My involvement with Ribbon Academy began in 2007 as a parent and after several years I became a volunteer.
My reason for becoming a Trustee in 2014 was to gain a greater understanding of the education system and to enable me to become more directly involved in the education of the children of Murton including my own, who at the time were in Year 3 and Reception.
I have learnt a lot since then but as with all education my journey continues. Having undertaken various training courses over the last three years I felt ready in April 2017 to take on the role of Chair. I am pleased and proud to have been given this opportunity.
I am committed to being a part of the Ribbon team and share their aim for all the children who attend the school to be the best they can be. The board is involved in the strategic direction the school takes to ensure the very best outcomes for all children.
Vice Chair (Chair of Business Committee)
Mr I Stevenson
I am currently vice chair of Trustees, chair of the finance committee and sit on several other committees and working groups.
I have over 16 years’ experience working in Education in Local Government. I became a Trustee because I am passionate about high quality education and I wanted to do something to support my local school. I have vast experience and as set of skills from my work in Education which I hope would be of use the school in supporting the Senior Leadership Team and shaping the strategic direction of the school in its efforts to provide a world class education for all the children and young people in Murton with every child achieving their full potential.
I am particularly interested in working with parents and other stakeholders to ensure the school has a positive and a prominent profile in the local community, that we have a culture of openness, a philosophy of constant improvement and that the talents and efforts of our children and staff are nurtured, valued and celebrated. I have a son currently enjoying his education in the school.
Trustee (Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee)
Mrs K McAvoy
Since retiring almost two years ago, I have volunteered in Ribbon supporting children’s reading. The school staff and children were very welcoming and I quickly felt as if I were part of ‘the team’.
I am passionate about children receiving a good start to their education in primary school, and also about the community of Murton where I have lived for the past twenty-six years. Ribbon Academy plays a huge part in shaping and serving the community of Murton. A positive start in primary school raises aspirations and lays the foundations for children to achieve their full potential.
My own background is in education, first as a teacher and then as a senior manager with a particular interest in those children who find school learning difficult. I therefore feel that I have some understanding of the pressures facing schools in their aim to continuously improve their standards and so would be a useful ‘critical friend’.
I feel honoured to be a part of the Ribbon team and will do my best to support the school in its aim to offer the best ‘all-round’ education to the children of the area.
My own interests are varied – I spend a lot of time working with community groups at Murton’s parish church. I also enjoy arts & crafts, music and singing, reading, walking and gardening and still enjoy learning new things, whatever the topic!
Mrs H Williams
Hello everyone my name is Hayley Williams and I am one of the parent trustees here at Ribbon Academy.
The reason I wanted to be a parent trustee is that I have a passion for education, I understand how each adult who has the pleasure of working with children, needs to be part of a wider community team, this of course includes us as parents. We share the responsibility together without child’s/children’s school, to help shape a positive future for every child in our care.
I feel I can support the school in its commitment to instilling their values of communication, empathy, excellence, positivity, resilience, self-awareness, and teamwork. These values will support each child in developing into an effective adult who is able to make a positive contribution to society.
As a parent trustee, I will share many similar concerns as other parents and carers with regards to education and the well-being of our children. I will bring these concerns with me in this role and aim to support Ribbon Academy to overcome any challenges they may face at present and over the next 4 years.
Finally, and most importantly, as a parent trustee representative, I will aim to represent you, the parent, the main care giver, the child’s/children main support system, to be a voice, as a member of the Murton community, and most importantly as a parent.
Mrs K Smoughton
Ribbon is a very important place for me, as both a member of staff and as a parent of pupils at the school.
I am in a privileged position of having worked in primary schools for over 20 years. I bring my experience and understanding of how a school operates and personal experience being a parent. I am a trustworthy and caring person, and will always act in the best interests of the school, pupils and staff.
I have a desire to support the Academy on its continual journey, striving to give our children a rich, vibrant and happy place to learn. I am delighted to be a Trustee, being able to support and shape the next steps in the school’s journey.
Mrs E Chandler
I’m Elaine Chandler and have worked in Education for over 30 years. Until recently I managed a service for Durham Council, supporting parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
In late 2019 I retired from working full-time, but continue to work occasionally as an Associate for the Council for Disabled Children, supporting services nationally, to improve their practice. I also deliver regional training on SEND related issues. I live in Murton, have two sons and a daughter and two beloved grandchildren. Anthony is in Y3 and Ava in reception at Ribbon Academy. Both children love the school and so do I. I feel honoured to have become a Trustee and will do my best to support the school, staff, children and parents wherever possible.
Mr P Garrod
My reason for putting myself forward for Parent Trustee is that I want to be a part of something that ensures children have the best opportunities.
It has been a tough year for everyone, and our children have all missed out on so much, but one place that can always provide opportunities, is a school community. My work has always been focussed around community development in some way with a large part of it focussed on supporting young people making the most of their opportunities and realising their potential.
I enjoy working collaboratively with others and have experience working with and facilitating a number of boards and partnerships. I feel I have something to offer both on a personal and professional level.
Mr M Morton
My name is Mike Morton and I began my role as a Community Trustee in 2014. I previously worked at Murton County School while studying Pharmacology at University so I had an understanding of school life.
