*** A reminder that School breaks up on Thursday 26th May 2022 at normal pick up times *** After School Clubs - all children are to be collected from from the KS2 playground, via the KS2 entrance gate ***
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Firs Primary School

Inspire, believe, achieve!

Meet the Board of Governors

Board of Governors


A school's Board of Governors has three core functions:

  • ensuring that the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined;
  • ensuring that the Headteacher performs his or her responsibilities for  the educational performance of the school; and
  • ensuring the sound, proper and effective use of the school's financial resources.


The Board of Governors at Firs Primary School consists of twelve governors from different areas of the community:

  • The Headteacher
  • One Staff Governor
  • One Local Authority Governor, appointed by the Local Council
  • Three Parent Governors, appointed by the Board of Governors from self nomination
  • Six Co-opted Governors appointed by the Board of Governors


Please see the Constitution document below that details the names, roles and terms of office for the current year.


Governors are encouraged to attend training sessions held by the Local Authority Governor Services so that we are able to assess our own ability and make sure we have the necessary skills to fulfil the role to which we are assigned.


From time to time there will be a vacancy for a Parent Governor. When this happens parents will be informed and nominations will be considered by the Board of Governors.


If you would like to request a copy of any Governor newsletters from previous academic years, please contact the School Office via 0161 973 7350 or 

Firs Primary Governing Body Constitution

Committee List and Link Governor Details

Register of Business Interests


Councillor Robert Chilton - none

Miss Sarah Turner - none

Miss Laura Taplin- none 

Mrs Katie Pentith - none

Mrs Marilyn Reynolds-  none

Mr Paul Howarth - none

Mrs Hayley O'Brien - none

Mrs Lynette Lawson - none

Mrs Joanne Bambrick - none

Mrs Gillian Laybourn - none

Mr Stephen Witterick - none

Mr Robert Rigge - none



Register of other establishments governed and/or other interests declared


Mr Robert Chilton - Councillor for Trafford Council and Governor at All Saints R.C. Primary, Sale

Miss Sarah Turner - none

Miss Laura Taplin- none 

Mrs Katie Pentith - none

Mrs Marilyn Reynolds-  none

Mr Paul Howarth - none

Mrs Hayley O'Brien - none

Mrs Lynette Lawson - none

Mrs Joanne Bambrick - none

Mrs Gillian Laybourn - Governor at Delamere School, Urmston

Mr Stephen Witterick - none

Mr Robert Rigge - none



Meet the Governors

Hi. My name is Marilyn Reynolds and I am a co-opted Governor at The Firs. Having previously been Vice Chair, I was appointed as Chair of Governors in September 2021. I worked happily at The Firs myself for 33 years in Key Stage One and then in the Early Years.  Previously I was a Staff Governor.  Having taught in Trafford for 40 years, I retired from The Firs in July 2014. Not wishing to break my ties with the school, I offered to continue being a governor and help support the school in any way I could.


Over the years I have witnessed many changes of staff and leadership, but the one thing that has remained constant is the concept of “The Firs Family” and the desire to nurture and challenge the children to be the best they can be. The current SATS results are outstanding and reflect the hard work and motivation of all the staff working at The Firs.


Since retiring I have had more opportunity to attend Governor training and have recently become Safeguarding Governor. Safeguarding is an area of school life which has become increasingly more challenging and very much on the Ofsted agenda.


Helping with class trips, supporting small groups with Rapid Writing and being part of the successful “Teapot Talks” gives me a wonderful overview of everyday life at The Firs and an opportunity to interact with children, staff and parents.


If you wish to contact Mrs Reynolds, please ring school (0161 973 7350) or email ( and we will pass your contact details on to her.

Hello, my name is Miss Turner and I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher at Firs Primary school. Firs is an inclusive, family friendly school at the heart of our increasingly diverse community. We embrace the needs of the whole child and celebrate their unique achievements. I understand the importance Firs plays within the local community; the warm, vibrant atmosphere that is threaded through the School culture and ethos plays a fundamental part in the lives of the children, ensuring they become well rounded individuals with the key skills and values to become successful in their life long journey. Our School vision of ‘inspire, believe, achieve’ is paramount and the well-being of the child is at the heart of the School community. These beliefs underpin my own personal philosophy of teaching and leading, and it is for these reasons I was attracted to the position of Headteacher at Firs.


