Home Page

Meet the Governors

Blue Coat C of E (Aided) Junior School - Governing Body

Pen Portraits of the Governing Body

Mrs H Donkin

I work for Durham County Council as a Special Educational Needs Support Worker with a lead in Autism and Social communication difficulties.  I am a past pupil of Blue Coat School and currently have a son who attends the school as well as a daughter who has recently left.  I live in Sacriston with my children and husband and our array of family pets.


Mrs K Beddoes

I am a solicitor and have spent the last 15 years in private practice dealing with litigation and property matters. I am a mother to 2 young children, the eldest of whom will be starting year 3 at Blue Coat in September 2018. I am also a former pupil of Blue Coat school and grew up on Newton Hall with my parents and younger sister. I moved back to Newton Hall in 2016 after living in the South East and then other parts of the North East for many years but have always maintained close links with the estate as my parents, my husband’s parents and many of my close friends live here.


As a busy working mum I understand the pressures faced by parents, and how difficult it can be to juggle work, life, kids and other commitments. I am committed to ensuring the school is providing our children with the absolute best start to their education and is also a welcoming and happy community for pupils, families and local people. I was approached to become a Foundation Governor for the legal expertise I can bring to the role and I am very much looking forward to the challenge and to working with the other Governors and staff to make the school the best that it can be.”

Mr M Fox-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.

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 S Horsfield

I joined the school in 2015 after working in 3 other schools over the past 26 years in school administration. I completed my School Business Management qualifications and worked as Office Manager for a number of years before being promoted to School Business Manager.  I have served on 2 other governing bodies as a staff representative and Parent Governor.


I regularly help at a local Rainbow and Brownie unit in Chester le Street.   I am also treasurer of the Chester le Street Guide shop and help regularly selling uniform to all areas of the Guiding Association.   I enjoy walking and am a member of a local gym.


I believe in the ethos of the school and try to contribute to the life of Bluecoat and wish to support the children and families of Newton Hall.

Mrs L Hindmarsh

As a former pupil of Blue Coat C.E Junior School and a parent to to a child who is in the last year of his Blue Coat journey, I feel privileged to be involved in the life of the school as part of the governing body.


I am a payroll manager in the NHS by profession, where I have held a senior position for our over 14 years. I have worked in finance for 25 years and hold and MSc in Payroll and Business Management.


I hope that my skills and experience allow me to make a real contribution to the governing body to ensure that the school is well lead and empowers all children to achieve their full potential.


Mr D Knapton

As an active member of All Saints Church, I have been appointed as foundation governor. Being involved with some of the varied activities the church offers children and young people, I’m looking forward to maintaining and further strengthening the excellent links between Blue Coat and the church.


I have worked as a Design Engineer in the automotive industry and as such have a keen interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and making these accessible to young people. I’m Principal Lecturer for Engineering at the University of Sunderland where I carry out both teaching and management responsibilities. I’m also undertaking a PhD study to investigate how higher education can more effectively bridge the gap between school and working careers.


I live in Framwellgate Moor with my wife and two children, our Son is a pupil of Blue Coat as a family we thoroughly enjoy being part of the school community and all that it offers its pupils.