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Neal Carrier

Chair of Governors

Date Appointed Chair since October 2018, governor since November 2017.
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School?
  1. To serve the local community.
  2. I have a particular interest the provision of education for people with learning difficulties.
  3. The imminent changes at Oaklands make it a particularly exciting time to be working with the school.
Professional Background I am the Head of Religious Studies & Philosophy and the Assistant Head of UCAS at Hampton School. Prior to that, I took a BA in Philosophy at University College London, an MPhil in Politics at the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. I was a J. E. Procter Fellow at Princeton University for the academic year 2010-11. I continue to teach undergraduates for various colleges at the University of Cambridge on an ad hoc basis.
What skills do you bring to the role?
  1. An understanding of secondary education, tertiary education, and the transition between the two.
  2. A knowledge of the needs of teachers, schools, pupils, and parents.
  3. An understanding of how to develop and implement strategic goals.
  4. An appreciation of how and why senior leaders ought to be accountable.
Committee Membership Staffing and Curriculum.
Declared financial/business interests None.




Ann Neath

Vice-Chair of governors

Date Appointed I was co-opted at the full governing body meeting on 6th November 2018. I had been a parent governor at my daughter's school, Orleans Park LB Richmond for 2 years during the early 2000's.
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School? Maximising learning opportunities and educational experience for all children and young people with SEN or disability, has been at the heart of my professional life. Becoming a governor at Oaklands is an opportunity to continue making a small contribution to this end. Further, it is an opportunity for me to learn and develop skills in the area of governance and widen my perspective of schools. 
Professional Background I am an educational psychologist, now retired. Before my professional training (M.Sc 1981-82) I had been a primary school teacher for several years. I have worked as an E.P for the boroughs of Richmond and Ealing, and as an independent E.P. Part of my work included special schools, notably Clarendon and Strathmore schools in Richmond, and John Chilton school in Ealing.
What skills do you bring to the role? My Career as an E.P has enabled me to gain good understanding of the stresses and difficulties teachers and parents face. Although I have learned the need for rigorous enquiry I am sympathetic, non-judgemental, work effectively as part of a team and am very supportive of the school. I am very much a 'people' person and much look forward to getting to know the school and it's staff well. 
Committee Membership Staffing and Curriculum.
Declared financial/business interests None.

Mike Essam

Community Governor

How long have you been a Governor?

Autumn term 2000 - Reappointed 9/6/15

Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School?

My daughter was a pupil at Oaklands School at the time and I became a Parent Governor. When my daughter left the school I stayed on as a community Governor. I continue to be a Governor because schools need Governors.

Professional Background

I began teaching in 1972 and I have worked as a Design Technology teacher ever since. For the last ten years I have worked in special education and volunteered with enterprises for adults with special needs.

What skills do you bring to the role?

I like to think I bring the professional skills of a lifetime of teaching, and a personal dimension as a parent of a child (now adult) with special needs
Declared financial/business interests Works as a teacher at another school

Fadeel Cornelius

Staff Governor

Date Appointed 9/6/15
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School? Employed at Oaklands School
Professional Background School site manager for the past 10 years
What skills do you bring to the role? Excellent DIY skills and site maintenance
Committee Membership Finance and premises, Health and Safety
Declared financial/business interests None


Nancy Beesley

Staff Governor


Date Appointed


Why did you want to become a Governor

I have worked as a Teaching Assistant at Oaklands School for 5 years and I love my job! I feel it is very important that the teaching support staff have a voice on the governing body as we work most closely with the students on a day to day basis and we can always offer a useful, informed and practical perspective on key issues. I also believe that support staff are the lynchpins of the school and it is important for them to know that their views are represented and valued.

What is your professional background

I first came to the school on an agency contract, having worked in several other schools in the area. At the time I was returning to work after a career break to raise my own two young children. I knew I wanted to work in education, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. From the start Oaklands was the perfect fit for me, and I didn’t want to leave. Happily I was able to secure a permanent contract and I’ve been here ever since. When I left university I worked in the newsrooms of several local radio stations in the West Country before moving to London as a researcher for the BBC’s Disability Programmes Unit. Latterly I became an Assistant Director responsible for filming on location. My time in the media was very exciting, but I find my job now much more rewarding.

