Tarleton Community Primary School

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governing body

Our Governing Body provides strategic direction to the school and both supports and challenges our senior leaders so that Tarleton Community is an effective school.  Our governors have a wealth of experience and are passionate about their work.  

Donna Roberts (Chair Of Governors)

Donna has 2 daughters both of which have attended TCP. Her involvement with the school has been on-going for the last 12 years as she has been Vice Chair/Secretary of the Friends of TCP.  Donna has gained vast experience working for many years in the NHS, where she has developed a number of skills including performance management, data analysis and service development, enabling her to confidently challenge, make informed decisions but also think broadly when developing solutions to problems as a governor.  Donna firmly believes a school which works with parents and the community enables children to experience an enjoyable education wider than the classroom and challenge them to achieve their full potential.

Dawn Forster (Vice Chair of Governors)

Dawn is a mother to 3 girls, all having attended TCP and has a professional background in recruitment, training and retail management. Dawn has a huge presence volunteering in the school helping out in school with various activities, sporting events and school trips. This helps her to see the daily life in school.  Dawn is passionate about raising the school’s profile in the community and wants parents to feel that they are included in school life.  She is also involved in all things Eco, particularly when they involve hedgehogs and other creatures.

Andrea Burton

Andrea was appointed SEND Governor in September 2021 and has a background professionally in SEND provision having worked in a variety of roles in education and was previously a specialist teacher for the local authority.  Andrea is also a parent and is passionate about seeing the school thrive in an inclusive and friendly manner so that it provides lots of opportunities for each and every child.  In her free time, Andrea likes to go on dog walks and camping trips with her family and is a dedicated football and rugby spectating mum!

 Paul Cook

Paul is a Director of UKGlobal Risk Solutions Ltd, an insurance brokerage specialising in commercial insurance. He is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurance Broker. Originally from Newcastle, Paul has lived in the village since 2013 and currently has 1 child attending TCP. Paul is focused on continuing to develop the school in the best interests of the pupils and build upon the excellent foundations the school has built in recent years. In his spare time Paul enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family.

Francesca Donaghy-Sims

I come from a legal background, having qualified as a solicitor in 2019, and currently have one child attending TCP. I am keen to support the continuous development of the school and in turn the children fulfilling their potential. As a parent I have been very impressed with TCP and am pleased to be on board as a governor.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, and going to the gym.


Zoe Marshall

Zoe is a Staff Governor and our Year 1 teacher.  She has given many years of dedication to our school and she works tirelessly as our PE Subject Leader to ensure our children experience new, high quality opportunities in sport so that they are active and healthy.  Zoe recently obtained her Forest School qualification and she is now developing this across our school.  She is determined to see the children thrive.

Natasha Schofield

Natasha is a former pupil of TCP, mum to a Year 6 pupil and Managing Director of Grassroots HR; she lives in the village with her partner, 2 cats and Guinea pigs. She has a keen interest in child development, wellness and meditation/mindfulness as well as enjoying camping trips and spending time on the beach having fun! In her role as a governor, Natasha plans to use her skills and experience in HR and business, as well as her personal interests, to support the school, pupils and give back to the local community.

Michael Aspinall 


Michael is the deputy headteacher at a large primary school in Preston. He has 26 years of experience in primary education as a class teacher, Assistant Head, Deputy Head. Michael has particular curricular interests in Science and Physical Education and is very keen for children, and adults, to be physically active. Outside of school work, Michael is a regular participant in adult gymnastics at which he competes at a national level. He has collected 9 British titles in recent years. Michael likes to watch football and supports his home-town team of Preston North End.  

Alison Nelson

Alison is a BABCP accredited CBT therapist and EMDR therapist providing evidence based psychological interventions within an NHS setting.  She has over 15 years' experience within her field and have worked across a variety of different NHS trusts across the North West.  Alison am passionate about Mental Wellbeing and child development and believes all children should feel valued and be supported to reach their true potential.   Alison has one daughter who is currently in Year 3 at the school and is thoroughly enjoying it! Alison enjoys volunteering in the school and helping out the Friends of TCP with their many fundraising activities.  She loves spending time outdoors walking, gardening and having time with nature. 

Nina Fossard

Nina is a Civil Servant, currently working within Public Sector Contract Management. Previously a Financial Advisor, she enjoys analysing results and challenging the status quo to improve efficiencies. Her current role allows her to work closely with a variety of organisations to support a diverse customer base.  She is passionate about learning and personal growth, and she loves to see children grow in confidence, whatever their ability.  She is married and lives in Hesketh Bank. She has one son, currently at TCP.  To relax, she enjoys reading, listening to music, watching anything Sci-Fi on TV, and playing the occasional video game with her son.

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson has lived in the area all his life and runs a business in the area too. One of his children currently attend the school.  Robert believes that school should be fun as well as a place where children can learn how to become the best they can be! Robert has only recently joined the Governors and is enthusiastically looking forward to supporting the school in its continuous development.  He is our Health and Safety Governor and regularly visits school to support us in this area of work.

Ben Thomas

Ben is a Lecturer in Primary Education at Edge Hill University and a fully qualified Primary Teacher with several years' teaching experience. Before working in Higher Education, Ben taught for ten years at International and German schools in Cologne and Munich (Germany), as well as two years at a large Infant school in Southport. Originally from Liverpool, Ben has three children of his own; a daughter and identical twin boys who keep him on his toes! Ben is passionate about making a difference to the life chances of our future generations and he will strive to support staff at TCP to ensure that all pupils can achieve their full potential. His particular areas of interest include Primary Languages, EAL, Curriculum Development, Environment Education, Liverpool FC and houseplants - in no particular order!

Chris Upton O.B.E. (Headteacher)

An experienced headteacher, Chris is passionate about education and in ensuring the very best for the children and community of TCP.  He is a father of three boys as well as Amelie his daughter who attends Tiny Treasures.  Chris values the transformational way sport and music impacts on young people's lives to develop confidence and a love of the arts.  He has worked with colleagues to create the Axia Learning Alliance, Lancashire's first Co-operative Foundation Trust to drive educational standards and bring the benefit of collaborative learning.  Chris was made an O.B.E. for services to education in the King's first New Year's Honours List.

Janette Higson (Deputy Headteacher)


Janette has been a dedicated member of team TCP for 20 years and, in her current role as Deputy Headteacher, she enjoys and thrives off the challenge that comes with every aspect of school life.   She is our SENDCo and Curriculum Leader and is passionate about supporting children with additional needs to reach their full potential.  In her role she shares ideas with the governors, providing a valuable link between the Governing Body and the school staff.  She is passionate about all things Health and Safety as well as teaching the Hakka in PE!

Janette is a Mum of two girls, one at university and the other studying her A levels. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, music and spending quality time with family and friends.

 Governing Body Diversity Indicators 2023.pdfDownload
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What do we do?

As a Governing Body, we are expected to have a strong focus on three core responsibilities:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision
  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent


We are responsible for the conduct of the school and have to ensure that the education provided, and the way in which the children, staff and parents are treated, are in accordance with the law and with the various regulations laid down by the authorities.


We meet each half term as a whole governing body having recently changed our structure to focus on matters involving the curriculum, standards, behaviour and safeguarding in the first half term of each term and resources, financial matters, buildings and health and safety in the second half term of each term.  Should we need to, we set up working groups to carry out specific work and report back to the Governing Body.


Click on the links below to find out more about our Governing Body.