Governors

  • Ania Hildrey, Headteacher
  • Sarah Powell, LA Representative Governor
  • Rohit Ramesh, Chair of Governors
  • Rob Lowe, Co-opted Governor
  • Eileen Walsh, Co-opted Governor
  • Tomasz Drost, Co-opted Governor
  • Clare Atherton, Associate Governor
  • James North, Parent Governor
  • Alicea Thompson, Parent Governor
  • Nicki Powell, Parent Governor
  • Sarah Gilbert, Staff Governor
  • Kim Adair, Clerk to Governing Body

Governance details
Governors attendance
National database of governors

Ania Hildrey 
I joined Abbot’s Lea School on 1 September 2016 and became a Headteacher Governor on that day.
I first became a Headteacher Governor in 2009 but I have worked with governing bodies for many more years as a senior leader.
I enjoy drawing on the experience and knowledge of others and I take my role as an educational professional lead on the Governing Body very seriously.
Whether shaping the vision for the school, consulting on policies or considering implementation of strategic changes – I see being a governor as an integral part of my strategic role as our school’s Headteacher.
I have seen many changes in the governance over the years and I can see the value of this accountability structure in every aspect of a school’s development. The challenge and the support that comes with it is invaluable in navigating the ever-more-challenging landscape of education.
Sarah Powell
I have been a school governor for over thirteen years serving across two special schools.
During this time I have contributed to staffing, curriculum and finance sub-committees, sat on appointment and disciplinary panels and chaired the full governing body for a number of years.
I have taken part in numerous training courses related to governance to strengthen my knowledge and understanding of the role.
I first became a governor out of desire to contribute to a school based in my community and from my on-going personal and professional interest in education.
Currently I work within education as a Senior Leader but have experience of personnel and financial management from previous areas of employment. I also have extensive experience in child protection and safeguarding.I am also qualified as a Practice Educator and NVQ assessor to assist in lifelong learning for adults, taking students on placement.
I believe that an effective governing body can contribute to the success of the whole school community which is why I continue within the role.
I moved to Liverpool to attend university in 1993 and stayed because of the city and feeling of community. I feel lucky to live and work here.
Rohit Ramesh
I am the Head of International Recruitment at the University of Liverpool and I am responsible for the strategic direction of the institution in overseas markets.Prior to working in the higher education sector, I was in investment banking, and held roles at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, in the US and Asia.
I hold an MBA in Business Finance from the University of Liverpool and have completed my PRINCE2 Foundation. I am also a full Member of the Chartered Management Institute.
In my spare time, I enjoy cooking; reading and when the weather permits, playing cricket for a few clubs in the Liverpool and Merseyside District Leagues.
Rob Lowe
I am a Co opted Governor and currently Vice chair.
I am married with three children with one attending Abbot’s Lea School.
I am a Director of a National Road surfacing company and bring a wealth of business related knowledge to my role as a governor.
I am passionate about supporting the school to achieve the best outcomes for all students.
Eileen Walsh
I have been a Governor at Abbot’s Lea School since 2005. I was asked to join the Governing Body when I was Vice-Chair of New Heys Comprehensive School where I was a Governor for twenty three years.
I am a retired teacher of thirty five years and was a Primary Headteacher for nine.
My daughter was diagnosed with Autism when she was three and a half years old by the Child Development Research Unit at Nottingham University and went to residential Special schools for children with Autism in South Yorkshire and Newton le Willows. She is now in her forties and lives in the adult community of Autism Together on the Wirral.
I am very committed to Abbot’s Lea School, its values and its vision to be the best specialist school in the World!
I want this school to prosper and continue so that children on the Autism Spectrum do not have to leave their families to obtain the excellent, outstanding education and ASD curriculum that is provided by Abbot’s Lea School.
Tom Drost
I live in West Derby with my wife Helen and our daughter who is a student at Abbots Lea School. I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my family.
Most weekends consist of bouncing on trampolines with our daughter or seeing how much time we can spend under water at our local pool. When time and weather allows, I enjoy football and golf, but unfortunately nowadays this consists more of watching than taking part.
I currently work for a Global Communications and Marketing Organisation managing the Procurement & Supply Chain department and have extensive experience in managing tendering and procurement activity across many categories including construction, facilities management and professional services.
I am passionate about helping children and young people achieve their potential whatever that may be. I am both proud and privileged to be able to use my personal, professional skills and experience to support our school in its ambitions in becoming a Centre of Excellence.  My aim is to help provide leadership and direction in navigating through these exciting and challenging periods of change, and to work with the children, staff and families within the school community.
Clare Atherton  TBC
James North
I am a Parent Governor, currently with the role of Attendance Governor which means that I meet regularly with Alison Twomey, Head of Care and Safeguarding, to discuss Abbot’s Lea’s strategies around maximising attendance.
Needless to say, Alison needs no help from me,  I have found our meetings fascinating in that the subject touches on so many other areas of child welfare.  My day job is as a Social Care Assessor with the Transition Team in Adults Services, so I also visit regularly in this capacity for the annual reviews of students on my caseload.  I am happy to discuss either of these areas with any staff or parents, on the phone or the next time I am in school.
Alicea Thompson
I am originally from Ireland, I came to Liverpool 23 years ago to study at University and fell in love with both the city and a native who I subsequently married. I have two children, My eldest daughter attends a local secondary school and my youngest son is a student at Abbot’s Lea School.
I work part time in the Civil Service in Benefits and Credits sector.
In my (rare) free time I enjoy shopping, writing comedy, crosswords/sudoku and I am an avid reader.
I also collect perfume – at the last count I had 168 bottles.
I have a great interest in the educational, social and emotional development of children on the autistic spectrum. I am passionate about spreading awareness of invisible disabilities and promoting diversity and inclusion.
I am proud of Abbot’s Lea School and the excellent opportunities it offers our children and I feel privileged contributing to the governance and continued development of the school as a Centre of Excellence in specialist education.
Nicki Powell
I am the Managing Director of a day Nursery, a Kids club and the mother of three beautiful children. My eldest are now adults and diagnosed with ADHD and my son is diagnosed with ASD and sensory processing disorder.
My professional role includes supporting children and their families with SEND to ensure the best outcomes and an appropriate school placement. This includes supporting parents through the EHCP process and working with different agencies and professionals including SENISS, EP, SALT, OT and Physio.
I also have some experience in analysing progress data for different groups of children from different backgrounds and how it impacts on learning.
We are totally committed to the ethos of the school and the vision statement.
I feel strongly about the views of parents and carers and value our role as primary carers and educators. I understand the importance of working in partnership and good communication with teaching staff to achieve the best outcomes for our children.
Sarah Gilbert
I have recently been elected as staff governor at Abbot’s Lea School.
I have worked in education in a range of capacities since 2013 and I am hugely passionate about ensuring the best life chances for young people. I have a wide skill set which will be beneficial to the strategic operations of Abbot’s Lea School.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing and cooking.
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