Governors at Portesbery School
Total number of posts: 12
Co-opted governors - 6
Parent governors - 3
LA governors - 1
Staff governors - 1
Headteacher - 1
Chair of Governors
I have been a parent governor for seven years. My son George joined Portesbery at age 6, and he left in 2016 at the age of 19.
I retired from the Metropolitan Police as a Detective Inspector several years ago where I undertook a number of roles, here and abroad, including child abuse investigations.
I assist with Riding for the Disabled on the days that Portesbery pupils attend so have the privilege of engaging with a number of pupils and staff outside the school environment on a weekly basis.
I now chair the Resources Committee and sit on the head teachers review panel and head teacher’s pay committee. I also have a remit for looked after children at the school.
If you have a concern that cannot be resolved by the school, or you are interested in joining the Governing Body, please write to me at the school or email me at email@example.com
Staff Governor (Headteacher)
I originally qualified as a mainstream primary teacher, but always had a passion for working with students with special educational needs. I worked at Manor Green School, Maidenhead, for 9 years and moved from class teacher to assistant head, deputy head, and then, ultimately, acting headteacher for a year’s maternity leave cover.
Manor Green School is a generic special school for students aged 2-19, which meets the needs of all students that could not be educated in mainstream school. We supported students with profound and multiple learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties, autism spectrum condition, moderate learning difficulties and physical difficulties. It was the only special school in a small local authority and provided me with a broad range of experience.
I then moved to The Abbey School in Farnham, Surrey, as headteacher. The Abbey School is a secondary school for students with learning and additional needs. I am very pleased to be working at Portesbery School and to return to working with students with more complex needs, a wider age range and seeing students make progress and develop over a significant period.
One of my first roles in education was with the Youth Service, running local youth centres and offering young people the opportunity to expand their range of interests. I went on to teach children with additional needs at Linden Bridge School and it is there that my interest in autism began.
I worked at Freemantles School for 16 years progressing from the role as a primary class teacher to Assistant Head Teacher of the Secondary department. I helped set up the secondary and Post 16 curriculums and was responsible for overseeing the wide range of residential opportunities offered across the school.
I had been involved with two previous school moves and was able to use these experiences to support Portesbery School in the move to Deepcut. As Deputy Headteacher I was heavily involved with safeguarding and feel that I can continue to support the school in that area as well as many aspects of the learning opportunities offered to the young people.
Outside of education I have been a Cub Scout leader and am delighted to see Portesbery young people enjoying the opportunities offered by the organisation. Since retiring my husband and I have got a dog so a lot of time is spent walking and entertaining him. I enjoy many aspects of art and crafts, from exhibition or participation days in London to more local courses offered by the adult education service.
I have been a governor in various settings since 2002 when I became a governor of the primary school my children attended. Since then I have also served as a governor in a local secondary school, and trained as an advanced skills governor. Presently I am a trustee on Multi Academy Trust in the local area. In my time of governance I have worked in schools that were in special measures and some that were outstanding.
In my professional life, I started my career in Mortgage Finance and House Building. In 1998 I started a property company which I have run since then, specialising in property management and acquisitions, I also manage a pension fund as a Trustee, ensuring that our investment plan will allow us to meet future liabilities. Alongside my business, I Chair the Board of a group of companies; my main role is overseeing the performance of each individual area and strategic direction of the whole group.
When I’m not working I like to spend most of my time planning my next holiday. As a family we love to travel and try to always go somewhere new. I enjoy watching most sport but my favourite is football and I’m lucky enough to have season tickets for my favourite team! As a family we are involved with the charity Guide Dogs and board dogs while they are completing their advanced training.
Vice Chair of Governors
I have been a parent governor at Portesbery since 2006 with my son Callum starting at the school in 2004. Callum has a twin sister who attends Hammond School in Lightwater where we live.
Having achieved a Masters degree in Leisure Management, I have predominantly worked in the golf industry. I was the General Manager at Pine Ridge Golf Centre for three years but am now the manager at Burnham Beeches Golf Club. In addition to being a dad, I like most sports, film and music.
I was a Senior Specialist School Nurse at Portesbery until my retirement in December 2012. I had worked as a School Nurse in three different Special Schools in Surrey over the past 18 years prior to joining Portesbery. I was the manager of a paediatric outpatient unit in a hospital, and I worked as a liaison worker with Social Services.
I am now a volunteer ambassador visiting charities and organisations in Surrey promoting volunteering.
