Welcome to our Governors’ section.
Our Governors are appointed for a 4 yearly term by the Board of Governors, the Local Authority or elected by staff and parents.
Our Full Governing Body meet at least once each term and more often if there is a specific matter to discuss and agree.
We have several sub committee's with delegate responsibility from the Full Governing Body.
Curriculum and Standards Committee
Resources Committee (Includes Staffing and Finance)
Head Teachers Performance Management sub committee
First Committee for Complaints, Exclusions, Reorganisations, Grievances, Capability and Disciplinary
Second Committee for appeals in above areas
Mrs Deborah Ashcroft - Executive Headteacher
Mrs Rachel Lawson - Chair of Governors since July 2020 appointed as a governor June 2019
Mr Jon Comb - Co-opted Governor appointed as a governor Sept 2016 and reappointed June 2020
Mrs Corrine Ashburner - Co-opted Governor appointed as a governor Sept 2016 and reappointed June 2020
Mr Jeff Austen - Co-opted Governor appointed February 2019
PC Andrew Hyde - Co-opted Governor appointed June 2019
Mr Ian Wilson - Co-opted Governor appointed June 2019
Mr Mayang Patel - Co-opted / Parent Governor appointed February 2019
Mr Paul Vickers - Parent Governor appointed October 2018
Mrs Ashleigh McNeill - Parent Governor appointed October 2019
Mrs Victoria Hunter - Staff Governor appointed October 2020
Miss Ruth Hayden - Staff Governor appointed October 2020
Cllr Alex Geddes - Local Authority Governor appointed November 2020
Mrs Susan Spurr - Associate Member / Deputy Headteacher
Mrs Helen Laybourne - Associate Member / School Business Manager
Governor Pen Portraits
Mrs Deborah Ashcroft
I have been privileged to have been Executive Head teacher at Ryton Federation since September 2018. Prior to this role, I was head teacher of a school in Gosforth for 9 years. Throughout my career I have loved teaching. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in Norfolk, Durham, Newcastle and Gateshead. So my experience is certainly wide-ranging! Another side of my role is to visit other schools to evaluate the quality of their education. This can be very interesting!
It is a joy to be part of the lives of your children. I take delight in chatting with children, seeing them take pride in their achievements and we love to share a joke!
In my spare time, I like to watch my teenage daughter thrive, walk my big, bouncy dog, read, serve my community and explore the World.
Mrs Rachel Lawson
I work for the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) as a Policy and Research Officer. My background is Criminal Justice System, I worked for 10 years with Durham Probation Trust and 7 years with Northumbria Probation Trust.
I have lived in Crawcrook and Ryton for the whole of my life, I am a local business owner- M Lawson Removals and I am the volunteer events coordinator for Barmoor fireworks and part of the team looking to expand the free events available to our community.
I am a newly appointed as Chair of Governors
Mrs Corinne Ashburner
I am Corinne Ashburner. I have spent my working life in education, from classroom teaching through to senior management and training of teachers.
I am Primary specific, an area where I believe providing the best groundwork to pupils is vital.
Outside education I have been involved with young people since my late teens having worked in the Scouting and Guiding movements, chaired Young Offending Panels and also had an overall management role for Youth Programmes within Lions Clubs International across the UK.
Mr Jeff Austen
I am currently a co-opted Governor at Ryton Infant and Junior School Federation, and have been since February 2019. I am a father to twin girls Isobel and Katherine who are currently in Year 3 at Ryton Federation.
I come mainly from a catering and hospitality background, having spent over 20 years in the industry. I am very customer service driven and enthusiastic, skills which I believe are good to have on board. I am also an active member of the PTA, Friends of Ryton School.
I will always strive to make sure that every child in Ryton Federation gets the best education and learning experience that we can offer.
PC Andrew Hyde
I am PC 473 Andrew Hyde from Northumbria Police’s and up until recently was part of the Outer West Neighbourhood Policing Team, with responsibility for Ryton, Stella, Crookhill, Crawcrook, & Greenside.
I have over 15 years policing experience, all of which has been in the Gateshead area and previously worked as a 24/7 response officer covering the Outer West Area before becoming a Neighbourhood Beat Manager.
