All schools in England have a governing body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a 'critical friend': to support, challenge, ask questions and represent the school community. Our Governing Body is made up of a range of people from a range of different backgrounds including: parents, staff members, local authority and community representatives. The standard term of office for a governor is 4 years. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected every year.
The governors meet as a full governors on a termly basis:
  • Full Governors (Local Authority Led)
  • Finance and Buildings 
  • Personnel and Curriculum
The steering group meet termly ahead of the full governing meetings.


Governor Pen Portraits

Rachel Burns - Chair of Governors

My name is Rachel Burns and I have been a parent governor since 2016. I have two daughters at Newchurch and I have seen them both thrive during their time at the school.


I work for a large waste management company as site manager, with responsibility for thirteen sites in the North West region. My job mainly involves financial management, project management, health and safety and environmental control.


I attended Newchurch myself and I have many happy memories of my time and now my daughters’ time at this school. I am proud to be a governor and work with the head teacher and staff to allow each child to flourish and achieve their full potential whilst having an enjoyable school life.

Jean Williams 

My name is Jean Williams. I am presently the Chair of Governors at Newchurch and I’d like to tell you a little about being a governor.


The governing body is made up of volunteers who are representative of the parents of the school, the local community, the local authority, and the school staff. We meet regularly to make sure that the school functions well and provides your child, and all the other children at Newchurch, with the best possible experiences and opportunities of school life.


With the school leadership team we decide what we want our school to look like in the future and what kind of learning experiences we want for our children. Through our meetings and financial decisions we try to make sure that this becomes a reality to enable our children to take their place as the adults of tomorrow.


As well as meetings we might come in to talk to the children and ask them what they think about school, go along on school trips or come to support the school at events throughout the year.  All in all being a governor is an important but enjoyable role and all the governors at Newchurch are committed to helping the children of Newchurch as they Prepare to Fly.

Jayne Narraway

I am delighted to be one of the staff governors of Newchurch.  As the Headteacher  I am fully immersed into the working life of the school at many levels.


Newchurch has a very special place in my heart.  Never before have I worked with colleagues and governing body who have so selflessly and wholeheartedly worked to ensure the very best for the children in their care.


I have taught children from Early Years to Upper Key Stage Two. After beginning my career in St Helen’s, I have embraced many opportunities in order to ensure the very best for the schools and children with whom I have worked, as well as other schools in Warrington.  For many years, I was an Early Years Moderator for the Local Authority, and I now moderate Key Stage One. I have been an educational consultant specialising in Phonics, English and Early Years and have worked with lots of schools in Warrington in order to improve outcomes.  I am currently a Specialist Leader in Education, supporting other schools with reading, phonics and early years.


Without doubt my passion, other than English, is ensuring every child has a curriculum that meets their needs.  I often refer to our curriculum design as a ‘Box of Chocolates’ where there is something for everyone, even if they are the only one to favour it.  The commitment to a holistic curriculum and Newchurch’s child-centred approach to education is what attracted me to our wonderful school, and what motivates me each and every day.


Even after so many years of teaching, I still believe this is one of the most rewarding and privileged jobs any person could wish for. Each day is unique; filled with many things to celebrate and share, new opportunities to take whilst preparing our children to fly.

Anthea Ray

 My name is Anthea Ray and I have been a governor at Newchurch since 2013. I am a co-opted governor.


For 6 years in London and for more than 20 years at a Warrington High School I taught science, eventually becoming an Assistant Head. I feel I have the interest and skills needed to serve on the governing body at Newchurch.  I am the Safeguarding Governor, the named governor for Science and Design Technology and a class link Governor.


I live in Culcheth and am committed to supporting Newchurch, its excellent leadership and dedicated staff.


As well as my role as a governor I sing in a local choir and volunteer at my grandchildren’s school. I also volunteer for the South Cumbria Rivers Trust monitoring the water quality of a local river.


My hobbies are belonging to a book group, walking and camping.  In my spare time I enjoy travelling and visiting friends and family.

Claire Howarth-Platt


I have two children at Newchurch, in years one and two; we chose Newchurch for our children because we wanted them to attend a school that would support and promote their well-being, allow them to express their individuality and find their own strengths, as well as supporting their academic achievement, and when we visited Newchurch we knew that we had found a school that would do just that.


I joined the governing body in order to support our school to meet the needs of all of our children, to continue to improve and to ensure that all of the Robins enjoy their time at school and develop a love of learning. 


I qualified as a teacher in 2010 and have worked across secondary and further education, as well as in work-based learning for the Fire Service. I have also served as a primary school governor previously and therefore have a good knowledge of both the education sector and school governance.

Debbie Conreen 

My name is Debbie Conreen and I am currently the Year 4 teacher at Newchurch Primary School.  I have worked in the school for the past 5 years and already know the fantastic work that the governors and staff already do to make sure that the children at Newchurch get the best possible start in life.

I have over 20 years experience of working within education and have been fortunate to work within a number of different settings within Warrington.   I joined Newchurch in 2015 as a teaching assistant whilst I was completing my teaching degree and in 2017 I was lucky enough to become a full-time teacher where I spent my first two years of teaching in year 2 before moving into year 4.

