Our Governors

About Highshore’s Governing Body

Governing bodies oversee the work of the school and make sure it provides a good quality education for its pupils. More specifically we:

  • Appoint the headteacher, who has day to day responsibility for everything that happens in a school
  • Agree how the school’s money is allocated
  • Agree policies about the way the governing body and the school work
  • Ensure new initiatives and guidelines from the Department for Education and the local authority are put in place

Highshore is a community school. Our governing body is made up of parents, community governors, staff representatives, and local authority appointed governors. The full governing body meets once a term. We also have sub-committees, which also meet once or twice a term to look at things in detail, in the following areas:

  • Curriculum
  • Finance and Premises
  • Personnel

You can contact the governors through the school office. If you are interested in becoming a governor at Highshore, please speak to the Head about upcoming vacancies.

Meet The Governors

Sally Smith – Co-Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor

(Curriculum & Resources Committee)

I used to walk past Highshore regularly before I started as an associate governor in 2006 (attending meetings but not able to vote) to see what a governor did. I really enjoyed it, and so when a local authority vacancy came up, filled out an application form and was appointed. I am currently Chair, and am also on the Curriculum and Resources Committees. I am a civil servant at the Department for Education, working mostly on premises and buildings issues, so I’ve been able to use some of my knowledge in meetings. I’ve also learnt a lot about how a school really works, and how to chair meetings effectively! Being a governor at Highshore is really rewarding, and I’d encourage anyone to consider giving it a go.

Emily Luke headshotEmily Luke – Co-Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor

I first met the wonderful students and staff of Highshore in 2018 as a volunteer with the Holiday Club. My mother is an outstanding Occupational Therapist, and through her I had the unique opportunity to work alongside students of varying abilities and special needs during my high school and university years in the USA. It was so rewarding and something that I truly loved doing, but I had never found the right opportunity to continue my volunteering since moving to the UK. Luckily, I got connected to the Highshore Holiday Club through my job at NatWest, and having subsequently grown my passion for the school over the years, decided to become a Governor. It’s a privilege to contribute towards the ethos and aims of the Highshore community in this role, hopefully playing a small part in helping our young people to build their communication, social, and independence skills! In my free time I love to garden, bake, read and travel.

Gun AkyuzGün Akyuz – Co-Opted Governor

(Curriculum & Resources Committee)

My son Louis joined Highshore’s sixth form in September 2013 following five very happy years at his previous school. Louis loved his old school, but Highshore was everything we expected and so very much more, including its enlightened approach to the role therapy plays in supporting students, and also its lead in establishing links with local businesses and work experience opportunities for Highshore students. Following his three years in sixth form, Louis has emerged a confident, outgoing young man, ready to take on the next phase of his life, starting with college. Outside of my work as a journalist, I’ve been involved in a number of locally developed parent/carer-driven community initiatives, including a local charity called Down’s South London and Southwark’s Parent Carer Council. As the parent of young person with a disability, I’ve witnessed the enormous changes to our education, disability rights, social care and how they’re funded. Understanding how these changes affect young people and children with additional needs is key to their life-chances and schools play a pivotal role in that process. As a parent governor I’ve also had the privilege to support and witness how and why Highshore makes a difference to its students and the local community it serves, and I’m extremely proud to be associated with such a committed school.

 dawsonJo Stephenson-Green – Vice-Chair of Governors, Associate Governor

(Resources Committee & Safeguarding Governor)

I have been a Governor at Highshore for seven years, and I am also on the Resources Committee. My son, Luke, attended Highshore where he gained a wonderful secondary education. Luke is my first-born, and he has Down’s Syndrome. I also have a daughter, Luke’s younger sister, who is currently studying for her A Levels. I enjoy my involvement with Highshore enormously and consider it a real privilege to be involved in the school and its future.



