Governor Profiles

More governor profiles and images coming soon...


Julie Sercombe - Chair of Governors

I am currently our Federation Chair of Governors and am very proud to be associated with two wonderful schools. I have been a Governor for 21 years and have held various offices and Link roles. I’m currently acting as Link Governor for English, Pupil Premium and Cared for Children. My health background (I’m currently employed as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in General Practice) supports my interest in special educational needs and I have been a respite foster carer for a child with autism and attachment disorder. I’m passionate about children accessing an education that meets their own individual needs so they can achieve their very best. We have a highly skilled workforce and a committed Governing Board to ensure that our children are provided with the teaching and support they deserve.


Kate Birchall - Vice Chair of the Governing Board

I became a governor at Gainsborough in 2013 so now have 4 years’ experience of school governance. I was the Chair of Governors for Gainsborough from June 2016 to September 2017, which is when we became a Federation with Cledford school. I decided I wanted to continue as a governor in the Federation to help both schools improve outcomes for pupils and to work at building the new Federation Governing Board.

I have been on several governor training courses to increase my knowledge, and have experience of monitoring curriculum areas such as English (reading and writing), and interpreting data from pupil assessments.

I work as a Process Design Analyst for the HMRC and have experience of researching and analysing information, recording and redesigning processes and writing reports. At work I have to run meetings and work with staff across all the different areas within HMRC to ensure work is progressed. I find this is similar to working with school staff and other governors and there are lots of crossover skills with my day job. I also have staff management experience and have been a local Trade Union Health and Safety and accommodation matters representative. I have also worked as a translator of French and Spanish.

My son attended Gainsborough from nursery right through to year 6, leaving in July 2017 to start at high school.


Chris Coney - Co-opted Governor

I am a father of three, Sam (9) in Year 4, Emily (7) in Year 2 and Jacob (3). I would like to take an active part in school life. I have a passion for active and stimulating learning so the children can reach their full potential. As a governor I will strive to serve the children well by putting their learning as a priority. I am from a business background so can offer long term planning skills and a determination for achieving goals. 


Chris Adlington - Staff Governor

I began teaching at Gainsborough in September 2012. I wanted to join the Governing board to gain a greater understanding of how governance impacts on the development of our school. Throughout my time as a Governor it has been great to see our school evolve and form a federation with Cledford. Now, as a federation Staff Governor across both schools, I am looking forward to ensuring high standards across both sites. In my role as Training Liaison Governor I facilitate training for our board members. Within school I am middle leader with responsibility for mathematics.


Barrie Richards - Co-opted Governor

I was invited to join the Governing board after stepping down as a governor at another school.  I work as a social worker at Cheshire East Council, having lots of experience, it was felt that I could help Gainsborough.  The school has a great ethos and is a good environment for learning and for children and staff to achieve their goals and build on their achievement.  I have two grandchildren at Gainsborough and in my spare time I am a DJ and children's entertainer and support Crewe Alex Football Club. I'm married and have an elderly cat called 'Jazz'.


Kevin Froggatt - Local Authority Governor

I am pleased to be asked and able to be involved, as Local Authority Governor, with two great schools in the exciting formal continuation of the supportive relationship, which has developed since Spring 2014. I have had a long association with Gainsborough Primary and Nursery originally, pre-retirement, as a Creative Arts Teacher, Pastoral and Primary Liaison Tutor and then as a governor. I joined governance as a means to develop a better knowledge of the education system beyond that of the classroom and to influence local education and do what I could to improve the provision, opportunities and experience for children and staff.

I have held various roles in governance including Teacher Governor at my own school. I was a Co-opted governor at Gainsborough for over fifteen years and the Chair of Gainsborough for ten. While in this role I developed positive and supportive working relationships with Cledford Primary governors. Both schools in the Federation have distinct identities but both have much in common sharing a strong sense of ‘Family’ and the same values and aims in securing the best they can for pupils in a caring and supportive environment.


