Governors

Ged McGrath

Chair of Governors

After a career in the hospitality industry Ged moved to Cumbria in 2003 and has been self-employed for most of the time since. After owning and running a local post office and store for a number of years he now currently runs a holiday accommodation business in South Copeland. Ged has been active in local government for a number of years and is currently a Copeland and Town Councilor. Ged holds other community roles; he is Chair of his local primary school and other local charities. In addition to his role at Mayfield he also chairs the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership. Geds interest in special education stems from growing up with a nonverbal autistic sibling and understands the challenges families of the young people who attend Mayfield face in their daily lives. When Ged has the time, he enjoys playing golf, gardening, motorcycling and watching films although exercising his two young border collies takes up a considerable amount of his free time.

David Batten MA (Cantab.)

Vice Chair of Governors

David graduated in 1984 having studied physics at Cambridge and then trained to teach. He spent his career mostly in sixth form colleges and retired as Principal of the sixth form college in Barrow. He is treasurer of West Cumbria Dyslexia Association and is Chair of Governors at Mayfield School. He enjoys bell-ringing at a St. Paul’s Church, Irton where he is also treasurer and acting chair of the Parochial Church Council. He enjoys walking the Cumbrian fells, playing table tennis, tennis, flat green bowls and dancing, especially the Argentine tango. He is not very good at any of these things! He drives for Cumbria voluntary social car service and is a Samaritans listening volunteer. He is a member of his local Rotary Club and he it trying to learn to draw and paint, with limited success. He holds an amateur radio licence. He has Parkinson’s Disease so would appreciate your patience when he’s a bit slow!

Matt Legg

School Governor

Matt works for Sellafield Ltd as a Communications Manager. He joined Mayfield as a Co-opted Governor in 2014. He served as Vice Chair of Governors in 2017/18 and is currently Chair of the Premises, Health, and Safety Committee. Originally from the North East, Matt moved to Cumbria in 2004 to join Cumbrian Newspapers as a reporter for the Times & Star, in Workington. He was business editor for The Cumberland News/News & Star in Carlisle for eight years before joining the nuclear industry. Matt is married with two children and lives in Cockermouth. He is a long-suffering season ticket holder at Middlesbrough Football Club and enjoys fell walking and playing golf (badly).

Grant O'Townson

School Governor

Born in Cumbria, I've lived locally all my life. I qualified as a primary school teacher and worked at Hensingham Primary School between 2007 and 2011, teaching across all KS2. Being so close to Mayfield, and having 2 children in my classes on dual placements, I was fortunate enough to get to work with Mayfield staff and children throughout my time there - including the year the schools linked together to produce a brilliant Rock Challenge performance that I will never forget! In 2011, I gained my NPQH and became a Specialist Leader of Education for the primary curriculum. I then left Hensingham and moved to Northside to be Deputy Head for 8 years (five of those alongside Mrs Kidd) and then eventually became Headteacher. My proudest achievement during that time is helping take the school from Special Measures to Good in all areas and seeing the turn-around in opportunities for pupils and in their attainment. In September 2020, I decided the time was right for a career change and I made the move to GoLearn Education - a global edtech company - as their Head of English Curriculum. I now work from home, which gives me more time to be a Dad and to become more involved in other roles. I'm very proud to be a governor at Mayfield and to witness firsthand the amazing work of the staff and to get to share in the fantastic achievements of the students here. It is a real privilege and I am determined to do all I can to help the school in continuing to provide an excellent standard of education. In addition to this role, I'm also a governor at Cockermouth School too.

David Purfield

School Governor

Dave Purfield is 57 year old business owner who has lived and worked in West Cumbria for the last 30 years. He is an engineering graduate of Cambridge University and has been married for 35 years, the father of two children and has one grandchild. David works in many schools in his role as Managing Director of Westcom. In this role David manages stafff and finances. He has led numerous INSETS and training on all aspects of IT including Internet safety, filtering, various IT programmes etc. He has been a part of the leadership team of King’s Church Cockermouth for over 25 years and passionate about supporting and developing local community. David and his wife have also fostered young children and are in the process of adopting a young child. David is therefore familiar with the wider ‘care’ agenda. David has had a tour of Mayfield and was very impressed with the building and young people.

