The Governors work to support the school’s leaders in their realisation of the vision for Capella House School and to ensure the highest possible standards for its pupils.
Following approval from the DfE, the members of the working group became the school’s first Governors and are now recruiting for a number of talented new people to offer a range of skills and experience to the school.
We are very keen to hear from anyone who feels they would be able to serve on the Capella House Governing Body which meets at least once a term and on a number of committees which look at particular issues (such as safeguarding, personnel and teaching and learning).
Please contact the school for more information.
Andrew Whiteside - Chair
I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1991, served overseas in the British Embassies in Budapest, Rome and Baghdad, and worked in various policy departments including Middle East, Central Europe, Counter Proliferation, Counter Narcotics and Counter Terrorism.
For the last 7 years I have held various leadership roles in inter departmental transformation programmes to share IT and Corporate services. This has given me valuable experience in business strategy, and planning, business change, and performance assurance. I am looking to apply this to my role as a governor.
I have a Physics degree from Oxford University, and a Post Graduate qualification in Organisational Change. I speak Hungarian and Italian.
My wife is an Assistant Head and SENCO in the borough. My daughter is at university and my son is a sixth former.
Romany Wood-Robinson - Vice Chair
I am a parent of two young men with high functioning autism, one also has adhd and the other lives with extreme anxiety. When they were growing up, having a trampoline was vital for all of our sanity!
My professional background is organisational communications and marketing; however my first love is art (visual communications). Since having children, I have been unable to take paid work, but have run art clubs and workshops in local schools. Most recently the Project Sunshine at Clarendon Primary Centre where, with the pupils, we transformed the breeze block exterior with mosaics.
Alongside this, I founded a local parent/carer forum called SEND Family Voices. Following the end of the implementation period for the SEND Reforms (2014-2018), this forum closed. I now write a regular newsletter called SENDspeak and continue to participate with the local statutory services to endeavour to improve services for our children and young people.
I trained as a teacher in Kingston upon Thames and began my teaching career at an all boys’ secondary school in the English department. Following a school reorganisation, the boys’ and a girls’ schools were merged to form a new co-educational secondary school and so began my 35 years’ experience at senior leadership level.
I have worked in a variety of settings including: mainstream primary and secondary schools; Senior Deputy and Headteacher of two special schools; Senior Education Officer, Monitoring & Development Officer and Principal SEN Officer in two Local Authority SEN Teams; ICT tutor within an Asian Women’s Centre and project leader in setting up a Foyer type education, training and employment centre for the Refugee Housing Association in Sheffield.
In the past I have enjoyed the challenge of painting and decorating which provides such a contrast to the everyday life of school and more recently I trained as a Celebrant. Reading, swimming, walking, music and travel are among the activities I enjoy when away from work.
I thank all those who have been part of the development team, especially those young people and their parents who joined the journey. By putting your faith in us and wanting to be a part of this new family within the wider community of the Auriga Trust, you have completed the circle and made it a reality. Developing the vision for Capella House School and being able to bring this school to life has been stressful, hard work, exciting but an absolute privilege.
I am a retired Primary School Head teacher. I have been a head teacher in nine different schools varying in size from 21 pupils to 720 pupils. I have taught in a Social Priority Areas in London and in rural two-teacher schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. I have also been responsible for a Hearing-Impaired Unit. I have a grand daughter who is on the Autistic Spectrum and hope to bring an understanding of special needs to this role.
Although I am person who listens to reasoned arguments and gives wide consideration to views that may differ from my own I have personal principles and feel strongly about matters of social justice. With the marked divisions in our country at present I feel it is important that the views of those less well placed and who have special needs are heard.
I have been a School Governor in a range of schools and was appointed as an elected member of my local council. I am an active member of a political party and have stood in local elections three times. I have been a branch secretary to my professional association the NAHT.
Despite being retired I am an active sportsman playing football into my 70s plus Bowls and Chess
I have been involved in Education for nearly 30 years, previous to this I worked in industry in Dublin, Ireland. During my early career as an educator I worked across both the mainstream and specialist settings as both teacher and Senior Leader, predominantly based within the Kingston and Richmond Local Authorities.
