On behalf of all the governors of The Pochin School, we would like to welcome you to the governor page.

Our governors are volunteers and are parents, professionals and members of the community from all walks of life, who bring their varied skills, experience and enthusiasm to support the leadership of the school.

The aim of our Governor team is to work with the staff in helping the children to achieve their full potential in a happy and caring environment.

Our key roles are:

  • To hold the school to account for the educational standards it achieves.
  • Deciding on how the resources of the school are best used.
  • Planning ahead so that the performance of our children and school continue to improve.
  • Making sure the school buildings are welcoming and safe.
  • Celebrating the school’s successes.

Our work includes helping to prepare policies, planning the budget, visiting the school, appointing staff, monitoring the performance and progress of our children, performance managing the headteacher and making sure the curriculum provides for and stretches all pupils.

We meet as a full governing body at least three times a year and in addition all governors are members of smaller committees that deal with education, finance, health and safety or human resources. We also have dedicated governors who are responsible for pupil safeguarding, special educational needs and the training and development of governors.

All of our governors have access to high quality training, which enables us to improve our skills and keep us up to date.

Governors also play an active part in school life by attending events such as sports day and school trips, performances and fundraisers.

If you would like to contact a governor at any time, or ask about becoming a governor in the future, please contact our Clerk to Governors, Dawn Woolerton.

We look forward to a continued successful partnership with you.

Melanie Bree and Ria Sharpe
Co-Chairs of Governors

School Governing Body

Name Title/Role
Miss Melanie Bree Co-Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor
Mrs Ria Sharpe Co-Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor
Miss Vicky Garratt Co-opted Governor
Mrs Jane Mount Co-opted Governor
Mrs Julie Barker Parent Governor
Mrs Navdeep Cozens-Patel Parent Governor
Mrs Kate Sheppard Parent Governor
Mrs Nisha Varia Parent Governor
Miss M O'Dell Staff Governor (Headteacher)
Mrs Jo Linnett Staff Governor
Mrs Dawn Woolerton Clerk to the Governors

Also see:

All the above are pdf files.

Governor Profiles

Mrs Julie Barker

I am a newly appointed parent governor and have two children that attend the school, Neve and Finley. I have lived in Syston for 7 years and work in a local manufacturing business just a short drive from the school. I am a qualified Management Accountant and work as the Financial Controller within the business. I have become a member of the PTA committee and I am due to take on the role as treasurer. As a new parent governor I am looking forward to learning more about the education system and trying to make a contribution to the education of every child of The Pochin School.

Miss Melanie Bree

I live in Syston with my fiancé and toddler. I was brought up and educated in Syston. I have two stepchildren who also visit regularly. Family is incredibly important to me. I work as a HR Manager in a sixth form college and prior to that was a Paralegal in an employment law team for a top 40 law firm. Employment law is certainly my vocation in life. I have dual nationality French / English and am passionate about the food, culture and French way of life. I am both pleased and proud to have joined the governors of The Pochin School. I hope to be able to add to their vast skill set and work together towards ensuring that the excellent primary school provision continues for many years to come.

Mrs Navdeep Cozens-Patel

I have been a governor at The Pochin School for about a year now, and I am really enjoying my role. I have a daughter in class 4 called Kenya and she loves coming to this school. We have lived in Syston for around 9 years, and we really love living here, we have made some fantastic friendships since being here. I work for the local authority, with young offenders and my lead area is education. I really enjoy my job and love making positive changes for young people. My job can be very challenging, but it is also very rewarding when I am able to support someone back into education, or to divert a young person away from the criminal justice system. Most of my working life has been spent working with children, young people and their families and I have a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. The most important thing to me is my family and I love spending time with them. We are big Harry Potter fans and we enjoy reading the books and watching the movies together.

