simonSimon Deacon

I have been involved in maths and English tuition for 14 years and developed a strong commercial awareness of customer service and product development. I feel that the combination of academic knowledge, and business enthusiasm, provides a firm platform to ask challenging and informed questions. 
As my business has grown, I have gained a good insight into pupil’s abilities as they progress through the school years. I’m particularly interested in maths teaching and have gained excellent experience with a wide range of related topics. Open University study has enhanced my knowledge and I feel I can offer enthusiastic practical assistance and suggestions as required.
Our daughter has recently joined year 12 and we are delighted with her progress through Ralph Thoresby. Our son is new to the the school (year 7) and I look forward to a long association – even longer when our 6 year old begins in 2020!
Martina Pearson
I am very pleased to have joined the Governing body last year and hope to add to the strong group of Governors Ralph Thoresby is lucky enough  to have.
My association with the school has spread over 15 years when my eldest daughter started to the present day when my youngest daughter has completed her GCSEs and is now starting her 6th Form education here. They have both fully embraced everything the school offers. My background is Finance with several years experience in School Finances and prior to that I worked in Banking Finance.
My interests are music, walking, travel and football- watching I hasten to add!


Mary Wood

I became a Local Authority Governor at Ralph Thoresby in 2012. I had recently retired from teaching and my husband and I relocated to Yorkshire to be near our daughters and grandchildren. I taught for over forty years in London and Bedford. I was a Geography teacher and became a Head of Department at a large upper school in Bedford. I then moved on to be Head of Year, and with a change to vertical tutor groups Head of House. My final role was as Assistant Head teacher with responsibility for Inclusion. I taught at my last school for 22 years, it had many similar qualities and challenges as Ralph Thoresby and I immediately felt at ease within my new role. I enjoyed teaching and found it to be a very fulfilling career. Everyday was different and one never became bored. I also enjoyed the interaction with young people. I still get great deal of satisfaction from working within education and feel that I can make a valuable contribution. I continue to work as a supply teacher within North Leeds and Harrogate and this has given me the opportunity to visit many different schools. In my leisure time I enjoy travel, reading and spending time with my grandchildren.

Anna Wood

I live in Cookridge with my husband and three children. My eldest has just moved into year 8 at Ralph Thoresby, having thoroughly enjoyed year 7. My other two children are at one of the primary schools within the Trust and are both excited about coming to Ralph Thoresby in the future.
I studied Biology at Nottingham University and went on to become a scientific researcher. Since then I have retrained and now work as at St James's Hospital.
I am also a governor at a local primary school and am very interested in the transition, academically and psychologically, between primary and secondary schools. 

Niel Martin2 Neil Martin

 have been a governor at Ralph Thoresby since 2011, originally as a parent governor and more recently as a co-opted governor. I am Vice Chair and chair of the Resources Committee.

My son has just finished in Year 13 at Ralph Thoresby and my daughter is looking forward to Year 9 in September 2016. I am delighted with her progress and she thoroughly enjoys being at Ralph Thoresby and takes advantage of the opportunities available to her: the school show, music, the netball team, theatre and international trips … the list goes on. Next year it will include the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
I work for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and I take a keen interest in how the school supports and develops its diverse student population. I am pleased to say that the school works well in this area, but that does not stop me challenging, questioning and contributing to the decision making around equalities.
I am also a board member of Future Years, the Yorkshire and Humber Forum on Ageing, which focuses on the other end of the age spectrum. For the last five years I have enjoyed helping the school with its Christmas Banquet. It is an amazing event that really brings the students and local older population together. 
I enjoy listening to live music – although I can’t play a note  walking, photography and drawing.

MichelleMichelle Lofthouse

I joined the Governing Body in 2012 as a Community Governor.  I have lived in Leeds for over 10 years, and now live in Adel with my husband and two young sons.
I started my career as a teacher, and then went on to work for and Awarding Organisation, as Director of Customer Development and then more recently as Director of Business Development at Learndirect.  I set up my own business in 2009, Flip Consulting Limited, specialising in Educational Consulting for UK organisations and Ministries of Education around the world.  
This is my first position as a School Governor and I’m keen to bring my skills and experience to support the school to provide the very best educational experience it can for its students.  To those ends I am now chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee and Vice Chair of the Resources Committee.
My children, and my role as Chair of my son’s Parents Association, don’t leave me much time for hobbies but when I get a chance I enjoy Pilates, Tai Chi, walking, and the theatre.

Alison Roddis2Alison Sinclair

I am a foundation governor having served on the governing body for approx 13 yrs, initially as a parent governor. Both of my chlldren attended Ralph Thoresby My  daughter is now studying for her PhD in Molecular medicine having gained a degree in pharmacology from Newcastle. My son is in his final year at Medical school at University College London. They enjoyed and participated fully in school life during their time here.

I became  a school governor to hopefully contribute. My background is in nursing but  I  also have an interest in education, its such an important  key in ensuring our children are confident , empowered and able to fulfill their potential that will ensure  them the success they deserve.

As a governor I am able to help ensure that the school experience for Ralph Thoresby students is positive, and that they are able to engage fully in all that the school has to offer. Playing a part in decision making, challenging and questioning effectively and ,contributing to the formation of policies is interesting and rewarding.

 In my spare time ( which is limited!!!) I love craft projects and reading.  I have recently started knitting again,  gentle gardening ; advising my husband where to plant the plants etc!!!  and socialising with family and friends.



Bernadette Duffy2 Bernadette Duffy

 I am the mother of six children and my youngest daughter has just entered Year 9.  I work with people who  have profound learning and physical disabilities.  I support them to remain in their own home and to access  the community as much as possible.  My recreational therapies are reading, gardening and baking.  I also  possess a keen interest in politics.

 I was a governor at another Leeds high school for fourteen years and I retired believing that I had ‘served my  time’.  However, I missed my involvement in the development of the best educational provision that our  country can deliver so I joined Ralph Thoresby Governing Body in September 2009.

 My goal is to contribute to the delivery of excellence in our schools and the elimination of social inequality –  school is the natural forum to nurture this process.

 I believe that teaching is the most important vocation in the world and with strong emphasis on both academic  achievement and pastoral support, our students will flourish.  They will leave Ralph Thoresby having achieved  their full potential and also, equally important, a sense of self worth and the character and skills to embrace the adult world.

D powney

Dorothy Powney


I have lived in the area since the early 1980's ...and my son attended Ralph Thoresby before going on to University.
Up to the time of my retirement, I worked in the Financial Sector.
I now have lots of interests and attend as an invigilator, when needed.
My interests are many and varied, amongst which, I enjoy walking, Pilates, music (I have a very eclectic taste), reading, and I'm an active member in my local church.
I joined the Governing body at Ralph Thoresby in 2008, and am extremely proud and privileged, to be part of such a forward thinking and caring school.

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