Dr Anthony Wilkins – Head
Anthony was educated at Ryde School on the Isle of Wight through to eighteen. Following this, his initial degree was a first in Philosophy and after postgraduate study at Oriel College, Oxford, he went to the City of London to work as an economic researcher for companies setting up new unit trusts. Anthony then worked at St Dunstan’s College in London, eventually becoming the Deputy Head of the Preparatory Department, before being appointed as Head of Heathfield in 2009. During that time he maintained his academic studies, gaining further qualifications in Mathematics and the History of Mathematics, and Masters Degrees in both English Literature and the History of Religion. He has recently completed a Ph.D in Literature with the University of Derby.
Mrs Catherine Walsh - Bursar
Catherine was educated at Sutton Valance School, Kent and completed her A- levels at Maidstone Boys’ Grammar School. Following this, Catherine started work at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) where she quickly progressed through the ranks gaining valuable experience in that field. For a period, Catherine was the only Mortgage Qualified Customer Adviser in the whole of England for RBS and received several accolades regarding her enhanced skillset, including several awards for sales and customer experience. A promotion saw Catherine leave the Kent RBS branches to manage the Chelsea branch of the NatWest bank.
Applying her financial acumen and management experience, Catherine then took on the role of School Business Manager working for the Kent Catholic Schools Partnership, gaining valuable experience of working in a private school in East Sussex before relocating her family to West Yorkshire to take up the role of Bursar at Rishworth School.
Ms Jessica Sheldrick – Deputy Head Pastoral
Jessica did her GCSEs at St Joseph’s college in Bradford and then her Highers at Douglas Academy in Milngavie, Scotland. Following this, she attended both Glasgow and Leeds Universities to complete her Degree in Physiology, remaining at Leeds University to complete her PGCE. Jessica joined Rishworth as a newly qualified teacher in 2002 and has been a part of the Rishworth family ever since, over the 20 years she has continued to enhance and develop her skill set and is now the Deputy Head (Pastoral) and DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) of the school.
As a committed and dedicated member of staff, Jessica is involved in many different aspects of school life and as such; has a Level 3 food hygiene qualification, has completed the mountain leader training and is qualified to deliver and assess the Duke of Edinburgh up to Gold. Jessica’s contribution over the years to the DofE resulted in her being invited to Westminster Abbey for the 2016 Diamond Jubilee and she was the recently honoured by Prince Edward at St James’s Palace in November 2019.
Richard Danks – Director of Marketing and Admissions
Richard was educated at Ely College and graduated at Leeds Metropolitan University in Business and Marketing. Richard has enjoyed a varied and progressive career within marketing, digital marketing, e-commerce, sales, entrepreneurship and leadership. He started work at Nestle for the confectionery division in York acquiring valuable experience across a range of commercial roles and achieved selection onto the Nestle emerging talent scheme as part of his development and performance with the company. After a lifestyle change, Richard retrained in health, fitness, nutrition and sport where he achieved a range of coaching qualifications valuing the importance of educating and supporting others to achieve good physical and mental health. These additional skills empowered Richard to create his own wellbeing service, create and launch a digital app, partner with national charities such as Mind to create community events, professional and community sports teams and professional athletes in Herefordshire.
Richard and family relocated back to the north after an opportunity was presented to join Active Nutrition International as the UK and Oceania Country Manager, responsible for the marketing and sales within these territories. Making a step back into industry led to the opportunity to work in e-commerce as the Managing Director for Go Nutrition in Manchester too. Most recently, Richard worked directly in digital marketing as a Managing Director at Smart Insights, which is a global marketing e-learning, training and publishing platform helping students and businesses to upskill and improve their performance in digital marketing strategy.
Richard is a strong believer in learning and development which has been demonstrated throughout his 20 year career gathering extra CPD skills with CIM, advancing his digital marketing skills, taking on physical challenges for charities by completing Ironman triathlons and reaching a milestone in 2023, having published his first book on demand generation. Whilst the independent school sector is new to Richard, he is delighted to develop his career further within education proudly working for Rishworth School as the Director of Marketing and Admissions. He aims to bring his experience, passion, energy and skills to convey the excellent standards, achievements and outstanding opportunities available for students and their families at Rishworth School.