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Alliance Regional System Leaders

positively on schools.

Rob Campbell

Headteacher - Leeming RAF Community Primary School

Mr. Campbell (1)

Having originally worked in Northumberland, I joined North Yorkshire LA 7 years ago as headteacher of a small rural school which I led for over 3 years. In 2016, I was appointed head at RAF Leeming – a school with the highest percentage of military children in the country – therefore facing significant challenges pertaining to mobility, SEND, pastoral needs and service life. As such, my interest lies in supporting school improvement through contextual understanding – addressing the particular challenges faced by each individual school, rather than applying a single, uniform approach.

More widely, my work for the Swaledale Alliance has included leading on Assessment, undertaking school reviews, bespoke Headteacher support, developing the Headteacher Induction Programme, and working on service pupils’ issues. Most recently, I have been appointed as the CPLD lead for the Alliance, and, as such, am co-ordinating the TSA’s wider CPD offer.

Nicola Dobson

Bolton on Swale St Mary's Church of England VA School

Nicola Dobson

Nicola is currently Headteacher at Bolton-on-Swale St Mary’s Church of England Primary School. She has taught for over 20 years with a wide range of experience across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. In her previous post as Deputy at RAF Leeming Primary she achieved an Outstanding Ofsted judgement and developed a good understanding of the needs of service pupils.

Her strong leadership has secured consistently Good Ofsted outcomes (2012; 2016) and Outstanding SIAMS judgements (2012; 2016). She has a wide range of leadership experience supporting head teachers, governors and leadership teams of schools in challenging situations. She has supported new head teachers and those developing leadership in Church Schools. Within the Swaledale Alliance she has supported PST and Lead Governor recruitment; is a Partnership School Reviewer and delivers the Alliance Middle Leadership development programme. She works closely with Durham University mentoring BA Education students in her role as a School Training Centre Coordinator.

John Sykes

Hipswell CE Primary School

Jon Sykes

Jon is a very experienced and well respected Headteacher, working in North Yorkshire. He has previously led a small primary school and is now a serving Headteacher at Hipswell Church of England Primary School on Catterick Garrison. 

His experience of leading two very different schools ensures he understands the issues facing Headteachers. 

Jon has supported other schools on a range of issues linked to school improvement.

Richard Linsley

Alverton Community Primary School

Richard Lins,

I am proud and privileged to be Headteacher of Alverton Community Primary School. Since my appointment in 2015 I have enjoyed working with pupils, staff and parents to ensure we provide a school the community can be proud of.

During the previous 20 years I have worked in a number of schools based in County Durham and Darlington and have developed my passion for Education and a specialism in PE and School Sport, Teacher Training and Pupil Premium.  I have supported other Primary Schools in the Local Authority and recently completed an Interim-Executive Headship of two village primary schools. I enjoy leading on Pupil Premium for the Swaledale Alliance and am passionate about providing opportunities for disadvantaged pupils in our area. I chair the Northallerton primary school ‘Beacon’ partnership and have recently become a Governor at a local school. I am excited at the prospect of becoming a Regional System Leader and use my experiences and skills to impact positively on schools.

Jonathan Briggs

Federation of Abbey Schools


Jonathan has had a wealth of experience in many different types of school.  Presently he is the Headteacher of the Federation of Abbey Schools in Darlington which has over 600 children and 100 staff.  Prior to working in Darlington he worked as a teaching Head in a small rural school in North Yorkshire for 6 years and before that as a Deputy Head in single form entry school with a high degree of deprivation.

Jonathan has worked with many schools in North Yorkshire and Darlington to support schools improvement.  He is looking forward to becoming a Regional Systems Leader and using his knowledge and experience to help schools develop.

Gordon Stainsby

Federation of Reeth Community Primary & Gunnerside Methodist School

P1080868 (1)I am a teaching head of a federation of two small schools, Reeth Community Primary School and Gunnerside Methodist Primary School. We operate very closely with well refined systems for collaboration. We secured Good Ofsted outcomes in 2017 and 2018 and an Outstanding SIAMS judgement in 2016. Working in the heart of Swaledale gives us superb opportunities for outdoor learning and education, and the activities that we offer contributed to a Sport Premium Award that we won for Innovation in 2020.

Before my appointment in 2014, I was a Y6 teacher for over 10 years and trained as a maths specialist teacher as part of this role. I really enjoy time in the classroom and continue to teach maths most days.

I have worked with the Swaledale Alliance on several CPD projects, including data, school improvement and monitoring. I like to work on new strategies, and especially those that support leaders and teachers to develop systems that are as efficient and effective as possible. I think that collaboration is really important and look forward to working with other schools as a Regional System Leader.

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