I am looking forward to supporting the governing body, staff and children of Newchurch in the future to become even bigger and better.

Jan Appleton

My name is Jan Appleton and I became a co-opted governor in September 2018.


I have worked in Early Years for almost 40 years, teaching in nine Warrington primary schools and as a Lecturer in Early Years at Warrington Collegiate.

Throughout my career I have mentored trainee teachers and NQTs and worked as an Associate Tutor for Chester University, supervising their students on teaching practice.


I have two grandsons, one currently in year 3 at Newchurch and the other, a former red robin, now in Year 9 at Culcheth High School. I also became a member of the Newchurch family through volunteering regularly within the school, which is a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable activity. 


I enjoy visiting family in France, baking and reading.

I feel privileged to be a governor of Newchurch and hope that the experience, knowledge and skills gained during my career will help to support and benefit all the children and staff.

Jennie Savage

I was delighted to join the board of governors at Newchurch in May 2019. My son and daughter both attend the school and have flourished whilst supported by the excellent team at the school.


My motivation to be involved and help support the school in its’ mission to give all the children the very best start to their education is driven by an admiration and belief in its core principle: that of an holistic approach to education which places equal emphasis on both the academic achievement and the wellbeing of all pupils.


I currently work for a large utility company in the North West, supporting engineering and construction projects. I specialise in providing support for complex, challenging projects using a collaborative approach focusing on delivering value for our company.


When I am free I love to read and spend time with my family, I am also a Football Coach for my sons team. I have a passion for all things health and wellbeing, and a keen interest in politics and environmental issues. My hobbies include horse riding and badminton.

John Duckett
Having worked at Newchurch Primary School for the past 12 years, I am fully aware of the excellent work the governing body do in ensuring the best possible education, experiences and outcomes for our 'Robins'. It is therefore a great privilege to be on the governing body this year.
For those who don't know me, I have largely been the Year 6 teacher during my time at Newchurch. After joining the Newchurch family as a student teacher many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be given a full-time post in Year 4. I went on to spend 9 great years in Year 6 before becoming Deputy Head in 2019 and moving to Year 5.
My background is in the arts having completed the BA Fine Art course at the University of Central Lancashire, then spent several years volunteering in galleries in Liverpool before coming to teaching. One of my biggest aims at Newchurch has always been to bring this passion for the creative arts into the classroom and curriculum.
I am delighted to be on the governing body this year and I am looking forward to helping the school move forward, as it always has.


Rachel Basnett

My name is Rachel Basnett and I have recently become a Parent Governor at Newchurch (Oct 2018).


My daughter joined Newchurch this year and I am hoping my son will follow in a few years. We moved to the area in 2016 and I would like to be involved in the local community.


I am very keen to play a part in helping the school deliver the very best educational and social outcomes for all children. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the strong Governing body and excellent staff at Newchurch.


I work for a large Warrington based employer which operates in a niche regulated market therefore key traits such as commitment, reliability, integrity and professionalism are expected. My role involves leading projects, data analysis, strategic decision analysis, cost control and schedule.


In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, camping and visiting new places.

 Vicky Beddall - Vice Chair of Governors

My name is Vicky Beddall and I became a Parent Governor at Newchurch in Oct 2018.  I have one daughter at Newchurch and a son whom will start school in the next couple of years.


I’m a fulltime working mum, working for a large international company as Head of Information and Records Management, with responsibility across offices and sites throughout the UK.


I am deeply committed and feel passionate about Newchurch Primary School both as a parent, a Culcheth resident, secretary on the Newchurch PTA and as a parent voice on the Parent Board.  My husband attended Newchurch, many years ago, and he has happy memories of his time at school and now it’s my children’s time to make their own memories.


 Newchurch is an excellent primary school, delivering high quality learning opportunities both within, and outside, the classroom. I feel passionately about primary school education and believe that the first years of a child’s education are crucial to their later academic achievements, and just as importantly, the development of social and other life skills. I am very keen to play a part in helping the school deliver the very best educational and social outcomes for all children and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Governing body and excellent staff at Newchurch.


Although I don’t get much spare time, but when I do I enjoy spending time with my family and running.

Simon Arnold - Parent Governor

My name is Simon Arnold and I joined the board of governors in November 2021.  Both of my sons attend Newchurch and love being a part of the Newchurch Family

My teaching experience is limited to home schooling during the Covid lock downs, during which time it was clear to see first-hand the care and passion of the teaching staff and the excellent opportunities our school provides to pupils and families. I was motivated to join the board of governors to help support the school in ensuring that it is able to continue meeting its aim to provide every child the best possible start to their education.

I work for a multi-national manufacturer in a global IT leadership role that involves people, project and financial management. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with a hugely diverse group of people from different countries and cultures and with varied educational backgrounds and expertise.

 Like many families we spend a lot of weekend time at the side of swimming pools, football and rugby pitches!  We love the outdoors, walking, camping and exploring and I’m a regular parent volunteer at my son’s Beavers evening and weekend activities.