Welcome from the Chair of Governors.

I have once again had a very busy year as Chair which has seen me going into school regularly to meet with the Head Teacher and other members of staff, from the SLT to the teachers in the classroom as well as meeting parents and students.

The Board is ever evolving and in the coming year we look forward to welcoming new governors from all walks of life so if you are curious about the role of a parent governor, then please get in touch.

With school now functioning as normal, we have had two Challenge Days, a new development for Governors where the whole Board is invited into school to observe it in action. We enjoy experiencing lessons in action and are delighted to pick up on how eager our students are to share their knowledge with us when we wander into their lessons. We also use this opportunity to question staff about how teaching is managed on a daily basis, such as how all students can be encouraged to achieve highly in lessons. One of the best things about our Challenge Days are that we get the opportunity to talk to the students and find out what they enjoy the most and what issues and concerns, if any, they may have. These days also allow us to find out about the other departments within the school that help our students to achieve their goals: for example, the Welfare Team and the SEND team.

I personally have had the opportunity to experience a very full two days whilst the Ofsted Inspector visited and agreed that we had maintained our ‘Good School’ status, with the staff and students all contributing towards showing the school at its best.

Towards the end of the school year, it was a pleasure to be able to present the students with their well-deserved awards on Awards Evening, to watch their months of hard work come to fruition when they performed this year’s Musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ and yet again, our students are also achieving greatly on the sports field.

Going into September, we once again see a full roll as we continue to be the school of choice locally. Our Sixth Form is also growing, and we will be able to see over the coming year the new building taking shape. This will provide a new welcome space for our Sixth Form, providing a little independence from the main school and will also house our new Sports Hall, a long-awaited addition to the new main school.

Being part of The Two Counties Trust offers the Governing Board the opportunity to work with colleagues in the other schools within the Trust, sharing ideas and expertise to ensure that all students within the Trust have the opportunity to experience Excellence in Learning.

Finally, I look forward to working with the other members of the Board and with the school over the next academic year as we collaborate to continue the school’s journey of growth, ensuring all our students are able to be the best they can be.

Whilst the Board has a strategic role it would not be appropriate to get involved in either the day to day running of the school or about specific staff or student issues. These are best dealt with by the school. However, should the need arise to contact the Board this is best done through the ClerkTo.Governors@wilsthorpe.ttct.co.uk

Gill Cort
Chair of Governors
Wilsthorpe School

Governor Pen Portraits

Gill Cort

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My name is Gill Cort, I am currently the chair of the board of Governors.

In 2016 I retired from the NHS, my role in the NHS has given me 20 plus years experience of governance,  at a local, strategic and national level.  I am married whilst not having any children myself I do have 4 nieces and nephews and 2 great nephews.  

After retiring I wanted to utilise my governance skills and was looking for a challenge so I decided to become a school governor. The change from health to education has been an interesting journey, but I have found that my skills are transferable and I have enjoyed working with the school and the other governors. I believe that the role of a governor should be supportive whilst at the same time challenging practice, thus ensuring that the students of  Wilsthorpe can achieve the best outcome in a supportive environment, so that they can look forward to a good future.  

My hobbies include walking my two springer spaniels and gardening.

Jason Wright

With a daughter at Wilsthorpe, and another at University, I am keen to contribute and help support their education (other than being their personal taxi and bank of course!).  I was pleased to become a parent governor in January 2020. 

I currently manage a software business, and having been in the industry for coming up to 30 years, I’ve seen the huge changes that technology has brought to all sectors of life, and the challenges of educating our children in its application.  Good IT skills are now essential for those entering the workplace and navigating the world. 

I would like to see where I can use my experience to support the school in their aim to deliver the best education to its pupils, and especially how we adapt to the changing world. 

Valerie Hines

Becoming a school governor has given me the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of young people and to give something back to the local community. I was brought up and educated in Long Eaton and, following my graduation from The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, completed a master’s degree. I then trained as a teacher and have spent 32 years working at secondary schools as both Head of Religious Education and Head of Humanities. During my career I was awarded a Farmington Fellowship and this enabled me to complete a research project on teaching and learning at Oxford University. Although I am not teaching in a school at present, I have maintained my links with education by working with PGCE students at the Institute of Education, University College, London. I continue to be a member of the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education.  

Marie Harral

I have twins at Wilsthorpe school and was elected as a Parent Governor in April 2022.  I have been an Infant & Nursery Headteacher for over 15 years so have the experience in teaching, learning and safeguarding that the board were looking for.  My career has been based entirely in Early Years and Primary Education, so when my own children moved up to Secondary School it was a whole new world! In this role I can learn more about secondary education, whilst supporting the school to achieve its aims, and providing a parent perspective. I enjoy being busy! I love spending time with my family and friends, walking, swimming, cycling, cooking and all sorts of creative crafts.  I am passionate about academic, social, emotional development and promoting a love of learning. I am pleased to be able to be part of the school team as they create new opportunities for all children to ‘be the best they can be’.

Kayleigh Meller

I have been a teacher at Wilsthorpe for seven years and have leadership responsibilities in English and Literacy. I also have a Master’s degree in Education. Having grown up in Long Eaton myself, I know the area very well and want our young people to continue to have the best opportunities at Wilsthorpe. As staff governor, I also want to ensure staff welfare and views are represented.

Peter Fox


I am a retired Assistant Head Teacher of a Secondary School in Nottinghamshire. My specialisms were Geography, History, ICT and PSHCE. I am a member of the Subject Association from Geography Teachers – The Geographical Association – and a past President of that association I wrote several books for the association. I work part time, voluntarily on school appeal panels. My interests include: Gardening, Reading, Local History, Photography, Travel and Tapestry work.

I have always had the conviction that working to help and develop future generations develop their education and skills is one of the most worth-while activities one can do.

Management Responsibilities

Agree constitutional matters. 

Appoint Chair and Vice Chair of the Governing Body. 

Establish terms of reference. 

Appointment of clerk. 

Decide which functions of the Governing Body will be delegated. 

Consider all delegated decisions. 

Approve the first formal budget of the financial year. 

Appointment and suspension of governors. 

To ensure Health and Safety is maintained. 

Pupils and Personnel responsibilities: 

Staff consultation. 

Discipline and grievance. 


Staffing structure. 


Admissions and exclusions. 

Financial responsibilities 

School budget and financial management. 

Financial regulations and procedures. 

Contractual arrangements. 


To maintain the principles of Best Value. 

Fire Evacuation. 

Critical Incident and Disaster Recovery plan 

All governors are appointed for a term of four years. 

Please note: If you are interested in becoming a governor, either as a parent or a member of the community, please contact the clerk to the governing body in the first instance by emailing: ClerkTo.Governors@wilsthorpe.ttct.co.uk or telephoning the school on 0115 9729421.