Our People 

Our Teachers & Staff.

Together with parents, our staff are one of the biggest influences on young children’s lives and that is a responsibility that we never underestimate.  Below is a list of all the teachers and support staff at Hunter Hall School.

Mrs. D. Vinsome

Head Teacher

Mrs. Antonia Taylor

Deputy Head

Mrs Georgina Griffiths

Foundation Stage Coordinator; Reception & Year 1 Teacher, Lower School Coordinator

Mr Philip Sturgess

Year 6 Class Teacher, Head of Mathematics

Mr. Martin Spooner

Head of Outdoor Education; Year 4 Class Teacher; Science, IT

Miss Laura Westgarth

Year 3 Class teacher, Head of Girls’ Games

Mrs. Lynsey Wrightson

Year 2 Class Teacher; Head of Music

Mr Andrew Hetherington

Head of Boys’ Games


Miss Helen Gallagher

Nutkins Nursery Deputy Manager

Mrs. Helen Scholefield

French teacher

Mrs. Carol Hardy

Teaching Assistant; Learning Support

Miss. Laura Graham

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant, Part Time

Mrs. Barbara Gilbertson

Peripatetic Music tuition

Mrs Olivia Colbear

Office Administrator

Mr. David White

Bursar and Clerk to the Governors

Mr. Geoff Ellerton

School Caretaker

Mrs Gill Slessor

Learning Support Teacher

Board of Governors

Our Board of Governors oversee the school and are a vital part of our school community. They perform a voluntary, non-executive role to ensure that we stay true to our aims and objectives.

Mr. Peter Kirk
Peter is currently an Education Consultant and Executive Chairman of the Independent Schools Examination Board, the organisation that produces Common Entrance and Common Scholarship exams for Independent Schools across the UK and overseas. He taught Mathematics in both the Prep and Senior sectors at Marlborough College and Glenalmond College, where he was a Housemaster. He went on to be Headmaster of Bramcote Prep School in Scarborough and, most recently, Headmaster of Bilton Grange in the Midlands for ten years. Peter’s interests are country pursuits, skiing and music and he has two grown-up daughters, both of whom were educated in the Independent sector.
Mrs. Natalie Harling

Natalie Harling has lived in the Lake District for over 22 years now, having lived previously in the South of England and the Alps. As Director of Business Development for The Outward Bound Trust, an Educational Charity focused on supporting young people to unlock their potential through learning and adventure in the wild. Natalie has spent the past 19 years working within the Education system and a wide range of Senior Leadership Teams across schools in England, Scotland and Wales. She has vast experience of Marketing and Sales strategies and practical experience of implementation. Natalie has had one child who has completed his education at Hunter Hall and another in Year 3.

