Meet the Governors

Chair & Co-opted Governor

Claire NeIson- Boden

I was co-opted as a governor in March 2018 after my eldest son joined Oatlands Infant School in 2017. I was so impressed by the ethos of the school that I applied to join the governing body to give back to such a wonderful school. My youngest son joined the school in 2019 and I have been proud to see how the school has evolved over the last few years and gone from strength to strength, I am looking forwards to seeing this continue under Mr Harrison’s leadership.


After serving as a governor for 2.5 years, I was appointed as Chair of Governors in October 2020. Being Chair of Governors is a challenging but hugely rewarding role, providing the opportunity to give back to the school and to develop skills in a board-level, strategic environment. For those who may be unsure of what we do, the governing body acts as a critical friend to Mr Harrison providing support and challenge to help the school improve for both pupils and staff. We oversee the financial performance of the school making sure its money is well spent, hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.


On a personal level, I work within the Financial Services sector on a global basis and am based from home. I have two children, and in my spare time I love to make seasonal crafts!


Co-opted Governors

Paula Burlison

Both my children attended Oatlands Infant School and I have been a governor since 2008.  An accountant by training, I have utilised those skills as Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee for several years, a role that involves working closely with the School Business Manager and the Headteacher. Managing resources well is key to ensuring the school provides the very best educational start for our children.


Apart from herding two teenagers about, I work in finance and mark professional accountancy exam papers. I also enjoy trying to keep fit, walking our dog, sing in a local community choir and am trying to learn bridge!


Tom Garland (Co- Vice Chair)

I have been involved as a Governor with Oatlands Infant School since my eldest daughter started at the school in 2017.  Over the last few years I have taken on the role of Vice and Co-vice Chair and in that role I am responsible for the 'Quality of Education Committee' and the oversight the governing team provide around that side of the school. 


Outside of my role as a Governor, I work as an Occupational Psychologist for a small consultancy based in the local area. My wife and I both moved to Harrogate from different parts of the Country but feel this is very much our ‘home’ now. Both of my daughters have now left the Infant school but their positive experiences and the nurturing ethos that all of the teaching staff work hard to create is something I am keen to continue supporting for those children that follow.


Sarah Vines

I joined the governing body in September 2022, and I sit on the finance committee.

My family and I relocated to Harrogate from East Sussex in 2018 and my daughter joined reception at Oatlands. We were very impressed by the warm and friendly welcome that we received from everyone at Oatlands which really helped us to settle in.


I'm very much looking forward to being a member of the governing team and putting my experience to good use to help support the school. I have a background in finance working in both manufacturing and more recently as part of the central finance team for a local Trust.


In my spare time I enjoy walking in the amazing Yorkshire countryside and playing the odd game of badminton.


Fran Metcalfe

I have recently joined the Governing Body as a Co-opted Governor. I have previously worked as a Primary School teacher in Leeds. I then decided to focus more on Early Years becoming a Children’s Centre teacher, which was some of the most rewarding years of my career. In 2015 I stepped away from teaching to raise a family of my own and became a full-time Mummy.  


In 2019 my eldest child started Reception at Oatlands Infant School. From this point I have watched the school go on their path of development through the most challenging years ever seen in education. I was so impressed to watch the staff team drive forward with their aims and actions during these difficult times and always put the children at the heart. I feel now is the right time to give something back to the school as a governor and support the school in the next part of their journey.


During my free time I enjoy going to the gym, running and trying to master the art of football via my two boys.


Parent Governors

Julia Buckingham (Co- Vice Chair) 

I became a Parent Governor in July 2021.  I have two children at Oatlands Infant School, one starting Year 2 in September 2021 and the other starting in Reception.


My family and I moved to Harrogate in January 2020 as we wanted to settle near family.  My daughter started in Reception at Oatlands in the New Year 2021 and I was immediately impressed with how welcoming and friendly the school was.  I see becoming a Parent Governor as an opportunity to support the school, which in turn supports the children who attend. 


My husband and I both left the RAF to move to Harrogate.  I was a commissioned officer (solicitor) for over 11 years and before that, I was a criminal defence solicitor in central London for 9 years.  In the RAF, I specialised in employment law, personnel issues in general and public (administrative) law.  I continue to serve in the RAF but now I serve as a Reservist, part-time from home in between trying to get to the gym due to my new lockdown hobby of baking sourdough bread!


Anna Hague

Our eldest started in Reception at Oatlands Infant School in 2017, followed by our youngest in 2019.  As a family we have had a very positive experience of the school and this led me to apply to become a Parent Governor.  I was appointed to this role in July 2021.


Through my role I hope to help the staff of Oatlands Infant School to further strengthen the education, support and wellbeing that the school delivers to the pupils, staff and parents in its community.  I look forward to playing a part in enabling the school to continue to thrive so that each pupil develops to the best of their ability.


I work for a local Secondary School and in my spare time I enjoy running (steadily!), reading and dog sitting!


Sophie Gilligan 

I'm the newest member to the board of Governors, I joined in September 2023. I have two children, my eldest attended Oatlands Infants from 2019 to 2022, and my youngest has just entered Year 1.


My family and I moved to Harrogate in 2018, a year before our eldest was due to start school. We were instantly drawn to Oatlands Infants due to the welcoming environment of the school and staff, and the schools’ key values. As parents, we have always been impressed by the exceptional education Oatlands Infants provides, but more so the fundamental part they play in the development of our children. I am proud to be able to give something back and help the school continue their outstanding work.


As for my career, I have worked in healthcare for over 15 years. I undertaken a number of operational roles and have experience in leadership and HR.


In my spare time, although there’s not much of it, I have a passion for music with an eclectic taste in various genres. I also love to socialise with family and friends.


Headteacher Governor

Chris Harrison 

See staff pages for picture and information on Mr Harrison. 


Staff Governor

Abby Shaw

See staff pages for picture and information on Mrs Shaw.

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