Julia Field – Chair of Curriculum Committee, Co-opted Governor

(Curriculum & Resources Committee)

It has been my pleasure to have been a governor at Highshore for over ten years. It is an enormous privilege to be involved with Highshore. So many wonderful things go on here. I spent twelve years as a primary school teacher, first in Lewisham and then in Southwark, which I very much enjoyed. I generally taught year 6 pupils. I particularly used to enjoy teaching music, games and putting on productions. Since I was a child I have loved singing , both as an amateur and later as a professional, and now I have retired I continue to enjoy performing and listening to music. When I was younger I played a lot of sport, particularly tennis, and nowadays I enjoy watching many sports.



Eileen OllieuzEileen Ollieuz – Headteacher Governor

(Curriculum & Resources Committee)

I became Headteacher of Highshore in September 2010. Prior to this I was Deputy Head of three very different special schools – a secondary hospital school with forensic mental Health unit, an all age autism school using applied behaviour analysis and an autism secondary 11-19 school in Southwark. I began my career in mainstream secondary schools in the North of England spending twelve years teaching a range of subjects including Religious Education, English and ASDAN. During that time I ran a number of out of school activities and led many school journeys in England and in France. As Headteacher I am appointed a Governor and I prepare a report for every meeting of the full Governing body which is usually once a term. Outside of school I enjoy watching football, improving my piano playing and baking.

oppongHerty Oppong – Co-Opted Governor

(Curriculum Committee)

I have been a Parent Governor at Highshore School for four years and am also on the Curriculum Committee. My elderest son Andre aged 16 transferred to Highshore in year 9. He has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. His youngest brother aged 8 attends a mainstream primary school. I work part time with a Pharmaceutical Company and am also a voluntary member of the Southwark Parent Carers’ Council. In addition, I network with a handful of parents with children on the spectrum sharing ideas, techniques and generally supporting each other. I thoroughly enjoy my involvement with Highshore and consider it a real pleasure to be involved with the school and its future as well.

Don BurfordDr Don Burford – Co-Opted Governor

(Curriculum Committee)

My son Shomari joined Highshore’s Sixth form in September 2014 from Sacred Hearts RC School. The reason for the transfer was to provide a more extended curriculum for him in key functional areas as well as continuing his academic progress. His first year at Highshore has been extremely successful and has already enhanced his development in many key areas. I have a background in pharmaceutical sciences with a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at Loughborough university and have worked in the pharmaceutical industry in R & D and Regulatory Affairs for many years. I have been on parents committees and support groups at my children’s schools over many years including part of the Lewisham Portage pre-school group for Children with Special Needs. I have also been involved in many youth group activities including cubs, scouts and martial arts and am chairperson of my daughters netball parents committee. I see the opportunity of being a governor as a very exciting and rewarding experience and a contribution to an inspirational school.

Cilla Effah -Associate Governor

Having successfully completed my law degree at Sheffield University I had a strong desire to further my legal studies by progressing onto law school to complete the BAR and become a Barrister.

During this further education training I was diagnosed as dyslexic. At which point I wanted to give up on my aspirations.

Despite this, I completed the course with a distinction and was called to the Bar as a barrister in 2014. However, I felt let down by the education system because of my late diagnoses and because of this, I wanted to offer my time to help young people within education and in particular those with learning difficulties. My aim was to encourage them to pursue their dreams and aspirations although faced with various difficulties and challenges.

As a result, I voluntarily joined IPSEA in March 2015 and attend SEND tribunal to represent parents who have children with a range of learning difficulties. Later on in the year, I applied to become a school governor as I wanted to use my legal and decision making skills to directly impact schools in a positive way. I was absolutely delighted when the opportunity came up at Highshore as they represent everything I believe young people should be empowered with. Good Communication skills, effective self-help skills and independence in society.

I enjoy being a school governor at Highshore and hope I am able to contribute to the success of this phenomenal school.

matthew-chilesDr Matthew Chiles – Co-Opted Governor

Dr Matthew Chiles is a stakeholder relations and communications professional, with 20 years’ experience in education and skills, having held a number of research, policy engagement and communications roles for government, agencies, charities and the private sector.

