Governor's profiles

St Nicholas School: the Governing Board
These are the members of St Nicholas School Governing Board:  we are allowed up to 15 in total (including the Headteacher), plus a Clerk to keep all in order.  You’ll see as you read through this document that the governors bring an amazing variety of skills and specialities to St Nicholas School. 

Individual governors have no decision-making power.  Instead, each governor is encouraged to put forward views based on their own experience and expertise.  The Full Governing Board, or a sub-committee of governors, then make decisions collectively.  The Full Governing Board oversees everything. The entire system is voluntary and designed to ensure that the school has excellent and impartial governance. 

The Governing Board always has the best interests of the pupils and the school to heart.  Governors truly welcome input from all members of the school: pupils and families, teaching and ancillary staff, as well as the school’s partners in the wider community.  If you would like to contact any governor, remember you can always do so through the school office directly, or by emailing

The Governors

Suzanne Askham
Suzanne joined the Governing Board as a Parent Governor in March 2007 and in February 2015 became a Co-opted Governor.  She currently serves on the Equalities and Post 16 Committees, and is a Trustee of the School Fund. She has a special interest in helping parents to feel empowered to find the right solutions for themselves and their families. She is the author of ‘Coping When Your Child Has Special Needs’ (Sheldon Press). Suzanne graduated with an Honours degree in English from Trinity College, Cambridge, and worked as a journalist in London for many years before relocating to Wiltshire with her family.  Today she runs a practice in which she helps clients to find intuitive solutions to life’s challenges.  Suzanne has a grown-up son who used to attend at St Nicholas School, and a younger daughter in a mainstream school. Suzanne’s interests include nature, travel, crafts and meditation. 

Aileen Bates: Chair
Aileen is a Local Authority Governor and has been on the Governing Board since 2008 and took over the Chair in September 2010.  She also serves on the Finance, Pay and Personnel, Post 16, Premises and Health & Safety Committees.  She is a Trustee of the School Fund. Aileen has an MA in philosophy and politics and a CQSW postgraduate qualification in social work.  She is currently completing an Open University open degree with the focus on psychology and world politics.  Aileen has worked as a practitioner, manager and trainer in social work, industry and personal finance.  She is the creator and director of a community based project to integrate people with learning disabilities, behavioural and mental health problems into normal living by providing supported living and day occupation.  This has involved skills in all aspects of people management. Aileen enjoys golf, bowls and bridge as well as supporting Swindon Town.

Corinna Davidson
Corinna joined the Board in March 2016 as a Parent Governor.  She is a Community Nursery Nurse holding a CACHE qualification in Children’s Care, Learning and Development and is trained in additional specialist subjects such as Health Promotion, Infant Nutrition, Parenting & Child Behaviour Management and Child & Adult abuse.  Corinna is also currently a full-time student at Oxford Brookes University completing a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care with a view to achieve a full degree in the very near future. Corinna previously worked as a Deputy Manager in a nursery in Germany run by Army Welfare Service (AWS), was an Office Manager for a firm of Architects in North Yorkshire, she enjoyed being an evening-lecturer at a College in Edinburgh and working for the MOD in Northern Ireland. Corinna has a daughter who attends St. Nicholas School (she will be joining Poplar College in September 2016) and a son in a mainstream school. Corinna enjoys reading, travel, going to the theatre, a variety of regular physical exercises and fundraising events.

James Gregory
James became a Co-Opted Governor in October 2015 and currently sits on the Equalities, Finance and Post 16 committees. He is a Sergeant in the RAF and works as an Air Load Master on the Hercules, based at RAF Brize Norton. He lives in Corsham with his wife and daughter. James is a keen fundraiser and socially enjoys keeping fit, watching films and political debate.

Helen Hook
Helen has been a Staff Governor since 2009 and has used her understanding of how schools work, the roles of staff within schools, the curriculum and managing challenging behaviour to contribute to the governing body She has been teaching for the past two decades, including 15 years in special schools, mostly with ASD pupils.  St Nicholas is her third special school and she is experienced in teaching a wide age group from 5-19 years.  Her particular interest is in transition, post 16 choices and specific ASD provision. Helen has BA/QTS in History with Education.  She also has undertaken Sensory Integration and TEACCH training to support her work with ASD pupils.  She currently serves on the Equalities, Health & Safety and Post 16 Committees.

