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Meet the Governors


Terry Sigsworth

Community Governor

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

Community Governor

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!

Phil Hanson Governor

Phil Hanson
Chair Of Govenors

I joined Birdsedge First School Governing Body in 2017. I have extensive experience as a Governor, having previously served for many years for Primary and Secondary schools in the local area.  I am a retired Probation Officer by profession. In my spare time I am a very keen runner and coach with Holmfirth Harriers, and enjoy spending time with my children. 


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.

Sarah Rhodes
Parent Governor

As a parent of children at Birdsedge, I have an overall interest in the school. As a regular volunteer, and once a Lunchtime Supervisor, I have gained an insight into the school and its pupils. I am also an active member of the Friends of Birdsedge. Prior to having children, I was a Senior Occuptaional Therapist, responsible for assistants and junior staff. This role required good leadership skills and a strong ability to communicate well, especially when dealing with complex patient needs. I feel that my previous roles have given me a good range of skills and knowledge of the school which I can bring to the Governing Body. 

Monica Spark Governor

Monica Spark

Staff Governor

Hello my name is Monica Spark and I joined the Governing body of the school in Septemeber 2018. I am currently the Class 3 teacher and have responsibility for English ,PE and Music at the school. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges of being a teacher and feel very privileged to do such an important job with such amazing children. Outside of school, I have four children who are almost grown up and making their way in their chosen pathways. This means I have slightly more free time and feel able to represent the staff on the Governing Body and help to drive the school forwards ensuring the needs of the children hold  centre stage.

Parent Governor

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