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 four years

Appointed by - Academy Members

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 – September 2018 for four years

Appointed by - Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher/principal

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 - March 2021 for four years

Date of Appointment to Vice Chair of Governors – March 2021

Appoined by - GB/board

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.

Ian Hughes - Co-opted Governor

Ian HughesDate of Appointment - March 2021 for four years

Appointed by - GB/board

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 Darby - Co-opted Governor

Jamie Derby Date of Appointment - November 2019 for four years

Appointed by - GB/board

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.

Alan Dunwell - Co-opted Governor

Alan Dunwell PhotoDate of Appointment: - October 2020 for four years

Appointed by - Academy Members

Roles & Responsibilities: - Finance and Internal Scrutiny

Sub Committee: - Finance and Audit

A long time ago, before computers were invented, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with a local independent firm. I recall that the decision to remain in practice was straightforward, the variety of work and opportunity afforded to meet interesting people being important factors.

As an Audit Partner my portfolio consistently included a mixture of private and public sector organisations. Latterly, having enjoyed volunteering experiences as a charity trustee, chair of governors and free school director various opportunities arose which ultimately led to my providing audit and advisory services to over 60 schools (inc single and multi-academy trusts); in 2011 I was appointed as RSM Tenon’s National lead for the Academy sector.

Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, I retired from RSM at the end of 2016. I continue to act as trustee for a number of local charities.

Matthew Hirst - Co-opted Governor

Date of Appointment – July 2020 for four years

Appointed by - GB/board

Roles & Responsibilities – School Finance, Health & Safety

Sub Committee – Finance Committee, Audit Committee

I work as a construction project manager for a consultancy on a variety of public and private sector projects. I come from a practical background and have a specialist interest in the schools facilities and maintaining high health and safety standards but I am able to apply the same approach to wider aspects of governance. I enjoy spending time outdoors with my partner and our labrador. I am also a member of the Army Reserves so like to spend my weekends dressed in green!

Darren Cooper

Term ended September 2020

Rob Tuck

Term ended September 2020

Deborah Laycock

Term ended September 2020

Rada Grkinic

Term ended March 2021

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 Funding Agreement (including Memorandum and Articles of Association) for full details of the school’s governance arrangement.

Table of Interests 2021-2022

Attendance record at board meetings over the last academic year 2020/21:


Matthew Cryer 100%

Jamie Darby-Vinci 100%

Alan Dunwell 100%

Rada Grknic 100%

Matthew Hirst 80%

Ian Hughes 60%

Katie Parlett 100%

Emma Sullivan 100%

Jeremy Tuck 100%