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South York Multi Academy Trust (SYMAT) Governance

For information about Governance in the South York Multi-Academy Trust, including information about the Trustees and Members of the board, please see the 'Governance' section on the SYMAT websiteFor legal, financial and statutory information on SYMAT please see the 'Legal, Financial and Statutory Information' Section on the SYMAT website.

The Local Governing Body

The Local Governing Body is made up of representatives of the school staff, parents  and members of the local community. All of our governors have their own careers and responsibilities but dedicate as much time to the school as they are able. They bring a range of expertise and skills which are all equally valued.



    Ms Fiona Phillips


    Acting Headteacher   

    Mrs Sally Sutton


    Co-Opted Governors

    Mr Derek Angood  (Vice Chair)

    Ms Clare Ashton


    Parent Governors

    Mrs Jane Flint

    Ms Fiona Phillips


    Staff Governor

    Mrs Emma Daker



    Foundation Governors

    Ms Ann Cox

    Mrs Judith Probert

    Revd Simon Bray


    Community Governor

    Mr Simon Sykes

    Mr Jamie Cooke



    Clerk to the Governors         

    Ms Janet Edgar

      ​​​​​Contact the Governors

      If you would like to contact the Governors you can do so either by letter via the school office or by email to the Clerk of Governors Janet Edgar.

      Full Names

      Governor Role

      Appointed By

      Date of Appointment

      Term of Office

      Date Stepped Down

      Register of business and pecuniary interests

      Derek Angood (Vice  Chair)Co-OptedLocal Governing Body, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.19/12/201918/12/2023-
      • None

      Clare Ashton


      Local Governing Body, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.



      • None

      Revd Simon Bray


      By Virtue of office



      • Chair of PCC of St Andrew's Church
      • YoYo Trust
      Jamie Cooke


      Local Governing Body, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.26/07/202125/07/2025-
      • Employed/shareholder by Aviva PLC and subsidiaries

      Ann Margaret Cox 


      The Diocesan Board







      • None

      Emma-Louise Daker


      Staff Body




      Jane FlintParentParent Body04/03/202203/03/2026-
      • None

      Fiona Bernadette Phillips (Chair)


      Parent Body





      • Employed by City of York Council.
      • York Hospital Foundation Trust (Spouses Employer)
      • Volunteer at Yorkshire Ambulance Service
      Judith ProbertFoundationThe Diocesan Board01/02/202131/01/2025- 

      Sally Sutton


      By virtue of office





      Simon Sykes


      Local Governing Body, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.



      • Simon Sykes Builders Limited has carried out minor works in school.

      James Peter Farrar


      Local Governing Body, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.



      • Employed by North Yorkshire County Council
      • Wife employed by University of York

      James Edward Naish


      Parent Body



      • Director & Shareholder Naish York Ltd
      • Director & Shareholder Naish Estate Agents Ltd
      • Director (non-exec) Grantside Limited
      • Chairman & Director (non-exec) Aire Place Property Company Ltd
      • Consultant Solicitor Newport Land and Law Ltd
      • Legal Director DLA Piper LLP (spouse)

      Christopher Brennan


      Local Governing Body, with the approval of the Board of Trustees.



      • Bowling Highfield Medical Practice. Provision of NHS medical services

      Jonathan Green


      By virtue of office



      • None

      Pamela Mary Coates


      The Diocesan Board



      15/01/2021 (resigned)
      • Private Tutor
      • Related to Rev Chris Coates (Governor at AYJS)

      Christopher Ian Coates


      By Virtue of office



      • Governor - Appleton Roebuck Primary School in the Star MAT
      • Related to Pamela Coates (Governor at AYJS)

      Meet the Governors

      Derek Angood (Co-opted)




      After completing my training at St John’s, I spent 40 years as a Teacher, Deputy-Head Teacher and Head Teacher. I worked in local schools starting at Wigginton, then Clifton Without and then as Deputy Head at Hob Moor. I was Head Teacher at Appleton Roebuck from 1998 until I retired in 2015.


