Meet the Governors
Name: Mr Michael Hartnack
Position: Chair of Governors
Background: Michael is an experienced governor, having served as chair at Fulwell Junior School for 32 years. He currently serves as the elected vice chair of Sunderland Schools Forum. A former senior police officer, Michael served as Deputy Area Commander for Sunderland and such was his passion for joined up community safety, he developed the Police in Schools Partnership for which the Southwick and Monkwearmouth areas were key beneficiaries. He was elected as a Councillor in May 2020 for the Fulwell Ward and is proud to serve not only his ward, but the people of Sunderland. He is a keen campaigner against sewage being dumped in the sea at Seaburn and continues to lobby Council and others to protect our environment. In School: Michael was invited to join the board of Grange Park Primary School as chair in July 2020. Michael is an experienced Restorative Practitioner, specialising in the Criminal Justice and Education sectors, and has worked as a trainer and practitioner in many schools and other establishments across England. Restorative practice provides children with the opportunity to identify and address behaviours and attitudes which impact on others and it works when undertaken effectively. I am delighted that the ethos of our school is such that it promotes and practices restorative methods to a very high standard.Outside school: Michael is the father of two adult daughters and a grandfather ‘Pops’ to Jessica. In his free time he is a keen traveller and above all loves caravan holidays and spending time with friends and family.
Name: Mrs Yvonne Gray
Position: Co-opted Governor
Background: Yvonne was born and raised in Southwick, Sunderland. Now retired, she has been a teacher for thirty-eight years, the last fifteen of those years as Head Teacher of St Paul’s CofE Primary School, Ryhope, Sunderland. For a number of years she was a voluntary Independent Board Director of a local social housing group, Chairperson of Sunderland Schools Forum and a Head Teacher representative on Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board.
In School: Yvonne is interested in every aspect of school life. She is especially passionate about ensuring that our children and young people get the very best education in a safe, nurturing environment, learning life skills that will support them as they grow to realise their full potential. She serves as a Co-opted governor on our Governing Board.
Outside school: Yvonne has two daughters and two granddaughters living locally. She is interested in Restorative Justice and is trained in restorative approaches practice. Also very interested in medical research, she is a governor on a national medical research and support charity board. Along with this, she works as a volunteer with a local support charity.
Name: Mrs Francesca Cowan
Position: Staff Governor (Headteacher)
Background: I have worked in education for 20 years. I started my career as a behaviour support assistant in a secondary school in Newcastle, before completing my PGCE in Primary Education the year after. I worked as a teacher and leader in Newcastle schools for 9 years, before moving over to Sunderland, where I have worked for the last 8 years. Working in a range of schools, including specialist schools, has given me a clear understanding of what I feel is right for the Grange Park school community. I am passionate about mental health and wellbeing and truly believe that healthy minds support our children to succeed.
In School: As head teacher, I strive to ensure that our children receive the best education and experiences. I lead on mental health and wellbeing as well as being the Designated Safeguarding Lead in school. I love working at Grange Park; seeing our children develop and grow. I ensure that as a leader in school, I am seen and all stakeholders feel a part of our school and its journey. We aim to offer something special at Grange Park, driving to always give our best. Our school values are at the core of all that we do. We fully believe in 'putting children first' through offering a quality curriculum and focusing on all children's personal development so they can strive to be their own personal best.
Outside school: I love to walk my dog, Jasper. I value the importance of balance; being outdoors and exercising helps me balance being a busy mum and head teacher. Living near the sea, I like nothing more that going to the beach with my family and getting an ice cream!
Name: Ms Lorna Miles
Position: Co-opted Governor
Name: Mrs Rebecca Robinson
Position: Co-Opted Governor
I have lived in the local area most of my life, leaving to go to University and then returning to live, work and raise my family in Southwick.
I started my career as a support worker for adult offenders, eventually moving to working with young people in care. I have worked for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for the last 18 years in a variety of roles such as Youth Engagement Manager, Community Safety Policy officer and now work in Fire Safety as a Fire Safety Officer, working with businesses to ensure their premises are safe.
I am passionate about improving the perception of our local area and am proud to raise my family in Southwick.
I am particularly interested in supporting school with SEND and ensuring that all children are able to achieve their full potential with support when necessary.
I serve as a co-opted governor, link governor for SEND and vice-chair on the Governing Board.
