Governance Structure

Our school is operated by Pontefract Academies Trust.

The Trust was created under the provisions of the Academies Act 2010, as amended by the Education Act 2011. Its structure of governance is constituted under the Articles of Association. The Trust is an exempt charity by virtue of the Charities Act 2011.

The Funding Agreement between the Department for Education (DfE) and the Trust sets out the terms and conditions on which grant is made. The Trust Board is responsible for ensuring that the conditions of grant are met. As part of this process the Trust is required to have in place appropriate arrangements for sound governance, financial management, securing value for money and accounting, and for using public funds for the purposes for which they were intended by Parliament.

This Trust Board is accountable in law for all decisions about its schools. This does not mean that the Trust Board is required to make all of the decisions itself. Some decisions can be, and are delegated, including to SPRB, delegated officers, and other Trust Board established committees. The Scheme of Delegation sets out the framework which the Trust Board has approved.

The Rookeries J, I & N and Carleton Park J & I Schools Performance Review Board (SPRB)

The Rookeries and Carleton Park Schools SPRB is a sub-committee of the Trust Board and has various responsibilities delegated to it through the Pontefract Academies Trust Governance Policy and Scheme of Delegation.

The SPRB of The Rookeries and Carleton Park is currently made up of:

Name Role From To Appointed by
J Cross Chair 12/03/2019 11/03/2023 Trust Board
M Neden Vice Chair 20/01/2016 19/01/2020 Trust Board
J Ayre Head of Carleton Park J & I School 01/06/2018 N/A Ex-officio
N Ellwand Head of The Rookeries J, I & N School 14/08/2012 N/A Ex-officio
D J Leigh SPRB Member 04/02/2014 31/08/2022 Trust Board
N Loynes SPRB Member 20/01/2016 19/01/2020 Parent Elected
R Simmons SPRB Member 20/01/2016 19/01/2020 Parent Elected
L Hatton SPRB Member 13/05/2019 12/05/2023 Trust Board
A Johnson SPRB Member 19/01/2016 18/01/2020 Trust Board
A Sharp SPRB Member 31/10/2016 30/10/2020 Parent Elected
M Farrell SPRB Member 01/09/2016 31/08/2022 Trust Board

The Chair can be contacted at the following address:

The Rookeries Carleton Junior, Infant & Nursery School
Carleton Road
Pontefract
West Yorkshire
WF8 3NP

or by email at SGChair@rookeries.patrust.org.uk

Our SPRB

Joanne Cross (Chair)

It is an honour and privilege to be the Chair of the SPRB at Carleton Park and The Rookeries. There is so much drive and energy from all involved with the schools to ensure each child gets the very best start in their school life. I relish the opportunity afforded to me as Chair, to share my skills, interests and enthusiasm, and to build on the excellent work the schools have already been doing to ensure continuous school improvement.

Professionally, I have a background in education. For 14 years, I worked at Castleford Academy where, as well as being a Science teacher, I played a lead role as Deputy Headteacher in transforming the school into the highest performing school in the Wakefield Authority and in the top 6% of schools nationally.

In addition to this, as a Local Leader of Education I have worked for the NEW Collaborative Learning Trust, where I project managed a Wakefield Authority school improvement project ‘diminishing the difference in literacy for disadvantaged learners’ across 13 underperforming schools, consisting of ten primary and three secondary schools.

From September 2018, I have had the honour of being Head of School at Carleton High School. Here I have enjoyed leading the school through a period of significant and transformational change, whilst working with dedicated staff, amazing students and their parents. I am proud to say that in my first year as Head of School, Carleton High School has gone from a school in ‘Special Measures’ to being an Ofsted ‘Good’ school in 12 months. This rarely happens in the educational world. In addition, the Year 11 GCSE outcomes are the best in the school’s history, making Carleton High School one of the highest performing secondary schools in the Wakefield Authority for student progress, and one of the most improved schools across the country.

My wealth of experience and knowledge on school improvement, Ofsted and data analysis, and the knowledge and skills acquired in my professional life are what I will now draw upon as Chair of the SPRB. I enjoy and thrive on the challenge that comes with every aspect of school life and I am passionate about high quality education, with each and every child reaching their full potential.

Nothing but the best is good enough for the children of the Pontefract community.

