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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 24 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 26 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 Class 1 supporting phonics, English and maths. I also cover teachers’ PPA time in both Year 1 and Year 2. In the afternoons I am responsible for running intervention programmes and Friday afternoons are dedicated to Learning Mentor activities. 

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.