The governors at Anchorsholme Academy are people who want to make a positive contribution to the education of pupils at Anchorsholme.

Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising Anchorsholme Academy standards. The role of the governing body at Anchorsholme Academy is absolutely key to the effectiveness of the Academy. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective Academies demonstrate effective leadership and management - including by the governing body.

What do governors do?

Anchorsholme governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in Academies. Governors appoint the head teacher and are involved in the appointment of other staff. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the head teacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources. Each individual governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.  

The role of the governing body is a strategic one.  Its key functions are to:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the head teacher (a critical friend)
The head teacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the Academy and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body. 

Who can become a governor?

Almost anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor. There are no particular qualifications or requirements, other than a willingness to give time to the role and a capacity for working with other people.  At Anchorsholme Academy we have a range of governors, including:  parents/carers, staff and local councillors and governors from the local community.

Anchorsholme Primary Academy Governors

Sharif Ela

Chair of Governors

I moved to the Fylde coast over 15 years ago from Durham, where I live with my wife Victoria and my two girls who attend and have attended Anchorsholme.

I was originally invited to be a Community Governor in 2015 and was delighted to be involved as part of a board of governors that is clearly motivated to make a good school excellent.

I think that I speak for many parents of children at the school when I say that the key to every child's development is an unfettered desire to encourage ambition without limits. Anchorsholme has a duty to help its children to think big and give each and every one of them the tools required to achieve their aspirations, whatever they may be!

I practice as a solicitor in Cleveleys, and still turn out on an increasingly infrequent basis for Thornton Cleveleys Rugby Club where I hold the positions of Director and Honorary Solicitor. I am also on the West Lancashire Committee for The Wooden Spoon Society, the children's charity run by the Rugby Football Union.

Graeme Dow

Anchorsholme Primary Academy Headteacher

I am the headteacher at Anchorsholme Academy, having held this post since January 2007. Previously I was headteacher at three other schools, Ribchester CE Primary School, Bispham Endowed CE Primary School and Revoe Community Primary School.

I have been a Blackpool resident since 1976. I attended Warbreck High School and Blackpool Sixth Form College before completing my degree at St Martins Lancaster.

My drive in education is helping children to find their talents and skills and develop them. I am committed to the development of the whole child including educational, social and personal development. As headteacher and Governor at Anchorsholme I strive to provide the widest opportunities for all of our pupils to develop, succeed and establish a love of learning.


Ian Clare

Community Governor

I have been a governor at Anchorsholme Academy since November 2012, initially as a Parent Governor and latterly as a Community Governor.

As a governor I believe that the governing body is there to provide support to the school and challenge the decisions being made by the school’s Senior Leadership Team in order to ensure that correct choices have been made; that add value to the school and more importantly provide the best educational standards and opportunities for your children.

You may see me around school a fair bit, either driving minibuses taking children to swimming lessons, or working with year 6 pupils Photography lessons, you may have even seen me slaving away over a hot barbecue at the summer fair.

Cllr Tony Williams

Community Governor

I have lived in Anchorsholme for over 40 years. My children all attended Anchorsholme School, as did 4 of my grandchildren. I am sometimes known for my music career including the group Stealers Wheel featuring Gerry Rafferty where we had worldwide success with our single Stuck in The Middle With You. I later went on to join super group Jethro Tull and toured the United States extensively with the band.

Back home I mixed my career with playing in my own band and heading up the marketing and Public Relations for Blackpool Zoo. I became involved in Elephant Conservation in India which helped to protect captive working elephants being repatriated into the wild. I was then asked to head up the education division of one of the UK's biggest musical instrument suppliers talking to Music teachers and heads of music services about initiatives in the classroom.

I took the opportunity to represent Anchorsholme as local councilor and won my first election in 2007 then subsequently in 2011 and again in 2015.  I am the leader of the Conservative Group on Blackpool Council. I am extremely passionate and enthusiastic about Anchorsholme and its continued development and I bring that enthusiasm and commitment to the school board of Governors.

Cllr Paul Galley

Community Governor 

I have been a Governor at Anchorsholme Academy since 2014 and hold responsibility for the position of Training Link Governor, co-ordinating the appropriate training for all of the Governors. I love our school and I am passionate in it becoming the best in the Fylde coast.

I am also a Councillor for Anchorsholme in Blackpool and was first elected in 2011. I have a 2.1 degree in economic development and my specialist areas of knowledge are economic development and transport. In our local area, I have helped co-ordinate the rebuilding of our promenade and helped create various gardens and community projects in Anchorsholme; as well as the continued work in partnership with the community, and our school to regenerate Eastpines Park as a true community hub.

As well as being the Managing Director of a recruitment agency, I am also the Director of the Winter Gardens and Blackpool Transport. I love life and I love Blackpool.

Matt Gilkes

Parent Governor

Anchorsholme has been part of my family for over 10 years and I was honoured to have been elected as Parent Governor in 2015.

I am a Chartered Surveyor, working in our family practice, providing professional advice on a wide range of property related matters.

