Our Governors

What does a Governing Board do ?

Every maintained school has a Governing Board which makes decisions about how the school is run and makes plans for it to develop in the future.

Our Governing Board is a keen, enthusiastic and very supportive group of people who take their statutory responsibilities for the school very seriously. They are very familiar with the life of the school and  work hard to ensure it continually improves.

Each Governing Board is made up of parents, staff, people appointed by the Local Authority and residents from the local community.  In this way all interested groups can give their views of how the school works.

The Governing Board looks after the upkeep of the school buildings both inside and out, how the school money is spent, how many staff there are and what they do, the safety of the children, staff and visitors and and much more.

Our Governing Board meets each term for the Main Meeting and then also termly for our Committee Meeting.

If there is anything you would like to know or let the Governing Board know about please contact the Chair.

Our Chair of Governors is Hayley Whitehouse and you can email her on h.kershaw@yahoo.co.uk

If you are interested in joining our Governing Body come and have a chat with the Headteacher, Jo O'Raw or you can e-mail her on :



Our Governing Board

Cath Evans

Cath is our Deputy Headteacher and an Associate Governor.

 I have taught at Lark Hill Nursery School since 2007 and I am Deputy Headteacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator. I have been a teacher since 1996 and I have worked in a variety of settings including an Infant school, a Pre-School in a church hall and a Children's Centre. I love thinking about the different ways in which our children learn and the ways in which we can work with families to ensure every child attending our nursery makes progress. I enjoy working with a dedicated and enthusiastic team and love that every day is different.

Karen Fairweather

Karen is our School Business Manager and an Associate Governor

 She shares with the Governors updates on our budget and how we are ensuring we get best value for the Nursery. 

Jo O'Raw

Jo is the Headteacher of the Nursery


I have been the Headteacher of Lark Hill Nursery School for 14 years and have loved helping the Nursery to develop and expand to now offer a flexible choice of places for 2,3 and 4 year olds. I love how excited the children are every day as they skip into the Nursery and how supportive the wonderful families are.  I am proud of our fantastic Nursery and know our staff do a wonderful job to help the children learn and thrive and it is wonderful to be a part of such a talented team.  I have been an Early Years Teacher for 25 years now and find my job so rewarding as I hope we make a real difference to our children and families. I am responsible for creating the right environment for children, families and staff to flourish.  I strongly believe in creating an inclusive school where everyone is valued and it is important to me that everyone feels welcomed and listened to.  I have the responsibility for ensuring we meet the needs of all of our children and help them to get the support they need.  I am the Designated Safeguarding Lead for our Nursery.  I love sharing our practice with other Nurseries and lead training for other professionals, including Headteachers.

I enjoy walking, camping and being in the countryside.  I also love  challenging myself to think about and learn anything new. 

Hayley Whitehouse

Hayley is our Chair of Governors,  is a Parent Governor and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Governor

I am a Mum to 7 wonderful children, 3 with additional needs. This is my first post as a Chair but I have been a Governor for over ten years. I have worked in mainstream, resource and independent schools as a governor. I am also working with the Stockport Local Authority to make significant changes in relation to what they offer the SEN community. I have a huge passion for advocating for children and families and  making positive changes.

Nila Rana

Nila is a co-opted Governor and Curriculum Governor

I have worked as a general practitioner in Tameside for over 10 years and live in Cheadle. I am very passionate about education for children and the role of Governor at Lark Hill Nursery School is a privilege as it allows me to be involved in shaping the education for children in the local area. I am particularly interested in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework and how the school implements the guidance. 

As co-opted governor, I assist in setting the schools strategic aims and objectives, whilst providing challenge and assistance to the school and it's staff to help deliver the best education to its children.

Charlotte Rowlands

Charlotte is a co-opted Governor and Assessment Governor

Alwyn Payne

Alwyn is our Vice-Chair and Safeguarding Governor


I was born in and grew up in Manchester, and received a fantastic education all through my formative years. Having had such a good experience in school and through to higher education, largely down to passionate teachers and the diverse make-up of the schools that I attended, I want to try and help ensure that every young person in the Greater Manchester area has as positive an experience as I did.


Helen Allwood

Helen is an Associate Governor


I joined Lark Hill Nursery School as a Governor in Autumn 2018. In my day job I manage a child language research centre based at the universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster. The centre’s research looks at language development in children aged 0-5. We rely a lot on local families, schools and nurseries giving up their time to take part in our research, so I wanted to repay some of their generosity by volunteering as a governor.  

My day-to-day work is varied and involves managing all aspects of the research centre’s administration, governance, finance, communications and fundraising. I hope some of these skills will be of use to Lark Hill. Prior to this I worked in various project management roles in the higher education and charitable sectors. In my spare time, I’m the proud owner of a beautiful Labrador who walks me all over the North West. 

Emma Harris

Emma is an Associate Governor and our Well-being Governor

Having recently taken on the role of North West Area for Governors for Schools. I now have a better understanding of the role of school governors and the impact that they can have in ensuring positive outcomes for children. I would very much like to be involved with Lark Hill Nursery, as it serves my local community, including friend's children. Parents I have spoken to are very positive about the experience that their children have and I would like to be part of extending that to more children in the area.

Rachael Wyles

Rachael is an Authority Governor

Governor Attendance

Each year we will publish here the attendance of our Governors to our Committee and Main Meetings




Paid For Sessions

Our Paid For Sessions give you the option to pay for additional sessions, so you can top up your child’s free entitlement place between 8-3:30pm.

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