“I’m excited about the breadth and the quality of provision we can offer at Archbishop Holgate’s School. There is a real sense of energy, commitment and determination from teaching colleagues and I know students will be energised and inspired not only by what they learn, but by how they learn it. There is no great teaching without great teachers, and the enthusiasm, ability and professionalism of our staff is second to none. What makes Archbishop Holgate’s unique? Naturally there’s a relentless focus on maximum achievement for all students. But it’s much more than that. It’s a combination of the calibre and commitment of its staff, the personalised learning environment we can offer, the breadth of the curriculum enrichment available, and our distinctive values.  One of the posters displayed in the school sums up our continuing ambition for students and staff: "Work hard to become good. Then work hard to become better" We look forward to welcoming your son or daughter to Archbishop Holgate's School.” 

John Hattam, Chairman, Archbishop Holgate's School Local Governing Committee

The Local Governing Committee

The most important thing about any school is the people in it. At Archbishop's we are very proud of both our staff and the students and the way they contribute to the calm, positive and productive atmosphere that visitors in the school almost always comment on. We believe that our students are happy at Archbishop's and see our school as a place where they can achieve and succeed. The LGC is a strong working group committed to the welfare of the school. It is responsible for the appointment of the Headteacher and in legal terms is the “responsible authority” with employer responsibility for all staff. It comprises nine Foundation Governors; three staff governors (two elected by staff, plus the Headteacher ex-officio); two parent governors (elected by a ballot for which all parents and guardians are eligible to vote); and one co-opted  governor.  Governors meet twice every term for a full LGC meeting  and each governor also sits on one or two committees which also meet regularly. Foundation Governors also meet, generally on a termly basis, as a separate group to support the spiritual and moral dimension of school life and exercise trusteeship of the school
buildings. In recent years the Foundation has funded significant enhancements to the school's facilities including  the new minibus, staff room refurbishments and a significant contribution towards the Sixth Form Centre.

What makes a good governor?

“The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children – their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialisation, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born.” (UNICEF)

The most important quality is the desire to make a difference to children’s lives through education. In addition to this, attributes that make a good school governor include:

  • A desire to help the local community
  • An external perspective 
  • A willingness to change assumptions
  • The time to get involved
  • The ability to work as part of a team

What do governors do?

Among other responsibilities they:

  • Set appropriate targets for student achievement
  • Develop and review the School Improvement Plan
  • Manage the school’s budget
  • Review curriculum
  • Be a “critical friend” to Headteacher and other professionals
  • Appoint Headteacher
  • Establish and review performance management
  • Manage legal duties e.g. to students with Special Educational Needs
  • Self evaluate school’s strengths and weaknesses, prepare for OFSTED inspections and draw up action plan post OFSTED visit
  • Hear exclusion and disciplinary appeals
  • Prioritise responses to plethora of government initiatives!
  • Governors do NOT get involved in the day to day operational aspects of school – this is the job of the Headteacher and his staff. Their role is more strategic and long term.

Why does it matter?

According to OFSTED, “…where governance is good, standards of attainment are more likely to be higher than in other schools. The quality of teaching, the behaviour of the pupils, and leadership and management are also more likely to be good. Where governance is weak, schools are more likely to be less successful overall.”

How might I become involved?

The full LGC meets six times every year and governors also belong to one or two of the six committees (Admissions, Curriculum, Facilities & Finance, Pastoral, Performance management and Personnel) which support and challenge some key strategic areas within the school.  If you’d like to have an informal discussion about the possibility of becoming a Governor, do contact John Hattam, Chair of the LGC, via the school.

Local Governing Committee Members

  • Patron of Archbishop Holgate's School - His Grace Dr J Sentamu, Archbishop of York
  • Chair: Mr J Hattam (Foundation) *
  • Vice-Chair: Dr A Clarke (Foundation) *
  • Mrs J Armes (Staff)
  • Revd R Battersby (Foundation)
  • Revd R Carew (Foundation)
  • Mr J Conway (Staff)
  • Mr A Daly (Staff, ex officio)
  • Revd P Deo (Foundation)
  • Mr L Fearnley (Parent)
  • Mrs J Lewis (Parent)
  • Dr S Pugh (Foundation)
  • Revd Canon M Smith (Foundation)
  • Mrs C Townson (Co-opted)
  • Mr R Webb (Staff)

* Chair and Vice Chair are elected annually by the Governing Body at the first meeting of the Academic Year. These positions will next be elected in September 2017.

     Pen Pictures of Governors

Patron of Archbishop Holgate's School: The Most Revd & Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York   

One of the Archbishop’s key areas of focus is supporting and encouraging young people in England to “be the best they want to be”. The Archbishop has often spoken about how young people are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today – and that young people should be taking an active role in society and decision making processes. The Archbishop also wants young people to have a greater input in the ministry and well-being of the Church. In 2009 the Archbishop launched his own Youth Trust, helping     young leaders across the North of England in the work they are doing within local communities. He has also launched the Young Leaders Awards, for schools.

