Meet the Governors

Leanne Lamb
I am the Headteacher at Gosforth Park First School and am very proud of our children, staff team and wonderful community.
We are lucky to have a governing body who provide challenge and support to give our children the very best opportunities and education.
Steve Collins - Parent Governor
Chair of Governors
I am a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years of professional experience within the construction industry, in various sectors and have spent the last nine years leading the delivery of new and refurbished school facilities for Carillion upon a number of Building Schools for the Future projects, particularly within Durham, South Tyneside and Gateshead, including a great number of new and refurbished Primary Schools. 

During the course of this most recent work experience, I was invited by one of the schools I worked upon – Mortimer Community College in South Shields – to become a Community Governor and I have served for approximately six years until earlier this year, when I resigned in the hopeful anticipation of being able to join the Governing Body at Gosforth Park First School, where my daughter Katie now attends in Reception. 

Whilst I currently work for a large multi-national company. I have also worked in private practice at a senior level and owned my own services engineering company.

I currently serve as a Justice of the Peace, sitting upon the Newcastle and Tynedale Adult Bench

I am a proud father and north easterner and I want to see the school do well, so I am really excited about the opportunity to contribute to individually and collectively to this. I think that the experience that I have gained both working with schools, as a Community Governor, as businessman and as a Magistrate may provide some specialist knowledge, especially relative to estate management.

 I’m married to Claire. We have one daughter Katie, our golden retriever Maizey and our black and white cat Bishop.

 I am very passionate about the work I undertake and will try to bring enthusiasm and a smile into everything I do.

Jim Wotherspoon
Parent Governor
Vice Chair

When I first left school I joined Texaco Overseas Tankships as a Deck and Navigation Officer, then after a few years I realised I'd earned enough academic points to qualify for university. I graduated in 2001 and became a Software Engineer. Throughout, this second career, I have predominantly designed and implemented software for embedded computers. Those are the little unassuming, forgotten and invisible computers that do a specific and dedicated job and there are billions of them around the world. My personal contribution to this vast pool of devices includes; a factory floor touchsceen data collection system for the food and drinks sector, a large scale public sector cloud system, a network router for the rail sector, an in-car speed measurement system used by a number of police forces around the world, an engine diagnostics system for automobiles, a battery management system for industrial and robotics use and now I am working in R&D for satellite monitoring equipment.

I have two daughters who are both at the school and am a keen advocate of STEM subjects, particularly for girls and work with the STEM Community to promote this where I can.

Being a governor is a great way to be involved in the school and with the community of parents and teachers and to be able to bring some of my meandering experience to the table is a privilege.

Eric Ferguson
Co-opted Governor
I have extensive experience working within primary education at school, local authority and  regional levels. I am skilled in school improvement, project management and primary English. I have worked with Gosforth Park First School over many  years and  know the school and community very well. As a member of the governing body I am committed to working closely with governor colleagues, school's leadership and staff  in order to achieve the very best for the children and parents of our school.
Jim Hindess
Co-opted Staff Governor
I have been Deputy Headteacher and SENCO of Gosforth Park First School since September 2018.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Archaeology, I decided that digging around in the cold, wet fields of Northumberland was not for me and began a career in education. Since becoming a teacher, I have worked across all primary phases and received a range of training in order to fulfil my additional responsibilities, such as the National Award for SEND Coordination (NASENCO) and National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL).
I am proud to work at such an amazing school and alongside a team of passionate and committed governors.
Craig Heeley
Foundation Trust Governor

I am a very proud member of the governing body at Gosforth Park First School! I am the Headteacher of Lemington Riverside Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne. I am also a director of the West End Schools Trust (WEST) and co-chair of the Newcastle Inclusion Sub Group.  

I am passionate about ensuring that every child in Newcastle gets the very best education. I am a strong advocate for inclusive schools and I co-chair the Newcastle inclusion sub-group.  

Originally from Derbyshire, I have been a resident of Newcastle upon Tyne since 2004 when I moved here for university and was a resident of Gosforth for a number of years. 

Chris Brindle
Parent Governor
I am delighted to be a governor at GPFS as I have had such a positive experience of the school since my twin boys started two years ago. I cannot speak highly enough of the fantastic work the staff do.
I am a secondary mathematics teacher myself (for 23 years now) and also a Head of Year for 21 years and have been actively involved in all areas of schooling and support. I firmly believe that education is fundamental to future success and hope to use my extensive experience to help in any way I can for pupils, parents and staff.

Rachel Hiles

Parent Governor

I am a parent of two young boys, both of whom now attend GPFS (nursery and Year 1). I am delighted to be a newly appointed member of the governing body, and to actively contribute to the school community. 

In my day job, I am a qualified Educational Psychologist, working closely with children, their families, and schools across the North East Region. I have worked at strategic and individual levels within Newcastle Local Authority for 14 years. Prior to this I was a teacher in both mainstream and specialist schools. I have a comprehensive understanding of educational legislation, and particularly in relation to SEND. My passion is about helping to provide the best education for the whole child, focusing on Early Years education and social and emotional well-being. I am particularly keen to ensure that all children are safeguarded well and can fulfill their full potential whatever their background, or SEND. I hope that my role allows me to be an approachable advocate for the voice of children and families in the school community.