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Silsden Primary School Governing Board Members


Head teacher: Karl Russell

Cc-opted Governor: Richard Moore

Co-opted Governor: Neil Whitaker

Teaching Staff Governor: Bevan Bolland

Parent Governor: Claire Bland

Local Authority Governor – Graham Hardman

Parent Governor: Louise Hughes

Co-opted Governor: Fiona McQuillan

Co-opted Governor: Sarah Newton

Co-opted Governor: Daniel Siggins

Co-opted Governor: Diane Broadhead

Co-opted Governor: Michelle Freebury

Associate Governor: Sally-Anne Boyes

Associate Governor: Alison O’Hara

Associate Governor: Jennie Hudson

Clerk to Governors: Victoria Bettson

Governor Pen Portraits

My name is Claire Bland and I am excited to be joining the Board of Governors at Silsden Primary School. I am specifically joining the Standards and Pupil Welfare Committee. I have two children of my own at Silsden Primary School , work locally as a SENDCO at a local primary and I and have recently completed an MA in Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

My focus as a governor will be to promote the child’s voice and encourage a holistic view of all children. Whilst academic focus is important for our students, I am keen to ensure that we continue to monitor their mental health and wellbeing. I feel that nurturing social and emotional wellbeing of our youngsters is vital to their educational experience, especially given the challenging times that we have all endured recently throughout the pandemic.

Originally from The Wirral I moved to Yorkshire almost 20 years ago to study at Leeds Trinity University were I studied History and then trained to be Secondary School teacher. After graduating I got my first job in an inner-city school in Bradford, I have now been a teacher for 15 years and now teach at a Secondary school in Cullingworth. I believe that working within Secondary education has provided me with a wealth of skills that I can use in my role as a governor at Silsden Primary School.

I have one child who attends Silsden Primary School and have been pleased with the learning journey he is on. I look forward to committing my time and expertise to help drive the school forward. As a secondary school teacher I am aware of the importance of primary foundation on setting the scene to develop children as they move onto secondary education.

Following retirement from a successful career in banking finance I looked for something where I could use my skills, experience and energy. What could be better than to support schools and children’s education. I have been a governor at Sandal Primary & Nursery School in Baildon for around 11 years and have been Chair for over 7 of those years. During this time I have been through difficult times with Ofsted rulings but finally in June 2018 our hard work was rewarded by an award of Good overall with Outstanding in Personal development, behaviour and welfare and also in Early Years.

I have been deeply involved in the restructure and appointment of the Senior Leadership Team and new teachers and taken decisive action on underperformance. Through all of this my focus has been to make sure that the best possible people joined our team to give the children first class teaching and support in their learning. During this time I have also been a governor at two other primary schools as well as Mentoring other Chairs. I also was honoured in 2018 to be nominated for Bradford Schools Governor of the Year.

My outlook has always been positive and there is nothing more rewarding than to see children start school in Nursery and leave in Year 6 knowing that you have done something to provide the best possible education and help them grow and develop. I was delighted to be asked to join Silsden’s Governing Board and feel that my experience, skills and commitment can support Silsden Primary School in the exciting times we have ahead.

I am a retired solicitor

I have lived in Silsden for 30 years

I was a  Governor at Hothfield Junior School (Silsden Primary School legacy school) from 2007 to its merger to become Silsden Primary School in 2017.

I was Chair of Hothfield Junior School Governing Board – 2011 to 2017, and Chair of Silsden Primary School Governing Board – 2017-2018

As Chair of the relevant Governing Board I covered Ofsted Inspections in 2014 (RI) and 2016 (Good)

I was Chair of Standards Committee – Hothfield Junior School – 2015 to 2017

I am Chair of Standards and Pupil Welfare Committee – Silsden Primary School – and have been since 2017.

I am one of the Churchwardens at St James Silsden


I was appointed as Co-opted Governor in January 2020 and feel I have several skills that can be of value to the Governing Board.

I work as a Chartered Financial Planner in Ilkley, having been in the Financial Services industry for the past 22 years.

I grew up in Silsden and have lived in the village most of my life. I attended both Aire View and Hothfield Street Schools.

I have two Children at Silsden Primary School, in years 6 and 2. I would like the school that my children attend to thrive and provide them with the best education and opportunities possible. If I can contribute to the school’s success it will of course benefit my children and all others that attend the school.

In my spare time I love spending time with my family and going on holiday when possible. I am a member of Wharfedale Harriers running club and love nothing more than heading up onto the fells for some fresh air.

I grew up in Sutton in Craven and went to South Craven School to study my GCSE’s and A Levels. I then went to Lancaster University to study Law and I completed the Legal Practice Course in Leeds to enable me to qualify as a solicitor. I am now a qualified solicitor in a law firm with offices in Bradford, Bingley, Ilkley, Otley and Leeds. I am the Operations Manager of the firm meaning that I am responsible for overseeing the staff and managing ongoing projects for the firm. I am also a shareholder and Director in a company that specialises in Health and Safety and Employment Law/HR advice.

I have lived in Silsden since 2016 and my daughter is currently at SPS. I applied to become a Governor as I am a strong believer in the education system and believe that every child/student should be given the opportunity to become the best they can be. I believe every day is school day, even when you’re an adult; there is always something new to learn. As such, I am determined to support the school to provide the best education possible to their students.

I am a teacher at Keighley College where I have taught for nearly 18 years, I have had first hand experience of the ups and downs within an educational setting.

Working in an ever changing educational environment, I fully understand the pressures placed on educational establishments, staff, children and parents.

I have always lived in Yorkshire. We moved and finally settled in Silsden 6 years ago.

I have 2 children who both attend Silsden Primary School.

I enjoy spending time with my family, walking with my dogs and running with my husband and friends. I am a member of the school PTA and provide admin support for both my sons’ football teams (Silsden Juniors).

I am pleased to have been appointed as a co-opted governor and I am looking forward to my role where I feel I can bring a variety of skills and experiences to SPS’s Governing Board.​

I moved to Silsden 7 years ago and even though I have always lived close to the area and attended local schools I actually knew very little about the school itself.  Last year my daughter joined Reception and this gave me the ideal opportunity to get more involved. I joined the newly formed PTA in 2019 and have helped to organise a number of fundraising events, shortly after I put myself forward to represent the school as a Governor.

Having qualified as a primary school teacher myself just over 11 years ago and I have a good understanding of the primary education system. I am passionate about education and I believe that it is the responsibility of primary school teachers to inspire and motivate young people, equipping them with the skills to become lifelong learners!

I look forward to continuing my journey with the children, staff and Governors of this fantastic school!

I moved and settled in the vicinity of Silsden 9 years ago. Both of my children have been born and raised here and have attended Silsden Primary School since the age of 3 in the nursery provision. As such I have a vested interest in supporting the school in ensuring the best possible start for them and the generations of children that will form the local community in years to come.

Since qualifying to teach in 2007, I’ve gained experience working across the primary age range in several authorities. For the past 7 years I’ve been employed as a SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator) within the Bradford District, most recently also acquiring Accredited Teacher Status for supporting learners with Dyslexia, and as such have gained valuable experience of working collaboratively with a number of specialists and agencies to support children (and their families) in overcoming barriers to accessing school life. My passion lies in ensuring that the school environment is inclusive for all children and I look forward to supporting to school through my role as Parent Governor in their vision of offering all of our children the opportunity to succeed.