Our School Governors

Governor Biographies

Chair of Governors – Mrs Sarah Warnes. I moved to Howden in 2009 with my husband and two children and have been involved with the school since 2010. I have been lucky enough to travel much of the world by sea, accompanying my husband in his role as a Captain and I worked in the world of banking for some years before training to become a teacher. I became a governor shortly after my daughter started at the school nursery (FS1) and further developed my role to become Chair of Governors in 2015. As a parent of two young children, and being a teacher at a junior school, I feel well placed to be able to offer a well-rounded perspective on all aspects of school life and very much enjoy the insight my role brings. Outside of my role in school I enjoy keeping fit, reading, gardening and baking – when time allows! (Delegated Roles: Chair; Looked After Children; Child Protection, Teaching and Learning)

Head – Miss Jane Cawthorn. I have been a member of staff at Howden Church of England Infant School since January 1999 and Head since January 2008. Previously to this I was a primary school teacher in London and Cairo, Egypt. I studied at Bishop Grosseste College in Lincoln where I received my BA Honours Degree in theology and teaching status.

Vice-Chair – Mrs Amanda Hasdell. I have lived in Howden for the last 17 years. I am a stay at home mum but used to work in direct taxes (VAT) prior to having children. I started volunteering in school when my eldest son, Matt, was in FS2 and my youngest, Ed, was at Pre-School. It helped me to understand more about the school and what school life was like for my children. They moved on many years ago. Matt’s now in Year 11 and Ed is in Year 9, but I still help out in Year 2 most Friday mornings. I really enjoy watching how the children develop over the year and am continually amazed by the depth and breadth of the learning that goes on within the school. I became a governor 10 years ago and am now one of the co-opted governors on the Governing Body. It is a challenging but very rewarding role within the school. (Delegated Roles: Vice-Chair; Humanities)

Vice Chair – Rev James Little. I was born in Nottingham in 1957. I attended the University of York and the University of Birmingham where I achieved a postgraduate diploma in Theology 1986. I was ordained in Southwell Minster in 1987 and have been the Team Rector of Howden since 2006. My governor responsibilities include Religious Education and leading Collective Worship.

Foundation Governor – Mrs Rosemary Stewart. I have lived in Howden for three years and am married to Ian Stewart. We have three grown up sons and two granddaughters. I studied French and History at Southampton University before doing a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (Secondary) at Reading University. I later trained to be a Personal Assistant at York College and to be a teacher of English as a Foreign Language at Harrow College. Being married to a Serviceman has involved sporadic employment and many moves around the UK and abroad. I have also spent time on my own as a single Mum while my husband has been away. I have served on a School Governance Committee for a Service School in Germany. As well as teaching in the classroom, I have taught adult education classes and done private language tuition. I like to ensure that whatever their level, all my students reach their potential. I like to keep my foreign languages up to date by travelling. I also love reading, sewing, craftwork, cooking, flower arranging and gardening. As a Foundation Governor and also Lay Chair of Howden Deanery I hope to ensure that Howden Infants has a distinct Christian ethos and maintains its links with the Minster. (Delegated Roles: Special Educational Needs)

Foundation Governor – Mr Ian Stewart. I studied Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Southampton University before joining the Royal Air Force for 35 years. I live in Howden and now have a few voluntary responsibilities in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I am also a staff member on a local Air Training Corps Cadet Squadron, a member of the Howden Minster Parochial Council, a Vice-Chairman of the Yorkshire and Humber Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, a Rotarian, a Deputy Lieutenant and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. (Delegated Roles: Health and Safety)

Staff Governor – Mrs Janet Batty. I am the Deputy Head and I currently work in Year One. I have been a member of the Governing Body since I started working here 20 years ago. How time flies! I am the Maths Subject Leader and I enjoy challenging the children in their Maths learning. I also enjoy languages and have fun teaching the children some French. Howden Church of England Infant School is a great place to work and I have made many friends here over the years.

Mr Richard Blee. As someone who was born and raised in Howden, and who attended all four of Howden’s schools (unfortunately I am old enough to have attended Pinfold Street school!), I am proud to be involved with Howden Infants and to help them continue providing high quality, pupil focused education. I have a further interest in that my own two children are now attending the school. I currently work for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, having previously worked in IT. Being part of the governing body is a hugely rewarding experience, and has taught me new skills, as well as allowing me to use those I already have in helping the Infant School to maintain the high standards.

Parent Governor – Mr Richard Westoby. My wife and I have lived in Howden for the last 3 years and we have two children who attend Howden Infant School.I have been a teacher for the last 14 years, teaching in various secondary schools across Yorkshire. I am currently the Headteacher of a large secondary school in Hull which I have led from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ in the last 3 years. My school is now in the top 2% of all academies nationally and it is the top performing secondary academy in East Yorkshire. I have also grown my school from 500 students to 950 students in a 3 year period; and have extensive experience of leading schools through Ofsted inspections under the current Ofsted framework. I am a governor for two other secondary schools, one in Middlesbrough and one in Tamworth and have lead on curriculum and assessment development at a trust wide level.Ultimately I am passionate about teaching and learning and passionate about changing the life chances of young people. I fundamentally believe that a good education genuinely transforms lives and I am dedicated to eradicating the disadvantaged achievement gap that exists in our country.

Parent Governor – Mr James Preston. I have two daughters, one who is now at Howden Junior School and one who is in Year Two. I sought election as a governor to act as a voice for parents, and to support the staff and management after being impressed by their work. I have lived in Howden since 2009 and have worked at the Press Association for more than 20 years.

Staff Governor – Mrs Helen Muir. (Delegated Roles: Training Link Governor)