Furze Down School

Furze Down School

A Specialist School for Communication and Interaction

For more information and news

Verney Road, Winslow, Buckinghamshire, MK18 3BL


01296 711380



Governor Information

Sheree Howard

I became a governor of the school in 2013, originally as a Parent Governor and more recently as the Local Authority Governor.  Throughout this time, I have held a number of roles on the Governing Body, being elected as Chair at the start of the 2017/18 academic year and stepping down as Chair, but remaining as a Governor in December 2023. As such I am and have been involved in all aspects of the Governing Body’s work including Strategy, Pay, Finance and Whole Governing Body Meetings. Our eldest daughter attended Furze Down from 2012 until 2018 and I became a Governor in order to support this very important part of our daughter's life. During this time, the school provided her with a safe place in which to begin to overcome many of the challenges she faces and was our first experience of a Special Needs School. I have spent my career in the Financial Services industry, including currently with one of the main industry regulators and bring my professional knowledge of finance, risk and compliance to the Governing Body alongside a lived experience of the reality of the lives of children and young people with additional needs.

Neil Udall

My term of office as school governor started some 8 years ago and I have a special interest in the Finance side. I attend school Strategy and Full Governing Board meetings and I also sit on the Finance Committee. I have also taken an interest in the preparation of some of the ‘process’ type documentation that the school is required to have in place to show they are adhering to statutory requirements both locally and nationally in the running of the school. I became a governor at this school as I live locally and wanted to put something back into the community and this seemed an ideal opportunity. I am keen to ensure that the school continues to provide the opportunities to the children in its care as it always has.
Rachel Loch Co-opted Governor I have been a Governor at the school since 2014, with a specific interest in Resourcing and Staffing, but I am also involved in Strategy and Whole Governing Body Meetings. As a Teacher of long experience in teaching Primary aged children general subjects, I gained further expertise in teaching 9 – 13 year olds in a boarding environment. This culminated in my becoming a Housemistress with special responsibility for the academic and pastoral care of 50 children and Head of Mathematics. I have always had an interest in children with SEN and would like to help and promote their well-being by giving my time, expertise and energy to this end; helping oversee that the school is well resourced and staffed to ensure each child can reach his/her potential.

Colin Bishopp

Co-opted Governor

I am a lawyer by background, with no experience in delivering education. However, I have a son, now well into adulthood, with multiple disabilities and I have been through the special needs system as a parent over many years. In that time I have gained some insight into the challenges facing the teachers and other professionals involved in the provision of education and pastoral care to children with special needs, the parents and of course the children themselves. I jumped at the chance of co-option when it was offered, and I hope to make a worthwhile contribution to a system to which my son and his parents owe so much.
Hugh Ellerton Co-opted Governor In 2019 I retired from a career in financial services, having worked in the UK, France, Hong Kong and Singapore; I have no direct experience in education, but I felt my expertise as a Chartered Accountant and professional trustee could add a positive dimension to the governance of Furze Down School; my lifetime interest in nature, I am a trustee of the Butterfly Conservation, is an advantage to develop the extensive outside area of the school grounds to benefit and stimulate pupils’ interests in wildlife and nature. I have lived, or owned a residence, in the Winslow area for over 60 years. I became a Governor of the school in 2021 and I relish the opportunity to use my skills and experience to contribute to improving and expanding the existing high standards of excellence.

Tess Kirkby

Clerk to the Governors

I joined Furze Down as Clerk in January 2022 and I am also a Clerk for Oxfordshire County Council, with whom I have been working since the autumn of 2020. Previously, I was a Civil Servant in the Home office and the Ministry of Justice in a variety of operational and administrative roles over 20 years. I first started working in schools in 2020 and I thoroughly enjoy it. The opportunity to work with such dedicated Governors and staff whose priority is to support and empower children and young people is really rewarding.

Tess can be contacted on: clerk@furzedownschool.org.uk

Louise Gregory

Parent Governor

I am a parent to a pupil in the school. This means my experience is that of the parent side of things; the importance and value of parent voice; pupil voice and the wider community. My background is of over 15 years in Health, Safety and well-being including working for the Department of Education at the University of Oxford.
Gary Owens Parent Governor I have over 30 years working in IT and accounting roles working with various customers in a number of different types of industries. I am a parent of a child that attends the school. I feel that I can offer my experience from various roles I have had and also my view as a parent. I hope to help make sure that all children are
Elton Norris Parent Governor This is my first experience as a Parent Governor, however in my professional career I often advise and interact with both Senior Leadership Teams and Governing Bodies. I have worked with the Department for Education delivering capital projects to Academies, Local Authority funded schools and Specialist SEND Schools, from securing funding to delivery of projects.  My daughter joined Furze Down in Key Stage 2 from a local mainstream school and seeing the level of care and nurturing offered by all staff on her educational journey, inspired me to try and add value to the school and offer my experience to support the Senior Leadership Team as a Governor. I have lived in the Buckingham area for over 20 years and my roles as Scout and Cub leader locally has also allowed to me to engage in the community and add value to organisations beyond my day to day career, which I hope to do with Furze Down School in the future.

Clare Bourne

Staff Governor and Deputy Business Leader

I joined Furze Down School in 2007, as a member of the admin team and completed a CMI Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship for School Business Professionals in 2022. My operational knowledge of the school supports my role as Staff Governor and I have attended Quality of Education, Finance & Resources and Full Governing Body Meetings since March 2019. My previous career was in Customer Service Management for a Telecoms company, managing support and delivery of solutions to a diverse customer base. I taught Riding for the Disabled for many years and I am an accredited UKCC/EQL L2 Coach, the skills and experiences I gained from this complement my business and project management experience. I am dedicated to the continuous development of our school as a Centre of Excellence for SEND.
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