Governors - Biographies

Andrew Coates

Co-opted Governor

Chair of the Governing Body

Chair and Member of the Ashover Governors Extended Services (AGES) Committee

Director of Ashover Governors Extended Services Limited

Member of the Head Teacher Performance Management Committee

Member of The Resource Management Committee

Subject Governor for Children in Care

I am married to Cathy and we have two children - who both attended Ashover School but are now at secondary school.

I am a Chartered Accountant and the owner and a director of Strategic Corporate Finance Transactions Limited, which advises on corporate disposals, corporate acquisitions and management buyouts. I have over 25 years’ transaction experience gained across a wide range of industries and I am very proud of the large number of deal making awards that the firm has won.  

I became a parent governor at Ashover Primary School in October 2012 and was elected as the Chair of Governors in September 2014.

Emma Crowder

Staff Governor


Teacher for Year 5

Member of the Education & School Performance Committee

I am a teacher at Ashover Primary School and have been teaching for 5 years, both in KS2.  I am the Anti Bullying and Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

I am the Staff Governor and a member of the Education and School Performance Committee.

I live in and was educated in Derbyshire.

Ellen Hardwick

Ellen Hardwick

Parent Governor

Chair and Member of the Education & School Performance Committee

Subject Governor for Anti-Bullying, Special Educational Needs including More Able Pupils and Modern Foreign Languages

I have two children: a daughter in Year 5 and a son in Year 3. I became a Parent Governor in December 2013 because I am passionate about learning and want to do all I can to support Ashover School.

I studied languages at university and have a background in secondary teaching and translation project management. I've lived in various parts of the country and also abroad (Germany and California) before returning to my native Derbyshire.

As well as being a Governor, I am Co-Secretary of Friends of School and am very much involved in the local Ashover community, for example as Vice-Chair of the Ashover Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. 

I am Chair of the Education & School Performance Committee and am also the Governor responsible for Special educational needs and disability (SEND).

Rebecca Vardy

Parent Governor

Member of the Education & School Performance Commity

Subject Governor for English and RE

I have 3 children, 2 of which still attend Ashover. My daughter is in Year 5 and my son is on Year 4.

I work as a supply teacher at 2 other school's in Derbyshire. I am a keen member of Ashover Friends of the School and enjoy organising fund raising events at Ashover.

Sue Myhill


I started my teaching career at Ashover in 2000 where I taught for 6 years in EYFS and KS 1. I was then Deputy Headteacher at an Infant School in Chesterfield. I am married with 3 children that go to school in Chesterfield. I enjoy running and playing netball for a ladies team.

Vicky Buxton

Authority Governor

Member of the Head Teacher Performance Management Committee

Subject Governor for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Safeguarding

I live in Uppertown, in the parish of Ashover and I am married to Richard.  We have two children, one daughter in year 3 and a pre-school child.  My family have a long history with the school, my daughter being the third generation to attend.

Presently, I work in local government for the Education Improvement Service and have done so for nine years. I advise and act as a critical friend for the Early Year in the private sector and schools.  Preceding this, I taught in a number of primary schools, but then left my teaching career in a senior role, having led many subjects and a Key Stage One/Foundation Stage unit.

I became an Authority Governor in June 2015 and I enjoy working with and supporting Ashover Primary School as it strives to maintain its outstanding status and reputation and as it embraces new challenges ahead.

Sue Burn

Co-opted Governor
Vice Chair of the Governing Body
Chair of the Head Teacher Performance Management Committee
Member of Education & School Performance Committee
Subject Governor for Maths
I have lived in Ashover since 2006. I spent most of my career in education, mainly in Secondary and Further sectors. From 2003 I worked on several national projects that focussed on  improving teaching and learning in vocational subjects. I have also worked with OFSTED as an additional inspector.
I am now retired.  I volunteer in a local primary school working with a group of Y6 students on Maths topics which I really enjoy. I also volunteer at Matlock Citizen’s Advice and review applications for research funding for Versus Arthritis. I also have a busy family life with two twin grandsons living in North East England.
I became a governor at Ashover in October 2018 and look forward to continuing my life long interest in teaching and learning.

Gethin Jones

Member of The Resource Committee

Subject Governor for Computing

I have two daughters that are currently attending Ashover Primary, whilst I live just outside the catchment area.  I have been a regular on the playground since 2013 and enjoy being part of the school community through assisting at the Friends of School events.

My background professionally is within the technology sector, where I've been a Telecommunications Consultant specialising in leading large and often complex technical teams assisting large domestic and global corporate organisations within Transformation, Stabilisation and Optimisation  programs in the Contact Centre arena.  I hope that my skills bring another dimension to the governing body by creating positive action and roadmaps that are able to achieve the best outcomes on an individual basis for the children who attend the school, ensuring that not only are they supported academically, they have a safe supportive environment to grow, and are aware of the part they play in the community and further afield.


Angela Stephenson

Member of Education & School Performance Committee

I am the Information Manager at Tibshelf Community School and parent to a year one child at Ashover School.

I wanted to become a governor in order to actively contribute to the continual improvement of the school. 

My ethos is to ensure that every child is being given the best opportunity to achieve their full potential whilst receiving a comprehensive education and experiences to enable them to succeed throughout the rest of their education and into adult life. 

Coming from a family of teachers, I have always been involved in education to some degree. I achieved a BSc Animal Science degree and have gone on to various roles eventually ending up in education working as a TA in South Normanton delivering Maths and ICT sessions to KS1-KS4. I have since moved onto my role as information manager where I manage communication, timetable, data, exams, cover and related tasks.

I hope that I can bring my experience of working in a variety of educational settings to my role as a governor.


Mark Barltrop

Co-opted Governor

Chair of The Resource Committee

Subject Governor for Health and Safety


Having lived in the village for over 20 years I fully understand the importance a fantastic school like Ashover plays in the community and the wonderful life it creates for our children. My aim is to support the School through the governing body to ensure that the past successes are maintained. 


My background is in commercial property covering all aspects from development, investments, capital projects, corporate property strategy and property management. I will look to bring this experience into my role as chair of the resources committee and member of the governing body.


Carl Hayes

Associate Governor

Member of The Resource Management Committee

Subject Governor for Humanities and PE

I am married to Charlotte and have two children at Ashover school in years 1 & 2. I have worked as a Business Transformation officer at Chesterfield Borough Council since 2000. I have also fulfilled the role of Branch Secretary of Unison at Chesterfield BC. I have therefore sat on both sides of the table and understand the need to work with the school but also provide checks and possible alternatives going forward.

I was keen to become a governor at Ashover for several reasons:  Part of this was to have an input into how the school is run and to have an understanding of all that goes on behind the scenes.  I also believe that I have some experience that will be useful in helping the school with its mission moving into the future.