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Manor Leas Infant School

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Governor biographies


Kate Ray

I joined the Governing Body at Manor Leas Infant School in 2012 as a Parent Governor. At the time, my eldest child had just started at the junior school, having finished at the infants, and my youngest had just started in reception. Changes in personal circumstances had enabled me to have more time at home and with my children and this was when I was able to spend more time supporting the school, while taking on this role. I have learnt a lot about the school and the education system, from a different view than that of a parent, and feel proud to be part of such a nurturing environment for children in their first years of education. Before taking some time out of the workplace, I worked in banking for 17 years which is a whole different ball game! In my spare time I now enjoy running, training at the gym and any excuse for a coffee and catch up with friends.



Caroline Smithers

My name is Caroline Smithers. I have three children all of whom attended Manor Leas Infant School. One is now at a local secondary school and the other two are at Manor Leas Junior Academy.  I knew when my oldest child started, I wanted to do whatever I could to support the school and so when the opportunity came up to become a governor, I put my name forward. Before having my children, I had been a teacher  so felt this experience would help me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a governor, it has only confirmed to me what an excellent school it is and how hard everyone works for the benefit of the children. In 2016, I applied for, and got, the position as Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at Manor Leas Infant School but have continued in my governing role as well. In my spare time, you will often find me in the local coffee shops catching up with friends!



Karen Topliss

My name is Karen Topliss and I have worked at Manor Leas Infant School in Key Stage 1 for over 25 years. During my time in school, I have seen many changes and I have worked for three different Headteachers. 

I first became a parent governor when my children were pupils at the school, which is getting on for 28 years now! I have been a staff governor for over 20 years. 

My role in school is very varied and no two days are ever the same. Most mornings I can be found in Classes 1 and 2 supporting phonics, English and maths. On Thursday afternoons I cover PPA time for Miss O’Neill in Year 1. I am responsible for running intervention programmes for Year 2 and on a Tuesday afternoon my time is dedicated to ELSA (emotional literacy) and Learning Mentor activities with children from all year groups. 

I am PSHCE (personal, social, health and citizenship education) co-ordinator and I oversee the subject and monitor its effectiveness throughout the school. 

I hope that my varied experience of many aspects of school life helps me to be a better-informed governor. I always try to base any decisions to be made with the best interests of the children at heart. I feel passionately that all children should have the very best education we can provide for them and it is a privilege to work with such a dedicated team of staff, governors, children and parents.



Paul Barnes

Hello my name is Paul Barnes and I am a governor at the school.  My daughter has just left Year 2 moving to the junior school and absolutely loved coming to Manor Leas Infant School.

I have lived in Lincoln all of my life and have worked in and around the city in the building industry since I could first pick a hammer up, outside of the school gate I am a teacher and have taught in FE for 12yrs.  I love the outdoors so enjoy camping and cycling.

I am looking forward to working with the school and contributing to the fantastic reputation that the school has.  I also look forward to watching the schools successes and the progression of the children within the schools awesome and inspiring setting.



Phil Bedson

My name is Phil Bedson and I’ve been involved with the school as a Governor for around 12 years.  I have lived locally to the school for 20 years and in Lincolnshire for almost 25. 

We were very impressed when we first visited Manor Leas, and the school certainly lived up to its excellent reputation within the local area so, when my daughter started school, we wanted to be more involved.  Initially, my wife & I became members of the Friends of School and I joined the Governing Body shortly after as a Parent Governor.  When my daughter moved on, I became a Community Governor and since then, a LEA Governor.  I also serve on the Resources Committee, which brings its own challenges but the whole experience has been very rewarding, one which I certainly hope to continue. 

Away from the school, I work as an Electronics Engineer in the Aviation industry and I am a Stoke City season ticket holder – which again brings its own challenges!



Judy Carter

Hello, My name is Judy Carter. After 21 years as School Business Manager at St Andrew's Primary Academy in Woodhall Spa, I decided to retire. I was co-opted onto the Governing Body of MLIS in 2016, and I am really enjoying seeing how another school operates. The staff and Governors I have met are all very friendly. I enjoy singing and music of all kinds, and with three grandchildren, I am kept busy keeping up with what they are doing!



Ricky Millott

Hello, my name is Ricky Millott and I was appointed as a Parent Governor in November 2017.  My daughter is currently in year one of the Infants School and my son will be starting school in September 2019.  I moved to Lincoln with my wife Julie and two children in November 2015.  I do not have any experience or knowledge about the education system but I am learning and am interested in having an active role in my children’s education as a parent governor and to assist ensuring that all children are supported in their learning to the best of the school’s ability.  My interests include fitness, Mountain Biking, Motor Sport and spending time with my family. 


Claire Turner

Hello, my name is Claire Turner and I began working at Manor Leas Infant School in September 2019 when I was appointed Deputy Headteacher. Prior to working at Manor Leas, I taught for eight years at a village primary school in Lincolnshire, working across Reception, Year One and Year Two, as well as being the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.

Within my current role as Deputy Headteacher, I am the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and am responsible for monitoring the curriculum. I currently teach in Year One and enjoy bringing learning to life through hands-on experiences! I am really looking forward to getting to know the school and its children and to begin working with the staff, families and the local community to support the school in any way I can. In my spare time I enjoy baking, going to the theatre and catching up with friends.



David Butler

Hello, my name is Dave Butler.

I moved to Lincoln  in 2010. I am married to Eowyn, we have 2 children Imogen and Lauren. Prior to living in Lincoln we moved Around with work, I feel very privileged and fortunate to have moved to an amazing and welcoming community. I became a parent governor because I have a strong interest in not just my own children's education but education as a whole and enjoy being active in the community. Given that the school plays such a central role within our children's early formative years, I put myself forward for a governor position when a vacancy arose. The hope is, that in my own way, I can make a positive contribution to the school so that it can continue to remain highly successful and go from strength to strength. I enjoy cycling, repairing bikes, DIY and spending time with my family.