Meet the Governors




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Suzanne Ellis

I am a co-opted Governor and am the Chair of the Governing Body. I am also the Governor responsible for English, French and Music. I became a Governor because I have always been interested in teaching and education, and once my children began school, I wanted to be more actively involved. My children loved going to Highfields and I have always been very impressed by the dedication of the staff and the broad curriculum on offer here. As a Governor I want to help the school provide the best education possible for our children.


David Spall

Hello, my name is David Spall. I have been a Governor for over 20 years and am one of the two Vice Chairs of the Governing Body and I chair the Resources committee. In addition, I am the Governor with special safeguarding responsibility.

I have done a variety of jobs including working at the butchers when I was at school, as a carpet wholesaler after leaving, before becoming an Apprentice Printer at age 15. Before retirement I was employed as a Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University, having started work as a lecturer at Stoke-on-Trent Art College which later became part of Staffordshire University.

I became a school Governor because I wanted to make a positive impact in the school. I am active in the Cheshire East Association of Governing Bodies as their Treasurer and am aware of the effect decisions taken by both Cheshire East and the national Government have on the school. I am also a Governor at the Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent.


Shirley Jones

Hello my name is Shirley Jones and I am a retired lecturer. I am on the Curriculum and Assessment committee, and am one of the two Vice Chairs of the Governing Body. I am also the Governor responsible for Special Needs and Disability (SEND) in school.

Having been a parent & grandparent of pupils at the school and having had a long term association as a Governor I am delighted to have the opportunity to share my expertise as a former teacher in the governance of the school. I am also a Governor at St. Gabriel’s primary school in Alsager, and the Alsager School.


Philip Whiston

I have been the Head teacher at Highfields since September 2015 and have loved every minute of it. Before becoming the Head here, I was Deputy Head teacher in Macclesfield for six years. I have two boys who keep my wife and I very busy!

I feel very proud to lead the school on the next step of its journey. At Highfields we have a truly brilliant team of staff and we benefit from a supportive set of parents and Governors. Our school is a vibrant, exciting place to learn, and we are all committed to providing the very best education for our children.


Lisa Henshall

Hi, my name is Mrs Henshall and I am a teacher at Alsager Highfields. I am an Assistant Head, and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). My two children attended this wonderful school so I get to see all sides of it. I am on the Governing Body as a teacher representative to help ensure the smooth running of the school so that every child that attends will get the most out of their time here. 


Elizabeth Horwell

My name is Liz Horwell and I became a parent Governor at Highfields in September 2015. Before having children I worked in the retail industry in various management/financial roles, and now I am training to become a teacher.

I am very proud to say that my son and daughter are pupils at Highfields. I became a Governor as I wanted to make a contribution to aid the excellent work done by everyone at the school.


Vanessa Howard

I was elected as a parent Governor in September 2015 and I now chair the Curriculum and Assessment committee. I am a former pupil of Highfields and now my own daughter attends the school. I worked for several years as a post-office manager in Southampton before moving back to Alsager. I have also volunteered extensively for children and young people’s organisations. I am delighted to be a school Governor, to be able to support and assist our dedicated in providing the best possible education for our pupils.


Richard Beck

My name is Richard Beck and I have two children who used to attend Highfields. In my day job, I provide specialised dental services to children and adults with wide-ranging disabilities.

I have been a Governor since 2014 and enjoy supporting the school and staff – helping them to help all of our children to fulfil their potential, both academically and personally.


Katherine Cartlidge

I’m a teacher of 19 years currently working part-time as Head of KS3/KS4 Science in a special needs school. I have worked with mainstream and special needs children in both London and the local area.

I am committed to Alsager Highfields and the wider community and over the last few years have organised whole school sports events, set up and run a Rainbows group in Alsager, and have been an active member of the PFA.

My professional experience has given me skills to analyse information and ask critical questions regarding the running of a school, whilst at the same time understanding the constraints on school leaders.


Deborah Tedd

I began teaching in 1980 and have taught in a variety of primary schools in South Devon, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a teacher and found it a most rewarding career. I retired in July 2018 and became a co-opted governor at Highfields in November 2018. I am delighted to be a part of such a dedicated team.


Lisa Findley

I was elected as a parent governor in April 2019 and am on the Resources Committee.  I have two sons at the school, I have been an active member of the schools PFA for 7 years and am a trustee of the Charity.

Currently a stay-at-home mum, I have a Business Administration degree, have been a retail manager responsible for personnel and budgets and more recently a Business Support Advisor working with a variety of individuals and businesses.

I became a Governor as I feel that Highfields has been fantastic for my children academically, emotionally and socially and I wish to help and support the school to continue to do the best it can for our children.


Sarah Simpson

I have recently become a parent Governor. I have three small children, two who are already at Highfields and another due to start next year. While studying psychology and child development at university I became very interested in education and my goal is to become a teacher in the future.

I volunteered to become a school Governor because I want to be actively involved and make a positive impact in my children’s school. Highfields is a great school and I wanted to help support the school in providing the best possible start for all our children.”