Outdoor classroom

Our Governance

The Trustees of Pond Meadow play a crucial role in overseeing the quality of education provided by the school and in our long term direction.

There are currently 9 members of the Full Trustee Body which has two committees:

  • Children, Learning, Health and Care (CLCH)            
  • Finance, Audit, Property, and Human Resources (FAPHR)

The Sub-Committees and the Full Trustee Body meet three times a year, once each term.

The Chair of Trustees, Dr Alex Page, can be contacted at any time via the school.

The Role of the Trustees

The Trustees seek to provide a safe and progressive learning environment that supports every individual to reach our learner aspirations.

This can only be achieved with our highly skilled staffing team which the Trustees oversee. From the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, phase managers, teachers, support staff and therapists to our resident nursing team, all of whom have a part to play.

The Trustees have a range of skills that bring expertise to the Academy's governance, which is required to fulfil our statutory obligations. They are responsible for the financial performance of the Academy, the implementation of the School Development Plan (SDP) and holding the Headteacher to account for pupil outcomes.

Reflected in the SDP is our vision and strategic direction. We meet regularly and discuss all topics affecting school life at the Academy.

We aim for every pupil to love learning and to be enthusiastic about coming to school each day.

Governance Transparency, Interest and terms Information

Governor Scheme of Delegation and Committee Terms of Reference

Governance Attendance Record 2022-2023



Alexander Page - Chair of Trustees and Member

Appointed: 19-Mar-2019

Children Learning Health and Care Committee

Alex Page is Head of Mathematics at Charterhouse School, Guildford, where he is also a member of the Academic Management Team. Prior to working in education, he held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Cambridge and Free University, Berlin, as well as working as a consultant in the oil industry. At Pond Meadow Academy Trust he is Chair of Trustees and sits on both subcommittee (Children, Learning, Health and Care + Finance, Audit, Property and HR). Alex joined Pond Meadow as a community governor and lives in Guildford with his wife. He is a firm believer in the benefit of education and is pleased to be able to put something back into the community by serving of as a Trustee of this exceptionally valuable school.

Penny Southcott (known as Dr Gibson) - Safeguarding Governor

Appointed: 19-Mar-2019
Children, Learning, Health and Care Committee

Dr Penny (Penelope) Gibson qualified at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1978 and has worked in Surrey as an NHS Consultant Community Paediatrician, full time 1992 – 2015 and now part-time. In her clinics at Royal Surrey County Hospital and in the community she saw children and young people with developmental problems, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and behavioural difficulties. She has extensive experience of working with Social Care and Education for local children, including those with disabilities, special educational needs or safeguarding concerns. Penny was the “School doctor” for Pond Meadow school for many years, seeing children and parents in the school, and working with teaching and therapy staff.

Penny has extensive experience of leading and managing health service teams through times of change, with limited resources, and encouraging work across professional boundaries.

Penny is a member of the Pond Meadow Health and Care subcommittee. She remains passionate about working together with parents and professionals to achieve the best outcomes for children.

Christopher Digby-Bell - Property Governor

Appointed: 07-Jul-2020

Finance, Property and Human Resources Committee

Christopher is a retired solicitor and businessman and a highly experienced governor, having been a governor of a special school in London and a current trustee of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. During his legal career he represented well known figures including The Beatles and Muhammad Ali and was the managing partner of two global law firms. In business he created a world leading financial services firm. Throughout his career he has championed the cause of those with disabilities and has won awards from UNICEF for his work with special educational needs children. Christopher runs the William's Way Project, named after his youngest son William who has special needs and believes that Mickey Mouse is real.

Hugh Sturges - HR Governor

Appointed: 05-Sep-2020

Finance, Property and Human Resources Committee

Having recently retired from full time executive work, Hugh is keen to use his experience to help others less fortunate than himself and is delighted to be appointed a Governor of Pond Meadow. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Hugh has worked his way up the financial and then general management ladder and, for the last 15 years, has been a Chief Executive in consumer facing sectors where service standards, culture and values are of the utmost priority.Hugh continues to be involved in business in a non-executive capacity. He lives near Haslemere with his wife S, dog Billie and (occasionally) his three adult children.

