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 sub-committees:
- Children, Learning, Health and Care (CLCH)
- Finance, Property, and Human Resources (FPHR)
The Sub-Committees and the Full Trustee Body meet three times a year, once each term.
The Chair of Trustees, Mr 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.
Alex Page - Chair of Governors
Children and Learning Committee
Alex Page is Deputy Head of Mathematics at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, and has held positions of both pastoral and academic responsibility within his teaching career. Prior to working in education, he held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Cambridge and Freie Universitat, Berlin, as well as working as a consultant in the oil industry. At Pond Meadow Academy Trust he sits on the Children and Learning Subcomittee. Alex lives in Guildford with his wife Tania, who is Deputy Head of a local independent school. 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
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
CDB is a retired solicitor and businessman and a highly experienced governor, having been a governor of a special school in London and a governor of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. During his legal career he represented the rich and famous and stars like The Beatles and Muhammad Ali and was the managing partner of two global law firms. In business he created a billion pound financial services firm. Throughout his career he has championed the cause of the disabled and has won awards from UNICEF and others for his work with special educational needs children. He 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
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
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
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.
Rob Walton - Community Governor
Rob is an experienced teacher and leader in SEND working in local authority and non-maintained schools across all key stages. Following a headship in a small special primary, Rob took a year out of education to work part-time in the NHS and spend more time with his two young children and his wife who is an Assistant Headteacher and SENCO in a Surrey LA Primary School. Rob has now taken a new role as a Vice Principal in a large Independent Special school for children and young people with SEMH. He brings with him additional planning, logistics, and leadership experience and skills from previous frontline service as an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corp. Rob has a particular interest in curriculum innovation, safeguarding, and individualised learning.
Tracy Moroney - Community Governor
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
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.
Caitriona Walsh (Term ended: 31.08.22)
Appointed: 05-Sep-2016 Term Ended: 31-Aug-2022
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 (Term Ended 17.03.22)
Appointed: 01-Nov-2014 Term ended: 17-March-2022
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.
Sian Jones (Term Ended 14.012.21)
Appointed: 01st Novemeber 2014 Term Ended:14th Decemeber 2021
Children and Learning Committee
Sian spent 16 years managing IT in the banking sector, juggling multiple projects with multinational teams across assorted countries and time zones.When flying to Eastern Europe every week didn’t fit well with parenting a child with disabilities, she spent the new few years applying her knowledge of complex bureaucracies to the NHS, Social Care and Education.Sian comes from a family of teachers and trainers so was delighted to become a parent governor when her daughter joined Pond Meadow School in 2006.She Chairs the Children & Learning Sub-Committee and led the Academy Conversion project in 2014.