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 25-Sept-20

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 25-Sept-20

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-20 Resigned November 2020
Angela Vaux Co-opted 24-Sept-18 25-Sept-20

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 25-Sept-20 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 Resigned 22-May-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-23

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



25-Sept-20 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 8-May-19
Susannah Bateman Co-opted 24-Sept-18 25-Sept-20

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!

Kirstie Petch Staff 01-Sept-19 31-Aug-23

I have been teaching for 23 years now, most of that time in North Yorkshire. I have been at Ravensworth School teaching Year 5&6 for the past 3 years nearly and lead Assessment and RE across the collaboration.


I am married to Simon and we have three children ages 15, 12 and 9. We live in Middleton Tyas and spend most of our weekends standing on the touchline watching grassroots football which our children are very involved in.





Simon Collins Parent 20-Dec-19 19-Dec-23 I was born and raised in Kent and I have spent much my working life in education. I worked in a French University for two years and began my teaching career in a leading edge secondary school where I became Head of Languages. Since then, I have worked in primary education in a wide variety of settings. Two years ago we decided as a family to move to North Yorkshire, we really enjoy dog walks and getting out in the countryside; supply teaching in the vicinity has lead me to a position with North Yorkshire Virtual School. I have wanted to be a Governor for a long time and I am delighted to be part of the Governing Body.

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