Paddock School

Paddock  School

To Nurture, Inspire and Transform Lives
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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 Parent 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.

Sam Ruiz


I retired a few years ago from an executive role in banking/finance. I joined Paddock as a Co-opted Governor as I wanted to get more involved in my local community. I have no personal or professional experience in education, but I bring my experience of finance to the school together with my active enthusiasm and ability to learn and help wherever I can. I am a board director on two companies, serve on the Lord Chancellors Surrey Advisory Committee for magistrates and am an expert advisor in financial services litigation services. I am married and live with my wife and two daughters, both of whom have recently started university.  

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.

Marie Walters



My name is Marie Walters. I started on a weeks trial at Paddock School on the 1st September 2012, I was mesmerised by the commitment of the staff team and management that i decided to ask if i could stay. Eight years later i have worked with a wide variety of children, teachers and support staff. I have experienced many changes in the school over the course of the years, i have been positive, flexible and have welcomed change and improvements. 


I also work as an early help support officer at the after school club George Shearing, this position enables me to continue working with some of our pupils who attend from the secondary school.


I was appointed as a staff governor by the staff of Paddock School. I am really looking forward to this new role, to working closely with the senior leaders and governors to ensure that Paddock School continues to be an amazing school for our pupils.

Barry Woodward


I am a Parent Governor and live in Barnes with my partner Pauline Crawford and our daughter Darcey (b.2000), who attends Paddock and has severe learning disabilities and problems with dexterity and co-ordination. We obviously wanted Darcey to go to the best school for her, and the staff at Paddock have consistently proven that coming here was the correct decision. A side effect of your (in our case, only) child going to a special school, however, is that you miss out on the interaction between the school and other parents because of the nature of the travel arrangements. There is no chatting to parents and teachers at the school gates as we wait for our children to come running out with their mates... So, in Feb 2005 I became a governor as I felt it would be an ideal way to make some of those connections and also be more involved with our daughter's education. During my tenure I have been involved in the refurbishment of the school as it expanded onto first three and then two sites. The number of children, young people and staff has more than doubled in that time.


I would urge any parent to seriously consider becoming involved as a school governor. It's only a commitment of about 6 meetings a year, which your employer is duty bound to allow you time off to attend. 

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.

Mary Jo Clark



Hello, my name is Mary Jo Clark, but my friends call me Betsy. I was born in the north east of Scotland, in a tiny fishing town on the coast, and moved to London in 1997. I was in the hospitality industry for over ten years and worked in a well-known bingo establishment, which I joined as a customer service assistant and was a duty manager by the time I left in 2011. This role allowed me to oversee the club, the staff and all the customers on my own. I am now a carer and part-time student, studying for a degree with the Open University. So far I have completed autism, social science, psychology, counselling and health and social care modules. I hope these will allow me to return to the workforce, perhaps as a family support worker. This would combine my personal experience with the knowledge I have gained. Through Paddock I have also completed the TEACCH training.


My middle child, Aaron, joined Paddock Primary in the summer term of 2011, moving from a mainstream primary which had an ASD base. Aaron has a diagnosis of severe autism, epilepsy and many other co-morbid conditions such as pica and sleep disorder.


I wanted to become a Parent Governor for different reasons. Firstly and mostly, I wanted to become more involved at the school and to try to give something back for the amazing work the staff at the school do for all the children. Secondly, I wanted to further my knowledge of the school and its ethos. I attend the coffee mornings and all the training that Paddock provides for parents, which allows me to meet with the other parents on a regular basis. I feel it is even more important in a special needs provision to bridge the gap between school and parents because parents do not have the daily contact with each other that mainstream schools provide. 

 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.

Annette Davies-Jones




I have recently joined the team of governors as a Parent Governor. I have a son with Down Syndrome who has been at Paddock for nearly 5 years. He loves school, and I have come to appreciate the incredible work of the staff and governors at Paddock, both in and out of the classroom. I am a Paintings Conservator at Tate Modern and have been at Tate for over twenty years, working with the Modern and Contemporary paintings collection. As well as restoring and studying the collection, a large part of my job is communication and education about the artists and works in the collection, and I am keen to explore how art can be made accessible to people of all ages and abilities. I look forward to being more involved with Paddock and to learning more about the role of a governor.