Mrs Michaela Pashley - Chair of Governors
I am so excited and privileged to have been made Chair of Governors.
All Governors are volunteers, I volunteer because I care about our school community and want to be a part of it. My two children attend the Willows which gives me a great insight into the school. The school environment is welcoming and warm, always encouraging children to achieve their very best. As Chair of Governors my challenge is to ensure that the school continues to improve whilst ensuring it’s caring ethos is maintained.
As we all know only too well, the school and it’s community have faced many challenges over the last couple of years, and will continue to do so. The Board of Governors are here to ensure that the school continues to strive for the very best for its’ pupils, all of whom have lost so much time in the classroom due to the pandemic. We have all been very impressed and proud of the pupils who have shown true resilience and self belief. It is the responsibility of the Board, and myself as Chair, to be the voice of challenge and hold our school leaders to account. To ensure that whether your child is excelling, meeting age related expectations or needs that extra little bit of help, they are being fully supported and enabled to achieve.
Recently, we have probably all realised how important school is to a child, not just educationally but also socially. I’m proud that as a Board we don’t just focus upon results, we look at behaviours, achievements outside academics and how children are developing as caring and responsible members of our community with confidence and self belief they can carry with them for life.
I am determined to fulfil my responsibilities as Chair and to do my very best for the pupils of our school.
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 Andy McCorquodale - Chair (Community Governor)
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.
Tamara Garcia - Local Authority Governor
I am delighted to have become a governor at the school recently.
Having had a very positive experience of being in the special needs education system as a child due to having a disability and being a wheelchair user. I was keen to take up the opportunity to give something back into the system in some capacity. I feel that becoming a governor will allow me to do this.
I feel that the core values of the school are ones that everyone would readily agree with and want those values to be taught to their children for their future.
I look forward to playing active role on the board of governors over the next year and doing my part to maintain and improve the children’s school experience.
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 following Liverpool FC.