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¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â is privileged to have a board of Governors consisting of dedicated professionals who all have a passion for the school. Many have had children at the School, previously worked here or are former pupils. The Governors provide strategic vision and leadership as well as sitting on a number of sub committees which include: Education, Finance, Compliance and HR.
Any correspondence with the Board of Governors should be addressed to the Chairman of Governors, Mr M Thompson, and sent to the school address. It will then be forwarded to him from the school office. ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â, The Friarage, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees. TS15 9EJ.
Mr Mark Thompson (Chairman of Governors) was appointed as governor in 2002. He is a Former Pupil having been a member of the first Sixth Form at Yarm between 1980 and 1982!
After reading Law at University Mark trained as a barrister before embarking upon a career in corporate finance and qualifying as an accountant, firstly with Coopers & Lybrand in London (now PwC), then going on to hold senior positions at United Biscuits plc, Amersham International plc, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and Getty Images Inc.
Since 2000 he has been President and Chief Executive of a group of software companies based in the UK and North America which he founded.
Mrs Ruth Langford (Vice-Chair of Governors) Ruth was appointed as a governor in 2013 and is the nominated governor for Child Protection & Safeguarding. In addition to being the current Vice-Chair of Governors, she is also Chair of the Compliance Committee and attends as many other Committee meetings as her diary will permit. Ruthâ€™s association with ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â stretches back to 2001 when she moved to the area, and has three children who were past pupils of ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â. Ruth is a former Chair of the parentsâ€™ social committees for both the Preparatory and Senior Schools.
Ruth is a recently retired dental surgeon, having qualified from Birmingham University in 1982. Most of her working life has been spent in the field of orthodontics and she has worked in specialist practice and hospital departments. She spent her last 5 years in the orthodontic departments of 2 local hospitals.
Dr Shazia Akowuah was appointed as a governor in 2019. She was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School in Lancashire and studied medicine at Sheffield University. She works as a GP in Middlesbrough with a passion for education. She was awarded a Masters in Medical Education from the University of Sheffield and has spent many years teaching medical students and GP trainees. Shazia is committed to promoting equality and diversity within education.
Mr Paul Barron was appointed as a governor in June 2018.
He has two sons, one of whom is still a pupil at ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â. Paul has a Masters degree in Business Administration from Durham University and mentors MBA students for the University’s Business School. Previously, Paul worked as a Director and Managing Director in asset finance and professional services.
He is currently Managing Director of Barron Williams Limited and a Director of the Open North Foundation. Previously, he served for three years as Chair of the Institute of Directors for Tees Valley and as a regional committee member for the North East region of the Institute of Directors and the Tees Valley region of the North East Chamber of Commerce.
Paul has also previously served as a board member for the Finance & Leasing Association’s Asset Finance Committee and as an elected Governor of Heighington Primary School.
Mrs Rebecca (Beccy) Brown was appointed as a governor in 2023. She was educated at Abbey Grange Church of England High School in Leeds and studied PPE at The Queenâ€™s College, Oxford University.
She went on to qualify as an accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PwC) and worked in audit and management consultancy roles in London and North America, specialising in the oil and gas industry. She then joined BG plc where she held a number of finance roles culminating in a role as Group Head of Investor Relations.
Following relocation to the North East in 2001 she established Warm Zones Ltd – a charity tackling fuel poverty and worked as a Trustee at the national fuel poverty charity National Energy Action. From there she joined Stockton on Tees Borough Council where she worked as Director of Corporate Services with responsibility for the council’s HR, Legal, Communications, Democratic, Procurement, Governance and Community Engagement services.
She has two daughters, one a past pupil of Yarm and the other currently in the 6th Form.
Dr Paul Chapman was appointed as a governor in 2015, and is currently Chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Compliance Committee.
He was Director of Studies at ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â between 2003 and 2011 and subsequently Senior Master until his retirement in 2015. Paul played a major role in establishing training courses for Heads of Department in independent schools across the North East region and was instrumental in improving the Outdoor Education programme at Yarm.
Paul studied History and took his PhD and a PGCE at Cambridge University. He began his career teaching History at Queen Elizabeth School, Wakefield, in 1984 and in his time there introduced A Level Politics as one of the first co-educational Sixth Form Courses. In 1990 he moved to Colfeâ€™s School, in London, as Head of History and Politics, until 1996 when he joined the Royal Hospital School, in Suffolk, first as Assistant Director of Studies and then as Head of Sixth Form. For many years he wrote regular contributions to the GCSE History magazine, â€˜Hindsightâ€™, and he contributed several entries to the Oxford New Dictionary of National Biography.
