An introduction from each of the Barlborough Primary School Governors

Mr Vernon Sanderson


Co-opted Governor and Chair of Resources Committee.

I have been a Governor for over six years.

My professional career, after leaving the Army, has been mainly in law and finance.

I also serve as a Churchwarden at St. James’s church and assist at 1st Barlborough Guides.

Mrs Kerry Towndrow-Birds


Kerry Towndrow-Birds – Headteacher Governor

As Head teacher of Barlborough Primary School I am eager to work with the governing board and the whole school community to ensure the children at our school receive the best possible care, education and experiences.  I want our children to enjoy their time at our school and leave us ready for the both the next stage of their education and also equipped to face the challenges we can experience in life.

I am a member of all committees and in my role as head teacher I submit detailed termly reports to the full governing board.  This enables the governors to have a clear and accurate picture of the work being done in school and enables them to hold me to account.

Martin Walton


Co-opted Governor and committee member for climate for learning

I have been recently appointed as a governor and I am on the climate for learning committee. I have a particular interest in the schools climate for learning and feel my time as a head of department in ICT and Business Studies in a secondary school, will assist me in supporting the schools drive to continue to improve the learning environment for all its pupils. I have a particular interest in the teaching of Computer Studies, and hope to use my expertise in this area to support the school.

I am married and have lived in Barlborough since Jan 2010. During my childhood I regularly stayed in the village during school holidays, stopping with relatives who lived in the village, so feel I know the village well.

During my work life I have worked in numerous industries at management level. I have a degree is Business and Financial Studies. For the last 15 years I worked as a teacher in secondary education as a head of department.

Away from work I enjoy riding my motorcycles, and touring Britain and the continent with friends. I also run a small motorcycle touring company, and train riders taking their CBT.


Brian Watson


Co-opted governor and Member of the Standards Committee
I am married with two children both currently at university. We have lived in Barlborough for over 24 years, moving here in 1992 moving from Clowne where I was born.

Attended Boughton Lane School where I was head boy when the school had a sixth form. I graduated from the Open University with a degree in engineering after serving an apprenticeship in electrical engineering

Today I work for a large global organisation in the electrical sector covering the region of Europe, Middle East & Africa as General Product Manager EMEAT.
I have a keen interest in voluntary organisations being the main driver, having been involved as both player / Chairman of Clowne Rugby League club from 1982 to 1999, Joined Barlborough junior football club with my son in 2004 where I was Chair and coach from 2007 to 2015 resigning last year to take on the post of school governor

My current interests and activities are again based around trying to improve the local area for both young and old.

I am a member of Barlborough Parish Council, and ward councillor for Barlborough at Bolsover District Council as well as being the Chair of Barlborough Country Park Management Committee.
I am particularly interested in the community of Barlborough and the wellbeing and development of the pupils attending Barlborough Primary School.

Duncan Haywood


I am a Local Authority appointed governor and joined the governors in May 2019. I am Chair of the Standards Committee and in my spare time I am the joint organiser of a children's holiday camp. I received an MBE for this volunteering in 2005.

Claire Birch

Jenny Firth


have worked in the house building industry for over 20 years and throughout this time I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with a variety of people from the CEO to the first-time buyers. 

When I retired and moved to Barlborough to be near my daughter and her family, I continued to meet new people in and around the village through looking after my Grandchildren. This led to my volunteer work, initially with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Charity and later as my Grandson started ‘big’ school, I volunteered to help at Barlborough Primary. My daughter (who is a Headteacher herself) joked that school would not let me go if I was a regular volunteer and she was right. I still volunteer in classes regularly, alongside being a Relief Mid-day Supervisor and more recently I have become a member of the Governing Body. I am enjoying learning about the school from a strategic aspect but I feel that my main role as a Governor is to ensure that Barlborough Primary continues to be a safe and happy place for all children to be part of.

Linda Watson


I joined the Governing Board as a co-opted governor in December 2020.  I have one child at Barlborough Primary School in Year 4. 

I have an MA Education degree and over 20 years' experience of working in the Education Sector. This has mainly been through teaching, although more recently I have transferred my skills to private tutoring. I am extremely passionate about education and want to support the school to ensure that every child receives the very best education possible. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the school, whilst continuing to build upon their excellent reputation and teaching standards.

Sallyanne Wilson


In December 2018 I was elected as a new Parent Governor. The main reason I stood for this role is to help ensure that our children enjoy going to a school that is of a kind, caring and friendly nature, and which provides a safe environment for them to learn.

I have enjoyed spending time volunteering at the school for the last 3 years and I continue to do this as a member of the reading support team as well as helping to supervise the year 3 weekly swimming session. I would like to assure people that I am an approachable person who will listen to you and treat your ideas or concerns with sensitivity and in confidence.

I care deeply about people - and the village I have lived in for most of my adult life. I was married in Barlborough and have one son who is a year 3 student at our school. I am a qualified hairdresser, and in the past I have owned and managed my own village salon. I currently carry out the administration work for our local family business. My work enables me to be flexible and attend school as and when reasonably required.

I am passionate about the future of our children and our school, and I am delighted to have been assigned to the ‘Climate for Learning’ committee where I am looking forward to making contributions which will benefit the whole school community.

It is my aim to help support the safeguarding and learning of each and every pupil.

June Armstrong


I was elected as Staff Governor in December 2018. I have worded at Barlborough Primary School for the past 16 years as a Teaching Assistant and Higher Level Teaching Assistant, covering classes as well as supporting Pupil Premium children and children who have special educational needs.

I am interested in the development and well-being of all our children and committed to helping to ensure they reach their full potential.

Adam Sinclair

Ruth Hopkinson


I took on the role as Parent Governor in July 2021. I have lived in Barlborough for over 8 years and have one child at the school in Year 4. I am a Medicines Management Technician working for the CCG and have worked for the NHS for over 20 years. I am an approachable person who will listen to ideas or concerns in confidence and act upon them. I am also an active member of the school’s PTA group. I am looking forward to supporting the school, for every child to have the best education possible. 

Claire Gamles