Sam French

School Governor

Sam works for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in communications and stakeholder relations. He oversaw the opening of the Campus Whitehaven project in January 2019 as Community Development Manager and joined Mayfield as an associate Governor in November 2019 before becoming a Co-Opted Governor in November 2022. He also sits on the Premises, Health, and Safety Committee, using his knowledge of the campus from his previous role to ensure the safety and wellbeing needs of the Mayfield students are always met thoroughly. Raised and educated in Cockermouth, Sam moved back to Cumbria after university in 2011 to work in marketing and publicity for St Benedict’s Catholic High School, before joining Gen2 as Student Engagement Officer and Marketing Officer. This role ultimately led him back to the Campus Whitehaven project, where he developed an affinity to the students of Mayfield School and became passionate about ensuring they continued to receive the outstanding academic and pastoral care that Mayfield is renowned for. Sam currently lives in Cockermouth and in his spare time enjoys fell walking, paddleboarding, live music and visiting his homeland of Ireland

Jonny Sunter

School Governor

I started my career in education, in Bradford, straight from sixth form, where I started my employment at the school I attended, as a Special Educational Needs teaching assistant. From there I progressed to dealing with whole school pastoral elements, as i became a Head of House. I left Bradford in 2010, to relocate to West Cumbria where I started working at Solway Community School in Silloth, as a Cover Supervisor & Head of House. In 2016 I switched school & took up the role of Pastoral Head of Sixth Form & Pupil Premium mentor at West Lakes Academy in Egremont. In 2018 i switch to working full time supporting the Disadvantaged (Pupil Premium, Looked After & Post Looked After). September 2020 saw me return to Solway Community School, where I am now the Quality of Education Lead for all Pastoral elements (Welfare, Attendance, Safeguarding & Behaviour) across the 2 schools in our federation (Solway & Beacon Hill Community School). I love my work as a co-opted governor for Mayfield and find an absolute privilege to serve the staff, students & parents of Mayfield.

Andrew Wallam

School Governor

Andrew graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Geography. He studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and for the last 30 years has worked in the field of youth employment. He is the Post 16 Governor for the Mayfield School. He has completed terms of governance in an infant school and a junior school. As well as being a governor at Mayfield School he is also a governor at Cumbria Academy for Autism.

Andrew Wonnacott

LA Governor

Andrew was elected onto Copeland Borough Council in 2003 (Hillcrest Area), he joined Mayfield Governing Body in 2006. In 2010 he took early retirement from Sellafield, in 2011 he started working part time at Cleator Moor Coop. Andrew was elected onto Cumbria County Council in 2011 until April next year. Andrew has a love of live music; he has been a member of the Committed to Rock Choir for 8 years (after taking a break he hopes to get back into it next year). In his spare time Andrew enjoys holidays and eating out.

Steve Williams

Parent Governor

Originally from Cheshire, Steve served as a Prison Officer for 7 years gaining qualifications in Public Services, Custodial Care, and Mental Health. In 2014, he retrained as an Armed Firearms Officer, and relocated to West Cumbria with his wife and two beautiful children, one of which has attended Mayfield since 2019. Due to injury in 2020, Steve has taken a step back from the role as an AFO and have found himself working for Human Resources, specifically on the recruitment team. Despite moving 130 miles North, he remain true to his red roots and attends Liverpool matches regularly. He also love motorbikes and can often be found riding around Cumbria’s extraordinary countryside. Also, even with injury, Steve still has a passion for putting himself through extreme outdoor obstacle races either individually, as part of a team, or with his nine year old daughter Isla. Steve chose to put myself forward as Parent Governor, as he felt that although he can’t do the “regular” father and son activities, he could still indirectly play a big factor in Elijah’s life growing up through his education and learning. Steve is incredibly grateful for the outstanding education, care and opportunities Mayfield offers his son. He feels privileged to be able to be involved in the great work the school does in his role as Parent Governor, and he is thoroughly dedicated to supporting the children, staff and fellow parents.

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