Paul is using his retirement to travel extensively but his home remains near Stokesley.
Mr Chris De Jong is a former pupil of Pocklington School and a graduate of St Andrews University where he studied Modern Languages (French and German). Chris also has an MBA from Durham University.
Chris worked for 18 years in a number of commercial roles for ICI, including many years in overseas postings. For the last 18 years, he has worked as a management consultant.
Chris has two children who are past pupils of ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â and has been associated with the school since 2003.
Mr Jonathan Ferguson was appointed as a Governor in 2023. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academic Institution and studied Medicine at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University.
He undertook his surgical training in Edinburgh Royal infirmary and Papworth Hospital Cambridge and has since 2007 has worked as a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
He has specialist interests in lung cancer, tackling inequalities in Healthcare and training the next generation of surgeons.
Jonathan is also Lead Cancer Clinician for South Tees NHS Trust, Training Programme Director for Cardiothoracic Surgery in the North East and Lead Clinician for the Tees Valley Target Lung Health Check Programme.
Jonathan and his wife, Louise, have two sons who are current pupils at ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â.
Dr Penny Jones was appointed governor in 2015 and sits on the Compliance and Salaries Committees. Penny was formerly Chair of Governors at a local Comprehensive School and has six grown up children.
Penny studied geography at Cambridge University and University of British Columbia, Canada. She then qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse Coopers. After several years working as an auditor and management consultant, she joined the Civil Service, spending 12 years as the senior civil servant responsible for independent school policy and regulation. She now runs a small family property company.
Mr Ian Lovat was appointed a governor in 2016 and is the nominated governor for Health & Safety matters at ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â. As an experienced teacher and former member of Senior Management, he sits on the Compliance and Education Committees, as well as routinely attending the H&S Committee as an observer.
He studied Physics and Applied Physics at Nottingham University before moving to Cambridge to complete a PGCE. He retired after nineteen years as Director of Studies at Ampleforth College where his roles included all aspects of curriculum planning, monitoring and staffing. Before that he was Director of Science and Technology at Ampleforth and previously Head of Physics at Malvern College in Worcestershire. Ian was a trained ISI team inspector for about twenty years.
Ian is an author of both GCSE and A level Physics revision guides and a winner of the Institute of Physics outstanding teacher award in 2000. He is a team leader for Physics for the Independent Schools Examination Board. Ian is the chair of governors for a local primary academy and has two grown up children.
Mrs Grace Mitchell is Primary School Headteacher (NPQH) of Linthorpe Community Primary School, a large primary school in central Middlesbrough and was appointed as Governor of ¾ÅÁúÍ¼¿â in June 2023.
Grace went to Durham University and gained her BA in Primary Education.
She is passionate about providing opportunities for young children to enhance their life experiences and encourage social mobility. Grace is experienced in identifying and harnessing talent in both staff and pupils, through excellence training and highly focused performance development.
She lives locally and has two daughters of primary age and enjoys reading and supporting Middlesbrough Football Club. Grace also enjoys family time, travelling, musical theatre and socialising together.
Mr Alexander Turner was appointed as a governor in 2013 and is a member of the Compliance Committee.
He qualified in Medicine in Leeds (2000) and trained as a Paediatric Surgeon in Manchester and Liverpool. His PhD in tissue engineering of the bladder attracted the Best Thesis Award from the European Society for Paediatric Urology and the Best Paper by a Young Urologist Award from the European Association of Urology.
He is a Fellow of the European Academy of Paediatric Urologists and currently works in Leeds as a Consultant Paediatric Urologist. His interests include genital reconstruction for disorders of sexual differentiation, bladder and kidney surgery and minimally invasive techniques utilising the Da Vinci Robotic device.
He is alumnus of Bolton School, and remains involved with the Rank Foundation, which provided a scholarship for him during his time at Bolton.
Mr M Thompson, BA, ACMA (Chairman)
Mrs R M Langford, BDS (Vice-Chair)
Dr S Akowuah, MB ChB, MRCGP, DRCOG, DCH
Mr P J Barron, MBA
Mrs R Brown, BA(Hons), ACA
Dr P M Chapman, MA, PhD
Mr C De Jong, MA, MBA
Mr J Ferguson, MA, BM, BCh, FRCS(Cardiothoracic)
Dr P S A Jones, MA, PhD, ACCA
Mr I Lovat, BSc, PGCE
Mrs G Mitchell, BSc, PGCE
A M Turner, BSc, MB, ChB, FRCS(Paeds), FEAPU, PhD
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