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Meet the Governors

Priorities for Governors- At a glance

Name: Sandra Clarke


Position: Headteacher


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


Previous Employment: 

2012 - 2021 - Deputy Head - Woodlands Secondary School 

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


Name: Kate Burchell


Position: Co-opted Governor, Member of Curriculum committee


Skills/Area of interest: I have a strong commitment to ensuring that disabled children and young people are fully able to reach their individual potential and see the role of the Governor offering support and challenge to Woodlands to help them enable their students and parents/carers to make the most of their time at the school.


Employment: Head of Service for the Disabled Children’s Service at Luton Borough

Council and Designated Social Care Officer for SEND .


Other initiatives: Luton Parent Carers’ Forum.


Hobbies: Travelling, theatre, reading and upcycling furniture. 

I’m married and have 2 children; one is a nurse and currently working in Australia, the other is working and studying.



Name: Anne Donelan


Position: Local Authority Governor.


Area of interest: Special needs provision.


Employment: Family law barrister - mainly representing parents whose children are the subject of care proceedings.


Hobbies: Politics - presently Labour councillor for Northwell ward, Luton.




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: Computer Business Consultant, Healthcare Company


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: 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: Director of and


Other initiatives: Sponsor of Luton Town and Indians Cricket Club, The Coop Sports and Social Club, Friends of Hightown, Panthers Netball Team, Luton Foodbank, Tropical FM.


Hobbies:  Music and graphic design


Name: Caroline Lowry 


Position: Deputy Head Teacher  

Associate Governor 


Skill/Areas of Interest: 

I have a particular interest in the school curriculum and promoting functional learning, life skills and independence skills. 


Previous Employment:

1999 - 2001 Adina School, Brighton, class teacher  

2001 - 2004 Five Springs School - music coordinator

2013 - 2021  Woodlands Secondary School

· 2013 - 2017 Class teacher

· 2018 - 2021 Assistant Head Teacher



I love gardening, baking, going to the gym and      spending time with my family and friends.


Name: Robert Parker


Position: Parent Governor (proxy)


Skills/Area of Interest: Finance, strategic direction, accountability


Employment: Finance Director of Biogen UK, a renewable energy company. Previously held a number of commercially focused finance roles within Volkswagen Group UK


Hobbies: Running, cycling, swimming, good food, travelling and larking about with my 2 children





Name: Karen Quirke 


Position:  Parent Governor; member of Curriculum committee; School Council link governor

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

Employment: Families in Focus  - Facilitator for Teens Parent Network


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

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



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 supporting children and adults with complex needs.


Other Initiatives:  Makaton Tutor, Crafter, Advocator


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


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: Class teacher, Woodlands Secondary School


Other initiatives:  I have past experience of safer recruitment through many years of scouting and understand the importance of  keeping young people safe. 


Hobbies:  Walking my dog in the countryside, growing flowers and vegetables in my garden, and enjoying my caravan with my family. 


Name:  Bav Shah


Position: Co-opted Governor, Vice Chair Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee


Skills/Area of interest: Health and Safety , Property, Community Engagement


Employment: Chartered Surveyor - Director – Business Property Solutions


Other initiatives: Member of a number of Charity / Educational / Community advisory groups internationally


Hobbies: Travel, keeping fit, cooking and fundraising