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Meet the Governors

Chair of Governors: Lesley Ackrel

Chair of Governors: Lesley Ackrel 1

I have been on the governing body for just over 5 years now, firstly as a Parent governor then, since the governing body reconstituted in February 2015, as a Co-opted governor. During this time I have been part of both Ofsted interview panels, all three HMI inspections and have led the committee responsible for monitoring and evaluating the School Improvement Plan. I am now in my fourth year as Chair of the Governing Body after previously being Vice Chair and I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee as well as chair the Pay Review Committee.

I have two daughters; the eldest is now at Joseph Rowntree School having left Wigginton Primary in July 2017 and the youngest is in Year 3.

I have worked in the area of education for a number of years now - after completing a degree followed by a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) I became a primary school teacher and, over a 12 year period, taught a variety of age groups in 3 different schools. I currently work as an Advanced Teaching Assistant at Huntington Primary Academy and do some voluntary work for the RSPCA as an Education Officer.


Chris Tottie

Chris Tottie 1
I have been a Governor at Wigginton Primary School for at least 18 years, originally co-opted on to the Governing Body as Wigginton Parish Councils Representative. I have remained ever since as a co-opted Governor. I am chair of the Finance & Resource Committee as well as the Health & Safety Governor.
I have lived in both Wigginton and now Haxby for the last 30 years and am now retired having worked for a national wholesale electrical distribution company for 41 years, I have two sons now in their thirties, both started their education at Wigginton School. 


Gordon Jennings

Gordon Jennings 1

Originally from Co Cork in Ireland I moved to York in 2001.  I have been a governor at Wigginton Primary since April 2015. I am a member of the Finance and Resources Committee and also part of the Monitoring and Evaluation Group (MEG) that was set up following the last OFSTED inspection.  These roles give me the opportunity to give something back to the local community and school. I have two daughters one of whom now attends Joseph Rowntree School and the other is in KS2 at Wigginton Primary School. 
In addition to the above I am Treasurer and coach hockey to children at City of York Hockey Club.  This involves weekly training as well managing one of the under 10 girls teams at their monthly Yorkshire mini league matches.


Paul Laycock: Headteacher

Paul Laycock: Headteacher 1

I have been teaching in York primary schools for 15 years.  After joining Wigginton Primary School as Deputy Headteacher in 2013, I have, since September, been promoted to the role of Headteacher.  I therefore serve on both the Teaching and Learning Committee and the Staffing and Finance Committee of the governing body.  I care very much about the school, pupils, staff and community and endeavour to serve them as well as possible.


Amanda Windass

Amanda Windass 1

I have just started my term as Parent Governor at Wigginton Primary School.  I have two children, a daughter who is currently in year one and a son who is due to start in Reception in 2017.  Originally from Queensland Australia I moved to the UK in 2006 and have lived in Wigginton for 10 years.  I am a financial manager for a local engineering and manufacturing company, before that I worked as a senior accountant in an accounting practice in Australia and a qualified Justice of the Peace in Queensland.  I am a member of the Finance and Resources Committee and the Pay Review Committee.  I am looking forward to learning more about the school and being part of the governing body.  I am also a member of the school PTA.


Derek Harkess

Derek Harkess 1

I retired in January after more than 40 years in a number of Technical and Factory Management roles across Nestlé. Originally from Edinburgh I moved to Haxby, and now Wigginton, with my family 15 years ago. I serve as a Councillor on Haxby Town Council and sit on both the Planning and Finance committees. In February 2017 I was co-opted as School Governor at Wigginton Primary, where both my grand children attend. I am a member of the School Finance and Resources Committee. 




Richard Underwood

Richard Underwood 1

I moved to Wigginton in 2014 and started as a governor at Wigginton Primary in 2017. I have a background in IT and project management, and hope that I can offer my commercial experience to support the school in achieving its objectives. I am also a member of the finance and resource committee.


Felicity Langford

Felicity Langford 1

I was appointed as a parent governor in July 2017 and am really enjoying getting more involved in the school, particularly now that both of my daughters are there (I have one daughter in Year 1 and another in Reception). Prior to moving back to York, I worked in a professional services firm in London, initially as a chartered accountant and later as the senior manager of a large training department there. I was responsible for the design and delivery of courses on a whole range of topics, from leadership to management skills, through to managing welcome events for new graduate joiners. I also qualified as a coach and was part of my firm's coaching team, carrying out 1:1 coaching sessions for senior executives.

I am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee and am also one of the SEN governors.


Chris Perry

Chris Perry 1

I've just joined Wigginton board of governors as a co-opted member. I moved to the village 39 years ago, and both my daughters attended the school in the 1970s and 80s. During that time I was secretary of the PTA, and helped in school on a regular basis.

I am a retired teacher of French and of English as a Foreign Language, and worked in Press and PR before entering the teaching profession.


Yvonne Cheeseman

Yvonne Cheeseman 1
I have just started my term as a Governor at Wigginton Primary School. 
Originally from London, I moved to York 27 years ago with my family, after my work relocated. My daughter and son both went to Wigginton School in the early 1990s. I retired after 41 years in the private healthcare sector in 2011.
I am looking forward to learning more about the school and being a part of the governing body.


Katie Roberts

Katie Roberts 1
I became a governor in September 2017. I have lived in Wigginton since 2007. I have 4 children, the oldest has attended Wigginton School for 7 years and is now at Joseph Rowntree. The others are in year 5, 2 and reception. I know the school very well and am passionate about it and all the children who attend.
Before parenthood I was an orthopaedic nurse. Now I am a full time parent and can give time and energy into the governor role. I'm a member of the teaching and learning committee and I've been a member of the PTA for 6 years, for 4 of those I was the treasurer.


Laura Blackmore

Laura Blackmore 1

I first came to York in 2003 to study Applied Social Sciences at the University of York. I briefly moved back to Lancashire to complete my primary PGCE before working in schools in Bradford and in Burnley. I returned to York in 2010, where I taught across the KS2 age-range in a nearby school. I had roles in maths subject leadership and phase leadership at this time.

When I first visited Wigginton, it was immediately noticeable how much the staff and children love this school. I was therefore thrilled to join the school in September 2017 as Deputy Head. My responsibilities include maths subject leader and assessment coordinator. Within my role as governor, I serve on the Teaching and Learning Committee. I look forward to working with members of our local community in ensuring the best standards of education for our children through our love of learning and kindness that is so apparent when you enter the school.


Robert Lister

Robert Lister 1

I first became involved with strategic primary school life in 1991 as a newly promoted manager working for British Telecom (now semi-retired). Working with senior lecturers from the then Ripon and York St John College, this one year project was investigating primary school progression and attainment. Keen to continue after the project concluded I had the good fortune to be elected as a parent governor at Oaken Grove primary school, Haxby. I have continued to be a primary school governor since 1992 at various schools across the York authority – Oaken Grove, Headlands, New Earswick, Wigginton and Stockton on the Forest. I have held several posts as chair of governors, vice chair of governors and chair of staffing, finance & premises committees. I am married with three children and four grandchildren. Prior to accepting this post as a LA governor, I was a governor at Stockton on the Forest Primary school, where I was vice chair of the governing body and chair of finance. I have been involved with several OfSTED inspections, the most recent being 2015. I am on the Finance & Resources committee at Wigginton School. I am passionate about primary education and enabling children to have a sound educational base to equip them for the future (life-long learning). Hopefully, along with other key stakeholders I can assist the school to achieve this outcome.