Meet the Governors - pen portraits of our Governing Board
Chair of Governors
Local Authority Governor
I have been a parent governor for nearly four years and have had a number of roles on the Governing Body, being elected as Chair at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. As such I am involved in Strategy, Pay, Finance and Whole Governing Body Meetings. Our eldest daughter has attended Furze Down for only slightly longer than I have been a Governor and I became a Governor in order to support this very important part of our daughter's life. The school has provided her with a safe place in which to begin to overcome many of the challenges she faces and is our first experience of a Special Needs School. I have spent my career in the Financial Services industry, including most recently one of the main industry regulators and bring my professional knowledge of finance, risk and compliance to the Governing Body alongside a parent's view of the reality of the lives of children and young people with additional needs
Vice Chair of Governors
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.
I began my role of school governor in September 2015 after attending all meetings in an observational capacity since January 2015 as the new building was opened. I am involved in Finance, Strategy and Resourcing areas of the Governing Board. For over 30 years I have worked in technology sales as a Global Sales and Business Manager so my main skills are business and management based. I have an active interest in SEN since a friend's daughter was diagnosed with Autism and took her to the Puzzle Centre for two years prior to her attending Furze Down. I have been very keen to assist the school, especially with the transition across to the new building
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.
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.
My experience includes problem analysis and solving, commercial, contractual, compliance and decision making skills, learned from 25 years working as a Lawyer in English and International firms. I am currently a Director of a family business. As well as understanding management, I come from a family of teachers and have worked as a teacher (Geos Language Centre in Singapore). For the past 3 years, Furze Down has provided a nurturing and safe environment that has helped our Son to grow in confidence and ability and I believe I have got to know the school well. I have worked with many charities, support groups and specialists in this field over the past 12 years and well understand the benefits from working as an effective team.
Staff Governor and Deputy Business Leader
I joined Furze Down School in 2007, as a member of the admin team and am currently studying towards a CMI Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship for School Business Professionals. My operational knowledge of the school supports my role as Staff Governor and I have attended Teaching & Learning, Finance & Resources and Full Governing Body Meetings since in 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 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 Center of Excellence for SEND.