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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: Adam Croft

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:

Adam Croft: Chair and Foundation Governor:

Adam was elected as a parent governor in May 2018 and has since become a foundation governor. 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 his 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.

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  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.

Jessica Mudd: Foundation Governor:

Jessica 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. 

Luke Tabiner: Parent Governor

 Luke moved to the village of Marton cum Grafton in 2021 and has 2 young children. He has one child starting Reception in September 2022 and another to start in a couple of years. Luke has been a teacher for 15 years and has taught in different areas of Leeds. He is currently a deputy head of a diverse inner city primary school with experience of leading Early Years and other key priorities in school such as Safeguarding, Attendance and Behaviour. He is passionate about education and the impact a school and its local community can have on pupils. Luke loves his job and appreciates the opportunities and challenges that come with working in a school and will use this knowledge and experience to support the school as a parent governor. 

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 Financial Planning and Training Manager. 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.


 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.    

Andy Shanks: Foundation Governor

Andy lived in the village all his childhood and attended the school from 1970 to 1976. He still maintains links with the village as his mother lives just a few yards from the school gates. He joined as an Associate Governor in 2021 with his main motivation being to put something back into the school where he enjoyed such happy childhood times. Outside of school he lives in Harrogate and works as Business Systems Manager for one of the leading safety, survey, communications & test & measurement equipment companies in the UK. Prior to this he has mainly worked in Finance roles and is a qualified accountant. He brings strong business, finance, IT and project planning experience to the role. He is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider and is passionate about mental well-being both in and out of the workplace. Outside of work/school he is a huge music fan who also enjoys photography, walking and good beer! He is Link Governor for Health and Safety.


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

Steven Walkington




Marton Cum Grafton Primary School


Teaching Assistant

Luke Tabiner




Quality of Education




Nicola Brownbridge

Vice Chair


To 16.03.2025

 Early Years

National Grid plc

Gas and electricity supplier


Rev Sarah Feaster


Ex officio

RE and Collective Worship

Pupil Premium

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

 Special Educational Needs




Brian Smyth


To 20.09.2024





Karen Streets



To 21.05.2026


Schroders Personal Wealth


Finance Planning and  Training Manager

Adam Croft








Andrew Shanks



 Health and Safety





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

Johnny Hammond Foundation resigned 30th June 2022

Jane Yeadon staff resigned 30th June 2022 as she is leaving the Academy