I am happy to be here again, working with others to ensure that this community continues to be served by a good primary school.


Since 2002, I have worked as a regional adviser for the Department of Education and then as a School Improvement Adviser for Local Authorities in this region and for academy chains. I have, therefore, considerable experience of analysing a range of data, identifying areas for development and monitoring progress against agreed action plans. I have also served on School Improvement Boards during this time, working with senior leaders and holding them to account to ensure rapid improvement in the face of significant weaknesses.


As a headteacher, I worked closely with colleagues in primary schools so understood that many of the issues to be tackled, successes to be earned and pleasures to be gained, are the same in any school, whatever the age of the pupil. Before coming to Sharp Lane, I was a governor at another primary school for three years and there I became more familiar with requirements of the National Curriculum in primary schools and with a whole new set of data. One thing I am certain of is that nothing stands still in education and there will always be something new for me to learn. That suits me well and is why school governance attracts me.


Anna Weeks

Co-opted Governor


This is my first Governor role and I'm extremely excited to be involved at Sharp Lane Primary and 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, managing the customer and staff operations at London Paddington station and 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, with my Mother having 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.





Newly appointed governors are free to attend any committees this term as part of their induction process. They will be allocated to specific committees for the next academic year.

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:

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.