Pupils love coming to school. They are happy and safe in this nurturing environment.

Meet our Governors

Mr Keith Taylor

Local Authority Governor

Chair of Governors & Chair of the Resource Management Committee

I retired from my job as Business Manager at Seaton Burn College in August 2016 where I had been employed since January 2005. Previous to this I was employed at Newcastle University for 35 years in various departments providing an electronic, maintenance and design service. I have also served as a school governor in Newcastle spending 9 years as Chair of a Primary School Governing Body, and 3 years as Chair of a Secondary School Governing Body. I moved from Newcastle to Stannington village in 2012 and was appointed as a Community Governor at Stannington First School in June 2016.

I enjoy working with governor colleagues, staff, parents and the local community to ensure the children who attend our school receive the best possible start to their school life and develop an enthusiasm and love for learning that will last them their lifetime.

My main areas of responsibilities are; chair of the Resource Management committee, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, HR and Finance.

Mrs Janine Farrell

Parent Governor

Resource Management Committee

I grew up in Northumberland and, after 15 years of studying and working in London and abroad, returned to the North East in 2018. I have two young daughters who will attend Stannington First School over the coming years. I have a keen interest in the future of this wonderful school and broader community.

Professionally, I work as a solicitor in the shipping insurance industry, now in-house after 8 years in private practice. I hope to bring many of the skills I have developed over the years to my role as Parent Governor, along with enthusiasm for and commitment to the school, its pupils and staff.

I am married to Rich, a graphic designer, and together we are enjoying settling into Stannington and discovering the region again with a fresh perspective.

Mrs Nicola Harries

Co-opted Governor

Vice Chair of the Governing Board
Chair of the Strategic, Policy and Direction Committee

I have recently returned to living in Northumberland after 19 years. I initially worked as a radiographer but due to family commitments, I moved into the education environment where I worked in a school for children aged 2-6 with Additional Needs. As part of this school’s remit, I moved into a team who visited other primary schools on request to work with children struggling with both educational and behavioural needs on a short -term basis, to assist both the child and the supporting staff. This school then federated with a mainstream school with access for some of those children until 11.

During the last 15 years, until moving back to Northumberland, I was a governor at these schools, first as a staff governor, then associate, LEA and finally co-opted. I have seen these schools maintain their standards through becoming a Federation and moving to a new build so I have wealth of governance experience which I hope will be helpful in supporting Stannington school.

I remained a governor at the schools after finishing working in that environment but I continued working as a home tutor until our move.

So, now fully retired, I am enjoying volunteering in school one morning a week, which is helping me to get to know the ethos and the ways of the school as well as assisting staff and the children to learn.

Mr Matthew Williamson

Parent Governor

Resource Management Committee

I grew up in south west Northumberland, near Hexham and moved on to the Blagdon Estate, near Stannington, in August 2017. I have a young daughter who started reception in 2020 and she attended the nursery at the school before then. She loves her school and so it made me want to help the staff and governing body ensure the school continues to flourish.

Professionally, I am a qualified Chartered Surveyor in the rural sector which enables me to be the resident Land Agent for the Blagdon Estate. I hope to be able to use my knowledge of property, accounts and a number of my other skills to the role of governor.

In my spare time I enjoy playing cricket, fishing and other country pursuits which enables me to see some of the most beautiful parts of Northumberland.

Mrs Angela Harker

Co-opted Governor

Resource Committee

I am the school business manager and a co-opted governor and I have worked at Stannington First School since 2012 having previously worked at an accountancy firm. I am also the minute taker for the Resource Management committee.

Mr Stephen Tunesi

Deputy Headteacher

Strategic, Policy and Direction Committee

I have been at Stannington First School school since 2011 but took up the role of deputy headteacher in September 2020.
Currently, I teach in Year Two and I am also the maths and computing leader across school.
I also coach our school football team and organise STEM club, after school.

Mrs Karen Carins

Co-opted Governor

Strategic, Policy and Direction Committee

I have lived in Stannington Parish for over 35 years and my 3 children attended Stannington First School. I was a parent volunteer for many years and helped the children with art and craft projects. I am a retired Veterinary Practice Manager.
Currently I am the Chair of Stannington Parish Council and also involved in other community groups within Stannington. This involvement has included working with Stannington First School on various projects so I am very happy to be co-opted onto the Governing Board to further this relationship. I have always acted for the benefit of the school in my dealings with Northumberland County Council, and I continue to work, on their behalf, to improve the conditions experienced by the staff and children. Stannington First School holds a special place in my heart and I am totally committed to ensuring that all the children enjoy the best education possible and that their lasting memories of their time at the school will be of a happy, safe environment that gave them the best start in life. I fully support all the staff, parents and pupils and I look forward to working with and learning from my fellow Governors.

Mrs Ingrid McRitchie

Parent govornor

Strategic, Policy and Direction Committee

I currently live at St Marys Park with my husband and two children. I grew up in Morpeth and moved back in 2018 after living in Newcastle and studying in Leeds. My family and I love being in Stannington and we feel fortunate to be part of such a great community. My daughter currently attends Stannington First School and we love its family/community vibe and the support it provides to our daughter (and hopefully to our son in the future).

Professionally I am a qualified accountant and have worked in the financial services industry for the past 15 years, predominately in Audit/Risk & Control/Financial management roles. I currently head up the Audit Function at Virgin Money and I have a particular interest in governance and reporting and overseeing the effectiveness of control environments to safeguard company’s assets and reputation.

In my spare time I treasure time with my family and friends and enjoy running and cross fit.

Mr Richard Sellers

Parent Governor

Strategic, Policy and Direction Committee

I have lived in the Stannington area since 2001 and moved into the village in 2020. My son is currently at Stannington First School and my daughter left in 2021 and is now at Chantry Middle School.
I have recently retired after working as a production engineer, primarily in the motor manufacturing industry for most of my career.
I enjoy supporting the school any way I can as it has played such an important part in my children’s early development and the fact that it has such a key role in the local area.

Mrs Jackie Jordan

Co-opted governor

Strategic, Policy and Direction Committee

AFter 34 years of teaching in a primary school, I recently retired but was still keen to remain involved in education and the life of a school. I have experience, not only with teaching across the primary age range, but as a subject leader for R.E., music, English and geography aswell as serving as a teacher governor for a number of years. Joining the governing board at Stannington is a wonderful opportunity for me to give something back to both the school and village community.

Mrs Alexandra Palmer


As headteacher, I am a member of both our sub committees
Headteacher Governor
Term of office - 2017- present

During my time at Stannington First school, the Governing Board have been very supportive. They work alongside me to ensure I have clear, strategic vision for the school and I am leading it effectively to meet the needs of our pupils, staff and wider community.
I sit on each of the committees and working groups and I am enormously grateful for all that our Governors do for Stannington First School.