Who We Are
Responsibilities/Committees: Chair of Governors, Chair of REP Placement Panel, Member of all 3 Committee Boards.
I am a mother of two grown daughters, and I am married to a Metropolitan Police Sergeant.
I was previously a Parent Governor at Marriotts School from 2012 to 2014 while my daughters spent their final years at the school.
I became an Associate Governor at Lonsdale in September 2016, a full Governor in September 2017 and Vice Chair and then the Chair of Governors October 2022.
I am registered disabled and have found that with the free time I have, this has given me the opportunity to give back to my local community. I try to ensure I am at all Lonsdale events from Assemblies to the Christmas Fair. I feel that it is important for me as a governor to be in touch and visible with students, staff and parents. During Lockdown, I introduced class buddies which linked a governor with a class and teacher. This means that the children and staff know who we are and stops the Governors from being strangers in the school.
Before my disability, I worked in a Taxi insurance brokerage in Stevenage. It was great to interact with people from different cultures. I processed accident claims and dealt with the main insurance underwriting company. I left to go to NU to work in legacy pensions.
After I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it made me re-think what I wanted from life. I now enjoy spending time in Lonsdale School. I work closely with the Vice Chair to ensure that the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team work well and are supported. I take on training that can help me fulfil my role to the best of my ability. I feel that everyone is a life-long learner - whatever path they take in life.
I believe that every child deserves a good education, no matter their background, and I hope to help support the school in providing this.
Responsibilities/Committees: Vice Chair of Governors, School Development Board
Hello, I’m Abby, a confident, content and quite able lady with a positive outlook on life and a practical and pragmatic nature. I’m also a big fan of alliteration. I am a self-employed media designer (a new venture born out of greater adventure of life) so I am quite creative, too. Prior to 2004, I worked as a senior level PA (lots of organising, diary management and travel – pretty much parenthood as it turns out!).
In the early stages of our journey, I reflected on where I wanted our adventure into uncharted waters to take us. I created a mission statement for my daughter, and that was for her to “reach her full potential whatever that might be and be able to express herself and who she is as fully as possible however that might be”. This created the cornerstone for our lives which we have built on for the last 16 years and is essentially why I am here. With 16 years of experience as a parent of a child with additional needs, I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which I hope will come in useful.
I’m passionate about all sorts of things but top of that list is, of course, my children and the world they live in. I feel being part of your children’s community and world connects that environment with the hub of home and helps them feel valued. If I can have a positive impact on that world for their benefit and the benefit of others, then I have had a good day. And that I why I am a parent governor.
Responsibilities/Committees: Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare Board, REP Panel
My name is Katie Byrne I have been Governor for the last 13 years at Lonsdale school. I was a pupil previously at the school. I live in Letchworth, independently in my bungalow, with help from my personal assistants and my care agency. I have a disability, but I get around in my electric wheelchair and live life to the full. I have recently completed my degree at the University of Hertfordshire studying to be a Special Needs teacher. This is brought a lot of challenges, because I now realise that I really want to help students with disabilities to reach their full potential regardless of their disabilities.
I feel that as a Governor I do understand how to make sure students to be independent without their disability becoming the focus and the fact that I can show the students that you can live independently in your own home with support and this perhaps gives them a goal to achieve themselves in the future. I really do enjoy my volunteering as a governor because I like to know that I have helped the school become a great school that it is and I feel very welcome and part of the team at Lonsdale and are valued member of the school.
I think it is good that I can show parents and students that disability does not mean you can’t do anything it means you can because I have done it myself. Also, students and parents are more than welcome to send me emails with any questions they might have regarding disabilities, leaving school, going to college, leaving home and living independently/with support. I am more than happy to try and help them in the best way I can by giving them my perspective
Responsibilities/Committees: Parent Governor, Resources Board
In the summer of 2023, I took on the role of a Parent Governor at Lonsdale. I am the proud father of three children, one of whom is currently in the early years at Lonsdale. Just like any parent with a child who has additional needs, our primary aspiration is to see them achieve their utmost potential. For many of us in this situation, the school our children attend plays an integral role in helping them realise their full potential.
I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to moulding the school's future and ensuring that the perspectives and ideas of parents are actively acknowledged and heard. I will try my hardest to advocate for all parents, ensuring that each of our children reaps the benefits of the high-quality education that Lonsdale provides.
Responsibilities/Committees: Chair School Development Board
This is my second term as a governor at Lonsdale and I love it! I started my career as a primary school teacher and was Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Co-ordinator at a mainstream primary school in Herts, for eight years before moving to Higher Education in 2006.
I am now Deputy Vice Chancellor Education at the University of Westminster. In my spare time I go horse-riding, and I keep a pony called Socks at Chesfield Stables. Socks takes part in RDA and has been ridden by Lonsdale children!
Responsibilities/Committees: School Governor, School Development Board
Hi, my name is Louise Huddleston. I am a determined individual who is passionate about breaking down everyday barriers. I work as a Teacher and Hearing Impaired Lead in the Tasmanian Devils Class and am a Staff Governor at Lonsdale. When I'm not teaching, you will find me at the gym or relaxing at home and catching up on the latest TV and film releases.
