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Cross Lane Governors

The current governing body of Cross Lane Primary School is listed below.  We also have a professional Clerk.  

  • Louise Downing - Chair
  • Mark Sharp - Headteacher
  • Amy Powell-Bevan - Vice Chair
  • Louise Naylor
  • Laura Golding
  • Nicola Dumbreck*
  • Emma Wyatt*
  • Sayed Baharun 
  • Heather Langton 
  • Louise Sykes
  • Kirsty Gatenby
  • We are all volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the school and the education of all its children.

The governing body’s overriding responsibility is to work in partnership with the Headteacher, to promote the continuous improvement in the performance of the school. We play an important part in raising school standards through our three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring and evaluating school performance.

The Full Governing Body meets five times per year. There is also a Business and Finance Committee which meets once a term. The governing body makes collective decisions.

Introduction from our Chair of Governors:

  1.                          My name is Louise Downing and I have had the pleasure of being a Governor at Cross Lane Primary School for over 8 years. Following 2 years as Vice Chair of Governors, I was pleased to take up the Chair position 2 years ago, shortly after Mr Sharp joined us. 
  2.                       Outside of school, I have two children of my own, both of whom keep me very busy.  I work as a Vulnerable Customer Specialist for Virgin Media O2. I have over 15 years’ experience of managing teams within a complaints background and supporting others. The skills I have developed over the years have definitely helped within my governor role and vice versa.In the time since joining the school my experience has been fantastic. The inclusive and nurturing attitude to education by all staff is clear to see. I am highly committed to the schools vision and ensuring that Cross Lane pupils receive the best possible education, through a range of stimulating and exciting experiences preparing them to become wholly rounded individuals making a positive difference in the world. High expectations are at the heart of everything that I do; my role as Governor means contributing to the vision and the core values of school life and looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities in the future.

The Governing Body

Mark Sharp, Headteacher

Hello! I am Mark Sharp, the proud Headteacher of Cross Lane Primary School. I joined the school/Governing Body in April 2019 and continue to thoroughly relish the exciting opportunities, challenge and stimulation this role provides. As a whole school community, with the new and ambitious Governing Body and Leadership Team at the helm, we have embarked on a rapid journey of improvement and achievement, which is echoed in the new vision for our school: 'The 2020 Vision'. It is both an honour and a privilege to be part of such a collaborative and future-focused team: a team that strives to provide the best learning experiences for our children through strategic direction and influence. Before joining Cross Lane, I was the Headteacher of another Calderdale school and throughout my teaching career, one that now spans 13 years, I have gained further experience as a Staff Governor... a decade of inspiring and shaping the lives of Calderdale's young people - the most rewarding job there is.  

Amy Powell-Bevan

Hi! My name is Amy Powell-Bevan, I am a co-opted Governor and the Vice-Chair of the Governing body here at Cross Lane Primary School. 
I love how the values and vision of Cross Lane Primary School empower children to become aspirational human beings, striving to achieve not just in education but also in their lives. 
We are very lucky at Cross Lane to have such great outdoor areas that the children can utilise throughout their learning each week. I believe that education extends outside of the classroom and enjoy my role as link governor for the Woodland. It’s fantastic to see the outdoor spaces at school become a more purposeful and educational setting for all years. 
I am enthusiastic about volunteering and the benefits it can bring to a community which shows in my role at Calderdale Council, where I work as the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Green Spaces and Street Scene Team.
Cross Lane Primary School students and staff really live and breathe the core values and it is so inspiring to be on the Governing Body of such a wonderful school.

Louise Naylor

Hello, my name is Louise Naylor and I have been a Parent Governor at Cross Lane Primary School for one year. As a parent of two children who both attend the school, I hold high expectations of their school experience and am, therefore, fully committed to supporting Cross Lane on its exciting transformation and journey of improvement, and ensuring all children are given the opportunity to discover their full potential.

As a trainee teacher and having previously worked as a retail line manager, gaining 8 years’ experience in leadership and HR, I have developed many skills which help me to fulfil my Governor role to its full potential.

Over the last year, it has been a huge pleasure to witness the hard work and dedication of the whole school team in striving to achieve the new vision. The positive impact that this is already having on the education and school life of Cross Lane School pupils is clear to see. 

Laura Golding

My name is Laura Golding and I became a Governor at Cross Lane in 2021. I am the Director of Income Generation for Overgate Hospice, the only Hospice in Calderdale providing end of life and palliative care to adults in our community. I am responsible for an amazing team who raise £3.5 million per year to enable the Hospice to keep providing wonderful care. I have responsibility for all income generation at the Hospice including the fundraising team and our 13 charity shops across Calderdale. I also lead our dynamic marketing and communications team. I am passionate about good leadership and love leading my innovative team, working hard to keep them motivated and inspired.

