At Durham Sixth Form Centre we have high expectations of our governing body. During the academic year 2013-2014 the governing body at Durham Sixth Form Centre reconstituted to allow it to operate more efficiently and effectively. The governing body supports and challenges the strategic leadership of the school and plays a vital role in making sure every student gets the best possible education.
Their core function is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school.’
The governing body has three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the headteacher and senior leadership team to account for the educational performance of the school and its students
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Mr Dennis Southwell
Chair of Governors and Authority Governor
Mr Southwell was educated at Cockermouth Grammar school, Cumbria. He is married with two grown up sons who both attended Durham Sixth Form Centre. After retirement, Mr Southwell held the position of Contracts Manager for Durham City Council. He was historically a Governor of four local schools, he held the position of Director for four companies, was a Trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau, a Board Member for Durham Police Authority, a County Councillor, a Durham City Councillor (Cabinet Member for Housing and Finance, Mayor of the City), a Belmont Parish Councillor (Chair) and has previously been listed in ‘Who’s Who’ as an Entrepreneur for Business. One of his major achievements whilst a Governor has been to achieve our local Leisure Centre on Durham Sixth Form Centre site for the benefit of our School, feeder Schools and the Community in general.
Mrs Ellen Beveridge
Mrs Beveridge is the Headteacher at Durham Sixth Form Centre. After graduating with first-class honours as a teacher of Technology with QTS, she held several roles, including Assistant Head of Year and Head of Art and Technology, prior to working in Durham. Mrs Beveridge completed her MA in Education, as well as the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), whilst a Senior Leader at Durham Sixth Form Centre, prior to taking up her role as Headteacher. As Headteacher, Mrs Beveridge is responsible for the strategic leadership and vision of the school, its effectiveness, achievement and the quality of teaching. Mrs Beveridge grew up in the North East of England and now has three children of her own of primary and secondary school age.
Mrs Emily Church
Co-opted Staff Governor
Mrs Church is from Durham and studied at Durham Sixth Form Centre, and then went on to complete a BA Honours degree in English Literature at Newcastle University. Mrs Church then worked for the RSPB, and for seven years worked at Durham University in the Academic Support Office and prior to this in the Access and Student Recruitment Office. In the latter department she was responsible for the strategy for UK-wide student recruitment, as well as for the delivery of support sessions to A Level students and their teachers on areas such as the transition to HE and writing UCAS references. After taking a short career break in order to complete a postgraduate qualification and to look after her two young daughters, Mrs Church was employed by the school to the role of Pastoral Support Manager.
Mr Dave Nelson
Mr Nelson is Headteacher at Dene Community School. After graduating from the University of York with a BSc Honours degree in Mathematics, he completed a secondary PGCE at Newcastle University and an MA in Education at Durham University. Mr Nelson started working at Dene Community School in 2004 as an NQT and has had several roles including Subject Leader of Mathematics and Assistant Headteacher. In his current role, he is responsible for the school curriculum and leads on the raising achievement agenda.
Mr Adrian Wynne
Mr Wynne is a teacher of English Language at Durham Sixth Form Centre. He graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Geography together with a Higher Diploma in Education. Mr Wynne obtained a Diploma in Sports Management from the same institution. Before moving to the United Kingdom, he taught in a number of schools in Dublin and worked as a carpenter in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Mr Wynne has lived in the North East of England for over ten years and is the father of two children.
Mr Steven Gardiner
Mr Gardiner is the Facilities Manager at Durham Sixth Form Centre, appointed in June 2018. Mr Gardiner previously worked at Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre for ten years where he gained multiple qualifications in management and building operations. Since starting his role, Mr Gardiner has ensured the premises and facilities of the school continue to support a safe and well maintained environment for students, staff and visitors. Mr Gardiner has two young sons that take up most of his spare time and is a keen fitness enthusiast also operating a successful personal training business outside of full time employment.
Mrs Patricia Churchill
Mrs Churchill has worked for the NHS in a variety of roles for over 25 years and is currently Programme Manager for the North Cumbria and North East Learning Disability and Autism Integrated Care Workstream. Mrs Churchill has a Business and Finance degree from Northumbria University and a professional Management Accountant qualification. Mrs Churchill has two teenage daughters and has lived in Durham for the last 20 years.
Mrs Catherine Reading
Mrs Reading is the Director of Professional Programmes at Durham University. She graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Medicinal Chemistry at University College London in 1991 with an interest in neuropharmacology and as a Graduate Assistant, she continued this work by designing and synthesising 5-HT1A (Serotonin) receptor partial agonists. After completing the PGCE Science programme at Durham University in 1993, Mrs Reading worked in Secondary Schools in London and the North East before joining the School of Education in 2009. Since that time she has contributed to a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, as Module Convenor and in previous leadership roles as PGCE Science Leader and Programme Director of the BA(Ed) Primary course. Mrs Reading’s Masters in Online and Distance Education developed a special interest in technology-enhanced learning which is evident in Durham University’s Teacher Education offer.