What skills do you bring to the role

I have taken advantage of training opportunities offered by the school. I am a manual handling trainer. Together with another colleague I’m responsible for all the student moving and handling plans within the school. We also deliver staff training throughout the school. I have completed a course for therapist assistants in speech and language and occupational therapy. I work with every class at Oaklands, but I have a particular interest in profound, multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

Committee membership

Health & Safety Committee, SEND Governor.

Declared financial/business interests None


Maria Landers

Parent Governor 

Date Appointed 28th February 2017
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School?

I do want to help the school to be as effective and productive school for our students and to be able to help to build an outstanding school for our vulnerable students.

To make sure it is also a healthy working environment for all employees and students of the school.

Professional Background Professionally I’m a Midwife , Certified Bookkeeper and a Businesswoman.
What skills do you bring to the role? Financial skills, I am the mother of a child with special need, art and craft, skills for running a business.
Committee Membership Finance & Premises, Health & Safety.
Declared financial/business interests None.


Eswarprasath Jayaraman

Co-opted Governor


Date Appointed November 2017.
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School?

As someone who values education and continuous learning I was looking at ways I could help support schools in my local community.
I came to know about School Governing Body and the role of Governors within a School.

When I visited Oaklands, I could see the challenges in running a Special Needs School and I wanted to contribute where possible to help children meet their learning needs.
Professional Background I  am a Computer Science Engineer and am currently working as a Software Test Consultant.
What skills do you bring to the role?

Share lessons learned from delivering commercial software projects.

Contribute to School’s Digital Service Infrastructure development and computer literacy.

An interest in learning and education and its effect on individuals, children in particular. 

Committee Membership Staffing and Curriculum.
Declared financial/business interests None.

Jack Talman

Co-Opted Governor

Date Appointed 5th March 2019
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School? I visited the school and was so impressed by everything that everyone does here. The school is such an inspirational place with such great facilities and management that so clearly care about the welfare and education of the students in their care. I quickly felt that this was somewhere that I wanted to also devote my time to in order to do what I could to also contribute to the lives of these young people.
Professional Background I have been a teacher since 2007 and have become a pastoral leader in the school where I now work. This means that I focus my time on the welfare and wellbeing of the students in my care. I have become a practising Mindfulness teacher and am the Head of PSHE and ESafety Officer in the school where I work.
What skills do you bring to the role? I care passionately about the safety and welfare of the young people in my care. I am empathetic and sympathetic and always willing to listen and do whatever I can to help. I have a good understanding of PSHE and the issues facing young people today around areas such as online safety and mental health. I am keen to try to use the knowledge and skills that I have developed around these areas to help the students at Oaklands and look forward to learning more while a governor here.
Committee Membership Finance and Premises.
Declared financial/business interests None.

Gayle Russell

Co-Opted Governor

Date Appointed 05/03/2019
Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School? I visited Oaklands on the recommendation of a colleague and I was so impressed by all of the amazing work which goes on at the school. As a teacher myself, the skills set required to work at Oaklands has many similarities to my own role, which I felt I could put to use in my role as governor. However, Oaklands is a very different educational setting to the one in which I teach and so I also see it as a wonderful opportunity to learn about the work that happens in a different sector to my own and a chance to contribute to the community in which I live.
Professional Background I have been a teacher for seven years. I currently work as an Assistant Head of Year at Hampton School and I will be moving on to take up an Assistant Head post at a London prep school in September 2019.
What skills do you bring to the role? I believe my experience as a classroom practitioner and pastoral leader will ensure that I bring specialised insight in these areas which I can apply to my role as a Governor at Oaklands. I also have experience of contributing to the development of school-wide strategy from my experience as a Head of Department. Most importantly, I believe that I am empathetic and proactive in my dealings with others and I hope that people will find me a personable and approachable Governor.
Committee Membership Health and Safety Committee.
Declared financial/business interests None.

