SJB Song



On the 5th September 2017, members of the Governing Body travelled to the Houses of Parliament to the National Governance Association ceremony Awards for Outstanding Governance.  

We are delighted to announce that we were awarded 

Winners in the category: outstanding governing board in a single school

SJB governors receiving our prize from Lord Nash
Governor Mark

Governor Mark National Award

In April 2016, Sir John Barrow School’s Governing Body received an external inspection leading to their accreditation with the Governor Mark National Award. The governor mark is a kite mark, similar to ‘Investor in People’ and ‘Sports Mark’, which provides an external evaluation of the quality of governance within schools and academies. We were commended for:
  • The best practice shown in the high priority given to succession planning for the whole board.
  • The governors’ strong understanding of data and effective monitoring of school development priorities.
  • The governors’ commitment to keeping up to date, attending training and the knowledge of the educational environment.
  • The governing board’s excellent engagement with stakeholders.

Governing Body’s Written Statement of Behaviour Principles

To read our Governing Body's Written Statement of Behaviour principles, please click here

What do Governors do?

The Governing Body is a team of people who want to help the school to be the best school it can be. We have Governors who are parents of children at SJB, as well as Governors from around our community, because we know how important schools are in making our world a better place to be part of. Our jobs include: helping to choose the school’s teachers, making sure lessons are interesting and fun, checking the school is safe, making sure the school does not run out of money. To do all this we work closely with the school staff, and sometimes get to come in to see what the pupils are up to – which is great fun!

Here are our Governors...


Mrs Janet Heffernan (Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor)

My job as Chair of Governors is to help our team of Governors to support the school. I work closely with the Headteacher to make sure the Governors are all doing the right things!  I am also a National Leader of Governance, so I support some other schools locally with the smooth running of their governing bodies.

I also run my own business as a professional Mathematician which lets me work with scientists on lots of different science projects. I do quite a lot of work involving flooding, and how to protect against it!  I love living in Ulverston and my favourite things to do are running, playing music and hanging out with my family and friends.

Commander Matthew Lister (Vice Chair of Governors, Elected Parent Governor)

I was born and raised in Ulverston and now have a family of my own here, with three children all attending SJB.  I currently serve as a Senior Officer in the Royal Navy, having spent 16 years predominantly in the Submarine Service as a Marine Engineering Officer.  At the moment, I am the Military Assistant to Director Submarine Acquisition, and split my time between working from home and the MoD Abbey Wood site at Bristol.

A grateful beneficiary of state and sponsored education (I’ve gained Engineering, Science and an Arts Degrees through Military Scholarship), I’m a firm believer in the power of high-quality education to unlock opportunity – and am keen to empower SJB in giving its pupils the best possible start in life.

Mr Matthew Connell (Staff Governor)

As well as teaching the children in the Year 2 class here at SJB, I also am a Teacher Governor. My job is to explain to the governors what the other teachers think about our school and to let them know about important issues that have come up. As Link Governor, I also make sure that the other governors have the training they need to do their jobs properly. My spare time is usually taken up with family and getting outdoors with my three children.

Mr Mark Wilson (Local Authority Governor)

My first connections with SJB were as a Teacher Rep in the 70's when it was a very different school indeed. Now I am pleased to help serve the School as a Governor. My working life moved on from schools to a role as a Senior Carer and now to be an elected member for the area. My Governor role is as a member of the Evaluation and Curriculum Committee and as an “Adopted Governor”. I commit my full support to the staff and pupils at SJB.

Ms Izzy Roberts (Co-opted Governor)

I have been working in Ulverston as a PCSO since July 2016 and was immediately appointed as SJB's Police Point of Contact.  Since then I have assisted on School trips, given the pupils safety and awareness talks and even participated in lollipop lady duties.

When not in work, most of my free time is taken up by dancing! I co-own Spotlight School of Dance in Barrow and also teach at Dance Tazia in Dalton.  I have danced since the age of 6 and continue to take part in local competitions and shows.
Mrs Hannah Clarke (Elected Parent Governor)

I'm delighted to be appointed as parent governor.  I've not been a governor before so I'm looking forward to learning the role.  I have 2 children currently in school, they both really like belonging to SJB.  I'm employed by Cumbria County Council as a Community Services Officer and work with libraries and archives services across South Lakeland.  I enjoy my job, advocating for libraries, reading and life-long learning.

There's never much spare time but I'm into books and files; I'm a bit arty and like being creative.

Mrs Sarah Branton (Co-opted Governor)

My role on the Governing Body is to support the school by ensuring that children’s progress is monitored effectively. I am also involved in helping the staff to provide a curriculum tailored to the needs of pupils.  

I live in Ulverston with my husband and two children. I work in Barrow as a Primary Teacher which I find both challenging and rewarding, and also now teach part-time at Sir John Barrow School. I enjoy being outdoors with my family exploring, walking and visiting places of interest. To relax I like to knit and read.
Mrs Sharon Harris (Co-opted Governor - TA Representative)

I am a teaching assistant and have been working at SJB since October 2016. I love my job and work with lots of children and their families at school. I am very pleased to be appointed as a governor - being involved in the strategic running of the school.
I also have a second job in which I work for a local charity called Families Matter in which I work as a counsellor.
In what spare time that I have I enjoy being outside walking my Jack Russell called Spud and my new hobby running.
Mr John Barrett (Co-opted Governor)

I am a co-opted governor and was delighted to be asked to be involved with Sir John Barrow School.
Before retirement I was a headteacher for seven years and then worked for the Local Authority for a further ten years. I have particular interests in the areas of special educational needs and safeguarding.
As I governor I hope to support the school to develop and ensure that every child enjoys the best opportunity to thrive.