In my spare time I have Play Schemes for Children with Disabilities. I perform and direct Amateur Dramatics. I look forward to being part of the Governing Body and supporting the school in its future endeavours.
My partner and I have been living and working in Scandinavia, Africa and New York over the past 15 years and came to the UK two years ago. Oscar, our eldest has been enjoying his time at Portesbery since then and I am very much looking forward to supporting the school as one of parent governors.
I have a background in developing small business and finance and have been CEO of a charity supporting children with special needs in developing countries. I am interested in supporting stronger links between special and mainstream education having seen how well this works in the American system.
I have been a teacher at Portesbery since September 2011. I love working here; every day is different and there’s never a dull moment. I have taught both in Primary and Secondary and am Maths Subject Leader for the school.
I am particularly keen to involve our pupils with the community and over the last three years I’ve also organised the school’s participation in the joint camp between Woking Scouts and local special schools; taking some of our pupils away for the weekend to participate in Scouting activities and giving them the chance to mix with other teenagers. This year we also had our first camp with Blackwater Valley Scouts. Both camps are excellent opportunities for our pupils try activities they’ve never done whilst having a fun time away from home and I’m keen to continue and develop this. I’ve also had the opportunity to take part in two residential stays with the FE (Post 16) department, both were fantastic experiences.
Out of school I am mum to two teenage children, am an archery instructor for scouting (having also been a cub scout leader for 6 years), have recently become a Guide Leader and enjoy glass lampworking, craft activities, DIY, camping and walking.
I became a governor to enable me to be involved in ensuring that the school continues to strive to be the very best it can be for all of its pupils. I believe we do a great job but should always aim for even better.
Chris has a background in scientific publishing and personal interests in natural history, technology and autism. He took early retirement from running large public services to combine consultancy work with voluntary roles in the arts education, disability support and environmental protection.
Chris discovered Portesbery School while working with Riding for the Disabled and through family connections. He first joined as a governor in November 2009, later serving as Vice Chair and Chair, helping to see the school through its move to Deepcut and leading the recruitment of its current headteacher.
He’s a past governor of two other schools and currently a governor of two more special schools (Carwarden in Camberley and High Close in Wokingham) and one primary school (Wildridings in Bracknell). Every school is different and there are always things for a governor to learn and good ideas to share.
I’ve been a governor at Portesbery School since 2015. Currently a Site Manager in the construction industry, I was privileged to be part of the team that built the new Portesbery in Deepcut. We developed strong ties with the school during the project and I took part in a number of site visits with staff, students and the governors. I am committed to seeing the school go from strength to strength.
I have worked on various school building projects in the past and I’m familiar with the range of stakeholders involved in the education system. I have a good understanding of facility management as well as health and safety.
Brigadier Steve Shirley
I have had a long and varied career in Army and Defence Logistics, including some HR and training appointments. As Commandant of the Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration, I provide 28,000 course places nationally per year to Army, Navy and Air Force personnel in a multitude of trade areas, from driving to catering and from movement control to petroleum operations.
I have a good working knowledge of Ofsted as they frequently visit one or other of my 7 sites. We have to manage young people all the time in the College, so I also have some experience of duty of care considerations, blended learning and of helping staff and instructors to get the best out of our young talent under training.
I wanted to become a Governor of Portesbery to be a good military neighbour, but also because, when I visited last year, I was so very impressed with the school and the staff's efforts to succeed for its pupils.
Clerk to the Governors
I have worked at Portesbery School for 2 years and was appointed as Clerk to Governors in September 2020. I have over 20 years' experience in administration so clerking is ideally suited to my skills. I find my work both in the school office and on the governing body very rewarding as the work we do directly benefits Portesbery's lovely students.
In my free time, I enjoy running, walks with my family and paddle boarding.
Vice Chair of Governors
I was Director of Education at the National Autistic Society 2009-2014. I joined the NAS with a background of 26 years in education including senior positions across a range of settings and age groups, in both mainstream and special schools and also worked as a school improvement consultant for 5 years.
In 2011, I led the successful NAS bid to open the first Charity-sponsored free school in England for pupils on the autism spectrum and gave evidence to the Government Education Select Committee on behaviour and discipline in schools. I worked with Surrey to develop the four Cullum Centres based at mainstream secondary schools and have worked extensively with parents and people with additional needs to establish peer support groups and set up new provision.
I retired from the NAS in September 2014 but continue to work as an Education Consultant. I sit on the expert advisory council for the Autism Education Trust (AET) and am an advisory panel member for the National Association of Special Educational Needs. I am a Certified Company Director and strongly believe in the value of good governance.