Alice Kemp: Vice Chair
Alice joined the Governing Board as a Parent Governor in May 2005 and in February 2015 became a Co-opted Governor and is currently serving as Vice Chair.  She is a member of the Equalities and Post 16 Committees.  She has been a governor in two previous schools, a special secondary school in London and a mainstream primary school in Southampton.  She is the SEND Parent Governor Representative on the Wiltshire County Council Children’s Select Services Committee. Alice has a Masters degree in theology and mission, an Honours degree in Social Psychology, Diploma in Management Studies, and PGCE in Primary and Nursery Education.  She is also trained in the use of several special needs tools.  
Alice worked for seven years in special needs housing, 12 years teaching in mainstream and special schools and four years running her own small business.  She was ordained in 2011 and is now the disability advisor for the Diocese of Bristol as well as chaplain to MOD Corsham.

Tim Marshall
Tim is a Co-opted Governor and has been on the Governing Board since September 2011, having previously taught at St Nicholas School.  He currently serves on the Health & Safety and PARRC Committees. Tim has over 20 years’ teaching experience, initially as an English teacher and then as teacher of children with learning difficulties.  He has held leadership roles including responsibilities for the secondary curriculum, accreditation, post-16 and transition beyond school.  He has a degree in modern languages, and postgraduate qualifications in education and anthropology.  He is currently studying full-time for a PhD in Disability Studies at the University of Bristol, researching the experiences of young people with learning difficulties in India. Tim is a keen/obsessive traveller and especially enjoys trekking, as well as less demanding walks with his dog at home.

Paola Meekins
Paola became a Co-opted Governor in November 2015 and is on the Health & Safety, Premises and PARRC Committees. Paola worked in London as a secretary to the advertising manager of a magazine then the owner of retail shops and finally of a quantity surveying practice. Through her husband being in Round Table she became involved with swimming for the disabled, training in the Halliwick method.  Paola helped start and run two clubs in London.  She also ran the swimming programme at John Grooms which is now called Livability and is part of the Shaftesbury Society. On moving to Wiltshire she looked to continue helping children in the water and has been a volunteer at the school for over 20 years. Her husband was a Rotarian in Chippenham and they were instrumental in Rotary fundraising for the Starfish Hydro Pool. She has four adult children the youngest being a paraplegic after an accident and a 20 year old grandson with autism. In her spare time she loves playing bowls, gardening and travel.

Jeff Parker
Jeff is a Co-opted Governor and has been on the Governing Board since November 2013 and currently serves on the Finance and Pay & Personnel Committees. Jeff spent 23 years in the RAF as a Communications Engineer serving in various parts of the world.  On leaving the RAF in 1993 he spent 2 years as a Business Consultant and then 18 years with Nortel Networks and then EADS, a large Aerospace and Defence company, in Business Development. Jeff retired from EADS in 2012 and is now an independent consultant specialising in Cyber Security and Business Innovation. Jeff’s interests include keeping fit, walking and reading.

Susan Tomes
Susan is a Co-Opted Governor and has been on the Governing Board since May 2011; she is currently serves on the PARRC, Pay & Personnel and Post 16 Committees. Susan has a degree in Politics and a postgraduate qualification in careers advice and guidance.  She worked in St Nicholas for two years as a Connexions Personal Adviser, advising families and pupils from year 9 about the options available after leaving school.  Susan then became the lead for transitions at Wiltshire Council before leaving in May 2011.  She is now a trustee of a charity based in Tanzania which provides work for disabled adults and challenges the negative image of disability in East Africa.  She also works for a charity that provides a home and education for abandoned and orphaned girls in Kenya. Susan's interests are walking, gardening, cooking and going to the Little Theatre in Bath.

Nancy Tucker
Nancy became a staff governor in March 2011 and is now a Co-opted Governor and is currently serving on the Equalities and Premises Committees.  She has previously been a governor at a primary school in Wiltshire.  She is currently the school premises manager and has been active in working towards the successful completion of the hydrotherapy pool project.  She has worked in a number of business settings and has been a fundraiser for Orchard Vale Trust, which supports adults with learning disabilities.  She has also been a playleader and vice chair of Wiltshire Preschool Playgroup Association.  In her leisure time she enjoys reading, music and travel.


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