Chris Starr, Co-opted Governor, Chairperson

Both my daughters attended the school from age 5-11 and the confidence they gained in such a supportive environment has stayed with them into adulthood. I am keen that this remains central to the school’s ethos.

I am a Chartered Forester, having worked throughout the UK in a number of supervisory and management roles, Now semi-retired, I am still involved in a number of regional and national woodland management initiatives, and find time to enjoy cycling, walking and travel.

In my role as Chair of the Governors, I sit on the Resources and Finances committee and also chair the Teaching and Learning committee. I meet regularly with the Head and fellow governors to support the strategic direction of the school.


James Cox,  Parent Governor, Vice Chair

My family have been involved with the school since 2009 when our oldest son  joined the Reception class. We now have two children attending and I continue to be impressed with both the standards of educational input and the pastoral care being offered.

In my role as CEO for a Cumbrian care and support organisation I believe I have a broad range of management skills, knowledge and experience which I hope benefits the School Governors and teaching team.

I have acted as Chair of Governors and am now the Vice Chair. I also now Chair the Resources and Finance Committee. I hope to continuing helping the school  grow and develop in the years to come.


Karl Laithwaite, Head Teacher Governor

I am proud to be the headteacher of Temple Sowerby Church of England Primary School, having been appointed to the role in September 2016.

I am married with three children and have been teaching for 17 years, predominantly in small, rural schools. As such, I have a great deal of experience in mixed age teaching and understand the demands and opportunities that such settings provide. I am particularly keen to promote the school’s caring, family ethos and to develop the role it plays within the community.

I sit on both the Resources and Finances and Teaching and Learning committees and work closely with the Chair of Governors.


Elspeth Godwin, LEA Governor

I live in Temple Sowerby and continue to be impressed by the school’s supportive family atmosphere and confidence of the children.

I have worked in the Home Office in Liverpool and Croydon considering applications for British Citizenship, and running computer and pensions sections.  More recently I have worked with Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria on projects around Children Looked After, safeguarding and short breaks for disabled children.

As LEA governor I try and bring my skills and experience to bear in the Teaching and Learning Committee, and act as the lead Governor on Safeguarding.



Laura Crackanthorpe, Foundation Governor

I am a retired English language teacher having lived and worked in Italy and France for nearly 40 years. In 2012 I moved to Temple Sowerby, close to Newbiggin where my husband David was born.

I’m a keen gardener and reader, a volunteer with the ECSFA, and I’m currently studying for a Bachelors degree in Humanities with the Open University.



Reverend Clive Hicks, Foundation Governor (Church)

I have supported two sons through school and university, including a period of homeschooling while abroad.  I am passionate about the underlying Christian ethos of the school, and hope to help develop even stronger connections between school and church.

I have been a priest for several years now; previously involved in business, university teaching and local government in areas like strategy, marketing, complaint and project management, including collaborative work with charities like MIND and Mencap, and with health services.  I am a keen photographer and play the cello.

I am an ex officio Governor for the school as the Rector of churches in the Heart of Eden Benefice, including St James’s in the village.  I have also been Chair of Governors at Warcop for a season during 2020, and on governing bodies for two other primary schools before moving to Cumbria.


Mike Swindle, Co-opted Governor

I grew up in  Temple Sowerby and attended the school between the ages of 5 & 11 yrs. Having moved away we returned to the village in 2015 so that my child could attend the school.

In my role as General Activities Manager at Center Parcs I manage all the children’s and family related activities, including the Crèche facilities working towards OFSTED guidelines and standards.

As one of the Governors I sit on the Resources and Finance Committee, and hope to give something back to the School which supported and educated me during my first years of learning.

Katie Brannen, Parent Governor

I became a parent governor after moving back to the area with my family; our three boys now all attend the school. I grew up on a farm near Milburn and attended Milburn School, consequently I have first-hand experience of learning in a small rural school.

I worked for 10 years for the State Veterinary Service in technical and management roles.  I am now fulfilling my passion for farming by working on our pedigree cattle and sheep farm as well as attending to the administrative needs of  the farm  and our farm animal husbandry business.

I sit on the Resources and Finance committee and believe my experience enables me to contribute effectively to committee matters.



Joanne Winter, Teacher Governor

I am the school’s Early Years/KS1 teacher, as well as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator and P.E. Coordinator. I thoroughly enjoy my varied roles and am proud to work at such a friendly, caring school.

I started my career teaching in Manchester in 2001.  I love to travel and have been fortunate to teach in Australia, New Zealand and Tanzania. I have had lots of experience teaching Early Years/KS1 and am currently an Early Years Profile Moderator for the County.

As a teacher governor I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee.


Angela Harrison Clerk to the Governors

Available on 017683 61512

Click here for the current Governing Body Membership – Governing Body Membership

Click here for the Instrument of Government – Instrument of Government

Click here for the current Governing Body Terms of Office – GB Terms of Office Record 2019

Click here for the Governor Register of Business Interests – Declaration of Personal & Pecuniary Interests

Click here for the Governor Attendance Record – Full GB Attendance Record 2016-2019

Click here for the Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 – 2019 Annual Governance Statement of Temple Sowerby Church of England Primary School