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Our Governors



Hannah Cleasby, Chair of Governors and Local Authority Governor

I have lived in Temple Sowerby for over 10 years and my eldest daughter has just started in Reception after having attended the Pre-School since 2019. I have been incredibly impressed with the care, dedication and enthusiasm shown by all the staff at the school and think it’s a wonderful environment for children to learn.

I have taught in a local primary school since 2012 so have extensive knowledge and understanding of the workings of a school as well as being a governor there for the previous 7 years. I also run my own training business delivering mental health awareness and mental health first aid training.

I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee, am the Safeguarding Governor and believe my experience enables me to make valuable contributions so the school can continue to flourish.

Karl Laithwaite, Head Teacher Governor

I am proud to be the headteacher of Temple Sowerby Church of England Primary School, having been appointed to the role in September 2016.

I am married with three children and have been teaching for over 20 years, predominantly in small, rural schools. As such, I have a great deal of experience in mixed-age teaching and understand the demands and opportunities that such settings provide. I am particularly keen to promote the school’s caring, family ethos and to develop the role it plays within the community.

I sit on both the Resources and Finances and Teaching and Learning committees and work closely with the Chair of Governors.


Olivia Colbear, Vice Chair and Parent Governor

I grew up in Penrith, and except for my three years at university have always found the allure of beautiful Cumbria too strong to want to live anywhere else!  I work in our long-established family agricultural engineering and sales business.  However, prior to working there, I worked for over fifteen years in the higher education sector in a range of areas, such as research, enterprise, finance and quality procedures.  Then, for four years I worked as a school administrator at a primary school.  It was during my time working here that I came to fully appreciate the key role that a school's governing board plays, and also the important role of parent volunteers in school.

My children currently attend the school and I am always getting feedback from them about what a ‘totally brilliant’ school it is (something that I do agree with them about!)  I hope that my wide-ranging skills enable me to make a positive contribution to the continuing development of the school to ensure it retains its ‘totally brilliant’ status for future generations.

Joanne Winter, Teacher Governor

I am the school’s Early Years/KS1 teacher, as well as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator and P.E. Coordinator. I thoroughly enjoy my varied roles and am proud to work at such a friendly, caring school.

I started my career teaching in Manchester in 2001.  I love to travel and have been fortunate to teach in Australia, New Zealand and Tanzania. I have had lots of experience teaching Early Years/KS1 and am currently an Early Years Profile Moderator for the County.

As a teacher governor, I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee.

Jenny Hollando

I moved to Cumbria in 2007 and to Temple Sowerby in 2012. I have three girls and am so pleased they have such a wonderful school here where they are nurtured, encouraged and challenged.

I work in hospitality as a Weddings and Events Manager, putting in some really unsociable hours. Somehow we make it work and it certainly helps to know that the children are so happy in such a positive and healthy school environment. I feel strongly about the role the school plays in this small community and believe I bring a range of skills that will help it continue to go from strength to strength.

Lisa Cowperthwaite

I moved to Cumbria in 2010 when myself and my husband purchased our family home. I am honoured to say our daughter attends Temple Sowerby school, where she is happy, supported and challenged. Temple Sowerby School is a beautiful school and plays such an important part in our rural community.

I currently work within a Trust for several local schools, so am continually learning about how the funding side of a school works every week.

My passion is in sports. Football has been the main sport that I have participated in from a very young age, up until an adult playing at national level. I am also a qualified coach for football and have experience in other sports coaching.


Janet Skelton

I am very proud to have lived in the Eden Valley my entire life. I went to school in the area, as did my children and three of my grandchildren currently attend the school. All of them are thriving as a result of the environment and teaching. 
Having spent 25 years working in Early Years Education, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute and share ideas with the Teaching and Learning Committee to further enhance what is already a wonderful set-up.
I feel very privileged to have been able to support many children and families as they start their journey into education and look forward to offering my experience wherever needed at Temple Sowerby School. Combined with my role as a hands-on Grandparent, I hope to be able to bring empathy and experience to the table.


Reverend Andrew Burrell, Foundation Governor

Born in Milburn from local stock! I have spent most of my life around here, I did wander down to London and France and the Cz Rep, but always came home and I am now firmly planted in Appleby area! I have a business background where I worked in data analytics and got to see a lot of the world. I have an MA in Philosophy of Religion and an MSc in Digital Transformation…! I have been working with Warcop School for several years which I have enjoyed tremendously, and am really happy to now also working be with Temple Sowerby School.

Katie Blenkinship, Clerk to the Governing Body

Contact: 017683 61512