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School Governors

As an academy, the Academy Council of Heatherwood School has delegated powers from the Nexus Multi Academy Trust Board of Directors, which are outlined in the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation.

Scheme of Delegation

The Chief Executive Officer and Officers of the Trust act as advisors to the Academy Council and attend most meetings


Heatherwood School Local Governing Body was constituted on 1st November 2019 and in September 22 became our Academy Council and the following structure of Governance is now in place:

The total membership shall be not less than 7 and not more than 12.

The membership shall comprise:

  • the Chair who is elected by the Trust Board of Directors;
  • the Headteacher;
  • no fewer than 2 elected Parent Governors;
  • two elected Members of Staff, one Teaching, one Non-Teaching;
  • the remaining Governors are appointed by the Academy Council. Governors can be Parents or Members of Staff but the number of Staff Governors (inc Headteacher) must not exceed one-third of the total number of Governors.

How are Governors chosen?

There are different categories of Governors: Parent Governors, Staff Governors and Governors.

Parent Governors are elected by current parents when a vacancy becomes available. Staff Governors, are representatives of the teaching or support staff and are elected by the eligible staff when a vacancy becomes available. All Governors are appointed by the Academy Council.  They are selected to provide skills and experience which Governors feel are required.

The Chair of the Academy Council is appointed by the Nexus Multi Academy Trust Board of Directors.

All Governors initially serve for a period of four years. At the end of the four years, they can stand for re-election or be re-appointed. Governors are free to resign before the end of their four-year term if they so wish.  

Members of Heatherwood School Governing Body

G Bullock Chair, Parent Governor & T&L Link Governor Interest & Attendance data
L Suter Executive Headteacher Interest  & Attendance data
L Proctor Headteacher Interest & Attendance data
M Bratcher Governor Interest & Attendance data
F Kirkham T&L Link Governor Interest & Attendance data
M Pidgeon Vice Chair Interest & Attendance data
P Burbanks Non Teaching Staff Interest & Attendance data

Governor's Interests are reviewed at every meeting.  All individual Governor's Information with regard to interests & attendance can be found within the Individual Governor's Profiles.

Approved minutes of the Academy Council can be accessed at the bottom of this page.


The Academy Council meets at least once a half-term, with additional meetings being arranged as required.

Meet the Governors:  

G Bullock - Chair, Parent Governor

My name is Gary Bullock - I am currently the Chair of Governor’s at Heatherwood School.

One of my three sons so attends Heatherwood School which has been over the last 12 years. I previously worked within the steel industry for over 20 years, in which time I had many roles starting at the bottom and progressing to manufacturing Manager for a site of over 300 employees. In my later years of working in the industry I was in a group role responsible for continuous improvement across the business, this took me to places around the world, and I gained lots of experience working with a diverse cross section of people.

I believe my experience in the steel industry and raising a child with complex needs allows me to bring a vast array of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chair of Governors, being supportive and challenging and also bring a parental perspective to the school where appropriate.

M Pidgeon - Vice Chair

My name is Melanie Pidgeon I have worked in the health setting since qualifying as a nurse over 30 years ago. Most recently I worked for Public Health England as a Programme Manager which required me to work alongside local authorities, the NHS and voluntary sector. I have a niece for whom I am the legal guardian at Heatherwood School and am excited to have recently joined as a Parent Governor.

I feel I am able to represent the views and needs of parents and carers as well as understanding the functions that the school must fulfil.

L Suter - Executive Headteacher

I have worked in education for just over 25 years; my specialism is SEND. I am committed to facilitating the best educational opportunities for all children and young people - that focusses on preparation for adulthood. I fervently believe everyone, with an additional need, should be able to live a good life.




L Proctor - Headteacher

I have been a teacher for nearly 25 years, and I have been involved in school leadership for 15 years. I began my journey at Heatherwood School at Easter 2024. I feel privileged to be part of such an incredible school; I feel so welcomed by staff, families and our young people. Heatherwood puts its pupils at the heart of everything that we do, and we work alongside Nexus Trust to make sure that we are all the best that we can be. I strongly believe that our young people are in the very best place to experience their highly personalised learning journey.






M Bratcher - Governor

Information coming soon




F Kirkham - T & L Link Governor

For the last 35 years, Fiona has taught children aged 8 – 16 with special needs. As a retired teacher, Fiona is aware of the challenges facing pupils and staff, and understands the requirements of qualifications which students may take. She is familiar with the documentation and procedures necessary within school. Pre Covid, Fiona accompanied out of school visits and helped with fund raising events, activities and looks forward to resuming such occasions. Heatherwood School is a vibrant supportive learning environment of which she is proud to be a part.

P Burbanks - Non Teaching Governor

My name is Pat Burbanks and I am in my 5th year working at Heatherwood School, although I have worked in education for over 25 years, mostly in special schools. In my role of Cover Supervisor at Heatherwood I am based in Post 16 which I love!

I divide my working week between Heatherwood and The Bridge, also taking our young people on visits out of school for work experience and life skills, as well as enrichment days.

I am proud to have been elected as support staff governor by my colleagues. For some years at my previous school, I served on the Governing Body, so I have experience of this role and what is expected of me.

I believe I provide a professional, caring, encouraging and supportive role model for all the young people I work with.

How can I contact the School Governors?

The Chair of Governors can be contacted via the School office Tel: 01302 322044  

You can also contact Clerking Services about any aspect of school governance at this address

Past Governors: 

Daryl Bennett Resigned - 30 April 24 Interest & Attendance Data
Kayleigh Smith Resigned - 30 April 24 Interest & Attendance Data
Bridget Coy Resigned - 31 August 23 Interests & Attendance Data
A O'Dell Resigned - 31 August 22  
K Latimer Resigned - March 22  

GB Minutes and Agendas 

Below are copies of the Academy Council agendas and minutes. Reports on the agendas for any of these meetings are available to the public for public inspection. If any member of the public would like to request a copy of any of the reports from a meeting agenda, please submit a request in writing, specifying which reports are being requested, to

Please note that published minutes will include the previous academic year and the current academic year for records management purposes. Should you wish to see minutes from previous years, we will happily provide these to you and would ask that you follow the FOI process as stated above.


Further useful governance information can be found on the Nexus Trust website.  Please click here to locate documents such as the Governance Handbook, Glossary of Terms and the Scheme of Delegation.