Our Governors

Sarah Draper

“I have been a governor at Chaucer for 5 years and Chair since September 2016. Born and brought up in Birmingham, I began teaching in Sheffield in 1978, progressing to headship in 1997. After 10 years as Headteacher in a north east Sheffield secondary school, I spent 6 years working in the Local Authority Children and Young People’s Service ultimately as Assistant Director for Inclusion and Special Educational Needs. 

I have two adult children who attended Sheffield schools and have three grandchildren in Sheffield nursery and infant schools. Now “retired” apart from my work as a governor, I spend time looking after grandchildren, horse riding, gardening at home and on an allotment, and as a volunteer for Riding for the Disabled. Amongst other things I enjoy researching family history and reading.

I am a governor because I have always been committed to ensuring that all children and young people have access to the highest quality learning experience and have had a particular determination to break down barriers which limit the learning, achievement and success of children and young people.”

 

Edward Highfield

“I am a Director at Sheffield City Council, responsible for economic development, marketing, investment, regeneration, planning, property and transport. I wanted to get involved with Chaucer because young people are the city’s future workforce and business leaders. I believe the quality of a young person’s education massively affects their life chances and, rather than just talk about it all day as my job, I wanted to get involved and try to actually help in practice. I also want to make sure Chaucer School and Chaucer students are linked into some of the really positive things that are happening in Sheffield like new jobs and training opportunities in local businesses.” 

 

 

Ken Mathews

“I am proud to have been Chair of Chaucer School Governors between 2013 and 2016. I am now an associate governor with a focus on student positive discipline and improving behaviour in school. I was previously Director of Resources at the Sheffield Council’s Children and Young People's Service before taking retirement. I am married and have two children in their twenties and a 2 year old granddaughter who keeps me on my toes. I like to keep fit cycling and walking and have a lifelong interest in learning.”

 

 

 

Laura Bawden

“I qualified as an Accountant 10 years ago and am now a Finance Director working for a manufacturing company in Chesterfield. I became a governor because I am passionate about seeing young people reach their full potential and to encourage the early development of key skills that will be required by employers in the future. Being originally from the Lake District I moved to Sheffield over 20 years ago to study Maths at University. I live with my partner and 13 year old step-daughter in Sheffield and enjoy walking in the Peak District.”

 

 

Chris Simkins

“I have been a governor at Chaucer School since 2012. I live in Sheffield with my family and work as a senior commercial lawyer for Royal Mail. I first visited Chaucer when I was invited to judge a business challenge for students a few years ago; and it was shortly after this that I became a governor to support the work of the School more regularly. I am Chair of the governor’s Finance sub-committee and am also a member of the Parent and Community sub-committee. I am married and have three young boys that attend local comprehensive schools. I enjoy playing drums and guitar when I get the chance, but unfortunately this doesn't happen very often these days!”

 

 

Jackie Gelder

“I became a parent governor at Chaucer School in 2015 after my son became a student. I work as a physiotherapist in my day job but have an interest in influencing positive change and I saw there was an opportunity for me to contribute to this process at Chaucer. I live in the Hillsborough area and understand the community the school serves. I am passionate about all schools not only providing high quality education; but being a place of safety, nurturing students to develop their emotional and social resilience as they strive to become independent young people. I recently became the Special Educational Needs governor for the school which will be an exciting and challenging role, ensuring this group of students are represented at Board level. I am naturally an open and approachable person and like to help if I can; contributing to the processes which will enable Chaucer School to reach its aspirational goals.”

 

Donald McLean

“I have been working in education for over 30 years, mainly teaching in further education but I have also taught in secondary and primary schools. I am currently Vice Principal at Longley Park Sixth Form College where I have worked since 2004. I started my current role as governor at Chaucer in 2015. It is a role which builds on my extensive experience of governance, having been previously a staff governor at Sheffield College, community governor at Hinde House and a non-executive director at Sheffield SW Primary Care Trust.

I have two grown up children both of whom went to local schools in Sheffield and who have returned from University to live close by. My interests away from work include walking, squash, jogging, tending to my allotment and supporting Nottingham Forest.”

 

Louise Huson

“I joined the Governing Body just over a year ago. I am a solicitor working on energy and infrastructure development projects. I have two daughters – one at University, and one taking her GCSEs this year. Education is so important for all our young people, and I really enjoy working with the staff and governors at a time when Chaucer is going through such an exciting transition, providing real opportunities for pupils to take with them into later life.”