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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 is currently a student of 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. He is the Chair of the Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs.


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 4 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 am to complete The Great North Run. 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.