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Our Governors

Glenn Douglas - Chair of Governors
David Martin - Vice Chair of Governors

Welcome to our Governors’ section.


The governing body has a range of duties and powers, and a general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement. This includes monitoring targets for pupil achievement, managing the school’s finances, making sure the curriculum is balanced, appointing senior staff, reviewing staff performance and pay and deciding how, in strategic terms the school should be run.


The governing body has considerable discretion as to how to discharge its responsibilities but is required to constitute itself in line with the regulations and to appoint a chair and vice chair. The governing body may delegate certain of its responsibilities to individual governors or committees of governors, although in general, it is not compelled to do so.


Our Vision


The Governing Body supports the vision of Oakley School by ensuring that the school provides a safe, caring and stimulating learning environment where every pupil can realise his or her full potential.

We will achieve this through both an active involvement in the life of the school, and by working closely with the school’s leadership team:


  • Setting challenging aims and objectives for the school

  • Agreeing policies, priorities and performance targets for accomplishing these objectives

  • Looking for evidence that these objectives are being achieved, asking challenging questions of the leadership team

  • Ensuring that the pupil premium is used effectively for those pupils it applies to

  • Ensuring that best value principles are followed

  • Actively supporting and promoting the school's fundraising within the local community  


Our actions are rooted in the best interests of the school and its pupils, and we are always prepared to explain our decision openly and honestly to staff, parents, pupils, government and anyone else in the wider community with an interest in the conduct and standards of the school.


Our Objectives


  • To set high standards for all pupils, students and staff and to set clear targets for improvement

  • To be a critical friend in this process

  • To help the school be responsive and pro-active to the needs of parents and the community

  • We are here to ask challenging questions, which are non-confrontational and to work with the Head and the staff

  • Our governors are not involved in the day to day running of the school and respect the professionalism of the Head and the staff


How Do We Achieve Our Objectives?


The agreed working document for school improvement is the School Development Plan (SDP). The SDP is the mechanism by which we can monitor how well the school is doing its job. The SDP has clear goals and clearly identifies success criteria, which the governors monitor and review, at regular intervals. 


Although raising standards is our key objective, governors also monitor many other aspects of school life:


  • The achievement of different ethnic groups

  • Attendance of pupils, students and staff

  • Behaviour

  • How our school performs in comparison with other special schools


Governors are linked with members of the senior leadership team to regularly monitor and review the four strands of the School Improvement Plan:


Effectiveness of Leadership & Management

Quality of Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare

Outcomes for Pupils


Each Governor is also linked with a key area of the School and has regular meetings with the leader of that area:-


  • Safeguarding

  • Children in Care

  • Pupil Tracking

  • Pupil Premium
  • Pupil Voice & House
  • Website

  • Health & Safety

  • Staff Training & Development



Governors also accompany members of the Extended Leadership Team on Learning Walks, so that they can observe the teaching and learning in our classrooms. Governors are not permitted to make judgements on the quality of the teaching and learning but will report back to their respective committees on any observations.


In addition, representatives from our Governing Body attend the majority of school events; primary concerts, Annual FE Celebration Evening, Easter Church Service, Christmas Lunch, Summer & Christmas Fairs etc and participate in other fundraising activities throughout the year.


The Governing Body Structure 2019-20


The Governing Body Structure comprises: 1 x Authority, 7 x Co-opted, 2 x Parent Governors and 2 x Staff (12 governors) 



E Bentley Bowers

A Bernstein

G Douglas

D Martin

M Patterson

Rev R Thomas

N. Levett


H Gilstin

N Ralph


A Lingham

G Tillman (EH)


S Perryman (HS)


L Dell

Local Authority Governor


Co-opted Governor Appointed 15.03.18 – 14.03.22

Co-opted Governor Appointed 01.12.14 – 30.11.18

Co-opted Governor Appointed 06.10.16 – 05.10.20 Chair of Governors 22.07.18 – 20.07.20

Co-opted Governor Appointed 01.12.14 – 30.11.18 Vice Chair 22.07.17 – 20.07.19

Co-opted Governor Appointed 13.04.16 – 12.04.20

Co-opted Governor Appointed 15.03.18 – 14.03.22

Co-opted Governor Appointed 01.09.19- 31.08.23


Parent Governor Appointed 18.06.18 – 17.06.22

Parent Governor Appointed 01.01.17 – 31.12.21


Staff Governor 15.10.18 - 14.10.22

Staff Governor Executive Head Appointed 16.04.12 – open ended


Associate Member Appointed 06.10.16 – open ended (voting rights on committees)


Clerk to the Governors


Sub Committees (disciplinary committees are convened when required)

Leadership & Strategy

(Chair: E Bentley Bowers)

Teaching, Learning & Assessment

(Chair: D Martin)

Finance, Personnel & Resources

(Chair: G Douglas)

G Douglas, D Martin, G Tillman (EH)

Associate: S Perryman (HS)

H Gilstin, M Patterson, Rev R Thomas,

N Levett

Associate: S Perryman (HS)

A Bernstein, N Ralph, G Tillman (EH)

Associates: S Perryman (HS)

Governors’ Pecuniary Interests

Please find listed below any registered business interest for the Governing Body at Oakley School (24.10.19)


Governor title

Business Interests

E Bentley Bowers

Co-opted Governor


A Bernstein

Co-opted Governor

  • Spouse employed at Oakley School

  • Trustee of 2 youth charities

  • Community Youth tutor

G Douglas

Co-opted Governor

Chair of Governors

  • Member, Advisory Board Group to Skills for Independence & Employability Ltd T/A Oakley College

  • 8 roles in NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups

A Lingham

Staff Governor

Staff at Oakley School

D Martin

Co-opted Governor

  • Member of Advisory Board Group to Skills for Independence & Employability Ltd T/A Oakley College

  • Liaison Governor at Skinners Kent Primary School

M Patterson

Co-opted Governor

Deputy at Ridge View School

S Perryman

Associate Member

Head of School at Oakley School

  N Levett

Co-opted Governor

  Head of Enhanced Learning & SENCo at Kent College

  H Gilsten

  Parent Governor


N Ralph

Parent Governor


Rev R Thomas

Co-opted Governor


G Tillman

Staff Governor

  • Executive Head at Oakley School

  • Director, Skills for Independence & Employability Ltd T/A Oakley College

All governors can be contacted via the Clerk to the Governors, located on the Tunbridge Wells site, by letter (Oakley School, Pembury Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4NE), phone 01892 823096 or email