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    We Have Dedicated Volunteers, Two Parent Governors and Staff Governors Supporting Us

    Swalcliffe Park School is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and a registered charity. Our board of Governors is made up of dedicated volunteers from our local community, two parent Governors and staff Governors. 

    The board of Governors meets on a half termly basis for a full day when they focus on the strategic development of the school.  Best practice sharing and discussions with staff and students take place at these meetings and the day has five sessions which focus on the following and which are directly related to our work around Quality of Life<!– and the 4 ‘Whys’ –>

    • Working With Students
    • Working With Families
    • Working With Partners
    • Business Development
    • Working With Resources

    This whole day event is also supplemented by a ‘Resources’ working group which meets once per half term to provide more detailed scrutiny of financial matters, staffing and site related issues.

    Goals of Governance

    The purpose of governance at Swalcliffe Park is to provide confident, outward looking strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for all aspects of operational performance within the organisation. The Board of Governors have four core functions or goals:

    1. To ensure appropriate minimum standards are maintained and exceeded for example in relation to safeguarding, health and safety, Ofsted and financial management, and to monitor operational and contextual data.
    2. To ensure provision, progress and outcomes across the 4 Whys are monitored and informed by Quality of Life information and student voice. To ensure family support is informed by Family Quality of Life information and family voice.
    3. To ensure the organisation has clarity of vision and remains committed to innovation and developing and sharing best practice.
    4. To ensure all policies are fit for purpose, up to date and contextualised in current best practice and guidance

    Further Information

    If you would like further information on how Governance works at Swalcliffe Park or would like a rewarding and enjoyable role as a Governor, please contact Paula Protherough, Chair of Governors email: pprotherough@swalcliffepark.co.uk

    Governance is outstanding. Governors share the same ambition and drive as the senior team. (Ofsted)

    In addition to the half termly whole day meetings, there are a range of Governor monitoring activities throughout the year. These might include school based learning walks, spending social time with students, meeting with families, monitoring accounts, monitoring the safer recruitment process and health and safety and safeguarding checks.

    Paula Protherough, Chair of Governors

    My working life has been spent in education; as a teacher, headteacher of two schools, an inspector for Ofsted and co-ordinator of inter-agency support for families in Oxfordshire involving professionals from education, health, social services and police. Throughout my career I have had particular interest in pupils with special educational needs.

    I have been a governor at Swalcliffe Park for six years and am currently Chair of the governing body. I have been part of the team that has overseen many of the recent changes and exciting new developments to the school and residential facilities.

    In my leisure time I swim, play league tennis and am a passionate supporter of the arts. I enjoy gardening and the company of my four grandchildren.


    Gill Manthorpe, Vice Chair

    I recently retired from the post of Vice Principal at a city centre Further Education College in the West Midlands. My responsibilities included ensuring the quality of cross college teaching and learning; Human Resources; student services and welfare; and being the designated senior manager for safeguarding.

    I have also been responsible for training teachers of students over the age of 16; I worked in collaboration with Warwick University to deliver the Certificate of Education for teachers of post-compulsory aged learners.

    Before I returned to work in Further Education I was Head of Sixth Form (academic and residential) at an Oxfordshire Independent Boarding School. I have worked as an Associate Inspector for Ofsted and as an external verifier for vocational courses. I hold a Masters Degree in Education with a research interest in vocational, further and higher education.  I am currently serving as a Director of a multi academy trust in Oxfordshire.

    Peter Beddowes, Governor

    I have had a varied career in business management, consultancy and a leadership role at a top Business School. My expertise and experience was focused on marketing, business strategy and organisation development. I have worked extensively internationally, often helping organisations to develop their capabilities to meet future challenges.

    I am inspired by the vision the School has for its future, and in helping it on this journey.

    In the past I have been a Childline counselor and am now actively involved in our local community on a number of projects including creating a natural woodland play area for local children.

    We have five grandchildren who keep us well and truly grounded in today’s real world and I love gardening, cycling, painting  and walking. I am a sports enthusiast too and am a member of Worcester CCC as well as keeping a close eye on the two teams of my childhood; Liverpool FC and St.Helens Rugby League Club.



    Linda Gregson, Governor

    My working background is in music and education. In my early working life I taught for the Inner London Education Authority both as a Head of Music and Head of Performing Arts in large split site comprehensive schools and also provided in-service training for other teachers.

    I was approached by Goldsmith’s College to become an examiner and lecturer in music and education in the PGCE department which I did until moving to Oxfordshire twenty five years ago.

    I then taught instrumental lessons both in schools and privately which fitted better with the demands of a growing family.  I have played clarinet and saxophone semi-professionally throughout my life and still do, anything from orchestral/chamber music – jazz and swing.

    My other interests include painting, long distance trail walking, travelling reading and gardening.

    Caroline Sancroft-Baker, Governor

    I always say I am a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ as I have trained and worked as a secretary, cook and nursery school teacher.  Now I run a mixed farm with a flock of around 100 sheep outside Swalcliffe.  I trained as a teacher with the Montessori principles and subsequently worked with children with under the Lovaas Treatment programme.  I have been a governor for 5 years.

    Cathy Stoertz, Governor

    I am American by birth and British by “conversion”, having come to the UK in the 1970s to work on archaeological excavations. After a couple of years I found a job with English Heritage, where I spent 35 years as a specialist in archaeological air photo interpretation, mapping and research. Since my retirement in 2012, I have continued my love of history through research on Swalcliffe village and the characters who lived here in the past.

    My husband and I came to Swalcliffe in 1999; the following year, two neighbours recruited me as a Governor for Swalcliffe Park School. Since then, the school has evolved almost beyond recognition, particularly in recent years, and it is a huge privilege to be able to support its continued achievements.

    Debbie Andrioli, Parent Governor

    I’m married to Mark and live in Stratford-upon-Avon. Our son Matthew is in year 9 at Swalcliffe. He started as a day boy and is now a boarder. We have two other children. I am a stay-at-home parent, but previously worked for the Press Association as marketing and communications manager. I have a degree in International Relations.

    When Matthew was younger, I set up an autism support group in my area and I am active today helping families. I have a deep understanding of the issues that affect boys with autism. I am proud of the school and the fantastic work it does for the boys.


    Michelle White, Parent Governor

    Married to Phil and a mother of two boys Alex, a Day student at Swalcliffe Park and Tommy, I am a passionate ASD Advocate and have an interest in Education and the EHC process.

    Over the last few years I have dedicated my time to learning and understanding Autism. I have volunteered for several parent-led support groups as an advocate and have supported many families through the EHC process and in meetings.

    I participate through schools in steering groups and research  providing parental input. I have completed distance learning study through the University of Derby on understanding Aspergers, Autism and ADHD and have completed IPSEA training.

    My interests include reading, films,  my pets, spending quality time with my family making memories and perhaps what I am best known for collecting unusual eccletic quirky shoes!