Over the last 10 years I have worked extensively as a SEND Consultant in London. A great deal of the work has been to provide Leadership and Management consultancy providing strategic and operational support to schools, Academies, and Free Schools. My work has focussed mainly on Special Educational Needs and Inclusion; supporting senior leaders with re-structuring their SEN/Inclusion Departments in line with school context, resources and the National Agenda.
I have provided extensive training for Staff, including governors and the schools’ SEN departments. Sometimes I have worked as an Interim SENCO setting up systems, training and reorganising the departments. I was also heavily involved in the setting up of The St. Marylebone CofE Bridge School, a specialist Free School for children with speech language and communication needs in Westminster, which I also led (Headteacher) and managed during its first year. I continue to have links with the school and provide support if necessary.
My most recent work has been involved with establishing and setting up the new Resource Base for Girls with Autism and Social Emotional Mental Health at Tolworth Girls School in Kingston. I hope that my educational and SEND experience plus my extensive involvement with the St. Marylebone Bridge School will be of benefit to both the Governing body and the pupils at Capella House.
I am about to embark on a new journey as Class teacher at Capella house. This is an exciting opportunity for me and my professional development, but also on a personal level. I am looking forward to being part of the school from the start, with the pupils and members of staff and establishing the vision and aims that the School has set out to meet.
I previously worked at Freemantles School in Woking, a school for children with Autism and communication and interaction difficulties. Due to the expansion of the school I had the opportunities to progress into different roles. I started as a class teacher and then went on to be a key stage leader and then a senior teacher in my final year there. I spent most of time working in early years and year one and also spent some time in Key Stage 2. I have supported young people in various settings and I first became interested in supporting those with additional needs when I had the chance to work in a special need’s Summer Camp in the State of New York. I then came back to the UK to complete my degree in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University.
After completing my degree I spent some time working in schools, supporting young people at home and then worked as a Nanny for a family who had a child with complex special needs. During this time I also volunteered at the local primary school in reception class. I went on to complete my teacher training and got a PGCE in Primary Education at Bath Spa University in 2013. I enjoy working with young people strongly believe that young people need to have good emotional well-being to then make progress in all other areas of their development. This includes their ability to communicate, have social understanding, to be independent and to make academic progress that is functional to them
I have been lucky enough to enjoy the holidays that come with being a teacher and have had the chance to travel and visit a range of countries, which includes Thailand, America, Cambodia, Vietnam and many more. These experiences have been valuable to me and I always look forward to my next trip
I am currently employed as a social worker working in Safeguarding to ensure that vulnerable children and young people receive the support that they need. I have previously been a Governor at a mainstream primary school, taking the lead in scrutinising safeguarding procedures and having an overview of the progress of pupils with special educational needs within the school. This is therefore an area of expertise which I hope to bring to this new venture, ensuring that all of the new Capella House pupils are thriving in every aspect of their lives.
I have also previously been employed and volunteered in politics at a national and local level and so have experience in campaigning, including bringing together differing groups of people to achieve shared goals.
In my spare time I enjoy being part of my local church community, travelling and making novice attempts at DIY.
I studied Business Studies with Engineering and qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant with PriceWaterHouseCoopers. Having spent over 20 years working in Finance at various banks, including Barclays, RBS and HSBC, I am delighted to contribute as part of the governance body to achieving strong financial management & governance at Capella House. I am father to three teenagers, actively involved in their education and when I am not working you could find me on the slopes, on my bike or learning foreign languages.
Helen Bridge - Clerk
I am a long-term Teddington resident. I am a Mum to 2 children and am actively involved in their schools as a parent volunteer. In my spare time I enjoy walking my dog, running, skiing and going to the theatre. As Clerk to the governing body, my role will be to provide effective administrative support, to organize and co-ordinate information flow and to provide procedural and legislative advice to the Governors. I already act as clerk to both the Clarendon Governing Body and the Auriga Academy Trust Board.