Governing Body

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 have been head teacher at Westgate since 2011 and in that time it has been my privilege to lead the school through exciting developments and projects, putting children's wellbeing and learning at the heart of everything we do. 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.

Laura Boddy (Parent Governor & chair of the curriculum committee; 30/09/2023 - 30/09/2027) I’m an experienced Secondary English teacher, holding varied roles within three very different schools in my 14 year career. I was previously a lead teacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning at a school in central Bradford working with a high percentage of students with varied educational and social needs. I am currently responsible for developing a broad and balanced school curriculum, which means I have taught and worked with students across a huge range of abilities and needs. I feel I bring a fresh perspective and additional expertise in the field of learning to the governing body. 

Laura Bibby (Parent Governor, 27/03/2024- 27/03/2028)  

 am a qualified teacher and have worked in the education sector since graduating from university. I began by working across sport development initiatives with The FA and Sport England, developing and promoting opportunities to get more students active. Now, I am working in a national role at a membership organisation for colleges, championing and influencing education policy. I take a lead on further education projects, which involves preparing staff for curriculum and education reform and informing and upskilling teachers and practitioners, ensuring learning and teaching is more meaningful and effective. Both of my children attend Westgate Primary School; I hope my varied experience and understanding of the education landscape helps the school to be the best it can possibly be. 

Sally Clough (Co-opted Governor, attendance governor; 21/05/2020- 21/05/2024) I really enjoyed my school years, which started at Westgate Primary school, and I pursued my interest in science through to post-graduate research where I was involved in wide ranging projects working within university and NHS settings. I currently work part-time as a corporate governance manager for a large research funder, which has given me insight into board management, business planning, risk assessment and ensuring high standards of governance. I appreciate the environment that Westgate is creating for pupils and I am pleased to support them to continue to improve and hope my experience will be useful in my role as governor. 

Christina Copperthwaite (Co-Opted Governor; 12/03/2024- 12/03/2028) I trained as a science teacher and designed a new curriculum when the government made significant changes. Since then, I've designed online courses for the University of Leeds and I now design training in businesses. I also teach other people how to design and evaluate learning and advocate for accessibiliry on the grounds of disability and neurodiversity. I have two children - one already attends Westgate and the other soon will. I'm passionate about creating a great experience in the learning environment and want to hear everyone's perspectives on how we can make it even better for our children.

Billy Cunningham (Co-Opted Governor 20/09/2023 - 20/09/2027)

Throughout my career, I have gained valuable experience in leadership, risk management, compliance, and governance which I believe are qualities essential for a school governor. My current role is Director of fire safety is at Landsec, which is a senior leadership role. I have also served in the Royal Navy. Outside of work I am a guest lecturer at Leeds Becket University for the Bachelors and Masters of Science in Safety, Health and Environmental Management. As a governor, I am to provide advice, governance and the moral courage to challenge where required, so that Westgate continues to improve. 

Susie Day (Co-Opted Governor 02/03/2023 - 02/03/2027) I have lived in Otley for over 7 years. I have over 20 years of experience working in business; primarily in Digital, Data and Technology with experience in both the health and finance sectors. I hope to be able to bring many of the skills to my role as Governor to best support the school and the wider community. Becoming a governor gave me the opportunity to give back to the community and I was keen to get involved as I have many friends and neighbours who have children who attend Westgate Primary School. I have enjoyed getting to know the school and am very proud to be part of the governing body.

Matthew Fortune (Co-opted Governor, online safety governor; 02/03/2023 - 02/03/2027)

Jessica Hignett (Parent Governor; 27/03/2024- 27/03/2028)

Helen Hooper (Assistant Headteacher; Staff Governor 01/01/2024- 01/01/2028) I've been a teacher at Westgate since 2007 and was very happy and proud to become Assistant Headteacher in January 2024. I've been PE subject leader for 15 years, and have also taken on leadership of English as part of my new role. It's a real pleasure to be back on the Westgate Governing Body, to share in the strategic planning and decision-making that underpins the day-to-day running of the school, and to bring a teacher's perspective to the group. 

Philippa Jervis (Co-opted Governor; 12/03/2024- 12/03/2028) I am an assistant headteacher for inclusion in a secondary school in Bradford and I have 2 boys who currently attend Westgate. My specialist subject is PE; I have been teaching 16 years, having previously been faculty leader. I now lead a team of specialist staff who support our most vulnerable pupils in my school including children with SEND, children in care, emotionally-based school avoidance and pupils who are high risk of permanent exclusion. Most recently, I have been working on developing a range of provisions to meet needs especially for pupils transitioning from a primary setting to secondary setting as well as supporting teaching and learning strategies to meet a range of needs within the classroom. I am part of the safeguarding team and work very closely with a range of external agencies that support families within our local community. As a governor, I aim to share my knowledge to support Westgate and also learn about the excellent practice that the school offers.

Victoria Mirfield (Safeguarding & Children Looked After Governor/ Parent Governor & chair of the pupil support committee; 04/10/21 - 04/10/25) 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.

Neil Richardson (Co-opted Governor, vice chair, & chair of the Resources committee; 28/02/2023 - 28/02/2027) I have two children who currently or used to attend  Westgate Primary School and appreciate the work the school does, not only for pupils but in the wider Otley community. I have lived in Otley all my life and my wife attended Westgate School. Becoming a Governor is a great opportunity to assist the school to achieve their financial aims and give something back to the school that is, and has been, responsible for such an important part of my family’s life. I am a CIMA qualified senior finance professional with a wealth of high value-adding skills gained in a number of complex and pressured, not for profit and commercial environments within major blue chip companies, both domestic and multi-national. I hope to bring this expertise to my governor role. 

Andrew Ross (Pupil Premium Governor/ Sport & PE Governor/ Parent Governor & chair of the governing body; 04/10/2021 - 07/10/2025) With three children in the school, I recognise and appreciate the excellent work Westgate School does and I wanted to give something back to help maintain those high standards. Since my eldest daughter 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.

 Louise Shackleton (Parent Governor, SEND governor; 13/10/2020 - 07/10/2024) I have over 20 years of experience in the NHS working as a Nurse currently working as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner as a part of a National Service in Haematology based at St James’s Hospital. As a parent I am interested to the school being a happy and fun place to learn and grow for all and as a governor want to play an active role in school life. From my experience as a nursing team leader for the last 11 years I bring skills in being able to listen and team building to work together to get the best outcomes for all children and staff in school. Working in a multidisciplinary team I am used to critical thinking whilst being confident to ask the challenging questions ensuring the parent voice is heard. Being available to listen to parents and pupils, bringing different skills from my work life and caring about the welfare of all involved at Westgate school are the key qualities I believe a Parent Governor must possess. Above all, I want to make a positive contribution to the school. 

Full governing body meetings are informed by the work of the committees within the governing body. All governors sit on at least one committee. The committee structure is as follows:
  • Resources Committee (including the Pay Committee)
  • Teaching, Learning & Assessment (Curriculum) Committee
  • Pupil Support Committee
Membership of these committees is agreed annually and recorded in the first governing body meeting minutes of the academic year, including details of committee chairs.
In addition, individual governors may hold specific responsibilities relating to aspects of school's work. These are also recorded in the first governing body meeting minutes of the year.
The agreed terms of reference for the committees and full governing body can be found below.
The school senior business manager is an associate governor who attends the resources committee meetings. She does not have voting rights.