Advisory Governing Body

Our Governance Team assures external scrutiny and accountability across all areas of the school; safeguarding, finance, education and pastoral outcomes, HR & Finance, Health & Safety and IT Safeguarding, Curriculum & Student Progress, together with whole school self-evaluation and development.

Abbot's Way reports to the governing body termly, through meetings at which discussions around SLT's report content take place and any queries raised

Our AGB work collaboratively with the team however meetings and interim visits take an in depth role in maintaining compliance and ensuring that student wellbeing and progress are prioritised. 

If you would like to contact our Governing Body please email via the Clerk to Governors

Richard Walker

Having spent his formative years living at ‘The Lakes’ when it was a boarding house for a former SpLD school, working for the school through his latter education and having a head teacher and teacher as parents, Richard has been immersed from a very young age in the world of education.

Since leaving university with a degree in Computer Network Management & Design in 2004 Richard runs a successful ICT consultancy and contracting business specialising in the education sector. Working with a large number of schools and multi academy trusts in Somerset and beyond he has developed a wide understanding of what schools require to deliver ICT across the curriculum, how to keep children safe whilst using technology (e-safety) and what ICT is required to run a successful school office.

His experience running this business and being a qualified electrical contractor enable him to bring knowledge of all aspects of ICT along with health and safety, building management, employment, marketing and financial management to Abbots Way.

Outside of work, Richard is married to Claire, a Maths teacher, has 2 young children and enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, DIY, Bell Ringing for his local church and playing skittles for a local pub team.

AW_Advisory_Governing_Body_Helen_Atkins_BioHelen Atkins

Helen Atkins (also called Nellie) is a mum of two children, aged 28 years and 15 years, who she is very proud of.   Helen also has two grandchildren. 

Helen has been retired for four years now.  Her working life has always been within care and education, her last role was as an Assistant Head of Care for 17years within a large company providing residential and day schooling.  This role was within the SEN and specialist care needs of children under ASD support packages, assisting young people with ages ranging from 6 years to 18 years to access an education for them that was built around individuals needs and goals.

Helen had varied roles within the school -  staffing, training, HR, Behaviour Support, shift work, working with children and the team,to name but a few,  however her main role was as a Safeguarding Lead, Trainer and coordination of all aspects of compliance.

She has developed training packages, reporting processes and procedures to create outstanding embedded practices within the school, liaising and cross working experiences with Families, children,  County Councils, Social Services, Police, and Advocates to create an ethos of Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

After retiring, Helen has spent time with her family, supporting her partner in looking after his elderly parents who have now passed, and advocating for past colleagues and present friends with their own Safeguarding journeys, enabling them to have a voice and support in looking at procedures and taking to professionals.

Kate DurrantAWS_AdvisoryGoverningBody_KateDurrant

Kate has a long and extensive background in educational finance roles. With nearly 20 years of experience split between SEN and mainstream education.  After spending many years as a School Business Manager Kate returned to Higher Education to complete an MA Business and Management in 2018 with a specialism in Accounting and Finance.

Following this she spent some time as a self-employed consultant offering finance support to small businesses.  She has recently returned to an education role and is currently employed as Head of Finance at a Further Education College for young people aged 16-25 with additional needs.

Originally from Kent, Kate has been living in the South West for over 17 years and when not working she can be found tending to her veg garden, open water swimming and hiking cross country with her dog Rufus.

Abi PowellAdvisoryGoverningBody_AbiPowell_meet_the_team

Abi brings a wealth of teaching and leadership experience to the team.

The focus for her role is Curriculum and Student Progress, ensuring that processes are in place to accurately assess and monitor attainment, target setting and progress in an appropriate manner.

Abi's calm, knowledgeable and measured intuition is a welcome accountability at the heart of our mission and vision.

She enjoys exploring the UK and abroad with her family and sausage dog, music, cake and the outdoors.

Click here to see the Governance Structure