Mr Andrew Allan (Elected Parent Governor)

I have lived in Ulverston for all of my life. Two of my children currently attend SJB, with another one following suit in a couple of years time. I currently work for GSK in Ulverston as the Early Talent Lead overseeing the apprentice and graduate programme - I am really passionate about creating bright futures for young people. Building up good relationships with different schools, colleges, and local companies helps me to gain a broad understanding of what 'good' looks like for education providers.

I also have passion for health and wellbeing which I hope to be involved with in my new role as school governor.

Miss Kirsty Rayson (Appointed Parent Governor)

This is my first time being a parent governor and I'm really excited to use my skills to help the school. My son is a pupil at Sir John Barrow and he is always keen to tell me about his days at school.

I moved to Ulverston from Fife when I was in my early teens. I currently live in Bouth (just outside Ulverston) and work locally in a job I really enjoy, including the challenges it can bring!

When I'm not at work I love to be outdoors as much as possible. I go fell walking with my family and our Border Collie. Our aim is to complete all of the Wainwrights peaks. We also like going mountain biking and kayaking. My other interests are playing the guitar, cooking, reading and meeting up with friends.

Mrs Rosie Brown (Appointed Parent Governor)

I am a newly appointed parent governor, very much looking forward to learning the ins and outs of effective school governance.

I live in Ulverston and have two children who attend Sir John Barrow School. My working background is in mental health. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, with favourite activities usually outdoors enjoying the beautiful area we live in.

Mr Andrew Paterson (Co-opted Governor)

This is my first role as a governor and I am delighted to be involved with Sir John Barrow School. I look forward to taking an active role in the Governing Body and to help provide the best possible start to pupils' education.
I work locally applying problem solving skills to drive improvements in a manufacturing environment and when I am not at work I enjoy playing hockey, reading books and getting out into the lakes as much as possible without getting wet!

Mrs Karen Little (Clerk)

I am very proud to work with the outstanding Governing Body at Sir John Barrow School. Governors are very passionate that the highest education standards are provided, and go that extra mile to ensure that all pupils can achieve the best possible outcome. They are also a great pleasure to work with.



Key areas for Governors

Monitoring means gathering evidence to check what progress has been made towards strategic priorities and targets and the implementation of policies.

In the context of monitoring Key Areas, governors should be looking to evaluate progress in their Key Area of responsibility, and to identify weaknesses or areas where more resources may be needed.

Key Area

Staff Member


Safeguarding and Child Protection H. Pearson J.Barrett
Health and Safety
Premises inspection
N. Booth K. Rayson & A. Paterson
SEND A. Robinson J. Barrett
Pupil Premium Champion H. Pearson R. Brown


Declarations of Pecuniary / Business Interests

Name of Governor
Governor Category
Pecuniary and/or Personal Business Interest(s)

another school

Name of Business
Nature of Business
Nature of Interest
Date of Appointment
Date of Cessation of Interest

Mrs Janet Heffernan

J. Heffernan Consulting
Statistical Consultancy
Ulverston Business Improvement District
Commercial Partnership
Sir John Barrow School
Indirect interest: close friend runs a French club in school

Friend is Professional French teacher

Mrs Helen Pearson
Sir John Barrow School
Mrs Sarah Branton
Barrow Island Primary School and Sir John Barrow School
Mr Matthew Connell
Sir John Barrow School
Cllr Mark Wilson
Local Authority
South Lakeland District Council
Local Government
Ms Izzie Roberts Co-opted Cumbria Constabulary Police Police Community Support Officer 05.07.2017 05.07.2021 No
Mrs Hannah Clarke Elected Parent Cumbria County Council  Library & Archives Community Services Officer 09.02.2018 09.02.2022 No
Mr John Barrett Associate Member John Barrett Education Consultancy Education Consultancy Owner 01.09.2018 19.03.2023 No
Mrs Sharon Harris Co-opted Sir John Barrow School Self-employed Education Counselling Teaching Assistant/Therapist 19.11.2018 19.11.2022 No
Mr Andrew Allan Elected Parent None None None 23.09.2019 23.09.2023 No
Mrs Rosemary Brown Appointed Parent Care Provider Local Care Agency Carer 09.12.2019 09.12.2023 No
Ms Kirsty Rayson Appointed Parent None None None 09.12.2019 09.12.2023 No
Mr Andrew Paterson Co-opted BAE Systems  Submarines Employee 22.09.2020 22.09.2024 No
Cdr Matthew Lister Parent Royal Navy Miltary Submarine Services Marine Engineering Officer 04.12.2020 04.12.2024 No
Resignations or end of office during the last academic year
Ms Helen O'Neill Parent University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Imaging Services Employee 04.12.2015 01.11.2020 No
Mr Jeremy Tennyson Associate Member Hart Jackson & Sons Solicitors Partner 03.04.2017 N/A Yes, UVHS
Mr Alan
Co-opted None None None 03.04.2017 29.01.2020 Yes, Dallam LGB
Mrs Angela Wilde Elected Parent GSK, Ulverston Biopharmaceutical manufacturing Sterile Planning Lead 04.12.2015 04.12.2019 No
Miss Louise Slee Elected Parent Ainsworth's Garage Ltd Motor Mechanics Director 27.11.2018 12.09.2019 No

Attendance at Meetings



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