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Montacute School

Montacute School

‘Where every moment is a learning opportunity’

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Because Montacute School is an Academy, its Governors are Trustees of the Academy Trust and Directors of the Company Limited by Guarantee as well.  Their role is therefore a legal and charitable one as well as the role of monitoring the performance of the school and influencing its values.  Being a governor of a school or academy is a voluntary role but one that we all carry seriously, understanding that what we do is on behalf of the wider community and parents, ensuring that standards are maintained and values are adhered to.


So who are we and what aspects of our role do we take particular responsibility for?  There are currently 14 Governors but the number is determined according the work we are undertaking at the time.  We have recently re organised our workload so we are still finding out how that works.  We have 2 main committees.  


The Standards Committee concentrates on the standard of education, health and safety and safeguarding and monitors the delivery of the curriculum and that children are making progress.


The Resources Committee takes responsibility for ensure the school's finances are well managed, that we have sufficient staff, and as the Governors employ the staff, that all legal obligations of being an employer are carried out.  We also carry a responsibility to make sure the building is maintained well and fit for our students to use.


Each year we elect a chairman.  This is an onerous role, organising the work of the governing body, and one that is difficult to fill.  However current governors are willing to learn and we are looking at making the role less onerous so that it is more attractive.

Because we are a company we also have a Company Secretary who is also a member of the school's office staff.  While our meetings are professionally clerked by Your Clerk, Gemma Bugler maintains our records of visits to school and generally keeps us well informed and up to date with school events.  


We meet as a whole governing body at least once a term.  Committees may meet more frequently depending on the business to be discussed.  Our meetings are open to the public, especially parents, to attend (except where confidential issues are to be discussed) and we welcome visitors, a good introduction to prospective new governors!  A phone call to Gemma to find out times of meetings is all that is necessary.  Agenda items from interested parties are also welcomed and can be given to Gemma to pass on to Your Clerk at least 2 weeks before a meeting.

Ginny Bellard

Head Teacher

Welcome to our Governor information page. You will see that our Governing Body is varied in its experience which we believe brings strength and rigour to our work.


I have been in the field of Special Education for over 20 years. This is my third headship of a special school and one which I take great pride in. I joined the Montacute School team in 2020 and, despite the challenges and hiatus of Covid, feel that I am settling in and really getting to know the children and young people, their families and the staff team well.


My ambition for each and every child that attends our school is one of opportunity, equity and enrichment. I am thrilled to be working with such a capable and inspiring team and together I know we will continue to take this very special school to even greater heights.


I am proud to serve the families and our Governors, all of whom are keen to know everything there is to know about our young people and the things they need to reach their full potential.


Together, the Montacute team grows in strength and effectiveness and the Governors and I look forward to working closely with you in exciting times ahead.

Steve Butterworth


Community Governor

Chair of Governors

Resources & Standards Committee


Steve is married with three grown up children and is retired after spending the majority of his career as a manager in IT within financial services, initially at JP Morgan and latterly at Lloyds Banking Group.

Steve became a governor at Montacute in 1997, after his son, Nicholas, had been a pupil at the school for about a year. During his time as a governor Steve has performed a variety of roles including Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Resources Committee and is currently Chair of Governors.

Having seen how Nicholas enjoyed his 15 years at Montacute and develop as a person, Steve is keen that the school continues to offer special children the very best start in life.

Avril Jackson



Vice Chair of Governors 

Parent Governor

Standards Committee


I am married to Simon Miller and living in Ferndown with our daughters, Vicki and Paige.  I was born in Timperley, Cheshire in 1957.

I trained to teach children with special needs, qualifying in 1978, specialising in children with PMLD.  I have provided respite care to over 40 children with profound disabilities, and continue to do so.

My association with Montacute School began in 1989 when Simon and I moved to Dorset and I started supply teaching.  When I became a parent, two of my children attended Montacute School. Simon was a Parent Governor at Montacute about 15 years ago.  For 10 years I was involved in the Acorn Summer Playscheme.

Paige and Vicki attend a day centre and this is my free time.  I love the garden and walking.  I have several little friends, all with very special needs, for regular respite  I enjoy ebay, selling for us, friends and some organisations.  I particularly like buying selling and loaning disabled equipment.  I can sew, so I make and adapt special clothing.  I sit down with the Telegraph crossword and do my best.

When I asked Simon about my strengths, he said tenacity, follow through and a good organiser.  My weakness apparently is that I don't know when to stop.  I don't understand that, as I've too much to do.


Paul Collins



Community Governor

Chair of Resources Committee


My name is Paul Collins.  I am current working for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service as a fire safety inspector.  Prior to this I was a Strategic Commander for Dorset fire and Rescue Service and retired in  2011 as the Area Commander for the Poole and Bournemouth conurbation.

As part of this role I chaired the Poole Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and was a member on the Bournemouth LSP.

I was lucky enough to lead during a period of great change with in the fire service.  Part of this change was becoming more aware of our role within the community not just from a “fire” perspective but from a more holistic approach, especially around wellbeing and working with other organisations.

Information sharing amongst organisations was paramount and I realised that we had a role to play in supporting those less well off in our society.  I had 100 plus firefighters entering people’s homes carrying out fire safety checks ensuring that they were safe should a fire occur.  Firefighters were also evidencing other wellbeing issues but were unsure how to fully identify the issues and where to report them.  Through the local LSPs I organised some training with each organisation (including Dorset Fire and Rescue DFRS) identifying signs and symptoms (cause and affect) and where to report these. This, however, did need some controls so we set about recruiting safeguarding officers and a reporting structure.  As Area Commander, I was the senior point of conduct vetting concerns and ensuring the issue went to the right level within the right organisation.  This system is still in place today.

