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Governing Board

[Note: all governors’ information that we MUST publish on the school’s website can be found here].

The Governing Board consists of 5 co-opted governors, 1 local authority governor, 2 elected parent governors, 1 staff governor and the Headteacher (ex-officio).

Governors also link for various aspects of the life and work of the school. They are in school on a regular basis.

Governing Board Minutes

Part 1 Minutes are available upon request from the School Office.

Governors’ Pen Portraits

Amanda Hartley (Chair of Governors and Parent Governor, Term of Office 21.12.21 – 20.12.25)
email: [email protected]

My name is Amanda Hartley and my daughter attends Dorin Park. I have a vested interest in the school through my daughter and therefore I hope to share my views/opinions to help the school maintain its status and continuously improve its provision for all the amazing children that attend here.

I look forward to continuing my role as a school governor.

Rob Robertson (Vice-Chair and Local Authority Governor, Term of Office 29.07.19 – 28.07.23)
email: [email protected]

A resident of Upton, having lived in Chester for over 40 years.

My elder daughter was a pupil of Dorin Park, soon after it opened.

Employment experience included engineering, technology and management services in manufacturing and utility industries, also Non-Executive Director and Governor roles in the NHS. I’ve worked in several voluntary roles in local charities, including Chester Link, which provides supported living for adults with learning disabilities.

I’m currently an associate member of the governing board of a local primary school, and also hold voluntary governance roles in seven organisations that deliver social care and mental health services in West Cheshire.

I fully support the school ethos and am pleased to have the opportunity to work with governor colleagues to hold the school Leadership Team to account for the performance of the school.

Will Steel (Co-opted Governor, Term of Office 05.12.19 – 04.12.23)
email: [email protected]

I am a retired civil engineer having worked all my career in the highways industry. I became a governor at Dorin Park after my granddaughter, Caitlin, joined the sixth form. Before this she was at Oaklands School in Winsford, a secondary school for pupils with CMLD, where I was a parent governor for 4 years.

I live in Chester with my wife, Celia, daughter, Beverley, and Caitlin. We are members of Christ Church, Newtown, Chester and I am on Parochial Church Council. I am also a Trustee of Epiphany Arts Trust, which supports a group of professional musicians offering creative musical events with an emphasis on improvisation and innovation.

I enjoy being a governor at Dorin Park and find it a challenging experience. I am conscious that we are trying to provide an environment to give the best opportunity to our children and young people to thrive in their education and in the future.

Bnar Spencer (Co-opted Governor, Term of Office 26.02.22 – 25.02.26)
email: [email protected]

I’m an in-house commercial lawyer working for one of Britain’s biggest banks, and we have a strong ethos of taking part in the community at work which I was very keen to support. I deal with teams all across the organisation at all levels, which requires effective communication and the ability to convey complicated information in a way that allows people to make informed decisions. I also have to challenge people on the positions they take or their understanding of risks to ensure that decisions are made on the right basis and with accountability.

When the opportunity arose to join the governors’ board in 2018, I seized it hoping I could bring these skills to the board and provide support where decision making is required and also an alternative point of view. Outside of work my two daughters, 7 and 4 years old, keep me busy and I am on the parents’ committee at my daughter’s school raising money each year to support facilities for the children.

John Lacey (Co-opted Governor, Term of Office 17.10.19 – 16.10.23)
email: [email protected]

I am a co-opted Governor with a focus on curriculum and data. I work as an Assistant Headteacher at a secondary school with responsibility for the whole-school curriculum. As a trainee teacher I thoroughly enjoyed a short placement at Dorin Park and am now delighted to be able to support the school as a Governor.

I live in Upton with my wife and two daughters, aged 11 and 13. As family we enjoy playing music together and spending time outside, often in the mountains with our dog.

Tom Rees (Co-opted Governor, Term of Office 05.12.19 – 04.12.23)
email: [email protected]

I have been a governor at Dorin Park since 2015 and am the co-opted Finance Governor for the school. I am a Chartered Accountant working in finance within the banking industry and look to bring this experience to the role. I have had a relationship with the school for many years before becoming a governor, while working for MBNA – supporting sports days, Christmas parties and through fund-raising activities.

I have three school age children and in my spare time I enjoy being a coach for my son’s rugby team and taking our dog on family walks.

Martin Roberts (Parent Governor, Term of Office 12.11.20 – 11.11.24)
email: [email protected]

My name is Martin Roberts and my step-son Nathaniel is a Dorin Park student. I am chair of the Cri du Chat Support Group, a national charity that looks to support those with, and families of those with, the genetic condition Cri du Chat. I am also a secondary school teacher currently working at Queen’s Park High School.

I wanted to bring my experiences in trusteeship, operational and strategic management, curriculum development and organisational leadership to a school that continues to support Nathaniel so excellently. It is my desire to support senior leadership and the board of governors to develop and maintain an outstanding educational environment in and around this community.

Denise Richardson (Co-opted Governor, Term of Office 02.12.21 – 01.12.25)
email: [email protected]

I wanted to be a Governor at Dorin Park School and Specialist SEN College because I am committed to the value of an excellent education for every child to reach their personal potential. I have a long career in Governance, Risk Management and Patient Experience in NHS mental health services and commissioning, and will use those skills in my role as a Governor to support the staff and leadership team in designing and delivering the best education for every child at Dorin Park. I am enthusiastic and committed to working as part of a team of Governors who are a positive influence on the future of the school and to support the school and wider community in any way I can.

Lucy Lee (Headteacher, Term of Office 01.01.21 – ongoing)

My name is Lucy Lee and I have recently taken up the post of Headteacher at Dorin Park School. Prior to this I was the Headteacher at Rosebank Special School in Northwich. I serve as Parent Governor for a primary school in Cheshire East and represent special schools on the Cheshire West Association of Primary Headteachers and on the Practice Improvement Group for Children in Care.

I am committed to the development of education for children with disabilities in Dorin Park and across the county.

Ursula Middleton (Staff Governor, Term of Office 20.05.21 – 19.05.25)


I have worked at Dorin Park for two and a half years. Prior to this I was at Dee Banks Special School in Chester. I have taught and led in complex needs throughout my career across early years, primary and key stage 3. I have experience with our early years, pre-formal, semi-formal and formal curricula. I am fully committed to helping pupils engage and be motivated in the world and by the people around them, and to be as independent as possible.

Jane Rowlinson (Associate Member Non-Voting, Term of Office 17.04.21 – 16.04.25)

I have worked at Dorin Park since 2012 and became Assistant Headteacher and staff governor in 2016. Prior to that, I worked in mainstream secondary schools as a music teacher in Lancashire and Warrington, and an Advanced Skills Teacher for Warrington Local Authority. During this time, I completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Innovation at Warwick University.

I am passionate about teaching and learning, curriculum innovation, enrichment enhancement and staff development. I do not believe in a ‘one size fits all curriculum’ and I am enthusiastic about personalised learning that allows every child the best experience.