Governors Information

Michael McVerry

I have a long background in education, having qualified as a teacher in 1999. I spent 7 years in teaching in a secondary school and held leadership roles including head of year, PSHE co-ordinator and vocational learning co-ordinator. In 2007 I left the classroom to setup my own business which is immersed in education. 

As someone who lives in Westhoughton, and whose son has been taught at The Gates, I’m passionate about ensuring the children in our school are given the best education, and the best opportunities we can provide. 

I’ve been a governor since 2015, and chair of governors since 2018. My role is to coordinate the work of the board of governors, ensuring we provide both support and challenge to the school. In addition, I serve on the Personnel, Buildings and Finance Committee.


Janet Ingham

My name is Janet Ingham and I became a governor of The Gates in January 2021. I completed my degree and PGCE with the Open University in 1996. After qualifying as a primary school teacher, I taught in two local primary schools and spent the last 13 years of my teaching career as Year Leader at St Christopher’s School in Bahrain. Prior to teaching, I managed our family jewellery business and qualified as a gemmologist and diamond tester.

As a retired teacher, mother, and grandmother, I am passionate about children and their education and hope to use my past experiences to support my role as safeguarding governor.


Liz Woodrow

Before joining The Gates Governing board in 2019, I worked in the public sector for a number of years and worked with the GirlGuiding association as a volunteer. I feel strongly about giving back to the community I live in.

I am a qualified Human Resources professional and in addition to the full governing board I act as chair of the Personnel, Finance and Buildings Committee where I bring my skills, knowledge and experience to support The Gates

Jessica-Lea Turnock

In November 2018 I joined the governing board at The Gates as a way to give back to the local community using some of the skills I have developed throughout my career in Marketing. Since then, I have been appointed as Chair of the Achievements and Standards Committee and have been lucky enough to meet some of the pupils during my learning walks in school.

Serving as a governor has given me the opportunity to use my analytical skills and critical thinking in order to support and challenge the school to help ensure the children get the best possible education during their time at The Gates. My best thing about being on the governing board is being able to see the work we hear so much about in our meetings being put into practice in the classroom and seeing the children excited and proud to share their work with their teachers and peers.



Derek Price

I am currently a Ethical Hacker for a Manchester-based company and have been a parent governor for the school since 2019. I have three children that attend the school and was happy to be appointed to the board and give back to the local community of Westhoughton. In my spare time I also serve as the local Beaver leader for 20th Bolton Chequerbent. With the IT skills I have gained over the years I have helped the school run a Coding Club allowing the children of The Gates to learn the scratch coding language. This has helped them gain a good understanding of coding before the move onto high school and more complex coding languages.


James Pledger

I am a current secondary school teacher in Bolton, working as the Head of Faculty - Humanities at a local comprehensive school. I actually relocated to Greater Manchester from Kent, as part of my enrolment in the 'Teach First' training programme and have lived here ever since, apart from a sabbatical working for a charity in Greece.  

I have been a governor since September 2020 as I would like to contribute to the wider education system in the town, outside of the school that I work in.  I currently serve on the Achievements and Standards Committee and have really enjoyed getting to know the school! 


Jonathon Atkinson

I am a very recently appointment Parent Governor and I have a daughter in Puffins (Year 1) and a daughter that will be starting in reception next year. I am very proud to have been appointed to this role and I am very excited to begin working with the achievement and standards committee.

I am a secondary school teacher in Manchester at a large single sex school. I teach Sociology, Criminology and I am involved with wider development within the Social Sciences faculty. I am the Assistant Headteacher &  Head of Sixth Form and I have a passion for personal development and enrichment opportunities that deliver students opportunities that they may not previously have had.


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