You can read about the people who make up our board of governors below. If you would like to read official governance documents relating to our school, you can visit our governance page under our ‘Key Info’ section:


Our Governors are representatives of the local community, parents, school staff and the Local Education authority.  They bring a range of interests knowledge and skills to the school whilst working in a voluntary capacity.

Message from the Chair of Governors.

On behalf of the Governors at Apley Wood Primary School I welcome this opportunity to briefly introduce you to the work the Governing Body undertakes to ensure that your children receive a relevant and exciting primary school education.
The Governing Body has a range of powers and duties laid down by parliament. In the main these responsibilities relate to;
  • Setting targets and promoting high standards of education
  • Employment of all staff
  • Setting the strategic framework within which the school operates
  • Management of the schools’ delegated budget
  • Ensure that the school follows British principles
  • Ensuring that the schools’ curriculum is balanced, broadly based and is in line with the current requirements
  • Ensure that all policies and procedures are followed and embedded
  • Regular meetings and discussions with the Head Teacher
Governors discharge the above responsibilities, together with many others through a governing body meeting each term. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of termly sub-committee meetings dealing with more specific topics within the school. Governors are also expected to be fully involved in the work of the school. This includes coming into the school on a regular basis during the working week to meet with middle and senior leaders to conduct subject specific learning walks, the outcomes of which are fed back to the full governing body as part of the schools self-evaluation process. They can make further visits, if required, to meet with children, staff and parents at a convenient time to all concerned. The governor role is vital to the success of our school and those who choose to become a governor need to have transferrable skills in an aspect that can support the school, such as finance, HR etc and also have the flexibility and capacity to visit the school during the working day as part of the governor monitoring calendar.
Governors adopt, review and monitor a wide range of policies that govern the operation of the school including Health and Safety, Behaviour, Child Protection, Curriculum, Performance Management, Drug Education and RSE.
We believe that the school draws a unique strength from its belief that our community matters, for example the provision of new sports fields for use both by the school and the local community. Our commitment for high expectations is at the core of everything that we do.
The school is a founder member of The Beacon Co-operative Learning Trust in which staff and Governors take an active part.
The Governing Body is rightly proud of the achievements of the school not only in terms of its academic achievements but also in the solid foundations it provides in preparing all our pupils for the remainder of their formative life.
If you wish to speak to me, please speak to the school office or e-mail

Governors’ Details

Ellen Smith –  Headteacher

I’ve worked at Apley wood since 2012 as Deputy Headteacher and am now privileged to be Headteacher.  I have been a Specialist Leader of Education in SEN and have experience of working closely with the Severn Teaching School Alliance to deliver support both within Telford and in other surrounding Local Authorities.  I also work closely with Best Practice Network delivering training and assessments for Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

I am very proud to be Headteacher at Apley and I thoroughly enjoy working here.  It is an exciting time to be a part of our school’s continuing success and achievements. It is a pleasure to work within such a happy environment with a great team of staff, governors, children and parents.

Yvonne Thorpe – Teaching Governor Term of office from 01/01/2020 to 01/01/2024 Appointed by teaching staff.

During my time at Apley Wood, I have taught from years 2 to year 6.  I have also been an active member of the school leadership team and know the schools priorities and needs.  I actively work with the rest of the SLT and other colleagues to ensure that actions to address our key priorities are addressed in order to continually move the school forward.  I am committed to our vision and strive to ensure that everything I do centres around achieving the best possible outcomes for our children and equipping them with the skills they need for life. I am always willing to give my time to actively support our school and organise fundraising events and residential visits.

I am an SLE for the Severn Teaching Alliance and work closely with other schools in and around the county in order to help them with their development needs.  I am also an NCETM maths PD lead and able to offer maths training in my own setting and other schools.  I am a local authority English writing moderator.


John Snell Foundation Governor Term of office from 14/12/2016 to 14/12/2020. Appointed by Governors.

John SnellI am a retired Chartered Accountant with experience in both Industry & Private Practice. I have been a governor since 2009 and I my particular interest is in the financial aspects of the school.
I am a keen gardener and manage the school allotment which was set up 4 years ago and where I give lessons to the children on all aspects of gardening. The children are enthusiastic gardeners and enjoy the fruits of their labours. I also attend school weekly to listen to children read in key stage 1.

Janette Harris – Co-opted Governor Term of office 19/06/2017 to 19/06/2021. Appointed by Governors.

Vice Chair of Governors

Janette HarrisI have I am a retired Headteacher and Consultant Headteacher for Telford and Wrekin with forty years’ experience in Education. In my retirement I enjoy volunteering for a charity and being a school governor.  I have had the privilege to be a governor since 2014, a role I enjoy.   My interest is supporting school self-evaluation to raise standards with high quality teaching and learning, rigorous monitoring, setting of targets and analysing data outcomes, ensuring that every child has access to a broad and balanced curriculum so that they can reach their true potential.

Caroline PollockCo-opted Governor – Term of office 25/05/2017 to 25/05/2021 – Appointed by Governors.

