Aspin Park Academy

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Wetherby Road, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8LQ

01423 863920

Aspin Park Academy

Our Seeds to Success... TEAM, show care, respect, keep everyone safe, learn


Our Governing body follow the 3 core functions set out in the Governance Handbook 2020:

  1. To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Hold the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its children;
  3. Oversee the financial performance of the Academy and making sure its money is well spent.

Together, the Governors are responsible for:

  • Setting aims and targets for the Academy and checking the Academy’s progress towards attaining these.
  • Monitoring how well the Academy’s policies and plans are working.
  • Accounting for the performance of the Academy and the Local Governing Body (LGB).
  • Working with the Head teacher to make sure that teaching at the Academy is effective and good quality and the children are making the best possible progress.
  • Taking general responsibility for the Academy and its budget.
  • Challenging and supporting the senior management team and taking opportunities to show interest in and appreciation of staff and children.
  • Promoting the interests of the Academy and its children in the wider community.

The LGB comprises of:

The Executive Head Teacher

Staff governor - elected by the staff at the Academy 

2 Parent governors - elected from parents at the Academy

4 Co-opted governors - Invited by the LGB for their skill set from the local community

Associate member - Appointed by the governors to provide short term support in areas identified by the LGB. They have no voting rights and their term of office will be limited to 1 year. 

Chair of Governors:; 

                                   Aspin Park Academy, Wetherby Road, Knaresborough HG5 8LQ

 Your Governors:

 Sharon Robertson: Executive Head teacher

Sharon was born in North Yorkshire and has lived in the area for the majority of her life. She attended Sunderland University and completed a business degree initially and worked in business and accounting for 4 years before completing a degree in Primary Education at Sunderland as a PGCE. She later completed an MA in Special Educational Needs and has since continued to develop her further education with NPQH, Leadership training and Special Needs Training.

Sharon has taught for nearly 20 years in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and North Yorkshire. She has been a head teacher for the past 10 years. Starting with a small infant school and amalgamating with a junior school before moving to Errington Primary School and now Aspin Park as an Executive Headteacher and part of the school improvement team. She has worked with various alliances and academy trusts developing SCITT training, NLE work and supporting leadership. She has been a National Lead of Education for 3 years and continues to develop and support schools through various school developments and aspects of improvement.

Sharon works closely with other schools to support collaboration and continue to develop improvement and research in education.

Helen Windsor: Staff

Helen is Knaresborough born and bred but, after studying at St Martin`s College, she taught in St Helen`s and then in York. Helen`s move to York brought her closer to her roots and also gave her the opportunity to lead on Music, Drama and Maths across the FS, KS1 and KS2 phases.

Helen came to work at Aspin Park in 1990 and during the years prior to taking on the role of FS/KS1 Lead, she has had varied experiences teaching across Foundation, KS1 and KS2. She began her time here leading on RE, and subsequently lead History, Art and then Maths. On two occasions she stepped in as Music Subject Lead. She was appointed to the FS/KS1 Lead post in 2004 returning to teach Year 1. At this point she was given the opportunity to study for a Masters in EYFS and Managing Change. Currently, Helen is fulfilling the role of Deputy Head. She is working alongside Lizzie Selway as Reading Lead and she is teaching a year 5 group in the mornings. She is part of the TRG run by Kelly Ashely and is currently attending a Leadership Course.

Outside of school, Helen is an active member and Elder at Knaresborough United Reformed church where she sings and plays guitar with a small worship band. She is involved with children`s work, including a monthly Kids Club and a summer Holiday Club. She is also a qualified Lay Preacher traveling around churches in the Leeds and Harrogate area leading worship.

Helen`s home family includes 6 house rabbits and 2 cockatiels. She enjoys playing guitar and piano, loves reading and she is currently dabbling in water colour painting. She has a love of DIY, especially flat packs. Indeed, she just loves to be busy!

Dan Wilson: Chair and Co opted Governor

Dan has a background in education, having previously worked as a teacher and local authority curriculum consultant in London, Coventry and Newcastle. Having left the profession in 2014 he is currently the Director of Development at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, working with communities and organisations to enable more people to be more active. He has established close links with the Department for Education by helping shape their implementation of the PE and Sport Premium grant for primary schools and co-designing the Creating Active Schools Framework.

Dan has two children at Aspin and has been a governor for three years. He is now the chair of governors and in this role is driven to support the Academy to achieve is vision of every child reaching their full potential.

Gordon Hay: Co Opted Governor

Gordon is the minister of Gracious Street Methodist Church and is involved with Resurrected Bites & Knaresborough Connectors. He is married with two children and the eldest attends Knaresborough St John’s Primary School. He has a background in education, having previously worked as a secondary school teacher.
Gordon joined the Governing Body, as a co-opted governor, in 2019. He is the link governor for safeguarding and is committed to ensuring every child reaches their full potential.

Annie Steward:  Parent Governor

 Annie is from London and moved to Knaresborough with her family in 2016. She has a child at Aspin and is really excited to undertake the challenge of her first parent governor role with the Academy. She is keen to learn more about how the Academy works and support it to achieve its vision.

Annie has spent her working career teaching and managing in adult education. She is committed to helping those who have been excluded from education in order to ensure they can achieve their potential. She started her career as a classroom volunteer for a further education college before completing her teacher training in adult literacy. She has taught adults in a range of diverse settings; including on housing estates, in schools and libraries, and even on buses! She has managed teams of teachers and education managers and has performed a number of curriculum development and quality improvement roles for further education colleges, local authorities and charities. 
Annie is currently the national lead in English and Maths development for a large adult education charity where she has been able to further develop her working knowledge of Ofsted, curriculum design, digital learning and quality assurance. She hopes to brings this experience to the role of parent governor, together with her enthusiasm to support the Academy.

Katy Hitchings: Parent Governor

Katy has a long interest in Aspin Park Academy. She attended the school when she was younger which inspired her to go on to do a teaching degree. Katy did her final teaching placement at Aspin before qualifying as a primary school teacher. She currently owns her own Ofsted outstanding nursery in Knaresborough as well as a before/after school club that feeds children into the school. Katy has a great knowledge of the EYFS and how young children develop and the importance of the different areas for them to achieve their true potential. Being a trained teacher Katy has an understanding of how schools work and she is looking forward to refining her skills and learning all about Aspin’s procedures. This is her first role of being a parent governor and she is really looking forward to the challenge.
Katy has a child who attends Aspin and another who will be hopefully joining in September.
Katy is  looking forward to working alongside the other governors and all the outstanding teachers at Aspin.


Dawn Ankcorn: Associate Member

Dawn is a Chartered Accountant whose professional roles have focused on internal controls, risk management, governance and compliance as well as strong financial management; all of which she feels are as critical for an Academy as they are in the corporate environment. Since moving to Knaresborough when their youngest child was a baby Dawn’s family enjoy being part of the local community. Now a parent of 2 children at Aspin, Dawn also supports the Academy as Treasurer of the Friends of Aspin School (PTA) aiming to provide additional resources and experiences to support the children’s education.