Meet the Team

Helen Flesher – Chair of Governors

I am currently Chair of Governors at Benton Park, I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in 2008 when I had a son in school, I am now a Co-Opted Governor and recently started a new 4 year term.  I have over 15 years’ experience in school governance and I am also Vice Chair at a local Bradford Primary school. I live and work locally and have during my employment in the public sector aquired 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.

Julian Clough – Vice Chair of Governors

I am Vice Chair of Governors at Benton Park School and Link Governor for the Mathematics Department and Safeguarding effectiveness. 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 has 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 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.

Angela Ronicle

I have been involved in the education of children for over thirty years, and retired in 2016. I was a Headteacher for the last twelve years of my career, firstly of a large primary school in Bradford and then as Headteacher of a large primary in Leeds. I have a strong link with Benton Park school as both of my sons attended the school before going on to Russell group universities. I am passionate about education and look forward to contributing to the development of the provision at Benton Park, ensuring all students experience an education as successful as the one my sons had. My interests include travel, art, theatre, music and reading.

Victoria Clarke

I became a Parent Governor in March 2019 and 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.

Michael Grace

I am a Director of Turner & Townsend with over 20 years’ experience within the construction industry. I have gained considerable experience of successfully delivering complex and demanding projects in the UK and internationally for both public and private sector clients. My international experience extends to the Republic of Ireland, China and India. I bring drive, commitment and expertise to each commission and my core skills include stakeholder management, procurement and the strategic planning of capital investment projects.

Rachel Sheridan

I am a parent of a Year 10 student with 21 years experience in senior leadership roles within HSBC. As the Head of Mortgage Optimisation I govern and drive sustainable change across the organisation. I have skills in coaching others, negotiating and influencing, communicating with emphasis and building trusting, sustainable relationships. Passionate about my belief that young people have the ability to change the world and become leaders of our future, I mentor with the Diana Award – a program that works with schools to support young people who are at risk of becoming NEET (not in education) who may benefit from having a positive role model. I support the students with career skills training and a strong emphasis on social action. As a school governor I would work collaboratively with the senior leaders of the school to value difference and diversity and make sustainable changes to ensure our young adults receive an excellent education. I firmly believe everyone should have a voice and that voice should be heard and considered. I would welcome any parent to approach me with any concerns and I will endeavour to listen, understand and help. Outside of work I love nothing more than getting out in the great outdoors, spending time with my son and focusing on health and wellbeing.

Jo Welbourne

Having worked at Benton Park for thirteen years, I feel that I would love to make a greater contribution to the school community. My experience working with young people, supporting them both pastorally and academically, has given me a broad understanding of the needs and concerns of the students and the staff. I have worked with young people in the community including in my previous role as a Youth Worker for over twenty years now and really feel that I have a lot of experience to offer the Governing body. Outside of work, I enjoy travel, am involved with my local cricket club and also enjoy creative arts – selling my produce at local craft fairs. I am a friendly, approachable and fair person who genuinely believes in and cares about the welfare of all members of Benton Park School, both staff and students. As Staff Governor, I represent the school community with pride and integrity.

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.