      During my teaching career, I had many loose associations with Bishopthorpe school. Bill Matthews, who was Head Teacher in the 80’s, was a college friend and neighbour and we played in the same football teams for years. When Mr Beecham was Head Teacher, his wife was a teacher at my school, and the two schools developed positive sporting and music links which lasted until I retired.


      I have lived in Bishopthorpe since 2003 and since I retired, I have been happy to help in school from time to time in various voluntary roles. There are aspects of working in school that are enjoyable and rewarding and I was grateful to be reminded of that. When I heard that the school was short of a Governor, I thought I might be able to help. As a staff representative and Head Teacher, I have served on Governing bodies for about 30 years, albeit in a slightly different capacity to this time. 

      Clare Ashton (Co-opted)



      I am Mother to a daughter at AYJS and a son at the infant school. In my professional life, I am a forensic psychologist, working with individuals with complex and challenging behaviour. This means I bring passionate experience in working collaboratively with everyone (be that  adult or child) to explore a broad range of potential alternative solutions to problems and supporting people to find the best way forward in difficult situations. Working as a manager in the public sector also means that I am used to working effectively and efficiently in order to ensure the public get the best possible value for money, which will hopefully come in useful when I serve on the resources committee. 

      Revd Simon Bray (Ex-officio)

      I took up the post of priest in charge of St Andrew's (along with St Chad's and St Clement's in York) in July 2021, prior to which I worked at Bishopthorpe Palace for three years as Archbishop's Chaplain. As well as being an ex officio governor I am also a parent at AYJS: our elder son joined Year 6 when we first moved to the village, and our younger son is in Year 6 this year, having joined AYJS at the beginning of Year 3. I am a keen musician, having studied music at university first time round, and an injured and ageing footballer. I look forward to supporting the leadership, staff and pupils of this fantastic school and to maintaining the great link between the church and the school.

      Jamie Cooke (Community)

      As a father of two who both attend AYJS, I was delighted to join as a Governor in 2021. In my professional life I work in the Insurance industry and am a qualified Actuary with an in-depth knowledge of the financial services industry and lots of experience at solving complex problems. I hope the former comes in handy and the latter is not required too often!


      Outside of work and family life I enjoy keeping fit and am a Karate black belt with the British Karate and Kickboxing Association. I enjoy playing football and running. 

      Ann Cox (Foundation Governor)


      I feel very privileged to have been made a Foundation Governor at AYJS. 


      I am now the Chair of the Education and Strategic Planning Committee and a link Governor for Special Needs Children and Religious Education. I am also Vice Chair of Governors at Knavesmire Primary School and have been a governor there for around 14 years. I am a freeman of the City of York and treasurer of the Micklegate Stray.

      I moved to Bishopthorpe about 7 years ago to be near to my daughter and family. I have two granddaughters at AYJS, Willow and Rowan Clark. I am a member of St Andrew’s Church in Bishopthorpe and I am a member of the PCC and am on the Finance Committee and take an active part in the life of the Church.   


      In any spare time that I have, I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening and reading.

      Fiona Phillips (Chair / Parent Governor)



      I am a mother of two girls, one currently at AYJS and the other at the Infant School.  In my professional life I am a Consultant in Public Health Medicine with a passion for improving healthy lifestyles.  I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the best health possible and should have the right tools to be able to achieve this.  I feel privileged to have a role on the governing body, as a good education plays a huge part in determining an individual's future health outcomes.  As a governor I would like to share this expertise and support AYJS in ensuring our children have the right foundations and are set on the path to having a healthy and fulfilling life.  In my spare time (what spare time?!) I enjoy gardening and swimming.

      Simon Sykes (Community Governor)


      I have been a Governor for a number of years and hold a position on the Resources Committee and Health and Safety Committee.  I have also been involved with various project committees.


      In my personal life I am a building contractor and can use my skills to advise on various aspects in School.

      My hobbies and pastimes include walking, skiing, travelling and gardening.  I am also involved with the Bishopthorpe Gala and hep with local pantomimes.