Preparing, Believing, Achieving

Governor Profiles

 

Debbie Francis

Debbie currently holds a number of Non-Executive positions in the private and the public sector, alongside running a consultancy and executive coaching business. She was previously the Managing Director of Direct Rail Services Limited, a Cumbrian based rail freight business, and has 30 years of experience across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail. She has also gained extensive experience throughout her career both in the UK and overseas in finance, systems, commercial, operations and business development. Debbie was Chair of Cumbria Education Trust MAT until August 2019 and remains a member of the trust today. She has a degree in Business Studies from Liverpool Polytechnic, an MBA from Manchester Business School and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and a Chartered Company Director. She is an adventurer and passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Sandy Christie

Outcomes for Children Committee; Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

Following graduation in Mathematics from  Manchester University, Sandy worked for over 50 years in business, mainly in systems companies and high tech engineering both in the UK and elsewhere, and more recently in corporate management roles. Prior to this he was a partner in a small management consulting organisation addressing particularly strategy and change management. This period included pro-bono strategy management assignments involving a number of UK charities. Since 2018 he has been Chair of the Trustees for the Newcastle based SMART MAT.

 

 

 

 

Gillian Bickersteth

Church & Community Committee

I trained and worked as a nurse and have lived in Cumbria for most of the past 43 years with my husband, a C of E clergyman. We retired to Greenodd 5 years ago to be near our daughter who has two children at Penny Bridge Academy. I am an active member of the local church and am looking forward to serving the needs of the school, building bridges within the community and church.

 

 

 

 

Martin Cooper

Finance, Audit and Risk Committee; Church & Community Committee

Martin joined the Army following failure at A-levels, and a year later accepted for Sandhurst. Completed 4 tours in NI, commanded a Gunner parachute battery and Glasgow UOTC, with staff work in career management. Retired in 2003 as Regimental Colonel Royal Artillery, following a tour as defence attaché to Malaysia and Vietnam. In retirement worked for CAB for 16 years and assessed DofE expeditions. Still active as a welfare caseworker, Mountain Rescue member and National Park walk leader. Attends St John’s Church, Osmotherly, near Penny Bridge. He and his wife Helen have 3 grandchildren at local schools.

Revd Andrew Bryan Norman

Church & Community Committee

Andrew has been the Priest in Charge of the parishes of St Michael and All Angels, Beetham and St James, Arnside with Storth since July 2019. Before that he was the Assistant Curate of the Cartmel Peninsula Team Ministry, serving nine parishes in the south of the Diocese of Carlisle. Andrew serves as ex-officio Foundation Governor of the three Church of England Primary Schools in his parishes as well as being a Member of the Arnside National C of E Primary School Academy Trust. In the Diocese of Carlisle, Andrew serves on a number of committees including the Bishop’s Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the care of church buildings as well as serving as a tutor and chaplain for Cumbria Christian Learning, which trains local candidates for ministry. Andrew was an undergraduate at Selwyn College, Cambridge where he studied History, after which he completed a Theology degree at the University of Oxford whilst training for the priesthood at Ripon College Cuddesdon. Andrew is a native Cumbrian, born and brought up on Solway Firth. He enjoys good comedy, exploring, reading, a wide range of music, and laughing.

Michael J Donnelly

Chair of Governors

Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

Michael is an internationally experienced HR executive with passion and vision, who has delivered on challenging assignments and led people and change across every continent, living and working in diverse cultures and industries.

Posts/skills include: Non-Executive Director, Trustee, HR- Director, Consultant, Writer, Editor, Coach, Mentor, Change Agent and Curious. 

He is married to Angela with three grown up daughters and family in Cumbria, Hampshire and Scotland; he loves to spend time with them all. Michael likes to travel, keep fit and loves his music and sport; he is a drummer by trade and a Liverpool FC supporter by birth. 

