Ryedale Learning Trust

  1. Education
  2. Our School Leaders

Our School Leaders

We believe that school leaders, teachers and support staff are our most prized commodity. Great schools require great leaders, as the prime responsibility for school improvement lies with the Head of each school. Find out more about our school leaders below. 

As School Improvement Lead, Domenica works closely with the Trust Central Education Team to implement the Ryedale Learning Trust Education Strategy. Her experience and knowledge, particularly around building professional communities and leadership development, is invaluable in our continued plans for development.


Domenica has served the Ryedale area for over twenty years and is the Headteacher of Ryedale School. She began her career in education as a Newly Qualified Teacher in Hull. Having made the move to Ryedale School as a PE teacher, she quickly fell in love with the school and community and developed a passion for school improvement and desire to make a positive impact on the lives of young people on a larger scale. She progressed her career, undertaking the roles of Assistant Head for Behaviour and Standards, Deputy Head and then Headteacher from February 2021.  When Ryedale School Federated in 2016, she became the Federation's Secondary Director, where she was able to develop her skills in curriculum development and strategic leadership. Domenica is in the final stage of completing a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management.


Educational Ethos: Domenica is absolutely clear on her mission within the Trust: to ensure every learner is inspired to succeed and enabled to fulfil their potential through an absolute focus on the highest educational standards. She believes in the power of high expectations, strong relationships, and leadership development as the foundations on which to build a culture of school improvement and secure the highest quality learning experience for all young people.   


Favourite quote: "I am still learning" -Michelangelo

Claire has worked in education for 22 years following her graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University with BA (Hons) in Primary Education.


Claire has held a number of positions since starting as a newly qualified class teacher in Central London. Progressing her career in Essex as a class teacher, a senior teacher and then becoming Deputy Head Teacher.


She then made the exciting move to North Yorkshire and joined the Ryedale Learning Trust as Head of School for Helmsley Community Primary School, before progressing to her present role as Executive Head Teacher of the three Trust Primary Schools.


Passionate about continuing to develop her professional growth Claire is a qualified and experienced SENCO and has recently successfully completed her NPQH.


Claire is an accomplished curriculum leader in subjects including maths, PSHCE, computing, and art. Given her international gymnastics background in both competing and coaching, she is also able to make a significant contribution in physical education!


Claire is now entering her 6th year with the Ryedale Learning Trust. Having progressed to be part of the Trust Central Education Team, she continues to embrace the challenge to drive overall school improvement and the creation of a thriving learning environment for every pupil.


Favourite quote: “Be the change that you want to see.” Mahatma Ghandi

Fiona has worked in education for over 18 years, holding senior leadership posts as literacy lead, curriculum development lead and most recently as deputy head for a large, federated school. During her time as a deputy head and year 6 teacher, she brought about rapid school improvement, taking the school from attainment and progress scores of FFT 99 to 40 in the first year.


Before being recruited to take on the position of Deputy Head, she worked as a literacy specialist, tasked with bringing about rapid school improvement, delivering training to teachers and supporting literacy leaders to develop the subject within their schools. She worked alongside colleagues in industry and the research school in order to develop a program of reading comprehension designed to develop a love of reading and bring about rapid improvement.


She has also supported middle leaders as an NPQML facilitator as well as having coached and mentored students, RQTs, and more experienced teachers for the past 14 years. 


Her teaching experience has been varied and she has taught year 1-6, although the majority of her experience has been in UKS2. She has also taught in a diverse range of schools including a 2-16 EAL school in South Korea, large inner-city schools in areas of great deprivation, a school in suburban York and in one of the top private schools in the country.


Fiona believes this is an exciting time to be in teaching, as we increasingly use evidence based research to help improve schools. With the support of the other schools in the trust, we are able to provide our children with the best education possible through collaboration, sharing of expertise and the professional accountability that comes with being a part of a high-achieving team.


Favourite quote: “We rise by lifting others.” Robert Ingersoll.

Neil has worked in education for 14 years. He began his career in an inner city school in Middlesbrough, before taking up a position in Whitby, prior to being appointed as Head of School at Sinnington in 2018.


Neil is passionate about reading. He believes that reading is an essential life skill, central to a child’s success and enjoyment of school, reading not only opens doors in the future but it opens every child’s imagination. He is also passionate about physical education and believes that every child should have the opportunity to participate in a range of sports to develop their confidence, their appreciation of teamwork and to support their wellbeing.


Educational Ethos: ‘I am committed to ensuring all children have access to high quality education and strive to ensure that all children reach their potential whatever their starting point. I believe the root to success is creating strong relationships and promoting excellence for all by working together. A school should be a place of learning and enjoyment.’


Favourite quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela