Meet Your School Governors

Meet Your School Governors

T Display Boards and signs Brackenhill Logos SCHOOL LOGO Bracken school logo SMALL jpg

Meet your School Governors


The Governing Body of a Primary School plays a very important role in supporting and challenging the school to develop and improve and ensuring the school is run effectively.

Being a Governor is a very rewarding and challenging role, demanding commitment to the school. It gives an opportunity to see how much work goes on ‘behind the scenes’ and contribute to decision making and shaping the direction in which the school moves towards.

There are several different types of Governors – parent, community, local Authority and staff.

At Brackenhill we are fortunate to have Governing Body members who bring a wide variety of life experiences and skills to the role.

Chair of Governors – Julie Hields

I have had strong links with Brackenhill Primary School for many years. I came here myself as a child and my three children all attended the school. I have been a Community Governor since 2006 and this is my second opportunity to undertake the role of Chair of Governors. I am proud to be part of Brackenhill Primary School’s history and look forward with great excitement to being part of the school’s future.

Vice Chair of Governors – David Young B.A.Dip L.C.

I was born in Manningham in Bradford in 1935. I attended Drummond Road Infant School, Lilycroft Primary and finally Grange Grammar School. After completing my A levels, at the age of 18 I was obliged to do National Service and served for two years in the army, mainly in Germany with the Royal Corps of Signals.

On my releasefrom the army I attended Loughborough College for 3 years where I trained as a teacher of technology, on completion I was awarded a Teaching Certificate and The Diploma of Loughborough College.

I began my teaching career at The Priestman School in Bradford, an 11-16 selective school. In 1964 I moved to St John Fisher R.C. Comprehensive in Dewsbury as Head of Technology department.

In the seventies I took a degree at the Open University and switched to the teaching of mathematics, at the same time taking on the responsibility of Head of Year. I remained at St John Fisher for over 30 years, finally retiring from all teaching in 1997.

My interests are gardening, walking, reading and golf, I have been a member of Cleckheaton Golf Club for many years. I am married to Gabrielle (Gaby) and live locally, we both attend St John’s Church, where I am a Church Warden.

Headteacher - Helen Metcalf BA (Hons) QTS NPQH

I joined Brackenhill Primary School in September 2008. As Headteacher, you are part of the governing body of the school. I consider myself very lucky to be able to work with such a supportive and caring governing body which challenges and helps me to move the school forward.

I was born in Leeds and still live there but have always had close links with Bradford. My first part-time job was in Boots in the Arndale Centre and my first full-time job was for Yorkshire Water on Vicar Lane in Bradford when I was seventeen. I undertook my Primary Education degree at Bradford College and have been able to work on placement and as a class teacher in several schoolsacross Bradford. Having worked in Bradford 7 early in my teaching career, I was very keen to come back to work within the Great Horton community (and still feel that way, even when I am stuck in traffic in Leeds!).

I have two grown-up daughters and in my spare time enjoy painting, looking after my pets and spending time with my family and friends.

Local Authority Governor - Michelle Swallow

I am a Local Authority Governor and I have held this position since late in the summer term of 2013. I chose to become a Governor because I am passionate about seeing all of our children achieve their full potential and discovering their own personal strengths and purpose.

I work part time for a Bradford based debt counselling charity and am a mother of 3 children. I am also an elected Labour Councillor representing the Clayton & Fairweather Green ward and am involved in representing the interests of the citizens of Bradford District on a variety of committees.

If you have any issues which you wish to raise or suggestions as to how we can constantly seek to improve Brackenhill Primary then I, along with my colleagues on the Governing Body, am happy to hear from you. I am easily contactable via email:

Community Governor - Lisa Truesdale

I am an Early Years teacher at Wilsden Primary School. Prior to this I worked at Brackenhill for 5 years, teaching in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 2. After making the hard decision to leave Brackenhill in the hope of widening my experiences, I feel very privileged to remain a part of the governing body. I am a Community Governor, which, having grown up in the Great Horton/Horton Bank Top area seems appropriate!

I have close links with the school, my sister is Leanne Truesdale and I still have many friends who work at Brackenhill. I have many happy memories of my time at Brackenhill and loved working at the school. Being a governor means I can still play a part in the development of the school and hopefully give a bit of something back.

Parent Governor - Shanaz Begum

I am a very proud mum of three children who all attend Brackenhill Primary School. The eduction for all our children is the most important aspects for us as parents, and my focus as a governor is to contribute to providing the best start for our children.

I have worked in the Early Years for four years as a pre-school room leader in a private day nursery. I enjoyed devoting my time and effort to help children learn and achieve their true potential.

I am looking forward to utilising my experience to help the school continue to achieve a well organised and comfortable learning environment.

Staff Governor – Sue-Marie Blezard

I have been part of the Brackenhill team since November 2009 and began work as a teaching assistant in Year 2. Since then I have been a cover supervisor and now I am a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, covering throughout school in the absence of the teachers, which is both rewarding and challenging.

When I am not working I enjoy going out with friends and family,and I try to set myself a challenge of doing something new every month. Last year I managed to complete my challenge and included many trips to the theater, concerts, meals out and even indoor skydiving! Other colleagues, and pupils, will be aware that I have aslight obsession with shoes and spend more than I should on them. I also play the flute and am dedicated enough to rehearse every Friday evening, even though that is not what I always want to do when leaving work at the end of a busy week! I also attend dru yoga and hula hoop classes, and usually have the bruises to prove it!​

Staff Governor – Shelagh Brindle

I joined the school in 2009 to train as a Reading Recovery Teacher. I have continued in this role ever since as I love to see the children develop with their reading skills. Prior to this I have worked as a Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage teacher in London, Harrogate and Bradford. As a Teacher Governor I am developing my own understanding of life beyond the classroom and enjoy being a voice for staff on decisions concerning the future of the school.

Unlike many of my colleagues I am not Yorkshire born-and-bred. Much of my spare time is therefore happily spent visiting friends and family around the country.

Parent Governor - Saima Shokat

I am a mother of two children at Brackenhill Primary School and have been involved as a parent governor since February 2014. I am born and raised in Bradford and have always been involved in voluntary work in the local community. I am part of the Brackenhill Friendship Group and enjoy organising the BFG events, such as the fairs, family days out and Father/ Child trips. Being a governor is a really important role to me, as I have the opportunity to have an input as a parent and to represent other parents within the school.