Woodlands Secondary School

Learning Together

Meet the Governors

Priorities for Governors at Glance

Name: Debbie Foolkes

Position: Head Teacher

Previous Teaching Experience:

1986-1993  Furzehill Middle School Borehamwood

•         Head of Year 8 1988-1992

•         Head of Year 6 1992-1993

1994-2004 Royal National Institute for the Blind

•         Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired

•         Senior Teacher – Sunshine House School Northwood

2004-2013 Richmond Hill School Luton

•         Deputy Head Teacher

2013 - Present Woodlands School


I love spending time with my family including my grand children Jacob, Aaron and Indigo, gardening, walking, being outdoors and travelling. I try to go back to Yorkshire to see my parents whenever possible and love the open space of the moors and dales. I also love cooking, baking and I have recently discovered jam making!



Name: Sandra Clarke

Deputy Headteacher


Position on the Board: Chair of Curriculum Committee and member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


Skill/Areas of Interest: Special Needs Education; Post-school opportunities


Previous Employment: 

2008 - 2012 - Deputy Head - St John's Special School, Kempston

2000 - 2008 - Senior Teacher - Lady Zia Wernher School

1997 - 1999 - Head of Year - Putteridge Junior School 

1992 - 1997 - Design Technology Co-ordinator - William Austin Junior School 


Hobbies: swimming, reading, crafting, travelling, socialising







Name: Steve Gibbs


Position: Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor, member of Curriculum Committee


Skills/Area of interest: Special Needs provision 


Employment: Previously senior operational and sales manager for Post Office Ltd. Trained to be a teacher. Worked in Adult Education until February 2019.


Hobbies: Sports, reading and travelling

Name: Fr Richard Brown


Position: Co-opted Governor, Vice Chair of Governors.


Skills/Area of Interest: Safeguarding, inclusion


Employment: Parish Priest & Bishop of Richborough’s representative in the Diocese of St. Albans


Other initiatives: Trustee of Aylott James Almshouses


Hobbies: Reading, classical music, walking the hounds, travelling




Governor Name:  Kerry Rees


Position on the Board: Co-opted Member. Chair of the Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee.


Skills/Areas of Interest:  Post 16 and Post 18, PMLD, ensuring the ‘voice’ of the young people is heard.


Employment:  Previously employed at Luton Council as the Transition Team Manager until November 2016.  Now self-employed and also working part-time as a Home Carer.


Role/Position:  Self-Employed and Home Care Support Worker


Other Initiatives:  Makaton Tutor, Crafter, Advocator


Hobbies:  Costa coffee, crocheting, theatre/cinema, shopping, chatting.



Governor Name: Emma French


Position on the Board: Co-opted Governor, member of the Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


Specific Responsibilities: Finance Monitoring, Safeguarding


Employment: Healthcare Company


Role / Position: Computer Business Consultant


Other Initiatives:  I volunteer as a Beaver Scout Colony assistant.  My eldest son, Matthew, was a pupil at Woodlands.  I care about all the pupils in this school, and want to understand the different challenges they face, applying my business skills to support the school in the excellent work that it does.

Hobbies: Gardening, craft




Name: Helen Rolfe


Position on the Board: Staff governor and Vice Chair of Curriculum Committee. Responsible for Governor training.


Skills/Areas of Interest: Special Needs Education


Employment: Woodlands Secondary School


Role/Position:  Class teacher


Hobbies: historical reading, travelling, socialising






Name: Leeroy Jenkins


Position on the Board: Co-opted Governor, Member of Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee.


Specific Responsibility: Community Links; Health and safety.


Skills/ Areas of Interest: Networking, printing, marketing



Employment: Next Up  

Role / Position: Director


Other initiatives: Sponsor for the following:

LTICC , The Academy Luton

Friends of Hightown, Panthers Netball Team, Luton Foodbank, Tropical FM,


Hobbies: Snooker, family, friends



Name: Kate Burchell


Position on the Board: Co-opted member.

Member of the Curriculum committee. Careers Link Governor.

Skills/areas of interest:  Child protection, Looked After Children, Advocacy

Employment: Luton Borough Council

Role:  Service manager for Disabled Children's services

Hobbies: Travelling, theatre, reading and upcycling furniture.




Name: Karen Quirke 


Position:  Parent Governor; School Council link governor

Skills/Area of interest: Raising awareness of special needs and inclusion 

Employment: HR

Other initiatives: Parent mentoring (for parents of children with additional needs)

Hobbies: Going to the gym, baking, family and friends