Who is who?

Karen Handford

Hello, my name is Karen Handford and I am Chair of Governors at Holly Hill. I have been a governor at the school since 2012 and I am also Chair of the Governors’ Resources Committee which deals with premises, staffing and finance. My background, before I took early retirement, is in school finance so I am able to bring some experience to this area of responsibility. I have been delighted to see Holly Hill transform itself over the last couple of years into the good school we see today and to have played a small part its development. When not busy at Holly Hill I enjoy cooking, reading and history. I am always ready to talk to parents and you can contact me if you wish through the school office.

Jill James

I am a retired Maths teacher, teaching mainly 16+ and adults vocational Maths skills. Most of the people I taught did not like, or feel they were good at, Maths and much of this stemmed from previous feelings of failure. When I retired I wanted to use my teaching skills to enable young people to realize that Maths can be fun. I now volunteer at Holly Hill one afternoon a week to work with Year 1 and Year 2 children. I have also been a member at Northfield Methodist Church for over 30 years where I lead the 5-13 year section of the Junior Church.  I am committed to high quality, inspiring education which enables all children to feel valued and succeed.

I feel privileged to be a governor at Holly Hill on behalf of the Methodist Church and will do my best to support the school in whatever ways I can.


Philippa Fieldson

I work as a Speech and Language Therapist in Worcestershire. For many years I have run a clinic in the local area. Part of my job involves visiting nurseries and schools working closely with teachers and assistants. 

I worship in a nearby Anglican Church, where I have run the children’s ministry. Currently I am in charge of Messy Church and lead the toddler lunch.

Rev Dr Neil Johnson

Neil Johnson, who was born and bred in the North East of England, has lived with his family in Birmingham for almost 20 years.  His work with the Methodist Church has involved establishing and resourcing projects which support people who are homeless, including refugees and asylum seekers.  He is the Co-Superintendent Minister of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit and part of the team at Carrs Lane in Birmingham City Centre. Neil was awarded his PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2015 for his research on the Labour Church movement. 

Barbara Easton

I am Director of Education for the Methodist Church in Britain. This is a job that covers the whole of the country but, seeing as I live locally, I am able to be a governor at Holly Hill. Being a governor helps me do my job because I am able to see what life is like in our schools at a practical level. At the same time, I am able to help the school because my job gives me a lot of experience, seeing schools around the country. Before I did this job I was a teacher and a school leader. This helps me to understand what is going on and help support the school do a great job.

Victoria Gannon

Appointed 4th October 2016 as Parent Governor.  I have had at least one child at holly Hill School for the last 6 years.  Currently I have one child in Year 1.  I have spent some time volunteering in Nursery so understand how parts of the school are run.  I am very interested in the future of the school and would like to be a part of moving it forward.

Daniel Thomas

My name is Daniel Thomas and I was appointed as 'Local Authority Governor' on 1st May 2016. I have a background in education and currently work as Associate Assistant Headteacher at Bournville School. I look forward to using my experience to support the governance of Holly Hill.

Bob White

My name is Bob White and I joined the Board of Governors at Holly Hill School as a representative of the Church of England in November 2017. I am married. We have two children and five grandchildren between the ages of 2 and 8 years.  Currently I am, and have been for many years, a part time counsellor for MIND, the mental health charity. For most of my career I was a project manager on civil engineering contracts around the country. I have also been a lecturer at Birmingham City University.

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