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Meet the Governors: Pen Portraits

Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body

Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 1 Mr M Banks, Chair of Governors
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 2 Mrs J Murray, Vice Chair of Governors
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 3 Mr Hoult
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 4 Mrs Robson-Jones
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 5 Mr Van der Gucht
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 6 Mrs Botone
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 7 Mrs Carr
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 8 Mr Jackson
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 9 Mr Watson
Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School's Governing Body 10 Reverend Caroline

Pen Portraits of the Governing body

Mr M Banks, Chair of Governors

Michael Banks retired as Deputy Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary in July 2015. He recently completed a graduate diploma in theology and religion at Durham university.


Michael is a volunteer Church Warden and also serves on the Deanery and Diocesan Synods, and the Bishop's Council, having been elected to those positions.


As Chair of Blue Coat School Governing Body, Michael is focussed on ensuring that all children have opportunities to flourish as individuals in their academic and social development. To achieve this the governors will support the Head Teacher in creating the right environment for an outstanding school.


Michael has no paid business interests. He recently stepped down as a governor of an Academy after 12 years, and no longer has involvement in any other schools or academies.

Mrs J Murray, Vice Chair

I took early retirement from my profession as a Specialist in Public Health for the Department of Health and have been a primary school governor for fifteen years.

I am currently a member of three Primary school governing bodies and a Director of a Multi Academy Trust the Northern Lights Learning Trust. I am also a member of the Durham Diocesan Board of Education and Trustee of the Prince Bishops Teaching Alliance an alliance of five outstanding schools, four Primary and one Secondary, working together to provide and share skills experience and expertise.

I have been appointed as a National Leader of Governance to provide coaching and mentoring to Head Teachers, Chairs of Governors and Governing Bodies.

I have held a number of positions as Chair or Vice Chair of school governing body committees covering finance, premises, personnel, curriculum and standards, admissions, pay review and first committee in support of governance.

My prime objective is to help our schools achieve for every individual child, the best education available to them, whatever their range of abilities, by supporting the provision of excellent leaders and managers, exceptional teachers and support staff and facilities which encourage our children to do their best.

Mrs S Carr

Until taking early retirement in 2012, I worked in the field of sports broadcasting. I started on the 'shop floor' as an Assistant Producer at the BBC rising to the role of Executive Producer at Sky.


I left the front line of broadcasting to become the first female appointed to the senior management team at Sky Sports providing direction and support to a department of over three thousand. In my specific role as the Director of Commercial Development I was responsible for the acquisition of broadcast rights with sports authorities around the world. I was also a member of the Sky plc senior leadership team and a mentor to many young talented members of staff around the company, a role I particularly enjoyed as I watched them thrive and rise to senior roles themselves.


I have particular interest in the continuous development of both staff and children. I want the best for all at Blue Coat and firmly believe we as governors have a responsibility to provide the very best environment, opportunities and facilities to inspire everyone to flourish, to have the confidence to achieve to the best of their ability and to encourage the circle of learning to remain unbroken for life.


Mr Van Der Gucht

I retired five years ago and was asked to become a Governor at Durham Blue Coat CE Junior School by Mrs J Murray as I attended the same Church she did.

After some thought I accepted as I thought I might be able to contribute to the School, even though my only skill I brought was in Health and Safety, and was duly appointed.

I attended Durham County Council Training Scheme for Governors and found that I could offer more in the way of life experiences


As a Health and Safety practitioner I take a pragmatic approach in that I was trained to look beyond the initial evidence to discover the actual cause. Just because an accident, ‘an unplanned event that caused injury or damage’ occurs doesn’t mean taking knee jerk reactions which often result in creating another hazard that could have more serious consequences


I taught the Staff a simple but effective Risk Assessment format for them to use when planning excursions. For example, walking the School to an event at Framwellgate Academy with a number of roads to cross.

As a Church Warden at All Saints I also facilitate booking the Church for rehearsals for Easter and Christmas School Services, and am a member of the Worship Committee.

