School Governance

School Governance

Anyone who interested in becoming a Governor please contact Alana Mackenzie (

Marchbank Education Standards Committee (ESC)

School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. They are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing body is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school.

Marchbank Free School has an excellent body of governors who individually and collectively offer a wide range of skills.

Liz McAllister - ESC Chair and Link to Quality of Teaching and Learning & Leadership and Management

Her role is to ensure we have an effective team which offers strategic leadership and accountability for educational improvement. She also needs to ensure that we effectively manage a regular self-review and develop the boards effectiveness to challenge and to set and manage risk.

I'm a long time resident in Darlington, grandmother to three lovely girls and a former Primary Head Teacher. My Masters Degree focused on Education Management. My dissertation was on Parental Involvement in the Management of Pupil Behaviour. I have been a governor is a variety of schools since 1987, most recently at Mowden Federation of Schools but  in the past at schools in County Durham and Chair of an Interim Executive Board of a Leicester Primary School in Special Measures. Fortunately that school improved significantly and had a new Governing Body appointed. I ceased my involvement in other schools when I was accepted as a Governor at Marchbank. I do other voluntary work in Darlington, being a Samaritan and currently Chairperson of Healthwatch Darlington. I found a real welcome at Marchbank from students and staff alike. I enjoy visiting whenever I can.

Nigel Little - Curriculum Link- Board Appointed

Worked in Sales and Marketing in the Textile Industry for over 40 years. Now retired.

With more time available I wanted to become involved in the local community as I felt I may have something to contribute. I was particularly pleased when an opportunity arose to join Marchbank School . I already had connections  with the original school which was there before relocating to the Lake District and then Northumberland.

Wendy Turpin - Vice Chair

I was delighted to be appointed to Marchbank's Education and Standards Committee in October 2016. 

Having worked for the Department for Education for many years, I hope to put my experience to use in helping Mandy,  her team and my fellow Governors achieve Marchbank's vision and aims thus improving standards and life chances for our young people through provision of a safe, secure and stimulating environment which will prepare them for transition to secondary education.

I was born in Darlington,  have one daughter and am involved in other voluntary work within the area, including duties at St Teresa's Hospice.

Jenny Francis – Data Link- Board Appointed


 I have two daughters, three granddaughters and two grandsons, the youngest of whom is a student at Marchbank. 

Although not involved in education in my working life I am very grateful for the opportunity to make a positive contribution to this wonderful school and the fantastic children we care for. I was the Logistics Manager at Wensleydale Creamery before retirement in 2013. My responsibilities included, amongst many others, both internal and external auditing. Skills I hope will enable me to become an effective Governor. I  am a volunteer at a local nature reserve and a keen bird ringer. 

Mr Chris Ashford - Board  Appointed and EVAT Trustee


Chris Ashford – Chris is a married father of two who has lived in the Darlington area for 30 years. He retired from Durham constabulary in 2014 after 30 years’ service where his roles included the Crime Investigation Department, the Fraud Squad and Child Abuse investigation. Chris holds a BA Hons degree in Crime investigation and Post Graduate Certificate in Education. He is currently employed by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board/Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board in Darlington as the Multi agency Safeguarding Trainer.

Bill Oldfield – Behaviour Link - Board Appointed

Caroline Green - Executive Principle BHA and MFS   

Germaine Holmes - Board Appointed 

If you have any queries relating to governance or wish to contact any of the members, directors or governors, please contact Alana Mackenzie, Governor Development Officer.  
By telephone: 01325 248156

By e-mail:

By post: The Education Village, Salters Lane South, Darlington, DL1 2AN