The staff and Governors at Westgate work very closely together. Any of them can be contacted through the school office. Several of them are also parents of pupils and are often around at the beginning and end of the school day.
A summary of our declaration of interests for the current academic year can be found at the bottom of this page.
Helen Carpenter (Headteacher; no fixed term of office) I was delighted to rejoin the school as head teacher in 2011, having previously been deputy head at Westgate from 2004 to 2007. During my time away, I was senior maths consultant for the local authority, and spent two terms seconded to a Leeds school as head teacher. As head at Westgate, I attend all governor meetings. I enjoy meeting with Governors as they represent a good cross-section of the local community. Also, working with Governors helps us on the Leadership Team step back from day-to-day issues and allows us to look carefully at all our decisions. The most important part of working with governors is that, together, we continually look for ways of making things better for the children at Westgate.
Susan Carson MBE (Parent Governor; 25/09/2015 - 25/09/2019) With both public and private sector experience to contribute, I am keen to add value to the local community. As a retired Army officer I am very comfortable with responsibility, decision making, planning, strategy and policy, all of which I feel is useful in a governor. I have committee experience and am well practised in getting the best outcomes for individuals in a collective setting. I hope to translate my skills as Finance Director of a small business into the school environment to assist in constantly improving the school. I have a practical, common sense approach and a strong sense of the right thing to do – however challenging that might be. Above all, I intend to serve the school and its pupils with the drive and enthusiasm required to ensure Westgate continues to thrive.
James Gould (Parent Governor; 04/10/17 - 04/10/21) It's clear to me that for my son and his peers, the first years of education are crucial to their later academic achievements and just as importantly to their development of social and other life skills. As a parent who is passionate and supportive of Westgate Primary School, I believe that I can represent the views of parents/ carers and families in their child’s journey through Westgate Primary School with the team. Throughout my twenty-two years' service in HM Armed Forces , I have a proven track record of managing teams and driving through change in some challenging experiences and believe that this experience will be of value to Westgate Primary School’s Governing Body.
Daniel Hackney (Deputy Headteacher; Staff Governor 04/10/2014 - 04/10/2018) I joined Westgate School in 2008 as Deputy Headteacher and currently teach Year 6. As a member of the Leadership Team, I work with all the Staff and parents to develop the school. As Staff Governor I attend full board meetings and am part of one of the sub-committees. I feel very proud to be helping Westgate retain its status as a caring and progressive local community school.
Anne Hodgson (Co-opted Governor; 26/02/2015 - 26/02/2019) I have lived in Otley most of my life. I am an Ofsted registered Child Minder and I have been taking and collecting children to Westgate for over 25 years, so I have very strong links with the school. I also see firsthand how the children progress and enjoy their time at Westgate school. I am more than happy to promote the school to parents who use my childminding service. I was proud to be asked to be a community governor and hope my skills from working with a wide age range of children are useful.
Alice Joughin (Co-opted Governor; 03/12/2015 - 03/12/2019) I moved to Otley in July 2015 and was eager to get involved in the community. I currently work in an international law firm and so hope my commercial knowledge, along with experience of dealing with HR policies and procedures in a managerial capacity will allow me to assist the governing body in decision making. As I don’t come from an education-based background, I hope to bring a different perspective to the meetings. I volunteer for Business in the Community with the Right to Read project and so understand the significant impact small changes in schools can have on the pupils. I look forward to helping Westgate continue its good work.
Jonathan Kirkland (Equality Governor; Local Authority Governor 01/09/2014 - 01/09/2018) I have lived in Otley all my life and I was a pupil at Westgate School from 1967 to 1972. I work as an interviewing officer for the Dept of Work and Pensions in Leeds and in my spare time I follow the Otley Rugby team and the Yorkshire Cricket team. I served as Otley Town Mayor during 2004.
Victoria Mirfield (Parent Governor; 04/10/17 - 04/10/21) My children have both been very happy at Westgate since nursery. I have always aimed to be interested in and supportive of the school, including acting as secretary of Friends of Westgate for several years. I am a GP in a neighbouring town and recently moved to working part- rather than full-time so now have time and skills that I could bring to being a school governor. One of my roles at work is safeguarding lead with regular training and updates, which is a key aspect of the responsibility of the governing body. In my spare time, I volunteer as a judge with young people in the City of Leeds synchronised swimming club. I hope to give something back to Westgate as my children have always loved the school and I am proud to be part of the team.
Sarah Mumford (Co-opted Governor; 30/06/2016 - 30/06/2020) I have lived in Otley for over 17 years and my child went to Westgate. Having been a primary teacher, an Advisory Teacher and then Head of Learning at both Eureka! and then the National Media Museum I am now Programme Director for IVE (formerly CapeUK) in Leeds. With Arts Council funding to act as a bridge organisation, connecting children and young people with quality arts and culture, I am currently focused on supporting all schools in Yorkshire and the Humber to ensure all children have access to music, drama, art, dance, film and the arts in general. My teaching, museum education and now wider schools and arts education experience enables me to offer support to Westgate as needed in a variety of aspects and areas.
Jane O'Kane (Co-opted Governor; 26/02/2015 - 26/02/2019) I am a retired Primary School Deputy Headteacher living in Horsforth. I became a governor at Westgate in 2012. I became a governor because I believe I have the knowledge, skills and experience that will be useful to both the team of governors and the leadership team in school.
Andrew Ross (Parent Governor; 07/10/2013 - 07/10/2017) With two children in the school, Elspeth and Iseabail, I recognise and appreciate the excellent work Westgate School does and I wanted to give something back to help maintain those high standards. Since Elspeth started at Westgate I have sought to support the school, through participating and helping at Friends of Westgate events, as co-treasurer of FoW and through coming in to talk to various year groups as part of Aspirations week. Working in Higher Education I fully appreciate the importance of a good education. From my day job I can bring to the job of governor not only my experience of the education sector, but also leadership and management experience. Above all, as a parent myself, I am there to represent the views of all parents and to help ensure Westgate continues to offer the very best for all our children.
Rob Wilks (Chair & Parent Governor; 07/10/2013 - 07/10/2017) My son Jack is thriving in his academic development as well as enjoying a full part in the life of the school. I have lived in Otley for over 20 years, played for both rugby teams and still enjoy all the events the town offers. I am a keen runner, cyclist and outdoor enthusiast. I coach for Otley Cycle Club and help to run its Youth Section. I work at a large school in Leeds as Team Leader of Computing, which gives me a unique insight into new technologies and learning opportunities in the classroom, as well as the challenges this can present to both schools and families. Teaching and learning and fun are at the heart of everything I do at work.