About Us  »  Governance

Governing Body

Oakwell Rise Primary Academy is part of the Barnsley Primary Partnership, which came into being in the autumn of 2016. It brings together the three primary schools: The Forest Academy, Oakhill Primary Academy and Oakwell Rise Primary Academy, which are all members of the Wellspring Academy Trust. 

The Trust has put in place a single governing body for the Partnership, replacing the three former governing bodies. 
Our role has three key parts:

•      in consultation with the Trust, we decide the vision, ethos and strategic direction of each of the three schools;

•      we hold the Executive Principal and her senior staff to account for the educational performance of the schools and their  pupils;

•      we oversee the financial performance of each of the three schools and make sure that money is well spent.

There are currently 11 Governors, details of whom are set out below.  They have a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experience which they bring to this important role, and meet at least every half term to look at all aspects of the life and work of the schools.  Many of the Governors are linked with specific aspects of the life of the schools and make regular reports to the governing body.

We work closely with the Executive Principal, who is supported by two Principals and other staff, and is responsible for the day to day running of the schools.  She is accountable to governors for how she does this, and frequently reports to us. 

All our work as governors has one simple aim: to make sure that our schools provide the highest standard of education and care for all our pupils, so that they have the best possible life chances. 



Meet the Team



Michael Sanderson- Chair of Governors (Leadership and Management Lead)
Michael has served on various governing bodies in Barnsley, and helped form the Barnsley Governors Association. He is a  National Leader of Governance. Having trained as a statistician, Michael worked for nearly 40 years in local government, in a  wide range of roles. He links with Sam Bailey, Executive Principal in relation to Leadership and Management.

Sam Bailey-  Ex-officio Governor  (Executive Principal)
Sam has led very significant change management programmes in order to secure success and has had a very significant impact in all of her schools. Sam is Executive Principal of the three schools which make up the Barnsley Primary Partnership, namely The Forest Academy, Oakhill Primary Academy and Oakwell Rise Primary Academy.

Father Paul Cartwright- Trust Appointed (Quality of Education Lead)
Father Paul Cartwright is a Parish Priest in Barnsley, as well as being a chaplain to Barnsley College and West Yorkshire Police.  He has a background in equalities & diversity and is also an elected member of the General Synod of the Church of England. He is also a Member of the Society for Education and Training, has a love of music and is the link governor for teaching, learning and staffing.

Ella Copping - Staff Governor 

Ella works as a teacher at The Forest Academy. She has over 8 years of experience working within the education sector. She was born and raised in the local area of Barnsley; therefore, she understands the area extremely well. She loves to spend her time outdoors and enjoys sharing her passion for The Arts in her teaching.

Ken Mosley- Trust Appointed (Safeguarding  and Attendance Lead)

Ken is a retired Chartered Health & Safety Practitioner, having worked 40 years in the construction industry in UK and China in various engineering and management roles and has several years experience in corporate governance. Post retirement Ken worked for Barnsley Football Club in an advisory capacity on management procedures. Ken's responsibility on the Governing Body is Health and Safety and Safeguarding.  

Chris Parkes- Trust Appointed (SEND and Behaviour Lead)

Chris is a Chartered Educational Psychologist with over 20 years experience  of working with schools in Barnsley to support families, pupils and staff in the area of Special Educational Needs. Chris also has considerable experience as a governor and her responsibility on the Governing Body is oversight of Key Pupil Groups. Her links in school are the SENDCO's.   

Kayleigh Thompson - Trust Appointed (Business and Finance Lead)

Kayleigh is an experienced energy consultant. Kayleigh started her career in energy working for an energy supplier before moving into her current role with Professional Energy Purchasing. She has a Level 1 qualification in Energy Management achieved through the Energy Institute of which she is an active member.

Tom Oates - Trust Appointed (SEND and Behaviour Lead)
I began my teaching career whilst in the Army before gaining my PGCE. After returning to University for my teacher training, I taught Geography at a large secondary school in South Yorkshire before moving to Joseph Norton Academy. Whilst at Joseph Norton I have become a specialist nurture teacher, designated teacher for Looked After Children and pupil premium coordinator. I am a specialist leader of education and a Wellspring trust expert practitioner. I am the Special Education Needs Coordinator at Joseph Norton Academy and develop my specialist knowledge as an associate university lecturer in SEN Coordination. I have a strong belief that all students have the ability to meet their full potential and it is our role to help them do this, champion their successes and support all learners needs to meet their goals and aspirations.

Richard Whitfield - Trust Appointed (Quality of Education)

Richard is an Associate Principal for Northern Education Trust based at Kirk Balk Academy in Barnsley. Richard has over 15 years of experience working in the education sector, with the vast majority of that time spent working in Barnsley. Richard has supported the development of teaching & learning, curriculum design, quality assurance and systems leadership in multiple schools throughout the north of England. Richards responsibility on the Governing Body is Quality of Education. 

Helen Handley - Parent Appointed (Community Lead)
Helen Handley is one of the Parent Governors for Barnsley Primary Partnership and her son attends Oakhill Primary Academy. She was born and raised in Barnsley and hence knows the area very well. Her background is in Management working with the Salvation Army as well as having worked in Childcare. She is also the owner of a local business. Helen is also the Link Governor for Community Engagement. 

Mitch Stringer - Trust Appointed 

Mitch is the latest addition to the Wellspring team and brings added value with his extensive experience working within education. He spent 20 years as a professional Rugby player with a career spanning at Sheffield Eagles, London Broncos, Salford City Reds and the Scotland national team before hanging his boots up in 2017 at Sheffield Eagles. Since retiring, he has been working within the education sector as a Primary recruitment specialist bringing added value to schools around Barnsley and Sheffield.


Karen Froggatt-  Ex-officio Governor (Community Lead)
Karen is Wellspring Trust’s appointee to the Governing Body.  She is employed as Wellspring’s Company Secretary and Clerk to the Wellspring Trust Board.  Karen also leads the Trust’s Governance Team, which provides governance support to the Trust Board, Board Committees and to all Governing Bodies within the Trust.

If you are looking for information regarding joining the Governing Body or for Local Governing Body minutes, please contact the Clerk to the Governing Body on 01226 720741 or emailing  s.corbett@wellspringacademies.org.uk

Please click on the following picture which will direct you to the Wellspring's Governance Page:

Click here to view Wellspring's policies and documents:

Please address all correspondence to the Chair of Governors:

Mr Michael Sanderson
Wellspring Academy Trust
Digital Media Centre
County Way, Barnsley 
South Yorkshire
S70 2JW

Governing Body