Our Local Governing Body

Click here to see our Trust
Click here to see our Board of Directors
Click here to see our Executive Leadership Team

Board-appointed Governors

Steve BielbyStephen Bielby (Chair)

Governor, HMYOI Moorland

Stephen has 16 years experience of working and managing in a custodial setting. Currently Head of Security and Intelligence, he works with some of the most difficult and troubled Young People in the country. These young boys have issues ranging from behavioral problems, mental health issues and serious learning difficulties. He has formulated and implemented projects within this challenging setting to develop and engage the creative and communication skills of the young people with great success, working with experts such as Billy Bragg on a recent musical project.

As a father of 5, he has previous experience as a school governor at a successful local school and is fully committed to the long term future and goals of XP.

Stephen is our Link Governor to the Services community


Staff Governors

Gemma ThorntonGemma Thornton

Gemma started her educational journey at Coventry University after completing her BA (HONS) in Graphic Design. After a couple of years working in Further Education, she fell in love with teaching and pursued her career by doing a PGCE at Birmingham University.

She spent her first eight years of teaching at Armthorpe Academy where she built her career as an Art and Media teacher. Whilst teaching she became a Head of Year for a number of different year groups in both key stages. She became an Associate Leader where she worked alongside Senior Management and as part of this role had to lead a team of teachers to implement a project-based learning curriculum for the Humanities and Arts for Year 7 Students.

This is when she gained a new-found love for teaching, seeing students engage in subjects beyond their expectations and producing some outstanding creations. The opportunity then arose to become a Staff Governor of XP which she is proud to be a part of in such a pioneering school.

Paula Cunningham

Paula left North Warwickshire College in 1983 and headed into a career in the health & beauty industry where she stayed for a number of years progressing to management level. After having her 2 children, a career change into the world of education came in the 1990s, alongside a return to studying for 2 years through Birmingham University with a focus upon SEN and specifically ASD.
Prior to joining XP, Paula has supported in primary schools for almost 20 years in the field of ASD, working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel for 15 of the years. Paula was also a school governor there at the same time too.

Discovering how great the philosophies of XP were when she came to undertake the transition of a student from year 6 to year 7, Paula knew that she wanted to be part of the XP Crew. The opportunity arose to become a staff governor at XP, and she is proud to be part of that too.

Paula says she has not looked back in the time she has been at XP and loves every minute of her XP life!!


Parent Governors

Rachel ScottRachel Scott

Rachel has lived in Doncaster all her life and after completing her degree in Public Sector Management has worked at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as an Internal Auditor. This involves assessing organisation’s processes and procedures to give an independent assurance opinion on how these are working, as well as to add value to and help to improve the organisation’s operations.

Having 2 children of her own, when hearing about XP and its philosophy, Rachel was intrigued by project based learning and became incredibly enthusiastic about this more ‘real life’ approach. Now being part of the school herself she is even more committed and dedicated to the development of XP to ensure that the students have the best start in life by receiving a first class education.

As a Parent Governor, Rachel will be able to use her link between the school and parents to enable a balanced approach to be taken on decision-making.

Paul HainesPaul Haines

Paul is the Managing Director of Exploration Ltd, a local Doncaster based Geo-environmental ground drilling company, operating across the UK.

He has moved through the working system from Trainee to Director and has worked across many sectors, even though his academic schooling was not the best.
He became a Parent Governor at XP because he wanted to give something back to the community and feel that he could help to steer XP towards being even more fantastic.

Paul has three children and understands as much as any parent how schooling can give so much to a child if it is delivered effectively. He believes that XP supports children who want to learn and inspires others to follow, and is proud to say he is a part of it.

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