I am an ex pupil of Ryton Federation having attended both Ryton Infant & Junior Schools between 1988 – 1996 and have maintained strong links to the school & the local community since I left Ryton Comprehensive School (Now Thorp Academy) in 2003.
My responsibilities are Pupil Premium, PE Sport Premium, and Safeguarding.
Mr Ian Wilson
I am a partner at Tait Farrier Graham Solicitors working primarily in Gateshead and Newcastle and I have lived in Ryton and Crawcrook since I was born, I attended another local primary school and attended Ryton Comprehensive school. My children attend the toddlers group and nursery that I did, and will in due course attend the same school, and it is their learning journey which triggered my interest in primary education. I believe through my own professional and personal experience I have a lot to offer in terms of improving the well-being of children and playing a vital part in shaping educational services and relish the opportunity to make valuable contribution to the area I have lived in all of my life. I feel privileged to be in a position to meet and assist young people and find theirs and their teachers enthusiasm inspiring. It has given me the opportunity to give back to my local area and also help prepare me for the stresses of being a parent of school children!! Outside of work I love to spend time with my wife and children and supporting Newcastle United up and down the country. I am a budding chef and I am passionate about food and wine. I also like to involve myself in local charities and in particular assisting the most vulnerable in our society, those who live on the streets.
Mr Mayang Patel
I am Mayang Patel, father to Eashan , Rivan and Ameya all of whom are students at Ryton. We have made Ryton our home for over 10 years and we cannot think of a better place to bring our kids up. I am privileged to represent the Ryton Federation as a parent governor.
We have been associated with Ryton Federation School for over 5 years now since Eashan started in reception. The school is more than just a foundation for our children to get the best start in their lives. The school is the focal point in Ryton and it is the one thing which brings all local families together for a common purpose. We have got to know some wonderful people in this time, children, families and staff alike. There is a real community spirit about the place which makes it something special.
My job working alongside the NHS in delivering the best patient outcomes in a challenging financial and target driven environment is not too different to the education system. I believe with this experience I will add value to the ongoing governance and development of our school we can continue to be proud of.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my partner Vicki and the kids, eating out, listening to music, travelling and watching movies. I also coach Rivan’s U8 Football Team which takes up plenty of time.
Mrs Vicky Hunter
I joined Ryton Federation in September 2019 and am the current year 4 teacher. Prior to this I taught in a school in Northumberland. I love working with children and helping them achieve their potential. I am looking forward to further immersing myself into Ryton Federation through the staff governor position. Outside education I have been a member of Girlguiding UK since childhood and was an assistant unit leader for 9 years.
Mrs Ashleigh McNeill
I am Ashleigh McNeill, Mum to Travis and Tommy McNeill who attend the Federation.
I have lived in Ryton for most of my life and also attended all of Ryton Schools throughout my education years.
I am proud to be part of the Ryton Community and I’m well aware of many of the children and families who also attend the schools.
I have spent all of my working career in Children's services for Gateshead Council, mainly working within the Children’s Homes,
and my current post is Registered Manager. Within this I am responsible for providing a high level of care and support for some of our most vulnerable Children and Young People with a wide variety of needs, including Looked After Children and Children with Disabilities.
I have lots of current knowledge and experience around SEND and this is a particular area I have an interest in.
Children’s Homes are highly scrutinised by Ofsted with twice yearly unannounced inspections, so I have lots of knowledge and experience in managing quality assurance, working within inspection frameworks and ensuring that children and young people are being supporting to achieve positive outcomes and reach their full potential. I also have responsibilities for managing the Health and Safety of the homes, budget monitoring and ensuring financial viability and manage staff teams. This equips me with lots of transferable knowledge and skills to support the federation and I hope to support in any way I can to ensure our children and young people thrive.
Miss Ruth Hayden
I am currently in my 5th year of my teaching career all of which I have spent at Ryton Federation. I started off in the EYFS unit, where Nursery and Reception shared the same space. This is where my love of EYFS continued to grow, after finding the 'wow' moments, no matter how small, just amazing in my final year placement in a Reception class. After two years in EYFS I then moved into Year one for a year before returning to Nursery. I am very much looking forward to taking on this role as a Governor to further develop the work we do for each child and family at the Federation.