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.  The Vice Chair is Mrs Kerry Williams.

The Governing body consists of fifteen Governors and we currently have two Co-opted Governor vacancies and one Foundation Governor vacancy.
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 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.

  • 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.

  • Miss Debbie McGregor

    Staff Governor

    I am Debbie McGregor and I have worked at Appletree for 6 years. I am currently a teacher in year 1 having previously worked in both Nursery and Reception.

  • Ms Caroline Tindell

    Foundation Governor

    I am very happy to be joining Appletree Gardens as a governor, appointed through North Tyneside Learning Trust. After completing my degree in Human Resource Management, I went on to do my PGCE with North Tyneside SCITT in 2007. I was then lucky enough to spend 10 years as Teacher, Key Stage Lead and Assistant Head Teacher in a wonderful North Tyneside School. With three energetic sons of my own, my teaching career has changed pace for the meantime and I feel that becoming a governor will enable me to draw upon the knowledge, skills and experience I have built over the last decade whilst continuing to learn and develop in a profession that I love. I look forward to making a positive contribution to the Appletree Gardens community.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mrs Katie Oates

    Parent Governor

    I’m Katie Oates and I have two children at Appletree – since they joined the school, I have been impressed with the caring and nurturing ethos of the school and the dedication shown by staff to ensure every child has a positive learning experience. I have lived in Whitley Bay most of my life and I now own a local business delivering cooking classes to children. Before starting my business in 2016, I spent 14 years working as a teacher in a variety of schools including Primary, Middle and schools for children with SEND, with SENDCO roles in two Middle Schools. I hope that my teaching and business skills and experience will mean I can make a positive contribution to the Governing body at Appletree.