Throughout my 24 years of teaching I have taught from Nursery through to Year 6. This experience has given me a secure understanding of what children need at different stages of their educational journey. I have been a leader for over 12 years in a variety of school settings, giving me a breadth of knowledge and skills to continue to provide the children with an excellent educational journey in both an academic and pastoral capacity.


At Firs, we seek to bring out the best in each child, and in striving to achieve this we aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum. We encourage the children to achieve their personal potential and encourage development of their individual talents. In line with our School vision we expect the highest possible standards of behaviour and attitudes towards learning. Our pupils are caring and thoughtful towards each other and this contributes to the safe, secure School learning environment. As a parent myself I value the positive relationship we have with our School community and work hard to support them in every way we can. I am extremely lucky to lead a compassionate and hardworking staff and work collaboratively with our supportive governing body where we all put the children at the heart of everything we do.

Hi! I'm Paul Howarth. I've been on the governing board since 2011 and have sat mainly on the Buildings & Premises and Finance, Pay & Personnel Committees; I'm also the link governor for Health & Safety and SEND. During my time as a parent governor I've had two daughters go all the way through the school and I currently have a son in year 5. All three of my children have thrived at Firs which is all down to the teaching staff & their dedication to give every child the best start in school life. Away from school, I work as an engineer for a large energy company and in my spare time I coach Rugby for Trafford MV RFCC at their junior level.


Over the years that I've worked with the school I have experienced many changes in the staffing, building and the leadership, but none of these changes seemed to have had an impact on the educational needs of the children; we seem to go from strength to strength.


Hello, my name is Rob Chilton. I work for a communications & PR firm, and served as the local Councillor for St. Mary’s Ward for twelve years. I have been a member of the Governing Body of Firs Primary School since 2011 and was previously the Chairman of Governors for three years. I very much enjoy being part of a strong, friendly team of Governors, supporting the Head and staff to make Firs a truly outstanding school.

I remain available to discuss any matters you may have regarding school, please contact me via the school office. If you wish to contact Rob Chilton, please ring school (0161 973 7350) or email ( and we will pass your contact details on to him.

Hi. My name is Miss Taplin, and I have been privileged to work at the Firs Primary school since 2005. When the opportunity to become a Governor arose, I did not hesitate. It felt important to support a school I believed in and worked alongside colleagues I trusted and respected. I have been honoured to be elected as Staff Governor and take a seat on the Finance, Pay and Personnel committee as well as the Buildings and Premises committee. In my time working here, the school has continued to develop and grow as an ‘Outstanding’ school and I believe it is our priority to ensure that does not change by working together, supporting one another and putting the interest of the school and its pupils, at the forefront of everything we do should ensure the schools continued success.


In my time at Firs, I have had many roles including Key Stage 1 lead, Assistant Head Teacher as well as being in charge of coordinating Special Education Needs for the school and leading on safeguarding. I am currently Deputy Head Teacher working under the direction of Miss Turner our Headteacher.   


Our School vision of ‘Inspire, Believe and achieve!’ is at the heart of everything we do here at Firs Primary School. It is my pleasure to work with such hard working and committed staff and governors who strive to ensure the best for every child. One of my main aims as a Deputy and Governor is to help provide our pupils with not only an excellent education, but with a sense of self-worth and emotional well-being too. We all know happy children learn! As a member of staff and a parent of two young children myself I feel I have a good all-round understanding of our school and have good relationships with staff, parents and pupils.  Firs is a vibrant, exciting, forward-thinking school and it is a really joy to work with the pupils, staff, families and wider community.  

Hello. My name is Katie Pentith and I am a co-opted Governor at Firs Primary School. I have been teaching at Firs Primary School since 2010, predominantly in the Early Years department. I began my journey at Firs as an NQT before progressing to EYFS Lead and from 2021 I have a new challenge as an Assistant Headteacher. I consider myself extremely lucky to work at Firs and being part of the 'Firs Family'. 


