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)

Lynsey Bowker (Co-opted Community Governor)
Lynsey has worked in the NHS and local government for more than 20 years in a variety of senior management positions, including public health, transformation, and service commissioning. Her current role is leading performance improvement and programme management for a large NHS trust. She also chairs a National Network for programme management.
Lynsey is married, lives in Penistone and has a teenage daughter who attends Penistone Grammar School. She enjoys traveling and reading, and keeping active by going to the gym and walking around Penistone with her family and their dog.
Lynsey feels that being a volunteer school governor would be an amazing and fulfilling experience. She is eager to learn and grow as a new governor to make sure she does the best for the children, staff, and whole school community.
(Updated March 2024)

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)


Adam Hesselden (Co-opted Community Governor)
Adam previously worked as a Teaching Assistant for special educational needs in Kirklees 20 years ago, instead of pursuing a teaching career he decided to work in dementia care and at present works for one of the local authority homes in Wakefield.
Whilst based in Wales, in a previous role Adam was actively involved in intergenerational befriending which saw children introducing residents to technology and residents sharing their life experiences and knowledge with the children.  Adam believes we all need purpose and meaningful occupation, and through this project children from local schools and beyond were able to provide these meaningful experiences and as a result of local campaigns and Wales' first Intergenerational Strategy through 'Ffrind I Mi', a reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medications was observed, this then contributed to residents gaining weight and the number of call outs requested to Welsh Ambulance Service reducing by nearly 30%.
Adam had regular contact with various schools that came to visit and presented at conferences, he was involved with the publication of 'The Elephant in the Room', having identified that children needed emotional support having built relationships with residents, but then needing emotional and bereavement support when they passed away.   He has also supported various schools towards the Welsh agenda for creating ethically informed citizens.
Since moving back to West Yorkshire, he is keen to ‘give something back’ and being a school governor will allow him to do that whilst working in education and with children, which are aspects close to his heart!
(Updated March 2024)

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)

Dr Mark Wilcox (Co-opted Community Governor)

Mark has been involved with the school for many years. First, starting the Cycling Club, when his son Alex was at the Infants. 
He was later elected as a Parent Governor, before converting to a Community Governor. 
Mark was born in Wooldale and attended the old School, consequently, he retains a close affinity with the area and the school. As a governor he tries to bring his experience of quality management and education to this role. This was first gained as an apprentice, before going to University and eventually becoming a University Lecturer.
 He describes his role as a being a 'critical friend'.

(Updated April 2024)