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Marton Cum Grafton are proud to be part of the educational vision for Elevate Multi Academy Trust, whilst retaining our own strong identity.  The Trustees have allowed its Academies to retain the same composition for their local governing bodies, which is set out below. 

The three core functions of the local governing board are:

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • To hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its children;.
  • To oversee the financial performance of the Academy and make sure its money is well spent.


Chair of Governors: Jessica Mudd

Contact:  or c/o the school, Reas Lane, Marton cum Grafton, York, YO51 9QB


Together, the Governors are responsible for:

  • Setting aims and targets for the academy and checking the academy’s progress towards attaining these.

  • Monitoring how well the academy’s policies and plans are working.

  • Accounting for the performance of the academy and the Governing Body.

  • Working with the Headteacher to make sure that teaching at the academy is effective and good quality and the children are making the best possible progress.

  • Taking general responsibility for the academy and its budget.

  • Challenging and supporting the senior management team and taking opportunities to show interest in and appreciation of staff and pupils.

  • Promoting the interests of the academy and its pupils in the wider community.

Types of Governors:

There are several different types of Governor:

  • Parent Governor

    Elected from parents at the school by parents at the academy.

  • Staff Governor

    Elected from staff at the school by staff at the academy

  •  Co-opted Governors

           Appointed by members of the Governing Body. They are intended to be representative of the local community and may add particular kinds of expertise.

  • Foundation Governor    Foundation governors are representatives of the Church of England. 

           The local vicar is normally appointed as the 'ex-officio' foundation governor;

           The other foundation governors will be appointed by York Diocese, following consultation with the local PCC.

 Meet the Governors:

Marie Louise Thirlaway: Head Teacher:

Marie Louise was brought up in North Yorkshire and went to St Joseph's Primary school in Wetherby followed by The Bar Grammar School in York. After leaving school, she worked as a nanny for a year before going to Trinity and All Saints College of Leeds University to study for a joint Honours degree in French and Primary Education. During her degree, she spent a term studying at the University of Angers during her first year and a year in France working as an English Language Assistant. After graduating, Marie Louise moved to Northumberland where she taught in a Years 5-8 in a Middle School in Alnwick for 3 years and then Nursery to Year 4 at Whittingham First School for 4 years. She and her husband moved back to North Yorkshire when their children were young and Marie Louise worked at All Saints Primary School in Thirsk teaching Reception and Year 1 before becoming Deputy Head and Y3/4 teacher at Leeming RAF Primary School. She became Head teacher at Marton cum Grafton in September 2003 and absolutely loves working here with such fantastic children, dedicated staff and governors and supportive parents. She has continued to develop her leadership skills during her time at Marton becoming a local leader of education in 2017, which involves working to support other local schools. 

Jessica Mudd: Chair and Foundation Governor:

Jessica is chair of the governors of the Academy. She has been involved in the Academy for a number of years, first with the Friends of Marton-cum-Grafton, then as a governor for the last twelve years. Both her children attended Marton cum Grafton. Outside school Jessica is an Occupational Therapist specialising in paediatric neurosciences and adult neuro rehabilitation. She worked in the NHS for 29 years and managed the occupational therapy team at Leeds Children's Hospital, completing a Masters Degree, leading on a trust wide workforce review of the Occupational Therapy Service, coordinating graduate recruitment and training as well as day to day operational management and carrying a clinical caseload. Jessica is now in independent practice working as a treating Occupational Therapist and expert witness. Jessica’s passion is equal access to inclusive education with a particular focus on SEND, as well as ensuring the health and well-being of staff whilst facilitating quality in the workplace.

Rev Sarah Feaster: Foundation Governor, Ex Officio:

Since July 2017 Sarah has been the vicar of the local group of churches (Marton cum Grafton, Whixley, Green Hammerton, Great Ouseburn, and Little Ouseburn). She believes it’s a great privilege to be a governor at Marton Cum Grafton. Before training for the ministry she was a design engineer working for David Brown’s in Huddersfield and then a business consultant for a credit-scoring company in Bradford. When her children were young she was a foundation governor at their primary school in Leeds. Rev Sarah also helped, in a voluntary capacity, to set up a charity which teaches English to refugees in Harehills of which she is still a trustee. 

