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
Mrs Church is from Durham and studied at Durham Sixth Form Centre, then going on to complete a BA Honours degree in English Literature at Newcastle University. She worked for seven years at Durham University, first in the Access and Student Recruitment Office developing and implementing the strategy for UK-wide student recruitment and then in the Academic Support Office, supporting learning, teaching and resource planning activities. She has two young daughters and works for Teach First overseeing the Futures access programme, a programme for sixth form students who have the academic potential but lack the confidence, knowledge or support to get into and stay at university.
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 Cathy Lee
Mrs Lee is a current Headteacher of a County Durham Primary School. She graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic with a 2:1 Degree in Primary Education specialising in the teaching of primary mathematics. Mrs Lee has taught in four different primary schools within two different authorities and has been Head Teacher in her current school for ten years. Mrs Lee was born and brought up in North Wales and remained in the North East following her marriage. She lives in Durham and has two daughters, one of whom is a student at Durham Sixth Form Centre.
Dr Heinz Fuchs
Dr Fuchs is a retired academic librarian having studied modern languages. Dr Fuchs fields of expertise are: Transition from school to university, Mental health and wellbeing, Foreign modern languages education, International contacts and exchanges, Establishing a network of former pupils and Librarianship. Dr Fuchs has been a pastoral tutor at St John’s College Durham for seven years and a Postgraduate Tutor (part-time) for one year. He has been active in alumni relations in Cambridge and Durham Universities and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Educators (London).
Mr Tony Southwick
Mr. Southwick was born in Middlesbrough before moving to Seaham, Co. Durham. He attended Northlea Grammar School and Peterlee Technical College (studying Business Studies) before attending Northumbria University to study law. Mr. Southwick has over 35 years of experience in the legal profession within numerous private law practices and a local authority legal department. He has been an employee, partner and sole practitioner. He is married with two grown-up daughters and son all of whom have studied at Durham Sixth Form Centre and two grandchildren. He is a Trustee for a number of charities (religious organisations). Mr. Southwick is currently studying theology (part-time) and is an active member of Middlesbrough Circle of Magicians.
Miss 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.