Governor Information

Meet the Governors - pen portraits of our Governing Board

Sheree Howard

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

Neil Udall

Vice Chair of Governors

Co-opted Governor

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.

David Rasmussen

Co-opted Governor

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

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.

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.

Caroline West

Co-opted Governor

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.

Colin Bishop

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.

Clare Bourne

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.

Fatima Syed

Co-opted Governor

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.