The Governing Body is responsible for the overall management of our school. Full Governing Body meetings are held once a term. There are subcommittees that meet to deal with specific issues, for example finance. These committees meet as often as is necessery and report to the whole Governing Body.

 Governors Declaration of Interests

 Governors Attendance Record 2022-2023

 Governing Body Statement of Intent


Governors at Elm Tree School


Chair of Governors - Mrs D Hodgson

"I became involved in school governance about twelve years ago and currently sit on three special school governing bodies being Chair of two, one primary and one secondary.

Before retiring I was a police officer for over thirty years and then a lecturer in further education.

I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies and of the Lancashire Schools Forum (High Needs Block Working Group)

I am the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Birchwood Centre, a supported accomodation project for young people, based in West Lancashire and act as an Independant Person for L.C.C. Customer Feedback Services, which deals with complaints, current and historic, lodged against L.A. staff, by vulnerable children, young people and adults.

I hold a Diploma in Applied Social Science, and a B.Sc.(Hons), also in applied Social Science."

Contact address: Elm Tree Community Primary School. Elmers Wood Road, Skelmersdale, WN8 6SA 


Vice Chair of Governors Co-Opt - Mrs L Sheppey

"I began my career as a Youth Development Worker twenty years ago. I hold numerous qualifications at various levels in Youth Work, Primary Education and Mental Health. 

I currently work within Mental Health and Education in various settings across Merseyside. My roles include supporting schools in the development of provisions, with my particular specialism being in SEND. I am a voluntary ambassador for the charity Mind, and champion for the ‘Time for Change’ project. I also volunteer for Childline. I am involved in several projects with ‘The Diana Award’. As a previous award winner I am honoured to be part of such an organisation. I am driven in ensuring all Young People feel empowered to have a voice and influence decision making. I am passionate about ensuring that all young people feel supported enough in throughout their education to have choices. I am committed to every role I hold. I am also a proud Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

I am delighted to be a part of the team at Elm Tree. I look forward to supporting the school in their strategic vision."


Headteacher - Mr D Lamb

"I have worked within education for the past 22 years, taught in both mainstream and special schools throughout Lancashire. I was appointed as Headteacher of Elm Tree in September 2009. 

Over the past 8 years the school continues to grow from strength to strength, I am proud to lead a committed and passionate workforce which encompasses our school motto 'Believe to Achieve'."


Co-Opt - Mr B Hodgson

"I am a retired Police Officer that co-ordinated a team of officers working in the schools of West Lancashire and Chorley. For over twenty years I ran courses on behalf of the Health and Safety Department at County Hall, working in over 250 schools and youth clubs in Lancashire. I also spent 10 years working as a part time lecturer at Skelmersdale College. I have been Governor for over 25 years at Hope High school, being the Chair for over twenty years. I have also been a Governor at Massey Hall, and Rose School. I am the Special Schools Governor on the Lancashire Schools Forum since it inauguration. I sit on the special schools committee for the National Governors association, and I am the President of the Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies representing more than 430 schools and academies in Lancashire. I am a Trustee at the Birchwood Centre in Skelmersdale that supplies accommodation and support for young people in West Lancashire.

I am looking forward to my joining the Governing Body at Elm Tree, which with the team already in place has high ambitions for the future."


Co-Opt - Mrs K Taberner

"Currently I am Acting Headteacher at Woodland Community Primary School.

I started my teaching career in Croxteth, Liverpool and moved to Skelmersdale in 1992.

Having worked in Skelmersdale for 30 years I am passionate about encouraging children to be the best version of themselves.

I am looking forward to working with all the schools in our community, including Elm Tree, where we can share good practice and continue to learn from one another."


Co-Opt - Mr P Gaskell

“I applied to be a Governor at Elm Tree Community Primary school as I have long since had an interest in supporting local communities. Playing for a local brass band for upwards of 40 years I helped raise thousands of pounds for local and national charitable organisations. In addition to playing in the senior band, I also helped in the running of the junior band helping to develop and nurture a love of music within children of all ages. Having worked in local government for 38 years, I held a range of positions, many of which entailed working within multi agency networks on some of the most socially deprived areas in the country. Upon retiring from my management position within a neighbouring local authority, I continued to support young people within my community by becoming an invigilator at a local high school. As an invigilator I had the responsibility of supporting young people with a range of special educational needs to access exams. I am looking forward to continuing to support SEND children in my new position at Elm Tree Community Primary School.”