I am passionate about working in Early Years as I have the privilege to start the children on their journey to fall in love with school and with learning. There is nothing better than seeing that lightbulb moment and knowing that I have impacted positively on that child's learning. 


As a Governor I strive to support pupils and their families, to provide life skills alongside educational opportunities and to support the school in its future.  


My name is Gillian Laybourn and I am a co-opted governor at The Firs Primary School. I have lived in Ashton on Mersey for 34 years and, having recently retired, I now have the time to devote to giving something back to the community. I have three grown up children and four grandchildren; unfortunately, none of them live close by.


After leaving university I spent 30 years teaching in an inner-city school in Salford. During my 30 year career I was assistant head of Year 7, managing the transition from primary to secondary school. I was also Head of Religious Education, Personal and Social Education and careers, and taught child development to GCSE level. After 30 years I took early retirement from teaching in 2008.


I immediately took up a new challenge, becoming a business officer at English Heritage, later Historic England, in their Manchester office. When I retired from this role, I was the assistant business manager.


I hope the skills I have developed throughout my working life will allow me to make a positive contribution to The Firs Primary School. I am looking forward to going into school as on a regular basis to help class teachers in any way I can, to serving on a committee and to being a link governor.

Hello, my name is Lynette Lawson and I am a co-opted Governor at the Firs. I wanted to become a governor at The Firs Primary because I was born and bred in Ashton Upon Mersey and I was so impressed by the level of support and challenge they have given my son, who is in the SSC. 


I am passionate about all aspects of education and recognise how important it is in shaping the lives of the future generation. I have worked in education since 2002 myself. I began my teaching career in Trafford, then moved onto Cheshire East in 2012. I have held numerous roles within the senior leadership team, all challenging yet very rewarding. I have also held positions on a governing body since 2006. I believe that my knowledge, skills and understanding will be an asset to the school and all stakeholders within it.


I welcome the opportunity to work with an extremely competent, knowledgeable and compassionate team of staff and governors. I feel very honoured to work with the school in this capacity and will strive to ensure we offer the very best opportunities and education for all our pupils and their families, to contribute to their continuing learning and development and to help shape the future of the school.


As BB King said; 

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you."

My name is Joanne Bambrick and I am very proud to be a Governor at Firs Primary School. I work as a Senior Lecturer in Banking & Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) where I have been since 2009, and previous to that I spent 10 years in the Finance & Pensions sector in Edinburgh. One of my key roles at MMU, alongside teaching, is working with students to assist them in developing their skills and strengths to enable them to go on to have successful careers after University. 


I strongly believe that every child should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, whether that is going on to study in Higher Education, undertaking an apprenticeship or even becoming an entrepreneur. As a school governor, I will utilise my experiences in higher education and industry to support the staff and enable the children to have the greatest start to their educational journey.

Hi. My name is Hayley O’Brien and I am proud to  have been a parent governor at the Firs since 2019. I have a daughter at the school who is now in Year 6, so have a vested interest in the growth and development of the school. I have a background in management and training however I am currently a full time carer and a lone parent which takes up a lot of my time, so this opportunity was perfect for me to keep me involved. I have currently been teamed with the Early Years department and look forward to being more involved.


I have had the pleasure of assisting on several school trips, which is a great way of building foundations with the children and seeing them enjoying their education. 

My name is Stephen Witterick and I am proud to be a parent Governor at Firs Primary School. I am the IT Manager at a local Grammar School, a role I have held for over 3 years. I have worked at the school for over 21 years, starting as an IT/AV Technician, continuously developing my experience and skills. Part of my role is to introduce new technologies into school to support teaching and learning and parental engagement.


I hope I can use my experience to help the school go from strength to strength and provide support that is beneficial to the school community.

Hello, my name is Robert Rigge.  I have worked in the construction industry, primarily as a consulting engineer in highways and drainage, in both the private and the public sector since 2014. Outside work I volunteer in the Scout Association and have done so for the past 10 years. 


I joined the governing board as a Co-opted member in late 2021 and sit on the Buildings and Premises Committee.  I’m looking forward to applying my skills and knowledge to enhance, where possible, my subject area (humanities) and the school.