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ALP Governing Body

‘Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing body is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing body.’

National Governors’ Association

What does a Governor do?

The role of a school governor is to contribute to the work of the governing body in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children in ALP schools by:

  • Setting the ALP’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Executive Principal to account for the educational performance of the ALP schools and their pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the ALP schools and making sure their money is well spent.

 The ALP has one Governing Body which oversees both Partnership schools, as well as two Committees: the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) and the Finance & Resources Committee (FRC).

Our Governors

Carol Davenport

Carol Davenport has a long-standing interest in education.  She started her career as an FE lecturer and then high school teacher.  She now works at Northumbria University supporting primary and secondary schools across the North East.  Carol is passionate about every child having a high quality education and this is what led her to become a governor.  She has previously been a governor in another Northumberland primary school, and is currently Chair of Governors at Cramlington Learning Village, as well as a governor at a local FE college.



Ian Harbottle

I was appointed as a Co-opted Governor at Ashington Learning Partnership in November 2016 and am lead governor for Safeguarding and Well-being. 

Many years ago my Mum taught at Wansbeck Infants so I have links with the ALP; I live in the nearby town of Morpeth and have a wide range of experience working with school Governing bodies.  

I retired from Northumberland County Council in 2016 and now spend my time supporting a number of voluntary projects. 

I enjoy my role as a Governor, but I only do it for one reason: our children.  I’ve just become a Grandad  and  this has made me revisit the things that matter to me about schools  - nothing flash I assure you - good schools are happy, safe places for our children to grow and flourish in. 


James Richards

I work for Northumberland County Council with a focus on project management and service improvement across a number of teams. I am a Northumbria University graduate with a degree in History. I was born and raised in Ashington and I am a product of the local education system; attending the then Wansbeck First, Bothal Middle and Ashington High schools.As the above would suggest, I have a deeply ingrained passion for improving the lives of people in the county and I feel there is no better place to demonstrate this than within my local schools. 



Anne Parker

I have been an ALP Governor for 7 years and have over 13 years of experience as a Governor of several schools, in parent and staff roles.

I have many years of teaching experience across the primary age range and currently work in Year 1. I have been teaching in the trust since 2005 and presently hold a position of Designated Safeguarding Lead. During this time, I have gained leadership qualifications and fulfilled additional roles such as being a moderator for the Local Authority. I have worked as Early Years Leader across both Central and Bothal Primaries and am currently based at Bothal.

To the Governing body, I contribute my knowledge of education and current issues, our schools and the local community.


Gemma Craik- Chair of Governors

I have worked in both the financial sector and the legal sector for over 12 years and believe my financial and legal expertise enable me to be a successful governor. I gained a law degree in 2009 from Northumbria University and have worked for Northumberland County Council since that time.  Previously, I worked for an organisation giving legal advice and have also worked for Barclays Bank. I will work hard to help both Bothal and Central Primary Schools to continue to improve for all current and future pupils. 



Jill Atkinson

I have worked for the LA for 17 years in various roles following completion of my Psychology degree. I have a wide range of experience working with challenging young people and families, improving behaviour and attendance. My current position as School Admissions and Inclusion Manager for the County requires me to advise schools and head teachers on issues related to exclusion, Admissions SEN and behaviour. I manage a team responsible for fulfilling the statutory requirements related to the School Admissions Code and the Exclusion guidance. I genuinely do believe that every child matters and I am determined to make a real and profound difference to the lives of young people. On a personal note, I live in Morpeth with my partner. My family is from Morpeth originally but I grew up in the Midlands and we moved back when I was 16. I enjoy yearly skiing trips and have a love of the Greek islands! I enjoy good food, good wine and good old fashioned family time. 



Michael Vass

I have extensive experience in SEND and adult services. I have children at Bothal Primary school and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to work closely with the SEND team to monitor and develop the quality of provision. 



Phil Graham

New to the Governing Body 

North East LEP and careers 


Bothal Primary - Governor Priorities

The Role of the Governing Body  

Below is a copy of our school based priorities. Governors also use the national governance competency framework and skills audits to evaluate our effectiveness in driving the school forward. This supports us to develop and deliver our board improvement plan, shape recruitment and tailor training.

ALP Governors Documents

Governing body minutes available on request