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Great Arley


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Meet The Governors



Bryony was appointed as a Parent Governor in February 2021 for a four-year term of office. Bryony, whose son Alex attends Great Arley, has taught in a local school since 2004 and enjoys walking, running, and trips away in her campervan. 

Bryony has no business interests, is not a governor at any other school and has no relationship to any member of staff.



Fiona is currently a Deputy Headteacher at Brookfield School where her role covers Safeguarding and Inclusion. Fiona oversees the Bespoke pathway which provides education to pupils not yet ready to attend main school for a variety of reasons. Fiona has experience of being a school governor at Brookfield School and also at Singleton Primary School.

Fiona was appointed Governor of Great Arley School in November 2020 for a four year term of office and has no relationship to any member of staff

In addition to working in a school, Fiona also runs the Junior church at St Anne’s Church in Singleton.



Harry was appointed as governor by the Governing Board on 20 November 2019 for a four-year term of office. Harry has a wide range of experience in different leadership, management and director roles in engineering, project planning, finance, quality assurance, health and safety and operations. The skills and experience he brings will be an important asset to our team of governors.

Harry has no business interests, is not a governor at any other school and has no relationship to any member of staff.



Ciara achieved a degree in BA Food Manufacturing Management at Lancaster University in 2001. She is currently employed as the Governance Lead for Fylde Coast Academy Trust and is responsible for the development and management of all aspects of governance and clerking service for schools within the Trust and the Blackpool Sixth Form. As part of this role she is a member of the NGA Clerk’s Development Programme which includes a variety of training sessions for governance including Ofsted, Safeguarding, SEND.

Ciara also has a membership with Trust Governance Insight for governance professionals, which includes half termly Corporate and Personal Development sessions and governance networking opportunities. 

Ciara was previously employed as the Exams Officer, Assessment and Data Manager and Clerk to Governors at Saint Aidan’s C of E High School between 2013 and 2019.

Ciara was appointed as a co-opted Governor in March 2023. 


Mrs Marlene Hagan - CO-OPTED GOVERNOR

Marlene was co-opted onto the Governing Body on 28 February 2018. Marlene is Vice-chair of the Curriculum & Strategy Committee. 

Marlene has no business interests to declare and is not a governor at any other establishment.  She has no relationship with any member of staff at the school although she is married to Tony Hagan, another co-opted school governor.

Rochdale born Marlene moved to Blackpool after her 11+ and enrolled at Palatine Secondary Technical School; whereupon gaining her GCE’s; she embarked on a 32-year career within the NHS, culminating as Operating Manager for Blackpool Primary Care Trust.

On retirement, she became a Teacher’s Assistant at St. George’s Academy, Blackpool. Her involvement in art, R.E. and science subjects gave her an insight into educational life. In her leisure time, Marlene spent time in scouting firstly as a leader and then as an administrator. She also fulfilled a similar role for the Blackpool Children’s Pantomime for a great number of years. Marlene is currently the Property Mistress for Blackpool Operatic Society. 

Marlene states "It is a privilege to be involved with Great Arley and fully endorse its aim of ensuring all its pupils attain their fullest potential; regardless of their difficult circumstance."



Tony was appointed as a Governor at Great Arley School in November 2020 for a four-year term of office.

James Anthony (‘Tony’) Hagan is born and bred in Blackpool and was a data and communications engineer but is now retired. Tony likes to keep himself busy so had a 7 year spell of site supervising at Kincraig School and then portered at NHS Primary Care Blackpool.

For recreation, he likes to paint and make scenery and props for the theatre and was for many years the Property Master of the Blackpool Children’s Pantomime. He also researched, then co-authored the book “These Happy Children”; to celebrate their 75 years of productions.

Tony currently has responsibilities as a Governor for Training and Development and as a Subject Governor for Numeracy.


Mr Peter Higham - HEADTEACHER   

Peter is Great Arley School's Headteacher, having been appointed from 11th April 2016.

