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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 2022-23

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

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

Helen Williams (CEO)

Co-opted (Community) 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 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.

Victoria Wilson (Safeguarding & SEND / Inclusion Link Governor)

I am a solicitor having qualified in December 1994. I have worked exclusively in the field of healthcare law on the defence side during my career. I currently work as an in-house lawyer for the Medical Protection Society in Leeds which is a professional indemnity organisation for doctors, dentists and nurses. I am originally from the south east and moved to Ilkley three years ago following which I have not looked back. I love spending time on the moor with my lovely cockapoo Bronte named after my favourite author Charlotte!

Jack Forman

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)

Susie Leach (Director of Operations, ex officio)

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.

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. 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.

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, 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.

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