Meet Our Governors
What my interests are/skills/ background
I am interested in communities and how learning can drive the aspiration of children, parents and staff alike. My philosophy derives from a simple principle – that everyone, no matter what their background, or life experience, should have the chance to shine. We have one chance in life and I am in the privileged position of motivating teams, alongside my governing body, to reach challenging goals – however unattainable they might seem. One of my favourite films is Dead Poet’s Society and the mantra – ‘carpe diem’ (‘seize the day’) provides my spiritual, moral and ethical foundation to lead a school towards excellence.
I began my teaching career in 1994, in Cookridge, Leeds, moving to Bailiffe Bridge, Calderdale in 1997 as a middle manager. In 2000, I became a deputy headteacher at Hightown, Liversedge and, after two years became the headteacher at a small village church school in Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield. In 2006, I joined Batley Parish CE School and steered it to outstanding twice. During this time, I supported schools in special measures, as a National Leader of Education, and ensured the care and welfare and professional development of staff. This focus on staff wellbeing supports a ‘can do’ attitude and motivates a school community to find a new pathway or solution to inspire learning and teaching.
Since starting Dalton in January 2015, I have led the school, together with my talented deputy and committed assistant head towards a new vision for our school. This was a wholly inclusive activity and included children, staff, parents and governors alike. Since then, we have begun to ignite that vision through coaching in teams and a relentless focus on learning and teaching. Staff have seized their potential and furthered their professional qualifications, often leading bespoke case study work or launching a whole school project, to tackle issues within whole school improvement priorities. Governors have asked critical questions that have led to the waking of a new and exciting dawn.
What I enjoy about my role
Often, I am raring to start the day as I visit our early morning breakfast club and welcome the children with a rousing ‘Good morning, everyone.’ They earnestly reply, ‘Good morning Mr Richardson; Good morning everyone’ with a melodic bounce! This is the joy of Dalton School – its friendly embrace, its warmth and its glowing ethos. Our vision is about bold endeavour and everyone on my team recognises that each day is about encouraging children to learn independently and develop confidence to become the best they can be.
Our governors are highly capable and undertake their role with compassion, humility and rigour. They are centred on improving outcomes for children and families and are not afraid of asking challenging questions to steer our thinking or help us reflect on the whys and hows of our approach to learning and teaching, or safety and behaviour. They are robust in their role and I love helping them shape the story of how our school is meeting its strategic vision with all of the bumps and hurdles that we sometimes find. Arising from this is the excitement of new possibilities and a desire to become outstanding one day – not for the kudos but for the opportunity to know we are doing the absolute best for our wonderful children and their families.
COMMITTEES: Steering, Standards & Effectiveness, Resources & Staffing
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 5 years
JASON BATES - Co-Opted
Chair of Governors & Vice Chair of Standards & Effectiveness
Started 12.10.16 Ends 11.10.20
I am married to Jane (also a school governor) and have 4 children aged between 18 and 29. I worked in the Financial Services Industry for 25 years, leading specialist teams in security and risk management, before taking early retirement in 2014.
I enjoy all sports and play football and golf on a regular basis. I am also a volunteer at the school reading with children in year 2 and attending Breakfast Club (my speciality is toast!).
As Chair of Governors I look forward to spending time with the pupils, teachers, parents and the other governors, helping the school go from strength to strength.
COMMITTEES: Steering, Standards & Effectiveness, Staffing, Appeals, Complaints, Safeguarding and Support Group, Teacher Appraisal, Head Appraisal, Pay, Staff Discipline and Pupil Discipline
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 3 years
EILEEN TORR - Local Authority
Chair of Standards & Effectiveness
Started 16.10.17 Ends 15.10.21
I was a primary teacher for many years and then I moved from working in school to training teachers in the use of computers in school. Following on from that role I worked for many years supporting schools as the local authority advisor, until my retirement in July 2016. Now I can enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, looking after my garden, walking, dancing and swimming regularly to try to keep fit. A few years ago I took lessons in painting with watercolours, which I am hoping to take up again now I have more time. I am also a member of a local ukulele band, an instrument I have never played until recently.
I became a Governor at Dalton in 2011 . Kirklees employees are often asked to consider becoming a Governor and because I no longer worked in a school I liked the idea of becoming involved with a school again. I chose Dalton School because it is close to where I live.
It is a great responsibility being a Governor, but I really enjoy being involved with the school and getting to know about the things staff and pupils do. I feel really proud of my connection with Dalton School and want to see it doing well.
COMMITTEES: Steering, Standards & Effectiveness, Staffing, Teacher Appraisal, Pupil Discipline, Staff Discipline, Pay, Head Appraisal, Appeals and Complaints
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 10 years
JANE BATES - Co-Opted
Chair of Resources
Started 18.10.16 Ends 17.10.20
I have been married to Jason Bates for 22 years. I also worked in the Financial Services Industry but left before Jason, after 23 years.
I am a trampoline coach and enjoy reading, running and walking, especially with our cockapoo called Boo.
I worked at Huddersfield Town for a while and was introduced to the Huddersfield Town Foundation. When I left, Jason and I thought it would be great to get involved with a breakfast club. Luckily we were asked to go to Dalton, where we have met some wonderful children (and the adults aren’t bad either). I also read with Year 2 children.
I really enjoy coming into school spending time with the pupils and staff as it is such a welcoming and happy environment.
COMMITTEES: Steering, Resources, Staffing, Pupil Discipline, Appeals and Complaints.
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 3 years
KAREN GRATINO - Parent
Started 11.10.17 Ends 10.10.21
I am very sentimental about Dalton J,I & N school, I myself came here with my brother and many years ago my mum came too! I have 2 children who attend Dalton, a daughter in Year 6 and a son in Year 3 who thoroughly enjoy being at the school and are doing really well overall.