Before children, I trained as a graphic designer and did that for ten years before my hearing took a nose dive and children came along. In 2010, I decided to pursue a new career in teaching and supporting SEN children, utilising my British Sign language skills and understanding of inclusion and differentiation; I haven't looked back since. I teach adults British Sign Language qualifications in my spare time and am very excited to hear that British Sign Language is to become a recognised GCSE language; I aim to introduce this to Lonsdale for our children to learn and achieve it as a qualification.
As a deaf person, I face daily challenges. Therefore, I am committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities and special needs have access to education and can reach their full potential. My goal is to provide every child at Lonsdale with the tools and resources to provide them with the courage and ambition to succeed and to ensure that no one feels left out or behind.
Being a SEN teacher gives me immense joy as I see the happiness that even the simplest things can bring to my students. I advocate for SEN students, committed to giving everyone a voice and incorporating their ideas and suggestions to make Lonsdale the best school it can be.
People often ask me how I manage to juggle everything while caring for my busy household, including enough teenage boys to form my own football team. I enjoy staying organized and taking advantage of new learning opportunities to be the best version of myself.
Responsibilities/Committees: School Development Board
Hi, I’m Ellen. I currently work in the Assessment Design team at Pearson UK. A key focus of my work to date has focused on the equity and fairness of assessment, the removal of barriers to access in products and emphasising student voice. Through my job, I was lucky enough to meet with teachers and students at Lonsdale to get their valuable insight for projects exploring accessibility and digital assessment for learners with SEND. In 2022, I came for a visit with my colleagues and was struck by how wonderful I thought the school was – so naturally jumped at the chance to join as a governor! I’m looking forward to contributing to and helping the school to provide the best education for the pupils at Lonsdale.
Responsibilities/Committees: Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare Board
Hello, I am Julie and I am a mother of a grown up son, who is away at university in Nottingham. This is my first term as a Governor and I am really looking forward to this challenge.
I work for Children’s Service in Hertfordshire County Council and I am responsible for overseeing the Commissioning of SEND services within Hertfordshire and working together with key stakeholders and partners to improve these services. I work in partnership with professionals and families to plan, co-produce and commission quality, sustainable services with a focus on child-centred outcomes and reducing inequalities for children, young people and their families.
I am hoping my experience will put me in good stead to work with the governors and management team in providing the best education and outcomes for the children and young people at Lonsdale
Responsibilities/Committees: Resources Board
With over 20 years of corporate HR experience, I have held senior roles at a number of global multi-national corporations, in addition to HR consultant work supporting early start up biotech, gene therapy and small pharma companies. I hold a bachelor's degree from the University of Westminster and am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
I am the co-founder of HR Circle. I have over 25 years’ experience as an HR leader in the corporate world, most recently in the biotech and life science sectors. My idea in setting up HR Circle in 2007 was to use my extensive experience to bring a blue-chip quality approach to smaller employers, who don’t always have access to large teams or budgets. My HR superpower is being able to take complex commercial decisions and follow through with an empathy and professionalism that makes them look simple. I am a great networker and enjoy connecting with businesses from all over the world. Away from work, I enjoy sailing and being by the water.
Responsibilities/Committees: Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare Board
I have recently joined Lonsdale School as a Safeguarding Governor.
I consider myself to have a unique set of skills. I am a mother of three lovely boys. My oldest has a diagnosis of global developmental delay and has attended a special needs school since year 3. I studied Economics as a first degree and have a Masters in Money, Banking and Finance. I trained as an Investment Analyst; however, after having my son, my priorities and outlook on life changed. I decided to train as a social worker. On qualification, I began working in Statutory services within safeguarding & support and court.
In 2013 February, I left the Local Authority and set up my own company. I work with Local Authorities providing care and support for vulnerable children and adults. I also work with early years education providing care and education in line with the EYFS. Over the years, I have gained vast experience in Financial Management and Business Sustainability, Human Resources and Employment Rights, Safer Recruitment and Health and Safety Regulations. I have applied knowledge of Regulatory Requirements.
I am undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Social work and Social Care at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust. I am therapeutically trained and have a keen interest in quality assurance, Leadership Coaching and Organizational functioning.
I look forward to sharing my combined knowledge, skills, and experience with the governing board at Lonsdale School in order to aid effective Leadership and Management of the School and enhance the experiences of its pupils.
Responsibilities/Committees: Resources Board
I was previously a Governor at Lonsdale for just over eight years to 2015. In that time I was very involved in the arrangements moving the school to its current location, particularly the finances and affordability. I am a Chartered Accountant and currently spend most of my time providing back office finance, governance and administration services, mainly in the not for profit sector. I am also a Trustee of a local Mencap.
My son, Freddie, was also at the school for ten years. His favourite pastime these days is running, including (at the time of writing) three London marathons with aspirations for more. He is also a Mythbuster for Mencap, promoting inclusivity for those with a learning disability.
I look forward to contributing again and working with the other governors helping the management team and staff provide the best education and support for the Lonsdale pupils and wider community.