Structure of Governing Body

School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. They come from all sections of the community and all walks of life. Some governors are elected by parents and staff, some are appointed by the Governing body, the Local Authority or the North Tyneside Learning Trust. The Governing body has 3 core strategic functions:
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
The Chair of Governors is Ms Leanne Clay.  Vice Chair to be confirmed.

The Governing body consists of eighteen Governors and we currently have four Co-opted Governor vacancies.
Governor Profiles
  • Mrs Jill Burrell


    I have been Headteacher here at Appletree Gardens for the past 8 years. I am very proud of our school, particularly how the collective groups – children, parents and carers, staff, Governors and the local community - work across school, as a team, to achieve the very best for our children. We believe children should enjoy school, learning in a positive environment that supports and develops them as individuals.

  • Mrs Leanne Clay

    Chair of Governors

    I am Leanne Clay and I am an Assistant Headteacher at a local high school. I was previously a parent governor and was newly appointed as Chair of Governors in January 2019. I'm the Vice Chair of the Governing Body and I am involved in the performance management of the Headteacher.

  • Ms Andrea Tarran

    Co-opted Governor

    Hi I’m Andrea Tarran and I have been a governor for 8 years. I’m an experienced teacher in Year 4 and I’m KS2 co-ordinatior and numeracy subject leader.

  • Mr Dave Anderson

    Staff Governor

    I am Dave Anderson. Since joining Appletree as Year 4 teacher in 2011 I have relished my role as class teacher and PE coordinator. I became a Staff Governor in 2015. It has been fantastic watching Appletree grow over the years and I am keen to continue moving the school forwards and driving new initiatives.

  • Mr Neil Willis

    Co-opted Governor

    As a biology graduate I started my working life as a marine biologist which brought me to the North East many years ago. I later qualified as a secondary science teacher at Newcastle University teaching and moving into middle and senior school leadership for the next 17 years. As a STEM education consultant I supported department improvement along with a wide range of other education based contracts. I currently work for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership leading work across the region in bringing industry and education closer through meaningful engagement. I hope that my skills and experience can contribute to supporting our excellent staff in ensuring all our children achieve their potential in a stimulating learning environment. I have two boys one who is currently in the school and it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to actively participate in their education.

  • Mr Tim Rawsthorne

    Parent Governor

    I am originally from Liverpool, but after living and working abroad for several years, I came to Whitley Bay with my family in 2011. My three children all went to Appletree and I took the opportunity to volunteer there. The supportive and stimulating community at the school made such an impression on me that I changed my career and trained to be a primary school teacher. Appletree nurtures and educates children from very varied backgrounds; as a governor, I am committed to ensuring that every child is given the opportunities and support to enjoy, achieve and succeed, just as my children have been. You will see me about - usually with my kids - or you might catch me on the Links for the Saturday morning Park Run.

  • Mrs Kerry Williams

    Parent Governor

    I am Kerry Williams. I am a parent governor and now in my second term of office on the Governing Body. I am a member of the Finance and Staffing Committee and the Standards and Curriculum Committee.

  • Ms Sarah Bulman

    Local Authority Governor

    I am Sarah Bulman. I have been a Local Authority Governor with Appletree since November 2017. I currently work as part of a Locality Team within North Tyneside Council providing activities and groups for families and children. I am a member of the finance and Staffing Committee and the Safeguarding and Buildings Committee.

  • Ms Kirsty Hancock

    Co-opted Governor

    I am Kirsty Hancock. I have been a co-opted governor since 2011. I sit on the Safeguarding and Buildings Committee and I also help in the performance management of the Headteacher.

  • Mr Martin Dixon

    Foundation Governor

    I am Martin Dixon. I have overall management responsibility for the delivery of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre; covering strategic, operational and financial management.

    Having begun my career in the banking industry I have worked in investment, operations and commercial roles, including for the UK’s largest social investment fund and Age UK. Since joining Newcastle University I have had responsibility for a number of clinical research facilities across the partnership with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH), including the NIHR Newcastle Clinical Research Facility (CRF), the Clinical Ageing Research Unit (CARU) and the Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit.

  • Mrs Pat Gray

    Co-opted Governor

    I am Pat Gray. Having been a teacher and staff governor at Appletree for many years, on my retirement I continued as a co-opted governor. I sit on the Finance and Staffing Committee and the Standards and Curriculum Committee.

  • Mrs Lesley Milbourne

    Foundation Governor

    I am Lesley Milbourne. After having my two sons, I re-entered education and gained a Bsc Honors degree in Applied Consumer Science from Northumbria University, specialising in consumer psychology, food science and marketing. I have worked for various corporate companies on an international level. In 2004, I set up my own company, LMC Associates and now work as a trainer, speaker, business developer and troubleshooter for the Food and Drink industry on an international basis. I have a strong work ethic and believe practical skills and knowledge gives both employees’ and employer’s confidence to grow their business and am keen to lead girls into science-based jobs. I am also a Growth Coach for Growth Accelerator and MAS

  • Ms Victoria Parry

    Co-opted Governor

    I am Victoria Parry and I joined the Governing Body in September 2018 as a Co-opted Governor. My background is in teaching all sciences at KS3 and Physics and Biology at KS4. Previously I have co-ordinated with the University of Cambridge on hosting Physics students as part of their degree course. I helped initiate and form a Primary Science Partnership: a partnership of a College and 7 local primary schools, funded by the Ogden Trust. This involved organising and running a science evening open attended by over 200 primary children and setting up a ‘Science Club box’ to be shared between primary school. A box containing instructions, equipment and background information for a half term’s worth of science activities.

  • Mrs Caroline Cross

    Parent Governor

    I'm Caroline and I'm married with two children. My seven year old is in Y3 and my 5 year old is in Reception at Southridge.

    I am originally from the East Midlands and moved to Newcastle in 2007 to read English at the University of Northumbria and then completed my PGCE at Nottingham University. I left teaching whilst I was pregnant with my second daughter to take up a role with Puddle Ducks and I then worked for them as both a swimming instructor and an administrator until April 2018.

    I am currently taking a career break but volunteer as a befriender for Age UK, listen to Class 8 read weekly and spend a lot of time walking our dog. I am also a keen bridge player, love going to the theatre and seeing live music.

    Whilst not currently working in education I am extremely interested in keeping up to date with developments and policies and am likely to return to education in some capacity in the future.