Meet the Governors

Mrs C Cogdon

Chair of Governors (Staffing Commitee, Finance and Premises Committee, Safeguarding, Pupil Premium ,MFL and Communication)

Please contact the school office if you would like contact details for the Chair of Governors

Mr M Fletcher

Vice Chair (Finance and Premises Committee and Numeracy)

My eldest son started at Dinnington First School in 2006 and since then I’ve been involved with the school in some voluntary capacity. My youngest son left in 2013 and by then I was chair of governors. I’ve held various other governor roles including chairing the Finance Committee and representing Dinnington as a director on the board of the Gosforth Schools Trust. With my experience and plethora of training I have been involved in the recruitment of various staff including the deputy and Head teacher, and involved in the school expansion to two-form entry, in a brand new building. I’m self-employed and lucky to be able to devote some of my time, partly as pay back for the great education my children received, and partly to ensure that our local children and wider community have access to the same great opportunities today and in the future.

Mrs Caroline Ash

Head Teacher/Governor

Mr R Donnelly

Govenor / Deputy Head (Finance and Premises)

My name is Mr Donnelly, or as the pupils like to call me ‘Mr D’. I am the Deputy Head of Dinnington First and teacher for Class 10 (Year 4). Currently I am responsible for leading the development of Maths, Art and Assessment in school and I am part of the school governors committee.

Although I originally qualified with a Civil Engineering degree from Newcastle University, I decided to follow a family tradition and become a teacher. I now have over twenty years teaching experience, which has allowed me to amass a vast array of knowledge and techniques to ensure that pupils at Dinnington thrive. Key to my philosophy in teaching is the understanding that pupils learn best when they feel safe and when school is a fun place to be. To this end, I often use my own interests, which include drawing and painting, sport, music, computing and reading to make learning as fun and engaging as possible.

Rev M Edwards

Vice Chair (Staffing Committee, RE, PHSE and PE)

Who are you?

Rev Mark A Edwards MBE ( known simply as Reverend Mark ) Priest and published Author of 3 Books which recount my time as a troubled Child going through the care system ( 4 foster homes and a children’s home. ) and my journey with mental health and my troubled youth. ‘ Tears in the Dark published in 2004. ‘ Beyond the Collar ‘ uploaded to Amazon kindle 2014, and my more recent publication ‘ Life After Care ‘ from lost cause to MBE published 2017. I am married to Lesley and have 4 children and two grandchildren. I have been a regular visitor to the school since I arrived in the village in 2008. I come in every Thursday and listen to year 2 read and then story time with Rev Mark with year 1, complete with my health and safety messages. As well as governor I like to see my role as that as Chaplain to the school to support staff and children. Historically there has been strong links with St Matthews’s church, links that I hope will continued for years to come.

What do you do?

I am the parish Priest for Dinnington and Brunswick coming under the umbrella of
‘Christ the King Team Ministry ‘ I am also a volunteer Medic, a Community First Responder with the North East Ambulance Service ( for the last 10 years )

What is your super skill?

First and foremost I am a Pastor, a people’s person, I care passionately about the school the children and Staff and have always supported and affirmed the ethos of the school and tried to bring a spiritual dimension to all I do, which includes wholeness and well-being. I suppose as well as Gov I see myself in a Chaplains roll. I don’t have any particular ‘ Super Skill ‘ that I know off. I am often in awe of the wonderful gifts and talent that my colleague’s fellow governors bring to the table and learn a lot from them. It’s a privileges to serve along side them.

What would you like to know more about?

Everything! I am still learning what it is to be a governor government change policies changes Head teachers Change, but the needs of the Children remain the same, to be valued loved affirmed nurtured within a caring holistic environment. To enable children to thrive we need to know how to provide the kind of environment that will address not just their intellectual needs but their spiritual needs as well. The Holistic approach to education is something I would like to know more about and see implemented. The health and well being of both the staff and the children is something which should not be neglected.

Mrs E Appleby

Governor (Curriculum Committee and Literacy)

Mrs Karen Gordon

Governor (Staffing Committee, Early Years and Design Technology)


Mrs C Clayton

Governor and Learning Support Assistant (Curriculum Committee and SEND)

Mr Mick Walbank

Governor: Staffing Committee, Science and Pupil Premium

Mr John Beattie

Governor (Curriculum Committee, History and Geography and Equalities)

Miss Laura Heels

Governor (Curriculum Committee, Computing and School Commuication)