Local Governing Body Biographies


I have 4 children, one of whom is now studying A-levels at Loreto 6th form college, two are at Chorlton High and one at Chorlton Park Primary.  I am a lawyer specialising in employment, education, discrimination and human rights. In 2005, I was appointed as a Judge in the Employment Tribunal which is the court that hears cases arising from employment and occurring in the workplace such as discrimination and harassment on grounds of sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation; contractual employment rights such as pay and holiday and unfair dismissal from employment.  Until 2009, I divided my time between sitting as a Judge and running the casework and legal team at the national disability rights commission in Manchester, at which point I left my Commission job to become a permanent member of the Judiciary. Throughout my career I have worked to ensure that men, women and children from all backgrounds, races and religions are treated equally and fairly and I hope to bring that knowledge and commitment to the role of governor.



Mark Brookfield

Chorlton High is an excellent school which is going from strength to strength. The challenge as a Parent Governor is to work with the school’s Head and senior leadership to ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, whatever their background, whatever their ability.

I am the parent of 2 children - Molly and Leo, who is currently in year 10. At Chorlton High our ‘kids’ grow into young adults. Every one of them deserves to enjoy their time at school and be supported in their academic and personal development.  Every one of them needs to be prepared for the uncertainties of adult life. The school must provide inspirational teaching backed by nurturing pastoral care and a rich choice of extra-curricular activities. Pupils must be free from bullying.

As the area’s largest school, Chorlton High has a significant role to play in the local community through involvement in the wealth of cultural activities available and links with other schools. We also have a responsibility to ensure our pupils’ behaviour is a credit to the school.

In my professional career I’ve worked in publishing for 7 years at City Life magazine followed by 25 years working as a senior account handler at a large independent Manchester advertising agency. I now work from home managing my property portfolio.

I have previously had 6 years’ experience as a Parent Governor at Chorlton Park Primary. I am fully aware of the skills and commitment required to be an effective Governor and as a parent governor I cherish the opportunity to work with the Head and leadership team at Chorlton High to help in improving the education for all of our children.

Ishtiaq Ahmed

I have lived locally for over 30 years and have witnessed the many positive changes to the school. I am currently serving as a Parent Governor and have 2 children attending the school, and am keen to be involved in supporting the continued success of CHS.

Some of my previous commercial experience and skills made me feel confident that I could make a positive contribution to the CHS board of governors.Along with being the Managing Director of a Limited Company I am also trustee and treasurer of a registered charity.Previously I have served a 3 year term as a director and Vice-President of an international trade organisation which worked closely with UKTI and various Chambers of Commerce to enhance bilateral trade relations.

I hope to support the CHS management team, staff and students in any way that I can to ensure its continued success.This includes ensuring supporting the decisions of the management team and where necessary highlighting any genuine concerns.

I am a member of the resources committee and recently volunteered to be the lead governor for curriculum.  Being on the resources committee I have been particularly impressed by the dedication, professionalism and efficiency of the management team at CHS.

I believe myself to be a team player who is very rational and analytical which ensures consistency in decision making.

Going forward, I think that recent changes to school funding by the government and the reintroduction of selective schools are probably the biggest challenges currently facing the school.



Dr John Gibbons

As a Parent Governor (2010-2014) and current Community Governor, I have fully supported Chorlton High School’s enormous progress as a provider of excellent education, accessible to all young people of the area and a source of pride for those who attend and work there.  I look forward to continuing to help the school to achieve the highest of academic standards and encourage the development of its co-operative ethos.

As a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, and with experience as a local sixth-form college governor, I fully understand the importance of activities beyond the academic curriculum, not only for the enjoyment they offer but also in helping to cultivate very valuable social and leadership skills.  I will continue to promote creative and healthy activities for pupils to help them realize their potential academically, and as well-rounded happy individuals.

In my capacity as lead governor for Special Educational Needs, and as a member of the Scrutiny and Finance committees, I advocate policies that strengthen the achievement levels of all pupils at the school, regardless of their circumstances.  Both as a Community Governor and as a local parent, I find it personally rewarding to be involved in Chorlton High School’s journey to become among the very best academically and, an outstanding example of community spirit and solidarity.

Alf Parrington

Back in 1992 I was a senior manager in a new operation in the Manchester area and I felt my company could and should put something back into the local community.  After various enquiries I was put in touch with what was then called Oakwood High School and I was subsequently invited to become a governor. 

I am currently supporting the school during their succession planning for further financial expertise to join the governing body.

Over my years as a governor I have seen this school develop dramatically from an exam pass rate of below the Manchester average (and well below the national average) to exceeding the Manchester and national average pass rates. 

Financially the school has established and maintained a sound basis from which to operate on a day to day basis as well as develop and improve the learning environment.

Through my work I have a fairly broad range of management experience, including financial management, which is highly beneficial to my post as Chair of Finance Committee and Chair of Audit Committee.  I have always been a ‘numbers’ person and have held personal responsibility for multi million pound budgets so working with the finances of the school is something I have relevant experience for and enjoy.

I am able to seriously consider the views of others, whether or not I agree with them, and take those views into account to review my opinion.  I have also worked for 14 years in Further Education so have an understanding of the expectations of colleges and employers.

During my current term I hope to assist the school in implementing a Multi Academy Trust so that the skills of the staff and management, alongside the policies, processes and procedures which have worked so well for Chorlton High, can be shared with other schools to the benefit of a larger number of pupils than the school can directly take.

