Meet our Board of Governors

Governors are one of the largest volunteer groups in the country and play an important part in raising school standards. The role of the governing body is key to the effectiveness of the school. Ofsted consistently note that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including the governing body.

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the head teacher and deputy headteacher (if applicable). As an academy trust the governors and the trustees hold responsibility for the finance in schools. The governors work with the headteacher to make tough decisions about balancing resources. As a strategic body its key functions are:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)

Occasionally we hold elections for Parent representatives for the Governing Body – and there will be more information here when that is happening.

Each individual governor is a member of the governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body.

They are expected to spend between 10 and 20 days a year on their governing responsibilities. There may be periods when the time commitment may increase, for example when recruiting a headteacher or Ofsted inspections.

Governors are expected to make every effort to attend full governing meetings, have involvement in a sub-committee group and respond to email communication with the group.

Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.

Governors' Meeting Attendance 2017-2018

Rebecca Stacey

Head Teacher

Rebecca Stacey has been Head Teacher here at Castle Carrock since September 2014. Passionate about education, Rebecca firmly believes that all children can succeed and all children should be given the opportunity to do so! She trained as a teacher at the Institute of Education in London. She considers herself to have the best job in the world!

    Jane Helliwell

    Support Staff and Staff Governor

    Jane Helliwell - BA Hons and NVQ 3 Childcare Learning and Development. Trainee Teacher and Staff Governor

    After five years working as a teaching assistant at Castle Carrock School,  Jane is currently doing a Straight to Teaching QTS course, at school, in conjunction with the TES Institute. Unlike traditional teacher training routes, the S2T course means Jane can be trained on the job. She is being mentored by Kathryn Grayson and supported by Miss Stacey. Training programmes are bespoke and can take up to five terms to gain the QTS certificate..


      Jason Munn

      Community Governor


      Jason has, until recently, worked at Castle Carrock School as a Teaching Assistant. He has now begun a three year degree course with the University Of Cumbria.
      Having knowledge of the whole ethos of the school he continues to play a part of the team as a school governor.


        Claire Thomson

        Parent Governor

        Claire joined the governing body in June 2017 and is a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee.  She is a teacher in a small village school near Carlisle so she understands the challenges that small rural communities face.  She lives in Castle Carrock and has two children who attend the school.

          Alison Goodchild

          Parent Governor

          Alison joined the governing body in September 2019, and serves as a parent governor on the Teaching, Learning and Acheivement committee.

          She has a daughter Eve and son Jack, who both attend the school, Alison herself attended the school as a child. Alison has worked at James Rennie School for 17 years as a teaching assistant who specialises in special educational needs.

          By being a governor Alison hopes to help play a part in supporting the school community in moving forward to carry on providing a safe, happy and inspiring environment to flourish and reach their full learning potential.

            Mike Zeller

            Mike has worked in broadcasting for over 25 years, in places ranging from Hull to Guernsey, and is delighted that he can now ply his trade on the station that he grew up listening to...BBC Radio Cumbria.

            Away from work, he is a season ticket holder at Carlisle United, and a fan of live music and comedy.

            Mike is a community governor; he was delighted to be asked to be a governor, and jumped at the chance as he really want to play a part in the continued success of the village’s school.

              Val Bassindale


              Val is a retired Chief Inspector from Merseyside Police and, after several years of commuting up and down the M6, she eventually relocated to Castle Carrock 2 years ago. Val welcomed the opportunity to become a Governor and put something back into the community, as she feels Castle Carrock is a very warm and welcoming village with a strong sense of community.

              Val believes the skills she has developed during her police career will help her fulfill the role as a governor and member of the Teaching, Learning & Achievement Committee.

              Val also volunteers as a Listening Samaritan, and enjoys cycling and walking in the local area.

                Mr Mark Hetherington

                Chair of Governors (Finance Committee)

                Mark lives in Croglin and currently has one daughter at the school – his older two (Charlotte and James) have since moved on to William Howard.  His partner Candy also helps part time in the school office.

                Mark is a partner at an accountancy firm in Newcastle, providing specialist VAT advice to a wide range of clients, and is also responsible for overseeing the firm’s finance function.  In his spare time he also travels to the North East, albeit this time to cheer on his beloved Sunderland AFC.

                Angela Miller

                Parent Governor

                  Christian Judd

                  Co-opted Governor

                  Christian joined the governing body in June of 2017 and is a member of the Finance Committee. He is a director of an architectural practice in Carlisle, he enjoys most sports and is a keen amateur musician. He can often be seen, but mostly heard, playing at local venues in his rock covers band “Mid-Life Crisis”. He lives just outside Cumrew and has three children who all currently attend the school.

                    Ruth Drew


                    Ruth first became a Governor in 2002, her passion was to ensure every child was given the opportunity to attain and achieve to their full potential in a happy and safe environment. Her length of office as a Governor was seventeen years, fourteen of which as Chair of Governors including Chair of Finance, Resources Committee, special responsibility for Parent complaints also Health and Safety.

                    Ruth relocated to Castle Carrock in 2018 and soon found the village to be friendly, community driven and always lots going on.

                    She wanted to contribute to the community and decided to apply to become a Governor at Castle Carrock Primary School as she felt her knowledge and experience would be put to good use. Ruth is really happy to have been elected to the Governing Board and looks forward to working with the team.