Ingleby Manor School Advisory Board

Ingleby Manor Free School is part of an Academy Trust, which is a charitable company. Responsibility for financing and staffing the school and for providing students with the best education possible will belong to the Academy Trust. Just like other schools, we will have a governing body (known as the Academy Advisory Board, or AAB). The AAB is a group of local people, including staff, parents and community representatives, along with others nominated by the Delta Academies Trust group, who will meet together to oversee the running of the school. The Principal will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the school.

In order for a school to be successful it needs to be underpinned by constructive, visionary governance. The SAB which includes representation from IMFT provides this critical role in challenging, guiding, and supporting our school.

Understanding School Governance

The government have high expectations of governing bodies. They are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For state funded schools this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Some governing bodies of maintained schools, and all academy boards of trustees, have additional functions and responsibilities. Depending on the category of school, they may own land, act as employers, admission authorities, or boards of charitable trustees and company directors.

This amounts to a demanding role for governing bodies. Evidence suggests that those that deliver it well do so by:

  • understanding their strategic role – building a productive and supportive relationship with the headteacher while holding them to account for school performance and taking hard strategic decisions in the light of objective data;
  • ensuring governors have the necessary skills and commitment, including to challenge the school to bring about improvement and hold leaders to account for performance;
  • appointing an effective chair to lead and manage the governing body – guidance on the crucial role of the chair of governors, developed jointly with the National Governors’ Association, is available on the NCTL website;
  • appointing a high quality clerk to advise them on the nature of their functions and duties and ensure the governing body operates efficiently and effectively;
  • evaluating their performance regularly in the light of Ofsted expectations and other good practice and making changes as necessary to improve their effectiveness; and
  • governing more than one school to develop a more strategic perspective and create more robust accountability through the ability to compare and contrast across schools.

Effective governing bodies also think carefully about how they are organised. This includes thinking about whether and how to use their powers to delegate functions and decisions to committees or individual governors. Governing bodies may decide to task individual governors to take an interest in a specific area, such as SEN, safeguarding or health and safety, but there is no legal requirement for academies and Free schools to do so. There are many different models and governing bodies are best placed to decide for themselves what will work best in their own circumstances. It is the overall governing body, however, that in all cases remains accountable in law and to Ofsted for the exercise of its functions. We expect every governing body to focus strongly on its core functions and to retain oversight of them.

Meet our Governors

Paul McGrath (Delta Governor – Chair)

Paul had a career in Human Resource Management and General Management in Education, the Police Service and the Health Service at Director level.  He was the first civilian Head of HR at Cleveland Police. 

He spent the final part of his career as a senior manager at Teesside University, where he was responsible for the finance and resources of the Schools of Arts and Media, and Science and Technology. 

Paul has extensive experience over a period of twenty years, of school governance, during this period he has chaired the Governing Body of a primary school, and has also been a governor of two secondary schools. 

Paul is a member of police and fire committees and a member of the Board of Trustees of a local charity. 

Paul is married and is a long-suffering supporter of Middlesbrough Football Club.  

Simon Milner (Delta Governor – Deputy Chair)

Simon has worked for Stockton Borough Council since 2005 and is currently Highway Network and Flood Risk Manager for the authority. Living in Ingleby Barwick for over 20years, Simon is married and has two children at Ingleby Manor Free School.

Simon has significant experience as a school governor and is also currently Vice Chair of a local Primary School and is very passionate about ensuring that all children attending school have the best experience possible and is passionate about integrating school into the wider community.  

In his spare time Simon enjoys all things sport but particularly cycling and is also a long-suffering Middlesbrough season ticket holder.

Frances Lynch (IMFT Director)

Frances, known to friends as Fran, was born and bred in Northern Ireland, and moved to England in 1988 to study Chemical Engineering at Manchester University. A job offer from ICI in 1992 brought her to the Teesside area, and she’s never left!

Although Fran has a strongly technical background, she is also a Chartered Marketer and her current employment is as Global Marketing Manager for an International FTSE 100 company. She is a director of Ingleby Manor Foundation Trust, the parent and community group that secured the school for Ingleby Barwick.

