Grove House School was founded by a group of local teachers and special needs professionals who presented a vision for a new, specialist provision for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties to Government.
Following approval from the DfE, the members of the steering group became the school’s first Trustees and are now working alongside a number of talented new recruits to offer a range of skills and experience to the school.
The Board of Trustees meet at least once every term and have set up a number of committees to look at particular issues (such as teaching and learning, resources and pay).
The Trustees work to support the school’s leaders in their realisation of the vision for Grove House School and ensure the highest possible standards for its pupils.
Chair, Member of Strategic Teaching and Learning and Resources Committees and Vice-chair of Pay and Headteacher’s Appraisal Committee
Sally is a former fast-track teacher and has worked in a number of secondary schools in the area. She has designed and implemented curriculum plans in her subject area from Key Stage 3 to A level and IB, as well as running extra-curricular activities in music. More recently she has gained deep and direct experience of implementing programmes of speech and language therapy, sensory integration therapy and physiotherapy. Sally has served as Chair of a local school’s Parent and Friends’ Association, leading a large committee of volunteers in significant fund-raising activities. Sally’s in-depth knowledge of the complex educational requirements of the SLCN child and the local availability of appropriate aspirational educational opportunities, led her to initiate and steer the Grove House School project. She now brings this wealth of experience and commitment to the school’s Board of Trustees.
Chair of the Resources and Pay and Headteacher’s Appraisal Committees
Melanie is a Chartered Accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW). In her 18 years’ experience as a chartered accountant Melanie has investigated many financial disputes and financial regulatory and compliance failures. For PriceWaterHouseCoopers she has researched and written a technical manual on Forensic Accounting. This has built on her work as Director in Forensic Services, leading large teams and working with external regulatory bodies to investigate and resolve complex global financial disputes. This work has given her insight into the importance of setting robust governance structures and having effective compliance and financial controls. Additionally, as a Director at PwC she gained extensive senior leadership experience and as a result has significant experience appraising, mentoring and interviewing staff, along with dealing with disciplinary and pay related issues. Melanie has brought these attributes into the educational sector through her work as Vice Chair and trustee of a local school’s PFA for which she has been responsible for producing accounts for submission to the charities commission. She has applied these skills to Grove House through her work developing the budget and financial procedures for the school. Going forward, she will Chair the Resources Committee.
Vice Chair, Chair of the Strategic Teaching & Learning Committee and member of the Pay and Headteacher’s Appraisal Committee
Andrea brings 19 years’ experience of working in the education sector to the Board of Trustees along with more recent work with Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational and Physiotherapists. She is primary trained but has worked more extensively in the Further and Higher Education sectors which means she is very aware of transition opportunities and requirements for pupils. As a member of the Faculty Senior Management with responsibility for a large Subject Area, she was responsible for all aspects of staff recruitment and performance management, budgeting and resource development. She particularly enjoyed a cross-Faculty role as Chair of the Quality Committee, which gave her responsibility for ensuring that academic standards were scrutinised and teaching quality maintained. As part of that role, Andrea worked with colleagues to ensure that all students had equality of access to the curriculum and supported teams of staff in the development of teaching materials as well as new courses.
Member of the Strategic Teaching & Learning Committee and Resources Committee
Michael brings a wealth of experience to Grove House School having worked in a variety of significant roles within special and mainstream education over a 26-year career. For the past 11 years he has been the Head of a local special school (MLD/Complex needs) and consequently he has extensive experience of all aspects of running a special school of a comparable size. Part of his role was to support the development of a team charged with establishing appropriate areas and processes for outreach work with an aim to enabling mainstream settings to become more inclusive. He also has enormous insight into and practical experience of significant building and planning projects. Such projects include a reconfiguration of the site for a new, four-classroom teaching block that incorporates offices and therapy rooms along with additional car-parking. From 2010-2013 Michael was the Chair of the Essex Special Schools Heads’ Association, which led many County-wide initiatives including training, new curriculum developments, outreach work and the development of new provision. Between 2009 and 2012 Michael was OFSTED trained and accredited to carry out inspections as an Additional Inspector.
