Meet the Governors
Sarah Asquith: I was a Parent Governor at Paddock from 1995-2005 and, after my son left the school, became a Co-opted Governor. My background is in publishing, in which I still work. My enthusiasm and admiration for the school has rarely wavered and indeed has increased over recent years, principally because of the remarkable commitment of all staff towards the school and pupils. I am Joint Chair with Tim Pethybridge, and live in Wandsworth.
Tim Pethybridge: I first became involved with Paddock School as the parent of a severely disabled daughter. I was one of the first parents to be elected to the governing body and when my term ended I became an LA Governor. I have recently been recognised for my long service to the school by Wandsworth Council.
I am a director of Private Banking with a major financial institution in the City. I was a director of The Children's Trust, which provides rehabilitation and care services for some of the most disabled children in the country, and I am also a trustee of The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I live with my family in South West London.
Georgina Hania: I have been a Nursery Nurse at Paddock School for over 30 years. I have also recently become a Makaton Regional Tutor, responsible for training both staff and parents, and am the Family Liaison Co-ordinator. In this role, I have the privilege of working in both Generic Needs and ASD classes with students ranging from the Early Years all the way up to Post 16. During my time here I have witnessed Paddock School flourish into the outstanding school that it is today. As a non-teaching Staff Governor I not only enjoy gaining a different "insider's" perspective into the running of a special school, but I also contribute my insight as a hands-on practitioner to the school's overall vision.
Bruce Jones: I am a partner in a London law firm. I moved to Wandsworth from Berkshire in 2014 and became a governor of the school shortly afterwards. I have no particular connection with the school but became a Co-opted Governor because I wanted to give something back to society and to do something to honour the memory of my late wife, who was a teacher. I remarried in 2015 and have twin children and two step-children.
Bobbie Cooper: I wanted to become a Paddock Governor for two reasons; so that I could have a clearer understanding of the school's functioning, and because I wished to give back something (however small) to a school I have great admiration for. My role began shortly before Paddock's transformation into its exciting and creative current phase on two sites. I was initially a Parent Governor but am now a Co-opted Governor.
I found being a Parent Governor extremely rewarding and enjoyable, and would encourage other parents to consider becoming one if the opportunity arises. It's a great way to gain awareness and insight into the day-to-day workings and ethos of the school. You feel you have a voice, and can potentially make a constructive impact on the students' education and the overall experience of their school day.
I have been impressed by the determination, commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by Sarah Santos and her highly skilled colleagues who have made Paddock one of the best schools in the country. The school governing body is extremely well run and co-chaired by two very experienced governors who are supportive and encouraging of new governors. Overall, I find the Paddock governors a friendly, committed and inclusive team, and it is a real privilege to be part of this.
Anna Roads: In July 2016 I joined the Board of Governors as a Parent Governor, and really looked forward to bringing my experience of special needs as a parent and as a volunteer to the role. I have two wonderful teenage girls, who keep me on my toes in different ways. The youngest, Yvette, is autistic and attends Paddock Secondary School. When I first visited the school, four years ago, I was bowled over by the commitment, energy and enthusiasm of the staff and senior management team. We always want our children to be happy and to achieve their full potential but I never expected a special needs school to have the vision and determination to, for example, enter the Schools’ Shakespeare Festival and to outshine all the other productions.
Because I’m able to bring my daughter to school most days, I have had the opportunity to get to know staff, some parents and students (dropping into the school café is a great start to the day).
As a parent, early after Yvette was diagnosed, I received generous support and advice from other parents of children with special needs and autism. This is why, over the past 5 years, I’ve taken on a number of voluntary roles representing the interests of other parents. These include running an NAS (National Autistic Society) branch for 4 years (2011-2015), where I’m still a committee member, serving two years on our local Parents’ Forum representing all special needs (2012-2014), and in 2014 I was elected an NAS Councillor for London. In 2015/2016 I spent 6 months as a volunteer mentor on a Research Autism project and from September I’m joining an organisation which helps and supports autistic adults into work.
Before I left (paid) work in 2010, I spent 24 years in the investment management sector as a sales and marketing director, after I’d graduated with business and law degrees and qualified as a solicitor.
Colette Roach: I am an NHS Manager working in the field of children and young people’s mental health, with degrees in biology and public health. I became a co-opted governor at Paddock School primarily because I have lived in Wandsworth all my life and wanted to give something back to my community. I am also really interested in children’s development, education and health, and am keen to bring my professional background in this area to the governor role.
Whilst I have no specific connection to the school nor background in education, it has been a privilege to gain insight into how the school runs and provides the best possible education and care for its pupils. This is my first role as a governor, and so far it has been an interesting, challenging and rewarding experience.
Paul Hayes: I come from a military background and have also worked in the construction industry. Now I am a full-time carer for my son Dominic, another happy student at Paddock. I was a governor at Somerset Nursery and Children’s Centre in Battersea and currently am one of four Parent Representatives on the Patients and Families Experience Enhancement Committee at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I also act as a Parent Champion in Wandsworth, which involves helping other parents of disabled children to understand the benefits of joining the Disabled Children’s Register and guiding them towards local services. I have recently been appointed as a Parent Governor at Paddock and am much looking forward to getting started.
Jeeven Bedi: I currently run a construction company and before that worked in finance. Although I have no previous connection to Paddock School, I am delighted to become a co-opted governor and hope that my experience and eagerness to make a contribution to the local community will help the school as it expands.
Also, because of growing up with a brother with Down’s Syndrome I am very aware of the impact that school makes on those of all abilities and want to support the team at Paddock where I can. The school has already impressed me so much with its dedicated staff and high quality teaching.
I live in Wandsworth – where I have been a resident for over 25 years – with my wife and three teenage children.
Surabhi Sharma: I am a full-time parent to my autistic son who started at Paddock Lower School in September 2021. Ever since my first contact with the team at Paddock, I have been extremely impressed by the knowledge, enthusiasm and unwavering dedication of the leadership team, teachers and staff of the school.
Having a child with special education needs is highly challenging and I was fortunate to receive lots of support from the Early Years resources and other parents in Wandsworth.
I became a Parent Governor in 2021 with a view to give back to the community, and to support the school in strengthening its position as a champion of children with special needs and a leader among special schools.
I have a Masters in business and marketing and have worked previously for Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Media Marketing in India.
Gavin Marshall: I joined Paddock in June 2021 as a Teaching Assistant at the Middle School, currently in Amber Class.
Prior to Paddock, I worked in advertising and marketing for 28 years including Global Head of Digital at SAB Miller and Associate Marketing Director at Coca Cola. Following a couple months volunteering at a refugee camp in Northern Greece, I pivoted career to work in the charity sector and joined Mind (the mental health charity) to lead social marketing in Africa and India tackling the stigma surrounding mental health. I am certified by the World Health Organisation as a Quality Rights practitioner, promoting the rights of those with mental health conditions.