Full Governing Body

Katie Parlett MBE – Chair of Governors

Katie Date of Appointment – November 2012

Date of Appointment to Chair of Governors – October 2019 for one year

Roles & Responsibilities – Vision, Values and Strategy, Post 16

Sub Committees – Teaching, Learning & Assessment Committee, Student Family & Staff Support Committee, Finance Committee

I am one of the Founders of Lighthouse driven to bring about change and provide families in the area a greater choice of provision, one that is destination based and one that strives to do its absolute best for each and every student. I have a strong belief in fairness and ensuring that every single child and young person has a personalised journey that is right for them and draws out their abilities, talents and interests and helps them build emotional resilience and self esteem. From the moment they arrive we are preparing them for adulthood.

I have a background in starting and building successful multi-million pound businesses in IT Training and Software Engineering since the age of 19. I studied Marketing and Engineering at Huddersfield Polytechnic and through running successful businesses I have developed many key skills including leadership and development, finance, marketing, project management and general emotional intelligence and resilience.

I have been a Governor and the Chair of Governors at a local primary school from 2006 to 2010 and I have been acting Principal for one year at Lighthouse which gave me a true insight into the educational and operational aspects of running a school. I had the privilege of leading the school building project and worked with a strong team from within the school and collaboratively we have the best environment for our students despite huge financial constraints. The building has transformed behaviours, reduced anxiety and has a sense of purpose, calmness and happiness!

I have a child with special needs so I understand parents’ journey and parents’ need for support.

Emma Sullivan – Principal

Emma Sullivan Ex Officio Governor

Date of Appointment – June 2015 for four years

Sub Committee – Student, Family & Staff Support Committee

I have worked in education for over 20 years in schools, further and higher education. I have a wide portfolio of experiences which includes SEMH provision, inclusion, GCSEs, post 16 study programmes, vocational and functional skills and High Needs.

In 2013 I successfully established a new secondary school provision for 130 young people. I led the development from the initial planning to Ofsted grade “Good with outstanding features”.

I was a senior director at the 3rd largest college in the country prior to joining Lighthouse. I am a governor for a local secondary school and served as a governor for over 5 years on the Pupil Referral unit board. I have a degree in communication arts and I am a qualified teacher. I am passionate about changing young people lives and believe only the best is good enough.

Matt Cryer - Vice Chair of Governors

Matt Cryer Date of Appointment - September 2017 for four years

Date of Appointment to Vice Chair of Governors – October 2019 for one year

Sub Committee - Teaching, Learning & Assessment Committee

I began my career in Education teaching English in Indonesia for 5 years. On returning to the UK, I worked for 16 years in Further Education, first as a Literacy, GCSE English and ESOL teacher, then as Curriculum-Coordinator for Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL and finally as Curriculum Area Manager for ESOL at Leeds City College. I hold a BA in Social Policy and Administration, Cert Ed (FE), Trinity Diploma in TESOL and the Training the (ESOL) Teacher Trainers Qualification. I am currently a stay-at-home dad for our 2 teenaged sons. I love the great outdoors and getting away to music festivals in our trusty VW campervan. I am proud to part of a Lighthouse School team that I believe is leading the way in giving young people with ASC real opportunities to grow and develop themselves to their highest potential.

Rada Grkinic - Co-opted Governor

JFP5031 150x150 Date of Appointment – September 2016

Roles & Responsibilities – Pupil Support

Sub Committee – Teaching, Learning & Assessment

I have over 30 years experience of administration, management and finance within the hospitality, education and charity sectors. I am one of the founding members of Lighthouse School and a parent to 2 young men & one who is on the Autistic spectrum. Having seen and experienced at first hand the challenges faced by young people with ASC & their families, I am dedicated to improving life choices and outcomes for young people with ASC and building on their underlying talents.

My experience also includes being a trained advisor on the NAS education advice line . I serve on the Teaching & Learning committee at Lighthouse School. My hobbies include travel, skiing, keeping fit and spending time with family & friends.

Darren Cooper – Parent Governor

Darren Cooper 150x150 Date of Appointment – September 2013 for four years

Roles & Responsibilities – School Finance, Health & Safety

Sub Committee – Finance Committee (Chair)

I am a chartered accountant who chairs the Finance and Resources Committee. I have worked for a Housing Association for the last 15 years and I am a great believer in social justice. An Arsenal fanatic, my favourite pastimes apart from sport are going for days out with my kids.

Deborah Laycock – Safeguarding Governor

Deborah Laycock 150x150Date of Appointment – September 2018 for four years

Roles & Responsibilities – Safeguarding

Sub Committee – Student, Family & Staff Support Committee (Chair)

Declaration of Interest - I provide consultancy advice to Lighthouse School on safeguarding matters through my business Simply Safeguarding

I am an experienced Safeguarding professional working for over 25 years in the Education sector, being known mainly for my extensive grass roots work with both young people and adults at risk. I have led on developing and delivering positive safeguarding and early help interventions as well as wellbeing and support services.