Miss Vicky Garratt

Born in Leicester I was brought up and educated in Thurmaston and Syston and have been involved in Scouting and Guiding in Thurmaston since the age of six. I have worked in a variety of industries since leaving school, including manufacturing, drug and alcohol action services team and education services. Having spent several years working as a Health and Safety Advisor and Trainer within the Education Authority at Leicestershire County Council, myself, and my Business Partner, took the plunge in 2011 and went into business as 'Leicester Health + Safety Training Limited', providing Health and Safety Consultancy Services and training to both Schools and Businesses in and around Leicestershire, including certificated First Aid Training to both adults and children. Through my work within the local authority and my own Business I have a long history of working with the staff and pupils of The Pochin School in a wide variety of areas and was happy to be asked to join the Governing Body. During my tenure at The Pochin School I aim to be able to contribute to the Management of the School and help to maintain its outstanding rating.

Mrs Jo Linnett

I have taught at The Pochin School since 2013, but my teaching career currently spans over 20 years. During that time I have taught in KS1 and KS2 and worked in three other primary schools. Recently, I have become staff governor at The Pochin School. My husband and I have four children; two boys and two girls, ranging from age 7 to 15 years. I have been an active member of the PTA at my own children's school and chaired the committee there for several years. My experience as a mother of primary aged children and my teaching experience equip me to make balanced contributions to the governing body. I am looking forward to learning more through my role as a governor and aim to make valuable contributions to develop the school further.

Mrs Jane Mount

I have lived in Barkby Thorpe for 44 years and my three children have all been through The Pochin School and very much enjoyed the fantastic start in life the school gave them. My husband also went to the school a long time ago! He has farmed in the village for over 50 years and the farm supplies vegetables to the school kitchen. I was Church Warden in the village for 14 years which meant I was regularly seeing the children's services in church. I have been a governor for 6 years and very much enjoy seeing the school continually go from strength to strength, and give children the great start in life they deserve.

Miss Michelle O'Dell

I consider being a Headteacher and indeed working in a school, to be a privilege. It is an honour to see children enjoying their learning and growing and developing as individuals in their own right. I enjoy also working with the staff, parents, families and Governors in supporting them in their roles. However, the best aspect of my role is learning from the children themselves, as they are the ones who make me constantly reflective and usually have the most profound ideas. I strongly believe in us all working together as a team to; provide our young people with the best quality and enjoyable education; equip them with the skills and values to fulfil their potential and for them to lead happy, healthy lives. I have been a Headteacher since 2008 and have worked in a variety of schools in different locations including being the Headteacher of a village school, much like The Pochin and a large inner city school. Each has given me fantastic experiences and I have learned so much on my journey. However, I always missed the strong sense of community and ‘family’ that you get with a school like The Pochin. Therefore, I am looking forward to getting to know you all and working with you to take the children and the school from strength to strength.

Mrs Ria Sharpe

I have been a parent governor since January 2015. I have two daughters who attend the school, Niamh who is 4 and Olivia who is 8 years old. I have been involved with the Barkby community my whole life as my grandma lived in the village for over 40 years and I have kept my two horses at a farm in the village for 25 years. I work as a Clinical Vascular Scientist at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. I have been in this role for 12 years. I feel passionately about education, part of my work role is teaching and training. I believe every child deserves the best surroundings in which to learn in and experience an enjoyable journey through school. This was one of the reasons for becoming a parent governor. As parents we know that children learn more when they are comfortable and happy. I am also an active member of the PTA committee, where I really enjoy helping raise funds to provide additional resources for the children that hopefully makes learning more interesting and exciting.

Mrs Kate Sheppard

I was appointed parent governor in June 2016 and my reason for taking on this voluntary role is to support and continue to help in making the Pochin school the outstanding school that it is. I have two children who attend the school, Fenn and Tula. I moved to Leicester from Surrey in 2003 and started to work for Leicestershire partnership NHS trust as a community nursing assistant in the learning disability service. I did this role for 13 years and I'm currently in a seconded position as the referral management coordinator for the learning disability service. I am also an active member of the PTA and have been the secretary for the past four years.