Like most parents, my evenings and weekends are usually spent ferrying my daughters to their friends, dance schools and auditions but when I do have spare time, I like to take part in triathlons. I am also Vice Chairman and Treasurer of Rossall Triathlon Club.

As parents we all want the best for our children. With the help of our committed teaching staff, backed by the Governing Body, I am resolute in ensuring Anchorsholme continues to be the happy and fun learning environment, so all our children have the opportunity and confidence to chase their dreams.

Lynnsey Burn

Parent Governor

I am currently a Parent Governor which chair's the Standards and Effectiveness Committee. I have two children at Anchorsholme Academy and another who has just started High School. I have been actively involved in the Anchorsholme community since day one through PTFA, school trips and family mandarin classes. Indeed, having lived almost all my life in Cleveleys and being a local pharmacist, a sense of community is very important to me. 

I believe as parents we should expect the best for our children so I became a governor to be part of a team committed to having the best people in the best place at Anchorsholme. It is not only about excellent education in maths, English etc. but also teaching children respect for themselves, others and giving them the self confidence to achieve their full potential.

What little spare time I have I like to spend baking, reading or cycling. Most of all I love catching up with friends over tea and cake!

Julie Morris

Parent Governor

I have been a parent governor for a few years now and I am currently involved with the Standards and Effectiveness Committee to which my responsibilities include being the link governor for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare.

I believe governors have great responsibility to represent what is the very heart of the school; ‘it’s children’ and to ensure that the teachers are appropriately challenged and supported to enrich their lives.

I’ve worked in a social care setting, supporting adults with learning disabilities for Blackpool Council for over 20 years and more recently as a Quality Monitoring Officer. I thrive on finding ways to drive up standards to ensure quality outcomes and I am passionate about people being seen and treated as individuals using a holistic approach to learning.

I enjoy being able to offer my support to the school in moving forward ensuring inclusive learning for all, and ultimately taking a more active role investing in the excellent education that I believe Anchorsholme has to offer.

Although most weekends I can be seen standing on the side of a football pitch supporting my son and daughter’s local team, I am also a member of a running club and I really enjoy having the opportunity to run around the Fylde Coast in my spare time.

Tracy Shrand

Parent Governor

As a school governor I believe that not only are we there to support the school, but also to challenge decisions made by the schools leadership team, to guide and make positive contributions to policy and strategy making and to help ensure that the school achieves the best outcomes and educational standards for its children.

In my working life as a QMO within Childrens Social Care I have the passion to drive up quality and standards for children and young people and I always apply this to my role as a governor, personally, as a parent to a child currently at Anchorsholme, I can see the real time impacts of the decisions that we make on the children that are currently there and this is a great benefit to my role as a governor.

Outside of work I enjoy travelling, spending time with my family and circuit, interval and resistance training.

Janet Roberts

Staff Governor - Class Teacher

I have worked in education for eighteen years. Firstly as a teaching assistant, a HLTA, a learning mentor and then as a teacher. This is my seventh year as a teacher at Anchorsholme Academy.

I have previously worked in schools in Blackpool, Wyre and Preston. Before working in education, I was a manager in the civil service.

I am passionate about education and providing the children with the best possible opportunities, so that they may develop a love of learning and achieve their full potential. I know that I am in a very privileged position to be involved in educating our young people and take the responsibility very seriously.

Children thrive in a safe, nurturing and challenging environment. I believe that this is what we offer at Anchorsholme Academy. Every child is treated as the individual they are. There are a host of opportunities for the children to find and develop their passions- whether it is in the classroom, through sport, music or the performing arts. A broad and balanced curriculum ensures that each child is given a well rounded education, so that they are ready and fully equipped for their next step on their learning journey.

I am committed, in my role as a governor, to work to help Anchorsholme Academy keep improving and striving for excellence in every area.

Charley Wilson

Staff Governor - Class Teacher


Darren McGinnis

Staff Governor - Network Manager

I started at Anchorsholme Academy during the summer holidays in 2017. Working all year round means that I have time to continue to improve ICT facilities at for the benefit of all the students; which in turn helps staff deliver the curriculum effectively using ICT. Unlike many ICT technical staff in other schools, I very much enjoy interacting directly with the students. This helps to vary the day to day workload and make my working life even more exciting. I always enjoy making student life more engaging and fun at school, and becoming a staff governor was the next logical step for me.

Before starting at Anchorsholme, I was an ICT Manager at a small high school in Chorley for nearly 13 years. In my time there, I helped them go from a satisfactory school to Good with Outstanding features by OFSTED standards. ICT helped them get to where they are today; nowadays ICT is at the very centre of the schools way of working. Prior to that, I was a Primary ICT Technician at Hodgson High School in Poulton for 4 years.

I usually help out with events outside of school hours, and I try and be a face which the students recognise easily. Outside of work, I enjoy travelling, spending time with my 4 children and my hobby of being a Photo/Videographer. As a result, both my home life and work life very easily overlap. You need to be extremely flexible whenever this happens.

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