Jonathan Hammond: Foundation Governor:

Jonathan lives in the village of Marton Cum Grafton, having moved with his family from Harrogate 4 years ago. He has 2 children who attend the Academy. Having trained as a Physiotherapist at the University of Southampton Jonathan worked clinically for 3 years and then spent a year travelling. He returned to practising clinically and then moved in to the management of clinical teams. This developed to managing a wide variety of services and large numbers of staff and he has completed a Masters Degree which focuses on leadership, management and managing change. Jonathan continue to work in the NHS and he was keen to become a governor so that he could help support the ongoing development of the Academy using some of the skills and knowledge from his day job.

Brian Smyth: Foundation Governor:

Brian has been a Governor at Marton School since the late 1980’s, during which he has completed a tour as Chairman. His two children both completed their primary schooling in Marton, before going to St Aidan's for secondary education. Brian headed up PFP Benefit Solutions LLP and since 1986 has built it from an initial idea into a multi-million pound business employing nearly 30 staff. Brian has been advising on corporate employee benefits since 1978 and has been with PFP since 1986. He is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute (FPMI), a Fellow of the Pension Advisory Service and has a Degree in Business Studies. He has also been awarded the Territorial Decoration for services to the Territorial Army. Brian lives in Little Ouseburn with his wife Hazel. He serves on a number of local committees and in his remaining spare time he enjoys being with his family, photography, walking and model railways.

Karen Streets: Foundation Governor:

Karen has lived in Marton Cum Grafton since 2012 and her 2 children attend Marton Cum Grafton. She joined the Governing Body in academic year 2017/18 as associate governor, before becoming foundation governor in 2018/19. Karen's career and background have been varied and include an architecture degree, a post graduate teaching qualification and secondary school teacher positions in schools in the North West and North East. She now works as a Development and Conduct Manager for a national wealth management firm. Karen's skills cover teaching, learning, training and development, financial planning (personal and corporate) and financial risk management. She is committed to ensuring future success and development of the Academy and was keen to be a governor to use her skills and knowledge to assist this.

Adam Croft: Parent Governor:

One of the more recent additions to the Governing Board, Adam was elected as a parent governor in May 2018. With 1 child just starting his academic journey at Marton Cum Grafton in 2017, and another due to join in 2020, Adam was keen to bring my business expertise to the governing body, and take an active role in helping to develop the future direction of the  Academy. He lives in the nearby village of Minskip and is joint owner & director of an import-export business specialising in trade with Ukraine. Outside of family and work, motorsport is his passion and Adam has competed in a number of national motor racing Championships for the last 10 years.

 Nicola Brownbridge: Parent Governor

Nicola has lived in the village since 2014 and is proud to be part of the special community that exists within Marton Cum Grafton. She has one child at the school, with another due to join in 2022.  She is a town planner by profession, with a 15yr career involving environmental protection, development and the consenting of large-scale energy infrastructure projects. She manages a large team of property professionals, with key skills in project management, strategy, leading multi-disciplinary meetings, and stakeholder engagement. Education has been an incredibly important part of Nicola’s life and career and she is keen to impart this positive experience.  Nicola is open, honest, hard-working, and positive and hopes that such qualities will provide a strong foundation as a Parent Governor.    


Term of Office

Link Role

Name of Business

Nature of Business

Nature of Interest

Marie Louise Thirlaway

Head teacher



Marton Cum Grafton Primary School


Head teacher







Adam Croft


To 21.03.2022





Nicola Brownbridge


To 16.03.2025


National Grid plc

Gas and electricity supplier


Rev Sarah Feaster


Ex officia


Harehills English Learning Project,


Richard Helme Trust -

Teaching English to refuges and asylum seekers.

for those in need in Marton cum Grafton village. Help given yearly to Marton school children from the charity.

Vicar of local churches. No in pecuniary interest





Jessica Mudd


To 20.09.2024





Brian Smyth


To 20.09.2024







Karen Streets


To 21.05.2022




Schroders Personal Wealth


Regional Training Manager

Johnny Hammond



To 16.10.2022





Andrew Shanks

Associate Member


To 16.03.2022






Georgina Bean Foundation governor resigned on 23rd July 2020

Kathryn Lumb Staff governor resigned 15th July 2021 as she is leaving the Academy.

 David Garland Foundation governor resigned in May 2022