Michelle Neden (Vice Chair)

I am currently Vice Chair and Head of Finance for the SPRB, and it is a position I thoroughly enjoy. At times it is quite challenging, and although I no longer have children at the school I still feel I have a lot to contribute to ensure all of the students attain their full potential. In my work life, I have been employed by Lloyds Bank for the past 18 years in various positions, including Customer Relations, Complaints Manager and currently as a Mortgage Case Reviewer responding to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Lloyds have recently begun an initiative to support governing bodies across the UK, offering training courses and information to encourage staff to give their time, and the benefit of their knowledge, to their local school. This has been a great help to me personally, providing insight and guidance on processes and procedures related to school governance.

Joe Ayre (Head of Carleton Park J & I School)

I am local to Pontefract and attended Carleton Park Junior & Infant School as a child. I care enormously about the school and our town; providing the best education possible for all our children is my unrelenting aim.

There have been key development areas that we have focused on this academic year but what matters most to me is encouraging and developing a love of reading, as we strongly believe this opens up doors to a successful future and well rounded individuals.

Nicola Ellwand (Head of The Rookeries J, I & N School)

After attending school in my hometown of Wakefield, I went on to study English Literacy and American Studies at St. Katharine’s College, Liverpool University. After completing my degree, I returned to Wakefield to undertake a PGCE in Primary Education at Bretton College. I began my teaching career in a school called Ash Grove in South Elmsall near Pontefract. I thoroughly enjoyed my sixteen years at the school and was allowed to further my career by being seconded to work for Wakefield Local Authority on two separate occasions.

My first role, for the authority, was to be the Excellence in Cities Coordinator for the southern area of Wakefield. This role enabled me to work with 18 schools across two pyramids, recruiting and training Learning Mentors across all the schools. A Learning Mentor was a new role in school so I was responsible for training and line managing all 18 Learning Mentors. I resigned from this role in 2006 to return to Ash Grove to become the Assistant Headteacher. My second secondment to Wakefield Authority was to become a Teaching and Learning Consultant. This role involved supporting teaching and learning in schools that were experiencing difficulties. I resigned from this role to become the Deputy Headteacher at The Rookeries, a school I had supported whilst a consultant.

When I joined The Rookeries, the school was in Special Measures. It was a challenging time but the school came out of Special Measures a year later. I became Head of School at the Rookeries in September 2016. Throughout my teaching career, I have always been passionate about improving outcomes for children both academically and personally. I endeavour to ensure that the children become kind, caring and well-rounded individuals who reach their true potential.

David Leigh (SPRB Member)

I am a geologist by profession and we moved to Pontefract in 1978 when I joined the National Coal Board, based at Allerton Bywater. Carleton Park has always been close to my heart; my four children all attended the school between 1988 and 2003. I have been on the SPRB since 1989, including a spell as Chair.

My aim is to give something back to the school in return for the outstanding start it gave my children both educationally and socially, and I regard it a privilege to be able to help with fundraising and school functions, particularly the outings and residential visits with the children.

Nathan Loynes (SPRB Member)

I have lived in the same house on Carleton Park estate since I was four years old. I am extremely proud to come from Pontefract; I am proud of its history and its community spirit. I have a strong commitment to fairness and social justice, and this is reflected in my career experience and skills in local children’s services as a social worker. Learning is also close to my heart; for the last ten years I have been a university lecturer.

Alongside full time working, I have continued to study and gain qualifications in my own time. Primary education is vitally important for children: done well, it is a golden opportunity to inspire children to find out more about their 21st century world, and be the lifelong learners they need to be to succeed in it.

Ruth Simmons (SPRB Member)

I have spent most of my life in Pontefract, starting my own education at Carleton Park J & I school. It is a privilege to be involved as a member of the SPRB in a school where I started myself and which all three of my children attend.

I work as a local General Practitioner and have my own practice. Within our practice I am greatly involved in safeguarding, palliative care and family planning. To me, primary school is the start of a journey supporting children to aspire to have hopes and dreams in life. It is in primary schools that these foundations are formed and supported.

Lucy Hatton (SPRB Member)

I grew up in Pontefract and returned to live here and bring up my family, following four years in Manchester to complete my degree. Both of my children attend Carleton Park Junior and Infant School and I am proud to support Mr Ayre and his team, both as a parent and through involvement with the SPRB.

