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KSPS Governors



Mr Bill Barr

Chair, LA governor  

I have been a governor of the school since 2010 and chair since 2012. I have had a career as a veterinary surgeon, with over thirty years in general practice in Kirkby Stephen. I very much enjoyed and valued my time working in the local area, running a small business and dealing with staff and clients. Hopefully, I can make use of the skills and experience I have gained to make a positive contribution to the school for the benefit of all the pupils.


Ms Abbie Handley                                

Co-opted governor

My three children have all attended Kirkby Stephen Primary School. As a parent, I care that every child should be given the opportunity to fulfil their full potential and that their years in education are stimulating and fun.
I am a qualified physiotherapist and have gained experience on many different committees, which hopefully will enable me as a governor to contribute to the school in continuing the excellent progress it has made.
It is very rewarding to belong to the governing body, responding to the responsibilities and challenges involved and working in partnership with so many people to ensure that the pupils have a happy and secure environment in which to develop and achieve their potential. From my children's enjoyment and achievements it is evident the school continues to thrive.


Mrs Katy Modlin                                   

Co-opted governor

My eldest son attended the primary school and my youngest son, Danny, currently attends the school. I live in Kirkby Stephen with my husband Mark and our children.  I attended Kirkby Stephen Primary and Grammar schools and I currently work at the latter as an art teacher. My art specialism has helped me in my role as Arts link governor.  I decided to become a governor because I wanted to help KSPS continue with its excellent achievements. The school has made great improvements in recent years and is going from strength to strength.  


Miss Eleanor Ockenden                               

Staff governor

I have been a teacher at Kirkby Stephen Primary School since 2012 and wanted to join the governors to widen my involvement with the different areas of school life. As well as working in Kirkby Stephen it is also where I live and I feel the school is such an important part of our community. This will be the school my little boy comes to and I want to continue to help KSPS grow and to continue to make children feel as safe and happy as they do and build on the academic achievements the children make at KSPS. I love working at KSPS, the children and staff are amazing and make the school what it is. 


Mr Alan Critchlow                                

Vice Chair, Co-opted governor

I have worked in education and social work for over forty years, including a considerable period supporting schools with safeguarding, child protection and SEN. In my more recent roles, working in a neighbouring local authority, I have represented Education on the Local Children's Safeguarding Board and Executive.

Having recently opted to work part time as Safeguarding Unit Manager, I am now in a position to take up some voluntary opportunities and I am delighted take up the chance to support the children and staff at KSPS.


Mrs Lynne Wade                                 

Headteacher governor

As Headteacher of Kirkby Stephen Primary School since 2008, I have seen the school continue to develop and thrive. The governors have played a key role in the growth of the school and have had been instrumental in its success. I am very proud of all that we have achieved during the past few years and know that by all involved with KSPS working together, we will continue to go from strength to strength.     


Mrs Liz Paisley

Co-opted governor

I have been a teacher in special education for 34 years, ending my career as Deputy Head Teacher of Lakeside School in Welwyn Garden City. My specialism is with pupils with severe and complex learning difficulties and, for a period, I was also seconded to Hertfordshire Careers service working alongside all the special schools in the county. I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching career. My husband and I moved to Kirkby Stephen in 2015 and have recently opened a Bed and Breakfast. We have two daughters, also both involved in education. I have been volunteering at the school for a number of years and am delighted to be a member of the Governing Body. I trust that my skills and experience in the education field will enable me to make a positive contribution to the life of the school.


Mrs Katie Jackson

Parent governor

I am new to the team of Governors but am very much looking forward to getting involved. I have three children, with the two oldest currently attending KS Primary School. I have a First Class Honours Degree in Business with Law and a Graduate Diploma in Law. For the past six years I have been running my own business in Kirkby Stephen. I am looking forward to using the skills I've learnt and developed in this new role. I have a strong interest in the well being, progress and performance of the school and am enthusiastic and passionate about being actively involved. 


Mr Steve Sykes

Co-opted governor 

I am new to the team of Governors and very keen to become involved.  I am a "Comer-Inner" being a Yorkshire Lad born and bred, but was persuaded to move to this lovely part of the world by a Kirkby Lass. I have two children, with the eldest already in school. I am a Children's Social Worker and worked within the field of Child Protection for over twelve years within different roles.  I hope that some of my experience in this field will assist the governing body and help the school as a whole.  I have a strong interest in the growth and development of the school as an important hub within the community.  Indeed, ensuring the 'little people' of today achieve everything they can, will help them become the 'big people' of tomorrow, working and living & giving within our community of the future.  I am very pleased to be part of this process and actively working towards the further progress of the school.


Mrs Ruth Steel

Parent governor

I currently work as a teacher in Kirkby Stephen Primary School, providing PPA cover one day per week.  I live on a local farm with my family and have two children who currently attend the school.  I have been a teacher for the past 16 years, and believe school plays an essential role within the local community.  In my dual role as teacher and parent, I believe I can continue to promote and strengthen the positive links between home and school.  As an active member of KSPS Fundraisers, I am keen to volunteer and support the school as it continues to go from strength to strength.  As a parent and teacher, I am passionate that every child should have the opportunity to grow and succeed in a safe and caring learning environment.  I am excited to be part of such a hardworking and enthusiastic Governing Body which allows every child to thrive, just as my own children have, and continue to do so, at Kirkby Stephen Primary School. 



Co-opted governor



Co-opted governor


Ms Christena Pelmore                                     

Clerk to governors

I moved form West Sussex to Cumbria with my family in  1989. 

Having retired in 2015 after working for 43 years in nursing and latterly for Cumbria County Council in Adult Social Care (including three and a half years as Manager at Christian Head), I was surprised and delighted to be offered the opportunity to join Kirkby Stephen Primary School as Clerk to Governors in 2016. Never had I expected to be involved in education, but I am really enjoying the experience and the opportunity to be able to contribute, albeit in a very small way, to the life of the school.




2020 - 2021 Attendance

Governors' Register of Business Interests 2017-2018

2015-2016 Attendance