Statement on effective governance

Strong and effective governance underpins the most effective academies. Wellspring Academy Trust is committed to supporting the highest quality of governance in all its academies.

Our local governing body (LGB) is, in effect, a sub-committee of the Trust Board.  The Wellspring board expects members of each LGB to govern and to conduct themselves according to the seven principles of public life and requires governors to accept and adhere to the Code of Conduct.

There are three core functions of governance:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction at school level and with reference to the Trust

  • Holding the leadership at all levels to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of staff

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school, making sure that money is well spent.

The Academy Governing Body explained

The Trust Board is responsible to the Secretary of State for the effectiveness of all its academies.  In order to ensure effectiveness at academy level the Board delegates key responsibilities to the LGB.

The LGB is responsible for strategic overview, scrutiny and challenge at the school and discharges is duties within the context set by the Trust Board.  Governors are not expected to be routinely involved in the day-to-day activity of the school.

The Headteacher and school staff lead and manage the day-to-day operation of the school.

Meet the Chair and Vice Chair

Warwick Firmin

Our Chair of Governors is Warwick Firmin.  With an honours degree in biochemistry and a masters degree in education, Warwick worked in Kirklees 11-16 High Schools for 31 years, firstly as a science teacher followed by 15 years as a senior leader, including 10 years as a head teacher.  He then worked for over 10 years (until recent retirement) as a senior education officer for Kirklees Council, with particular focus on strategic planning (including BSF), resourcing, governance and admissions. Warwick is committed to providing the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people with the equality of opportunities to achieve their potential.  He worked in schools in some of the most challenging circumstances and, as an officer, worked to ensure that all expertise and resources were focused on closing the achievement gap. Warwick has been a school governor for over 20 years. Warwick can be contacted via the Clerk to Governors at the school. 

Anne Ivey

Our Vice-Chair of Governors is Anne Ivey. After obtaining a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics and Computational Science at Leeds University, Anne has followed a career in IT mainly in Software Development. Her initial career saw roles in several local companies with a short spell as a contractor for ICL in Manchester and The AA in Newcastle. Anne took several years off to raise her three children and resumed her career at Leeds Building Society 24 years ago. Since then she had held many IT related roles including Head of Software Delivery (a role she held for 15 years), as well as a short spell working as Head of Property Services. Anne still works at Leeds Building Society where she now focuses on promoting personal development for her IT colleagues. Anne was a parent governor when her children were young and has been a member of Joseph Norton’s Governing Body for a year. She is the Finance and Property link governor, bring a wealth of both business and finance expertise to the school.

Other Governors with Key Responsibilities

George Lane

Our Link Governor for Standards, Achievement and Key Pupil Groups as well as Behaviour and Attendance (including anit-bullying) is George Lane. George has an honours degree in History and Politics from the University of York and is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester. Alongside his role as a Trust Appointed Governor, George works as a secondary school teacher in an 11-18 academy in Doncaster, which has high levels of disadvantaged students, and through high quality teaching is helping to close gaps in attainment. George is committed to working towards a day where no child's educational success is limited by their social or economic background. As a proud ambassador for the education charity, Teach First, George remains active in supporting young people to achieve and exceed their personal best. George grew up in a local village to the school and played an active role in politics as a former elected representative of the UK Youth Parliament. He continues to network with local and trust partners to make the difference for the young people of Joseph Norton Academy.

Rosie Thorley

Hello, I’m Rosie Thorley and I am a trust appointed Governor. I am the link governor for teaching and learning at Joseph Norton Academy. Alongside my role as trust appointed governor I am currently upper school department leader at Woodley School and College. I have worked within specialist education for the last 7 years. Before moving to Kirklees I was teaching at a special school in Greater Manchester. I’m passionate about teaching and education as I believe it should be inclusive and enjoyable for all. I look forward to the challenge that being a governor brings and experiencing the Joseph Norton magic first hand.

Jenna Irvine (Parent Governor)

Hello! My name is Jenna Irvine. I am Parent Governor and responsible for overseeing Community Engagement as the Link Governor at Joseph Norton Academy. I have been a parent at JNA since 2017 and have a child in KS2. I am the Chair of Friends of JNA and also help run the Facebook page for parents and carers of children at the school, which keeps them up to date with upcoming events and courses which are available at School. I have just recently completed the Family Thrive Course myself, which covers children’s behaviours, feelings and emotions, child development and brain development.  

Sarah Trickett (Parent Governor)

Hi there! My name is Sarah  and I work alongside Jenna overseeing Community Engagement. I have been a parent at JNA since 2016 and have a child in KS2, currently in Bev's class. He loves coming to the school and we are very fortunate because we live close by. I am a member of Friends of JNA and you can find and chat to me on our Facebook page. We always welcome new members and share lots of helpful news about the school and school events. Like Jenna I have completed the Family Thrive Course, which helped me to develop strategies to use at home, which compliment those that are used in school.  

Josh Greaves

Josh was a Business Management consultant in South Yorkshire before relocating to the North East as a Business Manager. He was Business Director and Chief Financial Officer in a large, Special Academy Trust. Josh is a Specialist Leader of Education, holds the Advanced Diploma in School Business Management and is a PRINCE2 Project Management Practitioner. He leads the Wellspring Business and operations team.

The governors register of business interests can be found here.

To find out more about governance at Wellspring Academy Trust, including attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year, please click here.

To request an Application Pack to become a governor, or to request a copy of meeting dates, LGB minutes or Trust Board minutes please contact the Clerk to the Governing Body on 01226 720741 or by emailing