Karen Shaw

Chair of Local Governing Body.

My name is Karen Shaw and I am a Governor at the Iffley Academy.

I am the Link Governor for SEND, Safeguarding and have experience of Site Health & Safety, Teaching & Learning and Finance & Personnel.

I became a Governor because I wanted to be part of the bigger picture as it were and to help the school wherever I can to achieve the highest standard in all areas, not just the educational parts but also the welfare of the students in our school.

My background is in Estate Agency where I worked for a local Independent Estate Agent in Oxford for 30 years.  Recently I had a change in employment and now work for a firm of Chartered Surveyors selling their services and generally organising their workload and day to day running of the office.

On a personal note, I am a very proud parent of two sons. One of whom attended Iffley Academy until 2013 when he completed Sixth Form. He has a Speech and Language disability, Cerebral Palsy, moderate learning disabilities and Epilepsy. He is now enjoying his current role in permanent employment as a Resources Assistant. My other son has a degree in Business Management and is currently a Personal Trainer/Sports Massage Therapist as well as a Fitness Teacher.

Russell Chinery,

Teacher Governor

My name is Russell Chinery, and I am a Teacher Governor at The Iffley Academy.

I have worked at The Iffley Academy for a little over 6 years now, having joined the school as an NQT in 2014. Although I have a degree in English Literature, I have always been interested in education. Having worked in a range of schools in different positions and age ranges, I quickly felt I wanted to complete my PGCE too. I later became a teacher governor to facilitate me understanding more of how the school functions and develops from a different perspective than that given from within the classroom.

At home I enjoy gardening when the weather is nice, and baking when it is not. Many of the students who have been through Opie over the years will be able to tell you many a story of Gerald, my Cocker Spaniel, probably mostly of him being quite a head-strong handful.

I am looking forward to seeing how Iffley thrive moving into their new, long awaited and overdue, building.

Katharine Horrocks
Parent Governor – Chair of Personal Development Welfare and Safeguarding Committee

I am delighted to be a new parent governor, joining the governing board in June 2019. I have two sons, one of whom is at Iffley Academy where he is thriving.

I have previously been a governor at John Hampden and Tetsworth Primary Schools Federation, am a Trustee and former Chair of Down’s Syndrome Oxford (a registered charity), and in the past my professional experience has encompassed advertising and marketing, human resources, corporate relations and hospitality. Most recently I have been a Lay Representative for Health Education England (Thames Valley).

I am excited to be part of the team and look forward to seeing the new developments, both physical and across the curriculum, come to fruition.

Antonia Lee
I am Head of Prep at St Helen’s, Northwood, a girls Prep School that is part of a 3-18 through school. The aspect of my job I enjoy most is the opportunity to welcome very young girls into an exciting learning journey and building the all-important foundations and learning habits that will sustain them and help them succeed through school and in their adult lives beyond. I am also part of the Executive team and enjoy the fact that my contact with, and commitment to, the girls does not stop at Year 6 and that I am involved in leading the whole school and witnessing and influencing the growth of the girls who develop into interesting, exciting and strong young women by Year 13. My day to day work, like any Head, can vary within a short space of time from discussing the necessary next steps and ways to extend an able scientist in Year 5 to dealing with a lost ballet sock from Reception and then moments later deciding on the pieces to be performed at Prize Giving and what to do with a broken door hinge! Through my life I have taught two year olds to adults and both typical young people and those with special needs.
I graduated in Geography from St Hugh’s College, Oxford and then completed my teacher training at Homerton College, Cambridge. Since then I have worked for over 25 years in education in a variety of roles. I have also served for several years on the WWF think tank for Education and was the national Subject Leader for Sustainability for the International Association of Prep Schools. I have a strong personal interest in inclusion, mentoring fellow professionals,  outdoor education, sustainability and creating ethical leaders and decision makers. The greatest privilege I feel that any teacher has is helping a pupil become the very best version of themselves.  I am delighted to say that my niece, Hannah, attends Iffley Academy and it was her and her parents’ reports of the warm, aspirational and positive attitude of the school that made me first become involved.

Tom Procter-Legg
ex-officio Governor

As Head Teacher of Iffley Academy I am passionate about outcomes for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. I have nine years experience of teaching students with complex needs and was accredited as a Specialist Leader in Education in 2016. In addition to my work at Iffley Academy, I have worked on national projects through Whole School SEND and NASEN, worked on the successful Free School bid for Bloxham Grove Academy and have worked extensively on the Gallery Trust’s wider development.

Prior to working in education I worked for Tate Galleries and as the Gallery Manager at Modern Art Oxford. My creative background hugely benefits the work I currently do at Iffley, allowing me to think creatively about curriculum opportunities and ensuring that we provide the very best, broad and balanced curriculum for vulnerable learners in Oxfordshire.

Kay Willett
ex officio Governor and Trustee

Kay Willett has worked in special and mainstream education for 25 years. Kay was Head Teacher of Iffley Academy (formerly Iffley Mead School) from 2003 to 2018, during which time the academy increased its roll from 80 to 155, and is now Oxfordshire’s largest special academy. Kay is now Executive Head Teacher of Iffley Academy and Chief Executive Officer of The Gallery Trust.

Kay’s extensive knowledge of SEND has developed through a variety of roles and in different contexts, including Head of Inclusion at an Oxfordshire Middle School, senior teacher at a primary SEMH school, heading up inclusion projects and an AP unit. Kay has a strong track record of providing School to School Support and acts as a mentor to Head Teachers and aspiring school leaders through her work as a coach for ‘Women Leading in Education’. Kay has served as Chair of Oxfordshire Special Schools Association, chaired High Needs funding block reviews (Oxfordshire), and works with the LA on the SEND provision map, growth strategy, and school improvement.

Kay’s SEND and leadership expertise is complemented by her ability to identify and promote creative approaches and strategies, which are based on research and peer review, to enhance the curriculum and broaden the range of opportunities for pupils at school and in their future lives. For example, Kay introduced Restorative Approaches to Iffley Academy, and it is the first special school in the country to achieve the Restorative Services Quality Mark. Iffley Academy is working towards accreditation from the Autism Society, using action based research and lesson study, and the recent introduction of a qualified therapeutic support team is designed to support students’ resilience, self-belief, independence and attendance.

Kay is a National Leader in Education, working alongside colleagues in Oxfordshire schools to effect positive and lasting change.