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Dringhouses Primary School Governing Board

Welcome to our web page about Dringhouses Primary School Governing Body, this board as a group is responsible for the strategic direction of the school, financial performance and holding leaders to account. We have a shared goal with the headteacher and leadership team to drive for exceptional holistic education.

Current News

The Governors would like to thank parents, carers, pupils, teachers and all the school team for working together, to do the best we can in the current circumstances.


We have continued to meet as a governing board (virtually) to support the school in what have been unprecedented times.  We are proud that the school adapted quickly and effectively to remain open safely and support both vulnerable children, those of key workers and, more recently, Reception and Year One children. 


We are looking forward to getting back to a bit more normality as the restrictions begin to relax, and remain committed to working effectively with parents, carers, the headteacher and the wider school team keep improving our school.

The key objectives of the school are contained within the school development plan which can be found on this website.


We currently have 13 members on the board and consists of teachers, parents, co-opted governors and local authority appointed roles.

Additional Specific roles of a Link Governor:

Disadvantaged – Luke Zwalf

Safeguarding – Anna Riach

Early Years Foundations Stage - Simon Ward

Key Stage 1 – Angela Hatton

Key Stage 2 – Mike Hay

Special Education Needs – Vaunda Powell

What do each of the Committees do?

Meet our Governors

Ben Sutton - Headteacher

I am very pleased to be headteacher of Dringhouses Primary School.


I've worked in a variety of school settings around the UK, as a teacher, assistant-head, and deputy-head. I've also worked in Higher Education at Leeds Beckett, as part of their Education Faculty team. I have a personal interest in educational theory, as well as its application in the classroom, with a particular fondness for evidence-based research and practice. 


Dringhouses is an extraordinary school with a fantastic team supporting a wonderful set of young people. I believe in kindness, ensuring equity, diversity, and community;  all of these values contribute to Dringhouses' commitment towards providing all of our children with an excellent, and enjoyable education. 

Claire Scott-South - Deputy Headteacher

I am the Deputy headteacher and have been at Dringhouses Primary School since 2016. Before that, I worked in a small village school in Helperby and a large primary school in Selby.


I am passionate about education and it is a privilege to be part of the journey that all our pupils take in becoming lifelong learners and kind, thoughtful and responsible members of the school and wider community. There is never a dull day in a primary school as every day is different!


Being a Governor and a member of the Senior Leader Team means I can work with all stakeholders to ensure that we can provide the very best possible education at Dringhouses. It also allows me to develop my own leadership skills and knowledge.

Mike Hay - Governor

My entire career has been in education, beginning as a maths teacher, ultimately being promoted to headteacher of a high school in Edinburgh, then four years in the Edinburgh Education Department Directorate.  Now retired, I continue to teach maths with the Open University. 


We moved to York about eight years ago. My interests include music (I'm a church organist), Rotary (secretary of the York Rotatary Club), U3A (leading to iPad Groups and a Mac Users group) and computing (I write software "for fun"!).


I chair the Headteacher Performance Management Committee.  Our purpose is to agree the Headteacher's targets for each academic year and to review progress towards the targets during, and at the end of, each session.  Whilst ensuring that the Headteacher is held accountable, the process also supports the Head in what is inevitably a very challenging post.

Michael Noakes - Governor

I am an internal Audit Manager in central government which means I provide assurance on governance and the management of risk.


Outside work I walk in the hills and dales, swim at Yearsley, attend St Edwards Church and attempt to play golf and speak French.

Matt Boxall - Chair of Governors

I have two children at the school and it is a privilege, as Parent Governor, to be one of those providing the views of a parent to the governing body.


I joined the team in 2017 to play a small part in helping make our school as good as it can be and one that everyone in the community is proud of. I chair the Premises Committee, and a member of the finance committee

Ros Roberts - Governor

I am a Parent Governor, I joined the Governing Body in April 2019 and I have two children at the school.


I have worked in universities for over 15 years, so bring skills in administration and management from a different part of the education sector. I hope I can use these skills to support our school

Claire Neal - School Business Manager

I am the Business Manager here at Dringhouses Primary School having joined the team in March 2019. I have over 20 years’ experience of working in both finance and administration for various sectors including over 10 years in education.


As a mother of two children and living locally, I am proud to be part of the Dringhouses school and wider community.

Vaunda Powell - Governor

I live in the local community and use to attend Dringhouses school, I have two children at the school and have been a Parent Governor since October 2018.


I bring many skills to the post as I have worked with a charity organisation for over 20 years in a leadership role. I have also worked within a school environment, presently I support students at a local senior school who have additional needs.


I am a link Governor for Special Educational Needs helping the staff to support children and their families within the school community. Creating an environment for children to grow, flourish and reach their full potential.


Anna Riach - Governor

I wanted to become a governor and do something interesting and contribute in a small way to primary education which is so important for setting people up for life. I am the link governor for safeguarding.


Currently I work at the university helping people learn statistics.  I live in York with my husband and two children and in my spare time enjoy baking, playing piano and a Parkrun from time to time.


Simon Ward – Governor

I have been a local authority appointed governor since 2020 and act as a “critical friend” in developing the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction. I am also the link governor for early years foundation stage, chair the school’s pay committee and a member of various other committees.

Living in York with four children, I am a partner in an international law firm and can frequently be seen pounding the pavements training for my next marathon.

Natalie Wong - Governor

Having moved to York in 2017, I now live within the local community and was elected to the Governing Body at Dringhouses in November 2021.

I hold a PhD in Physical & Analytical Chemistry from the University of York and have been a keen STEM ambassador with our local STEM ambassador hub for the past 5 years.

I have an extensive background in marketing and communications within the automotive, biotech, and chemical industries, and hope to bring my commercial skills and experience from academia to the governing team at Dringhouses.

Outside of work, my recent pastimes extend to travelling, interior design, and landscape photography.

How do I contact the School Governors?

We welcome and encourage any feedback and if you wish to get involved with the Governing Body please contact us through the school office 01904 553940 or via email  

Information for new Governors


What do I need to know as a new Governor?

Congratulations on joining the School Governing Body

There is lots of information on the Governors page on the school website regarding when we meet, what each committee do and who chairs them, so please take a look.

The role of a Governor is really rewarding but also a very new world to a lot of people who are not currently in the educational sector, this is the reason why there is lots of support for Governors both through training which is run by the Local Authority at West Park Offices or on line through the National Governance association (NGA).


We all know starting something new there are lots of questions and queries so we are using a mentor system at Dringhouses for new Governors so you have an easy route to ask any question, just getting used to a new set of acronyms is a challenge!


Once you are elected on to the Governing Body you will need to complete a couple of mandatory items immediately, these are listed below and don’t take very long online. They are sent directly to you by the School Business Manager

Mandatory Training

  1. Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) application and Section 128 checks
  2. Prevent and safeguarding training an online course
  3. Skills audit completion


The core responsibility training is also mandatory and details of these courses will be sent to you in your welcome pack from the Local Authority

  1. Local authority core responsibility courses last for 2 hours and are run on an evening:
    1. Holding Leaders to Account for Performance
    2. Vision, Ethos and Strategic Direction
    3. Overseeing Financial Performance and Making Sure the Money is Well Spent
  2. Online training through the Local Authority portal, access details will be sent in your welcome pack


Reading material

  • School development plan – Link can be found on the Governor page
  • Policies and procedures can be found on the website or through the School Business Manager
  • ‘School bus’ online. You will need to request access through the online website