Governors at Asquith Primary School

Our Governing Body

In accordance with the Government’s requirements the Governing Board has three core functions for our school, as set out in the 2014 Department for Education’s Handbook:

  • Setting targets and promoting high standards of educational achievement.
  • Setting the strategic framework within which the school operates.
  • Management of the school’s delegated budget.

Governor Mission Statement 2023/24

The Governing Body of Asquith Primary School aims to support the ethos of the school in providing a safe environment where achievement is high and every child is able to develop and thrive within a supportive atmosphere.

We will achieve this through both an active involvement in the daily life of the school, where appropriate, and by working closely with the school’s senior leadership team:

  • To set the strategic direction and appropriately challenging aims and objectives and support school leaders in achieving them through the establishment of the school Development Plan and careful monitoring of its implementation.
  • To agree policies, priorities and performance targets in order to achieve these objectives.
  • To receive evidence that these objectives are being achieved and challenge leaders where appropriate.
  • To ensure that the school sets and works within a sensible financial plan.
  • To ensure that all relevant statutory requirements are met.

The Governing Body will always act in the best interests of the school and its pupils. We will be prepared to explain clearly our decisions in an open and transparent way to staff, parents, pupils and others in the wider community and listen to their views.

We will be united in a common vision for the school shared by the Head Teacher in promoting the highest possible academic standards.

The Governors will act as a corporate body with integrity, objectivity and honesty in the best interests of the school and its pupils.

Chair of Governors

Ms Michelle Robinson - SEND


I have been associated with Asquith Primary School since 2014 when providing playwork services alongside the school, I then became a co-opted governor in February 2020.
I work as an Operations Director for two community interest companies which provide Early Education, Childcare and Forest School within the Leeds area. Within my role I am a designated safeguarding lead and work with Educators to provide unique approaches to learning. I have a keen interest in children developing lifelong skills and an inclusive education for all.

Co-opted Governors

Ms Paulette Bywater - Complaints 


I was previously elected Parent Governor in January 2017 and since then have been Co-opted on to the Governing Body since 2021 and remain a Governor at Asquith Primary.


I have had 2 children who attended Asquith Primary School who have since finished their education journey at Asquith Primary and are now in High School. Both talk fondly of their time at Asquith.  I attended clubs at Asquith whilst both children were babies and I was delighted when both got places in the fabulous Nursery setting and then in to Reception.

  As a working parent I was a heavy user of the wrap around provisions at Asquith.

I have worked for local government for over 25 years, in a senior position for over 12 years, and worked for the last 6 years specialising in Education.  As a Senior HR Business Partner/ Manager; providing advice on all employment matters & policies supporting a large number of schools across the city predominantly focusing on change management; case management; people strategy along with a solutions focused approach with strong collaboration with stakeholders and partnership working and negotiation with the Trade unions. I hope that my experience and knowledge is seen as an asset to the school.  Most recently (January 2022) I supported the Governing Recruitment panel in the 2 day Assessment Centre which subsequently led to the successful recruitment and appointment of Asquith's new Headteacher from September 2022.

I am proud to be a member of the largest volunteer workforce in the UK in my role of Governor.

I have a strong interest in Education and have seen the difference that attending a good and caring inclusive school can make to young people’s lives.

Training/ Qualifications

Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Chartered Membership status)

2020/21 - Governor Safeguarding Training Online

2021      -  Child Protection & Safeguarding

2021/22 - eLearning: Online Safety and the links to Child Protection



Ms Aisling Warr - Safeguarding




Mr Matthew Costello (Vice Chair) - Pupil Premium


I joined the Asquith Primary governing board in October 2021 as a co-opted governor. I have two boys who both attend Asquith Primary. I live very local to the school and have the luxury of working from home, giving me the flexibility to attend school frequently and fulfil my duties as a governor. In 2022 I became vice-chair with specialties in looked after children and pupil premium.

Away from school I work for a Global Travel company and manage a European team of people focused on processes and strategic operations.

In my spare time we love to get out as a family, with our dog, into the Countryside for walks.


Mr Lalit Suryawanshi - Health & Safety


I am Lalit Suryawanshi, my son finished his primary years from Asquith and now daughter is in the school. I have seen the progress made by my kids in Asquith primary school and the school’s commitment for education and well-being of pupils.