“As Patron of Archbishop Holgate's School I am encouraged by the way the pupils, parents, governors and teachers all work together to achieve the School’s Mission Statement of: Forgiveness, Compassion, Trust and Justice. I am also delighted that the local church plays a major part.

I have been tremendously impressed by the range of talent shown by the students. We recognise that wonderful potential in all our young people which God can see and which he wants to grow in them. We need to be part of the work of encouraging and nurturing wherever the seed of hope is sown.”

Mr J Hattam (Foundation)

John spent the first half of his working life in various sales, marketing and operational roles. These days, as owner of a training and consultancy business, he works with clients in the areas of sales training, team building, new business and product development, and also delivers training on negotiation, leadership and many other subjects in the UK and abroad. With a friend he also finds time to run his own wine importing business.John uses his experience as a school governor to work for a number of local authorities to improve outcomes in schools. He also delivers leadership programmes for school governors.

He has recently become fascinated by the potential of simple businesses to alleviate poverty in the developing world and has spent some time in Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria exploring this. When not working he enjoys walking, playing the piano, backgammon, wine and travelling.

John is Chairman of the Governing Body and also sits on the Personnel and Performance Management committees.

“I’ve been inspired recently at Archbishops Holgate’s by the high quality teaching and learning going on in our Sixth Form Centre and the real buzz that is evident there”


Dr A Clarke (Foundation)

Andy is one of a team of seven Consultant Histopathologists at York Hospital delivering the Histopathology diagnostic service for York and the surrounding area. He is a member of Christ Church in Heworth and leads one of the weekday evening home groups. Aside from that, he enjoys dinghy racing with his family, being a partner in a small wine business and attempting to unravel the mysteries of his golf game. Andy is Vice Chairman of the Governing Body, Chairman of the Curriculum Committee, and a member of the Pastoral Committee and has two children at the school.

“It is an inspiring privilege to be part of the governing body working alongside Andrew Daly, the leadership team and all staff colleagues, to deliver the best possible education for our students at Archbishop Holgate’s School”

Jill Armes

Mrs J Armes (Staff)

I spent the first seven years of my teaching career in the Midlands teaching Spanish and French. I then took a career break to raise my family

before moving to York in 2005. I returned to teaching, initially as a supply teacher, before joining the Modern Languages department at Archbishop Holgate’s in 2010. I am currently teaching French at Key Stage 3 and Spanish at Key Stage 4. I stood for election as a Staff Governor because I would like to contribute to the on-going development of the school. I feel very privileged to represent such a dedicated staff.


Reverend R Battersby (Foundation) - Finance Lead 

Prior to ordination, Richard worked primarily for Ernst & Young in London and around the world as an accountant, business advisor (trouble shooter), strategist and interim director. 

With a strong calling to the priesthood, Richard's life changed and he was ordained in 2014.  In 2016, the Archbishop of York invited him to lead a mission and develop a 'Rural Mission Hub' in the newly formed Parish of Rural Ainsty (covering villages situated between York, Wetherby and Tadcaster), where he is also Vicar.  Richard's experience and skills are varied, ranging from his Business Skills (Financial, Programme and Change Management, Strategy, Organisational Development, Leadership Skills, Business Ethics ... etc) to his life as a Parish Priest.

Richard is married and with Judith, his wife, has three daughters who have attended Archbishop Holgate's School, their youngest daughter is still at the school. 

Richard is also a Foundation Governor for AHS and chairs the Finance Committee. Alongside this, he is also a Director for the Sentamu Academy Learning Trust in Hull.


Rev R Carew (Foundation)

Richard was born in Zimbabwe and came to University in York to study History. He then spent 6 years as a teacher before training for ordination. He is now Domestic Chaplain to the Archbishop of York, supporting the Archbishop in his role as Diocesan Bishop for the Diocese of York.


Mr J Conway (Staff)

John has been with the school since 2013 starting as a support assistant which he did for just under a year. John is now one of our pastoral support workers mainly focusing on year 9. John has set up the successful Bike Hub @ AHS which repairs Staff, students and governors push bikes as well as restore bikes from landfill for charity. John sits on the Finance committee and became a governor to support students, staff and parents through the schools future development.


Mr A Daly (Staff, ex officio)

Andrew’s previous teaching experience includes being both a Head of History and an Advanced Skills Teacher before moving into Senior Leadership. Even as a Headteacher he remains passionate about his teaching of History at both GCSE and A-Level, with American and Russian history favourite areas of study. Outside of school Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children and as a family they enjoy travelling as much as possible. Andrew is an enthusiastic runner, a committed, if ageing, five-a-side footballer, and a lifelong fan of Newcastle United.

"I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher of Archbishop Holgate's School and am passionate about helping all our students achieve and succeed. I do firmly believe that high quality education opens up a world of opportunities for young people and as teachers it is our responsibility to deliver the very best lessons each and every day."


Rev P Deo (Foundation)

After completing my initial Teacher Training in York in the early80's I spent 16 years teaching in and around Bradford, in a number of schools and throughout the school age range. I majored in Religious Education and Physical Education and spent some of my teaching career working in Special Education, and in particular in the area of Behaviour Management.

