Dear Parents/Carers

From 1 September 2020 we are changing the way our academies and college are governed. Please see the letter below for details of the new arrangements and the members of the new Local Governing Body.

Click here to view the letter

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 Declaration of Interests Other establishments they govern Any relations within the academy 2018/19 Attendance 2019/20 Attendance 2020/21 Attendance
Mark Roper (Vice Chair) Community 31/08/2022 Yes None Drighlington Primary, Leeds College of Building None 4/5 4/5 0/1
Graham Crerar Community 31/12/2022 Curriculum / T&L / CIAG Yes None None None 4/5 4/5 1/1
Helen Townsley Principal N/A No None None Spouse (CEO of TGAT)
Natalie Pickering TGAT 14/07/2023 Pupil Premium Yes None None 1/1 4/5 1/1
Ross Stringer Parent 31/12/2022 Yes None None None 5/5 4/5 0/1
Simon McCarthy Executive Principal: Primary Education N/A Yes None HA/RHA, TSLA None
Sir John Townsley Chief Executive Officer N/A Yes None BA/TFA, BSA/TRGA, MNA/RA, HA/RHA, SCITT, TGAT Board Spouse (Principal of RA)
Tina Dunderdale TGAT 31/12/2022 Safeguarding (incl E-safety) Yes None None Daughter (Teacher) 5/5 5/5 1/1
Angela Bradshaw Community 31/08/2022 SEND Yes None None None 4/5 4/5 0/1
Craig Davey Community 31/12/2022 Yes None None None 4/5 4/5 1/1
Emily Fitzsimons Staff 21/12/2022 Pupil Premium Yes None None None 4/5 1/1 1/1
Jonathan Fyffe TGAT 31/08/2022 Health & Safety Yes None None Wife – teacher MNA 4/5 4/5 1/1
Matt Fitzpatrick Principal n/a No None None None
Sophie Dunderdale Staff 13/09/2024 SEND Yes None None Mother – Director of Trust Projects 1/1
All company documentation relating to The GORSE Academies Trust can be found on our Trust website at