My name is Andy McCorquodale and I am the father of Katie who has recently left The Willows to start secondary school. I became a Community Governor in 2014 after serving as a Parent Governor since 2010.
During my time as Parent Governor I have been actively involved in the recruitment of both our new Headteacher and Deputy, being able to provide input to both the shortlisting and interview stages of candidates based on my views as a parent.
I have spent 2 years as Numeracy Governor where I reported developments in numeracy to the Governing body and was then asked to join the Finance Committee to assist the school management in ensuring the financial stability of the school is retained through these times of budgetary cutbacks.
My background is in running my own businesses which I have done so for the past 15 years, and I find the knowledge and experience this gives me ensures I can add value in my role both on the finance committee and on the full governing body too.
Mr Dave Garrod - Vice Chair (Community Governor)
I am the parent of three children who have attended the Willows. In 1991 I was one of the founding members of the Home/School Association, the forerunner to the current PTA. I then became a Parent Governor and continued in this role until my children left the School when I was then co-opted onto the Governing body and have remained so ever since.
I am a badminton coach and coach at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. Professionally I am a graduate Chemical Engineer and currently work as a "troubleshooter" for Ineos based at Runcorn. I have expertise in finance and personnel matters having previously been a General Manager and Director of two different companies. I enjoy these aspects of being a Governor and the contribution I can make by drawing on related skills and my experience.
However, my greatest joys are the days I spend in school each term, taking part in lessons in every class. This enables me to get to know the children, the teachers and the support staff, as well as having a lot of fun in the welcoming environment that is the Willows Primary School.
Mr Mark Anderson - Community Governor
My name is Mark and I am very happy to say I have been elected as a Community Governor in 2016. I have spent my career in financial services and have been an independent financial advisor since 2006.
I attended the University of St. Andrews where I studied an MA in Mathematics and Philosophy, after which I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. I have continued to study through professional exams and I have attained the qualification of Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, after which I worked as an examiner for the leading industry body.
My wife, Louisa, is a teacher at another school and my daughter has just started in Reception in a Primary School in Sale, so I have an interest in education and I would particularly like to apply my skills and assist where I can with the financial management of The Willows, amongst other things.
In my spare time, I like to keep fit and I’m particularly interested in long distance running and triathlons. My ambition is to run the ‘big six’ marathons. I have already completed London, New York, Berlin and Tokyo and I look forward to hopefully completing the Chicago and Boston marathons.
Mr Simon Birch - Community Governor
I am an Education and Behaviour Consultant who has worked in education for 30 years. I am presently contracted to a school in London (one day a week) and a school in York (two days a week) as a School Advisor. The remainder of my week is in local schools where I help children with behaviour difficulties. I train teachers on behaviour management, schools and Headteachers (through the NAHT) on being Ofsted ready. I also work with individual children and families around behaviour. I sit on Foster Care Panels and have a long history working with Looked After Children.
My connection to The Willows is longstanding with my wife Sandra’s children enjoying their years in this fantastic local school. Professionally I have remained involved when Deputy Head at both Longford Park School and Pictor School. The Willows has remained an inclusive wholly child-centred community school and I am really pleased to be contributing.
Living in Timperley, with Sandra, my interests revolve mostly around family and sport. I am a rugby referee, waning footballer and awful golfer.
Mr Suresh Bhatt - Parent Governor
I was honoured to be elected parent governor in 2016. Since my daughter Arushi joined in 2015 I have had a number of positive experiences with the school. Involvement in PTA events and helping to organise Willows' dads football has helped me to understand what a force for good the school can be when harnessing the talents and enthusiasm of children and adults associated with this school.
I am a trained lawyer working in a commercial law firm and hold the position of director of a professional trustee company. In my down time I do my best to keep up with my daughter's busy life and am a passionate sports fan ( both watching and participating).
Much good work has been done by the school governors in the past but many challenges still remain and I relish the opportunity to combine my skills and experience with my fellow governors to ensure our children continue to make the most of their talents in a safe and nurturing environment.
Mrs Zoë Heaton - Parent Governor
I was lucky enough to be elected as parent governor in October 2016. I feel very privileged to be able to help the school in a new role, having been involved with the school in various voluntary roles, since my eldest son, Ben, started in Reception, in 2009. I started my involvement by helping with the PTA, and spent two years as co-chair.