Personally, I am a former pupil of Cross Lane before moving up to Brooksbank School. My little boy, Jude, has just started Year 1 at Cross Lane. I am fully committed to the school’s vision and future plans, I believe every child deserves the best education possible and to feel safe at school. To me, with the right people to support you and resources along the way, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Nicola Dumbreck

Hi, I am Nicola Dumbreck, the Deputy Headteacher of Cross Lane Primary School. I joined the school/Governing Body in September 2022. Before becoming part of the Cross Lane team, I was Deputy Head at another local Calderdale school. I have gained valuable experience spanning 10 years as a Staff Governor. I have been teaching for over 17 years and have embarked many exciting roles including Acting Head Teacher. I strive for excellence, and I am passionate about providing children with exciting opportunities, developing, enhancing, and inspiring their lives whilst instilling resilience, independence, kindness, and confidence. I am proud to be a part of a fast paced, forward – thinking, whole school community who drives excellence and achievement daily and truly lives out their vision- Growing Together! 

Heather Langton

Hi, I am Heather Langton, class teacher, History lead and ECT mentor for Cross Lane Primary School. I joined the Governing Body as Staff Governor in September 2022. I have been a teacher at Cross Lane since 2016 and in this time, I have been a part of the incredible journey of improvement to ensure all children reach their full potential. 

I hold high expectations for the school, and I am passionate about providing a broad and balanced education for all children to provide them with exciting and inspiring opportunities. I am proud to be a part of a school which continues to "Grow Together." 

Kirsty Gatenby

Hi my name is Kirsty Gatenby and I am the new Parent Governor for Cross Lane. I'm a mother of four, three of whom attend Cross Lane and this will be our third year of being a part of this amazing school. I am also part of the PTFA whom also do all the hard work behind the scenes regarding discos and raising money to support school.

Over the past three years I've seen this school flourish and I am beyond elated to now be a part of the wonderful team who help to make the school as amazing as it is. The staff at Cross Lane have so much drive and ambition to help each and every student be the best version of themselves. My role as a Parent Governor is to be your voice; if you have any comments/concerns that you would like bringing to school’s attention, please speak to me and I can take it to the board of governors for you for further discussion if appropriate. I look forward to seeing you around. 

Louise Sykes

"Hi, my name is Louise Sykes and I became a co-opted Governor at Cross Lane Primary School in March 2022.  I have worked as a solicitor for over 25 years but have recently decided to take early retirement to focus on my three children and my elderly mother.  I have lived in the local area for 18 years and, now that I have a little more time on my hands, I have decided to take the opportunity to give something back to the local community. 

I feel privileged to be able to assist this fabulous school to ensure the pupils reach their full potential and I hope that the knowledge and skills that I have developed whilst working in the legal profession will help the important work of the governing body.  I am very excited to be working with an amazing team who are all dedicated to supporting Cross Lane Primary School in being a place where all children have the opportunity to flourish."

Categories of governors

The Governing Body is responsible for the strategic direction and success of the school.  It also ensures that all statutory obligations for pupils and staff are met.

The school has four types of Governors and 13 Governors in total: Parent Governors elected by the parents (3); Local Authority Governor appointed by Calderdale Council (1); Head, by virtue of his office (1); Staff Governors (1, to represent staff); and Co-opted Governors, appointed by the Governing Body to meet specific needs (4).  All positions are currently filled. We currently have three associate governors (*) who do not have voting rights but attend meetings to provide additional support to the governing body in role as Staff Governors. 

The governing body of Cross Lane Primary School seeks to reflect fully the population of the school and welcomes members from all sections of our community. 

The 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. Non governors may attend meetings at the invitation of the governing body.

If you would like to contact the Governors for any reason, please address your letter to the chair of governors, and leave it for them at the school office.

For information regarding the governing body structure to including Registers of Business Interest please click here.

To view Governor attendance information for 2022 - 23, please click here. 

How governing bodies perform their functions

The governing body can perform its duties and use its powers in three modes:

  1. Itself as a body
  2. By delegation to a committee of governors
  3. By delegation to the head

We meet regularly, at least twice a term to hear progress reports from the Head and also reports from the various committees on which the governors sit. The governors also regularly attend training sessions.

To maintain links between the governors and staff and children, each governor is allocated to a particular year group in which normally there are two classes. If possible each governor visits classes in their years group once or twice a term to see the work the children are doing and to speak to them and their teachers.

Governors can also, if they wish, volunteer to help children by, for example, hearing them read on a one to one basis, help with after-school extracurricular activities and accompany staff members on educational and leisure visits.

Involvement of the governors in this way is considered very important by the Government-appointed Ofsted teams who carry out inspections at all schools on a regular basis to check the progress being made by the children and they are very keen to know about the work of the governors and their contribution to the life of the school.

Why we have governing bodies

The Education Act 1980 made it compulsory for each school in England and Wales to have a governing body. The Governing Body is responsible for the overall management of the school.


Governing bodies are accountable to:

  • The Local Authority (which maintains the school)
  • The parents
  • The pupils
  • The community served by the school
  • The staff of the school

Where governors come from

Members of School Governing Bodies are volunteers and are part of the biggest volunteer force in the country. They include men and women who represent the parents, staff, the local authority and the local community.

If you are interested in becoming a school governor, please contact the school for more information.

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