Our School


Welcome to the Governors’ page of the Oakwood School website. On these pages you will be able to read information about our role in the school, how we work and who we are. We would also like to hear your views about the important issues facing the school and your children at the school.

To contact us directly, please email governors@oakwood.surrey.sch.uk.

Our Reponsibilities

The Governing Body is made up of volunteers from the local community, parents of children at the school and teachers. We work closely with the Headteacher and his colleagues to help raise the standards and performance of the students. Our main role is to look beyond the day-to-day running of the school, setting targets for achievement and acting as a critical friend both supporting and challenging the Headteacher and his senior leadership group. In practice we are actively involved in almost all areas of school life and have a number of sub committees that specialise in particular areas of interest.  The Governing body responsibility and pecuniary interest tables offer more information on our governors.

Mr David Brown
Chair of Governors

Local Authority Governor

Married to Vera, I have lived in Salfords since 1986. Having worked in the brewing industry for 30 years I was able to take early retirement in August 2009, subsequently becoming a Councillor with Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council, of which body I was Chairman until stepping down from the Council in May 2019. I joined the Governing Body of Oakwood School in January 2011 as a Local Authority Governor and following a period as Chair of the Resources Committee I became Chair of the Governing Body in January 2012.

I am committed to the delivery of outstanding leadership and governance and in 'Achieving Excellence Together' for the benefit of all students & staff of Oakwood School and for Oakwood to become an 'Outstanding' School.

Term Start - Jan 2011
Term End - Jan 2023

Parent Governors 

Mr James Marshall
Parent Governor

I become a Parent Governor in July 2015 with a desire to support Oakwood in providing the best possible education for my daughter, who joined the school in 2014, and my son who is joined in 2016.

I have lived in the Horley area since 1997.
My education culminated in receiving an MSc in Toxicology from the University of Birmingham. Since then I have spent the last 20 years working in the City. Qualifying as a chartered accountant, recently becoming a Fellow of the ICAEW, the majority of my career has been spent working within the Finance functions of two Investment banks.
Hobbies include running, beekeeping and gardening.

Term Start - Jul 2015
Term End - Jun 2023

Mr Andrew Furtek
Parent Governor

I have lived in Horley since 2003.  I have three children, with two currently at Oakwood and live with my partner, Victoria.  I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and have held a number of roles in the field of social housing with career spanning over 30 years.  I am currently the Head of Operations for Ekaya Housing Association based in South London.  Outside of work I have a keen interest in writing, recording and playing music and getting out into the countryside on my bike – as long as it’s not raining!

Term Start - Mar 2016
Term End - Mar 2020

Mrs Lorna McDonald
Parent Governor

I originate from Yorkshire, having moved to Horley with my family in 2010. Following 22yrs as a police officer, I now work as a business manager for Hitachi. Working for a global high-speed train company, I travel extensively across the UK and Europe working with colleges and schools to attract the next generation of entrants into the rail industry by developing STEM based skill sets. My daughter attended Oakwood School and is now studying at Reigate College and recognising the need and importance for parents to contribute to the running of the school, I  became a governor in October 2017.

Term Start - Oct 2017
Term End - Oct 2021


Mr Andrew Davies
Parent Governor

My wife Faye and I moved to Horley in 2002 and have a daughter in Year 11 and a son in Year 7.  I work in Crawley as a Senior Commercial Manager for an aerospace corporation and also actively participate in the company’s Professional Development Scheme as a Senior Mentor.

I graduated in 1994 with a BA hons in Business Studies, in 2017 with a Law degree through the Open University and I am an Advanced Practitioner in Commercial and Contract Management with the IACCM.

Term Start - Jun 2019
Term End - Jun 2023


Staff Governors

Mr Simon Potten
Headteacher Governor

I started teaching in 1990 and have taught in various educational settings, including a spell teaching in an Aborigine settlement in West Australia. I joined Oakwood School as Headteacher in September 2015, having enjoyed leadership roles in West and East Sussex with a five year spell as Headteacher of Robertsbridge Community College, prior to arriving at Oakwood.

I have always watched Oakwood’s progress with interest and was delighted to secure the role of Headteacher here. I am passionate about inclusive education, where every child is given the opportunity to fulfil their potential in whatever strengths, interests and talents they may have.

Educational developments move at a pace, but I recognise that with change comes opportunity and I am excited and committed to lead Oakwood in its future progress to ensure that we provide the best possible outcomes for our students in equipping them for the modern adult world.

