Hillside Special School

Hillside Special School
Sudbury, Suffolk

Governing Body

Core Functions of Hillside’s Governing Body

Governors are the strategic leaders of our school and play a vital role in making sure every child gets the best possible education. The purpose of the Governing Body is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’ (Section 21(2) of the Education Act 2002).

The three core strategic functions of our Governing Body are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

Membership of Hillside’s Governing Body

Governors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school and wider communities. Please see our Hillside Governing Information document to view the following information:

  • Membership details of our Governing Body
  • Relevant business or pecuniary interests
  • Committee membership and delegation to individuals
  • Attendance record at meetings for the current and previous full academic year

(Board members have opted out of sharing their Diversity Information, including protected characteristics.)

Contact

Governors can be contacted via an email to rebecca.frances@hillside.suffolk.sch.uk or via the school office. If the matter is confidential please mark it 'Private and Confidential, for the attention of the Chairman of Governors'. 

Governor Action Plan

Please see our Governor Action Plan.

 Meet our Governors

Becca Frances - Local Authority Governor and Chair of Governors
Appointed to the Governing Body November 2021

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"Having spent nearly 40 years working in Special schools I knew that when I retired I wanted to become a Governor of a Special School to continue that link, but in a different more supportive capacity."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"After completing my teaching degree in Special Education I began my teaching career at a ILEA residential school for Autism, I worked there for 6 years before relocating with my family back to north east Essex. I started teaching at a local Special School where I taught a wide range of students with PMLD, SLD, Speech and Language difficulties and Autism. I worked at the school for over 32 years before retiring in July 2020, for the last 14 years I had had the privilege to be the Deputy Head Teacher. I consider myself to have been so fortunate to have had a job that I enjoyed and was so passionate about. I feel that I can bring knowledge, experience, passion and empathy to my role as Chair of Governors at Hillside School."

 

Sarah Ward - Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair of Governors
Appointed to the Governing Body May 2020

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"I live in Sudbury and work with children who have learning disabilities and communication difficulties. Being a Governor allows me to give back to the community that I live in and am part of. Being part of the Hillside Governing Body is providing me with knowledge and experience of how education works. The role of a Governor is to ensure that school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction, holds the Senior Leadership Team to account for the school’s educational performance and oversee the financial performance of the school. This is exciting and informative. I am learning from my fellow Governors and the Senior Leadership of the school. I am thoroughly enjoying being part of a body that ensures that Hillside continues to be a fantastic school. A school that is continually looking to progress and develop."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist specialising in school-aged complex needs. Hotel and Restaurant Management. Small business owner"

 

Jane Crumpton-Taylor - Co-opted Governor
Appointed to the Governing Body July 2015

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"There is delight and satisfaction in working with a great group of people, both Governors and staff. The more I learn about our students and how we can support them the more I understand about learning and the nuances of mental and physical ability. I think that being a Governor at Hillside has helped me in other areas of my life too."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"Chartered Accountant. My role over the 24 years before retirement was Finance Director of  medium sized charities"

 

Amy Stoten - Parent Governor
Appointed to the Governing Body May 2022

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"To help support a wonderful school that works so hard with it's community. They have helped my son to flourish and thrive since he started."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"I am a parent of child with SEND. I have knowledge of processes it takes to support my child and his needs. I’m enthusiastic and like to help wherever and however I can."

 

Kay Harling - Specialist Support Assistant and Staff Governor
Appointed to the Governing Body March 2018

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"I have worked at Hillside School since 2013, being a Governor since 2018. Being a member of the Governors is described as being a 'critical friend', supporting the school but also challenging it and holding it accountable. I can offer my viewpoint from someone who works in the classroom. I'm able to be involved with the school’s progress and see how this benefits the pupils’ best interests and their learning experience. I have also learnt new skills over this time and feel it's very rewarding to give up some of my free time to help support Hillside. It is a commitment I enjoy!"

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"I worked as a window dresser in a department store  for 13 years where I liaised with management, wholesalers and customers. I studied for an NVQ Level 3 when I decided to become a Learning Support Assistant and since becoming a Governor I have completed a series of other training courses. This knowledge enables me to challenge the school at meetings to help maintain that the best possible decisions are being made."

