Governor Profiles

Mrs F Millington: Chairman

I am married to Stephen, have adult twin stepdaughters and a son who finished his studies at Crossley Heath in 2016. I qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist (Nottingham) in 1977, worked in Leeds, Barnsley and Halifax and obtained an MA in Health Service Studies and Management (Leeds) in 1998. I have lived in Halifax since 1994 and retired at the end of 2011 as acute hospitals therapy manager for Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. I have been a governor at Crossley Heath since April 2012, taking up the position of Chair in Summer 2017. I have served on all the governing body committees and am link governor for Careers.


Dr S Whitson: Member of the Academy Trust

My teaching career ranged from kindergarten through secondary, university and adult education in the UK, Europe and the USA. I was a Head Teacher in Calderdale, an Education Officer with Kirklees Education Service and then self-employed Education Management Consultant which included being an Assessor and Adviser for Investors in People (IIP) and Lead Assessor with Yorkshire & Humber for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). My experience of governance is across the primary, secondary and further education sectors. My whole professional life has been committed to education and now retired I am pleased to continue my involvement with the educational scene as a School Governor and as an Independent Member of Education Appeal and Exclusion Panels. In June 2016 I was successfully designated as a National Leader of Governance (NLG) by the National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) and look forward to this new aspect of my governance work.


Mr N Bates: Member of the Academy Trust

A Huddersfield native, I have lived in Halifax for many years now. I was a governor of the school for 8 years, initially as a parent governor and then a foundation governor. I have 2 daughters and my wife is a primary school teacher and Advanced Skills Teacher in Brighouse. I own and run a former spinning mill in Huddersfield, which is now a multiple occupancy business centre, and venue for arts and music. During my years as a governor, I learnt a great deal both about the school, and about what being a governor entails. My overriding interest is in the continued improvement of learning and teaching.


Mr R Atkinson, RIBA, FRSA: Member of the Academy Trust

I am a retired architect and have served on the school Governing Body as chair of the Premises Committee, Governor representative on the Health and Safety Committee, member of the Business Committee focusing on premises related matters, and the Student Discipline Committee. I was educated at the former Heath Grammar School and my three children were all pupils at the former Crossley and Porter Grammar School.


Mr D Roper: Member of the Academy Trust

My involvement with the school is deep: through my two sons, with one finishing Year 13 in Summer 2014 to go to university and the other in Year 13 in the 2016-17 academic year, and personally as a former Head Boy of Heath Grammar School. After obtaining a Maths degree at Durham University, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with a multinational “Big Four” firm before moving back to Halifax. As a partner in my present firm for over 30 years, my experience relevant to the school includes the audit of other local academy schools and some well known local charities. I served for the maximum eight years as a Parent Governor until April 2016. Because of my professional background, I was a member of the Business Committee throughout my time as a Governor, and its Chairman from 2010 to 2016, during which time the school became an Academy. I was appointed as one of the Members of the Crossley Heath School Academy Trust on the Trust’s formation, and have remained so ever since. My role as a Member of the Trust is to provide a strategic overview for the Governing Body, to undertake certain statutory duties, and to take part in the appointment of certain non-elected Governors


Mr N Smith: Appointed Governor

I am a new Governor to Crossley Heath, recently appointed in March 2016. I was the Head Boy of the school in 1994/95. I work as a Strategy, IT and Management Consultant for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, after previously spending 15 years in consulting with Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting organisations. At HPE, I am responsible for winning significant new contracts (£100m+) for the business and ensuring that they are structured and negotiated appropriately. I live in Cragg Vale with my wife and four young children (6 or under). My interests are mainly sport based, rugby (in particular), as well as football, cricket and as a recent convert to cycling.


Mrs Y Ahmed: Appointed Governor

I am a director of a local translations company, which was founded by my husband over 10 years ago. Prior to this I practised as a solicitor for over 17 years, specialising predominately in child protection and safeguarding. I am married and have a son at primary school. In my spare time I enjoy baking, travelling and going on family days out. I am a member of the Student Welfare Committee. I believe our childhood experiences shape us into the adults we become and I hope I can contribute to making the experiences of all the children at the Crossley Heath School positive.


Mr B Coulson: Staff Governor

I am one of the Deputy Head Teachers at the school and a representative from the staff on the governing body. I have worked in secondary schools around the country for 32 years having had a number of leadership and management roles. Such experience has been valuable in contributing to the development of Crossley Heath, particularly in this time of rapid national educational change. I am a member of the Business Committee.


Mr M Jackson: Parent Governor

My son joined Crossly Heath in 2015 and I look forward to having a useful input into the school during his time here. I am a self employed architect and work from home in Savile Park and have done this since 2012. I mainly work on small residential and commercial projects and am very interested in environmental sustainability. I have been a Local Authority governor at Cross Lane Primary in Elland since 2014 and enjoy both my governor roles, even though they are vastly different at times. I have lived in Halifax for nearly all of my life and although I did not go to Crossley Heath, I have been involved with the Old Crossleyans for over 40 years. I played cricket, squash and rugby there, and played for the 1stXV until I retired from rugby in 2002. I now find myself there on Saturday afternoons watching the rugby and having a chat in the bar.


Mr R Backhouse: Parent Governor

I live in Hebden Bridge with my partner Jackie, our son Thomas who is currently in Year 10 and our Shih-Poo Maggie. For most of my adult life I have worked in mental health services, initially as a social worker and more recently in senior management and governance roles. For a number of years I have had a leadership role in safeguarding and I am currently vice-chair of a local safeguarding children board in Greater Manchester. So I have a special interest in the student welfare side of school life and in developing ways to promote the psychological and emotional well-being of our students. I have had three years previous experience as a parent governor at Hebden Royd Primary School during which time I am pleased to say the school progressed from “inadequate” to “good” in its Ofsted rating. I have quickly realised that the challenges we face in a large grammar school are significantly greater than those in a small primary school, but I believe the principles of good governance are the same in any setting, and I hope that the breadth of my experience in governance roles will enable me to contribute to maintaining and raising standards at Crossley Heath. In my spare time I enjoy fell-running, sampling real ale and climbing in the Lake District when I get the opportunity. Otherwise I am happy to mooch around Hebden Bridge watching the world go by! As a parent governor I believe I have a responsibility to try to represent the “parent-voice” to the governing body, and I am happy to be contacted by any parents who would like to share any thoughts, views or concerns. I sit on the Student Welfare Committee.


Mr M Amos: Appointed Governor

I have been a school governor since 2016 and I am a member of the business committee.Originally from London I have lived in Savile Park for 20 years.  I am a widower with two children. My daughter was a pupil at Crossley Heath for seven years.  My son is currently a member of the sixth form.

I am the head of the tax department for a large firm of chartered accountants and an examiner for the Chartered Institute of Taxation.


Mr S Lee: Appointed Governor

I have spent the last 25 years living and raising my family here in Halifax, so now consider myself a local if not native to the area.

 I worked in education and schools for 20 years, 13 of which as a Head Teacher. From 2015 I have run a business with my partner, working with Schools, Trusts, Authorities and the 3rd sector to support and raise awareness of children with SEND and Speech language and Communication needs.

As a Head for many years I always valued the support and challenge provided by a strong and rigorous Governing Body. Now I am focused on providing that support and challenge here at Crossley Heath.