Local Authority - Mr M Montgomery

I am passionate about education and improving outcomes for children and young people; particularly those with special educational needs. I am a qualified teacher with nearly 20 years’ experience. I have taught in both mainstream and special schools. I am currently an Independent Education Consultant/Adviser specialising in the areas of SEND, Behaviour, Leadership and School Improvement. Prior to this, I was Headteacher of a primary special school in Lancashire.  

I was designated as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for SEND, behaviour and phonics. I have additional qualifications in Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) and have successfully achieved NPQH.  

Since 2011, I have been a governor in several schools. I am currently Vice Chair on the Governing Board of a primary school in Skelmersdale. I am nominated governor for Literacy, Looked After Children (LAC) and Pupil Premium.  

My partner and I are proud adopters of sibling boys. This experience alongside my education background has led to my appointment as Panel Chair of a Local Authority Fostering Panel and Vice Panel Chair/Education Adviser at an Independent Fostering Agency in Liverpool. I am also an Independent Panel Member at a North West based Voluntary Adoption Agency.  

In all my work I am committed to making a difference and working in a child centred approach  


Staff Governor - Mr H Cartwright

"I have been working at Elm Tree since 2018 and I am currently the School Business Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead. I became a school governor as I have a strong passion in ensuring that the school raises educational standards, encourages pupil morale, development, and provides a safe, nurturing and encouraging environment. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Elm Tree so far and I am extremely proud to be part of such a successful team." 


Staff Governor - Miss K Wainwright

"I was delighted to be elected as a staff governor for Elm Tree. I have worked in education for over 20 years, 14 of these at Elm Tree. Over the years I have watched Elm Tree blossom into a caring and supportive environment, in which children are encouraged to flourish, educationally, socially and emotionally. I am immensely proud to be part of such a wonderful school. I am currently working as a member of the therapy team, my specialist area being speech and language. I am also part of our outreach team, providing support to other schools in the area. I am passionate about ensuring all children have the skills they need to be successful and happy. I hold a BA Hons in teaching, learning and mentoring."


Parent Governor - Miss L Clarkson

"I have been a parent governor at Elm Tree for over 12 months. I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved In the meetings and the invaluable training that has been provided.   I have been employed by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Councils, Young People’s Services for 19 years in a variety of different roles and settings such as an Inclusion worker for looked after children and children with SEND. I have also managed Darwen youth centre and a positive activities programme which involves the Duke of Edinburgh, a barge and  Kentmere Residential Centre. I believe that young people can thrive given the correct environment, support and opportunities. My current role is now  Participation and Inclusion Manager. This role involves me supporting the various children’s forums throughout BwD such as the Junior & Senior VOICE Children in our care groups and the Blackburn with Darwen Youth MPs and Youth Forum. I  support young people at various meetings both locally, regional and nationally to ensure their voices are heard and acted upon.  I also manage a SEND inclusion project which provides term time and holiday provisions for children with disabilities with additional and complex needs.  I am passionate that all young peoples voices should be heard and acted upon.  I am a proud mum to my 8 year old son who attends Elm Tree."


Parent Governor - Ms R Burbidge

"I am delighted to have been elected Parent Governor at Elm Tree. Over the past 10 years, I have worked in a number of educational settings from Nursery through to Sixth Form in various roles from a 1-1 SEND assistant to Head of Department and Pastoral. I have beneficial experience of the education system and an understanding of the challenges it currently faces to help Elm Tree progress and develop further. Having battled through the early stages of an SEMH/ASC diagnosis with my son, whom currently attends Elm Tree, it has driven me to ensure that no child, especially with SEND, is left behind so that they can achieve their full potential in a caring, supportive and safe environment. As a teacher and a mother, children are at the centre of everything I do. I am so very thankful for the opportunity to support and develop the team and provision at Elm Tree to guarantee the best outcomes for all pupils, staff and the school community are reached."

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