Term Start - Sep 2015
Term End - N/A

Mr Karl Hillman
Staff Governor

I am currently the school’s ICT Strategic Network Manager as well as being a staff governor.

After nearly 10 years’ experience working on the support staff within the school, I was keen to give something back to the school and become a Staff Governor.

I have a young family which keep me busy.  My main interests include playing golf and learning Karate with my son.

Term Start - Jul 2018
Term End - Jul 2022


Co-opted Governors 

Mr Fred Greaves
Vice-Chair of Governors

Co-opted Governor

I have been associated with education for over 40 years. After university, I taught in Oldham, Exeter and Surrey. For 29 years, I was Head of English and Drama at The Priory School in Dorking. When I retired, I was employed briefly at Micklefield School, in Reigate, before taking up posts as Secretary of Surrey Teachers' Joint Committee and County Secretary of the Nation Union of Teachers. 

I have had a long and valuable association with Oakwood School, as an attached professional association consultant. My grandson is also a pupil in Year 8.
I am now fully retired and I am very keen to put something back into education, to use my experience to support the further development of Oakwood School
I have taken up the role of Vice-Chair of Governors and I am committed to ‎the full-time responsibilities of governorship.

Term Start - May 2015
Term End - May 2023

Mrs Jayne Dickinson
Co-opted Governor

I am delighted to serve as a Community Governor  at Oakwood.  I have been Principal and Chief Executive of East Surrey College since January 2012, progressing from Deputy Principal and with a career in education that includes lecturing  for both young people and adults, examining for several awarding bodies and reviewer experience of Leadership and Management in schools and colleges.  My daily work brings me into contact with schools, universities, employers and community organisations as well as plenty of young people!  My varied work career includes several years in the NHS concluding as Deputy Hospital Manager at a specialist hospital in Bath, Marketing Manager for a management consultancy and the running of a successful franchise business.  My degree is in Contemporary European Studies (Politics, Economics, German) which included a year working and studying in Germany.  I am married with two grown up daughters and live locally in nearby Charlwood.

Term Start - Sep 2009
Term End - Mar 2023

Mr Clive Elliot
Co-opted Governor

I am married with three daughters, and have lived in Salfords for almost over 40 years. I was for 16 years Chairman of Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council and remain a member of the Council. My business career was in the family book publishing company, where I was Managing Director of Elliot Right Way Books, a specialist publisher of practical paperbacks. I sold my business in 2008 and now have time to devote to voluntary activities. 

At Oakwood I am chairman of the Governors’ Resources for Learning Committee which deals mainly with budgeting, finance, staff and property matters. On the academic side, I take particular interest in the English department. My personal interests and hobbies include tennis, croquet, swimming and countryside activities.

Term Start - Aug 2008
Term End - Mar 2023

Mr Andrew Baird
Co-opted Governor

After a career in International Banking, I established a management consultancy specialising in Mergers and Acquisitions in 1988 in which I am still involved. My business career also includes non-executive directorships of a number of different businesses, ranging from plastics processing to IT.

I have lived in Horley for some 36 years, during which time I have been Chairman of Horley Round Table, and Chairman of Governors at Horley First School. In addition to my role at Oakwood, I have been a governor of East Surrey College since 2008, and am a trustee of The Lifetrain Trust, a Dorking based Charity which helps disadvantaged young people.

Term Start - Feb 2013
Term End - Mar 2023

Dr Sue Pember
Co-opted Governor

I have recently moved to Horley and have been a Co-opted Governor at Oakwood School since November 2015. I started my career in teaching, was the Principal of Canterbury College for 10 years and between 2010-2013 a senior civil servant working with Ministers on education and skills policies. I am now the Policy Director for HOLEX which is the trade organisation for adult education providers and run my own consultancy business. I am also the Vice Chair of Bedfordshire University and has significant board experience in finance, performance management and education excellence. I am married, with children and grandchildren and have an allotment at Langshott.

Term Start - Feb 2016
Term End - Feb 2020

James Durrant Mr James Durrant
Co-opted Governor

I currently work up in London for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) focusing on risk and organisational performance. I have over 11 years of HR and corporate governance experience. Prior to the FCA, I worked for the British Council where I realised just how important schools are in preparing young people to live and work in today’s dynamic and fast-changing world. It is for this reason that I joined Oakwood as a governor. 

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time exploring Surrey with my young family as we are still relatively new to the area having only moved to Salfords in 2013.

Term Start - Feb 2017
Term End - Feb 2021

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