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Eldon Grove Academy

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Chair of Governors : Mrs Sonya Black

I am currently the Headteacher of a primary school in Hartlepool and have an extensive understanding of primary education and the day to day organisation of a school. Prior to become Headteacher, I was a co-opted governor at another primary school in Hartlepool and also a secondary school. Both these roles have allowed me to develop an in-depth understanding of the role of being a governor and provided me with opportunities to support and challenge the schools. In my current role, I have budget setting knowledge, experience and can explain why financial decisions have been taken.  I have also led on SEND across school and completed my NASENCO qualification. I have also completed a Level 4 Senior Mental Health Lead qualification and been the school's wellbeing champion. I am a strong advocate for the promotion of wellbeing of both children and staff alike. I also have a strong interest in Early Years and believe that these experiences shape a child's views about learning and school. As a Designated Safeguarding Lead, I have a comprehensive knowledge of legislation around safeguarding procedures and statutory documentation and can work with the school and governors to ensure compliance. I am keen to work alongside the Governing Body to ensure the very best outcomes for the children of Eldon Grove Academy as I firmly believe that the children of Hartlepool deserve to  have the best possible education experiences that we can offer. 



Vice-Chair: Mrs Jane Henderson-Thynne

I have worked in Education for 40 years, firstly based in a Local Authority then moving into schools in secondary, special, primary and academy settings. My roles have always been administrative and financial rather than academic and I have been a School Business Manager now for 22 years. I love working in a school and get a real sense of achievement when what I do allows the management team and classroom based staff to concentrate on providing children with a first class education in a safe and well-resourced, happy environment.


Having fairly recently joined the governing body of Eldon Grove Primary School, the calm and welcoming feel when entering the school for the first time is still fresh in my mind and is repeated every time I visit. My link areas are grants, finance and health and safety and I try to visit school as often as possible to meet with staff and discuss these.


I feel honoured to have joined a team that works very well together to support and challenge the staff and feed into the governance and overall ethos of the Trust.  




Co-Opted Governor: Mrs Frances Wilson

I have been a governor for two years now, although much of that time was spent over Zoom meetings of course. It is now lovely to be able to get into school and see how things work in practice rather than on screen and through documentation. It appears immediately to be a very welcoming, friendly and hardworking school and I look forward to watching how the exciting plans and ideas develop.


I am a retired teacher, having taught in the town for over 40 years and although much has changed in education over that time I, like all teachers, want the very best for the children. I live in the local area and my own sons went to Eldon Grove many years ago. It was a very different school then but they were both very happy there.


In my retirement I enjoy local history research and have written five books about the history of our town.  I enjoy country walking and I’m afraid I’m a Hartlepool United season ticket holder!