As a pharmacist in the hub of the local community, I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to become involved with the school. As many of the parent’s use our pharmacy and are familiar with my friendly face and professionalism this makes it easy for them to approach me with any issues they would like me to raise within school.
I have undertaken several Trustee training sessions to enhance my position and I was Chair of the Board for a period of time. I am committed to still having an active role as Trustee within the school.
Mr J Murray
My name is John Murray, and I am the Site Manager at Ribbon Academy.
Prior to taking up my role in December 2017 I was a lecturer in an FE college, where I taught a variety of construction based vocational qualifications. Before that I was the Pupil Support Manager in a main stream secondary school in Stockton. However my working life began as a 16 year old when I joined the armed forces, I had a long military career and continued to serve in the regular army until I was 42 years of age.
I view the role as a staff Trustee as an important one in ensuring that, as part of the Board of Trustees, the interests of the children is the principal driving factor of the academy. Similarly I fully appreciate the role as being the voice of the staff to the board, in ensuring that not just teaching staff, but all staff views and opinions are raised at the appropriate level.
Outside of work my hobbies and interests lie within the Army Reserves where I am a serving Captain in the Royal Engineers. I am a single father to a teenage son in Further Education; together they ensure that my spare time is not really my spare time!
Mrs A Sheridan
My name is Ashleigh Sheridan and I am incredibly proud to be both Head teacher and a Trustee at Ribbon Academy.
My teaching career began in 1995 (in the last century)! Early experience of leadership and management fuelled my ambition to aspire for roles beyond the classroom. When Ribbon opened in 2006, I became a Key Stage Leader and after a couple of years in this role, I became Deputy Head teacher. The expansive role of Deputy head teacher afforded me a wide range experience and an excellent grounding for my current role of Head teacher, which I began in January 2017.
My dual roles of Head teacher and Trustee afford me the unique and privileged opportunity to influence the strategic direction of Ribbon Academy, which was commended by Ofsted in our 2017 inspection. Ribbon is a very special place full of amazing children and staff, and this is my motivation. We are a caring and inclusive school where all stakeholders want children to succeed not only in their education but, socially and emotionally so that they can cope with life beyond the school gates.
When I not at Ribbon, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and two young sons, Archie and Noah, keep me very busy with their love of sport – life is very busy in the Sheridan household! Ribbon has a very bright future and I look forward to what we can achieve together.
Mrs V Raby
My name is Victoria and I have 2 children, who both attend Ribbon.
I have had dealings with the school for several years as a parent and as a volunteer parent reader. From this experience I find the school offers an excellent education as well as a wide range of activities for the children which made my decision to become a trustee easy as it would be a rewarding and challenging opportunity for me to make a positive contribution to Ribbon.
In my spare time I like to visit my caravan in Northumberland.
Miss J Griffiths
The board has the following core strategic functions:
Establishing the strategic direction, by:
Setting and ensuring clarity of vision, values, and objectives for the school/trust;
Agreeing the school improvement strategy with priorities and targets;
Meeting statutory duties.
Ensuring accountability, by:
Appointing the Head Teacher;
Monitoring the educational performance of the school and progress towards agreed targets;
Performance managing the Head Teacher;
Engaging with stakeholders;
Contributing to school self-evaluation.
Overseeing financial performance, by:
Setting the budget;
Monitoring spending against the budget;
Ensuring money is well spent and value for money is obtained;
‘Disadvantaged and most-able children are making particularly good
‘Pupils are taking more responsibility for their own learning as they move through Key Stage 1.’
‘School and staff should be commended for their quick shift and quality of what’s being communicated with the children.’
‘The governing body knows the school and the local community very well.’
‘The learning environment, both inside and out, is stimulating and attractive. Staff are skilled in ensuring that children develop their independence as learners who enjoy exploring the world.’
‘We are so grateful to all the effort the teachers are putting in.’
‘School have done a fantastic job in all areas.’
‘Ribbon monitor the progress and well-being of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities carefully. Expectations for these pupils are high. As a result, they make generally good progress from their starting points.’
‘Children settle well when they enter Ribbon Early Years, communication between home and school is good.’
‘Early Years leaders and staff are expert in using their knowledge of what children can and cannot yet do to sharpen their planning and focus their teaching.’
‘All support and communication is brilliant’
‘My son loves the interaction with his teachers. Thank you all so very much for your hard work and dedication.’
‘Staff and the governing body take safeguarding responsibilities very seriously. There is a culture of safeguarding at the school.’
‘The teaching of phonics is a strength.’
confident that their children are happy, safe and well taught.’
‘There is clear evidence that you and your staff’s ongoing work to improve the depth of pupils’ mathematical understanding across the school is working.’
‘Children get off to a flying start at school. They are happy and safe and increasingly independent, and
yet aware of others.’
‘The quality of teaching across all subjects continues to improve.’
‘Ribbon are doing a fantastic job.’
‘School are there when needed whether it’s for support or a chat. They are constantly checking how kids are getting on.’
‘Communication systems between classroom and
additional support staff are good and mean that these pupils have access to the
full range of the curriculum suited to their needs.’