Our Governors

Paul Leeson  - Chair of Governors

I am a retired Primary School Headteacher. I worked for over 30 years in Derby City and Derbyshire schools and, for the majority of that time, I was a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Governor at the schools in which I worked. I was fortunate that, for the last 16 years, I was Headteacher at Horsley CofE Primary School, which is a successful small school to the north of Derby. During this period, I was an active member of the Derbyshire Association of Small Schools and served as Chair for several years.  Since retirement I have become a Trustee of Amber Valley School Sports Partnership and currently serve as Chair.

Last year I was pleased to be asked to work with Longford by the people at Embark, and delighted when I was asked to remain involved with the school by serving as a Governor by Mrs. Piper and the rest of the Governing Body. I have come to know the warmth, friendliness and family focus of our school and look forward to further supporting it to continue to thrive as a school in the heart of the village’s community.

Sue Ricketts - Vice-Chair of Governors 

I was delighted to be asked to join the governing body at Longford in September 2020. I have spent all my working life in education as a teacher, deputy head and then headteacher of a small village primary and then a large urban infant school. I then spent 17 years working with schools around Derbyshire as a School Improvement Adviser which was a great privilege as I met so many people dedicated to making the lives of children fun and academically fulfilling. My last full- time post was as Head of Early Years for Derbyshire where I led a team of teachers who work with pre -schools, nurseries and childminders. I then spent a few years working as an independent consultant supporting schools and governing bodies. I am a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and an accredited School Improvement Partner.

Longford CE Primary is such a lovely school- warm, caring and dedicated to excellent standards of education for all. I’m very happy to be part of the team of governors supporting the staff to keep our school at the heart of its village community.

Enid Hawksworth - Foundation Governor

I live in Longford and have been a member of the Church for many years. I am an active member of the P.C.C. and over the past few years I have enjoyed volunteering at Longford School doing craft work  with the children for Church and School events. I became a link between Church and School and then a Foundation Governor supporting the School in Christian values.

Elise Piper – Headteacher

This is my fifth year at Longford, having started as a teacher in 2017 before commencing my current post as headteacher in September 2021.

During my time at Longford, I have taught years 2-6 and I continue to teach our Year 5 and 6 class for four mornings a week. 

My first leadership role with the school was as Maths lead, which I continue to be. Over the past few years, my leadership responsibility within the school has increased each year, enabling me to take on the role of headteacher in September. 

My knowledge of the school, paired with the range of experiences I have had during my time here, means that I have a strong understanding of the school’s vision and how we can move  forward, to ensure that we provide the best possible education and opportunities for all children.

It is a pleasure to be part of the Longford community – from the children staff, parents and governors, to the wider community, which includes our links with the local church (being a C of E school) and I extremely proud to work here, where a positive child-centred approach is adopted, with our vision centring around our core values, that shine through life at Longford.

Jonathan Hewitt - Parent Governor

I  am a parent governor  with a son who is currently in year 5. I have worked in education for the past 20 years running a music and arts organisation that works with young people who are not in mainstream education. I have  a wide experience in safeguarding young people and a focus around supporting children with additional challenges and special educational needs.

Fiona Harrison - Parent Governor

I am one of the parent governors, with children in Year1, Year 4 and Year 6. My working career had led me from being a Bank Manager, to working in Risk and Governance at Derby Hospital to now being a project manager on the build of my own house. I have also been on the FPTA for 7 years so know the school very well. 

Andy Cree - Co-opted Governor

I am a retired solicitor, for most of my career as General Counsel & Company Secretary for chemical and pharmaceutical companies.  Legal matters aside, this also provided experience of finance, accounting and governance. I previously served as a governor at Longford School for six years until 2018 and have grandchildren of primary school age (though not living in this area).

Natalie Clarke - Staff Governor 

Julie Cox - Co-opted Governor