Recently I have been asked to monitor the Geography and History, and work with the relevant Teachers in their goal of continual improvement

Mrs C Botone

I am a parent Governor at Blue Coat C.E Junior School and have been in the post for the last 3 years. I am a former pupil of Blue Coat and mother to 2 children, the youngest whom is currently in year 5 and is enjoying the varied life that the school offers. The school is enabling my daughter to learn through a variety of teaching styles/classes and by offering extra curriculum activities and events. I am a Nurse working in general practice and have developed a number of managerial and inter-personal skills while working with the public over the last 16 years.


I enjoy challenging myself and last year completed a marathon trek over Hadrian’s Wall, raising money for MacMillan Cancer and this year I successfully completed The Great North Run and am looking for new challenge for 2018.  As a school governor I believe it’s important to support and challenge the Head Teacher to ensure the school provides a safe environment to enable all children within the school to achieve their potential.

Revd Canon Caroline Dick

I am the Team Rector of Durham North Team (6 churches, 7 communities) and have a ministerial focus at All Saints Newton Hall.

I am a foundation governor and see my primary role within the school as being to support the staff in the delivery of the RE curriculum and to develop the worshipping life of the school.

I take assemblies on a regular basis, lead the school services in Church and help to prepare the children for confirmation.

I have been a governor at Sacriston Primary School and have two adult children.

Before joining Durham North Team, I worked for the Diocese of Durham as their Social Responsibility Officer and in that capacity helped to develop a number of church based community development projects in deprived communities.

Mr D Jackson


I am a Chartered Surveyor with 20 years experience of dealing with commercial properties and developments and a Director at GVA, an international property consultancy where I am asset manager for a range of property companies and developers. I oversee the property management of a number of UK wide commercial portfolios and lead the management teams in the northern regional offices of Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.


In my spare time, I run the Framwellgate Moor unit of the The Church Lads’ & Church Girls Brigade which is a youth organisation with around 4,000 members nationally. I lead the Durham Diocesan area and hold the position of Regimental Commander and serve as a Trustee on the national board. Through the CL&CGB, I organise North Eastern Camp, which is an outdoor pursuits holiday for children which takes place over a week in the Lake District each August.


I have fundraised for several local and national charities and sat on the organising committee for the St Oswald’s Hospice (of Gosforth, Newcastle) Charity Ball and have raised over £27,000 through sponsored events and challenges including treks to the top of Kilimanjaro and along sections of the Great Wall of China.


Mrs B Robson Jones


I am a foundation governor currently in my second term of office at Blue Coat. I was approached by the school to become a governor due to my links with All Saints Church, Newton Hall, which I attend regularly. My role as a foundation governor is to preserve and promote the distinctive religious ethos of the school.

I have worked in the public sector for 20 years, having worked for HM Prison Service and the Disclosure and Barring Service. Due to the roles I have had I have a keen interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. I currently work as an Adult Social Care Inspector for the Care Quality Commission.
In my spare time I enjoy walking my dogs, singing in a choral society and running. I recently completed the Great North Run for Lupus UK."

Mr I Hoult


I am a Senior Manager at Durham County Council and look after a range of services that deliver to our communities and have worked in various private and public sectors throughout my working life. I live and work in Durham and my daughters have either been to Blue Coat Juniors in previous years or are currently here.


I love the school and the values it upholds and feel passionate about the school delivering the best for all the children on a daily basis.


Mr M Watson

I am currently a foundation governor having recently been appointed this year to the Governing Body. As a Business Manager working for Barclays Bank across Durham and Bishop Auckland, I was approached to become a governor for the financial expertise which I have built up in my 15 years with Barclays. Prior to that I worked in Marketing for Reg Vardy.

I have 3 children, one who has recently left Blue Coat and the others will be progressing through over the coming years. While the children take up much of my spare time, when I get a chance I play golf whenever possible.

While my children give me a vested interest in the progress of Blue Coat CofE School, I am passionate about making the school the best place it can be for all current and future students and staff and hope that I am able to do that during my time as a Governor.