Governor Profiles

Ann Clark

Chair of Governors

I joined the Governing body of Hope High School in Spring 2017. As a retired Headteacher of a secondary Lancashire Pupil Referral Unit I am extremely interested in education and in particular the education of those students who, for whatever reason, are unable to attend mainstream provision. I passionately believe that all students are entitled to the very best in terms of curriculum and opportunity. More recently I have worked with a small number of schools, including Hope High School, on a consultancy basis and this I have enjoyed very much. The time I spent at Hope High School was very rewarding and for this reason I agreed to join the school’s governing body. I love to travel, visiting my family in California, Madrid and London, and enjoy reading and listening to music. I also take an interest in the football and cricket seasons despite my teams not being very successful.

Richard Farbon

Vice Chair and LA Governor

I have recently been elected as Chair of the Standards and Achievement Sub Committee. I have no business interests that relate to Hope HS and am not related to any of the staff and pupils. I took on the roll of Governor to support the the Headteacher and her staff on their positive journey of achievement. My whole professional career has involved Special Needs. I was promoted from Deputy to be Headteacher of Pontville School a Non Maintained Special School, after 9 years in this role I went to work for Lancashire CC and was SENDO for the school for manyyears. I was more than aware of the difficulties the school was experiencing and made this clear to my managers I also made clear the improvements and progress the school was making when Helen Dunbavin became Headteacher As I was approaching retirement I did not want to lose all contact with an educational environment and felt with my experience I still had something to give and volunteered my services to Helen. With good management the schools progress has been remarkable and I want to remain part of the continuing journey.

Helen Dunbavin

Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher

I have worked in education for 13 years. The majority of my education experience has been in special schools. I was acting Headteacher at Hope High School from Jan 2014 – April 2015. I was appointed substantive Headteacher in April 2015. Over the last 4 years we have worked hard to move the school forward at a rapid pace showing significant improvements over the years. I am proud to lead a committed team that has the child at the centre of everything they do.

Mike Forshaw

Co-opted governor

I first became a Governor in 1999 at Burscough Priory High School, which later became Burscough Priory Science College, initially serving as an elected Parent Governor and latterly as a Community Governor. I was Chair from 2002, until my resignation in 2012. I have also been Chair of the Premises Committee, and Link Governor. I joined the Board of Governors at Hope in 2013. I have two grown up daughters. I am a director of a local coach company.

Alan Brindle

Co-opted governor

Hi, my name is Alan Brindle and I have been a Hope Governor since October, 2017.  During my relatively short association with the school, I have quickly come to realise that Hope High is an exceptional place, making a positive difference to the children who attend here.  I feel very passionately about education and enabling our children to get the best possible support during their time in school. I know that the staff and governors at Hope High all share this passion and belief.  I have been a teacher for 21 years and I am currently the Headteacher of a small village primary school in Heskin.  I have also had over 14 years experience of being a member of a variety of governing bodies, including a special residential school in Clayton Green.   When I'm not being a governor or a headteacher, I like to spend time with my family, either walking our two Westies, Bonnie and Millie, or following our favourite teams, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Warriors. 

John Burrows

Co-opted governor

I have been the Business Manager at Hope High School since March 2014. Prior to this I was employed as a Finance Officer within the manufacturing sector. I previously served as Vice Chair of Governors at a St Mary's and St Benedicts RC Primary School in Bamber Bridge and was a governor there for 8 years. More recently I became a Parent Governor at Brownedge St Mary's High School in Bamber Bridge. I feel that this new role as a Governor at a mainstream secondary school gives me the opportunity to share ideas and best practice.

John Irwing

Parent Governor

I worked in banking for 16 years, Lancashire County Council Leisure Dept for 3 years, a Private Community Care company for 5 years and a major UK Supermarket for 14 years. A Trade Union representative during my banking career becoming a senior lay official during this time. I have had various roles up to and including Managerial during my employment. I currently have two children attending Hope High School, although one is in the current year 11 and due to finish in summer 2017, I applied for the role of parent governor be able to contribute in some way to my children’s education.

Lucy O’Kane

Staff Governor

I have been a teacher at Hope High school since October 2012 and a member of the Senior Leadership team since January 2015. I have taught a variety of subjects across the curriculum in my time at Hope High school promoting an active and varied learning environment where pupils enjoy learning, are engaged and achievement is celebrated. I am a passionate school leader and act as a point of contact for all colleagues and support new colleagues as coach and mentor. I lead by example and promote excellence and resilience in the classroom, maintaining high professional standards and leading on behaviour management across the school. I also take the lead on transitions and support new pupils and families joining the Hope High School community. I liaise with various other professionals to ensure a strong Team Around the Family.

Mark Millar

Co-opted governor

"My name is Mark Millar and I am the Headteacher at Woodland Primary School in the town. Woodland is the named Teaching School for the local school alliance – SHARES. I am a governor at Hope High because I feel that the two as a whole should have some joined up thinking around education in all phases and sectors. The sharing of information between schools means we are constantly building on good and outstanding practice across Skelmersdale. In my opinion, schools learning from each other are improving schools and I am happy to be involved with Hope High."

Michael William Hodgson

Co-opted governor

I am a retired Police Officer that co-ordinated a team of officers working in the schools of West Lancashire and Chorley. For over twenty years I ran courses on behalf of the Health and Safety Department at County Hall, working in over 250 schools and youth clubs in Lancashire. I also spent 10 years working as a part time lecturer at Skelmersdale College. I have been Governor for over 25 years at Hope High school, being the Chair for over twenty years. I have also been a Governor at Massey Hall, and Rose School. I am the Special Schools Governor on the Lancashire Schools Forum since it inauguration. I sit on the special schools committee for the National Governors association, and I am the President of the Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies representing more than 430 schools and academies in Lancashire. I am a Trustee at the Birchwood Centre in Skelmersdale that supplies accommodation and support for young people in West Lancashire.

Tracey Irwing

Parent Governor

I have been a parent governor for 4 years at Hope High and was a governor for 2 years at Elm Tree Primary School. I became a parent governor to ensure the parental viewpoints are acknowledged making sure the school provides a good quality education for all pupils. I have many years experience with the education system as I have children in both mainstream and special settings, including experience with ASD and ADHD as 4 of my 12 children have a diagnosis with these conditions and 3 are still attending special schools. In the past I have volunteered to listen to the children read in hope high to boost there reading skills and enjoyed my time spent with the children. I have worked as a career to elderly in the community on an agency as I enjoy interacting with new people. I spend a lot of my time looking after my family, and I also have dogs which take up my spare time. I have started a new hobby going to the gym and swimming to increase my fitness levels.

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