About the Governing Body

Since the introduction of the Education Act (1988), governors have played an increasingly important part in overseeing the running of schools. It’s our role to ensure the school acts in the best interest of the pupils and the communities they serve. Good governance is vital to every school, and in these changing times, more is expected of the governing body than perhaps ever before.

The Chair of Governors may be contacted via the school office, on 01484 605441. All enquiries will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

So what do we actually do?

Governors govern. The governing body are there to help shape the strategic direction and focus for the school.

The governing body has a legal responsibility to ensure the school to gives our children the best possible education. We do this by acting as a critical friend to the school’s leadership and staff. We ask challenging, sometimes difficult, questions. We provide oversight and together with the senior leadership team, help shape the long-term direction of the school.

We do this by:

  • encouraging the highest possible standards of education
  • helping to set the strategic aims and objectives of the school
  • making sure the curriculum is balanced and broadly based
  • establishing realistic, achievable targets
  • monitoring and evaluating the school’s performance against these targets
  • making sure the school’s aims, values and culture are reflected in what the school does
  • ensuring proper management of the school’s finances
  • communicating openly with parents, the local community and the local education authority
  • acting as a critical friend to the head teacher
  • discuss and ratify school policies.
Name (Governor position) Period of Appointment Roles & Responsibilities
Mrs Sian Hyett-Allen (Co-opted) (Chair) 16/10/19-15/10/23

Equality, Inclusion and Diversity

Staff CPD

Staffing and Performance Management

Mr Terry Sigsworth (Co-opted) 01/09/18-31/08/22

Health & Safety
Health and Wellbeing

Outdoor Provision and Extra Curricular

Dr Andy Williams (Trust Appointed Governor) 22/04/20-21/04/24

Curriculum Reconnect 



Mrs Donna Waddington (Headteacher) 1/9/20 ongoing  
Miss Katie Hutton (Staff Governor) 2/11/20 - 1/11/24  
Mr John Thompson (Parent Governor)  30/09/20-29/09/24  
Mrs Caroline Stevens (Parent Governor) 08/10/20-07/10/24  

Previous Governors

Mrs Sarah Greene (Co-opted) (Vice Chair) 19/10/18-26/1/21
Mrs Jan Ansell (Co-opted) 16/10/19-26/1/21


Governor Visits

We also take part in governor visits to the school. These allow us to get a sense of the school itself by seeing how the children are responding to their work, to each other and the staff.  It also serves as a reminder how governorship helps the school as a whole, and why we do it.

This first-hand experience of school is vital in informing our thinking and strategic planning.



Meet the Governors

Sian Allen

Chair of Governors

Having only joined in October last year, I am still relatively new to the school. But feel it really is a privilege to support, yet challenge, the Headteacher and her team. By working together, we ensure that all pupils are encouraged to achieve their best and perform to their full potential by providing them with a broad, balanced and creative curriculum in a safe and welcoming environment. I am also enjoying learning more about your small but big-hearted Birdsedge community. I have been involved in educating children for the past 35 years and have been both a parent and staff governor. So now, as Chair of Governors, I am able to draw upon and utilise my many and varied teaching experiences, as well as learn and develop new skills alongside both Birdsedge and MAST governors. Working part time work is a revelation and I can now make more use of our National Trust membership. Walking around the beautiful grounds, we see some amazing gardens, nature and wildlife. My new hobby is attempting to replicate the amazing bakes on The Great British Bake off. Some disasters but the babka was a great triumph!


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.

Katie Hutton

Staff Governor

I am very happy to be involved with the Governing Body of Birdsedge First School as staff governor. My youngest child currently attends Birdsedge so I view the school from a parent’s perspective as well as that of a member of the staff team. I have another two older children and have worked in childcare and education for around twenty years. After becoming a parent I was a registered childminder and very much enjoyed the opportunity to support children’s development from their earliest years, as well as working closely to support families. I then worked in Nurture Group provision in a primary school setting where I developed my knowledge of behaviour management and supporting children with a variety of needs. I spent three years as a classroom teaching assistant at an infant school before completing teacher training. I began teaching at Birdsedge in September 2018 and I feel lucky to work in such a fantastic school. The children are the reason I love teaching – every day is different, full of fun and learning. Birdsedge is a place where every child matters and our ethos of being Birdsedge BEST shines through at all times. As a governor I hope to support our school through whatever challenges lie ahead so that we grow and become stronger as a community.

Caroline Stevens

Parent Governor

I'm delighted to be part of the Governing Body of Birdsedge First as a parent governor, and to be supporting the school as it continues to develop and flourish. I live in Denby Dale and have two, very happy children at Birdsedge First. We made a proactive choice to move our children to Birdsedge just before Easter 2020, having been impressed with the ethos and culture of the leadership team and the plans for enhancing the provision at the school. We have not been disappointed. Birdsedge First is a fantastic, intimate and supportive school, where the children are supported as individuals to learn, grow and blossom. I am certainly seeing evidence of that every day at home! In my professional life, I work in an American law firm where I lead operations in London and Qatar. I am also a solicitor, although I don't have time to do much legal practice these days. Relevant to my role as a governor is my experience in risk, compliance and governance, finance, HR, business development, marketing and PR. On a personal level, in recent years I have developed a passion for cooking Middle Eastern food and baking for my all-consuming children. I also like taking photographs, and I love to travel. I hope that I can bring this range of experiences to the Governing Body at Birdsedge First to help support our fantastic Head and the whole team in school.


John Thompson

Parent Governor

I have 2 children in the Mast, one half way through his Birdsedge experience, the other having recently moved to Scissett. Technically living out of catchment, we made the choice a number of years ago for the children to come to Birdsedge as we loved the feel of the place. Even though it has seen some changes over that time, it’s definitely in the best place now, and I feel very confident in its ongoing success. I work for a large bank, as a network technical recovery manager, so very little to do with education directly. But it has many transferable skills, especially in bringing people together and asking the right questions. My passion outside of work is music, having played trumpet for more years than I’d like to admit, and conducting a brass band for a couple of years now. I love that as I lead both senior and training bands, and have the privilege of seeing players progress from one to the other, working with both children and adults. I joined the governing body for Birdsedge First, as I felt it was time to give something back; having seen the children become really well-rounded little people. I’ve already been impressed by the things you wouldn’t normally see as “just” a parent, the work done by Mrs Waddington and the school staff as a whole, the links to Mast and support given to the school, and want to support that work continuing.

Andy Williams

Trust Appointed Governor

After some years as a research Chemist, I went into teaching and have 38 years of experience working in schools. Since 2000 I have worked as a Headteacher for eleven years and as an Executive Head for eight. I was appointed a National Leader of Education and went on to become an Ofsted inspector, National Leader of Education and a Fellow of the National College. I am married with two step children (both very grown up!) and enjoy walking, theatre, concerts, sport, and time with my lovely wife, Barbara. Now retired, I am enjoying undertaking voluntary governing body work at Birdsedge and several other schools and Colleges and also work as a trustee for MAST.

If you would like to contact the chair of governors in writing please use the following details:

FAO: Sian Allen

Birdsedge First School

Penistone Road




Individual Governors can also be contacted by their email address shown on the 'Meet the Governors' tab. 

© Copyright 2020–2021 Birdsedge First School