Graham Robinson - Chair of Governors
I am pleased, excited and honoured to be the new chair of governors at Mayfield that has been special to me and my family since our first visit back in Autumn 2014. It was amazing and refreshing to meet a team so committed to the pupils in their care. We met with teachers, teaching assistants and support staff, many of whom are still at Mayfield, and all who share the passion and belief that every young person should have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
I have been part of the governing board at Mayfield for the past 5½ years. I was initially appointed as a Parent Governor and 18 months ago re-elected as a co-opted governor. I also took on the role of vice chair two years ago to support Mr Kirby.
There are a couple of things that have stayed with me since my first visit that will remain with me for life. Firstly, the statement that 'One size fits One' which relates to creating a specific plan around every individual young person and secondly, a comment by one of the teaching team 'if a young person can't learn the way we teach, then we will teach the way they learn'. This truly endorses the school ethos and makes Mayfield a wonderful environment to learn, dream, believe and achieve.
So a little more about me, I've been married to Kate for 35 years and we have two adult children. Both have children of their own making us the proud grandparent of 4 beautiful grandchildren. We are blessed to all live near each other and we are a very close family.
My initial career was in direct sales, this then led me to join the team at B&Q where I worked for 21 years. My early role involved travelling the country to lead and train a sales team before taking a store based management role in one of the large Warehouse stores in Greater Manchester.
I resigned from B&Q in July 2009 to become a full time Foster Carer. This was something my wife and I had started doing when our own children went to university some 5 years earlier. We are long term foster carers and we now foster young people with additional needs. We currently foster two young people who both attend Mayfield and have also fostered other young people through School and College.
I'm committed to advocating for the children in my care and want to extend this commitment to supporting pupils and staff at Mayfield. Along with the governing board it is my intention to work with you to consistently deliver excellence for all.
I intend to spend as much time in school and college as possible, in line with current guidelines. Working with the staff team and senior leaders the whole governing board will appropriately challenge performance and strategy whilst ensuring a robust school improvement plan and ongoing evaluation process will ensure all stakeholders are focussed on delivering excellence.
I look forward to working with you all.
Claire Crabtree - School Business Manager
I have been a School Business Manager for 19 years, working at Mayfield School since August 2019 and previously 17 years in a Lancashire primary school setting. Prior to that I was in catering and facilities management for over 10 years.
My role at Mayfield School involves being responsible for the planning, development of finance and administrative services within school and being a member of the senior leadership team. I manage the human resources administrative functions for all staff, this includes the whole recruitment and selection process and implementing appropriate policies. In addition, amongst many other duties, I lead on health and safety management of the school.
I work very closely supporting the governors and advise on financial, staffing and health and safety matters. I have a great office team who are always happy to help parents and carers, they go that extra mile to ensure they provide the best possible support for pupils and their families.
The job is extremely varied, no two days are the same, and given that I have been in this role for 19 years, I find it immensely interesting and rewarding. I look forward to continuing to improve facilities at Mayfield school and seeing the pupils flourish.
Martin Casewell - Parent Governor
I am married with three children and my youngest son has autism and attends Mayfield.
As a family we have 2 dogs, 6 fish and a rabbit to keep us all occupied.
I am a Parent Governor at Mayfield and have been for the past three years and my responsibility is for health and safety, premises, and school website. Professionally I am a Health & Safety Advisor for an international large family-owned UK based facility services company.
Out of work I enjoy spending time with the family. My favourite football team is Manchester City, watching TV and going on crazy beach trips with the family.
Stephen Fenn - Co-opted Governor; Chair of Finance Committee
I am married to Sue and live in Clayton Brook with my dog, Skylar, two cats and four chickens. I’ve got two stepsons and seven grandchildren. I am now retired and previously worked as a paint chemist, teacher, newspaper editor, computer programmer, systems analyst and IT requirements analyst. I spend a large part of my time running, preferably in the hills. Other interests include helping with motorsport sprint events and supporting Ipswich Town football Club. I am also a member of the Liberal Democrats. I have been a governor at different schools for over 30 years.
Abigale Bowe - Co-opted Governor
I have been Headteacher at Shaftesbury High School since 2014 and have a lifelong passion for ensuring that all children have the access to world class teaching and learning opportunities. I am committed to supporting Mayfield School in providing an outstanding educational environment with children at its heart.
Kate Thomas - Staff Governor
I am one of the Teachers at Mayfield and have been in post for the last 2 years. Before working at Mayfield, I taught in another specialist provision over in Greater Manchester. I have recently been appointed as staff governor, and I look forward to helping make Mayfield a better place for everyone – sharing staff ideas and creating a more regulated school community.
I have recently taken over the leadership area in Communication, Language and Literacy and I have a passion for ensuring all children at Mayfield have a voice, whatever form that may take for them.
I am also the proud owner of a dog named Frank, who comes into school each week to help the children. Frank is extremely calm and chilled, which really helps the children in my class to stay calm too. My partner Keaton and I love to go for walks with him at the weekends.
Laura Lovell - Parent Governor
Hi, I am a Parent Governor with two boys and the younger one has learning disabilities. After he was born, I linked up with many organisations, Iearning new skills that would help me support my son better, including Makaton, and I attended various IPSEA training courses too. Paid employment can be difficult to commit to so I took on the role of secretary for a Board of Trustees at a local church and I also became a Parent Governor at my son’s primary school. Prior to having children, I worked in Children’s Services in local government, developing and delivering individual and community projects alongside social care staff. Later I went on to work with schools and other agencies in delivering Phase 1 Sure Start Children’s Centres and Phase 2 Centres. My work connected with the Extended Schools agenda and so a lot of my work was alongside both health and school leaders.
I am extremely passionate about all children having the best education that meets their individual needs and I am excited to be a governor at Mayfield School and College to support them in fulfilling their ambition to help the students dream, believe in themselves and achieve their best.
Rick Bolton - Parent Governor
Hi I’m Rick, a Parent Governor. I have 3 sons, one of whom has complex disabilities and transitioned to Mayfield at the start of the year. I have been a Social Worker for over 20 years, initially in children and families fieldwork before spending a long time as a manager in Youth Offending Teams both in the community and in a prison, and then 6 years in management of Safeguarding Childrens Boards and Partnerships. I am now an independent Social Work consultant and Independent Author for case reviews. I am very passionate about building strong links between Mayfield and local services and making sure that the school and children and families here get the support they need.
Julie Hurst - LA Governor
I worked for over 40 years at Mayfield and have always had a keen interest in all aspects of education.
I qualified as an NNEB Nursery Nurse in 1980, completed an advanced Nursery nurse course and qualified as a college lecturer in 1990. I lectured at 2 local colleges on child development and understanding Children with Special needs.
Through my time at Mayfield, I have worked in all age areas and for the last 10 years I have worked with College aged students (16+) where my job was HLTA & Transitions Coordinator, this involved working with students, parents and other professionals to facilitate smooth transitions and securing future placements in other colleges, day placements and supported living.
I retired in June 2022 and was honoured to be asked to continue on the governors as a Local Authority Governor instead of a staff Governor.
I am vice chair of Governors at my local primary school, Chorley St James where my 2 sons attended, and was asked to change roles from then parent governor to Local Authority Governor there as well.
In my spare time, I enjoy walking my Spaniel, cooking, reading and socialising as well as looking after my Grandchildren.