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Riverside School

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Welcome to our Governors’ section. 

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.

The Governors at Riverside are a motivated and committed body who strive to support and give encouragement to the school wherever they can. They offer themselves as a critical friend to the Headteacher and staff and provide valued and challenging opinions at meetings.


The experience and variety of skills that these individuals bring to the school is welcomed by all the staff at Riverside. Although many of the Governors live some distance from the school they strive to visit the school as often as possible and are welcomed at a variety of events in school.


 Helen Caldwell (Chair)


I've just finished my second year as CoG which has been a busy time with Ofsted visiting & the move to the new building.

The role of CoG is very responsible & involves working closely with the senior staff & making decisions that are for the benefit of all the students at the school. At times I get to work closely with other members of staff & I really enjoy being in school, seeing how happy the students are & that they are settled in the new building.

When I can, I get out on my road bike or often during winter my mountain bike & I have recently started open water swimming. I also enjoy a good book & going to the cinema or on walks with my family.



Annette BensteadAnnette Benstead (Vice-Chair)






With 20 years of experience in SEN, I have just finished my first year as a Co-opted Governor which included the Ofsted inspection, opening of the new building and the post 16 provision. I sit on the Health and Wellbeing and Personnel Committee and in addition to this I am the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Governor. I was honoured to be asked to be a governor in such a lovely school with such a dedicated staff team. It is a pleasure to come into school on governor business but also to various events involving the children.  

My interests are walking the dogs (3), horse riding, cycling, Hull FC (rugby league/black & white) and fitness training. My favourite holiday destination is the Lake District, going on long walks, climbing mountains, cycle and go fell running whilst at the same time enjoying the scenery and the tea rooms.


Andy Hall (Headteacher)






Although I have been Headteacher for 4 years I have actually been at Riverside for nearly 15 years. It is my favourite of the four schools that I have worked in and I still love coming to work here every day.

When I am not at work I enjoy getting into the countryside with my family and dog.  I also try to get to sports events (mostly football and rugby) and I can often be found at music concerts.



Jonathan Watkin






I am a Chartered Certified Accountant and work for a manufacturing company in Hull. I have been an accountant for many years and have worked in various industries including construction, haulage, NHS, milk processing and financial services. I became a school governor because I wanted to give something back to the school using the skills available to me, in return for the great help they have given our son Lewis with his education. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, house renovation, paintballing (at which Lewis takes great delight in getting me covered in paint), theatre, Steampunk Morris Dancing and walking the dogs.      

Nicola Lazenby






I have been a qualified teacher since 2000. I worked in mainstream settings before joining Riverside in 2008.  I love working here and find each achievement rewarding.  I became a governor as I enjoy working towards improving the school for all who attend. I am mum to 2 young children (5 and 2) and enjoy spending time with them outdoors.  We take the caravan on family holidays to experience different places.  The spare time I do have is spent reading or decorating.


Tricia Ward






I have worked in the Education Sector for 22 years and still love it.  It is truly an inspiring place to be. My background is in Finance having previously work in the Banking Field. I have gained over the years qualifications in Accounting and Finance and more recently a Diploma of School Business Management.  I feel that being part of the Governor helps support the school and the pupils not only on a day to day basis but long term too.


Jessica Horseman






My professional background has been in Office Management and Customer Services. Since having Henry, who is now 9, I have devoted my time to his needs. 

Now Henry is settled at Riverside School, I now work as a Lunchtime Supervisor at a local primary school which I throughly enjoy. I also take care of the day to day admin of my husbands company.

Since Henry started Riverside School in September 2019 we have seen incredible progress and advancement in all areas and I feel being a parent governor will give me a great opportunity to be able to show my gratitude for the devotion that the Riverside staff have to the school and all of the pupils.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, cooking and when possible the occasional concert!


 Nicola Dixon


I’m a mother of 2 children aged 9 and 13.  I work at Junction in Goole, the arts centre and cinema in the centre of town, where my role is youth and community arts co-ordinator.  My work is mainly with schools, community groups, children and parents.  I’ve been a governor before at Kingsway and currently a governor at Parkside.  I’ve undertaken governor training in Ofsted readiness, GDPR and Aspire.  I take time to read documents sent to me as a Governor and see my role as to support, understand and challenge.  With my work at Junction we already have excellent links with Riverside and I’d be interested to explore how my skills could be used to support Riverside into the future.  My areas of expertise are performing arts, English, visual arts, community links and inclusion and access.  I’ve already been involved in Riverside’s Artsmark work and hope to further strengthen this.  I already have an ERYC Enhanced DBS check. 


 John Speight


My name is John Speight, I am 64 years old.  During my working life I have been a soldier and a fire-fighter serving South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for thirty years until my retirement in 2008.  Following that, I worked as a Health and Safety Officer at a Special School in South Yorkshire.  I have previously served as a Governor at Riverside School starting in the early 1990s through to 2014 and left at around the same time that my wife retired from teaching. 

My interests are spending time with grandchildren and going away in our caravan.  I also enjoy wood carving and spend many hours whittling.   


 Kirsten Sheppard


My name is Kirsten Sheppard.  My daughter has attended Riverside for
several years.  Previously a solicitor for 25 years, I am now a

primary school teacher and so I understand what is needed to enable your children to

engage, progress and be happy at school.  I look forward to supporting Riverside

to support your child/children through their journey.



 Geoff Warren


I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in February 2021.  I would describe myself as a proud Yorkshireman, having been born in West Yorkshire, raised in North Yorkshire and now residing in East Yorkshire.  Any spare time I have is divided amongst my hobbies, including weeding the allotment, relaxing at our caravan, or following Leeds United and Yorkshire CCC. 


More importantly, I am a father of four, one of whom, George, was fortunate enough to be offered a place at Riverside School in 2018.  Over the past three years George has progressed greatly, this is obvious to all who know him, both in terms of maturity and knowledge. Never the most enthusiastic at approaching schoolwork, Riverside School has provided the stability and level of understanding that George needs and knowing how difficult a task this is, we are very grateful for all that have contributed to providing this environment. 


In the role of Parent Governor I would like to offer my assistance to further extend this great environment that Riverside School provides to other families whose children benefit from it, as over the years it has become more and more obvious to me and my family that a stable school environment contributes massively to a happier home life.