Meet the Team

Victoria Clarke – Chair of Governors

I became a Parent Governor in March 2019 and now serve as Chair of Governors. I have worked for Leeds City Council (LCC) since 2004. Roles have included Commissioning Manager (overseeing development, budget and performance of drug treatment services for Leeds), and Project Manager, working on service transformation across health and social care. This involves strategic leadership, planning and development, performance management, data analysis and strong communication and negotiation skills. I am Chair of LCC’s Women’s Staff Network – Women’s Voice, aiming to make LCC the best place to work for women and with other staff networks to ensure that all staff feel valued. I am also a trustee for Basis Yorkshire and Chair of their Quality and Performance Working Group. Committed to the role of Governor and improving outcomes for children, I am passionate about ensuring all children have the best environment and opportunities for learning, specifically around encouraging girls to access STEM subjects.

Julian Clough

Since joining the Governing Board as a Parent Governor ten years ago and subsequently being co-opted, I have fulfilled the roles of both Vice Chair and Chair of Governors before taking a step back in 2023/24. My background is in Financial Services, having worked for Barclays and both the Skipton and Yorkshire Building Society Groups over a period of more than 30 years. My career primarily focused on developing effective and controlled Operational Management practices and managing and developing large teams and I therefore bring experience of financial, people and performance management to my role at Benton Park School. I have a keen interest in ensuring our children are effectively prepared and equipped for the challenges of life after school and that what they learn at Benton Park School provides the knowledge and skills needed to make the most of their future careers.

Helen Flesher

I have been a governor since 2008 and I am currently a Co-Opted Governor, having spent a number of years as Chair of the Governing Body.  I have over 20 years’ experience in school governance. I live locally and am currently employed by Leeds City Council.  During my employment in the public sector I have acquired a range of transferable skills that I bring to the role of Governor. Our role as Governors is to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and provide strategic direction acting as a “critical friend” to the school. We work together as a team alongside the Headteacher and are responsible for the educational performance of the school to deliver a good quality education for all our students. As a governor I enjoy the experience of continuing to learn as an adult and the involvement in nurturing our students’ pathways in the ever changing world of education.

Helen Pemberton

A former leader in secondary schools, now a recently retired School Improvement Adviser, splitting time between governor duties, independent work which includes carrying out whole school reviews, advising on Headteacher performance management and Headteacher recruitment and leisure time!  I am a governor in a primary and secondary school in Leeds and Chair of Governors at an Academy in Bradford.  I have seen Benton Park go from strength to strength under dynamic leadership and I am proud to be a governor here.

Daniel Sitkin

I am the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at a specialist secondary school for autistic students in Cookridge. I am responsible for the quality of the school’s curriculum and lead on exams and assessment. I am also part of the safeguarding team, and responsible for skills and experience (CEIAG). I’m still teaching – Maths and Politics – so I provide a current classroom-facing perspective to the governing body. Before training to be a teacher, I worked in politics and the media. I have worked in a range of different primary schools in areas with high-levels of deprivation, and I’ve seen how schools can impact the life chances of its students. I have a keen interest in SEN, curriculum design, pedagogy, and the hidden curriculum.

Mike Best

I have taught English to young people, both abroad and in the UK, since 1986, and have seen many changes. I have been a Governor before, at Thornbury Primary School, in Bradford, from 2005-7. These days, I have more free time for myself, and as my child is in Year 9 at Benton Park I feel I would like to get involved again, to help the school – both students and staff – in any way I can. My knowledge of the world of Education is extensive and I would like to share this valuable resource with others. I am, of course, willing to undergo training as there is always something new to learn in the ever-changing world of Education.