Governor Profiles

Mr Mike Barley – Member

Mike taught in Stockport schools since 1971 and was Headteacher at Mellor from 1986-2001. Since then he has retained his involvement with the ‘new’ school including regularly supply teaching until 2009.

Born in Northwich in 1943, Mike grew up in Bradford and started his career working as an office boy in advertising agencies. Didsbury College of Education provided Mike with a B.Ed (with distinction in Practice of Education) and an educational philosophy – in particular a belief in a broad and balanced curriculum – which has stayed with him throughout his career, and beyond.

In retirement, Mike’s interests include his family, his classical record collection, the Halle, the garden, a nostalgic Hornby Dublo model railway in the attic, watching Bradford City, travels with the campervan and the ’old’ school, now Mellor Parish Centre, of which his is on the Management Committee.


Rev Alex Sanders – Member

Alex grew up in the south of England, gaining a degree in Politics before joining the Army. After completing her service, she worked in various jobs in public, private and charitable/voluntary sectors, qualifying as a personnel officer and also as a fundraiser. In 2009 she was ordained into the Church of England and completed an MA in Pastoral Theology at Leeds. After completing her church training, Alex arrived as Vicar of Mellor in 2012, where she loved working with the school and with the community. She retired in 2018 and now enjoys spending time with her young grandson and other family; she also takes part in various church activities, and likes playing the piano ( and learning the organ), dancing, sewing, reading and socialising.

Mr Andy Sokill MA – Member & Chair of Governors

Andy was born in Marple but has lived in Mellor for nearly 40 years and both graduate daughters trace their success to Mellor School’s early influence. Separated from the village in the 1970s to read history at Jesus College, Oxford, Andy then started in journalism on the Whitley Bay Guardian. He has since worked for the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Manchester Evening News and the BBC. Andy, who calls the faithful to St Thomas’s every Sunday from the safety of the bell tower, remains the Secretary of Mellor Sports Club and is a past President of the Lacrosse Club. He hates doctors, caravans and mulled wine but enjoys puns, pints and long train journeys

Mrs Lynda Gwyther – Member & Vice-chair of Governors

Lynda is a retired Stockport Headteacher and formerly an Education Consultant for Stockport MBC. She brings a wealth of experience to the governing body. Lynda lives locally and all three of her children attended Mellor School.

Mr Tim Lowe – Co-opted Governor

Tim is a retired headmaster of Hereford Cathedral Junior School. Previous posts include time spent as Director of Marketing for Wells Cathedral School, one of the four specialist music schools in the country. He is a former Council member of the IAPS and a former chairman of the association for the Midland. Tim is a trustee of the Walklate Educational Foundation and a founder of the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides hair pieces for children who lose their hair through cancer treatment. Born and bred in Mellor, Tim is married with three children.

Mr Bob Humphrey-Taylor – Co-opted Governor

Bob is the board member with most expertise in property management. Bob was born in Cheadle in 1946, but spent most of his time growing up in Great Moor where his father had a bicycle shop. After finishing full time education he joined the Army as a volunteer, serving for 10 years in various countries including Germany, France and Libya. After leaving the Army in 1973 Bob established and ran a building company in Stockport and Manchester.  Then in 1983 was tempted to return to the classroom and gain formal qualifications in jewellery and silversmithing design and manufacture. In 1986 an opportunity arose to join the staff at North Cheshire College (Padgate) where he remained until moving to a management role at Salford College. Finally “retiring” in 1999, Bob moved from Didsbury to Mellor to renovate his house.  Slowly but surely he has slipped back into almost full time work as a builder!  Bob loves travel, reading, walking and good beer.

Mrs Kit Aldred – Co-opted Governor

Kit is enjoying her 12th year as a Governor of Mellor Primary School. Her son, now 22, had an immensely fulfilling and happy time in his primary years at Mellor. Kit is a primary school teacher and loves working with children and has a passion for education. In her spare time she enjoys playing the piano, going to the gym, skiing and sailing.

Mrs Claire Smith – Parent Governor

Claire is Mum to two children in school and has a wealth of experience and wide range of skill sets.
She works for Finance Shared Services, Siemens Plc. Her specialist area of knowledge is Online Media and maximising digital technology within business. In addition to digital technology she also brings a wealth of experience in marketing and communications via various different media to ensure both internal and external communities and channels are maximised for Mellor Primary School.
As one of two Governors that are parents, Claire worked on our online survey system to seek the views of the community. Claire is a passionate member of the Governing body and also an active and passionate parent within our community.


Mrs Anita Bowker – Company Secretary

Anita’s background is in Banking – Training, Manpower Planning/Recruitment/H.R. Before joining Mellor Primary, she formerly worked for Nat West and The British Bankers Association. Anita joined Mellor Primary in 1999 and helped in the transition to Academy status in 2011.  She is also School Business Manager with a team of 3 staff.

Originally from West Cheshire, Anita has lived in Mellor since 1988.  She has two daughters who both attended Mellor Primary School. Anita has long term connections with Mellor Lacrosse Club, where both daughters and husband play, but not on the same team! She is currently Welfare Officer for Mellor Lacrosse Club and part of the Leadership team for MetroGirls Lacrosse. She enjoys a spot of badminton and gardening when time allows.

Mrs Liz Hadfield –Co-opted Governor 

Liz is a married mum of two pupils who both attend Mellor Primary.  Her professional background is in social care and she works in quality assurance.  Her interests include running, walking with the family and their Jack Russel and socialising (she can usually be found in Libby’s with friends!).  She likes to get involved in local groups and good causes the most recent being the improvement of Mill Brow Recreation Ground.

Mr Chris Robertson – Co-opted Governor

Chris was brought up in the south of England, attending grammar school in Wimbledon. His working career has been spent in insurance and financial services. He holds a diploma in the Chartered Insurance Institute and am a fellow of the Institute and am a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management.  married with 2 children, his hobbies include classic cars and motorcycles, walking and socialising.

Mr Matt Sharp – Parent Governor