I also spent a year, whilst training to become a teaching assistant, volunteering in the Willows for two days a week, helping out in the Nursery, Reception and Year 2 classes. This was an excellent opportunity to see the wonderful staff at work, and work with many of the children. It is lovely to see those children flourish and become kind and happy individuals. I now work as a teaching assistant at Forest Gate Academy, in Partington, which has given me a broader experience of primary school education, outside the Willows.
Previous to becoming a teaching assistant, I worked in various roles in the Pharmaceutical Industry over 18 years. I have a BSc in Applied Chemistry from Portsmouth University.
I am married to Nick, and have 2 children. Ben is now at AGSB, and Holly is still at the Willows.
Mrs Suzanne Thompstone - Parent Governor
My name is Suzanne and I am very pleased to have been voted in as a Parent Governor in October 2017. Both of my children, Isobel and Ben, joined The Willows in 2015 and I have been thoroughly impressed with both the ethos of the school and all of the people who make The Willows such a positive, nurturing setting.
My professional background is as a Chartered Accountant and, having working in both practice and industry, I now work as the Finance Director for a large, hybrid, real estate business.
Outside of work, I enjoy running, pilates and spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy being part of The Willows’ Mums netball team – a great chance to get fit and spend time with some of the other parents in the school.
Mrs Kirsten Warren - Headteacher
My name is Kirsten Warren and I have been the headteacher at The Willows Primary School since September 2012, having been the deputy for 7 years before that.
My first childhood memories revolve around dreaming of being a teacher. As a child, I was homeschooled until I was eight years old, which unfortunately was a lonely and sometimes unhappy time for me. Therefore central to my aims for the Willows, is the promise to create a nurturing and caring family ethos in the school. I will ensure that we provide a creative and fun, as well as a meaningful, well balanced and rounded education for our children.
I began my teaching career in a small village school in Lancashire. This was during a time of great change within the education system and the introduction of the National Curriculum. Although many years (decades!) have passed, education continues to change and I believe it is vital that the Willows keeps up to date with new initiatives and current educational thinking. I want the school to provide an excellent quality of education for every child, enabling them to make rapid progress and reach high standards.
I have taught in six very different schools and have fulfilled various leadership and management roles during my career. I truly valued my time as Deputy Headteacher of the Willows. I feel it is crucial that a school has a strong figurehead steering the direction of the establishment. However, no Headteacher can do this alone and I consider it essential to be part of a team, where I can work closely with staff, governors and, of course you, the parents to discuss and decide together what is right for the school and our children.
One of the joys in my personal life has been becoming a parent myself. I have been blessed with two lovely children and view my family life as very precious. I know this has made me a better teacher over the years, as I have grown to understand children more fully. Furthermore, I recognise this has enhanced my relationships with parents, as I appreciate a parent’s point of view more deeply. I am confident that I can continue to develop a mutually supportive partnership between home and school for the benefit of all the children. I hope we can have much fun together and share many happy times, whether they be in the classroom, at school functions or having a laugh at a PTA event!
My door is always open, please pop in and see me whenever you want. I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to move our school into a bright future.
Mr Dave Byrne - Staff Governor (Deputy Headteacher)
I was fortunate enough to be appointed the position of Deputy Headteacher at The Willows in 2012 and was voted on to the Governing Body in the same year.
I began my teaching career after completing my BA (HONS) in Primary Education at The Manchester Metropolitan University in 2000. My first teaching post was at Ashdene Primary School in Wilmslow where I spent ten very happy years. Having decided that I would like to try and progress my career more along the leadership path, I decided a change of school was necessary. This led me to Newall Green Primary School in Wythenshawe as Assistant Headteacher. Both these schools, in very contrasting locations, have provided me with the opportunites to develop and learn not only as a teacher and leader but also as a person.
I am thoroughly enjoying my time at The Willows and feel very lucky to work along side such wonderful staff and children, and I am very grateful for the support I have received form the parents since arriving. I feel very much part of The Willows family!
On a personal note, I am happily married to Ruth and have two amazing young boys: Toby and Leo. I'm a keen sports fan but my particular passion is football. I play a couple of times a week and enjoy (well, not all of the time!?) following Liverpool FC.