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Meet The Governors

Claire Cavanagh: Chair and Co-Opted Governor 

I am the Chair of Governors at Aston by Sutton Primary School.  I joined the governing body in November 2012 when the eldest of my 3 children joined the school. 

Prior to having my children I  worked in Human Resources in the automotive industry and then in food manufacturing. Through my role, I was able to put training, policies and procedures in place to support people at work.  Communication was a big part of my role.  I have found that many of my HR skills have helped me to be a better governor. 

I have always been interested in primary education and believe that these years have a fundamental impact on adulthood.  The governing body plays a vital role in the school community and works alongside the staff to achieve the right outcomes for the children.  We have a strong and enthusiastic governing body ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. 

Here at Aston, children are supported throughout their own unique journey.  The teaching and support staff never fail to amaze me with the dedication they have to the children.


John Baldacchino: Local Authority (LA) Governor

I have proudly acted as a member of the governing body since 2014, over this time I have seen the school develop to deliver the complex requirements of a modern primary , the hard work of the staff and children being rewarded with its recent “Good” Ofsted rating and recent successes in our children’s SATS.

Both my children have enjoyed a successful education at Aston gaining a strong educational foundation, setting them up for success at High School and University. I am chair of the finance and standards committee’s looking at how we continue to stretch our children to achieve all they are capable of. We would all like to be able to spend an unlimited amount of money on our children’s education, sitting on the finance committee it is our remit to balance the schools budget without constraining our children’s aspirations and achievement.


Anna Plant: Headteacher

I am the Headteacher on the governing body.  I attended Bishop Grosseteste Teacher training college from 1989-1993.  From Qualification, I was fortunate to gain a teaching position in a large inner-city Primary school in Newham, London, which was a fabulous rich, diverse, fast moving and forward thinking local authority to work in, one where many government pilot projects took place.   I spent a very enjoyable, rewarding and innovative two years in this school. Following on from this, in my quest to further my career and move back where my heart lay, the North West of England, I moved to an Infant school on the outskirts of Crewe,  where I spent four very rewarding  years, growing and learning as a teacher. 

In January 1999 I joined Aston by Sutton school. During this time I have been the Reception class teacher, Y1/2 teacher, SENDCO and the Assistant Head before becoming the Headteacher in 2015.  I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of my role and feel proud to be part of the Aston family. I still teach 2 afternoons a week, teaching RE across the school, which I find is a brilliant way to keep in touch with the children in school.

Aston by Sutton is a wonderful, unique, rural setting, and we are proud of the well-established, warm and supportive family community and the hard work, enthusiasm and achievements of all our children at all levels.   This is down to extremely committed conscientious staff, very supportive parents and a committed, governing body.  

Governors play a vital role in the school. Prior to being a head, I became a governor in 2009 so I am aware of the role from both sides.   This role most certainly adds a valuable dimension to my professional career and development. 

Working with the governing body is an important role.  It enables a group of likeminded forward thinking, committed adults the opportunity to make collective decisions for the benefit, primarily of the children but in effect all members of the school community.  Staff members and parents work effectively setting high expectations for all.  As the Head teacher I work closely with the Governing Body highlighting the school’s successes, and planning for future growth and development.  This involves regular meetings and in depth discussions about the ways in which the school should focus and drive forward, aspiring to enhance learning opportunities and achievements for all of our children.  These have included a number of initiatives and training opportunities to help us all grow and learn as a governing board, continually improve and develop governor’s strengths towards leading and supporting Aston.  For example GAP training and Shaping Governance.

Throughout my career, I would say that I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by great leaders, professionals and support staff that have shaped the leader I am today.  I am eternally grateful for the advice and guidance, support and encouragement that these people have given to me over the years, and I endeavour to pass these skills, qualities and support on to the staff at Aston and our community.


Kathryn Wright: Co-opted Governor

I started my teaching career in a larger than average school in Shropshire with over 550 children on role.  From there I moved to work in an inner-city Primary school in Wrexham before being appointed as the Year 5 and 6 Class Teacher at Aston. 

As the Assistant Headteacher and a Co-Opted Governor, it is my role to support the Head Teacher in delivery and communication of data and progress within school, provide updates on the school improvement plan and give current perspectives on where our school is on our journey to Outstanding!  I also have special responsibilities for SENDCO which allows me to identity and support children with additional needs. As SENDCO, I ensure that the governors are up to date with SEND provision within school.

Being a governor involves a range of roles including being a critical friend and asking questions to support the school in any future development.  Governors taking part in extra-curricular and community events means that they are able to experience school life so that they know our school well.  Governors are involved at all levels and we are fortunate to have a team who are committed and supportive in all we do. 


Hilary Jones: Associate Member

I am a retired Head Teacher and one of the Community Governors at Aston by Sutton.  As a governor, I hope to enhance the quality of educational and social experience for the children of Aston by Sutton Primary School by drawing on my knowledge and expertise gained in my time as a Class Teacher and Head Teacher.  I have special responsibility for Safeguarding which of course is paramount to school life.

Also, as a member, I hope to support the whole school staff in the provision of good experiences for the children.  I also aim to support the staff in their professional development.

I believe everyone who plays a part in a child’s personal, social and academic growth has a duty and a privilege to ensure that children come through their school life having acquired skills and values to equip them for a challenging future.


Tina Horsefield : Non Teaching Staff Governor

I have worked in schools for 16 years. I began by completing my NVQ 2&3 then continued to complete my Degree in Young Children's Education and Care, which includes the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This has enabled me to become aware, focused and dedicated to ensuring young children are confident, resilient and determined in their attitude which will ensure they reach their full potential in later life. I currently work in Class 2 with Miss Platt and feel we make a great team.  We both have the same attitude and aims for the children in our class. I am fully trained in Makaton, Elklan and First Aid and have worked with a variety of children with Special Educational Needs, including Autism and Speech and Language difficulties.

I became a governor in 2013 because I am passionate about Aston and love the ethos of the school and being part of the fantastic team.


Kim Davies : Parent Governor

I am proud to have been appointed as Parent governor on such a dedicated, hard-working and enthusiastic governing body.

I am a mum of 2 daughters, my eldest currently attending the school and my youngest due to start in 2020

I believe that we have a wonderful school and I am looking forward to being able to take a more active role in the future development of the school and in representing parents, I am committed to improving education and welfare for all puplis.


Sara Griffiths: Parent Governor/Chair of Committees

Both my children have attended Aston for a number of years and, having experienced school life in this time, I feel I have a good background to understand and contribute to the ethos and vision of Aston.

I have worked as an Occupational Therapist for 14 years and, combined with my experience as team manager, I have knowledge which I feel would be of benefit as a parent governor including experience and understanding of children’s services, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), risk assessing, good communication and commitment.

Having been recently appointed as parent governor I am looking forward to having more involvement with school, supporting parents, staff and the children of Aston to continue the high level of education and welfare currently provided.

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