Introducing the Governors

Introducing the Egerton Governors

Neil McKinlay


Neil has lived in Knutsford since 1983 with an absence of 4 years when he moved to Dublin to make Baileys Irish Cream. A Mechanical Engineer he has had a career in manufacturing latterly in the healthcare sector and retired in 2012. He is married to Jane, they have 3 grown up children and a recent addition of 2 grandchildren . Neil became a governor this year, sits on the finance committee  and brings experience of managing budgets and strategic planning often in challenging environments.

He is a keen if  frustrated golfer and enjoys travelling and walking.




Alison Hooper

Alison was born in Sunderland, UK.  She is married to Paul and has daughters, Jess and Alex. Alison began her teaching career in Moss Side, Manchester in 1989. She moved to Cheshire in 1997 to take up a post as Deputy Headteacher at Middlewich Primary School. Alison was appointed as Headteacher at Egerton Primary School in Knutsford in September 2005. Just two weeks after taking up this post their sister school, Egerton Primary School was discovered! Alison leads for Global School Partnerships linked with Kenya for Cheshire East. She is a qualified Local leader of Education, a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, a British Council Ambassador and has an MA in Development Education. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, walking, reading and travelling with family.


Caroline Wood

Caroline has been a governor for three years at Egerton.  She studied Geography at the University of Leicester and started her teaching career at Ashby Grammar School; as teacher and Housemistress.  Since returning to Cheshire, she has worked at Alderley Edge School for Girls since 2005 and as Deputy Headmistress since January 2011.  Caroline brings a wealth of knowledge to the team, as well as a passion for teaching, school development and helping to provide children with the best possible school experience.  Her role at Egerton is Vice Chair and is responsible for supporting Mrs Hooper with safeguarding.


Elizabeth Elliott


My husband and I moved to Knutsford over 10 years ago from Manchester where I had studied and graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University for my degree in Biomedical Sciences followed by my MPhil in Biomolecular Science at UMIST. Having grown up in Cheshire it was nice to move back to an area I love. My son Lucas is currently in Year 6 at Egerton and my daughter Evie is now in year 1.

I am a Clinical Cytogeneticist at The Christie Hospital in Manchester and provide a specialist regional genetic testing service to aid the diagnosis of leukaemia and other tumours. I know the importance of Clinical Governance within the NHS and I am the training officer within our department and also organise staff competency assessments.

I became a governor at Egerton in 2017, originally joining the Teaching, Learning and Community Committee and I am also the SEN link Governor. I feel very strongly that every child should have a happy and memorable time at school.

Outside of work and school life I love spending time with my family including our dog. We frequently visit Cumbria and enjoy walking (mostly in the wind & rain!) and when I have time you will often find me with a pair of knitting needles and wool.


Will Tasho

Will moved to the North West in 2001 to study at UMIST having been brought up in Hertfordshire. He liked it so much, he stayed and moved to Knutsford in 2003 after meeting his wife Jan, who is also involved in the community through her role as Secretary of Knutsford Hockey Club and has previously been involved in the organisation of the Knutsford Primary Schools Summer Ball.

Will and Jan have two girls at Egerton, both of whom thrive and love being here. Will began his career working in banking in the City of London, but retrained as a business psychologist in the 90s. His belief in life-long learning and his experience of working in talent management for global businesses has found a connection in the school’s approach to and advocacy of global learning. It’s this which has attracted him to becoming a parent-Governor.

Outside of work, he’s a keen golfer and developing an interest (not so sure about ability) in gardening. His real passion however is travel and exploring the world.


Tom Hardman

I live in Knutsford with my wife and three children. Emily is in Year 3, Cecily Year 1 and Lilly Kindergarden. I lived in Hong Kong from 2001-2012 where I met my wife Caroline and worked as a USD bond and credit default broker. We moved back to the UK and settled into Cheshire raising our children whilst dabbling in some property investments.

I enjoy all sports and when not injured enjoy long distance triathlon as well as sailing and other water sports.


Karen Benson

Karen has been involved in the education of children within the state school system and through voluntary organisations for over 40 years. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and she has taught in primary schools in Belfast, London and Cheshire. She took a career break for 13 years to be at home with her children. During that time she chaired the Egerton Pre School organising committee for 2 years.

Karen was a member of the working group that produced the current Cheshire East agreed Syllabus for Religious Education ( Engaging Encounter & Reasoned Response) and she is presently working with the Primary RE Advisor for Cheshire East on the new Syllabus for 2021.

A passion for singing with children led her to a PGCE in Singing in the Curriculum (Chester University, 2012) and it is singing with children that she misses most since her retirement from teaching in February 2020.

Karen is married to Steven, who was a governor at the school during the time their three sons attended Egerton School. Tim, her eldest son visited Egerton school in Kenya 10 years ago and it is his quote that features on the inside cover of, “A Tail of Two Schools.”

In her free time Karen enjoys singing in 3 choirs, reading, travel, walking and baking (her Irish Apple Cake often featured on Egerton School Cake Stalls, . . . and will again!).


Robin Maxwell

Robin originates from Northern Ireland, and after leaving school, he moved away to study in Edinburgh and then to work in Glasgow, where he met his wife Anna. During this time, Robin joined his current company Bunzl, where he has now worked for over 16 years in many roles, currently Sales Director.

Having then moved to Knutsford in 2008, Robin settled into the community through sport with Knutsford Rugby Club and then Knutsford Tri Club .

Robin has two very happy children at Egerton. With this in mind, alongside the values of the school and the close family feel, Robin wanted to give something back to the school and in 2017 took an opportunity to do so by becoming a governor.