Meet the Governors

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
Acting 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
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'm a recent addition to the Gosforth Park First School family having been appointed as Assistant Headteacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in 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. I am proud to work at such an amazing school and alongside a team of passionate and committed governors.
 Kate Massey
I am the Headteacher of Archbishop Runcie CE First School, in Gosforth. I was appointed to this role in January 2019 and was previously the longstanding Deputy Headteacher in the school. I live in Northumberland and have two young children. I am passionate about providing a broad, rich and exciting curriculum to the children of Gosforth
I was appointed as the Gosforth Park First School's GST Foundation Governor in December 2019. I am excited about strengthening the work of GST by working closely with other schools. I sits on the Standards & Curriculum Committee. 

Claire Lambert

I joined GPFS in January 2019 as Assistant Head and English Lead. As a Specialist Leader of Education for English I am passionate about the transformative impact reading can have on improving the opportunities for all children. I am proud to with a committed and caring staff body led by an inclusive and supportive headteacher who works tirelessly for the benefit of our whole school community. It is a daily delight to work with our amazing children and I am privileged to be able to play a role as Senior Leader, class teacher and now governor as our wonderful “family school” continues to develop and grow.

Iain Duigan
I am a dad of two, both of whom have been at GPFS, so have been involved with the school in some fashion for 6 years. I works in financial services and am lucky enough to work for a company who donated to the Crossing Guard fund for the last two years and fingers crossed, this year too. Previously I was the Co-Chair of Governors and am qualified in Safer Recruitment and I am keen in working with the governing board and teaching team to help GPFS achieve even more for the children.
Leanne Lamb
I am the Headteacher at GPFS 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.