Member of the Strategic Teaching & Learning and Pay and Headteacher’s Appraisal Committees
Jane has over 13 years’ experience as a speech and language therapist, working in mainstream and specialist settings. She now runs a successful independent practice working with families, schools and therapy teams across Essex and Suffolk. She has a proven track record of working closely with specialist schools and senior management teams to contribute to, and support the delivery of, school delivery plans. She has a particular interest in SCLN and as a member of the Clinical Excellence Network for SLCN, has a good grasp of current research and intervention trends. This will enable her to support teaching staff and the SMT in selecting appropriate therapies for our pupils. Jane’s experience of working collaboratively with teaching staff and parents to develop communication within educational settings as well as develop whole school approaches will help support curriculum development and ensure a cohesive approach fundamental to meeting our pupils’ needs. Jane has a profound understanding of both the needs of our pupils and the vision of the school having been involved in developing the provision from the outset. She brings this insight and commitment to the Board of Trustees.
Member of the Resources Committee and Audit Sub-committee
Tim has worked as a solicitor since his gaining admittance to the Supreme Court of Judicature in October 1987. He has worked for a number of City of London law firms, including Clifford Chance. His areas of expertise cover commercial property development, construction and engineering contracts and he has advised property companies, banks and more recently, charities on a range of legal issues relating to the design and construction process. In his professional life, he has been a partner at a City of London law firm with a number of managerial tasks including recruitment, monitoring of assistant and trainee solicitors, financial management and marketing. Tim has already brought his wealth of experience into the education sector as a member of a Governing Body at a local primary school. In this role he provided guidance and advice on school building developments, chaired the Admissions Committee and played an active part in ensuring that the school’s SEN children were very well-supported. He now brings his expertise to the Board of Trustees.
Member of the Resources Committee and Chair of the Audit Sub-committee
Tamsin is an ACA qualified accountant and has worked at Deloitte until 2004. Her experience is within the Financial Management sector where she implemented IT solutions for clients, analysing complex data and advising on budgeting solutions. Tamsin became a Governor at a local school in 2009 and served until 2013. During her appointment she worked extensively on the Finance, Pupil Welfare and the Personnel committees. Consequently she has in-depth knowledge of school finances, strategic planning, staff recruitment and personnel issues. Tamsin has worked with the Headteacher to develop the plans for the use of ICT at Grove House School and has been heavily involved with the process of procuring its ICT equipment.
Member of the Strategic Teaching & Learning Committee
Victoria holds the positions of Associate Dean for taught Postgraduate Studies and Internationalisation in the School of Health Sciences, and Professor in the Enhancement of Child and Adolescent Language and Learning in the Division of Language and Communication Science at City University London.
Victoria’s area of clinical and research expertise include specific language impairment, child speech disorder, the interface between education and speech and language therapy, collaborative practice and the training of teaching staff, the relationship between language, metalinguistic awareness and literacy, language and communication intervention in secondary school students and evidence-based practice for children and young people with special educational needs.
Victoria is a trustee of the Link school, a school for students with special educational needs and is also a trustee of iCAN, the largest children’s communication charity in the UK. She is an Associate editor of the journal, Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. She also acts as a speech and language therapy partner for the Health Care and Professions Council. She is external examiner at the School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Manchester. Joffe is a trustee and councillor for research and development at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and is chair of the RCSLT’s national clinical excellence network/special interest group for older children and young adults with speech, language and communication needs. Joffe also serves as an expert reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Academic Training Scheme.
Victoria has supported the proposer group during the development of the school and assisted with the recruitment of therapists. The Trust is exceptionally grateful for her involvement and the expertise she brings to the school.
Headteacher, Member of the Strategic Teaching & Learning and Resources Committees
Staff Trustee, Member of the Teaching & Learning Committee