The support from the school is excellent and we are always made to feel welcome. It is lovely to come into school and see the children working, especially on a Friday when I read with Year 3 children.
I have been a teacher myself for 18 years working solely in the same infant school but teaching from 2 year olds to year 2. I am currently SENCO and Safeguarding lead working from 2 years olds to Year 2. Having an educational background really helps and I enjoy finding out and understanding what goes on in school both academically and through extra curricular activities.
My husband and I enjoy socialising, walking and going to the gym! We also enjoy supporting our children in their leisure activities which are football, trampolining, netball and dance!
Dalton is a wonderful school to be part of!
COMMITTEES: Standards & Effectiveness, Staffing, Teacher Appraisal, Pupil Discipline, Staff Discipline, Appeals, Complaints, Head Appraisal, Pay and Safeguarding & Support Group
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 2 years
SUSAN MALLINSON - Associate
School Business Manager
Started 17.07.17 Ends 16.07.21
I live across the other side of town, in Meltham, with my husband and grown-up son – my daughter having now flown the nest. Much of my spare time is spent with family, quite often walking the surrounding hillsides in attempt to keep fit and healthy. I also have a young grandson who keeps me on my toes. I enjoy visiting new places and do so as often as I can, both at home and abroad.
I have worked at Dalton School for over 20 year, starting out as an Administrative Assistant, a role which has evolved into my current position of School Business Manager. I have experienced lots of change during this time and have embraced the opportunities this has provided for my own development, undertaking relevant training along the way.
When and Why I Joined the Governing Body
I joined Governors about 12 Years ago. My reason being two-fold - to be able to share my knowledge as an employee with its members but also gain an insight and understanding of the role of the Governing Body.
My contribution to the Governing Body is mainly of a financial nature, given that I am responsible for maintaining the school’s budget and related systems, but am also able to make contributions based on my knowledge of the school.
What I Enjoy About the Role
Although I am not from the local area I hold the success of Dalton School close to my heart and wholeheartedly share in its vision and aspirations. Being a governor as well as a member of staff enables me to have a holistic view of how the school progresses and strives to provide its pupils with a desire to do their best whilst feeling happy and safe in their surroundings.
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 7 years
EMMA WALSH - Associate
Deputy Head Teacher
From of an early age, I have always wanted to become a teacher, practising everyday with my teddies in my bedroom. I didn’t have the easiest of journeys becoming a teacher, but with hard work and determination I achieved my dream.
It was Dalton School who gave me my first opportunity, covering maternity leave in a year 3 class. I have taught in Reception, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 and have had many roles within school, such as ICT and Maths Lead as well as KS1 Lead Teacher. In 2012, I became the Assistant Head. 21 years later, I am still here in the role of the Deputy Head.
I believe that Dalton School is a very special place with very special people in it, those being the staff, parents and of course more importantly, the children. I am very lucky to work with such a dedicated governing body, who always put the children’s interests first and who endeavour to make Dalton School a safe, happy place that promotes the desire to learn and succeed.
As you can imagine, teaching is not the easiest of jobs, but I can definitely say, hand on heart, that it is the most rewarding job. It is especially lovely to hear from past students, who have achieved so much and still hold Dalton School in high regards.
Outside of school, I enjoy music and I am a member of a Huddersfield based brass band, Hammonds. I am very proud of my achievements with the band, especially being ranked in the top 20 in the world brass band rankings.
COMMITTEES: Steering, Standards & Effectiveness, Resources and Staffing
LENGTH OF SERVICE: 22 years as a teacher and 7 years as a Governor
DEBBIE WHITFIELD - Co-Opted
Started 17.07.17 Ends 16.07.21
I started my teaching career in Lancashire, where I taught mainly in Key Stage 2, leading various subject areas and being a mentor for newly qualified teachers. In 2006 my husband and I relocated to Huddersfield and in 2008 I began teaching at Dalton School.
It was Dalton School that fostered my passion for inclusive, specialist education. In 2009, I was appointed as a trainee QTVI and began a Masters in the inclusive education of young people with Vision Impairment at the University of Birmingham. For nine years, I have worked in the Specialist Provision at Dalton School and across Kirklees enabling young people with profound/severe visual loss, to achieve their potential. I am proud to be a part of Dalton School and the Specialist Provision we deliver.
Outside of school, I am devoted to family life with my husband and two daughters. We love being out and about in the fresh air walking our French bulldog and relaxing in our caravan.
COMMITTEES: Standards & Effectiveness, Resources, Staffing, Pupil Discipline, Staff Discipline, Appeals, Complaints and Safeguarding & Support Group
LENGTH OF SERVICE:17 years as a teacher and 2 years as a governor
AMY HENSHAW-EWART - Parent
Started 09.10.19 Ends 16.07.21
I’m Amy, and have been married to Tim for 8 years; we have two children at Dalton School, Eliza and Fintan. As a family we enjoy family days out, good company of friends and family and making memories.
I have lived in the community my whole life. I work for Kirklees Council and over the last 16 years have worked in Accountancy & Audit, and recently moved to Procurement. With my School Audit experience this sets me in good stead to check and challenge the schools financial governance but I’m also hoping to contribute wider in the school community. I hope to be a critical friend.
I’ve become a parent governor in a bid to contribute to our children’s happiness in learning, represent the views of parents and support the staff.
COMMITTEES: Standards & Effectiveness, Resources, Staffing, Pupil Discipline, Staff Discipline, Appeals and Complaints
LENGTH OF SERVICE:New Governor