Our Federation School Governors

Broomhaugh and Corbridge CoE First Schools have formed a federation. The new Instrument of Governance can be viewed below.

Our Joint Chair of Governors are Elisabeth Charman and Gayle Baty.
  • Mrs Elisabeth Charman

    Joint Chair of Governors

    I have been a school governor at Broomhaugh First School since 2019 and now co-chair the Federation alongside Gayle. I live in the village and my two daughters attend Broomhaugh.

    I trained as a research scientist and now work for the RSPB managing a team looking after the special wildlife and habitats we have in Northern England.

    My interest in school governance began when my daughter started school. I believe First Schools play such an important role in shaping individuals and their futures and I wanted to use my skills and enthusiasm on the governing body to help support and drive improvement to our schools.

  • Mrs Gayle Baty

    Joint Chair of Governors

    I am an Early Years Professional with over 15 years experience in the early years sector. I grew up in Haydon Bridge and now own and manage my own child care business offering full and wrap around day care as well as early education.

    I live on a farm just outside Corbridge near Bywell with my husband and growing family.
    In my spare time I like to keep myself busy by volunteering to organise or take part in community events. I am currently also a trustee of the Newton and Bywell community hall.

    I have previously been an active member of young farmers which gave me the opportunity to experience office bearing roles. I have been secretary and chair of my local club and I was county secretary for a year.
    My children currently attend CFS and as a foundation governor I hope to make a positive contribution not only to their education but to the education of all children in Corbridge.

  • Mr Robert Archer

    Foundation Governor

    I have lived in Riding Mill with my wife for 11 years and I play an active part in the village community. I joined Broomhaugh First School as a Governor in 2017 and have enjoyed getting to know the excellent staff and admire their dedication and professionalism. I am also an active member of St James’s Church, Chair of the Riding Mill Tennis Club and organiser of the Riding Mill Golf Society. I am enthusiastic about our village and have recently taken part as a member on the village Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

    Before retirement I worked in education for 20 years as a teacher of computing, responsible for curriculum needs and managing the Information and Learning Technology department.

    I am delighted to have been asked to continue my role as a Governor for resources with our newly federated schools and look forward to being part of developing ideas in STEM subjects and ensuring the continued success of our schools.

  • Mrs Hannah Thorpe

    Foundation Governor

    Hello I’m Hannah Thorpe. I’m Mum of two – Iris, who attended Broomhaugh First School from Reception and is now in Year 7 at Corbridge Middle School and Barnaby, currently in Year 4.

    After 18 years as a dentist (the majority of which I spent working as a Senior Dental Officer with Durham and Darlington Community Dental Service, working with adults and children with additional needs), I have had a rather unorthodox career change and am now trying to develop my lifelong passion for art into some semblance of a new career.

    Outside of work, I’m most likely to be seen wearing midlife crisis loud leggings and “running” round the local area. I’m Secretary for Riding Mill Art Club and also a member of the Play and Regeneration Group in the village. I love walking and am an avid reader.

    I served as PTA Secretary for three and a half years as a way of getting involved in school life and raising funds, retiring when my facepainting arm needed a rest. I also secured some Aviva funding to develop the school sensory garden and inadvertently found myself wearing wellies and brandishing a spade for much of last spring! Basically, I have an inability to say no.

    More recently I became involved in the West of Northumberland Schools’ Consultation as an active member of the parent pressure group STARS. While much of the visible part of campaign involved publicity, grumpy photos in the Courant, starbombing and dancing outside County Hall, a lot of hard work was put in behind the scenes, dissecting the documentation, fact finding and drafting responses to the various parties involved. We have maintained an ongoing dialogue with County Hall and are still watching developments with interest.

    While I was obviously pleased with the outcome of the consultation, the fact remains that Northumberland County Council expects its schools to work more closely together and to become more resilient against a backdrop of an ever-decreasing education budget. By becoming a Foundation Governor I really hope that I can help our fabulous school to meet the challenges ahead whilst not compromising on the qualities which make it so special.

  • Miss Jennifer Ainsley

    Executive Head Teacher

    I have been teaching now for over 20 years and have worked in schools in the Gateshead, Wandsworth, South Tyneside and Northumberland Local Authorities.

    I am proud that at Broomhaugh and Corbridge Church of England First Schools I can know every child personally and I value our pupils as individuals. I believe that every child is capable of great success and we work hard with them every day to achieve their personal best. We empower them to be whatever they want to be and give them the self-confidence to know that they can achieve this. I am blessed with a team of dedicated staff who are committed to providing the very best for our children so they can flourish in our fantastic schools.

