Meet the Governors


Mrs K Carruthers (Headteacher)

I have been the Headteacher and a member of the Governing Body at Upton Westlea Primary School since September 2015. I take an active role in all the sub committees and am accountable to all the others members of the Governing Body.

I believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop his/her potential in a happy and safe environment which equips them for all future needs and instils a want for life-long learning through imaginative, creative, enjoyable and practical opportunities. High quality learning and teaching experiences are the right of every child. All children are entitled to a broad, balanced, stimulating and enriched curriculum with a mixture of teaching and learning styles. All of which as Headteacher and a member of the Governing Body I endeavour to provide at Upton Westlea.

On a personal note I am married to Jimmy who is a builder (very useful around the house!!) and I have two wonderful children, Joe and Abi.

 Miss Laura Dalton (Staff Governor)

My name is Laura Dalton and I have been the year 1 and now the year 2 class teacher at Upton Westlea since 2015.  I am the Prhonics and Early Reading and Art subject leads and from 2017-2019 I have been working on achieving the Artsmark Award for our school, which we eventually achieved in 2020.. I lead the school choir and my passion is anything creative, colourful and potentially a little bit messy!

I am originally a Bolton lass, moving to Chester for university and once completed my teaching degree, I remained in Chester. Outside of school, I am engaged to Gareth and live in Saltney with our fur-baby (cat) Charlie. We love to watch motor racing either at the tracks or on TV and I also enjoy being girly with my friends.

I became the staff governor in July 2019 and am very much looking forward to seeing what I can do!

Mrs Lisa McCluskey (Co-opted Governor)

My name is Lisa McCluskey and I have been a  governor at Upton Westlea for over 11 years. I am married to Iain McCluskey who is an associate governor and we have 4 children.

I am a HLTA at Upton Westlea in year 1 and I absolutely love my job! I find it so rewarding when I teach a child something new.

I enjoy being on the governing body as I want to help make a difference to the children’s learning as well as giving them new experiences. I feel being a governor helps me in my day to day job as it gives me a deeper understanding into school life.

Mrs Diane Rooney (Co-opted Governor)

I’m Diane Rooney and I live a stone’s throw from school. I’m married to Jim (a former high school CDT teacher), have two adult children and two grandkids. I know a bit about special needs because my son has Asperger syndrome and was statemented throughout his school years. He’s since matured into a well-adjusted young man and has a fantastic job working as a QA software engineer. However, this personal experience of having a child on the autistic spectrum taught me how important it is to support and nurture children, both at home and in school.

I like using a variety of means to help with learning and a few years ago I was a volunteer tutor with Passion for Learning in another junior school. I did one-to-one sessions (simple embroidery, craftwork, learning basic Spanish words, chess, singing, etc) with a small number of more needy youngsters and they were forever asking me what else we could explore! However, I think it was the fun and interaction of doing these things together that was key to increasing the children’s confidence during my time supporting them.

I worked for ten years for Chester Mental Health Forum until it disbanded in 2016. I’ve been involved with Chester Terrapins swimming club (for people with disabilities) since my son joined when he was eight (he’s still a member) and now I’m the club chairman. I was appointed secretary of Chester Competitive Festival of Performing Arts in 2013 and I served as a JP at Chester magistrates court for 16 years until I retired in July 2021. And now I’m looking forward to working to the best of my ability as a governor for Upton Westlea.

Education and interests: I have a BA in health and social studies, ATCL music diploma in voice and Cert.Ed TESOL. I’m a member of Chester Bach Singers and an avid reader of books written in Spanish.

Mrs Nicola Buckley (Co-opted Governor)

I am delighted to be involved in the governance of Upton Westlea Primary School, working alongside the other governors and the school staff. I hope to contribute to the improvements made by the school so far, and assist wherever possible, in the drive to ensure that the children reach their potential.

My background involves 8 years of development and delivery experience in environmental education and community involvement, most recently at Chester Zoo where I manage the team of visitor engagement volunteers within the Discovery and Learning department.

