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School Governance

Welcome to the governors’ page of Masham Church of England (VA) School.  This page will tell you about our governors and their role in school.


The membership of our Governing Body is comprised of parents, school staff, and individuals connected to the local church and community

The role of the Governing Body

The school governors are the strategic leaders of our school, and they have a key role in ensuring that each child thrives and receives the best possible education. Their core functions are:  

  • To set the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • To hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school, and the performance management of staff;
  • To appoint the staff, agree the budget and make sure the school’s money is well spent.

Our governors bring a wide breadth of experience and expertise to our school. They know the school: its strengths and challenges, the data about progress and attainment, the staff and pupils, the parents and the community. They oversee the School Development Plan that identifies our priorities for the year, and drives change to improve outcomes for our pupils.

The structure of the Governing Body

The Governing Body meets once a month, and makes collective decisions. Governors take on individual responsibilities as Lead Governors in relation to specific school priorities and areas. This involves Lead Governors visiting the school, and a linked member of staff, on a regular basis, to find out more about their area and to be involved in developing, supporting and monitoring. Lead Governors also visit classes and talk to pupils to learn more ab

out the school.  Lead Governors feedback to the full Governing Body to keep all governors informed about progress, be made aware of any concerns that require addressing, and successes to be celebrated.


Our School Governors 


Term of Office


Register of Interests






Rosalind Arnold

September 2020-

August 2024

Foundation -Masham PCC

Grandparent of pupil







Susan Briggs


October 2018 -

September 2022

Foundation - Bradford and Ripon & Leeds Diocese


Ronald Buchanan 



October 2019 -         October 2023    


Parent of pupil 

Becca Clarkson 

October 2021 - October 2025









David Cleeves


Resigned office July 2021


Governor at Kell Bank School







Jim Dalton      

September 2020 - August 2024

Foundation -    Masham PCC


Sue Gill 

 October 2020 - September 2024

Local Authority 









Sue Johnson 

 October 2021 - October 2025

 Foundation - Bradford and Ripon & Leeds Diocese








Fiona Lawson-Ross


 Headteacher from 24 April 2017 








Miranda Rennie-Oxley 

September 2018 -

August 2022


Parent of pupils







Sophie Tennant  

October 2019 -            September 2023        Stood down July 2021 


Member of staff






Chris Thwaites     

October 2021 -      September 2025

Foundation - Bradford and Ripon & Leeds Diocese








Sarah Webster 


November 2018 -         October 2022         

Foundation - Ripon Diocesan Board 

Parent of pupils 

Governor at West Tanfield


Helena Moss


Clerk to Governors



Jim Dalton has been a governor since September 2008. He has known Masham all his life, was a frequent visitor from the 1980s and came to live here when he and his late wife retired. For 40+ years he worked in education and children's services, mostly in Hertfordshire. He has three children and six grandchildren, in London and Geneva. He is also Chair of Trustees of a centre for health and pastoral care in Thirsk, and has been a churchwarden and the treasurer of St. Mary’s Church, Masham. Opera is his extravagance. He runs a lunch time chess club at Masham School and expects to be beaten by nine year-old pupils!


Rosalind Arnold is a retired early years teacher, and has been a Foundation Governor since January 2013. She is on the School Improvement and Fabric and Health and Safety Committees and has particular concern for Class 4. She enjoys visiting to help children develop their reading skills. Her three children all attended the school during the eighties and she loves supporting her five grandchildren at Celebration Assemblies, sports days etc. Rosalind met her husband, Bob, whilst working in Kenya. In the late seventies they spent five years in South Sudan, and more recently, over eight years leading a rural development project in Uganda. Her interests include being actively involved in St. Mary's church, singing in Ripon Choral Society and reading.


Susan (Sue) Johnson has been a governor of Masham School since 1994. Sue is a Foundation Governor, SEND Governor (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and sits on the Personnel and Finance Committee, the School Improvement Committee and is clerk for the Headteacher Performance Management Group. Sue comes into school on a regular basis to hear Class 2 children read. Sue is a retired teacher and deputy headteacher, having taught for twenty-four years, twenty-twenty-one in Special Education at both day and residential special schools. She worked for North Yorkshire County Council as a library assistant at Masham Library since 1997, being library assistant in charge there from 2005 until 2011 when the library closed. Sue is a member of St Mary's Church, Masham Parochial Church Council (PCC) and has served as Church Warden there for three terms of office). Sue sings in St. Mary's Church Choir, being a founder member of the present choir. She is also a long-standing member of Ripon Choral Society. Sue enjoys music, walking, swimming, cycling and spending quality time with her family.


Chris Thwaites is a long standingFoundation Governor of Masham School. He was Chair of the Governing Body until 2013 and has a keen interest in supporting both Masham School and the wider Education System in ensuring that all children aspire to reach their full potential, whatever their abilities and have the best opportunities possible at Masham SchooI. Chris serves on the Personnel and Finance Committee, Health and Safety Committee, and Head Teachers Performance Management. He is very supportive of the Christian Ethos within the School. Chris works for the NHS supporting Older People across Hambleton and Richmondshire with Mental Health problems. His outside interests include countryside pursuits, sailing and travelling.


Susan Briggs has been a governor since October 2006, starting when her daughter, Nina was at the school. She is on the Personnel and Finance, and the School Improvement Committees and has a particular interest in literacy, foreign languages, history and making the school and children as aspirational as possible. She lives in Masham and is a trustee of the Masham Community Office and is on the Sheep Fair committee. Susan runs her own marketing, publishing and training company, The Tourism Network and loves promoting places like the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. In her spare time she enjoys walking her three springer spaniels, cooking, arts and crafts, and pretending she’s not really over 50 by spending time with friends who’re younger than her.


Sarah Webster became a Parent Governor in 2016, and currently has two children at Masham, Austin in Year 3 and Mary in Year 1.  Her youngest child, Kit, is due to start in September 2017. Sarah qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and worked as a Land Agent for a range of both public and private sector clients.  This work involved the acquisition, disposal and management of land and property including educational establishments. Sarah has also been the treasurer for Acorns pre-school for the last five years.  Sarah gave up work when Austin was born and now works part time on her family farm, both in the office and on the tractor when necessary!


Miranda Rennie-Oxley joined as a Parent Governor in September 2018, and currently has two daughters at the school.  She is keen to help by playing a strategic role in supporting the running of the school.  After living in London she moved to North Yorkshire in 2017.  She has a lot of experience working in international marketing for a Scottish whisky company and now runs a hydroelectric generation company. 


Ron Buchanan joined as a parent governor in October 2019. He has 2 children in school and is looking to play an active role in the school governing body. He runs his own Executive Search company and has lived in Masham for over 16 years. He moved here having spent a period making wine in South Africa. 



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