Hope Valley College > Our College > Governing body

Governing body

The College Governors cover a wide range of duties.  The essential role of the Governing Body is to help Hope Valley College provide the best possible education for the secondary age children who attend.  They aim to work in partnership with staff, parents, the community and the LEA to achieve this, and therefore carry out their tasks according to a set of agreed principles and methods:

  • Strive to keep in touch with the experience of the students and learners.
  • Strive to ensure a close working partnership with the Principal and College staff.
  • Key groups, including parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, students, LEA and the local community are deliberately involved and welcomed in their work.

Meet the Governors:

Mr S Dawson – Chair of Governors

I am 48 and live in Bamford, Hope Valley. I am married with three children, two of whom are ex-students of HVC, the third a current student.

I work as an IT Programme Manager for Lloyds Banking Group, providing IT transformational change to the Retail Wealth Management business in the UK. 

My main leisure activities are cycling, walking, running and reading.

I have been a HVC governor since December 2011.

Mr K James – Vice Chair of Governors

I have been a community governor since April 2016, I am married with two daughters, who are both just through University and we also have two dogs.

I have spent most of my career working in the FMCG industry for a number of large organisations. My responsibilities entailed managing companies around the world and also sourcing product, during which time we won a number of awards. For the last eight years , I have run my own company which is a business and marketing consultancy, helping companies source products, predominantly from the Far East.

I still enjoy travelling, I play golf and go running to keep fit.

I now feel I would like to give something back and if I can help in anyway to keep improving HVC then that can only be beneficial for all

Mr A Critchlow – Community Governor

HVC has played an important part in my life having been educated here and I fully understand its important role in the Hope Valley community. I became re-involved in the College first with HVC PTFA and then as a parent Governor, whilst my son and daughter were here. Now a Community Governor, I have been Chair of the Academy Trust and the Governing Body since 2011 until 2016.

Away from HVC my day job is Derbyshire County Adviser for the National Farmers Union (NFU), having been a full time farmer until I was 40. A career change then beckoned and I worked on contracts for Government agencies delivering advice on water quality and environmental conservation schemes before joining the NFU in 2012.  Educated at Edale Primary School, HVC, Lady Manners School and finally Nottingham University, I appreciate the transformational qualities a broad secondary education can have on students of all abilities.


Principal – Mr D Willis

Mr John Ellicock –  Community Governor

Climbing on Stanage and trekking on Kinder brought me to the Peak District with Watford Grammar School’s CCF.  My wife was born and bred here, went to New Mills Grammar School and Cambridge, where we met.  My background is: Tertiary Education: RMA Sandhurst (Sword of Honour winner 1967), Cambridge University, Loughborough University.

Military: to age 30, mainly in 16 Para Brigade, three operational tours.

Business: primarily with Burmah Castrol Plc (now owned by BP). CEO of: Castrol Malaysia, Castrol Australia, and Burmah Castrol Europe. For 12 years main board director of Burmah Castrol Plc.

Involvement in Education: Trustee and CEO of Raleigh International, the youth development charity; chairman of Numicon Ltd,  now owned by Oxford University Press; main board director of government training agency; 10 years primary school chair of governors; currently non-executive director of Sports for Schools and Clubs for Schools.

Interests: many and varied.  In sport I represented Great Britain in athletics in 1972. Endurance events: KIMMs; Lakeland 50; DW–K2; watchleader in Chay Blythe’s Global Challenge; walked over 1,000 miles ‘end to end’ to Cape Wrath via Britain’s mountains. I have raised over £200,000 for charities.

In 2013 our daughter and her family moved to Sheffield and this triggered our move to my wife’s beloved Peak District. We also have a son and five grandchildren.

I hope I can assist in the development of the College and its students.


Ms J Collins – Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee

I have lived in the Hope Valley for over twenty years, and my son and daughter studied at HVC.

Professionally, I have managed projects linking UK schools and universities with thier counterparts in other countries, including the Erasmus programme supporting student mobility.  I have been a primary school governor, and teacher of English to non-English speakers in international schools and other organisations.

I believe strongly in giving opportunities to every child, whatever their interests and abilities, so that they can thrive in an increasingly complex world.  I’m committed to helping HVC achieve this as part of the Teaching and Learning Committee.


Mrs S Gillott

I was born in London then moved to Sheffield in my late twenties and have lived in the Hope Valley since 1997. I qualified as a Nurse in London then undertook further qualifications when I moved to Sheffield and worked within the Children’s NHS services. I currently work in learning and Development within the NHS and am involved with vocational learning which includes clinical and apprenticeships.

