Welcome to the Governing Body page of the John Taylor High School website.

The role of the Governor at John Taylor continues to be one which supports the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team and staff in their respective roles to offer the best quality of education to our young pupils with improving teaching and learning being the school’s core purpose.

As an Academy the Governors have wide responsibilities for the administration and governance of the school including overseeing its performance in both educational and financial terms. At times these necessary tasks can appear cumbersome and a distraction from our core purpose.

Each of the Governors and their category are listed below. Parent and Staff governors are elected through the parent/staff election process.  Co-opted governors are individuals from the community who have the skills and experience which the governing board require.  They are appointed by the existing board, following an interview.

All time is given freely and there are no expenses for these roles. Time is spent both attending formal Governor meetings but also regular visits to school to support teaching, learning and the wider activities of the school.

The LGB committees are:

  • Learning and Standards
  • Managing and Organising

These committee meetings are held jointly with all members of the governing body. There are 6 termly meetings over the academic year.

If you have any questions regarding Governance at John Taylor please feel free to contact us.

David Martin
Chair of Governors

c/o John Taylor High School

Local Governing Body

Terms of office:

  • Governors usually have a 4 year term of office. This can be shortened, but must be at least 1 year.
  • Governors can be re-appointed/re-elected if they're still eligible.
  • This doesn't apply to ex-officio governors and trustees (e.g. the headteacher), whose term of office ends when the position which entitles them to be a governor or trustee ends.

Katie Cochrane – Headteacher


David Martin  – Chair of the Local Governing Body (Co-opted Governor) (email: [email protected])

David is a qualified accountant with a breadth of financial and business experience within both the private and public sector. He has had previous experience of being a school Governor and a long affiliation with John Taylor High School, where his wife worked for many years. He lives in Repton, has three daughters, one of whom is a teacher. When he is not working, he loves to go out on his bike, watch Derby County play at Pride Park or walking with the dogs.

David was elected as Chair in June 2021.

Sally Moran (Co-opted Governor)
Sally has been a co-opted governor since 2017 and is linked to JTHS Achievement and Assessment. She works for a UK chemical company focusing on financial analysis and strategic planning. Previously, she was an Investment Banker specialising in advising US and European financial institutions. More recently, she set up data tracking systems for local primary schools.  She has three children studying at JTHS.

Claire Sanders – Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Learning and Standards Committee (Co-opted Governor)

Claire was appointed as Co-opted Governor in 2011; a role that she finds interesting and rewarding and she thoroughly enjoys. Claire brings with her 15 years' experience as a Human Resources Professional within the NHS, most recently as the Head of Workforce at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust. She has a wealth of experience in all aspects of Human Resource Management. Claire has a Masters in Human Resource Management, a Post Graduate Certificate in Strategic Workforce Planning and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  She is married and the proud parent of two wonderful boys (6 and 4).

Danielle Sears (Staff Governor)
Danielle was appointed to JTHS in 2015 as teacher of Religious Studies, becoming lead teacher in 2018. She has also branched out into pastoral, becoming Head of year 7 in 2019. Danielle is a passionate teacher of RS and a dedicated member of the Pastoral team. She prides herself in being a key member of the JTHS community, participating in various trips and school events including the organisation of PGL residential. Aside from school life, Danielle enjoys socialising, charity work, baking and walking her dog Dexter.

Angus Stewart - Chair of Managing and Organising Committee (Co-opted Governor)
Angus has been a Governor of JTHS since 2019.  Initially elected as a parent governor (he has two children at the school) he was subsequently co-opted in May 2023 for a further term.  He Chairs the Management and Organisation Committee which overseas the school’s finances.  He was previously a governor and chair of one of the primary schools within the John Taylor MAT and is currently Chair of Governors of Chase Terrace Academy which is another secondary school within the MAT.  He has over 30 years’ experience in financial services both as a senior executive in a major bank and subsequently as CEO of his own businesses.

Abigail Letren – Clerk (email: [email protected])
Throughout the academic year Governors also attend presentation evenings, visit departments for subject Link Governance work, sit on interview panels, judge competitions, provide support via the school’s mentoring scheme, work within school committees e.g. Health and Safety and provide mock interviews for 6th Form students.

Neil Wagstaff (Parent Governor)
Neil was elected as a parent governor at JTHS in November 2020. A retired Royal Navy Captain with 40 years' service, Neil's retirement lasted 24 hours before he was called to work in the NHS and subsequently Public Health England delivering Trust, regional and National Reponses to the COVID 19 pandemic. Neil has a son in Y7 and a daughter in Y9 at JTHS.

Vanessa Lewis (Co-opted Governor )
Vanessa Lewis joined the JTHS governing body in September 2020.  Vanessa has worked as a solicitor for many years and has acted for a number of MAT’s during her career.  Vanessa is currently the General Counsel for Arden University, which is a digital education provider both domestically, internationally and via apprenticeships to a growing student population both via face-to-face teaching and online.  Vanessa has an understanding of the regulatory framework within which MAT’s are required to operate.  Vanessa is a past pupil of JTHS. 

Claire Goulding (Parent governor)

Claire was elected as a parent governor of JTHS in May 2023.  Claire has spent over 20 years in education as a teacher, SENCO, and senior leader within primary schools within London and the East Midlands.  She currently works as a specialist teacher for Derbyshire County Council providing teaching, support, and guidance for a caseload of pupils with additional needs.  She is passionate about all children reaching their potential and has a master’s in education in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs.  She has two children who both attend JTHS.   In her spare time, she walks her two dogs and is the household taxi for a raft of extracurricular activities! 

Susannah Clarke (Staff governor)

Susannah was appointed as a staff governor in May 2023. She has experience working in the science area including the private and the public sector. She also brings with her previous experience of school governance. 

JTMAT links

JTMAT Organisation Structure

JTMAT members and directors of the trust

Useful Documents