Governor Pen Portraits

  • Mrs Maureen Bickerdike

    Co-opted Governor

    Maureen Bickerdike - Chair of Governors (until November 2023) & Co-opted Governor - Finance Lead

    My name is Maureen Bickerdike and I have been a Co-opted Governor of Swarland Primary School since 2015. I have been involved in education all my professional life and before retiring I was the Headteacher of two First Schools. I am thoroughly enjoying the freedom of retirement but my interest in education and in particular the education of young children has never diminished. I am delighted to be able to share my skills, knowledge and enthusiasm as a member of Swarland Governing Body.

  • Mrs Carolyn Letts

    Co-opted Governor - SEND and Pupil Premium Lead from Nov 2023

    I have recently retired as a lecturer in speech & language therapy at Newcastle University. Over the years, I have carried out clinical work as an SLT, helped to train SLT students and developed research. My particular interests lie with child language development and developmental language difficulties, and this has always involved working with schools and nurseries.

    We moved to Swarland in January 2002, and I have always very much enjoyed village life as well as walking in the surrounding area. I became a member of Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council in February 2021 and part of my role as governor will be to represent and liaise with the parish council.

  • Mr David Hume

    LA Governor (Nov 2023)

    I have lived in Felton since 1985. My children went to school in Felton and Alnwick. Following a career in architecture and teaching, I worked for Northumberland LEA initially as Humanities Advisor and, from 1990 to 2000, as the Head of School Improvement. I subsequently worked as a self-employed Leadership and Management trainer/consultant, working in the education sector from Early Years to Universities, and in the wider public and private sectors. My work took me across the UK, Europe and the Far East. I retired (more or less) in 2012.
    My main personal interests now are my family, music, writing and climbing.
    I hope to bring some of what I’ve learned to support Swarland Primary School. I am particularly interested in the wider, creative curriculum, and in children’s mental health. I believe that small rural schools are ideally placed to offer safe, happy and meaningful opportunities for children, and are at the heart of bringing together local communities.

  • Mr Phil Eastlake

    Mental Heath & Well-being - Co-opted Governor

    I was born in Portsmouth but moved to Northumberland in 1976 and Swarland in 1999. I joined the Board of Governors in 2018.
    Recently retired my career was in genetic analysis e.g. cancer profiling. After running my own company, I had senior roles in a US biotech organisation, travelling extensively, meeting prominent scientists and presenting scientific conferences.
    I have joined the Board of Governors' Finance and Staffing subcommittee and supporting Human Resources.
    Apart from being a Governor, I have other voluntary work as Treasurer of the Swarland Moor Local Heritage Group, helping with writing grants for local history projects and Exeter University. Travel is now for pleasure, I also enjoy birdwatching, playing chess, reading and gardening.

  • Mrs Emma Garland

    Literacy Lead - Parent Governor

    My name is Emma Garland. I am a Mum of two children, in Swarland Primary School. I am a qualified and experienced primary school teacher, with experience of both the two and three tier systems. prior to having children I was subject leader at a Northumberland Middle School, where I observed lessons, planned the curriculum, analysed data, applied for grant funding and controlled the budget. I also have experience in planning and teaching all subjects across the curriculum and have worked alongside Governors to write policies whilst working towards Healthy School Status.

    As well as class-based academic educational experience, I have worked in outdoor and environmental education settings. I feel that widening the children's experience beyond the curriculum is important and directly in line with the Forest Schools initiative.

    I would like to use my previous experiences and enthusiasm within the Governing Body to continue to improve the all round experience for the children.

  • Mrs Elizabeth Hilton

    SEND & Pupil Premium Lead - LA Governor (until November 2023 resigned)

    My name is Elizabeth Hilton and I have lived in Swarland since 2012. Both of my children attended Swarland Primary School from Reception through to Year 6. I am originally from New York, and have been living and working in the UK for 22 years as an Electronics Engineer.

    Having previously been a Parent Governor, I am fortunate enough to remain on the Governing Body but now as a Local Authority Governor. I hope that anyone who has worked with me has found an approachable, honest, proactive and positive member who believes communication is vital between school and parents and the local community.

    My ongoing aim is to help Swarland Primary School continue to “be the best that it can be”, for every parent/carer and child.

  • Mrs Nicola Morris

    Staff Governor

    I currently teach in Key Stage One at Swarland Primary School. In addition to my teaching commitment, I am al a member of our Senior Leadership Team, KS1 & Early Years lead and subject lead in mathematics, history and geography. I am also a designated safeguarding lead and student mentor.

    I have been teaching since 2000 and have experience of teaching across the primary age range. I taught for fourteen years in inner city Newcastle. I have learnt a lot along the way from every setting but I particularly love the community, family feel of Swarland.

  • Miss Suzannah Knight

    Parent Governor

    My name is Suzannah Knight and both of my children attend/attended Swarland Primary school.
    In my professional life, I have worked with children with additional needs and children with emotional and behavioural issues.
    I would like to use my previous experience to help support the children and their parents/carers in any way possible.
    I feel that the school will continue to go from strength to strength as it is a nurturing environment that helps to build the children's resilience and confidence.

  • Mrs Sandi Clark

    Co-opted Governor

  • Dr Stephen Hinchliffe

    Co-opted Governor

    I moved from the North West to Northumberland in 1993 and have lived in Swarland since 2001. After some years in academic medicine, I moved into general practice pursuing a training and educational role until my retirement in 2020.
    Over the years I have witnessed the school’s unwavering commitment to its role and feel very fortunate that my family has been able to benefit from it.
    I am confident that the school will continue to flourish as it strives for every child to fulfil their potential to lead a contented life.