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Meet our Governing Body

We currently have 1 vacancy on our governing body.  We are particularly looking for (but not limited to) those who have experience in HR, Finance, Marketing & Building/Construction.  Being a governor is a very rewarding role, helping to shape the future for our students.

I you would like to learn more about the governor role, please contact Alison Kirby, SLT Project Manager on 0113 3862452 for an informal chat or email on alison.kirby@westsilc.org.  

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sue Morgan - Chair of Governors

Sue Morgan(3)

I was a teacher for 26 years followed by working for 12 years as a senior officer managing SEN services for the LA prior to my retirement in 2012. I have therefore had a good deal of experience in all areas of school life including the quality of teaching, the evaluation of data leading to school improvement and the delegation of school funding. I have been Chair of Governors at the school for three years and I am chair of the strategic committee. The latest Ofsted report (July 2013) states that: The highly skilled and knowledgeable governing body spends money well to benefit all pupils.

As a team manager for the LA I have also had a good deal of experience of performance management; and am currently one of the head teacher performance management governors. The Governing body are continually engaged in reviewing the curriculum and staff structure to ensure that it fully meets the needs of our diverse range of pupils. They have been instrumental in the implementation of a rigorous staff performance management system and are unrelenting in ensuring the highest possible standards of teaching and learning. 

Michelle Wilman - Headteacher

Michelle Wilman2

I was born in Leeds. From 16, I did my work experience and community service at John Jamieson school in Leeds. I was a volunteer at the PHAB (Physically Handicapped Able Bodied) youth club and undertook many residentials, with them. I have been a teacher all my working life. I began my career as a Food Technology teacher in secondary schools.  I always wanted to work in a special school but wanted to be a good teacher first. I moved to Victoria Park (as was) in 1995 to undertake my Food Technology to students with special educational needs. I was the first teacher to introduce Entry level certificate courses and was responsible for ICT and assessment across the school. I became an Assistant Headteacher in 2001. In 2007 I became the principal of the SILC and consequently joined the Governing Body. I am a single parent with two school aged children. I particularly enjoy gardening, when I have the time!

Kevin Boocock - Co-opted

Kevin Boocock(4)

I have worked in numerous private businesses in a management role accountable for delivering a wide range of business goals.  I have responsibility for the  financial performance of my department on a weekly basis, take care of performance management, health and safety and participate in investigative work where necessary.

This has given me the opportunity to develop a number of competences such as;-

  • Leadership
  • Team building
  • Communication
  • Financial awareness

I believe these will be useful assets in my role as a governor.


Kate Robinson - Co-opted

Kate Robinson(1)

Kate is a Barrister based in Chambers in Leeds who specialises in criminal and coronial law.  She was called to the bar in July 2009 and worked exclusive in the law across different fields before settling into her present specialisms.  She hopes her experience in a variety of legal specialisms will be beneficial to West Silc (though hopefully not in a criminal law capacity!). Outside of work Kate is a proud stepmother and mother, a keen dancer (usually very badly) and baker of novelty cupcakes.

Elaine Cooper - Co-opted

Elaine Cooper(3)

I have been a governor at the West SILC for over eight years. I originally served as a parent governor, and am now a local authority governor. I decided to become involved with the governing body so that I could help to make a difference to the children, their parents and carers, and the staff, by making the West SILC an outstanding school to be a part of.

I have more than 20 years experience of working with children with special needs. I am a parent of a young adult with complex learning and communication difficulties. I have worked in mainstream and specialist settings as a nursery nurse, LSA and HLTA. I have worked with children with MLD, autism, and PMLD, as well as children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. I am currently involved in setting up new provision for young adults with complex needs.

My extensive and varied experience of special needs has enabled me to gain valuable skills and knowledge of local and central government policies and procedures that directly impact on the quality of provision we can provide both in mainstream schools and the SILCs. 

Helen Scarth - Co-opted

Helen Scarth

I have been working in education for over 20 years as classroom teacher, maths lead and am currently in a senior leadership role in a mainstream Bradford primary school. I believe in developing children and young people to achieve their potential so that they become happy and valued members of the community in which they live.

