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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 someone else, 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 at least 2 weeks before a meeting.

Steve Butterworth


Community Governor

Chair of Governors

Resources Committee


Steve is married with three grown up children and became a Montacute governor in 1996 when his son Nicholas had been a student 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. 

Steve has spent the majority of his career as a manager in IT within financial services and currently works for Lloyds Banking Group. 

Having seen how his son Nicholas enjoyed his 15 years at Montacute and developed 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

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.

Marci Osborn



Community Governor

Standards Committee


I have been a teacher at Montacute for 18 years(Please don't tell anyone!!).

I am married to the very lovely and patient Phil and have 2 boys: Makenzi is 20 (enjoying life at university) and Harvey who is a crazy, active bundle of 4 years old.

We live in Poole and love to spend free time in the sea swimming, on the sea - Jet skiing, or by the sea - drinking lots of coffee!

I have been a teacher for many years, but I am now on the school leadership team.  Part of my role is inclusion leader so I set up links with mainstream pupils to work and socialise with our pupils here at Montacute and also for some of our pupils to spend time with peers in mainstream classes.

The other part of my role is as a Senior Leader for outreach.  I support pupils with SEN in mainstream settings by working with their teachers and TAs, setting up programs and implementing strategies.  I love my role as it means I get to work with pupils and teachers in mainstream schools, but most of all I still get to work with our wonderful pupils here at Montacute.

I enjoy working with the other Governors to support the school to be the best it can be.

Bev Gowman


Community Governor 

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.  

Tracey Smith



Support Staff Governor

Resources Committee


Hi, my name is Tracey Smith and I am just about to start my 10th year of working at Montacute School. I originally started as a TA, working in the classroom, and am now the Partnership Co-ordinator and Safeguarding Lead.

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 live locally in Upper Parkstone with my daughter Eloise (14) and our new puppy chihuahua Luna. I also have a son, Alexander (24). I love spending time with my children, parents and wider family members and enjoy the simple things in life such as coffee & cake (in various locations), reading, leisure cycling, gardening, crafts & decorating - I am currently doing up an old folding caravan ready for restful weekends away and festivals!

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.

I work closely with our staff and pupils to ensure that we provide a safe environment for all to experience fun, learning & friendship

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

Finance Committee

Photo and pen portrait coming soon

Rachel Holland

Staff Governor

Photo and pen portrait coming soon

Ginny Bellard

Head Teacher

Photo and Pen Portrait coming soon

Gemma Bugler



Governor Support


I have been supporting the Governors of Montacute School for over 6 years now.  I also work in the school office, dealing mainly with pupil related matters.  Most of my work is around arranging pupil annual reviews and completing all of the paperwork that goes with them.

I live in Poole, not far from the school.  I have two black Labradors called Lolly & Lacey, a New Forest Pony called Blaze and a Welsh Cob Section D called Crispy. Needless to say that most of my spare time is spent with them!  (Luckily my partner is an avid golfer so he doesn't feel too left out!)

Working in the office at Montacute School is a very busy job!  It has helped me immensely in my role as Governor Support to get to know the pupils and to know how the school works on a day to day basis.


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 

Governor Support: Gemma Bugler 

Clerk to the Governors - Service provided by Your Clerk

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