Ms Gillian Askew
Ms Askew is employed in the Funding Directorate of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, monitoring post-16 providers of 16 to 19 education nationally and is a DfE Accessibility Champion Advocate. After attending the universities of Durham, Wales, Sheffield Hallam, and York she has a BA Honours degree in education, teaching and post graduate qualifications in developmental co-ordination disorder, Asperger syndrome, and dyslexia & literacy, and is qualified to give advice & guidance. She has held posts in local FE colleges, universities and local authorities: assessing, supporting and lecturing students with SpLD, chronic illnesses, and mental health, and also volunteered as a pastoral tutor at Josephine Butler College, Durham, mentoring first year students; co-ordinating family learning programmes; managing a county wide skills for life provision; establishing academic support services for HE students attending three local FECs; and contract managing providers delivering devolved adult education for a mayoral combined authority. Her particular interest is inclusivity, the support available to enable all students to maximise their potential and the training for staff to facilitate this.
Mrs Carole Henderson
Mrs Henderson is a retired teacher, having worked at Durham Sixth Form Centre for 16 years. She held numerous positions at the Centre including Head of the Law Department and Leader of Learning for Human Sciences. After leaving university with an LL.B. (Bachelor degree in Laws) she qualified as a solicitor and spent 10 years in private practice specialising in crime and family work. Her post graduate qualifications include an LL.M. (Master in Laws) and a Master of Education in Practitioner Enquiry. She works with a leading exam board for both A Level Law and Level 3 Criminology. Mrs Henderson was born in the North East of England and is married with two grown up children.
Mrs Nicole Race
Mrs Race was born in Chester, but grew up in Oban in the Highlands of Scotland, where she attended Oban High School. Mrs Race moved to the North East of England in 1990 where she studied at Darlington College before attending Teesside University to study business and marketing. Mrs Race is currently a student at the University of Northumbria where she studies project management. Mrs Race has over 20 years of experience in the further education sector, in a variety of different roles spanning course development, delivery, quality assurance and program coordination/management. She is an experienced management coach and trainer and currently works for North Tyneside Council with responsibility for developing and delivering professional development to the management team. Mrs Race has worked across industries, in the private, public and charity sectors. Mrs Race has two daughters, one of whom is currently a student in Year 12. Mrs Race is also a Life Coach and she is member of Hunwick Harriers, where she offers her services as a Running Coach.
Mrs Marie Roe
Mrs Roe is an experienced executive and non-executive director of business and corporate services, having gained experience in senior leadership positions in the private, public and charitable sectors. Mrs Roe has a keen interest in the education sector, specifically in maximising outcomes for pupils. She is an experienced school governor and Academy Trust Trustee and she has extensive experience of strategic governance leadership across a range of school settings and a deep understanding of the education environment and context.
Mrs Jo Lain
Miss Lain graduated from the University of Durham with a BA Honours degree in Geography, before completing her PGCE in Secondary Education at Newcastle University. She began her career in 1994, teaching Geography in a school in the Lake District. She then taught in London for several years, before taking up post as Head of Geography at Durham Sixth Form Centre in 2001. Miss Lain is one of two Deputy Headteachers at Durham Sixth Form Centre. Her primary focus is the vision for high-quality, inspirational teaching and learning. In addition, she works as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE), embedding outstanding practice in Continual Professional Development, as part of the Teaching School Alliance.
Miss Lesley Thompson
Miss Thompson graduated from the University of Hull with a BA Honours degree in French and a PGCE in Secondary Education. She has worked at Durham Sixth Form Centre since 2001, during which time she has held a variety of roles, including teacher of French, Head of the Modern Foreign Languages and Assistant Headteacher. In 2012, she was appointed to the role of Deputy Headteacher with a primary focus on achievement and performance. Miss Thompson works closely with Mrs Beveridge to oversee the strategic leadership of the school and one of her lead roles is the raising achievement agenda, which aims to ensure that all students maximise their academic success at Durham Sixth Form Centre.
Miss Katie O’Reilly
Associate Member and Clerk to Governors
Miss O’Reilly is the Human Resources and Governance Manager at Durham Sixth Form Centre. She completed her MA in Business Management before joining Durham Sixth Form Centre in 2005 as a Finance Officer. Having completed her NCSL Certificate of School Business Management she hopes to develop her role and progress on to the Diploma of School Business Management in the near future. Miss O’Reilly is a full member of the Association of Accounting Technicians. An avid traveller, Miss O’Reilly spent two years working and travelling in New Zealand and aspires to continue to see many new and unvisited destinations.
To find out more about the roles and responsibilities of the Governing Body, including membership of committees, please click here.
For information on register of business interests, please click here.
For information on meeting attendance, please click here.
For DfE information on the school’s financial benchmarking service, please click here.
For other information, please click here.