St Peters Birstall

Life at St Peter's C of E Junior, Infant & Early Years School Life at St Peter's C of E Junior, Infant & Early Years School Life at St Peter's C of E Junior, Infant & Early Years School


Our Team of Governors

Our Governor Body

St Peter’s has 10 governor positions.  There are 6 foundation governors, 2 parent governors, 2 staff governors,  and one co-opted governor.  A governor’s term of office is 4 years.  We are all volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the school and the education of all its children.

Working in partnership with the Head Teacher and staff, governors play an important part in raising school standards and promoting continuous improvement in the performance of the school.

Governors work together as a team making collective decisions and have numerous roles including:

  • Making decisions on the school’s budget and staffing
  • Selecting the Head Teacher
  • Ensuring the National Curriculum is taught effectively
  • Making sure the school provides for all of its pupils, including those with special needs
  • Helping to plan the school’s future

Agendas and minutes of our meetings are made available to the local authority and are at the school for anyone to read via the school office.  We do however maintain the right to confidentiality where appropriate.

Correspondence to the Chair can be sent via the school office.

Please click to view the governors business interests form - September 2020

Governors in post at September 2023

Chair of governors

Janice Mitchell - Chair of Governors appointed by Foundation / Sponsor Members


26/09/2019 - 25/09/2023

I am chair of the governing body of St Peter’s Church of England Primary School.  I have been a school governor at the school for over 30 years and became chair in May 2016. I have lived and worked in Birstall for over forty years and have been an active member of St Peter’s Church for most of that time. For many years I was involved in children’s work in the church, helping to run Sunday school. I worked at Fieldhead School for 15 years as school secretary and classroom assistant and have always been very passionate about education. I have two sons who both attended St Peter’s School and Batley Boys High School, I am a grandmother of four children and so I’m still very interested and involved in education. I have recently retired and now feel able to devote more time to St Peter’s School. We have a very committed team of Governors and I am very proud to be a member of the Governing Body. Our aim is to ensure that every child has the opportunities to achieve their full potential; to support all of the staff who work in the school to be able to deliver the best education in a safe and secure environment for all of our children.


Foundation governors                    

Alison Sowden - Elected by Foundation / Sponsor Members

26/09/2019 - 25/09/2023

I have served as a governor for over 25 years. I am an ex pupil at St Peter's. I have always adhered to the role of a governor as a 'critical friend'. Of course, our role has grown over time, but I believe I am a governor who can adapt to serve the school well. I completely support the school ethos and Christian Values. I want to see children nurtured to be caring for each other, for their community and the wider world, as well as being given opportunities to achieve their potential academically. In my working life I am a registered nurse and currently have a management role. I have skills in HR, recruitment, training and health and safety. As a church member at St Peter's I have a pastoral role, and have worked with children and families for many years. Having lived in Birstall all my life, I have a wealth of local knowledge and having been a governor for so long, I have a good memory that comes in hand at times. I hope to continue serving school in this way for many more years.                         

Karen Robinson - Elected by Foundation / Sponsor Members

07/06/2023 - 06/06/2027

I have served as a governor for just over a year and am also on the resources committee.  I really do feel that it is a privilege to be a governor for this very unique and special school.  I have lived in Birstall for 30 years and have attended St. Peter’s Church for 11 years.  I have one son who currently attends St. Peter’s School.  In my working life I am a Senior Sales Administrator and have been in my current employment for 29 years.


Elaine Jackson - Elected by Foundation / Sponsor Members 

02/03/2023 - 01/03/2027

I'm Birstall born & bred. I've lived in Birstall for most of my life and I'm a regular member of St Peter's Church. I'm a Lay Pastoral Minister and also operate the audio - visual system for services. I'm happy to be a governor as I have a passion in supporting the children as they are the future of Birstall.


Mary-Jane Hunter - Elected by Foundation / Sponsor Members 

22/05/2023 - 21/05/2027


 Rev. Jessica Davis - Ex-officio foundation governor

05/01/2022 - 04/01/2026

I am a new school governor for St Peter’s CE (VA) J I & EY School having started my role as Priest-in-Charge of St Peter’s Church Birstall in September 2021. Prior to being a priest, I was a youth and schools’ worker for a charity with a specific role to support primary and secondary schools to deliver collective worship, aspects of the RE curriculum and aspects of the PSHE curriculum. I’m really looking forward to working with the school and developing the link between school and the church.  

I love helping children to explore faith and seeing them grow in confidence as the people God made them to be. I found school difficult as a child and so I have a particular concern for the welfare and wellbeing of those children who struggle to fit in or who experience additional challenges in life.

