Pen Portraits

Barton & Ravensworth Governors List – Oct 19

Forename Surname Category Start Date End Date Position Pen Portrait
Helen Dudman Headteacher 01-Sep-19 N/A Executive Headteacher I have 10 years experience as a Headteacher and am delighted to be Interim Executive Headteacher of Barton, Ravensworth, East Cowton and Kirkby Fleetham CE Schools.
Stephen Banks Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 I have over 20 years experience in Credit Risk Management, working across multiple industries including financial services, telecoms, banking and utilities. I am currently the Head of Credit Risk at Npower which involves the ownership and development on a day to day basis of credit policy and strategy. I aim to deliver technical solutions and processes for the business, which meet and exceed business performance objectives in respect of Consumer and Business debt and its impact on the P & L. This is achieved through effective project, operational and budget management.

This experience of managing teams and objectives and the associated financial outcomes are key to me fulfilling my role as a governor.


I have lived in Barton for 15 years.  I am married with 3 sons who all attended Barton C of E Primary School and then Richmond School & Sixth Form. I enjoy cycling and have recently completed a London to Paris fundraising ride.


Audrey Forsyth Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 I have very many interests and lead a full and active life. In addition, my husband is a professional musician so I am extremely fortunate to be involved with many choirs and orchestras, youth and adult, amateur and professional, consequently attending  many concerts and festivals.

All my professional life I have been actively engaged in education. Initially as a class teacher in Secondary then in Primary education. My experience overall has  mainly been in the Primary sector. It  included being a curriculum leader, Head of Lower School, Deputy Head teacher, Head teacher and an Education Advisor. I was a Head teacher for over twenty years. On my retirement in 1999 I was invited to join the Education team at Durham University first of all as a tutor then as the Moderator for the Teacher Training programme. I was in post for 18 years retiring for the second time in 2017.

I am passionate about education and feel it a privilege to be a Governor for Barton and Ravensworth schools.


Jenni Lane Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 Resigned November 2020
Angela Vaux Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 My name is Angie Vaux.  Initially I wanted to help with reading in school as I am dyslexic myself and appreciate how important being able to read confidently is for the well-being, confidence and achievement of each pupil.  However now I have six grandchildren I don’t get time to do that job unfortunately.


I am a member of Barton Parochial Church Council and have a number of jobs connected with the Church in Barton.


I also manage and steward a small corner of the Great Yorkshire Show, Country Pursuits, that takes up far more time than just three days in July.


Barbara Whittle Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 Chair Barbara Whittle

I was born in Darlington and have lived in the area most of my life. I attended Barton school and then went on to Richmond High School.  I was a Civil Servant for over 30 years until retirement.

My daughter also attended Barton and then Richmond School.


I have played the church organ at Barton since I was 15 and for many years have been a Foundation Governor at Barton. Most of my hobbies involve a craft of some kind although I also enjoy doing jigsaws and anything to do with cooking.


I have been Chair of Governors at Barton for quite some time and now Chair of our combined Governors at Ravensworth and Barton.

Chris Wooff Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19
Chris Watt Parent 14-May-18 13-May-22 I am currently employed as a Vessel Traffic Services Officer with the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority, responsible for the safe navigation of ocean going vessels and coordination of emergency incidents up to 12 miles offshore. I have served in both the British Army and Royal Navy in various sea going positions.


I have a son at Barton School and keep myself busy outside of work walking the family dog Thor, cycling and building Lego!

Kellie Harris Staff 18-Jan-15 17-Jan-19 I am Class Teacher and Maths subject lead at both Barton and Ravensworth Schools.


Before teaching I worked in Service Childrens Education as a Teaching Assistant and have lived in Cyprus Northen Ireland and Germany whilst my husband was serving in the Forces.


I have two children aged 22 and 16 and as a family we enjoy spending time together, walking the dog and cooking.

Corinne Bell Co-opted  


23-Sept-19 Vice Chair My background is in Post 16 Training and Management. I am a co-opted Governor and have been a member of the Governing Board at Ravensworth for over 4 years.


My current roles are Vice – Chair of the Governing Board, DSEN Governor including Pupil Premium along with Lead Governor for Maths

Sarah Rushforth Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 resigned
Susannah Bateman Co-opted 24-Sept-18 23-Sept-19 I am married and live in Ravensworth.

I work part time as a Computer Software Analyst.


I chair the SMSC committee I am link governor for Science and listen to Class 2 readers

Alan Gledhill Co-opted 24-Sept-18 Exofficio A semi-retired clergyman, married to Brenda and living in a cottage in Gilling West, with three grown-up children and eight grandchildren.  One of my daughters has a degree in Archaeology, the other is a Junior School Headteacher.  My son is a Chartered Surveryor living in Richmond – Richmond London, that is!


I have had a career in Secondary school teaching Geography but also in middle management as Assistant Head and SENCO.  My teaching posts were in inner- Leeds and Richmondshire.


Ordained some 35 years ago and vicar of Parishes in North Yorkshire before I semi-retired, I still assist in churches as and when required.


My interests are in photography, especially enlarging and printing black and white photography.  I am also restoring a 1949 Riley car which may or not one day be completed – I have to go in faith!

Melissa Coutts Parent 21-Jan-16 20-Jan-20  


Resigned September 2019