Mr. Gerard Ainsworth
Despite being born a Yorkshireman, Gerard has made Cumbria his home. He has 2 children at Hunter Hall. Gerard is a consultant eye surgeon who works in the NHS and has his own business providing private eye care under Lakeland Vision Ltd. In his role in the NHS he has been the Clinical Director for the Ophthalmology service for North Cumbria. He is well acquainted in the regulatory role of large and small institutions. Gerard is the Chair of the Oversight and Training sub-committee.
Mrs. Alison Hogan
Alison Hogan was born in Yorkshire and spent most of her childhood holidays and growing up years in Cumbria. Her parents retired to Bolton, near Appleby 30 years ago. As Director of E & B Marketing Solutions, Alison advises governing bodies and owners of independent schools in the UK and abroad. She has worked in the independent education sector for almost 20 years and has led marketing and admissions departments in HMC and GSA schools. Prior to her career in education marketing she worked in the commercial sector. Alison has supported the marketing of a broad cross section of businesses delivering high impact solutions within budget. Alison’s two children were educated in the independent sector and her husband is a Headmaster.
Mr. Mark Turnbull
Mark joined Giggleswick as Headmaster in August 2014 and, as a geographer, it’s easy to understand the attraction of the magnificent setting of the school. Born in York, it was a long held ambition to return to his home county. Educated at the University of Liverpool and the University of London, he began his career in banking before moving into teaching and spending the past 20 years in independent boarding schools. As a Housemaster at Sevenoaks Mark developed a strong belief that independent education carries a responsibility to reach out to the wider community, and set up projects in Romania and Tanzania, as well as supporting work closer to home in London. Throughout his time as a teacher he has worked to support wider access to the benefits of schools such as Giggleswick. He has also been a governor at three other prep schools.
Mrs. Charlotte Young
Charlotte works locally as a private tutor with students in Primary and Secondary School as well as in Further Education. She also works freelance for a number of Educational Publishers, producing resources mostly for GCSE and A-Level Maths. Prior to this, she worked for ten years as a Maths Teacher in Residential Special Schools and qualified as an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor in 2011.
Mr. Dave Butler
Mrs. Nicola Ewbank
 Nicola Ewbank Hunter Hall governor 
Nicola has been part of Hunter Hall School since 2008, with two older children having worked their way through the school and who are now enjoying the delights of Keswick School. Her youngest child is in Year 1.  Born in the North East, she moved to Cumbria in 1996.  She has spent 13 years as a HR Professional, at store, Area and Regional level.  Following the birth of her first child, Nicola has worked in the family business which comprises of the processing and sale of Firewood, Agricultural Contacting, farming and the renovation of properties.  Plenty to keep her busy!  Nicola Chairs our Estates Committee, is part of the Health and Safety Committee and is our Early Years Governor.
Mr. Nigel Bidgood

Nigel has recently retired to Cumbria, with his wife Karen, both fresh from thirty-five years working in the Independent Education sector. Thirteen of these were spent as a Housemaster at Trent College, Nottingham with the final sixteen years spent as a Deputy Head, culminating in the latter nine years at Loretto School, Edinburgh. Throughout this time working in boarding schools, he has maintained a family home in Cumbria.

He has led over thirty mountaineering and trekking expeditions to boreal locations such as Iceland, East and North Greenland and North Norway involving school and adult groups culminating in the award of a Fellowship from the Royal Geographical Society. Since retiring from full-time employment, he has set up Borealis Expeditions specialising in running school expeditions from China to wilderness areas of the Arctic such that the pupils from major Chinese cities can experience an outdoor educational focus that is all-to-rare in China today.

Nigel’s interests are mountaineering and hill-walking, Viking history and culture and the cultural history of the Thule Inuit culture and rugby. He is by academic training, a botanist, and has specialised in the adaptations of arctic plants to their demanding environments. He has two grown-up daughters both of whom attended Independent Schools (one in Cumbria).

Mr. John Pallister

John was brought up in the Eden Valley and has lived in Penrith since his early twenties. After attending Austin Friars School in Carlisle he joined the family Civil Engineering & Road Surfacing business. Wanting to get experience of life at the sharp end he started work in the road gangs & over the next 25 years worked his way up to the top of the business to work alongside his Father. Having built the business up to a substantial size they sold it to Hanson Plc, a global quarry materials company, in 2004. Working at a senior level in Hanson for 3 years John gained great experience of management within a FTSE100 company.

Following 5 years jointly managing a house building firm John then decided to set up his own alternative lending business. After the financial crisis of 2008 he saw a gap in the market and PallisterCo now provides invaluable funding for small to medium sized businesses, mainly in the home construction sector, across the north of England.

John also manages a number of investment portfolios so has a good understanding of finance and the markets which all helps in his role on the Finance committee.

With John’s youngest two children at Hunter Hall he has a passion to help the board drive the school forward to build on the success it has seen to date.

Mrs. Laura Millburn

Laura grew up in Windermere and  was educated in the independent sector. She joined Cumbria Police in 2002 and is currently the Penrith problem solving Sergeant. In her role she works closely with the local safeguarding board which lends itself to her position as safeguarding governor.
Laura has a child at Hunter Hall in year 4.

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