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.


Caroline Lowe

Caroline has been the Head Teacher of Egerton since September 2023. Prior to this, she was the Deputy Head for 17 years (4 in Cheshire East) and then 13 years in a large 3 form entry school in  Cheshire West. Her passion is English and she was a Key Stage 2 Writing Moderator in the West for 8 years, alongside this, she was also a Specialist Subject Leader for the authority and would work with schools who were in need of further support. For the last 5 years, Caroline has been the Designated Safeguarding Lead and she is trained at Level 3, in addition to this she has expertise in Child Sexual Exploitation and Neglect, as well as Safer Recruitment Training. Caroline lives locally with her husband and 2 daughters and labradoodle Maggie. In her spare time, she enjoys horse riding, skiing and shopping!



Sarah McGuire

I am a Parent Governor at Egerton. I have two girls, Isla who is currently in year one and Nancy who will be starting in reception class in 2023. I have a well-established career in HR, working across various sectors including Legal Services, Aviation and currently Football! I hold a law degree, a post graduate diploma in legal practice, and am an Associate Member of the CIPD, the professional institute for HR practitioners. We love living in Knutsford – my husband and I moved here in 2016 when Isla was just one, and we are currently doing up a property we bought in 2020 (right in the middle of the first lockdown). I do have a keen interest in education; a key focus of my role in HR is across early careers, including graduate and apprenticeship programmes, pathways to employment and partnering with Higher Education providers and colleges. I also have previous experience of being a primary school Governor. My spare time includes a lot of organising and running around after my children and their various activities, but I also love to cook, going to the theatre, spending time socialising with friends and family, travel, and going for long walks to explore our local area.



Andy Martin

After many years delivering Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service’s environmental education programme in Manchester, I moved to Groundwork Cheshire in 2011 to deliver their Wild at Heart Project, working with special schools throughout Cheshire to increase pupils’ access to, enjoyment of, and care for natural spaces. 
Still working at Groundwork, I currently deliver the DfE Nature Friendly Schools Programme in Cheshire, increasing schools’ capacity to deliver outdoor learning opportunities to the most disadvantaged pupils in the county.
I am passionate about, and fascinated by, all aspects of the natural environment and in promoting and enabling outdoor learning to pupils in all schools, to improve their physical and mental health, build resilience, improve academic performance and to have as much fun while doing so as possible.
I live in Knutsford and my two girls are both at Egerton.

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.


George Hughes

George has lived in Knutsford since 1991 and is married to Claire with 2 children and one granddaughter. He has had a career in sales and general management in the Chemical industry including spells living overseas in South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. He fully retired in 2020 and joined the Board of Governors in 2022. He is particularly interested in promoting pupils to develop into global citizens to fully understand the planet that we need to protect for future generations.

George is a keen traveler and walker and also has a role as leader for Ramblers Walking Holidays. His hobbies include golf, listening to music and reading.

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.