Mike Walsh, Chair of Governors, Parent Governor
It is a great honour to be on the board of Governors, as Queensmill represents an amazing example of the “best practice” in care and development for our Autistic children, as well as being a beacon for the development of the understanding of Autism in the wider community, through our outreach program to both primary and secondary schools in this and other boroughs, as well as our continuing education for teachers and other professionals.
Alex Burghart, Community Governor
I joined the Queensmill governing body after visiting as an adviser to the then Shadow Minister for Children, Tim Loughton MP.
In two years of visiting special schools around the country, Queensmill was the best that I saw (and by far the best for children with autism).
Since joining the governing body I have watched the uniquely dynamic leadership team take the school from strength to strength, nurturing a secondary school, a respite centre, a Postgraduate Certificate in autism, and specialist units in mainstream schools. I am delighted to be part of this exceptionally exciting work - Queensmill is pushing back the parameters of what schools can and should offer to all children, particularly those with autism.
Fiona Mylchreest, Vice-Chair, Parent Governor
I became a governor because I believe in Queensmill School. My son has been at Queensmill for 8 years, and I have four other children in mainstream schools. I am involved in Friends of Queensmill and other aspects of the local community. I campaigned for Q2 (our secondary department), and then for blue badges, and now I am fighting for autism-specific respite. I am committed to education people about autism because I think increasing understanding will improve the future for my son and others like him. My life is manic and chaotic and at the same time structured around the teletubbies. And more than ever, I believe in Queensmill school, for very special children and their futures.
Joanna Dziopa, Deputy Headteacher, Staff Governor
I have a great passion for working with students with complex and profound Autism. Over the last few years I have been part of the flourishing evolution of Queensmill School. This continuing evolution balances the use of sound strategies, the latest research, and unique educational individualization. As a staff governor I look forward to bringing the perspective of staff as well as students to the governing body, and in turn, taking the views of governors back to the school.
Ben Coleman, Community Governor
As a Hammersmith & Fulham councillor (and Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care), my experience as a Queensmill governor strengthens my voice in ensuring that local services meet the additional needs of autistic children and young people and their families. I’m a long-standing campaigner for disabled children, having helped establish the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and worked for the Family Fund, Contact a Family, Together for Short Lives and the Council for Disabled Children, among others.
Before joining Queensmill in 2014, I was a governor of the nearby Jack Tizard School for severely disabled children for many years.
Freddie Adu, Headteacher
I feel privileged to be part of governing body that is dynamic and thoroughly committed to achieving the very best for this exceptional school. Since joining in early 2010 I have seen enormous progress as the school has grown in order to meet the changing needs of students and judged by Ofsted as Outstanding in three successive inspections. Parent governors are well represented and provide first-hand perspective of the needs of families with autism, as crucial decisions are made. This is an exceptional group of determined individuals seeking to maintain the highest of aspirations for all attached to Queensmill School.
Julia McDaid, Parent Governor
My name is Julia McDaid and my daughter, Samantha, has attended Queensmill School for over 10 years. I have been involved with Friends of Queensmill for most of that time.
Queensmill School has been a great support and resource to me and my family and my daughter has thrived under their guidance.
I became a governor in 2016 as I wanted to give back to the school for all their help and support over the years.
Myrna Faraj, Parent Governor
Having a child with autism is a life changing and a lifelong work in progress. Being part of an institution like Queensmill that provides the added support for each child and young person affected by autism from early years into early adulthood is inspiring. Providing the best tools and quality of life for each child starts at home with understanding and accepting the condition and learning to adapt it to daily life. Queensmill completes the puzzle. It offers the structure and diversity that home-life doesn’t. It prepares and exposes the children to the wider social environment and integrates them among their peers.
As governor and parent I am proud to be a part of such a holistic educational environment run by professionals who actually care as much as a parent of a child with autism. Queensmill school is a community with each child as an individual with individual needs at its core, and not simply autism. Being a parent governor has shed light on the importance of maintaining a balance with school and home and developing a relationship with school and home for each child. I look forward to being more involved with offering educational talks for parents on autism and it's life-long responsibilities and obligations which fall on the families first and the support network second.
Ageno Ochola, Parent Governor
I am a parent of a severely autistic boy, who has spent the past four years at Queensmill. Becoming a governor puts me in a unique position to bring to strategic policy making and implementation the voices and concerns of parents of children with disabilities. For me, at both policy and implementation levels, the interest and welfare of affected children should be given utmost considerations. Although various ideas of best practices in special education are commendable, often they are a function of tested and contested theories in the field. However, for us parents and carers of children with special needs, it is the "labour of love" rather than career choices that informs our views of what is necessary for the welfare and the best interest(s) of our children.
I consider it a privilege to serve as governor, I shall do my best to ensure that both the personal experiences of parents/carers and professional best practices are aligned to achieve the welfare and best interest(s) of children with special needs.
Lara van Lynden, Community Governor
My name is Lara van Lynden and I am a mother of two small children. My role on the governing body is safeguarding children. I became a Governor of Queensmill by accident. I was approached by the previous safeguarding Governor and asked if I would be interested in taking over her role. She invited me to visit the school and see what Queensmill was all about. I was completely overwhelmed by the school and the staff and wanted to be involved with such an impressive and inspiring place.
Having had no knowledge of autism before being introduced to Queensmill, my aim is to help the school in a positive way by looking at things from an outsider’s point of view.
Please click on the link for a copy of the Governors Declaration 2015 2016