I bring following skills and experience as a Governor

·       Bachelor of Computer Engineering from VJTI, Mumbai (Top Engineering College of Mumbai, India)
·       MBA from INSEAD (among world’s top 5 MBA school)
·       Vice President of Technology and Board member of INSEAD’s UK alumni association with 8000 members. Involved in organising events and fund raising
·       22 years of Experience working in technology field
·       Co-Founder of Itechohealth (Med-Tech Company), speaker in medical technology forums, fund raise for company and managing product and technology team
·       Founder of Morley Indians Association (around 1000 members), organise cultural events, sports events and charity fundraising  
·       Governor of Asquith Primary School and involved in Parent and School association for 5 years
·       Board member of ‘Morley Town Deal board’ of Leeds Council overseeing £24.3 million investment. Chair of communication sub committee and Member of Education, Skills and innovation sub committee
·       Trustee of Leeds Hindu Temple
·       Member of Morley Fairtrade Town committee 

I am passionate about education and I strongly believe education plays an important role in person’s life and nation building. I am actively involved in engaging community in projects in Morley and wider Leeds area.

I am here to contribute to next phase of Asquith’s journey to maintain the excellent standards and make our school as ‘School of choice’ for parents in the area.


 Mr Mohammad Shan-A-Khuda - Maths

I have been a Co-Opted Governor at Asquith Primary School since September 2018. A key interest to for being a governor has been to contribute to build school community through exercising the core seven ‘Asquith values’ i.e., Friendship, Courage, Equality, Excellence, Respect, Determination, and Inspiration. Specifically, Asquith’s ‘can do’ attitude and ‘never give up’ have resulted in a great inspiration for me throughout my son’s education at school and beyond.

I am currently working as a lecturer in the School of Computing at Leeds Beckett University. Within the role, one of my special inputs is to the teaching, learning and development of under graduate and post graduate students’ mathematics curriculum. A prominent role as a mathematics governor at Asquith is also influenced by my lifelong passion for maths for the benefit of the community.

Before working as a lecturer, my role as a data scientist involved working on-site with West Yorkshire Police in assisting and guiding officers in conducting cybercrime investigations. I have a scholarly publication on cybercrime victims in England. Working with the wider community including academics, researchers, industries have enabled me to apply my skills, knowledge, and experiences to become one of the successful governors at Asquith Primary School and beyond.


Mrs Kathryn Nash - Early Reading and Phonics


I  have had a long career in Primary education. After completing a music degree and PGCE I started my first post as a class teacher in September 1976. When I retired I had completed seventeen years as a Primary headteacher.
Since retiring my husband and I have enjoyed quite a lot of foreign travel. We have a grown up son and daughter and two young granddaughters.
We go walking regularly and I go to Pilates and swimming which keep me moving-important as I enjoy knitting, sewing, crochet, reading and playing the piano-all done sitting down.

Mrs Helen Peirce - Attendance & Behaviour 

Picture Frame Clip Art at - vector clip art online, royalty free  & public domain


 I joined Asquith primary School at the beginning of the year as a co-opted governor and I am looking forward to supporting everyone at school and contributing towards the school values.
I have worked in local government and private industry before joining Higher Education for quite a few years with a government funded widening participation project to support students who may not have a family history of going to university. I worked with universities, schools, stakeholders and partnerships across West Yorkshire. As a School Liaison Officer for Leeds City College, I worked in Further Education, having trained in Information, Advice and Guidance and again worked with schools across the whole of Yorkshire, offering information, advice and guidance to school students. They then had the opportunity to make informed choices about the best way forward for their education and future employment.
I have now retired and am looking forward to pursuing all my interests!

Parent Governors

Mr Peter Withington (Vice Chair)- Training & Development


I have been a Parent Governor since January 2021 and currently sit as Chair of the resources committee and Vice Chair of the governors as a whole, a position I share Matthew Costello. 

My experience with Asquith Primary began with my eldest child who has now progressed to high school. However my interest in the school continues with my youngest who is still in attendance. 

As a software developer I have a keen eye for solving problems with technology and a school environment offers plenty of opportunities to do this. I have a solutions focused approach with strong collaboration with stakeholders and partnership working and I hope this experience allows me to have a positive impact on the school.


Mrs Deborah Baxter-Heyes - Key Stage 2 Reading


My name is Debbs and I have been a parent at the school since 2018; I have 2 children in the school.   I joined the PSA in early 2021 and I was so happy to be elected as a Parent Governor in November 2022.  I am a Registered Mental Health Nurse and have specialised in Child and Adolescent Mental Health for the last 18 years and I believe that the foundation for a well rounded adult is good mental health support from a young age. I have extensive experience and knowledge around safeguarding, Equality, Diversity and inclusivity.  
My passion is about ensuring that all children, no matter what, get the best start in life through their education journey and are supported to achieve to their own potential and to understand that ‘Equality is not about treating everyone the same, but recognising that individuals’ needs are sometimes best met in different ways’.