School governors are volunteers, from a wide variety of backgrounds, who have an interest in influencing education for the children in their local community. Governing bodies are accountable for school performance, curriculum and budgets, for setting school aims/policies and for planning the school’s future direction. Governing bodies are also broadly responsible for ensuring schools provide a good quality education for, and encourage development in, all pupils.



Bill Muir (Chairman)

I started work in the Civil Service and then worked in education both as a teacher and school governor for 44 years. I have been a governor since 1974 in primary, secondary and special schools. I am currently Chairman of Newcastle Bridges School and Canning Street Primary School.


I am currently the Health & Safety Adviser for the NUT in Newcastle and have held that post for 30 years and I am Vice Chair of the National Health & Safety Committee. I also served on Newcastle LA Health & Safety Committee for many years. These roles have helped my work as a school governor enormously.


During my lifetime I have served in many capacities in my local community and compiled some local history books for adults and children.


I have two grown up children and five grandchildren.


I am committed to trying to improve the life chances for all children. Everyone should be helped to achieve their potential.



Angela Makepeace (Vice Chair)

I have been in Education, in particular schools, since 1974, first as a Teacher, then as a Senior Manager.  I became an Adviser in Hartlepool organising training for Schools, Cluster, Governors and Headteachers both locally and nationally. 


Presently, I am the Local Authority Adviser for Newly Qualified Teachers in Primary, Secondary and special school in South Tyneside.


Having been a Governor at Canning Street Primary School since 2001, it is my aim to support the vision of the Governing Body and the staff, in School, to ensure consistently high standards are maintained for all our children.



Kathryn Herron (Headteacher)

I began working at Canning Street Primary School ten years ago, initially as Key Stage 1 Phase Leader.  I then became Deputy Head in 2010 and have recently been appointed as Acting Headteacher, due to the retirement of the previous head. I really enjoy working with the children and staff here, who make this such a special place to be.


Before Canning Street I worked in a small primary school in South Tyneside, where I taught throughout Key Stages 1 and 2.


I am married and have 2 small children who keep me very busy when I’m not at work!



Steve Brent (Foundation Trust and Community Governor)

After training at Durham University I joined the teaching profession in 1973 and served in Secondary schools in East Anglia and the North East during a 32 year career.  I took a special interest in sport and the Duke of Edinburgh award and held posts as Departmental Head, Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head Teacher.  Since then I have worked as a consultant with specific reference to NQTs until my retirement in 2012.



Michael Crilly (Co-Opted Governor)



Peter Thomson (Foundation Trust Governor)

I have been a Governor of the school for so long I can barely remember when I started.  I was appointed as a Local Authority representative when I was elected to the City Council as Councillor for the Elswick area in 1984 and they still haven't got rid of me; even though I stopped being a Councillor over 10 years ago.


I have worked in theatre, community arts, community development, arts and mental health, and as a consultant.  Originally trained as a teacher I retain a keen interest in education and in the very special challenges Canning Street School has always faced.  I am currently Governor lead for Early Years in the school and continue to live within the school's catchment area.



Sheila Aspinall (Staff governor)

I have worked at this school for over 22 years, I first started working only 10 hours per week counting dinner money and have now progressed to School Business Manager, working full time.  I am married and have three grown up children of whom we are very proud. I was involved in setting up a successful Community Project in the area where I live and have been a Trustee/Director of this project for over 14 years.


I have been a member of the governing body since 2004 and serve on several committees.  I am very honoured to be a member of the governing body of this school, through this I will endeavour to continue to raise the standards in school and ensure that all children gain the education and experiences that gives them the strong foundation to build the rest of their lives on.  



Jill Lyall (Staff Governor)

I trained and then worked as a nurse in Durham. I specialised in Intensive care and worked on the Intensive care and coronary care unit for several years. After getting married and having children I moved to Newcastle. My children attended Canning Street Primary School where I volunteered in school and was elected as a parent governor. I have now worked in the school as a Special Needs Support Assistant for several years and I have continued to be part of the Governing Body, I am currently an Associate governor and serve on several committees for the Governing body.



Through serving the Governing Body I am committed to continuing to raise standards in the school and as a result raising expectations for all pupils who attend Canning Street and helping them to achieve their potential.



Sarah Symm (Co-opted Staff Governor)

I have been a teacher at Canning Street Primary School for 5 years. I have been very lucky to work in such a brilliant school and to have been given the opportunity to work with fantastic staff and pupils to develop my own practice.


I wanted to become a governor as I wanted to help every child in the school to realise their full potential by supporting the head teacher and the staff with the work they do.



Ania Retkowska (Co-opted governor)

I am a hard working mother and support my daughter daily in her education and all extracurricular activities because I believe in excellence and reaching her full potential.


I am firmly committed to supporting Canning Street Primary School values and ethos and for their excellent contribution to my daughter’s academic achievements and overall excellence in life skills. I want every child to have the opportunity to experience success in their growth and development in education.


I have over 20 years of experience in the human resources management, health and safety, and in legal administration with top worldwide companies. I am an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in London. I have also worked successfully with government agencies and international companies. Currently, I volunteer in many charities in Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as being a strong supporter of community events for families with children.


Through my career I have helped many people to experience life satisfaction in their career pathways. For this reason, I firmly believe instilling positive growth values at early childhood which strongly impacts their character development through all their life stages.



Sharron Orton (Associate Governor)

I have two grown up children and four grandchildren and my children also attended this school.


I have been a Learning Support Assistant in Canning Street Primary School for 15 years. My job involves helping children to achieve their potential. I believe that all children, no matter what their background, can achieve anything they set their sights on and it is our job to help them achieve their goals.


I have been a member of the governing body for over twenty years and in that time have watched the school change and grow.


Sarah Clennell (Co-opted governor)


Please find more information relating to our governors below: