Jackie Roberts : Governor

Jackie Roberts


I have been a School Governor for 2 local schools, a Secondary School as a Parent Governor and at a Primary school. I enjoyed my time at both and felt I needed to move on, as my children have grown up, my challenges have changed too. I have been working in Severndale for 6 years and have seen some changes especially over the last year and very good changes too. I feel there is more that I could do and support within the schools development, and changes. I am a friendly, honest person.

I believe that all our children should feel valued and have an education.  I am always keen to learn anything new, and attend all training available. In Education, things are changing all the time and you are never too old to learn something new.  Severndale is an excellent school and I believe it has a bright future for all children within the county.

Sarah Russell : Staff Trustee

Sarah Russell

Staff Trustee

I am Sarah Russell the Teacher Trustee for the Academy.
I started at the original school which was named Katherine Elliot in 1990 and have seen many positive changes that have occurred in Special education from that time to the present day.
The school has grown and become the wonderful and engaging learning environment that our young people access today. I have taught children in Nursery, Reception, Lower Primary, Upper Primary and the Secondary Phase in Severndale as well as supporting schools across the county as a Severndale Outreach teacher. I have had the amazing experience of watching pupils grow and develop in their journey through school, from transition to a mainstream setting, Mary Webb@ Pontesbury, Sixth form, Futures and have even crossed paths with them as young adults living in the local community.
I bring this wealth of knowledge and experience to my role of Teacher Trustee.

Carla Howarth LL.B; M.A. Barrister; FICA : Member

Carla Howarth LL.B; M.A. Barrister; FICA


I was delighted to be asked to join the Severndale Board as a Member and have long since admired the school and all the work which is carried out in its name.

I have been involved in school governance since 2014 and very much enjoy the interaction, contribution and insight, which the role involves.

Coming from a legal background and currently being involved in professional training at various levels, in the compliance and financial crime fields, I hope that my experience can bring a different dimension to the governance of Severndale.

Severndale is a credit to the children it serves and the County of Shropshire within which it operates. I look forward to being involved in its development even though, in a very modest way.

Lyn Hough : Member / Chair of Trustees

Lyn Hough

Member / Chair of Trustees

I became involved with Severndale when my son was a pupil here, I became a parent governor and then in 2014 an Academy member and trustee.

I retired from teaching in 2015 and this enabled me to give more time to my role as Chair of trustees.

During my time as a governor and trustee I have served on all the main committees, this has given me an insight into the way Severndale Academy works. My knowledge of teaching and learning has been useful to understand and to question the work of the Standards and Curriculum committee.

I have recently completed up to date training on PREVENT, Looked After Children and Safeguarding

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, cooking and I am a season ticket holder at Shrewsbury Town.

Ann Jones : Governor

Ann Jones


I was recently asked by the Chair of Trustees to use my skills and knowledge as a Secondary School Teacher to serve as a Trustee at the Severndale Specialist School. I have had no previous experience of this school although I did my PGCE in Languages and Special Needs.

In a previous school in Surrey I served as a Teacher Governor and have recently taken part in the Induction Training for New Governors to give me a greater insight and understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Governing Body. I will be involved in the Standards and Curriculum Committee as well as the Premises, Security and Health & Safety Committee and have already taken part in a tour of the school with other Trustees.

In my spare time I enjoy horse riding and I am involved in the REA Valley Riding for the Disabled group, leading disabled riders in weekly sessions to develop their confidence and co ordination. I also enjoy cycling, travelling and using my language skills.

John Hitchings : Vice Chair

John Hitchings

Vice Chair

I have served as a school governor in the Primary sector for over 30 years. During that time, I have acted as Vice Chair and Chair of Finance and served on all the sub committees. I was heavily involved in two major amalgamations. I helped found and currently chair the Shropshire School Governors Council. My interest in Severndale has developed over a period as a result of my involvement with Schools Forum, of which I am Vice Chair.

I worked until my retirement as a Scientist and then Manager within the Water Supply function of Severn Trent Water. I then served as a member of the Lay Judiciary on Employment Tribunals for 12 years. During my working life, I was also involved in Trade Union activities with Unison at local, regional and national levels.

My current major hobby is the complete renovation of a country cottage. My wife is a retired Primary Teacher, two of my daughters are Secondary Teachers and my third daughter is a Police Officer.

Louise Burns : Governor

Louise Burns


I am a full-time senior manager in a large international company. In this leadership role I have visibility of all aspects of the business, beyond my core marketing expertise. Working with the Board and leadership team we review and challenge each other to ensure we keep our business viable, true to its vision and secure for our employees’ future. I am a calm person who listens well, considering all points in a discussion. However I am a good communicator who can make a strong case and motivate people behind a decision.

As a parent of four children I have done various PTA roles and built an understanding of how the education system operates and the challenges facing schools. My husband is chair of trustees for our local primary school and has led the transition to an academy, so I am close to the new responsibilities and opportunities this brings. My daughter joined Severndale 18 months ago and I have been impressed by the senior team I have met so far and would like to offer my support to help the Academy reach its goals.

Board of Trustees

Our Role
As trustees, we work towards the vision and aims of the academy. We work at a senior strategic level but it is the staff of the academy that put the plans into practice.
Trustees act in the best interest of the students, we work as a team not a collection of individuals or groups with separate agendas.

We have three main functions as trustees

  • Making sure the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the academy is clear. We work with the Senior Leadership Team to set priorities and targets for the academy. We offer constructive criticism and an independent view.
  • It is important that we monitor the academy performance, we look at data and agree outcomes from self-evaluation and we make sure they are used in the academy improvement plan. We ensure SLT have developed the required policies and procedures. We listen to and report to all the academies stakeholders.
  • Our third priority is monitoring finance making sure that resources are allocated in line with our priorities and that we get best value for money.

Our Board of trustees get to know the academy by visiting during the day, attending meetings and reading all the relevant papers beforehand. We have a Board of Trustee Code of Conduct which includes acting in strict confidence.
The trustees meet once a term for a full meeting of the Board and each main committee also meets once a term. .

The main committees are: –

  • Finance, Audit and Planning
  • Standards and Curriculum
  • Health, Safety and Personnel

Link for Governance Information 2019-20 is below:

Governance Information 2019-20 >

The Board of Trustees comprises: Lyn Hough (Chair of Trustees) John Hitchings, Ann Jones, Louise Burns, Jacqui Jones, Sarah Russell, Verity Nettleton

Members: :Lyn Hough, Carla Howarth and Jeremy Lloyd.

For more information on the Board of Trustees, please contact Kathy Turner, the Clerk to the Trustees, on 01743 563288 or at kathleen.turner@severndaleschool.co.uk


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