Meet the Governors

Mrs Marjorie Rastall

Chair of Governors

FRMC Member


I have been a governor at the school since the early 1980's when the first of my four children began their schooling at Slaley. My own career in education began in 1973 teaching in Cumbria followed by posts at Prudhoe, Consett and QEHS.  From 2000 to 2013, when I retired, I was involved in teaching and then senior management within the youth justice system.  I have been involved with Slaley show since 1988, first as general secretary and then pony secretary.  I have recently taken over as chairman of the show.  I am a parish councillor for Hexhamshire having lived in the Shire for the last 20 years after previously living at Red Hemmels Dairy Farm at Healey. 


Melissa Baynes

Vice Chair of Governors

Governor Responsible for Safeguarding

E-Safety Governor

SPDC Member


I live on a dairy farm just outside of Slaley village, I have 5 children all of which have been through Slaley School my youngest still attending. I am a Nurse working as a clinical Manager and community Matron In the  NHS Children’s Mental Health Services with extensive experience working with children with Special educational needs, Mental Health conditions and assessment of Neurodevelopmental conditions and post diagnostic support. I am passionate about supporting the school to continue to provide new opportunities and experiences for the children to enable all children to thrive and reach their own potential.


Ian Stevens MBE

Co-opted Governor

Governor with a responsibility for Health & Safety

FRMC Member


With a background in glaciology and computer programming it was only natural that I went on to spend 33 years in the rail industry!  My early career was spent in the Tyne/Tees area as an Operations Manager.  From there I progressively moved south to take up safety roles at a national level in London.  In 2020 I retired from the industry and what had become my specialist role for the previous eight years – suicide prevention.  For my work in that field, I was honoured with an MBE in 2018.

By chance my wife and I discovered Slaley in 2019 on our journey back to London following a visit to the Edinburgh Fringe.  We instantly knew it was the place that we wanted to retire to.  The sense of community was a huge draw for us and since moving from Wimbledon we have looked to make our contribution to both the village and the Parish.  Currently I serve as a Parish Councillor and sit on the Commemoration Hall Committee.

Having had two girls spend many happy years in education, due to the support they received along the way, I am keen to play my part in making the journey of other children as fruitful and fulfilling as theirs.

Mrs Kayleigh Herdman
Co-opted Governor
SPDC Member
For the past four years I have lived on a hill farm just outside of Blanchland with my husband and two children, after moving from Hexhamshire where I grew up. 
I have a first class honours degree in Hospitality and Food Management and now own and run a luxury shepherd's hut holiday accommodation business here on our farm. 
It's a pleasure to be part of the governors team and be part of a great local school, which my daughter currently attends. 

Mrs Angela Hayward


SPDC and FRMC Member


I have recently joined Slaley First School (September 2021) as Headteacher and Governor. I am delighted to be part of the wonderful Slaley community and I am committed wholeheartedly to providing the very best education to the children in our care. I have three children myself and so fully understand the importance of being considered and included as a parent. I view all of our parents as partners in the educational process and encourage parental involvement in all aspects of school life. We have an open door policy for new and existing parents, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any information or have any queries.


Rachel O’Neill

Teacher Governor

SPDC Member


I joined Slaley First School in April 2002 as Key Stage One Teacher. During this time I have worked closely with the headteachers, staff and governors to develop the provision offered at Slaley First School. In May 2013, I became a teacher Governor. In this role I share ideas with Governors, providing a valuable link between the Governing body and staff. I am passionate about everyone in our school community working together to achieve the very best for the children in our care.



Mark Osborne

Parent Governor

Governor responsible for Early Years

FRMC Member


I have lived in Slaley since 2015 and have four children (two boys and two girls); the older two currently attend the school. I have been a governor since Autumn 2021. I work as an ecologist and am a founding director or an ecological consultancy.


Mrs Lynda Potts

Co-opted Governor

Governor responsible for SEND


I was first involved with Slaley First School when my children attended there over 20 years ago. I served as a parent governor for a number of years and also taught in school covering absent staff at times.

I qualified as a teacher in 1985 and throughout my long teaching career taught mostly in special schools initially in Nottinghamshire, then Northumberland, County Durham and Hartlepool. I taught children with a wide range of special needs predominantly in the primary age range.

During this time I also became interested n alternative health and trained in a number of therapies including Bowen therapy and Reflexology. Since leaving teaching, I have qualified as a Herbalist and currently run a clinic from home near Whittonstall.

I look forward to being involved with Slaley School again and hope that my experience will prove to be a useful asset to the team.


All Governors can be contacted via our School Office.