Caroline Pollock1I have two children and my eldest is currently in year 2.  At present I am a self employed audio transcriber.

I have 15 years service within law enforcement as a civilian.  My last role within this service was as an Intelligence Officer.  The role required me to liaise with partner agencies to obtain information, analyse material to identify trends and areas where further work was required.  I regularly presented my findings to people of various ranks in both written and oral form.

I have no previous experience as a governor or within education, however my background will enable me to contribute to the governing body in an effective manner. Governor

Peter BrownCo-opted Governor Term of office 21/10/2017 to 21/10/2021. Appointed by Governors.

Peter BrownI am a senior electrical design engineer within Shropshire County Council. A member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a registered Incorporated Engineer.
Professional skills include building and facility design, maintenance, costing and projects, management of public buildings – mostly in schools.
Personal skills include compliance, problem solving, financial controls, future proofing and evaluation of new and emerging technologies.

Esther McDermottLocal Authority Governor Term of office 14/12/2016 to 14/12/2020. Appointed by Local Authority.

Chair of Governors

Esther McDermott

I have been Local Authority Governor at Apley Wood since 2008 and have since had two children who have both attended the school.  I am passionate about Apley Wood Primary School as I have lived in the area for almost 20 years and feel we are very lucky to have such a vibrant and inspirational school for our children.  It is a privilege for me to be a member of the governing board and to have been part of the school’s growth over the years.

I have worked for the Local Authority since 2004 and have undertaken various roles including senior support roles for School Improvement services and School Governance.  I undertook a brief secondment to the Children’s Safeguarding Team in 2009 and I am also employed as a Local Authority Clerk to Governors at 7 other primary schools across Telford and Wrekin.

My substantive role with the Local Authority is now in education premises contract management, which draws on the skills and experience I gained whilst working in my previous support roles in education and more recently having worked in Facilities Management.

I have undertaken training with the Local Authority in Health and Safety, Risk Assessment and Management, Children’s Safeguarding, Child Protection, Safer Recruitment, PREVENT, Equality and Diversity, Customer Service and Governors role in SEN.  I have also undertaken a professional qualification in school governance clerking and am trained to act as an Independent Review Panel member for exclusions.

Prior to joining the Local Authority I worked for several years in the Insurance, Life Assurance and Pensions industry.


Julia Harris – Parent Governor Term of office 16/03/2018 to 16/03/2022. Appointed by Parents.

Julia Harris

As a mother of one who is currently in year 3.  I am employed as a Funding and Compliance Officer within a Further Education College. I carry out systems and compliance training, auditing and monitor funding and data, as well as returning accurate funding information back to the government and being involved in the data preparation for OFSTED inspections.

I have been employed within the Further Educational sector for the last 14 years. In this time I have worked within the Apprenticeship programme managing all the delivery and funding before moving into a more centralised Data Management role. Following the merger of Shrewsbury College and Shrewsbury Sixth Form I spent 13 months working within a Sixth Form environment supporting staff with their data. I am also a qualified Business Administration assessor. Outside of work I volunteer at a local Brownie Unit and I enjoy working with the children who make up the unit.

Joanne Wagg – Parent Governor Term of office 24/03/2019 to 24/03/2023. Appointed by Parents

I am an Early Years Professional with qualifications equivalent to an Early Years Teacher. I have obtained over 20 years of experience in educating and caring for children. I started out by leading a full day care provision over two sites before progressing on to an be and Early Years and Childcare Quality Improvement Consultant with the Local Authority. Alongside this role I became a Freelance Ofsted Inspector, conducting early year’s regulatory inspections making judgments on the quality of early year’s provision.  I currently now own an early years preschool that has been in established since 2016.

Bhavna Mistry – Foundation Governor Term of office from 28/04/2019 to 28/04/2023. Appointed by Governors.

I work in the IT Industry as a Solutions Engineering Manager at NetApp UK Ltd, responsible for European Partners across UK, Middle East and Iberia. I have an Honours Bachelors and Masters Degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Warwick and have worked for 20 years in the IT industry in a technical role

I am enthusiastic and passionate about Women in IT and recently presented on my experiences from 20 years in the IT Industry at the European Women In Technology Conference in Amsterdam. I have two daughters currently at Apley Wood Primary School and am pleased at how the school has a passion for enabling children to learn new technologies, such as trying new skills like coding.

Kayleigh Skeates-Lodge – Co-opted Governor Term of office 27/02/2020 to 27/02/2024 Appointed by Governors.

I have been a part of the education system for a number of years in various capacities, more recently a School Business Manager in the local authority primary sector.

I continually strive to develop my existing skills and enjoy learning new ones as part of the evolving role that is school business management. Finance is an area that I have always enjoyed working in, and the overall role is so varied that no day is the same.

I very much enjoy being part of a larger team here at Apley Wood and the staff’s dedication and commitment to our vision is very humbling to be part of.

I am very proud to be part of the Apley Wood team.