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Proud to be part of the Elevate Multi Academy Trust


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.


Chair of Governors: Hannah Secouet

Contact:  or

Knayton Academy, Stockton Road, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 4AN


Hannah Secouet – Chair and Co-opted Governor

H Secouet

Soon after my children started at Knayton C of E Academy I began to volunteer in school, becoming a governor in 2014, with specific interest in SEND, and became Chair of Governors in 2018. My first career was in communications; however, I have since gained a Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools, which I’m currently using to support adult learners with additional needs. Outside of school and learning, I spend a lot of time on a hockey pitch! I captain a team for Thirsk Hockey Club and help coach their junior section.  As Chair it’s my aim to maintain the integrity and uniqueness of our very special school. As a governing body we do this by supporting our leadership team in the continued pursuit of providing a setting where standards are high and where both children and staff can thrive as individuals.

 Nikkie Beniams- Executive Headteacher 


I was appointed Headteacher at Knayton in 2014 and became Executive Headteacher working alongside our Head of School, Miss Globe, in 2018. I have enjoyed working with the governing body to implement change and drive standards at Knayton. Our vision to ensure our learners feel safe, happy and valued is embedded. Our curriculum is innovative and our children achieve excellent outcomes. Miss Globe and I work as a team and we are very proud of all that we have achieved so far and committed to continuing the growth and development of our special school.

Rachael Globe- Head of School 


I have been part of the Knayton family since 2013 where I started my teaching career as a student and then didn't leave! There is something truly special about our school which I wanted to be a part of.  I was appointed as Head of School in 2018 alongside our Executive Headteacher Nikkie Beniams. I love being part of a foward thinking, passionate governing body who support and challenge us. Our school continues to grow and develop through their hard work and commitment.  

Jo Jones - Vice-Chair and Parent Governor

J Jones

My name is Joanne Jones and I am a parent to Jack (Y5) and Sarah (Y1).  My background is in animal nutrition; however, I currently work at home on the family farm and campsite with my husband, Chris.  I joined the governing body to give something back to the school which has allowed our children to flourish and thrive.  During my term I have served as a link governor for science, data review and french and one of the things I most enjoy is meeting up with like-minded people to ensure that through reviewing and monitoring, that the school continues to offer outstanding teaching to all its pupils.


Jane Makin – Co-opted Governor

J Makin

I have spent 35 years in education working both within the state and independent sector and I am a great supporter and advocate of small rural schools. I recently retired, after 13 years, and children from 0 - 11 years. Not wanting to walk away from education, I currently act as a mentor for Headteachers, as well as fulfil my duties as an Independent Schools inspector. I have a passion for education and the holistic development of all children and have been part of Knayton Academy’s governing body for many years, primarily undertaking the responsibility of Safeguarding Link Governor. In my spare time I am a keen sportswoman, enjoying cycling, walking and skiing.


 Anthony Davison – Co-opted Governor

A Davison

 I am Mental Health Nurse and also a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I have worked in mental health since 2002 and find working in this field a very rewarding and satisfying career. Developing and maintaining good mental health is fundamental to our overall wellbeing. I applied to be on the board of governors to support the school and help ensure that the school maintains its high standards which it aspires to uphold. I am also especially interested in supporting children who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or have additional needs.  I have one daughter who has recently started Knayton Academy, and I am pleased to say she is loving it!!


Linda Mason – Parent Governor

L Mason

I currently work at York St John University in Initial Teacher Education and am the subject lead for primary mathematics as well as working more broadly on wider curriculum programmes and current educational research. I have always been involved in education working both abroad and closer to home; ranging from teaching English as a foreign language in the Czech Republic to being an Advance Skills Teacher in a number of primary school across England (including Newcastle, the London Borough of Merton and York). Having been a Primary Mathematics Consultant working with a broad range of schools across North Yorkshire, I was delighted to be asked to join the governing body at Knayton C of E Academy. I am a parent of two children who are lucky enough to attend Knayton C of E Academy and I hope, through my work as a parent governor, to support our school in achieving the very best for all the children in our care. 


 Sarah Mayhew-Craddock – Associate Governor

S Mayhew-Craddock

With a professional background working in arts and charitable trusts I joined Knayton’s Governing Body in September 2019 as an Associate Governor with a focus on curriculum enrichment through the Arts. I feel passionately about giving young people the opportunity to enjoy the arts as audiences, as learners and as creators.  We were drawn to the school by its open, nurturing, forward-thinking approach, and by the way in which it integrates play-based learning and context. It struck us that the school has its roots in the community, and an eye on the globe, which I feel is an essential part of learning as we live in an increasingly globalised world.  Our daughter joined school in Reception in 2018, and that exposure to school life piqued my interest in school improvement at all levels as I possess a deep-rooted belief in the importance of a first-class, holistic education for all.


Rachel Hall – Co-opted Governor

R Hall

I was co-opted onto the board of governors in September 2019 because of my previous experience in finance.  My two children William and Henry both attend the school and I felt I have worked in finance for the past 15 years with jobs from Agricultural Bank Manager to offering bookkeeping and support to Farmers and Estates.   At present, I work on the family farm and run the farm office.  When I am not busy on the farm you will usually find me at a horse show or on the side of the rugby pitch with the boys.


Ben Clayton – Staff Governor

B Clayton

I have been part of Knayton C of E Academy since June 2016, teaching upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5/6).  Currently, I lead on Maths and Data at Knayton as well as support other schools with the development of their maths curriculum, as part of my role as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE).  I feel very privileged to work at Knayton, as its vision and ethos matches my 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

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



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 Headteacher 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 pupils.

  • Promoting the interests of the academy and its pupils in the wider community.

 Types of Governors 

There are several different types of Governor:

  • Parent Governor

    Elected from parents at the school by parents at the academy.

  • Staff Governor

    Elected from staff at the school 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 either Leeds or York Diocese, following consultation with the local PCC.






Term in Office

Anthony Davison


18/.03/2019 to 17/03/2023

Jane Makin


08.07.2019 to 08.07.2023

Rachel Hall


16.09.2019 to 16.09.2023

Hannah Secouet

Co opted

08.07.2019 to 08.07.2023

Rev Dianne Gamble


Ex officio




Joanne Jones


01.09.2016 to 01.09.2020

Linda Mason



Ben Clayton 



Nikkie Beniams

Executive Head teacher


Rachel Globe

Head of School


Sarah Mayhew-Craddock


In Attendance



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





Governor Attendance at LGB Meetings:

 LGB Attendance
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