Our Governing Body

Cockburn Haigh Road Academy Governing Body


Meet the Governors

Mr Jon Hairsine

Chair Of Governors

Term of office : 19.09.2019 until 18.09.2023

After over 30 years working in commercial businesses, leading change and transformation programmes in the legal, insurance, financial services and technology services sectors, I’ve now worked full time in both a professional and voluntary capacity in the education sector for the last nine years, in varying settings across West Yorkshire and Lancashire. I currently serve on, or work with, a number of IEBs/governing bodies/trust boards.

As a ‘National Leader of Governance’, my primary focus is upon supporting schools which have been categorised by Ofsted as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’, which have an identified need to improve standards of governance, or which face other significant challenges, e.g. a substantial financial shortfall. Over the last eight years, I have been able to contribute to ensuring that many such schools rapidly returning to performing at a ‘good’ level.

Recognising that excellent teaching changes lives, I am passionate about improving the quality of education and about the important role governors can, and must, play in driving up standards.

Register of interests: 

Director of Jon Hairsine Limited (provider of education consultancy services). Trustee of Cockburn Multi-Academy Trust. Governor of Middleton Primary School, Bankside Primary School, Riverside Junior School, Colden Junior and Infant School, Todmoden High School, Calder Learning Trust, Whitegate Infant School.

​Karamjeet Singh Virdee (Co-opted Representative)

Term of office:  17.06.2018 to 16.06.2022

My name is Karamjeet Singh Virdee and I am 75 years old.  I was born in India and worked in Kenya before I came to live in England.

I have always been interested in education and how children learn.  It is very important that children have the best education possible in a good school.

When my daughter came of school age in 1988 I was elected a Parent Governor at Haigh Road and have been here ever since.  I enjoy going on trips with the children as Health and Safety Governor.

For myself I enjoy walking (you may have seen me around Rothwell) and cycling.  I am also interested in Politics, poetry and religion.  I have accompanied the children on trips to the synagogue and the temple.

Register of interests: Nothing to declare

Luisa Panetta (Vice Chair)

I have been a civil servant my whole working life gaining experience in strategy, project management and business improvement; outside of work as well as being a school governor I am treasurer and event organiser for two social groups and a lifelong walker. I became a governor in 2009 because I was looking for an opportunity to apply my experience outside of work.

I am fascinated by learning styles, constantly amazed by the children’s’ capability and developing personalities and as much as I joined to bring my skills to the school, every time I spend time in the classroom, I learn something from the children that benefits my work and social life.

Term of office:  16.06.2014 to 16.06.2022

Register of interests: Nothing to declare

Jacqueline Padgett - ( Headteacher )


I joined Cockburn Haigh Road Academy as Headteacher in November 2019.

Term of Office: 25.11.2019 to 24.11.2023

Register of interests: Nothing to declare

Mrs Elizabeth Knipe (Parent Governor)

Term of Office 15.03.2022 to 15.03.2026

Registers of interest: Nothing to declare

Ms Bethanie Southwell (Governor)

Term of Office 30.09.2022 to 30.09.2026