I was born in Chester but I now live in Middlewich with my husband and two year old daughter. We love the outdoors climbing, walking and of course visiting the zoo.

I joined the governing body of Upton Westlea in March 2016 so I am very new to the role but I am totally committed to providing the best possible education for each and every child at the school.

Jill Houlbrook (LA Governo/Vice Chairperson)

Hello, I am Jill Houlbrook. I’m a Parish and Borough Councillor for Upton, but more importantly I’m passionate about our community and our environment.  I retired from the Governing body of Westlea a couple of years ago but I’m delighted to have been asked to return. I’m a member of Friends of Countess Country Park, of Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International and of Chester Zoo, among other organisations. I share my home with two cats and two chickens. My cats came to me from by Chester Kitty Cat Rescue, (of course) and when I’m not doing other things I enjoy baking and walking.

Vicky Field (Associate Governor)

I have been a member of staff at Upton Westlea since 2009, I have worked as a 1:1 Teaching Assistant before becoming the Nursery Teacher and going on to teach Year 6 and my current Year group Year 4. I am now the Deputy Headteacher and have enjoyed supporting the school in gaining our latest Ofsted.
As a teacher I believe that all children deserve the opportunity to a full and engaging learning experience, with a range of new and exciting opportunities and experiences. I feel all children deserve the right to reach their full potential in a stimulating, safe and caring environment which I feel Westlea offers all of our children. I am currently the Maths Subject Leader and Assessment Coordinator for the school.
Outside of school, I am married to Jason and a mother to a gorgeous little girl, Grace and a step mother to Jenny and Chris. I enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy football and musicals.
Mrs Josette Foster (Co-opted Governor / Chairperson)

I am absolutely delighted to be a governor at Upton Westlea Primary School, working together with the other governors and the school staff. I plan to play an active role in the school’s continued success and towards its strategic priorities.

My background is 32 years in further education as Assistant Principal with a key focus on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment ( especially maths and English), outcomes for learners and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

After taking voluntary redundancy I was lucky enough to be able to have a complete career change and bought Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove. At the shop I am passionate about quality, sustainability, employability and playing a key part in the community.I am truly honoured to take on this role.

Mrs Emily Rowlands (Parent Governor)

I am Emily. I am passionate about holistic education, so much so, I chose to home educate for 19 years. My four children are all now beyond my help with the boys, both adults, either working or studying and the girls are in their final years of school. My experience in home education gave scope for me to explore individualised learning, international syllabi, educational psychology and different pedagogy, especially in relation to my youngest child who has a specific language impairment.

I currently work in two part-time roles as a peripatetic music teacher in schools in North Wales and as a lead pastor of Festival Church, Chester, alongside my husband, Tim. I enjoy the creative arts, reading, writing and open water swimming. I have had a children’s novel published and have many other writing projects on the go. I also plan to swim the English Channel in 2021 as part of an all women relay team.

I am pleased to be able to support Upton Westlea in governance. I love seeing the educational community thrive and the learners and teachers flourish. I will do everything I can to help maintain this.

Capt Richard Cullen (Co-opted Governor)

Ms Ella Bytheway-Jackson (Co-opted Governor)

I am extremely excited to be taking on this role as a governor at Upton Westlea. I am from Chester and know what a lovely place it is to grow up and go to school in, so I am passionate about ensuring that future generations get to enjoy it as much as I did! 

I am currently conducting research at the University of Liverpool where I am a Geographer. My research looks at Victorian Workhouses across the Wirral and West Cheshire and I also help with teaching and assessment on the Undergraduate Geography program. I have previously worked at the University of Chester in Legal and Compliance, where I gained insight into governance. I am also a Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

I am a big believer in the powerful role of education and plan on being an active member of the school community. Working with the other governors to encourage the school in its success and endeavour towards its strategic priorites is a privilege. I have a cat called Ginger and in my spare time I enjoy roller skating, reading and growing my own fruit and vegetables in my garden.




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