I have just had a daughter who has gone through Hope Valley College of which I was a parent governor. I am now a community governor, as I would like to continue to support the ethos of the school.

I passionately believe that if you expose a young person to education and extracurricular activities, this will give them the skills sets to travel through life and meet their own potentials.

Mr M Glover – Chair of Finance & Personnel Committee

An Operations Director for Compass Group, having previously held similar senior roles within Whitbread covering their Restaurants and Hotels business across the UK, and also served as a Pensions trustee on the Whitbread Pensions board. I work within the Education catering sector providing a catering service to many contracts across the UK, covering Universities, colleges and schools. I am a qualified Chartered Secretary and have an MBA.

I started my career working in various operational roles within the Brewing business, and then went on to work within the Restaurant brands such as Pizza Hut, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants, and also the Premier Inn hotel brand.

I live with my wife and 2 children in Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire. My daughter attended and my son still attends Hope Valley College. In my spare time I play golf and keep fairly fit by running. My family enjoy walking and exploring the Peak District.

Dr K Checkland

I have been a parent governor since 2006, and have had two children who have been through Hope Valley College, the youngest of whom left in July 2011.

I work locally as a GP two days a week, and at the University of Manchester 3 days a week.

I am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee, which takes the lead in monitoring the performance of the school in terms of the exam results, and supports the senior management team as they work to ensure that the students have access to a broad and exciting curriculum.

Mr R Price

I live in Tideswell with my wife and five children. The children’s ages range from 16 to 7 so we have a good spread of experience from several local schools including a 15, 14 and 11 year old at HVC. We moved into the area some 7 years ago from Glasgow and since then I have spent 4 years as a Parent Governor of our local junior school and the past 2 years serving on the Governing body of HVC.

Workwise I own my own company,  working as a Management Consultant across multiple sectors from Policing through Retail and onto Corporate and Institutional Banking. On a personal note I was the first in my family to go through University – I ended up going twice, first for my BA (Hons) then an MBA – and value the opportunities a good rounded education has to offer.

Mr I Thomas – Chair of Premises, Health & Safety Committee

I became a staff governor in December 2011 after joining HVC as Assistant Head of Science in September, I am also a member of the Premises committee.  I live in the Hope Valley with my wife and two dogs, we moved here soon after leaving university 20 years ago.  I worked in the private sector for 15 years before deciding to join the teaching profession and I  spent six years teaching at Penistone Grammar School near Barnsley.  I enjoy walking and hold the Mountain Leader qualification which I use to support students working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s awards.

Mr D Shimwell

Mr D Holden

I am the headteacher of a small primary school near Buxton. I live in Tideswell and have lived in the Peak District for most of my life.

I hope that my experience of working in a village school, much like those that feed into HVC, will enable me to be an effective parent governor, giving me an insight into many of the issues that affect children, especially with the transition from primary to secondary education. I think I am able to appreciate the concerns and anxieties that all parents experience with regard to their children.

I also hope I have a good understanding of how schools operate which should allow me to appreciate the challenges, opportunities and problems faced by the staff at HVC.  I am keen to ensure that my children are presented with the best learning experiences and being a parent governor allows me to affect that and make a positive impact on how the school is run.

I am very keen on most sports, both as a participant and spectator. I play football and tennis and I enjoy running and mountain biking, making the most of the incredible natural environment we are lucky enough to live in. I have a season ticket for Sale Sharks rugby and I love being able to experience a range of live sporting events. Sport and PE at HVC is something I am keen to promote in my role as parent governor. 

Mr M Spencer

I have lived in Hope Valley for 9 years, mainly working in outdoor education at Castleton Youth Hostel. I started working for the new Post 16 provision as a learning mentor, in July 2012 and shortly afterwards became a staff governor.

I have been hugely impressed with the ethos of Hope Valley College and I am really enjoying working here. I am very excited about the opportunities the new post 16 building will bring for young people making their next step in life and I am also having fun helping to deliver the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme.

I hope that I can use my knowledge of facilities management gained from the YHA to contribute to the work of the premises committee.


Mr P Bacon

 I have been a Hope Valley resident all my life being brought up in Bamford attending HVC as a student.  I am married with two children who both attend HVC.  My career has been spent with RBS and for the last twenty years I have operated in the business banking arena. Currently I am a Senior Corporate Manager in Sheffield  dealing with companies turning over between £2m and £20m, with a specialism in banking for legal practices.  In my spare time I play tennis, cycle and enjoy walking and photography. 


 Register of business interests 2017/18

Register of business interests 2017-18


List of HVC Governors 2017/18

Website list – HVC Directors-Governors 29 June 2018

Governors attendance summary 17-18