The Joseph Rowntree School

School Governors


Chair of Governors

Robin Stafford

Co-Opted Governor - IT Link Governor

I have been a co-opted governor at Joseph Rowntree for 6 years.   Professionally I’m a software engineer, I’ve lived and worked in York since I came to university here nearly 40 years ago. 

I became a governor because I wanted to see all children achieve their potential.  As Chair my aim is to work with the Headteacher and senior leadership team to make sure we use all the resources we have available to deliver the best possible education to the nearly thirteen hundred children in our care.  

Because I work in IT, I’m particularly interested in the way IT is taught, especially seeing children learn to code. After years of working with computers my view is either you control them, or they control you.  I want to see the children who go to Joseph Rowntree control them.


Vice Chair of Governors

Alison Patey

Parent Governor - Inclusion, Staff Wellbeing and Post 16 Link Governor

I joined the board as a parent governor in October 2017 and I have a child attending The Joseph Rowntree School.

I'm a consultant in public health and I have worked at local, regional, national and European levels across both the Public Sector and the Civil Service. My specialist interest is in health and social inequalities and I have led a number of national programmes in this field. I am passionate in my commitment to addressing inequity and in particular the enhancement of health and educational outcomes for all children.


James Spencer

Co-Opted Governor - Careers & Health and Safety Link Governor

I have worked in the Oil and Energy sector for over 25 years and run my own business in York. I am a graduate of Cambridge University (which I attended from my local State School) and am keen to ensure that more Joseph Rowntree students go on to Oxbridge and other elite academic institutions.

As the link Governor for Careers, I am also keen to help students explore the vast opportunities that the world of work presents and understand just how many life-changing careers are available for those who look beyond the “normal”.


Paul Dack

Foundation Governor - Pupil Premium Link Governor

I was appointed as a foundation governor in 2016. I am a Chartered Accountant and used to work for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), until I retired in March 2020. I was Director of Finance before becoming Director of Governance Review prior to my retirement. I Chair the school's Finance Staffing and Resources Committee and also the Pay Committee. In my role as a Foundation Governor, I try to ensure that JRF’s values are reflected in the governance of the school. JRF's vision is to have a prosperous U.K. without poverty. My view is that good education has a crucial part to play in achieving that vision and that is the main reason I volunteered to become a governor. That ambition also caused me to put myself forward to be the link governor for Pupil Premium within the school, where I am keen to ensure that the attainment gap is reduced. 


Alison Lee

Staff Governor - Pastoral, Attendance, Exclusion & Behaviour Link Governor

I joined Joseph Rowntree School as Assistant Head of Inclusion, ERP Lead in November 2019.
I have been fortunate to enjoy a varied career, as both an employee and working as part of a management team; working within such business sectors as retail, admin, property development and customer services.  I qualified as a Graphic Designer/Artist over 30 years ago and have also worked for various local tabloids.

I worked as a Pastoral Head of Year/Middle Leader at a Comprehensive Secondary School in Scarborough for 11 years. Within that role I specialised in Behaviour Management, Attendance/Reducing Barriers to Learning, Child Protection/Safeguarding, Parental Engagement and was also one of the whole-school CIAG co-ordinators. I also established and managed the Business Mentor Scheme.

Within my current role, I feel extremely privileged to be part of the process of guiding and encouraging students to achieve their absolute best and watch them becoming confident, successful and independent young adults.  

A Mother and Grandmother myself, I consider 'quality time' to be an essential part of the nurturing process for children. Using my BA Hons in Fine Art, I have recently begun researching the use of Art Therapy in education as a result of completing an Intensive week’s AAT course in London and seek to further embed these skills into my current role to promote student well-being.


Ian Atkinson

Foundation Governor - English Link Governor

I have been an Architect designing and delivering building projects for more than 40 years across all sectors including education.

I am hopeful that this accumulated experience and the associated skill sets will be of value to the school, whether in relation to any school building projects, or as a source of information or advice on the wide range of potential job roles in the construction sector. 

I am very pleased to have been appointed as a Joseph Rowntree Foundation Governor and in this capacity look forward to maintaining and strengthening the existing links between JRF and the school.


Karen Wreglesworth

Parent Governor - Safeguarding & SEN Link Governor

I have been a parent Governor since 2019. I have 2 children, one currently at Joseph Rowntree School and one that will join the school this year.

I am the current chair of the PTA at a local primary school, where I have been on the committee for 9 years. My interests lie with strengthening communications in our community and supporting our students and parents in the best possible way, and my time served on the PTA has prepared me well for this.

Professionally my expertise lies in advertising and marketing, where communication is key and means that I support businesses of all sizes to grow and develop in order to reach their full potential.

