Meet the Governing Body

Mr Desmond Jarrett

Co-opted Governor

Chair of Governors
Link Governor - Premises, Health and Safety Issues
Link Governor - GDPR & Website
Chair of Trustees – Friends of Oak Lodge Charity

Prior to my retirement, I was an investment manager dealing with commercial real estate investments and unlisted securities. I have experience in financial analysis, accounting and project management.

I enjoy gardening, tennis, croquet, country walks and overseas adventures.

The role of school governor attracted me as it is a way to have involvement in the local community and in the case of Oak Lodge, it has developed a deeper awareness of Deaf culture and the challenges of ensuring the best quality learning experience is delivered to Oak Lodge students.

Mr Stephen Cave

Co-opted Governor

Vice Chair for First School Term
Link Governor - Safeguarding / Student Welfare /Attendance

I work as a senior lawyer in central government, and have experience in a wide range of legal issues affecting bodies in the public sector.

Interests: All the usual ones! Cinema, walking, swimming, cycling, languages and travel. I’ve also been known to enjoy a bit of sci-fi.

I live close to Oak Lodge, and like playing an active in my local community, and using my professional skills to help the pupils and staff at the school.
I’ve got BSL level 2, and it’s great to be able to put that to good use as a governor too.

Miss Angela Dudman

Staff Governor

Link Governor - Health & Safety & Premises

All my working life and still currently, I have worked in finance. This has been for finance companies, entertainments companies, and art galleries. Managing the accounts for various superstars and groups.

I love gardening, I have been researching my family history for over 10 years and which I find fascinating. I also enjoy upholstery and soft furnishing projects.

I have worked in the main school and transferred to Deaf First 6 years ago I wanted to be able to contribute to the whole school function. I wanted to be involved more in how we can improve the life of staff and students and to help widen the knowledge of our wonderful school

Mr Michael Bowen

Clerk to Governors

Mrs Louisa Steensma Williamson

Co-opted Governor

Link Governor for Residential (Phoenix House)
Co-Link Governor for Quality of Education
Co-Chair for School & Residential Sub-Committee

I am part British, part Dutch and studied French with Spanish at university. I have spent my career as a global human resources director and leadership coach, working for a variety of companies across different cultures, languages and time zones. I set up my consulting business in 2019 to help organisations with their growth and change plans, and to help them foster a diverse culture where everyone feels they belong and can contribute.

When not working I like spending time with family and friends, enjoying the great outdoors and exploring new places. I love walking and like to relax by cooking and reading.

I feel proud to be a governor for the Oak Lodge community, where I hope my experience can add value to students and staff, and where I can learn from everyone at the school and from my fellow governors.

Dr Jane Biddulph

Parent Governor

Chair of School & Residential Committee
Link Governor - Teaching & Learning Impact

I have a son (George) and a daughter (Katie) who are both now teenagers. My daughter has been at Oak Lodge School for over three years.
I have been an academic in public health within the higher education sector for over twenty years. This has involved teaching, curriculum development and health research with particular research interests in mental health, hearing, vision, cognition, and disability. I love spending time with my children, and we spend many hours exploring the countryside, historic houses, and having picnics when the weather is good. We also love technology and keeping up to date with the latest films at the cinema. As a family we have a keen interest in sports and in particular, hockey. Although, the rest of the family maybe on the pitch, you will often find me wrapped up warm and watching from the side. I have always enjoyed volunteer work and have been a volunteer in both primary and secondary schools. I am passionate about education as our educational experiences are life-changing. It has been great to contribute and make a positive difference to the community, and over the years it has been a pleasure to meet many dedicated people who I wouldn’t otherwise have met. I have enjoyed learning new skills, and also using skills that I use day to day in another setting. I have particularly enjoyed talking to people and asking questions. This can lead to reflection on an issue, understanding of the different perspectives, and discussion on the different ways to approach it, which I find both fascinating and insightful.

Mrs Marlo Kinnear

Co-opted Governor

Link Governor - Communication, Language & Reading
Link Governor - Behaviour & Attitudes

I was born and brought up in Winnipeg, Canada where I obtained a Bachelors
in Education from the University of Manitoba and started teaching at a number of local schools. In 2001 I moved to the UK, teaching at a number of Primary Schools, including a special SEMH primary school.
I completed a Masters in Education with a focus on SEN (SEMH) at Kingston University. I am currently working as a PE Lead and specialist English/Maths teacher delivering intervention lessons to individual and small groups of children. I have a particular interest in helping children with special educational needs and I am due to complete my Level 7 Dyslexia and Dyscalculia qualifications in July which will allow me to assess and diagnose these specific learning difficulties.
Over the last 20 years I have combined teaching with my passion for fitness,
coaching rugby and fitness classes to people aged 4-74. For 4 years I owned and ran a CrossFit gym, which on top of my coaching involved mastering all aspects of running a successful business, including recruitment, people management, customer service and managing the accounts.
I enjoy staying active and competing in the sport of CrossFit. I love food, wine and travel. I have two teenage sons, one of whom attends a special school for learners with Speech, Language and Communication needs. My experiences in both my personal and professional life have given me a real insight into the needs of children facing educational challenges and I have a real passion for helping them succeed and fulfilling their undoubted potential. I would love to bring my passion and the all round skills that I have acquired to contribute to the community at Oak Lodge School.

Mrs Susie Grafton-Grattan

Parent Governor

Link Governor - Marketing, Community/Stakeholder Links

I have worked within Investor Relations for the past 20 years and working closely with the Executive Leadership Team, have been responsible for all aspects of the corporate’s communication programme with the investment community, including the large UK investment funds.