I have 2 children and 3 dogs and enjoy spending time with my family outdoors, in the countryside, seaside and visiting places such as Gibside and Cragside.
I also love spending time at our caravan in Scotland and relaxing for the weekend before the busy week ahead starts again.
Name: Miss Jessica Ditch
Position: Staff Governor
Background: I attended Teesside University where I achieved a BA Honours in Early Childhood Studies as well as achieving my Early Years Teacher Status. Following this, I went to Newcastle University to progress onto attaining the PGCE degree to help me become a primary school teacher. For my NQT year, I worked at a school in Middlesbrough as Year 1/2 teacher and since then I have worked in Reception and Year 4.
In School: I have been part of the Grange Park family since Easter 2018 and I have worked in Year 4 from joining. I have a passion for The Arts and I am the Music, Art and Design Technology lead. We have such an exciting time in school at the moment as we are continuing to design and develop our curriculum to ensure it enhances the cultural capital for our children. In addition to this, I am also working alongside Mrs Graham, who is our Maths lead, to complete the NCETM Maths Mastery programme. From September 2021, I have been running the School Parliament. We have children from Years 2-6 who are ministers for different subjects and also playground mentors. We meet regularly to write our Postive Press newspaper article for our school community. As part of my wider role in school, I am also supporting the school to achieve The Artsmark award, which is due March 2023.
Outside school: Outside of school I love to be outdoors. My hobbies include walking and mountain hiking with my dog Cassie. Since becoming the Music lead, I have also started piano lessons which I thoroughly enjoy. I love to continue to learn and I also achieved my Masters in Education where I researched how streaming can impact upon the progress of learning.
Name: Mrs Christine Colley
Position: Co-opted Governor
Christine worked mainly in Local Government, primarily as a Management Officer/Consultant. She worked with/for numerous services including Environmental Health, Leisure, Education, Social Services and Libraries. She has been involved in Participatory Appraisal in "deprived" areas of South Tyneside, bringing together residents and service providers to assess and improve services. After having a stroke she trained in Speech and Language Therapy and worked 1 to 1 with stroke victims. From 2016 to 2019 she was a Governor at City Hospitals Sunderland.
After taking early retirement Christine wanted to get involved in something that would use her skills, stretch her somewhat and where she thought she could make a positive contribution - she feels she has achieved this by being a school governor at Grange Park. As well as being on the Full Governing Board she is presently part of the Challenge Committee and the Performance Management Panel.
She lives in Fulwell with her husband Dave. Her daughter and two granddaughters live nearby. She is on the Executive Team of Healthwatch Sunderland. In this role she is involved in Stroke Awareness, Youth care and Best Start in Life - ie pre-natal and babies. She is also attending Cancer Champions Training in February 2022.
Name: Ms Fiona Tobin
Position: Parent Governor
Background: Fiona is from County Durham and has lived in Sunderland for the past 10 years, after going to Edinburgh University to study music. Fiona worked for 10 years at Sage Gateshead and has since worked for other local charities and now for UNISON. Fiona is a lifelong trade unionist, passionate about education, social justice, has high aspirations for everyone and loves being involved at the School.
In School: Fiona is very interested in all areas of school, especially the broad and balanced curriculum and supporting with behaviour and attitudes. Fiona is passionate that music and the arts should form a core part of the offer in a school, as this shaped her own life, and is delighted that Grange Park offers so much to young people of our community. Fiona is also a volunteer Secretary of Thompson Park Community Centre near the School, and working at UNISON means that she brings skills around employment, supporting staff and community expertise to the governing body
Out of School: Fiona has two children at Grange Park and became Parent Governor at the end of 2021. Fiona has supported Sunderland her whole life and has always been involved in music and singing and loves swimming in the sea, camping and being outdoors.
Name: Mr Joe Puech
Position: Co-opted Governor
Name: Mr Mike Grummet
Position: Associate Member
Name: Cllr Alex Samuels
Position: Local Authority Governor
Name: Ms Victoria Bramley
Position: Parent Governor
Background: I was born and raised in Southwick and have two children attending Grange Park Primary School. I have worked in sales based roles from leaving school with most of my experience coming from an educational setting, providing opportunities for young apprentices to learn and grow. Within this role I undertook training in safeguarding and children's mental health.