Ruth Price

Staff Governor 

Date Appointed

November 2018

Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School?

To learn, and to provide input based on my experience as a class teacher at Oaklands.

Professional Background I joined Oaklands as a Newly Qualified Teacher in 2014. Before this I worked as a teaching assistant in an SEN school.
What skills do you bring to the role?

My teacher training is in English, and I lead the Communication curriculum team. I have worked in the Autism provision at Oaklands throughout my career here.

Committee Membership Staffing and Curriculum             
Declared financial/business interests None


Previous Governors - Left during past 12 months

Stephanie Dempsey

Co Opted Governor - Vice Chairperson

Date Appointed:




How long have you been a governor?  
Why did you want to be a governors at Oaklands School? I was initially drawn to an article in a local paper advertising various vacancies within the borough. I specifically wanted to work within a SEN environment as I know they struggle to recruit Governors.
Professional background: I am a self employed Operations professional and currently work for number of organisations providing an Operational, Business Support and Event Management service. I am married with one child and live very close to the school.
What skills do you bring to the role? I hope to bring a number of skills to the GB; including my understanding of budgets/financial reporting, operational management and Human Resources experience. I also hold a professional qualification in Health & Safety.
Committee membership: Health & Safety committee, Finance & Premises Committee
Declared financial/business interests: None

Oyefunke Areoye

Local Authority Governor

Date Appointed

Autumn 2009 Reappointed 10/11/15

Why did you want to become a Governor

I have always worked and supported vulnerable people and I believe in playing a role in the community. It is important to make a real difference in the life of our children as they are the future of this country. School governors have an important part to play in maintaining and developing our children's education. I work in the social care field and I find it rewarding to be able to be part of the planning of Oaklands School long term future, overseeing it aims, values and ethos, and monitoring the school performance.

What is your professional background

I have Msc in social work and business administration. I have experience working in Children & Family and Adult Services. I am currently employed as a qualified social worker in the First Contact Team (Adult Service) - London Borough of Hounslow. During my MSC degree in social work; my first placement was in the community team for people with learning disability (CTPLD) - age 18 to 65 years. My second 100 days placement was in the social work team for children with disabilities – age 0 to 18yrs. Working within adult and children services; has given me a better insight to the legislation, practice guidance and social work values. It has improved learnt communication skills, working in partnership with other practitioners, family/carers and wider network. I have worked supporting vulnerable people with their care needs both in the voluntary (School Governor, Age Concern and Victim Support) and paid sector

What skills do you bring to the role

Being a qualified social worker and volunteering as a local authority school governor; I have wealth of transferrable skills that I have brought into my role in Oaklands School. I consider myself suitable for this role because I have a collective approach to achieving and employing effective time management with the aim of completing projects to deadlines. I am confident, articulate and enthusiastic with excellent written, oral and IT communication skills. I am the Link Governor in Oaklands School, and attend statutory trainings and other training opportunities for my role in the school. I ensure other governors are made aware of available trainings. I am 1 of the governors who seats in the Head Teacher Performance Management. In addition to these, I also support the school in other areas including safeguarding, child protection, and in any other areas that my expertise may be required. I am an encourager and takes interest in team building and cohesive working relationship.

Committee membership HT Performance Management, Governor for Looked After Children,Child Protection Governor, Link Governor.
Declared financial/business interests


Alexandra Burton

Community Governor

Date Appointed Reappointed 9/6/15

Why did you want to become a Governor at Oaklands School?

As a mother of three young children, I appreciate the importance of a stable and happy environment as a fundamental backdrop for children to develop and learn to their full potential. I looked around Oaklands and felt that it was a warm and welcoming environment where the children were clearly the priority and I felt that it was a school I wanted to be part of.
Professional Background

Commercial lawyer from 1999-2008 specialising in commercial property and property finance. Since 2010 a Magistrate

What skills do you bring to the role? Legal background, used to reviewing lots fo paperwork quickly and then identify, analyse and advise on key issues. Used to sitting on Tribunals. Committed and vocal
Committee Membership

Staffing and Curriculum, HT Appointment Panel

Declared financial/business interests None