I have lived in the area for over 30 years, so have a good knowledge of our community and its environment. 


Fatimah Aliyu

Co-Opted Governor

I am a paediatrician by profession, with more than 10 years’ experience of working in the NHS.  I have experience in working with and advocating for children and young people with physical and mental health within various teams, such as Childhood and Adolescent Mental health services and Safeguarding.

I believe that every child should be listened to and given the best opportunities in life irrespective of their physical and mental health needs. As an ethnic minority with children new to the area, I have first-hand experience of challenges children of these backgrounds could face and I am keen to ensure our schools continue to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity so that every child is able to learn and flourish irrespective of their background or beliefs.


Carol Tear

Co-Opted Governor - Maths & Science Link Governor

I have lived in the area for over 30 years, first in Haxby and now in Wigginton, and was elected a parent governor when my son and daughter attended The Joseph Rowntree School. Since then I have continued as a co-opted governor, because I think that education is a key for young people, opening doors to good jobs, better health and wider leisure interests.

I studied physics and maths and then did some research at university, before working as a software engineer for a telecommunications company. I then taught in an 11-18 comprehensive school and I am currently an A level and GCSE examiner. I also write and edit textbooks.

I continue to support the school where it does well and work to help improve it wherever possible, because I want all the young people to benefit as much as possible from their years at the Joseph Rowntree School.


Robert Powell

Co-Opted Governor - Modern Foreign Languages Link Governor


Originally from York, I left in the early 1980s to pursue careers in the Military, Oil and Gas Logistics and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Having now returned to my home city with a young family I joined the Board of Governors in September 2022. 

With many years of experience in Logistics, Procurement and Financial Management around the world, I am keen to support the board of governors and school management in their endeavours for continuous improvement, asking the difficult questions where necessary and striving for excellence both in terms of academic achievement and extracurricular activities.


Steve Mann

Co-Opted Governor


I have been appointed as a co-opted governor at Joseph Rowntree in July 2022. I was previously a Governor at Ralph Thoresby secondary in Leeds. Professionally I worked in supporting the provision of IT services and for twenty years ran my own Training, Consultancy and Audit (non-financial) company. I retired in 2021.

I moved to York when I was seven, attended Clifton Without Primary then Easingwold Secondary Modern.

I became a governor because I want to give ‘something back’ to society and am convinced that the best possible way to do this is through investment in our children. I want to see all children achieve their potential, to leave Joseph Rowntree with not only academic skills but also with life skills that will be so needed in the future.

I will contribute to the best of my ability, wherever I can, to help create the most conducive learning environment in the school. To help the teaching and support staff enable each student to achieve the best possible version of themselves.
My skill set relevant to my role is in process, service management, service improvement and audit.


Carla Robbie-Tuxford

Parent Governor - Humanities Link Governor


I moved to York 25 years ago as a student at the University and have lived here ever since. I taught Maths at a local secondary school for 15 years, as well as being an acting Special Needs Co-ordinator before leaving the profession to set up my own business.

I was a Governor (and eventually Chair of Governors) at a local primary school for seven years (Chair for four) and moved to become a parent Governor at The Joseph Rowntree School in 2022 as I have a daughter who currently attends the school in Year 8.

I believe that all children deserve a good education regardless of their finances and abilities and that all schools need to be accountable to the pupils, their families and the area that they serve. All students should be able to learn in an inclusive environment and I am looking forward to helping the students at Joseph Rowntree reach their potential.


Louise Jakobsen

Parent Governor


I'm passionate about the potential good (lifelong) education has to improve lives and opportunities. I applied to be a parent governor (my child is in year 9) to be able to give something back to the community while using my background & experience in Education & Training to support formal, creative, & pastoral aspects at Joseph Rowntree School.

I achieved a 1:1 BA(hons) in Education & Training, have an MSc in Multimedia & eLearning and have experience across the whole curriculum from a previous role as eLearning Manager at Leeds City College, where I was part of the leadership & lesson observation team.

In terms of governance experience, I learned a lot while I was a Shadow Board Member (2017-19) for the (Ebor Academy Trust) Creative Arts Academy York during the early development stages. This Included strategic exploration of what an Arts led curriculum would look like and how the school would become a creative hub for the city.

Professionally my experience includes working as an Art & Design subject specialist (lead) Teacher Educator at the University of Huddersfield alongside my own eLearning/education consultancy, creative & mindful training, & graphic design. I also own, manage, and teach at, a local swim school (with lessons from birth to adult, including aquaphobia coaching to help individuals overcome anxieties &/or fears).


Governor Contact Details

Chair of Governors
The Joseph Rowntree School
Haxby Road
New Earswick York YO32 4BZ United Kingdom




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