I have a family 2 daughters, one a doctor and have empathy and sympathy for the great work Montacute School and others do, as my brother has 3 children, all with autism.

I hope I can assist in the great work the school does.

Bev Gowman


Community Governor 

Chair of Standards Committee


Hello, my name is Bev Gowman, I am a Nanny of two, have a niece who attend Montacute School and have lived in Bournemouth all my life .  I work in the FE sector for a Specialist Post 16 Independent College in Dorset.  I am passionate about ensuring that every young person reaches their full potential and has opportunities fulfil their dreams.  I am a lead Safeguarding Officer and am qualified in Person Centred Training.  

Wendy Byers


Community Governor

Standards Committee


I am Wendy, married to Andy with a grown up Son and Daughter. I am Grandmother to four very young gorgeous Grandchildren. I am proud to say I am Poole born and bred several generations.

My travelling experiences began when I married Andy in 1981 who at the time was serving in the Army. 11 married quarters in 16 years mean I am good at adapting to new situations and of course great at packing. I have lived in Germany, Hong Kong and U.K.

I enjoy swimming, gardening, cooking and my favourite, cruising.

I began my teaching assistant experiences in mainstream service children's schools for 7 years. I became a nursery Nurse after going back to college at the grand age of 36 once we settled back in Poole. This led to a placement in Montacute School, which quickly led to an interview. In September 1998, I began a twenty year employment working with the most amazing students and staff at Montacute. I have worked with most ages. I ran a small ASD class under the direction of the ASD specialist in school and finished with the last 6 years of job sharing with a teacher running a post 14 to 19 PMLD class. I retired early last July after re-evaluating what I wanted from life after recovering from a serious health issue. Then I was aware that I was still not quite ready to hang up the Montacute boots, and became a Governor in November.

Patsy Hallmey

Community Governor

Resources Committee


I am a mum to two grown up boys and partner to Scott with whom I started The Dorset Children’s Foundation 9 years ago.

We support over 400 local families with medical expenses, mobility equipment and therapies not supplied by statutory services and have recently set up Accessible For All, a range of holiday activities from surfing to skating that are totally inclusive. The DCF also run the successful Saturday Club for our PMLD children and are so grateful to Montacute School for the use of their facilities.

I also sit on the Dorset FA IAG committee, AFCB disability group, and was a Meridian finalist in The Pride Of Britain awards, but my proudest achievement is being a Governor at Montacute School. 

Carolyn Best

Community Governor 

Standards Committee


I am married with two adult children and three grandchildren. One of my grandchildren has a chromosome disorder with additional educational needs.

I retired as a nurse in 2019 after spending 35years in the NHS. During my last 18 years of service, I specialised in clinical nutrition in adults and teenagers including insertion of central lines, PEGs, gastrostomy and jejunal feeding tubes. I was responsible for setting up a Trustwide nursing clinical nutrition service, developing standards for patient care, providing education for healthcare professionals and ensuring clinical nutrition standards were embedded in the care provided to patients in hospital and in their own environment.

Coming into the role of Governor I hope to be able use the skills I have developed during my time in the NHS to help support staff at Montacute to provide high standards of education tailored to each child’s needs.

Anthony Flower

Parent Governor

Standards Committee


My name is Anthony and I am one of the parent governors for Montacute. My son, George, has been in attendance at the school since 2016 and I became a governor at the end of 2021.


My background is in IT, initially in the finance sector and, more recently, working with small businesses locally on their online systems. I have a degree in Business Management, a diploma and Business and IT and various other industry certifications and qualifications.


I am married, we have three children and have always lived, and worked, in the local area. Outside of work I enjoy reading and am a keen amateur photographer.


My hope as governor is to bring in parental perspective and help the school to continue to thrive at what they do. I look forward to working with the teachers, staff and parents, and if you do want to speak to me I am at the school doors every day with George, you can’t miss us.

Tracey Smith



Support Staff Governor

Resources Committee


Hello, my name is Tracey Smith and I have been working at Montacute School since September 2010. I originally started as a TA, working in the classroom, and am now the Partnership Co-ordinator and Safeguarding & Wellbeing Lead.  I work closely with our staff and pupils to ensure that we provide a safe environment for all to experience fun, learning & friendship.

Immediately prior to working at Montacute School I was self-employed running my own Community Advertising Magazine but my main background is in HR Management - where I spent 15 years working in the Banking industry. I have always lived in the Parkstone area and have two children and very pampered chihuahua! I love spending time with my children, wider family members and friends and enjoy the simple things in life such as coffee & cake (in various locations), reading, leisure cycling, gardening, crafts & decorating.

I work closely with our families to support them both with their relationship with the school and with their links to other agencies and organisations.

Lisa Griffiths



Support Staff Governor

Standards Committee


Hello my name is Lisa Griffiths. I am married to Mark and we have two teenage children, Megan and Dylan.  

I am originally from the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent. I worked for the local council in the Rehabilitation Team and I volunteered at a local special school on my days off. I found working within the school so rewarding, I was offered a full time position in the PMLD class. Shortly after this, my husband was offered a job on the south coast, and in 2015 he moved down to Poole before us and we followed when the school year ended. 

I started work at Montacute in the September of that year and never looked back.

I enjoy every minute working with our special young people. I became a staff governor in September 2022, so I am very new to the role.


Registered Office Address: Montacute School, 3 Canford Heath Road, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9NG  

Registered Office Telephone Number: 01202 693239

Registered Office Email:


Chair of Governors: Steve Butterworth 

Clerk to the Governors - Service provided by Your Clerk   

Please click on the linked document below to view further Governor Information.