Ferndearle School – Board of Governors

Kate East
Chair of Governors and responsible for SEND
Kate is an educational psychologist by training with over 25 years’ experience of working with children with special educational needs in mainstream primary and secondary schools, special schools and FE colleges. Kate has worked as an Assistant Director of children’s services in a local authority in the South West of England where she was responsible for the leadership of school improvement, early years, SEND, youth services, behaviour and attendance. Kate has also worked on government projects (Academy and Free Schools) for the Department for Education and the Department of Health (National Healthy Schools Programme). Kate has worked for a number of private fostering agencies helping to enhance the educational outcomes of children in care.
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Bernie Gibson
Safeguarding Governor and Proprietor
Bernie is a qualified social worker who continues to care passionately about the children with whom she works. She has dedicated her career to the social care sector, beginning as a Residential Worker in a non-maintained special school in 1989. She later proudly worked as a Child Protection Social Worker for Kirklees Council. Here she developed her knowledge and skills in safeguarding children, learning the importance of placing children at the centre of organisational decision-making. In 2004 Bernie attained a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Huddersfield after moving into the independent sector in 2001. She then spent a period of time as the Chief Operating Officer at FCA before joining Compass in 2012. Since this time Bernie has led Compass from being a standalone Independent Fostering Provider to what is now Compass Community Children’s Services; providing care, education and therapy as part of specialist services to over 1,300 children and young people.
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Sam Hamilton
Vice Chair
Sam has a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management, is CIPD qualified and built her knowledge and experience in a HR role over a twenty year period. This originated in a marketing environment, followed by a major Child Protection Charity and for the last fifteen years has worked in social care, fostering and residential as a Director in an independent fostering and residential agency. Sam joined Compass, through its first acquisition, in 2012. She had project managed the sale of the agency in which she worked and steered it through due diligence and into successful completion. She was a major part of the evolving Compass Group from the beginning and worked at ensuring the process of integrating acquisitions and developing the organisation was completed with integrity. She is a member of the Operational Board and contributes to ensure that all legal and HR policies are developed and operated in a safe environment balancing commercial and care needs. She has built an effective and focussed team to support staff and business imperatives.
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Ben Jordan
Governor for CLA
Ben holds an NVQ Level 3 and Level 4 in Children and Young People as well a level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and a Diploma in Law and Society from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Other relevant qualifications include certificates in Social Sciences, Politics, Sociology, a Diploma in Stress counselling in the work place, Belbin team role Accreditation and a range of training in advanced child protection. Ben has also completed a significant number of Mentor Forensic accredited PSB training courses. Ben has 14 years’ experience of working in care and education.
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Rachel Ashton
Parent Governor
Rachel Ashton is employed as Compass Children’s Homes Service Manager - South. Rachel has eight years’ experience in working within the residential setting having held positions of Residential Worker, Senior Residential Worker, Deputy Manager, House Manager and Registered Manager and Service Development Manager Rachel holds the NVQ Level 3 in Children and Young People and is currently undertaking her Level 5 diploma in Management and Leadership. Rachel has certificates in advanced Child Protection, the Management of Violence, Anger and Aggression, Health and Safety, Supervision, Attachment, PRICE - physical intervention as well as having completed a number of Problematic Sexualised Behaviours run by Dr Joe Sullivan in September 2015 - 2017.
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