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Breadsall Hill Top Primary School

Achieving Together

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Meet the Governors

Welcome to the governor section of Breadsall Hill Top Primary. We hope that you enjoy browsing through our governor section and learning more about our role as Governors.

We believe strongly in 'achieving together and ‘together we will govern’.

We are very passionate and ambitious for our children, our staff and our wider community. We joined Transform Trust in the summer of 2017 and together we are on a journey of improvement to make our school the best it can be.

We are striving for quality first teaching to ensure that our children have access to learning that is stimulating, engaging, exciting and fun. We want our children to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams. We want staff to feel invested in and supported and we will challenge them to ensure that our children are successful. Finally, we want our parents/carers to be confident and secure that their child is getting the best possible education and learning experience.


Local Governance Team


School Governance – our role

The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance”.

Boards must be ambitious for all children and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination”, DfE Governance Handbook, January 2017


Governance Structure

Full Governing Board – where we ensure that we are fulfilling our statutory duties, monitoring progress against the school priorities, financial governance, safeguarding, health & safety, risks and reviewing how effective we are as a governing body. 

When do we meet?

The Full Governing Board normally meets twice a term. 

What do we actually do?

We will support the school with developing its vision, setting the purpose and aims of the school and agreeing school priorities within an agreed policy framework.

We also, along with the Trust, appoint and conduct the performance management of the Headteacher. We also serve on a range of different panels that may be needed for appeals such as school admissions, pay and disciplinary matters for both children and staff.

We monitor the school and evaluate the work by undertaking school visits to see evidence in practice and we then review these at our meetings, feeding back to the Headteacher on our findings.


Minutes are available upon request from the Clerk, Sheila Laithwaite sheila.laithwaite@transformtrust.co.uk


Speak to the Governors:

If you have any questions you would like to speak to the governors about - please email to governors@bhtp.derby.sch.uk and one of the governors will contact you directly.

The Government has clearly outlined the core functions for school governors:


It also launched in January 2017: ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’. This document outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for effective governance, but in brief can be shown as:


Governors Register of Interest

Governors email address: governors@bhtp.derby.sch.uk

Meet our Governors



Mrs Sarah Heesom - Chair of Governors - SEND and Pupil Premium Governor

I am a Director of the Flying High Teaching School Hub and am responsible for the professional development and support that is provided to school teams so they can provide the best education for children. I am passionate about bringing out the talents and potential in people. I have worked in Education Partnerships for 20+ years as well as having experience of setting up and running a charity and my own business. when I am not at work you will find me listening to music, ideally at a festival. I have a son who is a full-time sportsman and a daughter at university.


Mrs Jacqui Trowsdale - Community and Curriculum Governor

I am a new governor but not new to being passionate about schools and about the children of Derby.  I have been a teacher for over 15 years, leading on areas such as Maths, Assessment and Pupil Premium.  I am excited to be a governor for Breadsall Hill Top Primary School, as it is a school which I already have links with through Transform Trust.  I have seen the school go through many changes and look forward to supporting and challenging the school through its future developments to ensure the best outcomes for all children.   

In any spare time I have, you will find me reading, visiting the cinema and going to the theatre – I have a particular love of anything horror based as well as musicals (it’s not often that the two get combined!). 


Reverend Sarah Watson - Community Governor

My name is Sarah and I am a Church of England priest based at St Philips, Chaddesden. I am passionate about education and all children having access to the very best education. From my first visit to Breadsall Hill Top Primary it was clear that is this a wonderful school and a place where pupils are encouraged to believe in themselves and can flourish.

My role at St Philips is a little bit different to a traditional vicar and is much more about being involved with the community, being with those who don't go to church as much, (or possibly more), than those who do! My role on the governing body will be a community role and I am keen to meet and talk with people in our school community.

Before I was ordained into the Church of England I was a secondary school teacher for 20 years, most of which was in an inner city school in Nottingham. I have also served as a school governor and school chaplain within different primary schools in Derby city.  I also lecture on a degree course module for people training to become priests and church leaders.  I have just had a short book published on school chaplaincy, so education is very much in my blood!

I am also a big sports fan and since moving to Derby 20 years ago have adopted Derby County as my team. I am also a sports chaplain to the Derbyshire Lawn Tennis Association.


Mr Peter Miller - Safeguarding and Community Governor

I joined the governing body in April 2021.  My background is as a doctor, and a consultant chid and adolescent psychiatrist in the NHS for 20 years. I subsequently went onto a managerial role, becoming chief executive of a NHS Trust in Leicestershire.

I have specialist skills in safeguarding, child development, leadership development, governance and risk management, along with previously been a parent governor and chair of governors at a primary school in Nottingham.

Personally I am married with 4 children, aged between 28 and 13.  I enjoy keeping fit, having done a few triathlons.

I hope I will be able to bring all my experience to support the school and it's leadership team on its journey to become a great place for children to learn and develop.


Mrs Joanna Tawn - Parent Governor

I am excited to have the opportunity to be a governor and take a more active role for the school.  With our eldest child starting at this school this year in 2020/21 and 2 younger children who will start in the next few years, I am keen to support the improving future of the school.  I look forward to supporting the school through all its challenges, not least of which the impact that COVID19 has had and what all of that means in educational terms. I balance my work life at Equifax with being a busy mum and in my spare time I enjoy reading, family days out, baking and keeping carnivorous plants.


Mr Matt Lawrence - Head Teacher Governor Breadsall Hill Top Primary School

I joined BHTP on 1 September 2019 after having spent many years teaching and leading within schools in Nottingham and Sheffield.  My last substantive headship was at Arnold Mill Primary School which was judged outstanding by Ofsted across all aspects of its work in 2014, I then worked for another multi-academy Trust in a variety of leadership positions.  I decided to return to headship and BHTP was my school of choice! All of my previous experience will support what we aim to achieve here.  My key strengths are leading school improvement, leading teams and implementing a strategic vision.  I believe passionately that all children are entitled to an outstanding education and that the BHTP community deserves an outstanding school to be proud of.  Through the dedication,  commitment and hard work of the whole staff team, I am confident in ensuring that BHTP will rapidly improve and achieve its ambitious vision.


Mrs Gemma Fisher - Teacher and Staff Governor

​My name is Gemma Fisher and I am a year 5 class teacher and the SENDCo at Breadsall Hill Top Primary. I have been a teacher here since 2005 and joined the governing body around 2015. I joined the governing body so that I could take an active part of the running of the school and present information from the staff to support this. I am passionate about teaching, in particular supporting those who find learning difficult. I am also very proud to be a teacher in a school in such an amazing community hence the reason I have been here so long. Outside of school I love being with my family, my dogs, reading and running (but not at the same time!)