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Our School

Clerk to the Governors

Emma Wood emma.wood@ilkleygs.co.uk

The Register of Interests of members of the Local Governors Body serving and those who have served at any point in the last 12 months:

Register of Interests 2020-21

Any issues to do with individual students or staff, and those relating to the management of the school, should go directly to the school.


Community or Co-opted Governors

Thomas Hurst (Chair of Governors) chairofgovernors@ilkleygs.co.uk

Having been born and bred in The Netherlands, I came to the UK to read law at University. Via Sheffield, London, Leeds and London (again) I moved to Ilkley in 2009. I am a specialist Construction Law Litigator in Leeds. I became a governor in January 2019. As the husband of a teacher I’ve always retained an interest in education, especially as I went through a different education system having studied the European Baccalaureate. I also wanted to give something back. I was very fortunate with the education and opportunities I received and would like to help ensure the younger generations achieve their goals and help improve young lives in my local community. 

Robert Wilson (Vice Chair)

I am from Scarborough originally, went to the University of Leicester, and then settled in the Leeds area in 1997. I moved to Menston with my family in 2011. As at January 2021 I have daughters in Year 9 and year 7 and my youngest daughter will join the school in 2022. I am a Partner for a large accountancy firm, working for the company for 23 years so far, and am based in our Leeds Office. I’ve always aspired towards a role of this type; supporting others is very close to my heart and where I can I want to use my skills to help the school. At work I’ve been involved in many Corporate Responsibility initiatives down the years, including in schools, and I’m currently the wellbeing lead for Leeds office as well as Partner sponsor for two staff networks: Breathe (LGBTQ+) and Be Mindful (mental health support and awareness). I love sport (including watching Yorkshire and England cricket when I can and supporting Southampton FC), reading, cinema, and days out with the kids.

Sandra Lazenby (Resources Committee Chair)

I currently work for Lloyds Banking Group as a Risk Manager within the IT function where I manage a portfolio of circa 250 IT infrastructure risks. I've been with Lloyds (or iterations of the company) since graduating from the University of Leeds some 20 years ago. As with many ex-students I remained 'local' to Leeds and now live in Otley with my husband and two children aged 16 and 9.  In addition to working part-time I'm a mum so tend to be quite good at juggling family and home commitments too!  When time permits I love to practice yoga, bake, sew and get outside whenever I can.

Staff Governors

  • Helen Williams (CEO)
  • Carly Purnell (Headteacher)
  • Veronica Hepworth

I have been a staff member since 2014, but my association with Ilkley Grammar School goes back much further as both my children attended the school so I have experience of the school from different sides of the fence.

Prior to joining IGS, I served in the West Yorkshire Police for thirty years, working across various departments, including domestic violence and child protection and I spent the last nine years leading a team of officers and support staff on the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.

I am passionate about IGS and sat on the working party which drafted the schools vision statement. It is my commitment to this vision which has led me to become a staff governor.  I am looking forward to having the opportunity to make a difference by contributing ideas and being able to influence school through debate and voting on a strategic level. As an associate staff member, I work across the key stages and curriculum areas. I feel I have developed a good rapport with staff across the board and have a real understanding of the issues and am keen to develop mutual understanding between staff and the governing body.

Outside of school, I enjoy going to spin classes at a local gym and walking our two dogs.

  • Kevin Kehoe

Originally hailing from the beautiful north of Ireland I moved to Leeds to study a BA hons degree in Business and Spanish and gained a graduate scheme placement in the finance sector.

Whilst working I started teaching Spanish to adults which led me to realise that my vocation lay in my passion for teaching and especially anything Hispanic. Following my PGCE I spent 8 years in a school in North Yorkshire where I moved from MFL teacher to the Associate Leadership Team with the roles Whole School Literacy Co-ordinator, Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) and Diversity Champion. A highlight was securing a visit by Sir Ian McKellen and Stonewall for recognising our forward-thinking approach towards LGBTQ+ issues. As a SLE, designated by the DfE, I helped subject leaders and teachers in other MFL departments and ran a whole school CPD in partner schools. My Stonewall resources have been shared widely within West and North Yorkshire schools.

I joined IGS in September 2015 as Curriculum Leader for MFL. I'm part of the Associate Leadership Team within IGS having been seconded to the role of Lead Practitioner: Teaching & Learning in my first year at IGS, covering a maternity leave, which coincided with our very successful OFSTED inspection and thus helping to contribute to our ‘Outstanding’ status. I have been involved in Moorlands Learning Trust (MAT) School to School support as SLE and helped secure more SLE designations within the school for our talented senior staff and middle leaders. I have also secured an award as Stonewall Champions and introduced a ‘Diversity Day’ that helps celebrate our inclusiveness, something I continue to explore with the help of many staff members.

Outside of school my interests include all things Hispanic, travel, music, cooking and art.

Parent Governors

  • Peter Shelley

I am an Ilkley resident with experience of IGS both through living next door to it, and through my sons, aged 15 and 12, who are IGS students. My partner is a primary teacher. I have spent most of my career in academic publishing, but am now transitioning to a new career in financial planning.

Having benefitted from the education system on many levels, I am keen to give something back. I have taught reception children to ride bicycles and presented at two West Yorkshire Schools through the ‘Founders4Schools’ program.

I see many areas where my skills and experience will be of use. I remain curious to learn and believe in education for all, at all ages.  

Beyond provision of qualifications and life skills, I believe that IGS, and secondary education more broadly, has a key role to play in driving innovation, solving problems and spreading happiness and prosperity globally for the next generation. The school is popular and successful, but there is always more that can be done. Working closely with the governor team, I am keen to contribute wherever I can.

  • Stuart Herrington

I relocated to Ilkley with my family in 2011 and I have been a governor at IGS for 6 years. I currently have two children who attend school. I have worked in education for nearly thirty years including two headships in inner city primary schools. I set up my own company in 2018 (Improving Impact Ltd) and I now help schools further develop their leadership and teaching and learning.