Governor Pen Portraits



Ken Reed - Chair of Governors

I am a retired police officer having lived and worked in the Durham area for many years. For my last 10 years of police service I was attached to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) as a lead inspector and with the Home Office. I have extensive experience in corporate governance, strategic management, and in the delivery of performance outcomes, all of which is relevant and transferable to the education sector. I have been a governor at Woodlea for the past 6 years. I am also currently a parent governor at Park View school which has had strong and productive links with Woodlea for many years. I am also a Trustee at Eden Learning Trust, a multi academy trust incorporating 5 schools in County Durham.
I am passionate about helping to improve education and in supporting Woodlea and its leadership team with its aim to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children and in providing opportunities for our children to thrive and develop.
I have a Masters Degree in Business Administration and have a keen interest in cricket and technology.

Mark Willoughby  - Vice Chair of Governors

Hello, my name is Mark Willoughby and I am a co-opted governor and Vice Chair.
My areas of responsibility include safeguarding and E-safety.
I retired recently having served 30 years with Durham Constabulary.
My son Jack is currently in year 7.

Zoe Galloway

I moved to the area when I was 19 and never left! I joined the governing body in May 2018 because I wanted to contribute to the school and the wider community. I have worked within the NHS projects and IT team for over 10 years and volunteer with the Friends of Woodlea and the local scout group my son attends. I am keen to share my personal and professional experiences to support and challenge the amazing team at Woodlea.

Mike Turnbull

As a child psychologist with over 17 years experience of working with children and schools, I am passionate about helping children thrive within education.  With children of my own within Woodlea, I am delighted to have the opportunity, as a parent governor, to use my skills and experience to help ensure the best possible educational, emotional and developmental outcomes for all students within the school.

Tony Erskine

I am passionate about giving our children the best possible start in life. As a parent governor with two children in the school, my aim is to work closely with parents and teaching staff to raise standards and provide the best support and education for our children. I promise to ensure Woodlea remains a school our community is proud of. In my day job, I work for Northumbrian Water. My team manages and operates the reservoirs and water network in Wearside and Teesside and we make sure we provide the best possible customer service.


Geoff Lumsdon

I am an experienced teacher of 26 years and am currently a Headteacher of a large Secondary school so have a good working knowledge of educational issues and factors that impact on children's education.  More importantly than that I have one child currently attending Woodlea and two older children who also attended.  All three children have flourished in large part due to their good grounding and experience in the caring, nurturing environment that Woodlea has provided.  I am keen to work with the school to ensure that our area continues to be so well served by a thriving school at the heart of the community, offering the best start to all local children.

Gail Kennedy

I am a keen volunteer in the local community and got involved at Woodlea as a School Governor and a parent volunteer in 2002 and has never given up!!  I was Chair of governors for many years and have special memories of our Royal Visit celebrating 100 years of Woodlea. My children both attended Woodlea and are now grown up. I am also part of the local Methodist Church Brass Band (one of only a couple in the country) which is over 40 years old. I currently play a tuba but have also played cornet and tenor horn.  I currently working for the NHS as a receptionist in an Urgent Care Centre.

Peter Holland

I lived and worked in Chester le Street and its surrounding villages as a community policeman for many years before retiring from Durham Police in 2001. I started my relationship with Woodlea Primary School as far back as 1976 when I started visiting the school as part of my job. After retirement, I have continued my connection with the school and became a school Governor in 2002.
Woodlea is a traditional local primary school where the efforts and contribution of everyone, staff, pupils and parents are recognised and valued. I fully support the aims and desires of the school leadership and staff towards giving our children the best possible start to their education, and in making sure our children are safe and secure at school.

Kirstie Swirles

I have been a primary school teacher for 28 years and am passionate about children and their right to learn a wide-ranging curriculum in a safe and secure environment.

Both my children were pupils at Woodlea and received an excellent start to their educational journey in what still is a nurturing and caring environment. 

I have been a governor in school since 2009 and I am committed to making sure that Woodlea continues to take a prominent place within the heart of our community.