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Clerk to the Governors

Emma Wood

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:

Terms of Office from September 2023

Register of Interests 2023-24

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

Trustee Appointed Governors

Stuart Herrington (Disadvantaged Students Link Governor)

I relocated to Ilkley with my family in 2011 and I have been a governor at IGS for 6 years. I now only have one child at IGS in the 6th form, my older two having successfully left school for their first choice university course. 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.

Vee Hepworth (Safeguarding & SEND / Inclusion Link Governor)

I graduated from Nottingham University in 1984 with a degree in Social Administration. This led me to a thirty year career with West Yorkshire Police, during which time I led teams in a number of different departments including Child Protection, Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime and finished my career in the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, leading a team specialising in cold case investigations.

I have been involved with Ilkley Grammar school since 2012, initially as a parent and subsequently as a member of staff. Again I have undertaken a number of roles as a Learning Support Assistant in the Inclusive Learning Team, then as Behaviour, Attendance and Outreach Specialist and Head of Year, before joining the Leadership Team as Director of Behaviour, Attendance and Outreach and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. I retired from that role in July 2023 but am delighted to have returned to work at IGS as a part time receptionist.

Having previously been a staff governor I remain committed to working with my fellow governors and the leadership team to drive the strategic development of the school and to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our students.

Helen Williams (CEO)

Co-opted (Community) Governors

Thomas Hurst (Chair of Governors / Health & Safety Link Governor)

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. 

Jack Forman (Vice Chair of Resources Committee)

I grew up a few miles down the road in Horsforth and attended secondary school in Menston. Despite spending a number of years living and working in Australia, like so many I was always drawn back to Yorkshire and am now living in Ilkley with my wife and two young kids. I currently work as a Senior Manager for Deloitte UK, most recently working on a pandemic response project in the public sector. My undergraduate degree was in Electronic and Computer Engineering, I have over six years experience working in IT and Software Development. I’m passionate about equipping the next generation with the tools to help them navigate an ever-changing digital landscape.

Staff Governors

Carly Purnell (Headteacher; ex officio)

Jessica Womack

I joined IGS as a staff member in 2021 but quickly developed a passion for the school and a desire to become more involved in its strategic development, which led to me becoming a staff governor. I have worked in a range of different schools and educational settings, and I am committed to ensuring students and staff are in an environment where they can thrive and truly achieve their personal best. 

Outside of school I enjoy running, cooking and performing in various musical ensembles!

Nathanael Adams

I have been a member of staff at IGS since 2012; currently I teach Philosophy but am also Student Wellbeing Lead working with students, staff and pastoral teams to develop better systems to support our students with their physical and mental wellbeing. Part of this has been developing a mental health curriculum to be delivered in Personal Best Time as well as working with school wellbeing team in enhancing provisions such as counselling and other additional supports.

I am passionate about our school and believe fervently that our provision is constantly evolving to provide the best learning experience to each and every student. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Local Governing body by contributing ideas and voting on whole school strategy. It is wonderful to be able to represent other staff members and to help share understanding from both student and staff perspectives to develop mutual understanding with the other local governors. 

Outside of school I am keen runner and love walking up in the Dales.

Parent Governors

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 and then to Ilkley during 2022. As at January 2023 I have daughters in Years 11, 9 and 7. I am a Partner for a large accountancy firm, working for the company for 25 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.

Peter Shelley (Chair of Resources Committee / Careers Link Governor)

I am an Ilkley resident with experience of IGS both through living next door to it, and through my sons 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.

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