Pen Portraits

Marjorie Rastall

Chair of Governors

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.

 

Catherine Lincoln

Vice-Chair of Governors

Safeguarding & E-Safety Governor

I'm Catherine Lincoln, a co-opted governor.  I live in the village and work locally at Dilston College.  My involvement with the school goes back to when I worked at the school as secretary a few years back, and both my children went to Slaley. I have a PGCE in Early Years education and experience in special needs and safeguarding, as well as a financial background. I believe that small schools are the best place for children to start their education, and as a governor, my role is that of a critical friend - to support but also to challenge.  

 

Philip Cain

Co-opted Governor

H&S governor

I grew up in Northamptonshire and first came to the Northeast to study Agriculture at Newcastle University. After graduating I married and moved south again to manage farms in the Midlands. In 1988 we moved back up to live at Healey and I returned to Newcastle University to lecture in Farm Business Management and oversee the two university farms. While there I was also a governor of Kirkley Hall College. I retired three years ago and spend my time building things, growing vegetables for Slaley Show, fishing and trying to control two Springer Spaniels. We have two sons and four grandchildren who all live locally. I am delighted to be a co-opted governor of  Slaley First School and look forward to contributing to its continuing success.

Mrs. Debbie Brett

Headteacher

I joined Slaley First School in January 2016 from Shotley Bridge Primary School where I was the Deputy Headteacher. Previously, I taught in a Middle School in Bedfordshire and a Junior School in London.

For the past 25 years, teaching has been my vocation. In that time, I have completed four terms of office as a teacher Governor which has enabled me to work closely with all members of the school community and gain a deeper understanding of how schools operate within the wider context of education.

My aim has always been to facilitate learning and guide children to become the very best that they can be. As Head teacher of Slaley First School, I feel I am in a privileged position to pursue this aim, but also appreciate that it brings great responsibility.

 

Rachel O’Neill

Teacher Governor

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.

 

Sarah Hutchinson  

Co-opted governor

As a newly appointed Governor, I am very much looking forward to my role.  My family lives just outside the village and I have two children who attend Slaley School.  I teach part time and I am in my second decade of teaching in a secondary school in Newcastle.  I still feel enthusiastic and passionate about biology teaching and I also enjoy my responsibility as part of the pastoral team in the sixth form.  My dog, horse and hens fit around family life!

 

Mark Foster 

Parent Governor

My wife Andrea and I moved to the area in 2015. Andrea grew up in Corbridge and we knew Slaley first school in Northumberland would be the perfect place to bring up our children. It has not disappointed, it is such a wonderful thriving school.  We are lucky that currently we have 2 children at the school and hopefully another little boy to join in a couple of years’ time. 

I am a qualified actuary (my wife still doesn’t know what that is!) working in investments/pensions. Officially Actuaries “use their financial skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events”. I am happy to help the school in any way I can, to ensure the future is secure and the school children continue to have a great first class experience.  

In my younger days I was also a keen sportsman so extremely happy to see all the extra-curricular activities available at the school.

 

Lucy Irish

Parent Governor

My husband and I moved to Slaley in 2010, having relocated from the south coast with work. We count ourselves very lucky that we picked Slaley as our home as it is a great place to live with a strong community and a real gem of a school.  We have one child at the school who loves it and one more who can't wait to start.  I have already been involved with the school, acting as treasurer for the PTA for three years before accepting a role as Governor.  My background and degree is in engineering, however I have worked in a number of roles across the supply chain over the past 20 years with Procter and Gamble (which recently became Coty at my site in Seaton Delaval), including R&D, project and program management, operations leadership, logistics and financial management.  In my role as a newly appointed governor I will be supporting financial management at the school but also looking to see where else I can help the team at the school.

 

Alexia Dawson

Parent Governor & DPO