Knayton C of E Primary Academy

Proud to be part of Elevate Multi Academy Trust

Stockton Road, Knayton, Thirsk, YO7 4AN

01845 537291

Acting Executive Headteacher: Mrs A Clay

Have courage and be kind...


Knayton are proud to be part of the educational vision for Elevate Multi Academy Trust, whilst retaining our own strong identity.  The Trustees have allowed its Academies to retain the same composition for their local governing bodies, which is set out below. 

The three core functions of the local governing board are:

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • To hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its children;.
  • To oversee the financial performance of the Academy and make sure its money is well spent.

Knayton C of E Academy’s Governing Body strives to support, challenge, and empower the leadership team so that the Academy’s vision for its staff and children is achieved.


Chair of Governors: Jo Jones

Contact:  or

Knayton C of E Academy, Knayton, Stockton Road, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 4AN


Jo Jones - Chair - co opted governor

J Jones

Jo is a parent to 2 children who attend Knayton.  Her background is in animal nutrition; however, Jo currently works at home on the family farm and campsite with her husband.  Jo joined the governing body to give something back to the Academy which has allowed her children to flourish and thrive.  During her term Jo has served as a link governor for science, data review and french and one of the things she most enjoys is meeting up with like-minded people to ensure that through reviewing and monitoring, that Knayton continues to offer outstanding teaching to all its children.



Ben Clayton – Staff Governor

B Clayton

Ben has been part of Knayton C of E Academy since June 2016, teaching upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5/6).  Currently, he leads on Maths and Data at Knayton as well as supporting other schools with the development of their maths curriculum, as part of his role as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE).  Ben feels very privileged to work at Knayton, as its vision and ethos matches his own for what a child's education should be.  The idea of building relationships with children to get the absolute best out of them, while using a creative, challenging and innovative curriculum model, means these children will achieve great things and experience an inspiring school life.


Rev. Dianne Gamble – Foundation Governor

Rev Dianne

Dianne is a the priest-in-charge of the Hillside group of churches and a Foundation Governor at Knayton C of E Academy.  She was licensed to these churches at the beginning of 2019 having completed curacy in a neighbouring group of churches.  Before moving into ministry, Dianne worked in museum education for York Museums Trust, where she spent 18 years at the National Railway Museum delivering workshops for schools.  Nearly all her adult life has been spent working with children and young people both at work and in church. Outside of her official role, Dianne likes to read and drive steam locomotives. 

 Jean Smethurst – Foundation Governor

 Appointed as a Foundation Governor in 2020, Jean is very pleased to have this opportunity to support Knayton Academy. She has enjoyed listening to reading, and taking part in assemblies as a member of the ‘Open the Book’ team since she moved into the area four years ago. Jean is a member of the Parish Church Council of St Mary’s Church, Leake. She spent a rewarding and fulfilling career teaching History and General Studies in secondary schools and managed these departments for many years. Subsequently she taught English for Speakers of Other Languages in adult community classes. Now retired, Jean undertakes voluntary work with NYCC Youth Justice Service and enjoys walking, reading, travel and contributing to church and community life.


Together, the Governors are responsible for:

  • Setting aims and targets for the Academy and checking the academy’s progress towards attaining these.

  • Monitoring how well the Academy’s policies and plans are working.

  • Accounting for the performance of the Academy and the Governing Body.

  • Working with the Head teacher to make sure that teaching at the Academy is effective and good quality and the children are making the best possible progress.

  • Taking general responsibility for the Academy and its budget.

  • Challenging and supporting the senior management team and taking opportunities to show interest in and appreciation of staff and children.

  • Promoting the interests of the Academy and its children in the wider community.

 Types of Governors 

There are several different types of Governor:

  • Parent Governor

    Elected from parents at the Academy by parents at the Academy.

  • Staff Governor

    Elected from staff at the Academy by staff at the Academy

  •  Co-opted Governors

           Appointed by members of the Governing Body. They are intended to be representative of the local community and may add particular kinds of expertise.

  • Foundation Governor    Foundation governors are representatives of the Church of England. 

           The local vicar is normally appointed as the 'ex-officio' foundation governor;

           The other foundation governor will usually be appointed by York Diocese, following consultation with the local PCC.



Term of Office

Link Governor

Name of Business

Nature of Business

Nature of Interest

Abigail Clay

Executive Head Teacher



Knayton Academy


Head of School

Ben Clayton


01.09.2019 to 01.09.2023


Knayton Academy



Brogan Fraser- Standaloft

Co opted

26.09.2022 to 25.09.2022



 Jo Jones

Co opted

26.04.2021 to 26.04.2025

 Leadership, EYFS




Rev Dianne Gamble


Ex Officio

H&S, Collective Worship

Hillside group of Churches



Jean Smethurst


 18.01.2021 to 18.01.2025

RE, Curriculum












 Clerk: Dianne Mousley


Joe Bainbridge co opted governor. End of term 

John Richardson Parent governor. Resigned 01.07.2019

Steve Butterworth Staff governor: Resigned as teacher and left 17.07.2019

Hannah Secouet Co-opted 31.08.2020

Sarah Mayhew-Craddock Associate 31.008.2020

Jane Makin Co opted Governor resigned 04.07.2022

Nikkie Beniams as she has left Knayton

Anthony Davison has not attended for over 6 months

Rachal Hall resigned on 22nd March 2021

Lizzie Megson resigned December 2022