Suzanne Bailey

I was a parent Governor from the first year my son Matthew started at Villa Real, age 4, he left 6th form in 2019 and is now at Dilston College.  I was a Children’s Physiotherapist by profession, and worked in Newcastle and Durham for 20 years, also I am Mum to our 3 children and have a young grandson.   I am Chair of Governors, and in school regularly and working closely with the Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team. I have worked alongside staff and pupils in most classes and am constantly thrilled to see the children’s personalities shine through. 


I am part of the Personnel committee and the Finance committee and as with all my Governor colleagues, I am committed to working with school and taking it forward for the benefit of our children. 

Ivan Jewell

During my past career I worked for thirty years in the Further and Higher Education Sectors. I have a genuine interest in education, and the opportunity for children and young people to reach their full potential.


I have been a Governor at Burnopfield Primary School for over 20 years and am a Board  Member of the New College Academies Trust. I would like to share my knowledge and experience  and I am committed to working with  Villa Real School, and assisting it to move forward for the benefit of the children and young people.

Marie Jones

I am an Ofsted registered residential manager with over 15 years’ experience working with children and young people in a residential setting and have now been in a management position since May 2012.

I have worked within Villa real over the years supporting children and young people to enjoy and achieve in education and promote positive outcomes.

I am passionate about helping each child and young person be the best they can be and look for solution focussed strategies to overcome any barriers. I have worked alongside the school and believe children and young people can thrive in the school with positive partnership working.

Arlene Bell

Before I retired I was Head Teacher at Beechdale Nursery School in Consett for 21 years and during that time was honoured to receive an OBE for services to Early Years Education.

Early Years has always been my passion and I am the Early Years governor at 2 other Durham schools – Cestria Primary in Chester-le-Street and Ebchester Primary.

I have 2 children of my own and 6 grandchildren and I am lucky enough to be able to spend time with them all on a regular basis.

I hope to be able to bring to Villa Real everything I have learned both as a Head Teacher and as a parent and grandparent. I look forward to both supporting all staff and children in whatever way I can to ensure Villa Real continues to go from strength to strength.

Caroline Givens

I became a Parent Governor in November 2018. I am a mum of 3 girls and my youngest, Tara, joined the school in September 2018 aged 4. I have joined the Personnel Committee and, with my background in HR and Training in the NHS, I believe I have a lot to offer in this area. I feel honoured to have become a member of the governing body and am passionate about ensuring that we continue to strive for the very best for our children in all we do.

Lindsey Robinson

I became a Parent Governor in October 2020, shortly after my daughter, aged 6 joined Villa Real. I also have a son aged 2. I work part time for a Global Energy Company and have experience in project management strategy, business improvement, audit and quality systems. I really hope that in my role of Parent Governor I can use my skills and experience to support the school to ensure our children have the best possible experience at Villa Real School. I also hope that I can learn some new skills and increase my understanding of the education sector.

Alan Granton

Currently a teacher and part of the Middle Management Team at Villa Real, I am delighted to be a teacher governor.  My previous occupations have included electrician, working for Northumbria Police and a Religious Studies teacher. Speaking as a teacher I am passionate that every student is given the opportunity to develop their skills and interests in a supportive and challenging way. My goal, when students leave Villa Real School,  is they have the skills and understanding to give them the best future possible and to ensure they are equipped to make good decisions in later life.  Young people constantly amaze me of their capability, positive attitude, and ability to shape the future. I hope to be a supportive, positive influence on your child in their learning journey through Villa Real School.

Gemma Scott

I became a Parent Governor in 2020, I have 4 children, and one of my sons has attended Villa real for over 10 years.  I have been actively involved in supporting the school wherever possible, and successfully raised funds over the years, which have been used to develop areas of the school and buy equipment.

 I am the Managing Director of my family company, this role requires correspondence with clients, liaising with other professionals and arranging training and billing. Previously I worked as an Educational Development Manager within an Alternative Education provision, and also several years as a Learning Support Assistant within a SEN provision.

 I have a wealth of knowledge in supporting children and young people who attend alternative education facilities and SEN provisions, and as a parent of a child who has extra needs, I am dedicated to helping develop opportunities for the pupils of Villa Real, and supporting the work of the staff.

Sarah Barker

I worked as a secondary school French teacher for 12 years before having my family (my son is now 18 and my daughter 15) and since my daughter joined the school have worked in various roles at Villa Real. I currently undertake direct payments work for a young person with additional needs.

Whilst my daughter no longer attends Villa Real, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the school community in the capacity of co-opted governor. I hope that with my joint experience of teaching in special education and parenting a child with additional needs I will be able to help support the school to continue supporting young people to meet their potential.

Outside of my role as governor I enjoy reading, walking, dancing and Pilates.