Governor Information

Fr Jonathan Bish (Chair)
I’m parish priest at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Outwood since January 2017, and I have been leading assemblies at Rooks Nest Academy since I arrived. I have been a governor since the start of this year and became Vice Chair this September. I was brought up in the United States and Switzerland, then returned to the UK for university at Oxford and Cambridge. I try to bring an international perspective to both my assemblies and my work as a governor. Perhaps because I spent so many years being educated, I’m the link governor for the curriculum, which means I try to support teaching and learning in the academy in all its forms. It’s important for me that our children not only excel in the core subjects, like reading, writing and mathematics, but also learn to loving learning in all its forms – history, music and even sport are all part of a good education.
Joe Yates (Parent Governor)
I have been a governor for around 18 months now and am the Chair of the Personnel and Resources committee and also the Sports Link governor.
I have two children in the school and my background is in finance. I am a chartered management accountant and the finance director of a creative communications agency responsible for managing all budgetary and fiscal procedures in the business. A key part of my role as governor is to review the financial projections and results and to scrutinise trends, key spend areas and policies where required. I provide objective challenge where appropriate and aim to support both the headteacher and business manager in delivering a robust financial management system. My regular meetings with the Sports lead for the school means I understand the needs and plans of the school to effectively allocate the Sports Premium grant each year.

I am the Sports Link governor and have recently been appointed the Chair of the Personnel and Resources Committee.


Veronica Saville

I was appointed staff Governor in May 2017. I am Link Governor for Safeguarding and form part of the Personnel & Resources Committee.

I have worked at Rook’s Nest Academy for the past 21 years, in a variety of roles. My journey began as a volunteer when my son started at the school (He is now 25). I then worked as a dinner lady, a Support Worker for children with special needs, a Classroom Assistant and a Playworker. In 2007 I played a part in setting up Rook’s Nest Early birds Breakfast and Afterschool Club and ultimately became the Manager in charge of the day to day running of Rook’s Nest Academy Childcare.

I am passionate about the education and welfare of all young people and will strive in my role as Governor to ensure that the children at Rook’s Nest receive the best possible education and opportunities to support their learning & development.

For anyone wishing to speak to me, I am in the Playground each morning 8.45am-9.00am.

Joanne Smith


R Overton

As a parent myself (both of my boys went to Rook’s Nest Academy) I am well aware of how important it is to ensure that children have the best opportunity to reach their potential. I became a governor of the Academy in 2017. In addition to my general governor duties, I am SEN (Special Educational Needs) link governor and sit on the Personnel & Resources and Secondary Committees.

I work in IT Engineering for a large financial services organisation, leading a large, multi-disciplinary team across multiple UK and international locations. The nature of my work means that I have built up considerable experience of general operational, financial, risk, team / people and stakeholder management.

Being a governor allows me to use my professional skills to support the Academy and its community of pupils, staff and parents.

R Long

  • From Shiremoor, a small village in South-East Northumberland, just 3 miles from Whitley Bay;
  • Brought up by grandparents, Norman, a miner, and grandma Cissy (Elizabeth Ann), a housewife;
  • Studied Pharmacy at Bath University – awarded third class honours;
  • Trained to be a primary school teacher at Bradford;
  • Worked in First Schools in Bradford as class teacher (Reception, Year 1), and also as a liaison teacher, working with families;
  • Studied at Sheffield University for a Master’s degree
  • Studied at Lancaster University for a PhD in Education;
  • Worked in teacher education at Bretton Hall, Wakefield;
  • Worked on ‘raising aspirations’ projects in primary schools in West and South Yorkshire, encouraging Y6 pupils to consider university as a future option.


C Rowell

I am looking forward to providing support and challenge to the school as a new parent governor. I have boys in Y1 and nursery.   I have been employed by Wakefield Council for nearly 30 years and I work within the Council’s Early Years Team where I support the delivery and the funding of the free places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Having attended my first Governing Body meeting my initial impressions are that the school is well organised and has strong leadership and management.


Paul Brennan
I have two children at the academy and have been a parent governor for just over a year. I am Head of PE at Brigshaw High School and have been a teacher for over 15 years. I thoroughly enjoy working with the school to help achieve the best for all of the students who go there. I am on the standards and pupils board and special educational needs.

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