 

 

 

 

 

Marion Swift

Chair of the Church & Community Committee, Safeguarding and SEN link Governor

Marion retired from being a Medical Secretary and Health & Safety Representative with the NHS in the South so that her husband Ian could take up his role as priest at St Thomas Church, Crosscrake, nr Sedgwick where they lived for 5 years.  Ian has since retired and they now live in Backbarrow where Marion is a Director of a local resident’s association and part-time Benefice Administrator in the Coniston and Crake Valley.

Marion has three grown up sons and two step-children all married with families. Hobbies include: reading, quilting, travelling, driving and two Lhasa Apso dogs.

Previous roles include Pastoral Assistant at her previous church in the South, Assistant District Commissioner for Cub Scouts for 5 years, and then Assistant District Commissioner for Development. This role was extremely interesting seeing the local camp site develop from an empty field into a favourite place for all sections of Scouting to enjoy; ie Climbing wall, abseiling, showers/WC etc plus archery, rifle range.

Jennifer Faulkner

Parent Governor

I have lived in the South Lakes the majority of my life, I grew up in Kendal and was educated at Windermere St Annes. Upon leaving school I went straight into employment, working at Lakeland in management support and Pure Leisure Group as a HR Administrator. During this time I studied for my Certificate In Personnel Practice. I then moved to this area around ten years ago, whilst working for Barclays Bank for 9 years. I’m currently working for Lakeland Land Rover in the sales department. My daughter is at Penny Bridge and my son is due to start next year. We spend our spare time in the great outdoors, exploring our beautiful area and trying to complete our never-end ing house projects! 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Brady

Parent Governor Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

I was born in Barrow in Furness before moving to The Lake District, Satterthwaite Village, when I was 15. I left school with no qualifications before embarking on a career working in kitchens. I became a Chef and worked in quite a few places around The South Lakes area including The Black Bull at Coniston and The Swan at Newby Bridge. In 2001 I made the decision to go to college and get some qualifications that I had missed out on earlier in my life. Over the course of 2 years I gained 5 GCSE’s and 3 A Levels before enrolling at Salford University to study Contemporary Military and International History. My whole career took another unexpected turn in 2007 when I started working for Go Ape as a High Ropes Instructor at Grizedale. From here I worked my way up the company and moved around to cover various sites before returning to Grizedale in 2014 as Site Manager. The site now employees over 40 staff, we welcome over 40,000 customers through our doors each year and we have a turnover of over one million pounds. My Son Isaac attends Penny bridge and is currently in year 3.  My hobbies include playing golf and shouting at the TV!

Stephen McDonald

Co-opted governor

I grew up in Northern Ireland and graduated from Ulster University in 2009, then working as biomedical Scientist in the NHS.  I have always worked closely with schools and colleges, particularly around the promotion of science careers and helping students understand the range of options available to them for employment or future study. I have spent lots of time volunteering in the charity sector and have had advisory roles with a charity for a number of years, spending over ten years organising and leading residential trips for children living with long term medical conditions. I moved to Barrow in Furness in 2017 and currently work as a team leader in pathology in the NHS.  I look forward to working with Penny Bridge Academy to continue to ensure every child is supported to reach their full potential.

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Carrick

Staff Governor

Amy Gibson

Staff Governor

Victoria Thompson

Co-opted Governor

I grew up in Nottinghamshire where I spent the first 18 years of my life.  Following graduation from Newcastle University in 2002 I moved to Bristol where I trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.  I have been working in practice ever since, dealing with tax and compliance work for a range of clients from small sole traders to large landed estates. My husband and I moved to the South Lakes in 2015 having decided it would be a great place to raise our family.  My son is currently at Penny Bridge and my daughter is due to start in a couple of years time.  I look forward to using my financial skills to help the school continue to be a great community asset.

Contact Details

Telephone Number:

School Office: 01229 861307



Email Address:

admin@pennybridge.cumbria.sch.uk



Greenodd, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 7RQ