Kirkroyds Lane, New Mill, HD9 1LS
01484 955820

Below you’ll find a little more about each of our current governors:-


Louise Armitage (Associate Governor)

Louise is the longest-serving member of the Governing Body, having taken up the role originally in 2001 when she became Deputy Headteacher at Kirkroyds Infant School, she has served as Staff Governor before becoming an Associate Governor in 2022.

She has worked in education for over 30 years, specialising in Early Years Education.  She is currently Deputy Headteacher across both the infant and junior schools, enabling her to work with all pupils and families in the school.

 In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, dancing, and spending time in France.


(Updated December 2022)

Louise Coffey (Parent Governor)

Louise has three children who attend New Mill Infant School and New Mill Junior School and she has lived in the local area for the past twenty years.

Louise began her teaching career at Honley High School as a sociology and psychology teacher and has worked in schools in Leicester and Oldham. She currently works as a Vice Principal at a large 11-18 School (which is part of a Multi-Academy Trust) in Leeds. Responsibilities currently include Teaching and Learning, SEND, Careers, and staff training. Louise is involved in research projects within the Education sector. Last year this included research into Growth Mindset, Spaced Learning, and effective feedback. This year research is being carried out into independent learners, Oracy, and SEND.

In her spare time, Louise enjoys Zumba and Tae Bo classes and spending time with family.

(Updated November 2021)


Michelle Ingoe (Staff Governor)

Michelle was elected as teaching staff governor in 2022.

She began her teaching career at a school in Oldham then began working at New Mill Junior School in September 2021 when relocating to the area.  She works as Assistant Headteacher at the school whilst having responsibility for teaching Year 6, leading the curriculum, and also jointly leading English across the junior and the infant school. 

She is passionate about doing all she can to help the children of New Mill Schools. As a governor, she will support both schools as they continue to provide excellent, well-rounded educational outcomes for all the children in a supportive, stimulating learning environment. 

Outside of work, Michelle has two young children and enjoys spending time with her family.

(Updated October 2022)

Susan Lavan (Non-teaching Staff Governor)

Susan was elected as a non-teaching staff governor in 2022, she supports both schools working in the office, having undertaken other roles in school prior to that.   She enjoys working with people, particularly in customer-facing roles.


Susan says one of the early significant impacts on her life was being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eight and looking back recognises she lost a lot of her own education as a result.  This has made her more aware of how important, to children of any background, schools are, and recently how seamless Governors can make the education process.

Susan has had a varied career, working in a variety of businesses in sales environments and at the age of 30 had her own engineering company employing 12 people.   As family arrived, she sold her share of the company and became a PA to an NHS consultant.  With her children growing up, the family moved out of the city to the leafy lane values of the Holme Valley. 


Susan is an NLP practitioner and master practitioner, trained in Adizies corporate life cycles Ericksonian hypnosis and a full practitioner of spiral dynamics (Memetic change), skill sets she hopes will prove useful to the Governing body.


In her limited spare time, she loves taking long walks with family and friends and enjoys travel and new experiences such as sky diving, abseiling, and scuba diving.

(Updated October 2022)


Benjamin Rowe (Co-opted Community Governor)

Ben joined the team in 2023.  He has lived in Huddersfield for nearly 20 years after growing up in South London, but then moving north to study Music and Technology at the University of Huddersfield which is where he met his wife. He has one child, not yet at school.

 Ben has worked in IT for nearly 3 decades and has held multiple senior roles in different sectors bringing a broad spectrum of technical knowledge with him.

 Ben understands the importance of education, after struggling with his own growing up. Spending lots of time at hospitals and dental practices due to having a double cleft lip and palette. Missing lots of school impacted his learning but now strives to get the most out of all educational possibilities he can and is keen to help children get the most from their education.

 Outside of work, he likes to get outdoors as much as possible, whether hiking, cycling, or surfing, he’s a firm believer that all time spent doing activities that challenge you is important for well-being and mental health.

(Updated March 2023)

Colin Somers (Co-opted Community Governor)

Colin was co-opted on the board of Governors in 2022, Colin has lived in the Holme Valley for most of his adult life he is currently living in Holmbridge. 


Colin worked in the engineering industry all his working life latterly in Human Resource Management, his senior-level position covered all aspects of HR and included environment, health, and safety management in this role he spent time working in many countries across the world.  Colin is now retired from this role and has recently relinquished his non executive board memberships in apprentice training and as a pension trustee and director, he still helps out at a local food bank as a volunteer. 


Colin believes in the power of education for the benefit of all in the community and feels privileged to serve on the governing board of New Mills schools. 


Colin is a keen supporter of Huddersfield Town and the Huddersfield Giants and enjoys his attempts at playing golf. 


(Updated June 2022)

Joe Taylor-Hannah (Co-opted Community Governor)


Joe was co-opted to the Board of Governors in 2022.  Joe moved to Huddersfield in 2017, having moved to the area to be with his now wife. 


Joe is a qualified Social Worker who graduated from the University of Bradford in 2013, he has spent most of his working life supporting children and young people who are in foster carer.  Joe is currently employed as an OFSTED Registered Manager of a charitable Independent Fostering Agency and he is passionate about ensuring that children and young people are supported to achieve the best possible outcomes, whilst also ensuring that they are appropriately helped and protected. 


Joe is motivated by the vision of New Mill Infant and Junior Schools and that vision is that we are ‘Building a Brighter Future Together’. 


(Updated December 2022)


Dawn Whiteley MBE (Co-opted Community Governor)

Dawn is the Chair of Governors, a role she previously undertook for Kirkroyds Infant and Wooldale Junior Schools since January 2012.  

Dawn has lived in and around the Holme Valley all her life and now lives in Thongsbridge.  Dawn worked in the enterprise support sector for over 25 years, helping people set up and run their own businesses – work for which she received an MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours in 2016.  She now works locally supporting the running and management of an iconic community building in Holmfirth.  It is this extensive business background that she brings to the Governing body, with a wide range of experience in financial, HR, and management issues.

Outside of work Dawn is a devoted auntie to four nephews and has interests in a variety of sports, most notably as a season ticket holder at Huddersfield Town Football Club and a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

(Updated October 2021)

Mark Wilcox (Parent Governor)

Mark was elected as a parent governor late in 2020, and his son Alex was at the time in year 5.  He first got involved with the school as a cycling coach and started the after school cycling club.

Mark is originally from Wooldale and has lived and worked across the UK then returned to the Holme Valley.   His work experience in education ranged from industrial training through to University Lecturer, so he has seen the benefits of education and training firsthand, from apprentices through to graduates.

In his career, Mark has specialised in quality management and hopes to bring that critical eye to the role of governor.  Governors have a unique role to play as a critical friend to the hardworking teachers and support staff, and Mark wants to try to be a sympathetic listener.

Mark believes education benefits us all, and that we have a duty to make sure our children get the best start in life.  Being a governor is an important part of ensuring that the next generation maximises their potential.

(Updated October 2021)