The main challenge with this programme is ensuring that the implementation of the Multi Academy Trust does not have a negative impact on Chorlton High School.  There will undoubtedly also be other challenges to face related to education funding and attainment targets.

Personally, the main benefit I gain from being a member of the Governing Body has been the satisfaction that I have helped by giving my time to something of significant benefit to the local community.  I strongly believe that everyone should try to put something back into the community for the common good.

Mandie Shilton Godwin

I am one of the Labour and Co-operative councillors for Chorlton Park ward and I have lived and worked in the area for almost 24 years. I was elected to the Council in May 2014 and am the Lead Member for Active Travel.

In addition to being a councillor, my professional career has always been in the voluntary and community sector. I am currently Head of Professional Development for the AUA (Association of University Administrators). I have also worked with visually impaired people, was in the students’ union sector, was Deputy Chief Executive of NUS Services,  (the commercial arm of NUS) and General Manager of University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union (1996- 2003). I began my career with ten years working for Oxfam.

I have also served in a voluntary capacity on numerous groups, including seven years as a governor at Manley Park School in Whalley Range. I also serve on the Greater Manchester Waste Authority.

I have extensive professional experience of both working towards and achieving organisational and staff developmental systems, such as the Excellence Model and IiP, and in managing organisational change.  I am eager to support the school with my skills, expertise and local knowledge.

Sian Owen 

I have worked at Piper Hill Specialist Support School for two years and currently hold the post of Assistant Headteacher. As my expertise lies in working with students who have significant learning difficulties I thought becoming a Governor for Chorlton High School would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about how a school in a mainstream setting works. 

I am passionate about education and have a strong commitment to making sure there are high aspirations for all the children in the school and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for all the students. 

As well as sitting on the main Governing Body, I am a member of the Standards Committee. In this role I can use my expertise gained as a teacher to help the school reflect on the quality of its provision. 


Maggie Fox

Biography to follow



Claire Wilson 

I have been a staff member at Chorlton High School for just over 4 years and joined the Board of Governors in January 2016.  My current role is a teacher of PE and Head of Year.

I wanted to become a Governor to contribute towards shaping the future of our school community.  I believe that Chorlton High is an Outstanding school and I would like to help that continue in to the future by becoming even more involved in the life of the school and representing the views of all staff. In order to continue to be successful, I think it is extremely important that we work together and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.

I have the compassion and strong communication skills to work well with staff from all areas of the school to ensure continued progression.  I have worked with staff to provide pro - active interventions and solutions to support curriculum areas, and aid student development. I have also built strong relationships with parents to ensure that school is represented in a positive way in the wider community.

During my time as a Governor I hope to provide a platform for contributing the whole staff voice in making positive changes and implementing of ideas across Chorlton High School. I feel that I could represent the voice of all our staff with passion, enthusiasm, open - mindedness and empathy.  I also hope to contribute towards the whole school development in terms of teaching, learning, attendance and behaviour.

Catherine Roberts

I have been a staff member at Chorlton High School for 6 years and joined the board of governors in January 2016. My current role is a teacher of Geography and Professional Development Coordinator.

I wanted to become a school governor to further immerse myself into our school. I value the fact that I work in a school that is always striving to improve and I wanted to be part of that journey at the governance level. I am also keen to continue to develop professionally and learn about new aspects of school that I don’t currently have any involvement in.

I have excellent relationships with all staff from trainee teachers, NQTs, classroom teachers, subject mentors, heads of department and members of SLT. My whole school role means I have the opportunity to work with every department and over time I have built up successful working relationships with a large majority of staff.

I see myself as a positive role model who can represent staff but also be the ‘critical friend’ to the school. My role within the training school means I am in a position of trust. Trainee teachers and their subject mentors know I am open, fair and honest when it comes to their professional development. Curriculum Leaders need to trust me when appointing new trainee teachers. I feel I have shown over time I am someone who is approachable and can be relied on to take necessary and appropriate action. I also have to give regular feedback to staff so I am confident when doing this in a variety of ways and feel that this experience will help in my role as a governor.

Sarah Penrose

I have worked at Chorlton High School for over 11 years and have been a staff governor for the last 6 years.  My current role is Safeguarding Officer.  I wanted to become a governor to understand the decisions behind some of the policies we have and help work towards being a more inclusive school. 

I currently sit on the scrutiny committee, where I enjoy contributing ideas about how we can ensure our students achieve the best outcomes possible.  

I think my work within the school with both pupils and their families and my ability to see the point of view of many members of staff is one of my main attributes.  I am able to see things from different points of view which I feel is helpful as a governor as this helps others to question their decisions and ensure we are all working towards the best outcomes for our students. 

During my time on the governing body I am most proud of the role we played in ensuring that all students are taught English and Maths as a whole year group so that students have the opportunity to move up through the sets if they are achieving well in that subject rather than be limited by splitting the year group.  I feel that my skills have grown as a governor during my terms of office and I think my confidence has improved including my ability to ask relevant questions which challenge others. 

During my future time as governor I would like to ensure that we remain an inclusive school, working towards the best outcomes for all of our students.  

I think one of the key challenges for Chorlton High School in the future is retaining our excellence in the arts and keeping as wide a curriculum as possible, enabling our students to improve their social skills and motivation whilst still ensuring that our students meet their academic goals.