The role of the local governing body at Ryecroft Academy is to help the school fulfil its main aim which is to provide the best possible education for all of its pupils.

There are many things which governors are expected to do. The following provides a brief outline:

  • Governors have responsibility, with the Principal, for deciding, reviewing and monitoring many of the policies, plans and procedures within which the academy operates
  • The governors’ role is strategic. The Principal’s role is both strategic and operational
  • It is important to recognise that governors are part of a team. They all have equal status and although they are appointed by different groups (parents, staff, The GORSE Academies Trust etc.) their main concern is the welfare of the whole academy
  • Governors make decisions democratically, by consensus. Governors do not have individual powers to act alone
  • Governors have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice at all times
  • Governors share the responsibility of appointing staff with the academy and must act in the same way as any good employee
  • Governors should consider carefully how their own decisions might affect other academies
  • Governors should encourage openness in all of their work for the academy and should welcome enquiries from parents and the general public

Meet our Governors

Name Category End of Term of Office Area of responsibility Voting Rights Business Interests Other establishments they govern Any relations within the academy 2018/19 Attendance 2019/20 Attendance
Mark Roper Chair TGAT 31/12/2021 PPM / CIAG Yes None Drighlington Primary, Leeds College of Building None 4/5 1/2
Graham Crerar Community 31/12/2022 Numeracy / Wider Curriculum / STEM Yes None None None 4/5 2/2
Helen Townsley Principal N/A PPM Yes None None Spouse (CEO of TGAT)
Ian Page Parent 31/12/2022 SEND / Creative Curriculum Yes IT Consultant for Connect-Up Systems None None 5/5 2/2
Kay France Community 28/04/2023 SEND Yes None None None 1/1 1/2
Natalie Pickering TGAT 14/07/2023 PP Yes None None 1/1 1/2
Nichol Pace Parent 31/12/2021 Safeguarding / H & S Yes None None None 4/5 2/2
Rob Stephenson Staff 31/12/2021 Yes None None None 5/5 2/2
Ross Stringer Parent 31/12/2022 Literacy Yes None None None 5/5 2/2
Simon McCarthy Executive Principal: Primary Education N/A PPM Yes None HA, MNA, RHA and TSLA None
Sir John Townsley Chief Executive Officer N/A Yes None TGAT, TFA, TMA, EHC, MNA, TRGA, HA, BA, SCITT Spouse (Principal of RA)
Tina Dunderdale TGAT 31/12/2021 Safeguarding / H & S / PPM Yes None None Daughter (Teacher) 5/5 2/2
All company documentation relating to The GORSE Academies Trust can be found on our Trust website at