I was ordained in 1997 and after three posts in parishes in the  Diocese of Bradford, was Installed as Vicar of Christ Church on Stockton Lane in Heworth in September 2012.

I'm married to Ros and we have two grown up children. After an earlier life full of sport, including football, cricket, rugby and volleyball, I know try to play golf at least once a week and have an official handicap of 14. I've played the guitar since I was young and had some great experiences through that both inside and outside the orbit of the Church.

Why did I agree to becoming a governor at AHS? Because I believe in the principle of having high standards and doing all we can to reach our  maximum potential as human beings. We're never too young to commit to that principle, and there's no better environment in which to work it out than an outstanding school such as this one!"

lee fearnley

Mr L Fearnley (Parent)

Lee Fearnley is a Project Manager and Web Developer by trade, working for a major distributor of electronics in Leeds (best known for the BBC MicroBit and Raspberry Pis). He has lived in Stamford Bridge since 1998 and is an active member of the local church there - frequently leading the music with his guitar. Lee has two children, the eldest on role at the school now and the younger to follow in September 2016. Lee's passions include spending time with the family, music, computing and - to a lesser extent - cricket and cycling. Lee became a parent governor in April 2016 and looks forward to helping the school maintain its excellent support, development and encouragement of our children and young people.

Jane Lewis

Mrs J Lewis (Parent)

Jane became a Parent Governor in September 2015 and she sits on the Pastoral Committee. She is also Chair of Governors at Osbaldwick Primary School. She was designated as a National Leader of Governance in 2012 and Jane works with schools providing support to improve governance. After 15 years working in the water industry, she now runs her own business specialising in leadership development. She also works for the DfE part-time across six Local Authority areas. She lives in the local area and is a trustee of York Community Church and is involved in the Tang Hall Big Local partnership. She studied Chemistry at York University and she loves baking because cakes are chemistry experiments you can eat! 

“As a parent I feel incredibly blessed that my boys have had such a fantastic experience at AHS. I want every child to flourish in our care."


Dr S Pugh (Foundation)

I am a lecturer in STEM Education and Teaching Enhancement at the University of Leeds. I have over 15 years’ experience of teaching and curriculum development, particularly focusing on professional development and business collaboration. I was awarded University Student Education Fellowship (2014) in recognition of my contribution to student education at the University. I am also a director of Project Dexterity Ltd; providing consultancy services and training in all aspects of project management.

I have also served on the Wilberfoss Primary School Governing Body for the last seven years as a foundation governor. I have a son and daughter at Archbishop Holgate’s and another daughter who will hopefully join the school next year. To keep fit I enjoy dancing (tap and jazz), cycling and running, and I also have a passion for live music and musical theatre. 


Rev Canon M Smith (Foundation)

Michael Smith moved to York to take up the post of Canon Pastor at York Minster in September 2013. He has been a parish priest in the Diocese of Oxford for 30 years and as such has been involved in local schools in various capacities, serving as a Foundation Governor on more than one     occasion. Michael worked as part-time chaplain for 14 years to Helen House, a hospice for children in Oxford and for three years as chaplain to Thames Hospice care, an adult hospice in Windsor. Michael has three adult sons and through their education in the South East has been involved as a parent in a Comprehensive School, a Grammar School and a private school. Michael enjoys dabbling in creative writing and keeping fit by running along the river with a reluctant Labrador.


Mrs C Townson (Co-opted)

Claire is an experienced primary school  governor having served on a governing body for over 10 years in the East Riding of Yorkshire and also chaired the governing body of a local primary school in York.

She is an experienced HR professional and works at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust as the director of corporate services. While she sits as a co-opted governor she is also the parent of two children at the school.

Claire brings all this experience and background to bear as Chair of the Personnel and Performance Management Committee.

Mr R Webb (Staff)

‘I began teaching in 2009 and have taught Physics in schools in Hessle, Peterborough and Bradford as well as here at Archbishop Holgate’s School in York. Primarily throughout my career I have had a particular interest in getting KS3 students engaged in Science, but I have also been a head of department in two different schools. I am a currently head of Esk house at Archbishop Holgate’s School and continue to enjoy teaching Science to all age groups of students.

I was recently elected by my peers to represent school staff on the governing body of the school. As such my main focus is helping to maintain and monitor staff working conditions which in turn will lead to happy, healthy staff capable of looking after and developing the children in our care to the maximum of our abilities. I am also very keen to help implement and maintain our school’s sensible, supportive and beneficial curriculum to really allow our students to flourish in an ever changing world.’


Dr M Kanaan

Awaiting personal statement.

Governors Declaration of Interests: Transactions with Connected Parties

 The following information has been declared by governors at the school:

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust Scheme of Delegation

Local Governing Committee Register of Business Interests

Local Governing Committee Meeting Attendance 2016-17

CLICK HERE to see Minutes and Agendas

Up arrow
Scroll up