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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:

I 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, I 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 my degree, I spent a term studying at the University of Angers during my first year and a year in France working as an English Language Assistant. After graduating, I moved to Northumberland where I taught in a Years 5-8 in a Middle School in Alnwick for three years and then Nursery to year 4 at Whittingham First School for four years. My husband and I moved back to North Yorkshire when our children William and Anna were young and I 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. I became Head teacher at Marton cum Grafton in September 2003 and absolutely love working here with such fantastic children, dedicated staff and governors and supportive parents.

Jessica Mudd: Chair and Foundation Governor:

Jessica is chair of the governors of the school. She has been involved in the school for a number of years, first with the Friends of Marton-cum-Grafton, then as a governor for the last six years. Both her children have attended the school and now attend St Aidan’s C of E Academy. Outside school Jessica is an Occupational Therapy Clinical Service Manager at Leeds Children's Hospital specialising in Paediatric Neurosciences whilst managing a team of occupational therapy staff. She is also actively involved in the Leeds Children's Hospital Appeal.

Rev Sarah Feaster: Foundation Governor, Ex Officio:

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

Georgina Bean: Foundation Governor

I have a background in finance, training with a merchant bank in London and qualifying as a CIMA accountant before working in Risk Management for the bank. I returned to the North to work for two PLCs. I now live in Boroughbridge and am at home with my three children, the younger two are currently at Marton School. I have been a Parent Governor at Marton cum Grafton School since 2008, and enjoy being part of this lovely school and helping to support it.

Johnathan Hammond: Foundation Governor:

I live in the village of Marton Cum Grafton, having moved with my family from Harrogate 3 years ago. We have 2 children that attend the school. Having trained as a Physiotherapist at the University of Southampton I worked clinically for 3 years and then spent a year travelling. I 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 I have completed a Masters Degree which focuses on leadership, management and managing change. I continue to work in the NHS and I was keen to become a Governor so that I could help support the ongoing development of the school using some of the skills and knowledge from my 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 daughters, Heather and Rachel, both completed all their primary schooling in Marton, before going to St Aidan's for secondary education. Brian heads 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:

I have lived in Marton Cum Grafton since 2012 and my two children attend the school. I joined the Governing Body in academic year 2017/18 as associate governor, before becoming foundation governor in 2018/19. My 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. I now work as a Development and Conduct Manager within Private Banking of a large high street bank. My skills cover teaching, learning, training and development, financial planning (personal and corporate) and financial risk management. I am committed to ensuring future success and development of the school and was keen to be a governor to use my skills and knowledge to assist this.

Adam Croft: Parent Governor:

One of the more recent additions to the Governing Board, I joined as a Parent Governor in May 2018. With one child just starting his academic journey at the school in 2017, and another due to join in 2020, I was keen to contribute at an administrative level, and take an active role in helping to develop the future direction of the school. We live in the nearby village of Minskip, and I am joint owner & director of an import-export business specialising in trade with Ukraine. Outside of family and work, motorsport is my passion and I have competed in a number of national motor racing Championships for the last 10 years.




Term of Office

Link Governor

Adam Croft


21.03.18 to 21.03.2022
















Marie Louise Thirlaway

Head teacher





Rev Sarah Feaster


Ex office




Jessica Mudd


20.09.2016 to20.09.2020




Brian Smyth


20.09.2016 to 20.09.2020




Georgina Bean


12.10.2018 to 12.10.2022




Karen Streets


21.05.18 to 21.05.2022




Johnathan Hammond




16.10.2018 to 16.10.2022







Dianne Mousley