Welcome from the Chair of Governors

Dear Parents,

On behalf of all the Governors, welcome to Eden School.

At Eden governors, staff, parents and young people work as a team, building success, in an atmosphere of care where everyone feels valued.  We are immensely proud of the standards our pupils achieve across the curriculum.

The strong partnership, which already exists between the school, its partner schools and local community, underpins the ethos, which is so characteristic of Eden School.  The change that many young people, from Primary age through to Year 11, undergo at Eden is truly amazing.  This is due to the high expectations, hard work and relationship building of ALL the staff.  If you are, in any way in doubt, spend some time looking at all the amazing opportunities on offer to all the young people on the website.

As Governors we become involved with a variety of issues including finance, pupil welfare, public relations, building/grounds maintenance and staff appointments. However, without a doubt, we consider that our most important role is to monitor the welfare and education of the pupils.

Governors are appointed to ensure that objectives are met and that planning for the future is both visionary and realistic. We are here to support and encourage the Headteacher and all school personnel so that children have access to an enriched education and the opportunities they deserve. 

I am available to parents for any matter relating to the school, once you have discussed it with the Headteacher. Parents and governors have key roles in helping Eden to maintain high standards for all our young people both now, and for future generations.

With best wishes,

Nicola McGonagle
Chair of Governors


Nicola McGonagle (Chair)

Nicola is a HR Operations Manager specialising in Human Resources and Governance in schools and has worked within the education sector for over 15 years and is CIPD qualified to Level 7. Nicola is also Vice Chair of Governors at a primary school in Rishton. She obtained her degree in HR and Business Administration at Keele University and has significant knowledge and experience of working with schools, and associated legislation and policy. Nicola is currently participating in the DfE Governor Development Programme, through the National College for Teaching and Learning and is passionate around every child being given the same opportunities to an inclusive and wide ranging education, and for our children to be happy, confident and to become the very best they can be.’

Robert Arrowsmith

Robert is the father of two children, both of whom attend Blackburn with Darwen schools. He has extensive experience of working in education services in local authorities in London and in the North West. He has worked in Blackburn with Darwen for the past decade mainly on analysis of the progress made by children in schools. Robert has been a governor for three years.

Sharon Roscoe 

Sharon is Chief Executive of the EPT and project managed the successful opening of The Heights Alternative Provision Free School and Eden School. She is Vice Chair of the governing body for St. Barnabas & St. Pauls’ CE Primary School. Sharon worked as Strategic Manager (Operations) for CXL and Area Manager for Connexions Lancashire Ltd. She graduated as MBA in 2011 from Lancaster University.

Vannessa Knowles

Vannessa Knowles has 24 years teaching experience and has recently been appointed as Headteacher of St Edward’s Darwen, a good school with outstanding features with outstanding provision for pupil welfare.   She has worked as a member of SLT for over 15 years including deputy, at a local North West school praised for its progress and attainment  (top 2% of schools nationally – Nick Gibb Education Minister)

Melanie Thomas

Melanie is the Fundraising and Communication Coordinator at Blackburn Youth Zone, she has worked there for over 6 years. Melanie has worked in the voluntary, educational and public sector. She obtained a degree in Marketing Management at Manchester University in 2016. Melanie recently received the prestigious award for the ‘Rising Star’ at the Blackburn with Darwen Hive Awards. Melanie has a passion for cohesion, raising aspirations and improving health and wellbeing for the young people throughout Blackburn with Darwen.

Angela Taylor

Angela is deputy headteacher at St.Bede’s RC High School which is judged as a good school by Ofsted. She is lead for teaching and learning across the school and has responsibility for newly qualified teachers, staff development and performance management. Angela has designed and led leadership programmes, including the NPQML and NPQSL and is qualified in the NPQH. Angela is a specialist leader of education (SLE) for teaching and learning and has extensive knowledge and experience in working with other schools to raise standards.

Damian Howarth

Damian is the Technology Manager for Lancashire County Council’s Customer Access Service. He has worked for the County Council for over 4 years leading on a variety of projects looking at ways to improve the service and its reputation. Damian is responsible for providing and implementing detailed designs for major projects, engaging with all stakeholders and successfully project managing, with the support of a Project Engineer, a new telecom infrastructure for social services.Damian is also responsible for the continuous improvement and innovation of technical solutions to the public sector to ensure efficiency and productivity of the installation, sub-contractor, service and technical teams.Previous to this, Damian worked for 3 years as an English Teacher at one of Thailand’s leading private schools, Assumption Sriracha.

Victoria Tarren (Staff governor)


Click the links below to download the following statutory information regarding our Governing Body: