“We aim to send all young people into an ever-changing world able and qualified to play their full part in it.”

Governing Body

Deborah Cooke 2022_web (Small)

Deborah Cooke

Chair of Governors

I have worked for many years in the private sector for a variety of companies in business administration for the first part of my career, moving into accounting and finance.  I trained in business accounting and finance whilst I worked and attended university part time.   I now work for the family business and manage the accounts and a small accounts team.

I have seen through my employment how a good education gives the basis for so many opportunities. I am passionate about education and believe that every child should have access to good quality education.  I want to be involved in ensuring that all the children at Aston Hall are happy and flourish with the best opportunities regardless of their ability.


James Sharman

Vice Chair, Parent Governor

I have been a governor at Aston Hall since 2019. My children are currently at the school. Previously, I was a LA governor at Aston Academy and supported establishing the Aston Community Education Trust, where I continue to be a Trust Member, setting the strategic direction for the multi-academy trust.
I attended Aston Springwood and Aston Academy as a student prior to studying Law and Politics at Manchester University. Following graduation, I have worked for a large international bank for the last 18 years, holding a variety of roles, including branch and project management. I currently support commercial customers as a resilience risk manager, specialising in risk governance and operational and cyber security. 
I am passionate about the power education and skills development has to unlock opportunities for all and believe in driving the highest standards to ensure all pupils realise their full potential. I’ve always lived in Aston and want to support providing the best possible start for young people in our local community. 
Lisa Thompson (Small)

Lisa Thompson

Teaching Staff Governor

I have been a teacher at Aston Hall since 2008 and during that time I have taught across all key stages. I began teaching in FS2 in 2022 – I am thoroughly enjoying helping the children take their first steps in their Aston Hall learning journey and develop a lifelong love for learning. I was appointed staff governor in September 2022. I have a number of additional roles within school: Science coordinator, Music coordinator, as well as supporting on assessment and pupil premium. During the Autumn Term, I enjoy leading an after-school choir club to prepare children for the Young Voices Choir concert in the Spring Term at the Utilita Arena, Sheffield. This is a fantastic opportunity for the children to perform to a large audience with lots of other schools in the wider community and every year, there’s always that one song performed so beautifully it gives me goosebumps!

Paul Hanks (Custom)

Paul Hanks

Co-Opted Governor 

I have a varied work experience having initially spent almost 20 years in Project Management roles within the Construction Industry specialising in Project Planning as well as commercial management for major and specialist projects across the country.

I attended Sheffield Hallam University as a mature student to study History, before being offered a funded place at University of Sheffield Town and Regional Planning Department to Undertake an MA and PhD.

In 2007 I was recruited by the Learning and Skills Council to work as a research and data specialist, Economic Development Advisor in South Yorkshire. In 2010 I joined Doncaster Council as a 16-19 Manager, and provided specialist funding support to Post 16 institutions across South Yorkshire.

In 2013 I established a specialist nationwide Post 16 funding consultancy, which now provides support to around 10% of the Sixth forms across the country and works with many of the large Multi Academy Trusts.

I strongly believe that education and personal skills development provides an opportunity to, in the words of the mantra that I have adopted, “Achieve Your Possible”. My hope is that I will be able to assist in supporting Aston Hall to enable many young people achieving their possible.

Ross Moakes (Custom)

Ross Moakes

Co-Opted Governor

Since graduating from Sheffield Hallam University, I have worked in the NHS for a number of years in various roles. Most of this time I have spent working in Clinical Coding and I attained Accredited Clinical Coder status. In my current role as an Analyst, I am a member of the Leadership Team in the Clinical Coding department at a local hospital.

Education has been pivotal to my career and personal development from primary through to further education, therefore I understand the importance of ensuring that children have access to a good level of education. Children should be fully supported at school and provided with opportunities to fulfil their potential. In my role as Parent Governor I hope to contribute towards the school ethos of promoting the highest quality of learning and achievement for all pupils. My son currently attends Aston Hall and he thoroughly enjoys it.

Matthew Duffy AH (web)

Matthew Duffy

Co-Opted Governor

I first moved to Sheffield in 2011 to start my law degree at Sheffield  Hallam University and have remained in Sheffield since graduating in 2014. I worked for a local law firm for several years before qualifying as a solicitor and I have worked as a civil servant since 2019.

I moved to Aston in 2014 and, despite moving away for a short while, my wife and I were drawn back in 2020. I joined the governing body at Aston Hall prior to my daughter starting at the school in September 2023.

I am keen to contribute to the local community and I see nowhere better to do this than Aston Hall. The school  demonstrates a clear positive vision to ensure the best for all children. I hope to be able to contribute to the school’s continued success and, having lived with both my mother, who was a primary school teacher, and now my wife, who is a primary school teacher, I appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes to achieve this.

Contact the Chair of Governors

To get in touch with Deborah Cooke, Chair of Governors, please email dcooke-gov@astonhallschool.org.

What does the Governing Body do?

The work of the Governing Body is carried out for one purpose only: to give the children the best possible start in their school life, by providing the finest in terms of the education they receive. The Governing Body is made up of the Headteacher, and members of the school community and wider Wickersley Partnership Trust where possible.

The Governors work closely with the Headteacher and meet regularly. Decisions are democratic, with all governors being given as much information as possible to aid them in that decision-making process, ensuring lively often lengthy and healthy discussions prior to decision making. Their work is focused around teaching and learning and in ensuring the school is offering the best possible values for its pupils. The position of school governor is a voluntary one, but it demands a high level of commitment, both in time and responsibility, as the decisions made directly affect the children.

The Governors have legal duties, powers and responsibilities, they can only act together, they cannot act as individuals.

Governors are appointed to help:

  1. Decide what is
  2. Set standards of
  3. Agree targets for continual school
  4. Interview and select
  5. Monitor and engage with teaching and learning

School Governors can be:

  1. Parents
  2. WPT members
  3. Community

Become a School Governor


Wickersley Partnership Trust encompasses 13 schools across Rotherham and Gainsborough. It exists to further the interests of the young people it serves.

Becoming a School Governor can have a positive impact on the young people in your local community and help to drive school improvement. A Local Governing Body plays an integral role in a school’s success; working together with senior school leadership and guiding their strategic direction.

Why not give back and help give children and young people the best start in life, whilst developing your own skills in a way which can benefit your career. We like to think of it as a win-win situation!

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