 

Shelley Jackson - Deputy Headteacher and Associate Member of Governing Body
Appointed to the Governing Body March 2021

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"Being a Governor allows me to gain a variety of new skills and develop the ones I already have. Being a governor can be very rewarding and I do enjoy feeling part of a team who is working to improve the life chances of children who sometimes come from very challenging backgrounds. I strongly believe that our children deserve the very best education we can provide for them and therefore we must all strive to be outstanding. It is an opportunity to give something back to society and to help children at an important time in their lives. Everybody has life experiences which they can ‘bring to the table’ and these are so important in providing an external view and prospective for school leaders. Finally working as part of a team helping YOUR school to grow and develop is very rewarding."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"I have worked in a variety of schools, in mainstream, independent and special. I like to think over the many years I have worked as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, I have gained a great deal of experience working with children, staff and parents.  In my role as a Deputy Headteacher, I have a clear understanding of the school’s curriculum and the day to day running of the school."

 

Lizzi Murphy - Headteacher
Appointed to the Governing Body September 2019

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"I automatically became a Governor when I was appointed as Headteacher at Hillside, however I am excited to be a part of the development of Hillside over the coming years as the school continues to travel on its journey. It is essential that the Senior Leadership Team is provided with challenge from the Governing Body to ensure that decisions are made with the greatest positive impact on the pupils’ education. All children deserve the very best education and it is a privilege to be a part of this team and to serve the pupils at Hillside."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"I have always taught in Special Education since qualifying as a teacher, specifically working with pupils with a diagnosis of Severe Learning Difficulties and/or Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. I have previously been a Staff Governor for four years whilst working at a Special School in West London."

 

Leighton Williams - Co-opted Governor
Appointed to the Governing Body November 2023 

Why did you want to become a Governor? 
"Volunteering to be a governor will allow me to make a contribution to the community my family and I now enjoy living in. This role will allow me to actively participate in enhancing the educational experience of our pupils, and to advocate for inclusive education. I was also attracted to the role as I can play a part in supporting the academic and personal development of our students as well as ensuring they experience quality learning experiences."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"My professional  background is in administration, primarily focussing on office operations, project co-ordination, and customer relationship management. I am involved in projects, data-analysis, problem-solving, and stakeholder communication."

 

Gayle Millar - Co-opted Governor
Appointed to the Governing Body November 2023 

Why did you want to become a Governor?
"A colleague, who is in a governor role in her local area, suggested that I had some knowledge and skills which would be very beneficial to share with an education community. I wanted to help make a difference to education within my local community."

What is your Professional Background and what skills do you bring to the role?
"After 9 years working in a bank, I joined the Ministry of Defence (MOD) working as a police officer from 1989-2013, with the latter 10 years of my service delivering learning to police officers and civilians. During this time, I formulated, implemented and delivered a modulised train the trainer programme, and took responsibility for presenting this training package to Skillsmark and achieved endorsement. I also had sole responsibility for the management of the Assessment Centre and training new teaching staff to be effective teachers. I continued to provide support to teachers, assessors and support staff through coaching and mentoring and conducted regular observations on the practice of the trainers. In my role, I ensured that all aspects of the training complied with internal policy, external legislation and best practice in line with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
On leaving the police service, I continued to work within adult education as the T/Head of Assessment Centre for British Transport Police from 2013-2015. I internally quality assured the structure, content and assessment processes of learning programmes, to ensure they were fit for purpose and capable of withstanding internal & external scrutiny.
Since 2015, I have undertaken the role of Tutor / Coach and supported adult learners to successfully achieve a range of qulaifications and apprenticeships. This involved teaching, assessing, coaching and mentoring individuals and groups through all aspects of their study.
In 2022, I accepted the role of L&D Analyst, exploring learning & development practices and accreditation within the military, and making recommendation to further improve the effectiveness for our clients.
I have achieved a L5 teaching qualification, a L5 coaching & mentoring qualification and a L4 quality assurance qualification."