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Cherry Oak School

Working Together for Success

School Logo

Cherry Oak School

Working Together for Success


Governor Biographies & Pecuniary Interests

Meet our Governors


Clare Mills - Chair Of Governors



I’m a retired secondary head teacher  having worked in challenging schools in  Birmingham, Liverpool and the north east  of England. I live locally and am keen to  support the education of the children in  the Federation. I would also enjoy  working with as many parents and carers  as possible during my term as Chair.


Charlotte Bull - Vice Chair of Governors



I bring my skills as a lawyer and a mom to  the role of vice chair of governors and  enjoy being part of the strategic leadership team. I have three sons, two of which, twins, are  at Victoria School. I love visiting the  school and meeting the students.


Gary Coffey – Executive Headteacher Federation




Responsible for the strategic direction of the Federation and the operational and day to day running of Victoria school..


Sadie Bolton - Co-opted Governor



I am mum to 5 boys, two of whom have  special needs. I have worked in Education  for over 30 years as a youth worker and  now work as a Careers Adviser for  Sandwell Council.


Lesley Jackson - Co-opted Governor




I am a chartered accountant, and after  completing my training with KPMG in  Birmingham. I moved into Industry, where  I remained for the rest of my career. I joined the Board of Governors in March  2018 and was appointed to Chair of the Finance committee in the Autumn of  2018.


Kristen Sanders - Co-opted Governor



I am mom to three girls who attend  Victoria School. I have advocated on  behalf of children and young people with  disabilities for the last 12 years by serving  as a trustee for a variety of organisations.  I am currently a trustee for Children's  Quarter and have been a governor for  almost 10 years.


Sue McCorkindale - Co-opted Governor



I am a wheelchair user, now retired from  working as a consultant trainer / researcher in the area of disability  equality and inclusion with local organisations, businesses, schools and colleges. I love volunteering at Victoria each week  with great young people in the 14 to 19  department.


Martin Carpenter - Co-opted Governor






  • Hannah Barton

Hannah Barton - Co-opted Governor





I am a Human Resources Management professional with 13 years experience supporting public and private sector organisations. I was introduced to the federation in 2019 by a mutual contact who thought I might appreciate the opportunity to support such a wonderful group of schools - they were right! This is my first governor role - I have been so warmly welcomed by staff, pupils and fellow governors and feel very proud to be a part of the federation. I recently became a Mum myself and hope that my daughter is blessed with being surrounded by as much passion and warmth when she eventually starts school.



Ann Ellis - Co-opted Governor


I have lived in South West Birmingham, for most of my life. I am married and live locally.   I initially trained and taught as a primary teacher but then had a career break to have my four children.  I obtained a M.Sc. in Language and Communication in Children and gained qualifications in teaching Dyslexia and Autism. I have worked as Head of a Language Unit in South Birmingham, also in a Language Unit Great Barr and as teacher in charge of an ARC (additionally resourced Centre) for children with communication difficulties in Solihull.  I have forty years teaching experience

 I joined the Governors in 2020. Previously, I have been a Teacher Governor and served as an elected Parent Governor at my children’s school.  I believe that every child should have an education suited to their ability and their individual needs. 


John Pemberton - Parent Governor



I run my own IT support company. My Wife and I have two young boys, one at Victoria School. They both have autistic diagnosis with their individual  distinct needs. I volunteer my time at several places believing in helping them to get the most of limited resources.


Lisa Wootton - Parent Governor



Hello! I'm Lisa, mum to two children, our  eldest son started Cherry Oak in January  2017. I grew up in a small town in North Shropshire and left home at the grand age  of 18 where I was Cheltenham bound to  do a degree in Business Management. Almost a decade later the bright lights of  Birmingham beckoned and I took the plunge and moved here following a  secondment through work. I worked in market research fieldwork for over ten years but haven't returned since having our youngest son. I now do lots of community based 'work' sourcing, arranging and spreading the word on local activities for SEND people and their parents / carers. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be on the governing board and to be a voice of parents across the federation.


 Jackie Tonge - Co-opted Governor


Hailing from the West Midlands I am a Finance Business Partner who has worked both in the Private and Public sectors, including healthcare and was thrilled when asked to join the Board of Governors in December 2020.

I have previously volunteered my time working with children and young adults with special learning needs and physical disabilities and am now delighted to be able to use my finance and business knowledge with this prior experience in my work as a governor at the Federation.


Mark Cottam - Staff Governor




I am a member of staff at Cherry Oak  School and have worked there for 10 years. I previously worked at Victoria School in a  variety of roles across all Key Stages for 4  years. My son attended Victoria School for 16 years and now goes to QAC in Harbourne. As a Parent I am part of Friends of Victoria and have been  involved in a variety of Parent Support Groups. My Wife and I also support families of children with SEND by offering respite and we are currently applying to become Foster Carers.

As both a member of Staff within the Federation and a Parent of a pupil that attended Victoria for so long, I feel that I have a wide and varied knowledge and also have a somewhat unique perspective as a Governor. Before coming into Education I was an IT Project Manager and have a degree in Business Administration & Marketing.