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Governor Profiles

Find out a bit about our Governors..........

Jo Smart-Gant – Co-opted Governor

Jo joined the Governing Body of Roberttown in June 2011 as a parent Governor and in June 2015, she converted to being a co-opted Governor as her son had moved on to high school.  She currently Chairs the Resources Committee and sits on the Complaints Committee. She is married to Mark and they have two children. Their son is currently studying at Mirfield Free Grammar School and their older daughter is an Assistant Physiologist, who is studying a Doctorate of Clinical Physiology. Jo works full-time managing the family's Restaurants and Café.  Their precious spare family time is spent relaxing togethher and watching their son play cricket and football.

Brendan Weir - Parent Governor

Brendan joined the Governing Body in December 2016 taking a particular interest in Health and Safety. He has a daughter in Year 3 and his son will be starting school in 2019. Brendan works for Lloyds Banking Group as a senior data analyst, producing reports to ensure the bank is meeting its obligations to customers, regulators, staff and shareholders. Brendan is a keen amateur astronomer, occassional cyclist and enjoys real ale and pub quizzes.

Mark Overend- Co-opted Governor

Mark joined the Governing Body in September 2012, having enrolled his daughter into Reception. Mark has lived in the village since 2010 and has a host of pets including a dog, chickens and ducks, Tropical and Cold Water fish, a rabbit, a rescued blind guinea pig and an adopted dwarf hamster. He got married to Sharon at All Saints' church in June 2011. Mark works as a Service Desk Manager for a large IT organisation. Part of his role involves many fundraising and community projects including Action for Children, The Princes Trust, helping to develop and grow the skills of local unemployed young people and working with a number of schools to deliver careers advice, CV and interview skills. Mark is also involved with the Roberttown village website and is a member of the Roberttown Players amateur dramatics groups, having starred in the last few village performances.  Mark is a keen football fan and season ticket holder at Huddersfield Town and helped the school to become an official Schools Partner.

Sam Laycock-Smith – Head Teacher

As the Head Teacher of Roberttown CE (VC) J&I School Sam is a member of the Governing Body. She became a governor in 1998 when she joined the school as Deputy Head Teacher. Being a member of the Governing Body gives her the chance to meet with all the governors on a regular basis and work with them to make our school even better. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, playing the piano, reading and visiting the theatre and cinema.

Louise Wood- Staff Governor

Louise Wood is the Deputy Head Teacher and a class teacher. She has been involved in Governing Body meetings since her appointment in April 2001, either as Staff Governor or as an observer. This gives her the opportunity to support the Head Teacher with the continual development of the school and to keep up to date with Governing Body matters. Louise has a daughter, who also attends Roberttown School, and she keeps her fairly busy with dancing and Brownies. In her spare time Louise enjoys being in the outdoors, camping and relaxing with friends.

Suzanne Goodall – Co-opted Staff Governor

Suzanne has been a support staff governor since 2010 and serves on the Standards Committee. She works as an HLTA in school and leads School Council.  Previously, Suzanne worked in IT training and has been at Roberttown School for over 7 years. Suzanne has one child who attends a local secondary school within the local authority. She enjoys hill walking, running and has completed the Leeds 10K.

John Messenger – LA Governor

John has been an LA Governor at Roberttown for over ten years. He serves on the Resources Committee. For several years John ran a Chess Club in school each week. John is impressed by the high standards achieved in School stage productions and feels this helps with pupil confidence and presentational skills.John enjoys attending local discussion groups and is also a director of the Spenborough "Forget-Me-Not fund" which provides help and financial support to those who have served in the armed forces. 

 Helen Wells- Co-opted Governor

Helen is a co-opted governor who joined the governing body in 2013, after moving into the village in 2012. She has 2 young sons and 2 stepdaughters. Helen is a teacher and qualified SENCo at a school in Dewsbury. She has a background in fine art and art therapy, with a masters degree specialising in Special Educational Needs and is a specialist Dyslexia tutor and assessor. Helen is also on the Board of the Yorkshire Rose Dyslexia Association, a charity that supports people with Dyslexia and their families in Yorkshire.Helen serves on the Standards and Effectiveness Committee, the Pupil Discipline Committee and is the named Governor for Special Educational Needs.

Liz Bolt – Co-opted Governor

Liz is a Community Governor who joined the Governing Body in 1996 for 7 years and then re-joined in 2008. She lives in Mirfield and has three children who all attended Roberttown School. Liz has links to Roberttown through her work at Roberttown Community Centre Pre-School where she is manager. Liz is the link governor for Early Years and is on the Pay and Appraisal Committee.

Rev. Richard Burge – Foundation Governor

Richard is vicar in the benefice of Hartshead, Hightown, Roberttown and Scholes, and is an ex officio foundation governor. He took up his post in 2010, following seven years as the children and youth co-ordinator for Wakefield Diocese. Richard has many years experience of working with children in schools and churches and is a Godly Play Storyteller. He is also a voluntary co-optee on the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel for Kirklees. Richard is on the Resources Committee, the Complaints Committee and the Appraisal Committee. He has particular focus too on SMSC and Equality in Roberttown School.

Margaret Hoole – Foundation Governor

Margaret joined the Governing Body in 2012 and is a Foundation Governor. She became our Chair in July 2015. She is a member of the Church Parish Council and is the Safeguarding Officer at All Saints Church, Roberttown. She is also training to be a Reader in church and leads self help groups for a mental health charity. She tries to keep busy since she retired as a Social Worker, working with Children and Families within Kirklees. Her two sons are grown up with children of their own so she takes interest in her grandchildren’s schools. When she has time from helping in the Church, she enjoys reading, baking and knitting.


Steven Gore - Parent Governor


Steven joined the governing body in June 2015 as a parent governor and his two daughters both attend the school. Steven is originally from Lancashire, but he went to the University of Leeds in 1996-2000 to study a Masters degree in Civil Engineering and has lived in Roberttown since 2007 with his wife Sarah. Steven works in Leeds as a Senior Project Manager for NHS Digital; a government organisation that provides data and IT systems for the NHS. Steven recently went part-time for a better work-life balance in order to spend more time with his family. In his spare time Steven's hobbies are cycling, computing, gaming, technology, TV and cinema.


Andrew Toft - Co-opted Governor

Andrew has been a governor at the school for 12 years, firstly as a parent governor for 5 years whilst his daughter Ellie attended the school and then as a Community Governor and now a Co-opted Governor. He lives in Cleckheaton and is a director of his own business which helps older people move home. He is currently the chair of the Standards and Effectiveness Committee and is on the Appraisal Committee, and is currently governor with responsibility for Safeguarding.

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