Peter started teaching in 1994 with French as his specialist subject.  Since then he has worked in four Lancashire schools holding a range of roles including pastoral, SENCO and senior leadership roles.  He also has experience of governance as a Teacher Governor from 2012-2016.

Peter lives locally and enjoys many outdoor activities, especially skiing, running and walking his dog 'Ted'.

As the Headteacher Peter has attended all the committee meetings.  He has no business interests to declare, is not now a governor at any other establishment and has no relationship to any member of staff.


Elizabeth Noble - CO-OPTED GOVERNOR

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Leeds in 1970 with an Honours degree in English Literature. She spent her career as a teacher of English, a Head of English and ultimately an Assistant Principal at Collegiate High School initially and then at The Blackpool Sixth Form College when it became a separate entity in 1989. Elizabeth retired in 2007. Her grandson is a pupil at Great Arley School. 

Elizabeth was appointed a co-opted Governor in November 2022. 



Helen is our current acting Chair of Govenors. She is also our Local Authority Governor, nominated by the LA and appointed by the Governing Board on 8th March 2016.

Helen is a retired nurse with over 30 years of working in the NHS. Helen has an interest in safeguarding, quality and safety which will provide valuable experience to our governing body.

Helen is Chair of the Curriculum and Strategies Committee and is a member of the Finance and Personnel Committee. Helen also sits on the Headteachers Appraisal Committee and Pupil Discipline Committee. She is also our nominated governor for Safeguarding and PSHE.

Helen has no business interests to declare, is not a governor at any other establishment and has no relationship to any member of staff.

Governing Body evaluation

Self-evaluation is a fundamental feature of good governance.  We have reviewed ourselves against 20 criteria developed by the The Key, National Governance Association and All Party Parliamentary Group. A core group from the Governing Body met in June 2023 and reviewed the 20 questions. Read our self-evaluation report below. 

Summary of Governor activity for 2022/2023


We currently have three Governor vacancies for a Co-opted Governor, a Parent Governor and a Staff Governor. 


A Co-opted Governor is an individual from the community who has the skills and experience which the Governing Body require. A Parent Governor is required to be a parent of a pupil at the school at the time of their appointment. The role of a staff governor is the same as any other governor and also includes providing a ‘staff viewpoint’.


If you are interested in becoming a Governor, please email

Our Governors

Governors have a demanding but vital role to play in ensuring every child has the best education possible and high standards are promoted throughout the school.


Their main focus is to:

  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Work to support and strengthen the Headteacher in the school's performance by being a 'critical friend.'
  • Oversee and ensure that the school's budget is properly managed.


Every school has a Governing Body. It usually consists of:

  • parents elected by other parents of children at the school
  • citizens appointed by the LEA
  • members co-opted from the community (including business community)
  • foundation governors appointed to voluntary schools to represent the church which provides the school
  • school staff and the Headteacher.

The three main committees of the Governing Body have been established which  meet once per term. These are:

Curriculum and Strategy, Finance and Personnel and Buildings and Health & Safety.


Every governor has voting rights on each of the committees they serve on.

For further information about the constitution of Governing Boards, please follow the link below to the statutory guidance from the Department for Education.

Our governors are committed to maintaining and improving the work of the school. As such they oversee areas of the curriculum and school improvement taking on  particular responsibilities.


The document below details the full membership of each of the committees, who is the Chair and Vice-chair and who attends as observers. Observers provide expertise and vital information for the committees, however they do not have voting rights.

Download a list of our Governor committees information

Governing Body dates 2023/24: 






Full Governing Body Meetings

15 November 2023 - 4pm

20 March 2024 - 4pm 

19 June 2024 - 4pm 

Finance and Personnel Committee

4 October 2023 - 4pm

24 January 2024 - 4pm

1 May 2024 - 4pm 

Curriculum & Strategy Committee

18 October 2023 - 4pm 

7 February 2024 - 4pm 

15 May 2024 - 4pm 

Health & Safety Committee

11 October 2023 - 4pm 

31 January 2024 - 4pm  

8 May 2024 - 4pm 

Pay and Appraisal Committee 

11 October 2023 - 3pm 




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