Meet the Governors

We currently have ten of our twelve governors in post.  This is what they say about themselves:

Mrs Anne Vetch - Local Authority Governor (Chair of Governors)

Anne has a background in secondary teaching and educational leadership.She taught French for a number of years before becoming Deputy Headteacher (and acting Head) at a large secondary school in Warwickshire.  She is a qualified holistic therapist specialising in Aromatherapy and ran her own business for some time. She moved to Buckden in 2007.  Married to Peter, a management consultant, she has two grown up daughters ...both teachers!  Always a keen singer and with a great love of music, she started the local community choir, Buckden Singers, ten years ago and is still heavily involved with them.  She is passionate about providing the very best education possible for children in general, but particularly for those living in small rural communities.

Mr Peter Vernon - Parent Governor (Vice-Chair of Governors)

Peter is a Chartered Surveyor with his own business in Gargrave. He practices in the North of England and lives in Rylstone.  Peter is a huge fan of our small school primary system, but also experienced enough to recognise where it could do better.  He first became a Governor at Cracoe & Rylstone Primary School in 2006 and subsequently became Chair of Governors until 2017. As Chair of Governors at Cracoe & Rylstone, the school progressed to Outstanding Ofsted status and joined the first ever Collaboration in Upper Wharfedale in 2015.  He believes that there is more to be gained from the schools working together under a Federation management structure to deliver greater educational and social benefits.  Peter’s youngest son has recently moved from Cracoe’s KS1 to KS2. Two of his other children have been educated at the school and are either at, or have, attended Upper Whafedale School, Ermysted’s Grammer School and Skipton Girls’ High School.  His hobbies are various but include cycling, running and swimming and Triathlon’s, in order to get over his other cooking, food and wine interests.

Mrs Julie Morton Lee - Executive Headteacher

Mr Gareth Burcher - Co-Opted Governor

I was born, the youngest of three children, in Upper Cumberworth and spent the first nine years of my life in the glorious countryside of Denby Dale.   The Summers were long and involved snaking around the long grasses of the fields behind our house or paddling in the stream on the way to the woods.  The Winters were proper Winters.  Hard, yet fun. Icicles as long as your arm formed in guttering and the snow fell to such an extent that six foot fences were lost beneath small, crunchy feet.  Upper Cumberworth school was much like Cracoe. Small, mixed year classes where children played across age groups and were given more flexibility to learn at their own pace than had they been at one of the larger, urban schools.  It was a joyous place and I was incredibly sad to say goodbye when we followed by father’s job to the Wakefield.  Despite my young age, those early years have stayed with me and were a major factor in my desire to give my children the same experience.  Moving from a large, primary school in London with ninety children in a year to a school of fifty in total did come with some trepidation but the children couldn’t be happier and more settled than they are today at Cracoe.  I am passionate about maintaining these experiences for future generations and supporting the Federation as best I can.  I still travel to London most weeks for work leading a insights and strategy team that helps shape the commercial activities of a large technology company.  I also occasionally dabble in music production - the original passion that first took me to London seeking bright lights and fame too many years ago to admit.

Mrs Jan Crawford - Foundation Governor

Jan has been involved in education all her working life and fervently believes that every child has the right to dedicated and committed teachers.  She began her teaching career in a Salford primary school, an experience which proved to be an invaluable foundation for the many years she spent teaching Biology and General Science at secondary level.  Her final post was Deputy Head Teacher at a large comprehensive school in the North East.  She later worked with the then TTA on the Student Associate Scheme which enabled University undergraduates to gain classroom experience.  She was appointed as a Foundation Governor by the Trustees of the Craven School Foundation (Burnsall Primary School).  Retirement has enabled Jan to indulge in gardening, music and grandchildren!

Mrs Nicky White - Co-opted Governor

Nicky has a BA Honours degree in English Literature and has been a professionally qualified PR consultant for over twenty years. Nicky lived in London for ten years, working for leading PR agencies with clients ranging from Eurocamp to Walt Disney, gaining considerable experience in all areas of communication.  At just 28, Nicky set up her own freelance PR and copywriting business and in 2002, moved back to Yorkshire to get married and completely renovate her house in Kettlewell. In 2010, Nicky’s son was born who now attends Kettlewell school, where Nicky has an active role as the secretary of the Friends of Kettlewell School.  Originally hailing from Lancashire, Nicky loves living the Dales and likes nothing more than a good hike with son, friends and the dog – maybe followed by a local pint in the pub! She is passionate about the need for thriving, sustainable communities in The Dales and sees preserving our small but excellent rural schools as the biggest factor in achieving this.

Mr Robert Stockdale Foundation Governor

I have lived in Hebden all my life and I am the 6th generation of my family to farm land around both Hebden and Grassington.  I was educated at Hebden Primary School, Ermysted's Grammar School and Newcastle University.  I have three children who attended Burnsall Primary School and I became a governor there in 2004 and I was Chair of Governors there prior to the formation of the Federation.  I am involved with Upper Wharfedale Young Farmers Club, having been Chairman and Club Leader in the past and am currently Club President. I also serve as a trustee for the Fountaine's Hospital Trust in Linton.

Mrs Siobhan Tywang Co-Opted Governor

I have a BA Honours degree in Hospitality Management and worked in hotels in Edinburgh, London and Leeds.  Starting as a Graduate Manager I then specialised in Human Resources and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management.  I have been a professionally qualified HR consultant for over ten years and after leaving the hotel trade worked for an international manufacturing organisation for nine years, during which time I progressed to director level. Following the birth of my third child and returning to Grassington three years ago I has been self-employed in order to devote more time to bringing up my family.  I now run a successful holiday cottage within the village and manage the letting of several commercial properties as well as offering a range of HR support through my own HR consultancy service. I have been a governor since 2015 and my three children all attend Grassington Primary School.  I want their and other pupils’ experiences at primary school to help them achieve their full potential every year, so they go forward to secondary school with a good foundation of knowledge, self-confidence and respect for others.

Mrs Natasha Brayshaw - Staff Governor

I am the Class 1 teacher at Cracoe and Rylstone VC C of E Primary School. I have been working as a teacher here for 3 years and love the challenges of teaching a mixed age class. I completed a P.G.C.E in Lower Primary Education, at York St John University, graduating in 2014. Prior to my P.G.C.E I worked for 2 years in a private day nursery in Harrogate. I worked across the age ranges from children aged 4 months to school leavers. I very much enjoyed my time in nursery and it cemented my dream to become a teacher. Whilst in this position I completed an ECaT (Every Child a Talker) course about early language acquisition, leading me to become an Early Language Lead Practitioner. The differing ways in which children learn and in particular how they communicate is of great interest to me. My P.G.C.E research project focused on using sign language in the classroom and I continue to use some basic signing in my teaching.  Going further back into my employment history before my work in nursery I was a house keeping manager and deputy manager in hotels. It was in this career I met my husband Andy, we have recently brought a house together and look forward to modernising it over the next few years. I love music and enjoy a wide range of genres though mainly guitar based music and pop punk. In my spare time I enjoy socialising with my friends. I am a proud supporter of our local music scene, most of my friends are in bands and I very much enjoy seeing them play at local gigs. I also enjoy concerts and festivals. I enjoy photography and gardening/landscaping. I am a proud geek/nerd and enjoy a variety of fantasy board games and films.

Reverend David Macha (Foundation Governor - Ex-Officio)

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