​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Governance - List of Governors ​ ​

Governors make an exceptional contribution to the work and direction of the school.  We make strategic appointments to the governing body to ensure a breadth of expertise and experience.  All are from the local community and are closely involved in the school as parents, employers or ex pupils. 

The Governing body have expertise in education, local government, law, regional government organisations, business, industry and accountancy.  Governors assume individual responsibility for holding departments and inclusion to account. A number of sub committees meet at least every term to evaluate the effectiveness of the school action plans and to act on their findings.



John McNichol M Ed (Chair/Community governor)

Deputy Responsible for Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Deputy Responsible for Safeguarding Children 

John is a former pupil of the school (1963 – 1970) and had a successful 20 year career in Business Management before entering the teaching profession as an FE lecturer.  A passion for education resulted in his involvement in Initial Teacher Training and consequent appointment as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and Professional Development at The University of Huddersfield.

Since retirement John has concentrated on voluntary work including School Governance and still follows his passion for teaching by supporting his local primary school tutoring Year 6 pupils preparing for SATs.

An active volunteer for the Pontefract Live at Home scheme.

Lifelong Castleford Tigers supporter and Motorsport enthusiast.

Kathryn Scott (Vice Chair/Community governor)

Responsibility for Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Responsibility for Safeguarding Children

Responsibility for Pupil Premium

I have been a governor of Castleford High/Academy for nearly 30 years, I have been a governor of Park Junior, and am also a governor of Airedale Junior School.

I am a proud parent of one daughter and two sons who have all attended both Park Junior and Castleford Academy, they all attended college and two went on to university.

I worked for the local council for over 20 years before I left 4 years ago to become a local councillor.


George Panayiotou (Ex Officio)

George is the Headteacher of Castleford Academy and CEO of Castleford Multi Academy Trust.   He started his teaching career at the school in 2003 and has developed from there.  George has been Headteacher at Castleford Academy and Accounting Officer at Castleford Multi Academy Trust for 4 years.  George leads a team that is passionate about “working together to achieve excellence for all”.  Castleford Academy is a high achieving secondary academy, currently highlighted as being in the top 5% of schools nationally for the new Progress 8 measure of a school's performance within the DFE performance tables in Wakefield.  George is currently chair of the Secondary Headteacher’s board and contributes to other local and regional working groups. 


Leslie Atkinson (Parent governor)

I have been a parent governor for Smawthorne Henry Moore and now Castleford Academy collectively for 3 years.

Married with 2 Children who attend Castleford Academy.

My career from leaving school has been spent working in high risk environments consisting of Marine Engineer, Offshore Oil and Gas, and the Power Generation Industry.

Currently engaged in the renewables construction industry as an Engineer and Health and Safety Manager Offshore.

I hold OND in Marine Engineering and Nautical Science and a NEBOSH Diploma in Health & Safety GMIOSH.


Chris Bland (Parent governor)

I have been a parent governor at Castleford Academy for over 10 years as a proud husband and parent of three daughters the youngest of which is still a pupil at the academy. I am a community based pharmacist and have worked in both South and West Yorkshire, I am also Chair of Rotherham Pharmaceutical Committee representing pharmacies across the borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire. 


Alison Fender (Community governor)

Responsibility for Careers

I have been a governor at Castleford Academy for more than 15 years and was previously a governor at Three Lane Ends J&I school.

Most of my career has been spent working within the Public Sector, including more than 20 years within Education and Skills, including 10yrs+ as a Programme/Project Manager within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Education for the Regional Development Agency, as well as Contract Managing a range of Further Education (FE) Colleges and Work Based Learning Providers.

I have also been a secondary school teacher and FE lecturer specialising in Business Studies, IT, Computer Science and Customer Services qualifications. I now work for Yorkshire Building Society and my role includes IT project support, finance management, internal audit/training monitoring and coaching.

I have a range of up to date qualifications to support my governor role at Castleford Academy including PGCE/Masters in Secondary Education, Business Studies degree, Prince 2 Project Management (Practitioner), NVQL4 Management and Change Management.

I have lived in Castleford since I was 6 years old, and I have been active within my local community for many years including supporting Friends of Savile Park and the Castleford Heritage Trust. I am proud to be a Community Governor at Castleford Academy.


Adam Fletcher (Community governor)

Adam qualified as a solicitor in 2003. Specialising in Property and Practice Management, he is currently the Managing Director of Ridley & Hall Legal Limited. Adam became a community governor at Castleford Academy in July 2015 and was appointed as Trustee of Castleford Academy Trust in January 2016. 


Ian Hobson (Staff governor)

I have worked at Castleford Academy for the past 24yrs in my capacity as Premises Manager.  I have served on the governing body for more than 10yrs as support staff governor and am also a member of various sub committees. Both my son and daughter have passed through Castleford Academy, local college and university and gone on to successful careers.

John Hughes (Community governor)

I am presently a Member and Trustee for Castleford Academy Trust.  I am also a governor for both Castleford Academy and Castleford Park Junior Academy Governing Bodies.

I have been a governor since 1990, starting as a parent governor when my children were at school to the present day, where I am now a community governor.

I have picked up a great deal of experience and skills in that time. And seeing exam results at Castleford Academy improve over the years as well as the progress made by all pupils.

I have been retired since April 2016, before that I worked full time for Unison, representing members in schools and Children services.

In my role I got to see how schools and services evolved over the years and used this to take back lessons learnt to my own schools.

To keep updated I attend numerous training courses each year and read information sent out from DFE, NGA and other governor websites. 


Martin Thomson (Community governor)

I work for a local engineering construction company TEi Limited as Health and Safety Manager. I also worked in my early years in the coalfields around Castleford and studied at Whitwood Technical College. I am married with three adult aged children and my wife is a primary school teacher. I live in the Selby area and have volunteered for other organisations including schools and the local church.


Gemma Storr (Staff governor)

I have been a teacher of MFL at the Academy since September 2008. I was elected to represent the staff in 2016 and it is a privilege to work alongside the governors to continue the fantastic work being done at the Academy.


Gary Vessey (Staff governor)

I have been a teacher of English at the Academy since September 2004 and also underwent a secondment for two years to Castleford Park Junior Academy where I taught in Year 6 - mainly preparing for SATS exams. I was elected to represent the staff as a staff member in 2006 and have continued in this role ever since except when on my secondment to CPJA. I feel honoured to be part of a fantastic, proactive governing body.​


Andrew Kitchen (Community governor)

I have been a governor at Castleford Academy for over 10 years.​

I am married and a proud parent of 2 sons who both attended Castleford Academy. 

In my early years I worked I the coal industry at Wheldale Colliery and Gascoigne Wood.  

I am currently an Operations Director working on the Rail Infrastructure.


Kathryn Law (Community governor​)

In my position of community governor at Castleford Academy and Headteacher at Castleford Park Junior Academy, I am passionate about improving the life chances of children in Castleford. I believe that all children deserve the same valuable chance at an exciting and challenging education and endeavour to provide this through my commitment to school and my research into highly effective educational practice. Receiving the best education is paramount to ensuring the children of Castleford achieve their aspirations in the future.​


Kenny Stoddart (Community governor​)​

Originally from Edinburgh, I have lived in West Yorkshire for fifteen years.  Married to Sarah and proud father of two girls that are in secondary school and college.  Currently Operations Director of Appris Charity Limited, a not for profit apprenticeship training provider, specialising in engineering and manufacturing. I’ve led on four Ofsted inspections over twenty years in the FE sector, most recently achieving Good overall with Outstanding for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare.​


Governors Declaration of Interest 2018-19​​​