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Robert Birtwhistle

My name is Robert Birtwhistle and I have the pleasure to work with the governors as Head teacher. I started the headteacher role in November 2023 after many years at Village Primary School in Thornaby. I enjoy working with governors to help facilitate effective, long-term school improvement, with children at the heart of everything that we do. Indeed, I am passionate about children being given the best quality education on offer to help them with their future happiness, career ambitions and to help towards social mobility. In terms of my educational philosophy, I believe that children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum of the highest standard where all children maximise the talents and skills that they need for the next stage of their lives. I believe that learning is best when it is hands on, closely modelled and built on outstanding relationships. At Fairfield, we strive to provide children with a safe, stimulating and supportive environment where they can thrive. I have worked in schools in various capacities since 1999 and have worked as a teacher since 2004. Throughout my teaching career, I have worked predominantly in Stockton, but enjoyed spells in North Yorkshire and Redcar and Cleveland. This has given me a broad range of skills and useful experiences of working within different catchment areas. Having completed my National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2022, I am passionate about staff having access to high-quality professional development and training so that our children receive the very best pedagogy. I am a proud dad of two boys and a massive football fan. I like to spend my spare time watching Middlesbrough and getting out and about in our local area as a proud Teessider.

Helen Newbold

My name is Helen Newbold. I have been a co-opted governor since November 2023. Currently, I have one child attending Fairfield Primary and another who left last year. I am a highly motivated individual with a strong commitment to education and have over 15 years of experience in teaching. I began my teaching career at Pallister Park Primary School and currently hold the role of Assistant Headteacher. I have an excellent understanding of the governance of schools across many areas, strategic planning, finance and teaching and learning. I believe it is important to provide an engaging curriculum for all children where they are challenged and encouraged to problem solve. From this, they will gain the confidence and resilience needed for future experiences. I believe Fairfield Primary is a school where children are nurtured, take pride in their school community and feel valued.

Tony Hardy

My name is Tony Hardy parent governor I am married to Diane who is a Senior lecturer in Nursing at Teesside Uni, I have two girls who have both attended Fairfield Primary. My eldest is 27, she was at Fairfield when the Nursery was in portacabin’s before the new building was built, my youngest is 9 and is currently in year 5, both girls love (d) the school, the teachers and the values that the school portray.I have lived in the Fairfield Area for over 30 year, I have built up a successful IT company with Offices in Stockton and Manchester employing 15 people, being a Governor was something I considered doing when my eldest was at Fairfield, but the time wasn’t right, when the opportunity arose this time I decided to try and give something back to the school/community. In my spare time I love spending time with my family mainly being the chauffeur to various clubs, I also follow Sunderland FC (I know, I know) and getting to out the wider area.

Helen Stevenson

My name is Helen Stevenson and I became a parent governor in July 2023. My little girl currently attends Fairfield school and my son left in July 2023 to begin secondary school. Having been so pleased with the care and teaching both of my children received whilst attending Fairfield, I was extremely pleased to be able to give something back to the school by becoming a governor. I have worked as a Specialist Speech and Language therapist within the NHS in Sunderland for over 20 years. My role is to provide speech and language therapy to primary aged children in schools and to work with school staff and parents in achieving the best outcomes for children with additional needs. I strongly believe that children and families need to be viewed holistically, so that by working with them the best care and support can be provided for each child. I’m keen to use my knowledge and professional skills to support the school leadership team, enabling them to continue to deliver the high quality teaching and care they give to all the children attending the school.

Lucy Duncan

I am a co-opted governor and have been a member of the Governing Body for approximately 12 years.  I work for Stockton Borough Council and manage the School and Governor Support Service so understanding governance and the legislation surrounding Education is certainly a strength that I bring to the Board.  Working for the Local Authority for some 30 years brings a wealth of knowledge about the various services and departments, this is a valuable asset in providing help and support to governors.   I am a mam of two wonderful children who are 17 and 19 so have also experienced supporting them through their journey through education.  I am passionate about education and schools and really do enjoy the work that the Governing Body undertakes in ensuring that we have a safe and secure learning environment whilst providing an excellent standard of education for each and every child attending the school.

Beverly Jones

I have two children who have attended Fairfield Primary School. I have previously worked for Durham County Council as a Health and Safety Adviser,supporting schools through out the Durham area.I am currently the Health and Safety Manager for the Advance Learning Partnership,a Multi Academy Trust based in County Durham. I have been a member of the Academy Council at Ian Ramsey Academy since July 2016 and a Director of the Day Spring Trust since 2020. 

Thelma Whitaker

I have worked at the school since before the amalgamation and I support teachers with administration tasks.

Mike Lee

Dear Parents,

I live locally with my wife and two children and hold a Logistics degree. My eldest daughter will be transitioning into Reception in September, and my youngest daughter is to start nursery imminently. I am passionate about the education our young people undertake, and believe every child deserves the best education to fulfil their potential and life-long aspirations. My views on this in recent years has become strengthened, as my youngest daughter has some very complex medical needs. I have previously served on a Sixth Form College Governors panel, where data was scrutinised, ensuring that we were working towards achieving as many targets as possible. As a Parent Governor, I would like to contribute my expertise in not only Logistics, but also in performance management.

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