When Stokesley School became the founding academy of Arete Learning Trust in April 2015, some of the old Governing Body’s roles became the responsibility of the Trust Directors, while other roles were delegated to the Stokesley School Local Governing Body (LGB).

The LGB is a smaller group than the old Governing Body, but its core purpose remains one of support and challenge to the Head and the senior leadership team: ensuring that all the young people in the school continue to have many opportunities to be the best they can be. LGB members bring a range of skills and experience from many walks of life; many of us are also parents of current students (at any time, at least two governors will be elected parent governors); school staff are also represented at the table; and a few of us also serve as Trust Directors.

The LGB meets monthly to review and monitor the progress of the school, and takes an interest in all matters that affect teaching, learning and the wider school environment. In the face of rapid and continuous change in the world of education, we hold the professional leadership of the school to account, while giving our time to be supportive in many different areas of school life. We are also responsible for the regular review of a wide range of school policies and activities. Naturally, we aim to be the best governing body we can be: welcoming interest from those who might wish to offer their skills; and happy to receive comments and questions (via the school) about our work.

Revd Paul Hutchinson
Vice Chair (currently acting Chair) of the LGB

Vice Chair –Rev. P. Hutchinson

NameCategoryTerm Date
Mr I. BlakemoreParent Governor01/10/19
Mr S. BrennanGovernor13/11/17
Mrs C. BrookerHeadteacher/StaffContinuing
Mr B. GriffithsGovernor06/09/17
Mr P. HowesStaff Governor01/09/17
Rev. P. HutchinsonGovernor11/10/18
Mr M. MilesParent Governor01/10/19
Mrs J. PernetGovernor11/02/20
Mrs S. ThorogoodGovernor06/09/17
Mrs S. HagueClerk to the GovernorsN/A


Ian Blakemore – Parent Governor
A Stokesley resident since 1997 and elected a Parish Councillor in 2015, both my sons attend the school. My career has ranged from manufacturing and commercial management to consultancy and the public sector, all in various parts of the food supply chain, and I now run a small consultancy delivering projects in that area. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

I have built, developed and worked in teams and organisations of many shapes and sizes, and have led both strategic thinking and tactical delivery, taking ideas to fruition. I’m a passionate believer in knowledge transfer, having worked at the interface between industry and universities, and I understand the different landscapes and languages.

My interests include dinghy sailing and building and restoring cars.

Stewart Brennan – Parent Governor
I am a chartered engineer and have spent much of my career in project management of capital projects in the chemical industry. I have always had an interest in engineering and thanks to the support and guidance of some inspirational teachers I was the first of my family to go to university. I was fortunate enough to receive an excellent state education and to have found interesting and rewarding work throughout my life. I hope use my experience to become a supporting influence in helping Stokesley school students find their way to success in whatever their chosen path.

I am a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and sit on the North East Petrochemical Industries Cluster leadership team. I own and run a Stokesley based business, we manage large engineering projects. Since May 2015 I am also Stokesley Parish Councillor.

I was elected as parent governor in October 2013. My daughter is student at the school and my son will be along in a couple of years. Stokesley is home to us and I am proud to be part of the local community here and to serve as school governor. I am the school’s link governor for both science and careers. I am also vice Chair of the Areté Learning Trust.

Catherine Brooker  – Headteacher and Governor
Since my very early career as a teacher in East London when I was a staff governor, I have held the view that effective governance is vital.  Subsequently a governor at Reading School, where I was Head of Years 12 / 13 and working closely with school governors as Head of Sixth Form in Reading and Deputy Head in High Wycombe, I have seen the role evolve.  A governor of the Henley College, a corporation, in my previous headship, as well as choosing to be a governor in my own school as well as here at Stokesley, my experience is extensive and serves me well in ensuring that our governing body is well equipped to fulfil the strategic responsibility of offering support and challenge to my team of school leaders.

