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Meet the Governors


Terry Sigsworth

Hello! I first became involved with Birdsedge School through working at the out of school club, when it started up in 2002.  I really enjoyed working with the children of the school and loved that it was small enough for everyone to know and care for each other, which creates a special identity for the school and a wonderful learning environment.  I soon joined the governing body to help with the running of the school. Although I left the out of school club around 10 years ago to work on the canals, I still enjoy being on the governing body. I am educated to postgraduate level, and both my parents are retired teachers, so am well aware of how important learning is to giving children the best start in life. I have two children of my own.


Sarah Van-Haazel

I have been a co-opted Governor since September 2015 and also have a child in school.  I believe that Birdsedge is a lovely school that encourages children to learn and develop in a warm, caring environment.   I would like to give something back to the community, so I hope to be able to use my background in finance to help the school in any way I can.

Mr Simmons(2)

John Simmons​

Mr Simmons Headteacher joined the school as headteacher in January 2014. He feels that he has the best job in the world working with all stakeholders. He has taught for the last sixteen years in a variety of different settings in Batley, Hade Edge, and Dewsbury. This has provided him with a wealth of experience of working with different children, teachers, governors, and communities. In his spare time he likes to anything to do with cars, spending time in his garden, swimming, and spending time with his family. His favourite food is lasagne, ever since making it at Junior School in the early 80's.

Mrs Conlon (School Business Manager)

Diane Conlon
Staff Governor

I have been the School Business Manager at Birdsedge First School, since September 2016, a role which I thoroughly enjoy.  I am on the Governing Body as a Staff Representative, but also attend meetings in my capacity as SBM to produce financial information and budget updates.  I am relatively new to the Education Sector, having worked in the legal profession for almost 20 years.  I hope that the skills and experience gained during my previous career will bring some useful contributions to Birdsedge First School.  The children here are delightful – the best part of my day is when they come to the school office to visit me!


Rebecca Ruddy
Parent Governor
Chair Of Govenors

I joined the governing body in April 2017 as a Parent Governor. I strongly believe Birdsedge First is the best school in the local area and am keen to ensure it stays that way! I work as an Assistant Principal in a large primary school and my educational interests include SEND provision, narrowing the gap for disadvantaged pupils and curriculum development. I've taught from EYFS to Year 6 in various schools which gives me a good understanding of where pupils should be at each stage in their school journey. As a Governor I want to make sure that all pupils in Birdsedge First have an outstanding education and develop a real love of learning that will see them off to the best start through the education system. In my spare time I love getting out and about with my children as well as cooking and reading as much as possible.


Gaynor Leadbeater
Vice Chair of Governors

I am a headteacher at a local school and have worked in schools throughout the Holme Valley and Shelley Pyramids during the last 19 years.  As a teacher I have taught classes from Reception to Year 6 and as an outdoor specialist worked with children up to age 19 on climbing and caving activities.  I spent a period of my teacher training working in the education system in Finland.  I have one daughter who is also a keen caver.  I love dogs, unfortunately I don’t have one at present due to my work schedule.   When I left school I did not plan to become a headteacher or a Governor but being in a position that provides the opportunity for each child in your school to become the best they can be is extremely rewarding.

Dan Hobson
Parent Governor

I joined the board as a co-opted Governer in October 2016 and have a daughter in class 1, as well as having three teenage sons who all went to Birdsedge, so have seen the school evolve and develop across many years. My background is in designing and delivering large scale educational projects covering many UK regions with a focus on using creativity, theatre and film to enhance the PSHE curriculum and promote safe and healthy lifestyles. Visiting hundreds of schools per year, I have experienced first hand how they are a vital and important part of any community and I aim to use my skills to support Birdsedge and help it continue to achieve excellence. 

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