I have a strong financial background and extensive experience of working on corporate events and crisis management including acquisitions, re-financings and management change.

My husband and I have lived in Wandsworth for over 20 years and we have two sons aged 13 and 11. We have been on quite a journey with our eldest son who has complex special needs – it has been very challenging at times but also incredibly rewarding. I feel passionately that no child should be left behind, particularly when it comes to children with special needs, and that every child should have the opportunity to maximise their potential, whatever that might be.

We are an active family and love the outdoors including cycling, walking, sailing and paddle boarding. As a local parent I feel lucky to be at Oak Lodge most days and value my interactions with the welcoming and spirited pupils. As a parent governor, I would like to support the school in whatever ways I can, to ensure the best outcomes for the young adults at Oak Lodge.

Miss Melody Fowler-Wright

Co-opted Governor

Link Governor - Safeguarding

I’m a Financial Services Professional who has built knowledge across key disciplines, who is looking to make a valuable and impactful contribution back into my local community. I’m keen to contribute in a way which utilises my skills, experience and insight; and in doing so improve the quality of local education and young people’s quality of life. An Oak Lodge governing board role offers me a unique opportunity to do so within an organisation embodying values aligned to my own; whilst also developing my skills in a board-level environment and new commercial context.

Skills I can offer the governing board:
Discipline knowledge and experience of: Cost & resource management, Information & Cyber

Security, Data Privacy, Performance Management, Recruitment and Governance/Secretariat responsibilities

Experience & interest in Brands and Marketing (including setting and delivering communication and culture strategies)

Subject matter expert in executive reporting and presentations

Leadership, collaboration and critical thinking

Mr Ben Lakey

Co-opted Governor

Link Governor - Wellbeing - Staff & Personal Development

After growing up in Edmonton, Canada, with brief stops in Berlin and California along the way, I moved to London nearly three years ago. I moved here intending to advance and diversify my education and build what I hoped would be an impactful engineering and entrepreneurship career. At the time, I was unsure of my long-term plan and was undecided on where I would be for the coming years after my one-year degree. Since moving to the UK, I have grown to love this country and the people and the opportunities that I have come across. I am grateful to those who have helped me along the way and am determined to give back to the community that has provided me with an opportunity to build a life and career here.

Over the last two years, I have been leading the business development and operational growth as co-founder of Mitt Wearables - an angel investment and grant-funded start-up company that designs, manufactures and sells medically approved prosthetic limbs. I became passionate about innovating in this field due to my sister’s personal experience with limb loss and the challenges she has faced with prosthetic limbs. I am at the point in my career and entrepreneurship journey where I have more time available now for volunteering, which is an important aspect of my life.

I am personally motivated in being a governor with Oak Lodge because of my mother’s experience as a special needs education assistant that provided me with an insight into the challenges, triumphs and overall importance of supporting children of all needs during their most critical development years. Over the past 10 years, I have been actively volunteering in programmes delivering sports and fun for children and young adults with special needs - both in my hometown in Canada and with KEEN in London.

I hope to utilise my experience in grant writing and award management to explore potential alternative funding options for Oak Lodge. My well-rounded knowledge and experience in project management with scheduling, finance planning and risk management will prove beneficial when working with the diverse group of people in the Governor role. I am optimistic that I will be able to learn from the experience of the other Governors in how to most efficiently and respectfully guide the vision and ethos of Oak Lodge.

Mr Peter Aspinall

Co-opted Governor

Link Governor - Finance. Budget Forward Planning & SFVS

My professional background is within the corporate finance sector, which has provided me with significant experience in providing strategic advice, financial analysis and project management to a wide range of clients in the UK and internationally. Outside of work I enjoy walking with the family, travelling and playing golf when the weather is warm and not wet!
Being a governor is an excellent opportunity for me to be involved in the education of children and help the next generation. I’m looking forward to being able to use the skills I have developed in my working life for the benefit of the school, its children, their parents and the local community. To be involved in the strategic decisions and future direction of Oak Lodge would be a privilege, especially living so close to the school. I’m also looking forward to learning more about deaf culture and how best to provide a high quality learning environment for Oak Lodge’s students.

Mrs Kate Clanchy

Co-opted Governor

Kate Clanchy

I have spent 18 years in education, latterly as Head and now as Improvement Director at a school in West London. I have experience in state and independent schools, boarding and day, mixed and single sex, secondary and all-through, selective and non-selective.

My hobbies are visiting gardens and gardening, especially wildlife friendly gardens

I enjoy Languages (French, Russian, German, Japanese, BSL level 2), Number and word puzzles& listening to Classical music.

I particularly enjoy being a Governor of Oak Lodge School, because it is a welcoming, caring and aspirational school with wonderful pupils and staff in my local community. It is rewarding for me to have a role in education outside my day job and to work with like-minded Governors to support the school in becoming the best it can be.

Mrs Sarah Passmore

Co-opted Governor

Link Governor - Quality of Education

In my professional life I am a Director at PwC. As a management consultant, I help global corporates solve problems to do with their workforces and culture. My niche area is working closely with executive teams and HR Directors to develop people strategy and drive behavioural change.
Outside of work I am a mum to 2 young boys, Monty and Rex, who keep me very busy. We spend our weekends getting muddy in London's parks and beyond. You have likely seen them causing mayhem on Clapham Common! I'm also trying very hard to instill my love of travel and foreign foods in them both. I enjoy reading (Charles Dickens is a personal favourite) and now we are settled in Clapham we are spending as much time as we can on home improvements.
I have actively been seeking a role as a school governor because I am passionate about the role of education in improving lives. I am also excited about the opportunity to contribute more widely to my local community.