David Abberley - Co-opted Governor

I am a co-opted governor at Cledford Primary School and chair of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. I work in a senior technical role at Harman Technology (Ilford Photo) and try to apply my work experience wherever I can to assist the school. I became a governor when my son, Martin, started at Cledford. He is now 14 and at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive but I have stayed on as a Governor in order to carry on contributing to the school. Cledford is a rapidly improving school with great potential in its staff and its pupils, this makes working with them all the more rewarding. 


Jane Booth - Federation Headteacher

I have been teaching since 1984, beginning my career within the Manchester Local Authority, in Wythenshawe. I achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 2005, and have been a headteacher for 9 years. Cledford is my second headship.
I am incredibly passionate about children reaching their full potential and meet with staff every 6 weeks to discuss every child's progress; a reading specialist and keen to ensure that every child has the opportunity to become an effective reader as quickly as possible when they join Cledford Primary School. I strongly believe in the value of exercise and using the outdoors for improved learning as well as the health and well-being benefits. 


Polly Smith - Co-opted Governor

I am serving my second term as a co-opted governor at Gainsborough Primary & Nursery School. I retired from being a Lecturer in Professional Studies at South Cheshire College in December 2014, after a period of twenty one years. During my time there I taught Adults with Special Needs, Teaching Assistants and delivered courses for Teaching in the Lifelong Sector, plus Level 2 Functional Skills Maths and English. Prior to that, I worked in various secondary schools as a teacher in PE and English. I have a grandson, who has made made remarkable progress since he came to Gainsborough. We have been delighted with the amount of support and understanding that he and we have received and I am looking forward to further contributing to the continued development of the school.


Matthew Powell - Co-opted Governor 

I am the proud father of Lilly in Year 3 at Cledford and Kathryn who will be starting in Reception in September. I have recently been co-opted as a governor. I am looking forwards to contributing to the governing board for both schools. My hobbies include cinema, watching football and spending time with my family and two dogs.


Mrs Kimberley Cairns - Co-opted Governor 

I joined the Governing board as parent governor in September 2016 when my first born started at Cledford Primary in Reception. I was attracted to Cledford with its collective attitude to learning embedded in its culture and ethos. I was keen to understand more about principles and objectives in early years education. I subsequently became the Link Governor for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

In 2017 I was asked to be a co-opted Governor and sustain my committed role through to the Federated Board. I was honoured to be invited in this capacity after working closely with inspirational staff and senior leaders. I am now in post as Safeguarding Link Governor.

I have an integrative psychological background and started my career in private adolescent psychiatric care. More recently in 2014, and after having my 2 children, I have been working as a student counsellor at a local high school.

With my professional qualifications and experiences I have a thorough understanding of mental health and education systems. I am hopeful that as an advocate for young people my role as Governor will be effective in maintaining the values and ethos of Cledford and Gainsborough that is with care and consideration to individual needs to build personal pupil success and educational attainment.


Mrs Emma Higgins - Co-opted Governor 

Throughout my 25 years of teaching I have been a governor in a number of different schools. I have been teaching at Cledford Primary School since 2010. My passion is Early Years teaching and I am lucky enough to be working in the EYFS at Cledford. I am a member of the leadership team here at Cledford and have worn many different hats in my previous jobs as head of EYFS, deputy headteacher and acting headteacher. I have worked as a lecturer on the PGCE course at MMU in  Early Years English and work closely with trainee teachers who are placed at Cledford as their mentor. I am currently the EYFS phase leader, Outdoor learning subject leader, Phonics subject leader and Parental Involvement team member. My job is busy, exciting and full of surprises- just the way I want it to be and I love it!


Mrs Sharon Eustace - Parent Governor 

I joined the Governing Board as a Parent Governor at Cledford Primary School in November 2017. My son Cameron is currently a year 1 pupil at the school.

Since having my 2 children I have taken a career break to be a stay at home Mum. However, I have an active role in several community groups and some of you will have recently seen me at the Messy Church events that are running at Cledford Primary.

I have a background in Engineering, Project Management & Information Technology and strive to be a positive role model for young girls/woman who want to progress into the world of Technology.

I am keen to get involved in the Governing Board and School activities and hope that my varied experiences will prove helpful to both schools.

Address: Belgrave Road, Crewe, CW2 7NH

Telephone: 01270 685328

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