On a personal level I’ve always had a love of maths and enjoy encouraging children and adults of all abilities to recognise it can be fun and anyone can do it! I like cooking and although my two daughters have moved out I still seem to bake cakes on a regular basis, the more chocolate the better. I have followed Derby County, my home team, for many years and find it a great way to relax. Especially when they win!

I am looking forward to serving on the governing body and am looking forward to getting to know more about the provision and the people who are obviously so committed to it. 

Amanda Howard - Co-opted

Amanda Howard

I am working at Leeds City Council as a Graduate Local Government Officer where I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects across multiple departments. I have previously worked at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council where I co-ordinated the start-up of a Supported Internships programme to benefit young people with SEND and local businesses in the borough. The success of this programme sparked my interest in continuing to work with people with SEND to build their aspirations and help them to achieve, as well as promoting the benefits of employing people with SEND to  businesses. I’m really excited to be part of the governing body at West SILC and I hope I can play a part in shaping its continued achievements.

Shelley Robson - Parent

Shelley Robson(3)

I have been a Governor at West SILC since May 2012.  Prior to this I was a Parent Governor Pudsey Greenside Primary school for 12 years.  During my time as a Governor I have been involved in recruiting staff at all levels, worked on the Resources, Teaching and Learning, Strategic and Performance Management committees.  I have held special Governor responsibility for Literacy, Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Head Teacher Performance Management.  I have also contributed to numerous working parties and initiatives to drive school improvements.

In my professional life I am a motivated, adaptable and accomplished Senior Manager.  My key skills include but are not limited to: Leadership Skills, Business Development, Communication Skills, Change Management. Learning and Development and Presentation Skills.

My most recent positions have been at Leeds Community Healthcare Trust as a Business Consultant and member of the Children’s Services senior management team.  Before this I worked for Cool2Care, a social enterprise that provided care-workers for disabled people and disability awareness training throughout the UK.  I also have my Learning and Development Consultancy and have designed and delivered various training and development courses for organisations throughout the UK.  

David Pearson - Parent

David Pearson(2)

I am a parent of three children, one of whom attended West SILC for seven years. During his attendance I have been a Parent Governor and active member of the sub committees for over 6 years which has seen many changes including a school move. Overall there have been many improvements to the school and this is reflected in a continuous improvement in Ofsted inspections. My occupation is a Commercial Insurance Broker dealing with both National and International Companies across a broad range of industries. This has included line management with responsibilities for performance management and recruitment.

In addition I am a qualified junior football coach and have worked with children through from 7 to 16 years old. This position entails having to undertake safeguarding children training on a three yearly cycle.

Jacque Simpson - Co-opted

Jacque Simpson

Following my training to become a Registered General Nurse, I worked as a staff nurse in hospital settings and then the private sector.  My experiences lasted for more than a decade and have proved invaluable. 

Following a change in circumstances, I swapped nursing for childcare, starting with pre 5s and working my way up the ages to teenagers!  I have worked in nurseries, children’s centre, main steam school and residential settings prior to my role at West SILC.

I have now worked as a HLTA at West SILC for almost 6 years. I have had the privilege of working in 3 sites across the SILC with dedicated staff teams. Currently I work with students accessing the semi-formal curriculum and our CCA (Complex Communication and Autism) students. I have a good working relationship, knowledge and insight of the students with whom I work, as well as many of our staff team.  I feel therefore, that I can contribute positively as a Governor.

I live in Bradford with my husband.  We have 5 children (3 boys and 2 adopted girls) 2 dogs and a guinea pig who moved in after his retirement from West SILC!

Julie Heselwood - Co-opted

Julie Heselwood(1)

Julie is a Councillor within Leeds City Council and joined us in June 2016.  Julie brings a wealth of experience to the governor role and was excited about West SILC from her first visit to the school. 

Sam Schwab - Co-opted

Sam has worked for ten years in a range of roles across local and national government, and is currently a senior manager in the Central Strategy Team at NHS England.

He has a range of transferable skills in the areas policy, strategy, finance, procurement and people management, and particular expertise in the social care system, including young people transitioning to adult service provision.

Sam is passionate about the provision of highly performing and efficient public services that put the person at the heart of their delivery, and hopes to support West SILC in their journey of ongoing improvement.


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