Meet the Governors



Rachel Davis

Head Teacher

  • Staff Governor

Caroline Hawkes

  • Staff Governor

Mark Griffiths

  • Chair of Governors
  • Vice-Chair of People Committee
  • Wellbeing Governor
  • Co-Opted Governor
  • Training/Skills Governor (not Wellbeing)
  • Class Link – Reception
  • Subject Links – Computing and PE


My day job is as a Business Director looking after one of BT’s largest UK outsourcing contracts.  I’m married to Jannine and we have 2 children – Harry and Lily, who both went to Little Sutton School. We also have a pet dog. In my spare time we obviously do lots of walking with the dog, eating out and keeping on top of the weeds on our allotment.

Mr Philip Palser

  • Chair of Finance Committee
  • Foundation Governor
  • Collective Worship Governor
  • Class Link – Year 5
  • Subject Link – Science

Born and have lived in Sutton Coldfield/Four Oaks for most of my life. I went to Coppice Primary and Arthur Terry Schools, before studying Business & Finance, a Marketing Diploma and a Masters in Business Administration. My job is Chief Technology Officer for a laboratory and science equipment distributor, looking after their IT systems, H&S and ISO audits. For around fifteen years I volunteered for a soup run into the centre of Birmingham for the homeless and would like to get back into this when time allows. Treasurer for a small international charity. Amateur poet.

Beverly Ashton

  • LAC Governor
  • Health & Safety Governor
  • Co-opted Governor
  • Class Link – Year 6
  • Subject Links – English and Reading

I have had links with Little Sutton since my children first attended in 1985.  I worked at Nottingham City Treasury, then joined Little Sutton in 1994, eventually becoming School Office Manager until I took retirement in 2018. In 2017/18 I led the school through an environmental programme with Birmingham City Council at the end of which Little Sutton achieved the highest award.  I have been a governor, firstly staff and later as co-opted, since Mr Loxton was the Head Teacher!  I am currently the Governor for Looked After Children and am also interested in the school and its environmental challenges.  My interests include reading, nature and especially my grandchildren!  I am delighted to be able to continue as a governor, supporting the staff and children through both difficult and exciting times.

Mike Hammond

  • Chair of People Committee
  • Vice-Chair of Finance Committee
  • LEA Governor
  • Class Link – Year 1
  • Subject Links – Geography and History

I am currently Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham Charity which runs the fundraising and grant making at Good Hope Hospital, Heartlands Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Solihull Hospital.  I have led four multimillion pound appeals at the charity; including bringing the first CyberKnife cancer treatment machine in the UK outside of London to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and constructing Fisher House, a home away from home for military patients and their families within walking distance of the hospital.  I am married to Elizabeth, a pharmacist, and have lived in Sutton Coldfield since 2003.  I am also a Trustee of Friends of Little Sutton School.

Kelly Ruston

  • Parent Governor
  • Class Link – Year 6
  • Subject Links – PSHE and EYFS

I have two children at Little Sutton Primary School, and I am thrilled to be part of the governance that supports them and their peers to exceed their potential in a supportive environment.  I am passionate about allowing every child to be the very best version of themselves, I am keen to ensure this also means our children with Special Educational Needs, and as a chartered communications professional, I will indeed champion that every child at Little Sutton has the opportunity to Learn, Strive and Succeed.

Ms Sairah Hussain

  • Parent Governor
  • Class Link – Year 2
  • Subject Links – Religious Education and Music

All three of my children currently attend Little Sutton School.   I have worked as an analyst, as a consultant and I am currently a part-time project manager which allows me greater involvement in my children’s schooling.  I’ve assisted the PTA; helping volunteer at events and co-ordinating costumes for the Christmas play and I am thrilled to be able to bring my professional skills and experience to the governing body as my children’s future is of the utmost importance.

Paul Farley

  • Safeguarding Governor
  • Co-opted Governor
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Governor
  • Class Link – Year 4
  • Subject Link – Design Technology

My daughter attends Little Sutton Primary, and as such, I am passionate about making a contribution and assisting the school to maintain its excellent reputation.  I have led effective teams in operational policing roles for over seventeen years, gaining experience in HR, employee welfare, often dealing with sensitive situations; experience that I have put to good use as Safeguarding Governor. I left policing in 2018 and now work for the Motor Insurer’s Bureau as a police liaison officer.  I feel strongly about the need for a forward thinking and inclusive school ethos, ensuring that all children, regardless of background or ability, lead a happy and involved school life.

Prof Jun Du

  • Co-opted Governor
  • Class Link – Year 3
  • Subject Link – Maths

I am a Professor of Economics at Aston Business School and Director of the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Business Prosperity.  I am an applied economist, and my main research interest is international trade, innovation, and productivity.  I conduct academic research and supervise PhD students, and as such, I am passionate about the importance of laying solid foundations in primary education.  Being from China myself, and working with people from all over the world, I understand the value of diversity and global vision and try to promote this in all aspects of governance.

Joanne Warren

  • Creative Arts Governor
  • SEND Governor
  • Parent Governor
  • Class Link – Year 4
  • Subject Links – Art & Design, French and Spanish

As a former pupil and mother of a child at school I was delighted to be elected as a parent governor and to be able to play my part in ensuring the school continues to provide the highest standards of education and supports everyone as far as possible to achieve their personal goals, no matter the challenges that might be faced.  I currently work for a national regulatory body and have considerable expertise in data and risk analysis, project and performance management as well as improving the use of data to shape the delivery of strategic policy decisions.  When my time isn’t occupied with my children, I enjoy reading, films and sports.

Rita Kaur

  • Assistant Headteacher
  • Associate Member

Nicola Arkinstall

  • Deputy Head Teacher
  • Associate Member

Kirstie Lynam

  • Clerk to Governors

Previously Executive PA to the Research Director of an international market research company, I quit to raise my children, a job equally as stressful, but much less paid, and I am now attempting to develop a career as an author, which is also poorly paid and does make me question my life choices.   I love working with the governing body, not only because they are a lovely bunch of people supporting a superb school, but also because they are now the only thing tethering me to normality.