He specialises in curating and creating high-quality communications content and materials, and developing partnerships between education and business.  He’s currently Educational Development Manager for BSI – the UK’s National Standards Body.  In this role he builds relationships and partnerships with universities, trade associations and professional bodies, to raise awareness of the role of standards, and to encourage and increase the participation of postgraduates and young professionals in standards-making.

Matthew is also a longstanding Bromptoneer, a cycling ‘weekend warrior’ wannabe, a sub-3 hour marathon dreamer, and sometime personal trainer. And you will always find him in the kitchen at parties.

KarenKaren Turner – LA Governor

This is my first time as a school governor, with four children in different schools and as an adoptive parent having adopted two children via Southwark Social Services I have a son who is currently in year 9 at Highshore. On first visiting the school as a prospective parent with my son he was immediately at home and we knew he would flourish in this environment. I have worked in arts charities for more than 25 years in fundraising, business planning and management and am a strong supporter of the benefits and value of a creative education for everyone. I am Vice Chair of local charity, Peckham Platform, with experience as a charitable trustee also formerly of Creative and Cultural Skills Council. I am also Executive Director of the National Youth Theatre, a Charity that is dedicated to supporting young people developing talent and progressing into backstage technical or acting careers in the arts.


Rebecca WyerRebecca Wyer – Co-opted Governor

(Chair of Resources Committee)

I was first introduced to Highshore through volunteering with the Holiday Club. I was so impressed with the pupils and staff that I met through this experience and wanted to know how I could become more involved with the school. Becoming a governor seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. I have 15 years experience over a number of roles in Finance and Technology and currently work as the Head of Identity and Access Management at NatWest. If you are a customer of NatWest and use any of our digital services you will be logging into your account using technology provided by my team.


Stephanie Dannet – Parent Governor

My son joined Highshore School (year 7) in September 2017 and I was a parent governor as well as the SEN link governor of his previous school.I have been involved in parent supporting groups and organizing special events too. It is a privilege for me to be part of the governing body and will use my previous experience to support the school the best I can. I believe Education makes a lasting difference to our children’s lives and trust it is one of Highshore’s achievements.


processed-a1993483-84a7-4eba-8d4c-92662b35940c_DjQbZGWNCorinne Stephens – Parent Governor

Currently my son is attending Highshore; he will he leaving this summer to go onto college and pursue his dreams of doing music.

I first came to know about Highshore back in 2014 whilst looking for a suitable secondary school that was able to address my son’s educational needs. Reading through the school’s website & comments, and then visiting, I realised this was the perfect school for him.

I was absolutely overwhelmed at the amount if love, support and commitment that the teachers and team members bring to each and every pupil, helping them to grow whilst nurturing their strengths and skills.

To me, Highshore has always felt like a second home as I’ve always felt comfortable to address any worries or concerns with regards to my son’s education.

All of the above is the reason for putting myself forward as a governor and being able to have the privilege to be part of the Highshore team, coming from a creative background as well as having exceptional experience in leadership roles, business and communication, retail and managerial roles but more importantly having a keen interest in the role governors have within the school. I hope to bring my values and personal experience with Highshore throughout the years and contribute to any fundraising events and activities in the near future.

 Amy - this oneAmy Belcher – Staff Governor

I have worked at Highshore for about 10 years and it is a privilege to be able to serve as Staff Governor. I first started at Highshore working as a Teaching Assistant and haven’t looked back! Highshore is such a welcoming environment and I have been lucky to work with some amazing colleagues.  

My BA and Masters were focused on English Literature and Language, with my dissertation having a particular focus on Autism in fictional literature. I was also fortunate to be able to complete my PGCE while working at Highshore. 

I am currently a teacher mainly working in a Complex Needs KS3 class and I am passionate about the well being of the students and the school.  Outside of Highshore I enjoy reading, watching films and spending time with my extended family


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