James Anthony Chapman – Finance Governor

Appointed: 6-Jul-2022 

Finance, Property and Human Resources Committee

James has recently joined Pond Meadow as a Governor with particular responsibilities for finance. He graduated from Bath University with a Pharmacy degree and a PhD in dosage form design, before changing careers to work in the City.

The last 20 years have been spent as a derivatives trader, leading a fixed income team, specialising in short term interest rate options. James has an avid interest in education and has both a niece and a nephew who have been recently diagnosed with ASD, which makes working with Pond Meadow of particular interest to him. 

He lives in Oxshott with his wife and two young children and is keen to be able to offer his experience to this thoroughly deserving school.

Kelly Thoden van Velzen - Parent Governor

Appointed: 07-Jun-2021

Kelly’s son has been a pupil at Pond Meadow since 2017. From her very first visit to the School, Kelly could see how the passionate staff and the learning environment would offer a great opportunity for her son to learn and develop.

Kelly’s career began as a residential support worker for young adults with learning disabilities and complex behavioural difficulties. During this time, she was able to see the significant impact that environment, accessibility, support and autonomy could have on a person's health and wellbeing.

Kelly has managed accounts delivering facilities management services across The Military, Metropolitan Police and Local Government Contracts. Her last role encompassed full P&L responsibility, stakeholder management, service improvement and operational delivery of a total facilities management contract across 300+ properties.

Tracy Moroney - Community Governor

Appointed: 03-Jan-2017

Health and Care Committee

Tracy had a son in reception who moved up from Springboard. Since joining the school she has set up and organised the school coffee morning group. Tracy also had an older son with SEN in mainstream school, with a statement via appeal. As a volunteer for Surrey Family Voice, she represented them at the SEN Ofsted meeting, in County Hall.

Previously she worked for 15 years in IBM as a computer programmer and  has taken a break from working to concentrate on navigating the SEND system, which has been challenging and confusing.

Tracy believes that every child deserves to access education and reach their potential.

Rosie Fearn - Staff Governor

Appointed: 20-Nov-2020

Rosie is a Staff Governor of Pond Meadow Academy Trust. She has past Governor experience from a previous post at a Special Needs School in Winchester. Rosie has worked with a range of individuals with Special Educational Needs for over 10 years. She studied teaching at Winchester University and has continued to teach since. She has taught in a range of settings including college, nursery secondary and primary schools. Alongside teaching Rosie has been an advocate and worked for local charities supporting children and young adults with SEND. Rosie enjoys supporting the whole school community and she hopes that her wide experiences will enrich the Governing Body. At Pond Meadow Academy Trust Rosie sits on the Children and Learning Subcommittee. Rosie lives in Farnham with her Partner, Tortoise and Cat.

Alison McGovern - Parent Governor (Term Ended 04/03/2024)

Term Date: 01-03-23 - 28-0

Suzi Balmbro - Parent Governor (Term Ended 21/09/2023)

Term dates: 01-Mar-23 to 21-09-23




Caitriona Walsh - Member

Appointed: 05-Sep-2016 Term Ended: 31-Aug-2022 now a member

Children and Learning Committee, Health and Care Committee

Caitriona has lived in Guildford since 2003.Qualified as a Chartered Accountant, she has many years experience in budgeting, planning and product development in the Telecoms sector. Now with a school age child, Caitriona has switched to working in the Education sector and is now a member of the Finance Team in a local Independent school.

Having previously worked as Finance Manager at Pond Meadow School for several years, she is keen to continue to support and contribute to the school having seen, first hand, its excellent work.

Matthew Gambold - Member

Appointed: 01-Nov-2014 Term ended: 17-March-2022 Now a member

Finance and Property Committee 

Matthew qualified as a chartered accountant in 2003 and brought extensive technical and commercial financial experience to the governing body. He relocated from London to Guildford and joined Pond Meadow School as a governor shortly afterwards.He currently runs his own firm of accountants, with offices in central London and Guildford, dealing exclusively with small to medium sized businesses and charities.

The trust board thanks Matthew for his service to the school.