Meet Our Governors

John Reeve - Chair

I moved to the village in August 2016, together with my wife, when I retired from the civil service. I have previous experience as a school governor and felt that this would be a way of contributing to, and being involved in, a village that has made us very welcome. So in September 2017 I became a governor at the school and was subsequently elected Chair of Governors in January 2020. The community here appears to be vibrant, supportive and keen to make the best of itself. Middleton Community Primary School is a very good example of this and is at the heart of the village. The importance of a good education in a caring environment cannot be overstated.

Since retiring and moving to Middleton from Oxfordshire I have been able to spend more time doing things that I enjoy such as hill walking and bird watching (I am a member of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust). I enjoy watching rugby and football and keeping up-to-date with current affairs. I have two adult children: a son who lives in Oxford and is an IT consultant and a daughter who lives in London and is a senior marketing manager for a cancer charity.

Anne Pepper Clerk to the Governors

    A keen reader from an early age and an interest in the past led to a move to Derbyshire to study for a degree in English literature, history and education. Newly married, I moved to Middleton in 1983 and have held the post of Clerk to Governors since 1986, using skills gained from working at Derbyshire Museum Service. Volunteering at school as the secretary and treasurer of Friends of Middleton School soon after, I then became a parent helper in the classroom whilst my three children attended the school. This was followed by posts as mid-day supervisor and teaching assistant. My hobbies include reading, visiting museums/historic buildings, cooking and sewing, all of which have been useful in the classroom and in running the after school book club. Supporting the Governing Body as Clerk, seeing the dedication, expertise and teamwork involved, is rewarding and a privilege.

Sarah Crowther

I have lived in Middleton village since 2010. I am a Principal Lecturer at Sheffield University in the School of Health And Well-being. I am a Physiotherapist by profession, training at Sheffield Hallam University several light years ago! I  have worked in the NHS and in the private sector since graduating. It was whilst working In the NHS I  became  involved in student Physiotherapy education and training. Over time I became interested in the academic aspect of their development so completed a PGCE and started to work at Sheffield Hallam University in 2003. Since then I have lectured within the Uk and Internationally, acted as External Examiner for other HEI’s and part of validation teams for new Physiotherapy programmes.  In addition to Academic work I have always continued to work privately as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and I am currently part of the physio team at Matlock Physiotherapy Clinic.  
Middleton is a great place to  live and we are very privileged to have a such a supportive and caring community . I have a little boy, William, who attends the school – when I say attends he skips to school most days!   I wanted to be an active part of our community by supporting the School, Mrs Dugdale and all the staff in the incredible work they do and the environment they create for our children to learn and blossom.

                                           Margaret Griffith

My name is Margaret Griffith.

During my teaching career, I taught across the whole primary age range, but spent the last few years teaching Year 5/6 pupils in a small village school, where my roles and responsibilities, being the Senior Teacher and part of the SLT, were varied and included coordinating Literacy and Assessment.

Since leaving teaching I have worked as a Basic Skills Assessor, visiting many schools across the region to assess their provision for English and Maths, a role which has underlined to me, the dedication the staff in our schools have to provide the very best education to our children and young people.

Recently, Covid 19 has brought changes to the lives of many of us, not least me … I decided to leave the ‘hands-on’ face of education and do something I’ve always wanted to do which was to work part-time at one of our beautiful historic houses.

I also wanted to become a School Governor again and was very pleased to be asked to do just that at Middleton Community Primary School.

I live just 10 minutes away but since becoming one of your governors, Covid has prevented me from becoming a familiar face around school. However, I hope to rectify that very soon and look forward to meeting everyone, ‘face-to-face’!

Nigel Garbett

I am 63 years of age , Married to Julie since 2006, I have two Children, two stepchildren, 4 Grandchildren and 1 Step Grandchild. I have lived in the Village since January 2017, my Cousin used to run Palin’s Green grocers in Wirksworth Market Place for many, many years, so Wirksworth has been a regular place to visit during my early years.

I retired in October 2016 and I worked for Derby based Train manufacturer Bombardier for 44 years. After many Finance Roles in the United Kingdom, I became Head of Finance and Board member for Bombardier in South Africa in Johannesburg, between 2009-2012, moving to the Philippines to be Head of Bombardier’s Shared Service Centre and Board member, based in Philippines second City, Cebu, between 2012-2014 before moving to be Bombardier’s Head of Finance and Board member in Australia based in Melbourne, which enables me to provide Financial and Senior Management expertise to the governing team.

Responsibilities on the governing body include: Finance Committee, Development Committee, School Premises Committee, Performance Management Committee.

Lena Brailsford 

I’m Lena Brailsford and I trained as a Primary Teacher, specialising in Environmental Studies, long before forest schools came into fashion. I have always had a strong belief that the best way to create a desire to protect our environment is to enjoy it, have fun and make memories. Early in my career I shared this by helping create and deliver forest-based education programmes.

My true passion is teaching children and helping to inspire a thirst for knowledge, broaden experiences, promote equality and nurture self-belief.  This drive for equality and a desire to truly support the whole child led me to both train as a holistic therapist and work for Barnardo’s as a family group conference lead, advocate, family support worker and group leader. This then led me into teaching in special schools, where I found myself intrigued by Autism and captivated by the unique pupils I taught.  Working as a class teacher and later as a lead teacher, in such a setting enabled me to merge my therapeutic practice, family support skills and teaching. After 16yrs I recently left and am now an Autism Outreach Teacher for DCC.  My primary role is to offer advice and training for Nursery through to secondary schools, who have Autistic pupils on role. I am dedicated in my quest to help these pupils thrive and excel.   

I am blessed to have two lively children both of whom, as of September will be at Middleton. Though I live in Cromford, I chose Middleton not only because of its community feel, outdoor provision, and welcoming ethos, but because of the staff team, including ‘Stella the tortoise’ and ‘Meg the dog’. 

I am an adrenaline junkie and love extreme sports, though I have an irrational fear of skiing which I blame on my mother who told me countless stories of dry ski slope injuries she had nursed as a child!

I am happy to support the school in any way I can and am excited to have the opportunity to become part of the Middleton School team.

Kat Davey

I moved to Middleton in August 2022 after spending 10 years in East London. Born and bred in Yorkshire, I felt a strong urge to return to the countryside and Middleton has definitely delivered on that! I am a primary school teacher and I spent 10 years teaching in London as well as 2 years teaching in Madrid prior to that. I have been a governor in the past so I was keen to volunteer at the school as a way of contributing to the community in the village. 


In my spare time I do lots of running, sometimes by myself and sometimes with my dog Max. I am finding it much hillier than London! I also enjoy swimming in the lido in Matlock Bath and exploring the beautiful countryside surrounding the village.