I am an Educational Psychologist by profession and have spent 10 years working for a neighbouring Local Authority, supporting schools to develop inclusive practices, develop the skills of teachers and identifying Special Educational Needs for young people aged 0 to 25. I am passionate about Inclusion and firmly believe that every child and family should be supported to achieve their aspirations.

Carleton Park Junior and Infant school provides a nurturing environment to children at every stage of primary education, whilst also setting high expectations and attaining positive outcomes. I value the opportunity to support the school to continue to grow and shine.

Alan Johnson (SPRB Member)

I attended Castleford Grammar School and then Leeds Polytechnic and Salford College of Technology to qualify as a Chartered Surveyor. I worked in construction/project management for all my career until I retired in February 2017.

I spent the last 23 years in higher education, working in the Estates Departments of both Huddersfield and Leeds Universities, where I was responsible for managing many large construction projects. I am an avid rugby league fan and a staunch supporter of Castleford Tigers. I joined The Rookeries SPRB in September 2015, and am responsible for Health and Safety.

Alexis Sharp (SPRB Member)

I am a member of The Rookeries and Carleton Park SPRB, supporting SEND. I have three children, and my youngest daughter attends the school. I had 10 years of experience as a Governor prior to the Rookeries. I was at two schools and my responsibilities were within finance, HR and SEND support. During this time we amalgamated the infant and junior schools into one new school. It was a very exciting project.

I work full-time as a financial accountant with the manufacturing industry. I have also worked in manufacturing retail construction and the public services for the last 28 years. I am FMAAT qualified and part ACCA qualified.

I have more than 10 years’ personal experience living with a child with disabilities. I am parent trustee for the Wakefield & District Down Syndrome Group, where I organised and successfully won £50,000 for The Peoples Project in 2016 for the charity. I currently manage three qualified therapists and run speech and language therapy sessions for 25 children with Down’s syndrome once a month. I am a Director of T21 Educational Care & Support Ltd, a Director of T21 Case Management Ltd, and Managing & Financial Director of T21 Accounting and Business Consultancy Ltd.

Mike Farrell (SPRB Member)

I have a background in construction, and when I retired I was employed as a project manager. During my working life I worked on a number of educational buildings and leisure facilities. One of my contracts involved spending 18 months in Dubai.

I started volunteering at The Rookeries many years ago in the Reception class where I helped children with their reading. At this point, I was invited to join the SPRB. I was the Chair when The Rookeries was rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted in March 2015.

I have been instrumental in appointing a strong SPRB and interviewing and appointing a great number of staff, including the current Head of School. I have attended numerous courses on behalf of the school and the Trust. I take my role very seriously and am totally committed to raising the standard of education for all pupils and keeping them safe at all times. I take part in lots of school activities including activity days in school, trips and generally volunteering in classes.

SPRB Current Register of Business Interests

Role Name of business or organisation/educational organisation Nature of business or organisation Nature of interest Date of appointment of acquisition Date of cessation of interest
J Cross Chair of SPRB None declared
M Neden Vice Chair of SPRB Lloyds Bank Bank Bank Worker 07/02/2000 N/A
J Ayre Head of Carleton Park, J & I School None declared
N Ellwand Head of The Rookeries J, I & N School None declared
D J Leigh SPRB Member None declared
N Loynes SPRB Member Carleton Park J & I School Education provider Children in school 2012 and 2014
R Simmons SPRB Member Carleton Park J & I School Education provider Children in school 2012, 2015 & 2017
L Hatton SPRB Member None declared
A Johnson SPRB Member The Rookeries J, I & N School Education Provider Grandchild in School September 2018
The Rookeries J, I & N School Education Provider Daughter employee in school November 2013
A Sharp SPRB Member ANTIS Education Ltd. Education provider Financial Director 25 September 2019
M Farrell SPRB Member None declared

SPRB Membership & Attendance Summary 2018/19

From To Appointed By Meetings attended Out of a possible
M Neden (Vice Chair) 31/10/16 31/08/22 Trust Board 3 4
M Farrell 14/08/12 31/08/22 Trust Board 4 4
N Ellwand 01/09/16 N/A Ex-officio 4 4
A Johnson 19/01/16 18/01/20 Trust Board 4 4
A Sharp 31/10/16 30/10/20 Trust Board 2 4
Left within the last 12 months:
A Knee 31/10/16 18/03/19 Parent Elected 4 6