Meet the governors

Kate Cairns (Local Authority Governor and Chair)


Areas of special interest within the school: Vice Chair of the Resources Committee and lead the Head’s performance management.

I started my working life as a community worker. Thereafter, I worked as a social worker. From 1996, I worked as an area manager for Children’s Services, commissioning and developing programmes to benefit children, and managing budgets and staff.

In 1994, I took a Master’s degree in Child Protection (Safeguarding), which included three years of clinical work with families at the Tavistock Centre in London. I have trained a variety of professionals in safeguarding, from hospital doctors and GPs to teachers, student teachers, and nursery nurses.

I have been a governor since 2006 and was elected to the role of chair In 2012. Before I moved to Dent, I was on the governing body of a lower school in Bedford and, for four years, chair of that body.

I am married with three children, two stepchildren, and seven grandchildren. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a member of a book club and a voluntary car driver. I also enjoy dining out and gardening.

Declaration of business and personal interests: None



Nicky Edwards (Head Teacher)


Areas of special interest within the school: Special needs, Safeguarding (designated lead), Literacy (designated coordinator), and Creating sustainable partnerships with organisations and schools to provide better opportunities for pupils.

I have been head teacher here at Dent Primary school since January 2012. Although I have worked in primary and secondary education, and as a lecturer for initial teacher training, primary is my preferred age group.

I love anything to do with the outdoors, such as climbing, abseiling, walking, canoeing, skiing, mountain biking and open water swimming. I am chief taxi driver for my two children, who are also keen on swimming and cycling.

Declaration of business and personal interests: None



Diana Bucknall (Foundation Governor)

Lead governor for Special Educational Needs, member of the Education committee.

I moved to Dentdale two years ago with my husband. We have enjoyed becoming active members of St Andrew’s church.

I graduated from Royal Holloway College, London, in Chemistry. I did a PGCE at Warwick University specialising in Secondary Science. Following this I taught in an 11 – 18 comprehensive school in Leamington Spa followed by 2 years in an independent girl’s school.

For a while, I did supply teaching in a number of schools in Wells, Glastonbury and Street and continued to bring up our three children. During this time, I took a part time RSA Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties.

At Wells Cathedral School, I taught Maths to year 9 and gave 1:1 help with dyslexic students. I also set up some small groups in Maths in the junior school, helping children who were falling behind. I also taught year 3, teaching English, Maths, Science, R.E and Geography. I was also asked to re-write the RS course for years 3, 4 & 5. This important challenge involved working with the diocesan education department, which I found stimulating. I subsequently taught RS for 3 years.

My last professional post was Head of Learning Support at Downside School near Bath, teaching year 5 to year 13 on a 1:1 basis with pupils having a variety of additional needs.

Having retired, I now spend my time gardening, reading, sewing & knitting. I am a member of Cumbria Wildlife, I enjoy walking and Scottish country dancing.

Declaration of business and personal interests: none.


Helen Corpe (Foundation Governor)

Safeguarding lead for the Governors, and member of the Resources Committee.

I was born and schooled in London and moved to Dent in 1990.

I joined the Prison Service in 1997 and have worked with 15-18yr old Juvenile male prisoners, 18-21yr old male Young Offenders and currently work with Adult male prisoners in the Category D Open Estate. I was promoted to Senior Officer in 2005 and have worked at HMYOI Lancaster Farms, HMYOI Hindley and HMP Thorn Cross.

I have a daughter who attended Dent Primary School until 2007 and I was a member of the Friends of Dent Primary School Committee for 12 years; the last few years on the committee I was the Chair.

Declarations of business and personal interests: none.


Cathy Roberts (Foundation Governor)


Areas of special interest within the school: Early Years Education. I am a member of the Education Committee and a part-time classroom assistant in Class One.

I worked as a Registered General Nurse for 17 years and then as a primary school teacher for 12 years, where I was also a Teacher Governor. I stopped formal employment to help care for my father and do work voluntary work with toddlers, children and teenagers at my local Church in Hampshire. When my husband moved jobs in September 2015, we relocated to Dent.

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, gardening and being involved with the church.

Declaration of business and personal interests: I work part-time as a classroom assistant in Dent Primary School.



Ian McPherson (Foundation Governor)


Areas of special interest within the school: Chairing the Education Committee, the school’s corporate worship activities.

I am a solicitor and, during the course of my career have worked as a partner in a private practice, a stipendiary magistrate in the West Indies, an army officer in Army Legal Services, a Local Government Officer, and a consultant in private legal practice.

Since I retired, I have worked as a South Lakeland District Councillor and am now a Sedbergh Parish Councillor and Deputy Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

I have been a Quaker for over twenty years and have taught T’ai Chi for almost forty years. My main interests lie in the area of nature, animals, wildlife and conservation and, at the National Park, I am Member Champion for the Natural Environment.

Declaration of business and personal interests: Appointed member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, declared 2016



Catherine Hartley (Foundation Governor)


Areas of special interest within the school: Vice Chair of the Governing Board, Chair of the Resources Committee, and Vice Chair of the Education Committee.

I have a BEd (Hons) in Secondary Teaching but have worked as a Conference and Events Manager, and now work as a Graphic and Interior Designer.

I am married with two children, one of whom has completed his years at Dent Primary; the other still attends.

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and walking.

Declaration of business and personal interests: None



Helen Wilkinson (Parent Governor)


Areas of special interest within the school: I am a member of both the Education and Resources Committees

I did a BA Hons in Three Dimensional Design specialising in Silversmithing and Jewellery at The Birmingham School of Jewellery. After graduation, I worked for a while in the Jewellery quarter in Birmingham. Then, for two years, I travelled extensively, particularly in Africa where I worked as a tour guide.

On my return the UK, I spent several years working with and caring for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. I have NVQ qualifications in Looking After Children and Young People.

I now am self-employed and also spend any time I have developing designs for a new jewellery business based in my Dentdale workshop.

My interests include horse riding, baking, gardening, and design.

Declaration of business and personal interests: None


David Prescott (elected Staff Governor)


Areas of special interest within the school: RE and Computing across all year groups.

I am the Key Stage 1 and EYFS Class Teacher at Dent Primary. I qualified as a teacher through Burton Morewood Primary Academy’s School Direct Programme in 2014. I have been the staff Governor since 2016.

I first studied at Lancaster University, gaining a 1st Class Honours degree in English Literature. After graduating, I worked in several retail positions and owned and ran a Post Office for five years.

I am married and live in Lancaster. My hobbies include cycling, canoeing and hill walking with my dog, Luther.

Declaration of business and personal interests: None



Rev. Andrew McMullon (ex-officio Foundation governor)

Plays an important role in the school’s Christian worship.


Ian Mitchell (Parent governor)

Member of the Resources Committee



Recent governors:

Rev. PJ Boyles – left Feb 2017

Susan Johnson – left July 2017

Linda Cragg – left July 2017

Governors attendance 2017-18