Rise Park Academy Trust Board of Directors

Mrs Victoria Botham

Chair of Directors & Member

Before leaving work to raise my family, I was Clerk to a Governing Body in a small independent school and was pleased to be able to join the Infant School Governing Body in November 2011, when my son started in Reception. Since then, my daughter has now also started at Rise Park Infants.   

I became a Trustee and Director in 2014, when we received permission to bring the two schools together under the Rise Park Academy Trust. I enjoy working closely with the rest of the

Directors and Governors to support both the Infant and Junior Schools to become outstanding.

Mrs Sam D'Ath

Vice Chair of Directors

I have three children at Rise Park, across both schools.  I am hoping that my involvement as a Director will be beneficial to the ongoing growth of the academy and look forward to helping to make the school outstanding!

Mrs Carolyn Fox


My original background was in banking and finance, which I left in order to raise my two daughters. For the past twenty years I have worked in Havering as a class teacher, phase leader, Deputy Headteacher and Infant Headteacher, before being appointed to my current post of Executive Headteacher of Rise Park Academy Trust. I am committed to the children and wider community of our Rise Park Schools, for which our whole staff team strives to provide an optimum educational offer, which includes broad extra-curricular provision, consistently high quality teaching, a supportive and nurturing pastoral environment, as well as excellent resources and technologies which support and progress all of our pupils’ learning experiences. We are proud to be the first Multi Academy Trust and Department for Education Sponsor in Havering, and look forward to growing and evolving into a further expanded high achieving establishment within the near future.

Mr Denis Stevens

Finance Director

As a former Governor of the Junior School, I became a Director of the Rise Park Academy Trust in September 2014, and a Trustee in September 2015.

I am originally from Bow in the East End of London. My wife and I have three children and eight grandchildren.   

I worked in the electrical engineering industry, although I am now retired. I have been a Chair or Member of the Pettit's Safer Neighbourhood Panel for several years and I am also actively involved in a local Boys Junior Football Club, as well as being a league official for more than twenty years.

Miss Teju Sogbetun

Safeguarding Director

Teju became a Director of Rise Park Academy in Spring 2019.

She is a Policy and Business Manager within an NHS organisation and has experience in policy, project management and strategic planning.

Despite having a career in healthcare, Teju has a passion for education and regularly volunteers in schools around London leading workshops on education and career choices.

Teju hopes that her educational and career history, combined with her passion for education can help develop RPAT further.

Mr Joel Franklin

Health and Safety Director

I have lived in Rise Park since 2005. I have two children who are both at Rise Park school. As a Director, I want to contribute to ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for the pupils, through challenging and supporting the leadership as well as upholding the school's values of respect, belief and excellence.

In my professional life, I'm a Senior Business Analyst, working for an Investment Management company. I have experience in a broad range of disciplines that are relevant in an academic setting. With this experience, I think I can play a role in the strategic development of the academy, improving the trusts educational offering, raising standards and contributing to continued progress.

Mr Jason Penalver


I am a newly appointed Director. I wanted to be a Director to be able to help/influence with the progression of Rise Park Academy and the education for all the children.

I am married to Tracy we have two daughters who attend Rise Park, our eldest is in the junior school, and our youngest is in the infants.

In my professional life I am an M&E Engineer currently working for Transport for London.

Mrs Wendy Gardiner

Staff Director

I began my career in school as an LSA and then a Teaching Assistant at a school in Havering where I remained for 9 years.  During my time there I gained a First Class BA Honours Degree in Education and Sociology, immediately followed by undertaking a Graduate Teaching Program for a year at Gloucester University in London.  I began my teaching career in Barking and Dagenham, where I remained for four years, before moving back to Havering and Rise Park. Although I originally came to Rise Park on a temporary basis to cover maternity leave, I quickly discovered that this was a place where I wanted to remain and was very happy to be offered a position enabling me to be a part of the exciting new journey of the two schools. 


I was class based for two years at Rise Park and then decided to alter my direction and enjoyed working across both schools for two years, on a part-time basis, before settling in the junior school teaching maths sets and covering staff PPA.


I have a passion for affording children the very best of education, which I believe they experience at Rise Park Schools, and I am privileged to not only be working on the ground level but to also be an active member of the LAB (staff governor) where I am responsible for ensuring Equality throughout the whole school.

Rise Park Academy Trust

Annan Way


Essex RM1 4UD