Throughout my years in education, I have developed extensive knowledge and skills, which have helped to bring about organisational change for safer cultures in schools and colleges, enabling them to meet their safeguarding responsibilities and challenges.

I have previously contributed to achieving ‘outstanding’ recognition from Ofsted and work to continue to work to inspire practitioners to both reflect and develop safeguarding best practice. I work independently as a trainer/consultant to deliver training, supervision, support and interventions which address the ever changing landscape of safeguarding and offer support to staff to be the best who they can be within this often complex and challenging area.

I believe that all children and young adults should feel safe and have access to opportunities, which enable them to thrive, flourish and follow their dreams, regardless of their background or level of ability. I use my commitment, drive, people skills and relentless passion to continue to spread the safeguarding message!

Robert Tuck - Parent Governor

Robert Tuck Date of Appointment - October 2017 for four years

Sub Committee - Student, Family & Staff Support Committee

I am the Principal of the Centre for English Studies in Leeds and have 20 years of EFL teaching and management experience abroad. I started teaching in San Sebastian in Spain in 1990. After a short stint in Germany, I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, in 1996 where I joined the British Council as a teacher of English. My British Council career took me to Seoul, South Korea, as a teacher, then to Tunisia as Assistant Manager of the British Council’s Teaching Centre in Tunis, and then finally to Morocco where I was the manager of the British Council’s Casablanca Teaching Centre. I joined CES in January 2012. I hold a Trinity Certificate and Diploma in TESOL, BSc (Hons), MA in Education,and a MBA in Educational Management. In my free time I enjoy jogging and mountain-biking, reading and family time with my three young sons

Ian Hughes - Co-opted Governor

Ian HughesDate of Appointment - July 2017 for four years

Sub Committee – Finance Committee

I am Head of Democratic & Partnership Services at Calderdale Council and also Solicitor to the Council; responsible for governance, legality and probity. I have a busy family life with my partner Jo and our four sons between us (two each!), although only the youngest remains at home. I love getting out in the Fells either walking or cycling. I have a strong commitment to opportunity for all and to the removal of barriers preventing that and am proud to be associated with Lighthouse School.

Jamie Derby - Co-opted Governor

Jamie Derby Date of Appointment - November 2019 for four years

I have worked in SEND schools for 22 years, working across a range of authorities and with students from 3-19 years old. My current post is Senior Teaching and Learning Manager and Post 16 Phase Lead for an SEND provision in Leeds, where I have had the opportunity to lead the development of 16-19 learning in order to best prepare our learners for adulthood. Previous to this, I worked for 6 years at a SEND secondary school that was rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED for 5 times in a row. I have a lifelong commitment to working in partnership to ensure the most positive outcomes for the students I work with.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, music, and seeing as much of the world as my time allows.

Michelle Hoole – Staff Governor


Term ended September 2019

Date of Appointment – September 2015 for four years

Roles & Responsibilities – Staff Governor

I am Head of Computing, E-Safety Office and part of the Safeguarding Team at Lighthouse School. I have been teaching for 12 years and was an ICT teacher and then an Advisory teacher for Leeds City Council prior to joining Lighthouse School in 2013. I was the Quality Nominee for Btec qualifications for all the City Learning Centres in Leeds and have a lot of experience in assessment and curriculum design.

I wanted to join the governing body as I saw it as an opportunity to be involved with the strategic direction of the school, alongside my role within the school leadership team. I felt that is was important to become more involved in the school as I am passionate about it and it’s ability to make a massively positive contribution to the lives of young people with ASC.

I am very knowledgeable about the use of ICT across the curriculum, the design of a curriculum that engages and enthuses young people and how to deliver accredited qualifications that enable students to reach their potential. I have many years experience working with a range of vulnerable young people and of the safeguarding needs, both online and offline, of young people.

Our Governing Body at Lighthouse School

Our Governing Body at Lighthouse School is made up of a group of skilled individuals who are passionate about the students, highly engaged with the school and totally bought into the vision and values for the school and all within it. They are generous with their time and bring experiences to support and challenge the leadership and staff of the school.

Our skilled professionals bring a breadth and depth of experience and includes Educationalists, Finance, Legal, HR and Leadership Development, Business and Enterprise. They also share their network of contacts to further community and business partnerships. We are all on the same journey of great outcomes for all continues improvement and a strong sense of team!

Please see the Annual Report for full details of the school’s governance arrangement.

Declarations of Interest December 2019

Meetings for 2020/21 academic year
  • Student Family & Staff Support Governors Committee
    Monday 5th October 2020
  • Teaching, Learning & Assessment Governors Committee
    Tuesday 10th November 2020
  • Finance, Buildings & Resources Governors Committee
    Wednesday 18th November 2020
  • Full Governing Body Meeting AGM
    Wednesday 9th December 2020