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North Star Alliance

St Peter’s are very proud to be members of North Star and Polaris Teaching School Alliances. North Star and Polaris formed a unique partnership in 2016 to support school improvement across North Yorkshire and work with around 70 primary schools in the region. Our collective aim is to improve outcomes for all children through a self-sustaining, dynamic system of school improvement and support across North Yorkshire and beyond. '

Meet the Governors

David WhapplesDavid WhapplesDavid Whapples  

Chair of Governors Date Appointed 2009

My name is David Whapples. I live in Helperby. I have one child currently at St Peters and two others that also attended and are now at High School. I work as an IT consultant advising companies on implementing process and technology to improve the quality of services they provide to their customers. I have been a Governor since 2009 and became Chair of Governors in October 2016.In the spare time I enjoying running.

 As the chair of governors I have the following responsibilities:

  • Working with the Head Teacher to promote and maintain high standards of educational achievement
  • Ensuring that the governing body sets a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school
  • The governing body holds the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and for the performance management of staff
  • Ensuring oversight of the financial performance of the school and effective use of the schools resources


SShirley SowrayShirley Sowrayhirley Sowray  Vice Chair of Governors

Chair of School Improvement Committee, Link Governor for EYFS and Communications Governor. Date Appointed 2012

I joined the board of School Governors for St Peters Church of England School Brafferton in March 2012. I live just outside Helperby/Brafferton village and I am married to a local farmer and have 2 boys who attend the school. Originally from a very busy town, I feel I have embraced the rural life with open arms…..and I feel I understand the challenges and delights that village life can bring.

After working as an Intensive Care Sick Children’s Nurse for 11 years, I then went on to complete 2 degrees at York and Leeds University in Midwifery and Health Visiting in 1999 and 2001 and practiced as a Health Visitor for 9 years, before giving up work to look after my children in 2009.

As Vice Chair of Governors at St Peters School Brafferton, I work closely with the Chair in leading an effective governing board and in setting a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school. Working in partnership with the Head Teacher, staff, parents and pupils, myself along with our team of governors, I help to ensure financial credibility of the school and help to provide support in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the school and pupil progress. Our overall aim is to ensure that every child at St Peters receives the best possible education.

I feel passionately about our fantastic village school and I am very proud of our achievements and values and most of all, of our children. I feel honoured to be part of such a motivated and committed team here at St Peters and I look forward to continuing with the excellent progress made in recent years to make this a truly outstanding school!


Sarah AndersonSarah AndersonSarah Anderson (Staff Governor)

Link Governor for PSHCE AND PE. Date Appointed 2015

I have been the Upper Key Stage 2 teacher (currently teaching Year 4, 5 and 6) at St Peter’s CE VA Primary school since September 2014. I have a Post Graduate Certificate in Mathematics Education and I use this to lead Maths across the school. I also help look after school in Mrs Brook’s absence. My teaching career has included working with children from Years 2 to 6, in both village and town schools across North Yorkshire.  I live in Ripon with my family, including my little girl, Pippa, who loves attending our school nursery. I enjoy every minute of this friendly and exciting school and I feel fortunate to work with such lovely children, staff, parents and governors.


Virginia ArrowsmithVirginia ArrowsmithVirginia Arrowsmith. (Parent Governor)

Link Governor for Literacy. Date Appointed 2015

I am a parent governor with two children at St Peter’s School. I have lived in the village for 7 years and enjoy taking an active part in village life. I really value the school and sense of community it gives and for me, becoming a governor is an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the school, sharing both my perspectives as a parent and my professional experience in heritage education, something I am equally passionate about. As Link Governor for English and literacy across the school, I will be looking to support staff in maintaining and strengthening the high standards in literacy and help to inspire children to explore and enjoy the power of words at the same time.


Laura WiseLaura WiseLaura Wise (Foundation Governor)                                

Link Governor for Maths. Date of Appointment 2014

I have lived in Helperby with my husband Miles, for almost 5 years and we have 2 children one of whom attends St Peters.  I am a qualified maths teacher and I work part time at St James School in Knaresborough. I also work privately, tutoring children whom require extra maths support.  As governor I work with the staff to help maintain and hopefully raise standards in mathematics and I am also the link governor for class 3. I am a member of the School Improvement Committee.




Simon QuartermaineSimon QuartermaineSimon Quartermaine (Foundation Governor)

Link Governor for BASE, Heath and Safety Date Appointed 2014.

As the School Buildings Officer for the Diocese of York (which is the Church of England’s administrative region covering the area from Middlesbrough in the north to the Humber in the south and from the North Sea coast to the A1) I am responsible for all property-related matters at its 127 schools. This includes the project management of building contracts and academy conversion processes as well as financial and legal issues. I first became a school governor in 2008 and joined St Peter’s in 2014 as a foundation governor. I am also an Associate Governor at Manor CE Secondary Academy in York.


Tom SpillmanTom SpillmanTom Spillman (Local Authority Governor),

Link Governor for History, Geography and Languages. Date Appointed 2015

I have lived in Helperby all my life (36Years) and am very pleased to be on the School Governors.

I studied Biology at Bristol University. I then did a Short Service Commission in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. I now work on the family farm, which is based in the village. I also have an interest in renewable energy; I sell anaerobic digestion plants for a German company in the UK. I enjoy playing cricket for Helperby. My other interests are rugby, skiing and farmland wildlife.

I am also the science link governor. I hope that as a school we can make science interesting, useful and exciting for the pupils.


Michelle BrickstockMichelle BrickstockMichelle Brickstock (Parent Governor)

Link Governor for Music and Science. Date Appointed 2015

I am married to Richard and we have 4 children.  We have lived in Raskelf since 2006 and our eldest, Joseph, is currently in Class 2 at St Peter’s.  We visited all the local schools before deciding on St Peter’s as it stood out from the rest in terms of that friendly, “family” feel. By profession, I am a patent attorney specialising in pharmaceuticals and molecular biology (genes/DNA); while my hobbies include walking and natural history (and I have a special fondness for garden birds and hedgehogs).

I am joining the school as a Governor at an exciting time: there is now a fabulous pre-school provision at the school and this is where our twin boys attend.


Lucy EllistonLucy EllistonLucy Elliston (Foundation Governor)

I joined the Board of School Governors in January 2017 after re-locating back to Helperby with my husband and two children, following four years working abroad in a British International School. Both my children attend St Peter’s and thrive on the friendly and supportive environment where they feel secure to learn and develop.

After 16 years working as a teacher in various settings, specialising in Special Educational Needs, I now run a specialist assessment and teaching business where I work with children, schools and their families to identify specific educational needs and develop individual support programmes to help them reach their full potential.

As a governor at St Peters I bring with me a wealth of transferable knowledge and skills particularly in the area of Special Education Needs (SEN) I strongly believe that all children should be included and receive a full and enriched National Curriculum and ultimately they deserve to be given the best educational opportunities, in order to maximise their aspirations and potential. With particular emphasis on monitoring and support, it is my overall aim to contribute positively and effectively to the school’s SEN plan and ultimately make a real difference to our children.

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