Bryn Griffiths – Governor
I have lived in Stokesley since 1973 and am a both a County and Parish Councillor.  I am also a member of the North York Moors National Park Authority.  I am married to Jackie.  We have three daughters, all of whom enjoyed their education at Stokesley School and went on to attain good degrees.

I took early retirement in 2004, after working as an engineer in the steel industry for 32 years.  I was worked at various levels in Research and Development, undertaking trouble shooting, technical and development projects, as well as being involved with new product development.

Amongst other interests, I am actively involved in the Stokesley Branch of the U3A and the Great Ayton Twinning Association.  Now that I am retired Jackie and I enjoy travelling more frequently and holidaying further afield, as well as walking in the Dales and on the Moors with groups of friends.

Paul Howes – Staff Governor
I have been a teacher at Stokesley School since 1992. Since then I have taught in the History department and led the department since 2000.

Previously I had worked in London for a specialist publishing company, and in recruitment in Harrogate.

I would hope that my years in the classroom will allow me to contribute effectively to policy making that supports good governance of Stokesley School

Revd Paul Hutchinson – Governor
Having become Rector of Stokesley in 2009 (and living close to the school), I was elected a parent governor as the eldest of my two children joined the school in 2010.

My previous work for the Church of England was in Penrith (where I was a primary school governor and chaplain for Newton Rigg campus), Sunderland (where I was full-time University Chaplain), and Stanley. Before training for the Church at Oxford, I studied Law at Cambridge and then worked for several years as a solicitor in Newcastle.

All my work, membership of two Diocesan Boards of Education, and various family links have kept me in touch with different parts of the educational world over many years: and I bring a general interest in the well-being of pupils and staff; a commitment to good and broad education for all; and a belief that communities of faith can contribute appropriately to an education rooted in αρετή: a concept as widely used in Christian thinking as in Ancient Greek philosophy. I became Chair of Stokesley School Local Governing Body in 2016, and include English and the Creative Arts among the areas with which I have closer links.

Martin Miles – Parent Governor
We relocated to Stokesley in 2015 from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire and my two daughters joined the Stokesley School in Years 7 and 9.  I work for Everyone Active, managing 25 leisure centres across the North East (for clarity Stokesley Leisure Centre isn’t one of them!) and this diverse role means I can hopefully bring experience of personnel management, business planning, building maintenance, refurbishment/ re-development work and of course, physical activity.

I hope to be able to support the school in continuing to strive for improvements with students of all abilities.  In addition, I am keen to improve the sports facilities and physical activity opportunities for students.

Family life as you would expect is extremely busy, but running and walking are my interests and I am also Race Director for the Redcar Half Marathon.

Jane Pernet – Community Governor
I have three children at Stokesley School – in Years 10,11 and 13 and am a Director and Company Secretary of my husband’s Business Management Consultancy.  My background is in Project Management after studying English Literature at Newcastle University, and living in Brussels for some years.  As a school governor for 8 years, the final 2 as Chair, I enjoyed the challenges and learning which came from leading the Governing Body of the first primary school in Middlesbrough to convert to academy status.

Stokesley Secondary School and its Sixth Form are active, deeply considered choices for us as a family: it was not our catchment school, but a school we believed then and know now to uphold high standards and strong, core values.  My own children’s experience here means I am very pleased and proud to play a role in its governance.

Sarah Thorogood – Governor
I have been a governor since 2010. I live in Great Ayton and have two sons who both went to Stokesley School. I was a Modern Languages teacher at a nearby secondary school for 14 years and now work at Stokesley & District Community Care Organisation as the Community Visiting Co-ordinator. I spend a lot of my spare time walking our chocolate labrador or at Great Ayton Cricket & Football Club.

I act as Link Governor to PE, Modern Foreign Languages and Maths and believe that there is more to being an excellent school than just academic achievement. I want to help to ensure that all pupils are able to develop fully and are equipped with both the skills and knowledge they will need in order to achieve their potential.