Meet our Governors

Mrs Julie Robson

Chair of Governors

Julie Robson trained as a teacher at Durham University and during the course of her career taught in a range of primary and first schools in inner city, urban and rural locations. For the final twenty five years of her career she held two headships, the first at a rural first school in Northumberland followed by the second in a suburb of Newcastle.
During her career she held posts of responsibility for art, music, English and assessment as well as staff development and safeguarding.
Julie retired in 2017 and became a governor at Acomb in 2018. Made Chair of Governors in 2021 she has a wealth of experience to bring to the role having been a governor of four different schools. She is committed to pursuing excellence in education and ensuring that all children become enthusiastic learners and achieve their potential.

Mrs Sophie Elliott

Parent Governor

Sophie's son is in Year 1 and has had a happy first two years at Acomb First School despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Her family really appreciate the friendliness and warmth of staff and children and love the outdoor, creative learning the school offers.

Sophie's work has given her experience of collaborating with schools, volunteers, young people and communities across the North East, providing access and learning within arts and heritage. She also spent a year working as a teacher in Tanzania.

Our children deserve to be supported to grow into the person they wish to be. As a parent governor, she will strive to ensure Acomb First School remains a vibrant part of our community, nurtures and supports each of our children and continues to progress.

Mrs Kate Massey

Parent Governor

Kate is a serving Headteacher in Newcastle upon Tyne and a parent at Acomb First School. She was appointed to the role of Parent Governor in role in November 2016. She currently sits on the Resource Management Committee and is designated Governor for children with SEND. She lives in Northumberland with her two young children and husband. She chose Acomb First School for her children because it offered nurture and genuine care for individuals alongside high expectations and a broad and rigorous curriculum offer.

She became a governor in the hope she could offer support and challenge to the school. She is committed to working with fellow governors and the school Leadership Team to help support positive change in order to ensure the children at Acomb First School achieve their potential and are given the very best educational opportunities.

Mr Trevor Phillipson

Governor

Trevor became a Governor in 2018 after retiring from working in the Construction Industry. He started his career as a civil engineer constructing roads and bridges , progressing over 50 years to Executive Director of a medium sized Company.

He has 3 grandchildren attending Acomb school and his daughter-law (who was a Parent Governor at the time) asked him to help with the school budget. Prior to becoming a Governor he did not appreciate how precarious school funding was.

Today’s education is very different from his children’s and he now appreciates how hard teaching staff work.

Dr Fiona Baker

Governor

Fiona S. Baker is a Teaching Fellow in the School of Education at Durham University. Her PhD is in Education. She created impact through her study of Assistive Technology for students with dyslexia. For almost two decades she developed teachers to practice in UAE government schools at primary level. Originally qualified to teach Key Stage 3, she has taught at all levels of Education in the UK on short-term teaching contracts. Her areas of focus are the Early Years, EAL and Special Needs. She is invested in the holistic development of children, especially as related to those who are adopted or living in care; engaging children in learning and raising achievement.

Miss Lauren Dunlavy

Staff governor

Lauren is the Reception class teacher at Acomb First School who completed her degree in Early
Years Education with QTS at Sheffield Hallam University. Lauren became a staff governor in
September 2021 after her first two years teaching at Acomb First. Lauren was born in South Africa,
grew up in Dublin and also spent some time in America working with young children. Lauren’s
experience of other countries and cultures has given some real life experiences that she enjoys
sharing with the children she works with. Lauren is passionate about the early years in a child’s life
and the impact that this can have on their future development and learning.

Rev Jeremy Thompson

Governor

Jeremy is the Rector of St. John Lee Parish which takes in Acomb, Oakwood, Sandhoe, Beaufront Woodhead and Anick. He has been the Rector for almost 15 years and so has had the privilege to baptise many of the children in the Parish, to marry some of the mums and dads, and lay some of the grans and grandads to rest. Being the Parish priest has given Jeremy a special insight into the life of our community.

Prior to being ordained as a Minister, Jeremy trained as a teacher specialising in Design and Technology, having come from an engineering background. He believes very firmly that education is about developing the whole person, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Jeremy is also a Governor at Newbrough Primary School and has been ex offico Governor at two other schools before moving to Hexham.

Mrs Beverley Warhurst

Governor

Beverley trained as a teacher at Newcastle University and has taught in a variety of primary, first and middle schools.
During her career she held positions of responsibility in literacy, assessment, drama, science, art, technology and IT. As deputy headteacher her roles included designated safeguarding officer and mentor for trainee teachers on in school centred initial teacher training.
After moving to Hexham, Beverley worked part time with Hexham Youth Initiative before retiring from teaching in 2020.
She is committed to ensure we make Acomb the best school it can be for all its children.