Year 11 Open Days

Monday 18th July 2022, 8.45am - 2.00pm
or Tuesday 19th July 2022, 8.45am - 2.00pm.


Do you want to train to teach in an outstanding post-16 school?

We run a school-based PCET course, in association with the University of Sunderland, and are recruiting for September.


Take a tour...

Produced by former student Nathan Clark,
Director of Canvas HQ...

New Development

Exciting New Development

We are delighted to announce the Department for Education has awarded Durham Sixth Form Centre funding to provide additional capacity for post-16 learners in County Durham. 


Teaching and Learning...

Presented by our Deputy Headteacher, Jo Lain...


What our students say...

Presented by our Student Leadership Group...

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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

Headteacher Governor

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

Co-opted Governor

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

Staff Governor

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

Staff Governor

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.

Dr Heinz Fuchs

Co-opted Governor

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).

Rev Arun Arora

Co-opted Governor

The Revd. Canon Arun Arora. Mr. Arora is the Vicar of St Nics in Durham Market Place. After qualifying and practising as an employment lawyer in his home city of Birmingham, he served as Director of Communications for the Bishop of Birmingham before training as a Vicar at Cranmer Hall in Durham. He has served in churches in Harrogate and Wolverhampton and has also worked as Director of Communications for the Archbishop of York and also for the national Church of England. He returned to Durham in 2017 and has recently co-chaired the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce. He is married to a college lecturer and has a teenage daughter. He is a long suffering supporter of Aston Villa Football Club.

Mrs Patricia Churchill

Co-opted Governor

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 Nicole Race

Parent Governor

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.

Mr Tony Southwick

Parent Governor

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

Associate Member

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

Associate Member

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.

More information…

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.

Governor Mark - Walton Academy
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