  • Mrs Suzanne Hart

    Executive Deputy Head Teacher

    I have been teaching for 17 years and have worked in a variety of settings across the North East for Durham County Council and in the independent sector. I have also been lucky enough to teach in Providence, Rhode Island and spent a month working with young people in the African country of Lesotho through the Durham Diocesan Link.

    It is an honour to represent the children of Corbridge and Broomhaugh CofE First Schools and I love everything about working with young people. Their enthusiasm and curiosity for all aspects of life is wonderful to share in and develop, helping them to be the best that they can be!

    I am a vocal advocate of mental health awareness and am particularly dedicated to meeting the emotional needs of the children in our care and the adults who work with them.

  • Mrs Carole Smith

    LA Governor

    I have lived in Riding Mill for over 40 years. During that time I have served on the Parish Council, as Chair of the governing body of Broomhaugh school – which my three children all attended – and have supported several village societies. I was involved in the fund-raising for the building of the Millennium Hall and the playpark.

    For my whole working life I was a teacher in Northumberland schools. Although I retired some years ago, I have continued to take an interest in developments in education.

    When I re-joined the Governing body at Broomhaugh in 2016, I was asked to chair the committee of Riding Mill Preschool and oversee its move to the school field. I remain a trustee of the preschool, now successfully operating from the school site and offering a unique Early Years experience.

    Away from educational activities, I keep myself busy with golf, gym, gardening and grandchildren – not necessarily in that order – and membership of a number of voluntary committees. I know how much time and commitment is needed to be an effective school governor and this will be particularly true with the new federation. I hope that my time-management skills are still up to the job!

  • Mrs Ruth Symes

    Parent Governor

    I have three children, one attending Broomhaugh and two attending Corbridge Middle school. I live in Riding Mill and enjoy taking an active role in the school and local community. I am the Treasurer on the PTA at Broomhaugh and also a trustee for the Village Halls Trust.

    In my day job I am and Speech and Language Therapist. I have experience working in many different schools, including mainstream and specialist educational settings with children from 0-19. I work closely with parents, teachers, support staff and school leadership teams as well as other health, education and social care professionals.

  • Mr Stuart Turnbull

    Parent Governor

    Although I have lived in Corbridge for over 8 years, I work at St Chad's College in Durham which is an independent college within Durham University. My role there is Finance & Operations Director, with responsibility for the operational side of the college, including finance, health & safety and HR as well as overseeing the housekeeping, maintenance and catering teams. I moved to St Chad's in 2016, following a career in finance and business which has included working for major companies such as Lloyds Bank and Shell as well as a six year stint as Stewardship Development Officer for the Diocese of Durham. Outside of work I am a member of the congregation at St Andrew's Church. I chair the board of the North East Religious Learning & Resources Centre, am a non-executive director of Northumberland Football Association and also a trustee of Shepherds Dene retreat centre. In my spare time, I enjoy playing and watching a number of sports and spending time with my family.

  • Mr Alistair Jenkins

    Foundation Governor

  • Mrs Monica Philbrick

    Foundation Governor

    Originally from the south east, I trained as a teacher, and taught for 5 years before the arrival of the first of my two daughters. I started working for Traidcraft as a volunteer, very much supporting the fair trade ethos of the company as a practical expression of my Christian beliefs. Then – with my family –I moved to Newcastle to work for the company.

    I’ve developed materials for primary and secondary schools, run exhibitions and been part of several successful bids for EU and DFID money. Latterly I worked with “developing world”, and European colleagues, to support craft and food producers achieve fair trade compliance.

    We moved to Corbridge in 2001, and with 4 grandsons under 8, I’ve revisited my interest in education.

  • Rev Diana Johnson

    Foundation Governor

    Diana is London-born and was brought up in Clerkenwell and Finchley, from which a place at Sandhurst beckoned. During 21 years of enjoyable military service some high points were active service, intelligence work in Berlin and teaching officer cadets at Sandhurst; before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Three years at Ridley Hall, Cambridge brought a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology to complement another in International Relations.

    She held a variety of teaching posts at a school in Cambridge, including as an honorary lay chaplain, housemistress, head of humanities and director of virtual learning, for nearly 20 years.

    Since being ordained priest, Diana has served the people of several churches in the East of England. She arrived as Priest in Charge of St James's, Riding Mill in July 2021 with a desire, among other things, to support teaching and learning in the community here. Diana has three grown-up daughters and is proud of three grandchildren, too. She enjoys hill-walking, photography and is seldom happier than when walking in the wild places of God’s creation.

  • Rev David Kennedy

    Ex Officio

  • Mr Andrew Gardner

    Co-Opted Governor