Our Governors

  • Ania Hildrey, Headteacher
  • Rob Lowe, Chair of Governors
  • Sarah Powell, Vice Chair of Governors
  • Eileen Walsh, Co-opted Governor
    Dr Andrew McCaldon, Co-opted Governor
  • Alicea Thompson, Parent Governor
  • Wendy Walsh, Parent Governor
  • Daniel Hatton, Staff Governor
  • Rebecca Dean, Co-opted Governor
  • Marc Whitmore, Co-opted Governor
  • Lexie McComasky, Clerk to Governing Body

Abbots Lea School Instrument of Governance

GB Attendance sheet 2022-23

GB Attendance Record 2021-22

ALS GB Online Learning Update January 2021

Contact details for Chair of Governors: robert.lowe@abbotsleaschool.co.uk

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.

Robert Lowe

I am a Co opted Governor and currently Chair of Governors.

I am married with three children.

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.

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.

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.

Dr Andrew McCaldon

Andrew is passionate about supporting Abbot’s Lea to deliver the best outcomes for all our students and joined the Governing Body in 2021, with 10+ years’ experience of school governance.

A project delivery professional for government, Andrew currently leads a major investment programme in the Home Office and recently completed his doctoral degree, researching the politics of British Protestant unionism in post–conflict Northern Ireland.

Driven by public service and an advocate of enriching the lives of children and young people, Andrew is actively involved in the local community in south Liverpool.

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.

Marc Whitmore

I am delighted to have joined Abbot’s Lea School as a Governor and feel it is going to give me the opportunity to share my life experiences of neurodiversity after being diagnosed with ADHD at 52, and having two grown-up children on the autistic spectrum.

I spend time supporting the parents of neurodivergent teenagers and young adults to help develop their understanding and confidence following their children’s diagnosis.  I also mentor autistic adults to help them with their career development.

This is my 2nd governorship as I have been a co-opted governor at another Liverpool school for 4 years, with a lead responsibility for SEND with a focus on the well-being and support of their neurodivergent pupils.

I have been running my own Coaching Practice for 5 years with an increasing focus on coaching Autistic and ADHD clients to help them identify and achieve their career and life goals.

Prior to setting up my practice I was a senior HR leader in Financial Services for 25 years. During this time I have worked across multiple sectors with corporates, entrepreneurs, graduates, social enterprises, and business startups. This gives me 30 years of experience to draw on to support the school.

I am very keen to offer my expertise to support the school’s HR practice, including recruitment and the development of its staff and leaders.

Daniel Hatton

My name is Mr Daniel Hatton and I have been working at Abbot’s Lea School for 4 years. I started off as Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) and have progressed my way to be a key stage 5 bespoke Teacher in Papua New Guinea class.

My passion is to support our students to ensure they get the best opportunities possible. This led me to apply for Staff Governor position, and I was so pleased when I learnt I has been successfully nominated by my colleagues. I believe my knowledge of the school and previous experience of  educational settings will allow me to give the best support to the school.

< Back to previous