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"Learning For Life"

Irlam Road, Flixton, Manchester M41 6NA

0161 7484356


What are Governors?
The Governors are a small group of people who support Acre Hall and who are responsible for your welfare and learning success . A few of the governors work at Acre Hall but most are volunteers who just want to make sure that the children are safe, happy and making great progress at school.

What do we do?
The Governors meet three or four times a year and receive reports from Mrs White and other school leaders about all the things that have been happening at Acre Hall. They then discuss these matters and sometimes have a vote to decide on important changes. The Governors divide into two groups and hold smaller meetings to look more closely at areas such as learning, staffing, buildings and welfare.

How can you help us?
The Governors always want to hear good news about the school, ideas about how they can improve or things they might change. The best way is to speak directly to a teacher or to Mrs White so they can hear your views. You can always get a message to our Governors by leaving it at Reception or emailing  

Who are the Governors?
Read all about our Governors below.  

David Vanstone - Chair of Governors

I became Chair of Governors in September 2013 after 17 years as Headteacher of a Trafford-based secondary school. As Chair I am also a Director of the Dunham Trust which enables me to represent the interests of Acre Hall alongside those of the other two local schools run by the Trust. My role is to help coordinate the work of our other governors and support staff and students in this time of tremendous change as the school improves standards, builds its numbers and moves into brand new buildings, all of which is rewarded by the tremendous welcome I get from every class when I visit during a working day.  

Jo Appleyard – CEO of The Dunham Trust

I have worked within the primary sector for thirty five years.  I am passionate about primary education offering wide and balanced experiences for the young people in The Dunham Trust.  I have been the Headteacher at Elmridge Primary for nineteen years.  Acre Hall  became an academy in July  2013  and was sponsored by Elmridge Primary to become an academy as part of The Dunham Trust. 

Ashlea White – Head of School

I started my teaching career in City Centre Manchester where I taught for 2 years before moving to Woodsend Primary in 1990 and then came to Acre Hall in 2006 as Assistant Head when the two schools merged. I became Head of School in 2014. As I have taught in this area for 25 years, I know many families well, even teaching sons and daughters of those I originally taught! Acre Hall is a fantastic place to be; there is a lovely family atmosphere in school and everyone works hard to do the very best for our pupils. I am privileged to work with such wonderful governors who have great expertise and are able to bring different dimensions and viewpoints to our work to help and support us in becoming the best we possibly can.

Hannah Lund - Staff Governor

I joined Acre Hall in September 2012 after teaching in Trafford for two years prior. I have since specialised in Early Years and become the Foundation Stage Leader.  I am extremely proud to be part of an evolving, successful and caring school, which always puts children first and foremost. Witnessing our pupils grow into confident, self-assured individuals and the strong links we develop with their families is extremely rewarding. In my new role as staff governor I look forward to supporting the development of our school and further promoting connections with families and the wider community.

Gillian Marsh

I spent all my professional career in education, working in Britain and overseas for the British Council as a teacher, teacher-trainer and inspector of English language learning at different age levels. After retirement I was able to continue my involvement in education as a parent governor at a Trafford grammar school, while also volunteering at a local Citizens Advice Bureau. I was delighted to join the Acre Hall governing body in early 2014 at such an important and exciting stage in its development. I hope that my role as link governor for English and modern language studies will enable me to support our head teacher and teaching staff in this key area of our pupils’ development.

Kerry Mills – Parent Governor

I became a governor in February 2015 and feel passionate in my role, to help to support the rest of the governing body, Mrs White, the teachers, children and their parents in the best way I can. It is a very exciting time for our school. With our new building nearing its completion and my daughter Amy being in Year 2, she will be lucky enough to spend lots of happy years of learning, in what looks to be a stunning environment. I hope that my own experiences of twenty years as a primary school teacher help with my role and give me an understanding of the huge efforts that go towards making the School what it is today.

Sarah Pitchon - Teacher Governor

I have worked at Acre Hall since 2006 in the Year 5/6 small specialist class and am currently in the second year of a 3 year part time MA in Autism Spectrum Conditions at MMU. I trained to be a teacher in 1999 teacher; prior to this I had a career working with animals as a veterinary nurse, a re-homing manager for a large animal welfare charity and as an advisor for a large pet food company.

Patsy Ratcliffe

I became Governor in November 2013. I am a school Bursar for an Independent Grammar School in Trafford.  I am interested in the funding of a state sector school and also the Free School which the Trust has been successful in securing.  I have experience of new builds and other building projects and it is rewarding to see a school transformed and staff re-energised by these developments.  I enjoy witnessing primary education especially in such a challenging environment, as the outcomes are so rewarding and life changing.

Brian Shaw (Cllr Davyhulme West Ward)

I became a governor at Acre Hall over 7 years ago. I am also an elected councillor for Davyhulme West Ward, which enables me to represent the interests of Acre Hall as well as the communities that students live in. As well as my general role as a school governor, I am the link governor for Special Educational Needs and Geography which means that I have regular contact with the teachers of these subjects and some of the classes.

James West – Parent Governor

Both of our children have been to Acre Hall, the younger one in Year Six now, but the elder moved on to secondary school a couple of years ago. I’m proud to be a parent governor, and it is especially rewarding to be involved at a time when so much positive change is happening at the School. I have learnt a lot about how the School functions since becoming a governor in 2013 and hope to continue supporting the team at Acre Hall as much as possible.

Pete Tarry - Co-opted Governor

I am a governor at Elmridge and Acre Hall, both schools are in The Dunham Trust. I am also Chair of Directors at Wellington School, Timperley. I feel passionate in my role. My own experiences and skills in the construction industry have been put to good use with the new building of Acre Hall and the refurbishment of Elmridge. It is especially rewarding to be involved in a range of different schools. I have learnt a lot about hoe different schools function and I enjoy sharing my experiences of these schools.

As well as being involved with Acre Hall and Elmridge at a Local Governor level I am very keen to contribute my skills and interests at a child-level. I regularly accompany children on their residential trips and support the children with their outward bound activities. It is fantastic to see the children grow in confidence when spending time away from home and tackling activities that they have never done before.

Christine Cooper - Co-opted Governor

I am delighted to have been appointed to the governing body at Acre Hall. As an English specialist of over 20 years, I have worked in various senior schools. I have been appointed to several leadership positions over the years, including Director of Key Stage 3 Literacy, with responsibility for transition of pupils from Year 6 to Year 7; Head of the Faculty of Languages; Head of Sixth Form. I currently teach English at Trafford Medical Education Service, a provision which supports students returning to mainstream education. I am passionate about my subject and take great pride in instilling in pupils a love of learning. I feel privileged to teach such a rich and diverse subject, where there is scope for every child to experience success. As English link governor, I very much look forward to forging productive relationships with all involved in the delivery of English at Acre Hall.


Committees and attendance at meetings 

Our governors form committees which meet several times a year.  See below for more information about these committees and governor attendance at meetings.  

Resources committee remit

Teaching & Learning committee remit

Governor Meeting Attendance 2016/17