Fran is married to Terry, and has two sons; her stepson is studying at Leeds University and her younger son is currently attending a local college.

Ray Parkinson (Principal)

A Physics specialist, Ray has worked in education for 19 years. Before entering the teaching profession, he spent some time in industry. When he joined the teaching profession all those years ago, it was firstly to share his enthusiasm for his subject and to help and support others to reach their full potential; this ethos still drives him today.

He believes that all students deserve the highest quality education and the art of teaching is to craft explanations so that students can understand complex or difficult problems. However, a good education is more than the sum of the academic subjects; it’s about developing the whole child. Good schools offer a range of opportunities and experiences achieved through a broad and balanced curriculum.

In the last few years Ray has worked across a number of schools as a science consultant and over the last six years, as part of the leadership team in a successful secondary school. In this role, he has been able to support other senior leaders, middle leaders and teaching colleagues in the pursuit of better outcomes for all learners.

Outside school life, Ray is an avid ‘Newcastle United’ fan, dog walker and taxi driver to his two daughters!

Michelle Averell (Parent Governor)

Michelle has worked in special needs education across the Tees Valley for the past 25 years. She has a Masters degree in education from Teesside University. Having worked with children who have had a range of learning, social and emotional difficulties from a wide range of backgrounds, she understands how challenging the school environment can be and hopes to be able to support the schools journey using this knowledge.

Michelle has lived in Ingleby Barwick for over 20 years and understands about the pressure of sending a child to a relatively new school as her son was one of the original Y7 cohort at All Saints. Her daughter is in Y8 at Ingleby Manor Free School. Michelle is excited to be part of the development of Ingleby Manor and is passionate to see it become an integral part of the community

Jennifer Robinson (Delta Governor)

After leaving school Jennifer started out as a lifeguard, having already had a taste for the aquatic as a valued member at Hartlepool’s branch of the Sea Cadets. The water bug clearly took root as she then went on to join the Merchant Navy. Returning to dry land Jennifer decided to re-educate herself and studied for a Bachelor of Accounting at the University of the West of Scotland. Once finished with her degree she returned to Hartlepool and started volunteering with the CAB and auditing the books for the Embroiderers Guild. Taking a giant leap, Jennifer and her mother decided to start their own business opening a craft shop in Hartlepool, having both been crafters for a very long time. After a couple of years, they unfortunately had to close their doors, sometimes things just do not work out. The experience never stopped Jennifer’s love for crafting, especially crocheting.  

Jennifer now works at a credit union in Middlesbrough and lives in Thornaby with her husband and two children, one of which is a student at Ingleby Manor. This is Jennifer’s first time on a Governors board. 

Joanne Whittaker (Parent Governor)

Jo is an Assistant Headteacher at a Primary school in Middlesbrough and is responsible for embedding a high quality and ambitious curriculum for the learners in her school. Jo has been teaching for 17 years and has had a range of leadership responsibilities. As well as teaching in the UK, Jo worked in the Middle East where she taught at an international school as an English specialist. Jo is new to the area and moved to Ingleby Barwick in 2019.

Jo believes that curriculum is the beating heart of a school and that all children deserve the right to an education that provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful 21st global citizens and lifelong learners. Jo has a son who attends IMFS.

David Dunning (Staff Governor)

Dave has been a teacher since 2000. He taught at Acklam Grange School for 12 years and was a Head of Year at the school. Dave then taught for 5 years at Redcar Academy, now Outwood Redcar. He was Head of Humanities and an Associate Assistant Principal.

Dave moved to Ingleby Manor in 2017. He is currently an Associate Assistant Principal and Joint Head of Geography at the school. Dave is also the NEU Representative for staff at the school.  

Dave has lived on Teesside all his life, he supports Middlesbrough Football Club, coaches an Under 14s Girls Football team and has played cricket in local leagues for over 20 years. Dave is married with 3 children – all girls.

School Advisory Board Membership

School Advisory Board Meeting Attendance

How to Contact the School Advisory Board

The Chair and Deputy Chair of the School Advisory Board can be contacted directly via email

  • Paul McGrath (Chair) :
  • Simon Milnor (Deputy Chair) :