As well as being a priest and a governor, I am also a mum of two children. I enjoy singing, dancing and playing board games with friends and family. I also enjoy being creative and I usually have a craft project or two on the go.


Staff governors

Lesley Evans  (Head Teacher) Appointed by -  Ex-Officio by virtue of office as headteacher/principal

1st September 2011

I have been the Headteacher at St Peter’s CE (VA) J I & EY School since September 2011 and a school governor since 2003. I am very proud of the academic and spiritual journey our school is on. I thoroughly enjoy my job at St Peter’s and I am keen to work with the Governing Body to help our school to be considered outstanding. I believe we are making great strides towards this goal and St Peter’s is a really special place. I feel very privileged to work with such fantastic children, staff, parents, governors and community. I really do believe that our school vision, ‘A Brighter Future Together, One Body, Many Parts’ is only possible if we are all there for one another as a school family.

Outside of school, I am married with two children. I enjoy days out as a family, socialising with my friends and family, eating out and travelling. I also enjoy exercising and running!!!


Hayley Conway - Elected by school staff

20/03/2019 - 19/03/2023

I have been a Cover Supervisor at St Peter’s CE (VA) J I & EY School since March 2015 and a school governor since 2019.  I thoroughly enjoy my job as it has so many different parts and I believe St Peter’s is a really special place - it’s own little family. I feel very grateful to work amazing children and staff and feel we all support each other well.  One of my favourite memories at St Peter’s is the work we did on the School Song, it really showed how we work together to make ‘A Brighter Future Together’.

Outside of school, I enjoy days out with friends, playing Saxophone and Euphonium in local bands and travelling. I also enjoy singing and making crafts.


Parent governors  

 Emma Harker - Elected by parents

26/02/2020 - 25/02/2024

I am a parent of 3 children at St Peter's school and became a governor at the end of February 2020. As a new governor I have lots to learn but I am looking forward to supporting the school by offering a parents perspective on things. I’ve always lived in the area and currently teach at a local secondary school. 


Rachel Booth - Elected by parents

14/06/2022 - 13/06/2026

I live in Birstall with my husband and two daughters, who both attend St Peter’s. I have been a Primary School Teacher for over 15 years and feel my experience will support me to be a ‘critical friend’ to the school. I became a school governor in July 2022 and am excited to work with the school to ensure the children receive the best possible education.


Co-opted governor

Emily Warrior - Elected by school staff

29/09/2022 - 28/09/2024

I have been at St Peter's CE (VA) J, I & EY School since 2014. During my time at St. Peter's I have taught across school and currently teach Year 6 as well as being the Deputy Head Teacher. I thoroughly enjoy my role and I am proud of all pupils and staff at St. Peter's as we are a school family. I feel privileged to be part of such a wonderful school, whose school vision 'A Brighter Future Together,' is at the heart of everything we do. I became a governor in 2020 and look forward to working with the governors to help our school be recognised as Outstanding. 

Outside of school, I enjoy days out, exploring new areas and socialising with my husband and friends and I am partial to a Starbucks. I also enjoy sewing and crafts.  


Committees 2023-24

Standards and effectiveness committee

Emily Warrior 

Janice Mitchell (Chair)

Hayley Conway

Mary-Jane Hunter 

Jess Davis 

Staffing committee

 Janice Mitchell (Chair)

Lesley Evans

Jess Davis

Head teacher appraisal committee

 Jess Davis

Janice Mitchell (Chair)

Alison Sowden

Distinctiveness committee

Janice Mitchell

Lesley Evans

Alison Sowden 

Emily Warrior

Jess Davis (Chair)

Resources committee

 Lesley Evans

Alison Sowden (Chair)

Karen Robinson

Emma Harker

Jess Davis

Admissions committee

Lesley Evans

Janice Mitchell (Chair)

Alison Sowden 

Elaine Jackson 

Emma Harker

Early Years Coordinator (Associate Member) 

Head Teacher Performance Management committee

Janice Mitchell (Chair)

Alison Sowden

Jess Davis

Self-Review committee

Emma Harker (Chair)

Karen Robinson

Janice Mitchell

Lesley Evans

Rachel Booth


Dates of full governing body meetings 2023 – 2024

18th September 2023

13th November 2023

15th January 2024

11th March 2024

20th May 2024

15th July 2024


Attendance at governing body and committee meetings

Please click here to see the attendance at governing body and committee meetings  for the academic year 2021 -2022.

Business Interests

Please click here to see the governing body business interests.




How to become a school governor

Become a school governor

National governance association