The Russett School - Governance

The Russett School Governing Committee

Governors Statement

The governing committee of Russett School would like to welcome you to our school.

We are proud at the Russett that we work as a team to provide the best teaching, learning and care to your child. Our learning difficulty school Cheshire does this by working in partnership with parents, the head teacher, all staff, other schools and colleges in the area and by maintaining close links with the local authorities who serve our children.

We are sure that your child will be happy at the Russett, enjoying the support of outstanding teachers and teaching assistants who continuously strive to assist your child in their learning so that they can achieve the very best.

As governors, we seek to provide the best possible environment and feel we use funds wisely to enhance facilities at the school. Our building is old, but thanks to considerable investment in recent years, we believe we provide a comfortable and safe school in which your child can prosper.

We have a clear vision for the school, putting children and their parents/carers at the heart of all we do. Each child has individual and specific needs, with each child having personalised plan for their care and education while they are with us, with their progress being continuously monitored and adapted to meet their needs. The school prides itself on ensuring that parents are kept fully informed of this progress and are given a real voice in making decisions about future and developing needs.

You have put your faith in us by considering the Russett as the best place to meet your child’s needs, as governors we will honour your choice and work to provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment where they can reach their full potential and feel that they are valued members of our community.

Are you interested in becoming a Governor?

Here at The Russett, we take governance very seriously and always look to discharge our duties in a highly professional manner. The Governing Body has three core strategic functions – setting vision, ethos and strategic direction; making sure school leaders do everything possible to promote the achievement of all pupils; and ensuring that the school spends funds wisely and effectively.

If you would like further information on becoming a Governor or wish to speak to the Chair of the Local Governing Committee please contact the Clerk to Governors.

Available on request to the Clerk to Governors:

  • Meeting Agendas from the Local Governing Committee and Trust Board.
  • Signed Minutes (part 1).
  • Any papers, documents, reports considered in part 1.

Analyse School Performance

Special Academy and Free School Supplemental Funding Agreement

The Russett Learning Trust Members & Trustees

Financial Statements



Meet the Governors

Photograph of Francis Beck
Francis Beck Chair of the Local Governing Committee (Co-Opted Governor) Joined: 04/11/2012

I began my teaching career at Hartford Hill School a large Special School and the forerunner to the Russett School.I became Deputy Head and followed that to become a Headteacher in a Liverpool Infant and Nursery School. An interesting school as we acted as an assessment unit for Alder Hey Hospital placing children with learning difficulties at special and mainstream schools. After staying at home with my son I worked for Chester Social Services on the Children's Team , registering and inspecting Nurseries and Childminders throughout the District. I then set-up the Infant and Nursery at Cransley School before moving to the south-west with my family. The later part of my career saw me lecturing in Education at colleges of Further Education , training and assessing on the NNEB course and NVQs for mature teaching assistants. I became Deputy Divisional Manager and an Advanced Practioner inspecting standards of teaching at various colleges throughout the North-west.

I am passionate about Special School provision and obtaining the best possible provision for our children.

Currently I have no financial business related involvement with the Trust.

Photograph of Catherine Lewis
Catherine Lewis Ex Officio Joined: 01/09/2009

I started teaching in 1984 and have worked in a range of Special Schools in London and the South East.

During this time I completed a Masters Degree in Education with SEN from the Institute of Education in London.

In 2004 I completed by NPQH and in September 2006 I became Headteacher at Heathfield School in Stoke-on-Trent, moving it to Outstanding within three years.

In September 2009 I became Headteacher at The Russett School moving it to Good with elements of Outstanding in 2011 and then gaining an Outstanding in 2014.

On 1st September 2015 I became the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Headteacher of The Russett Learning Trust and The Russett School.

Other Governance Positions: Member of Hornbeam Academy Trust.

Photograph of Caroline Rowley
Caroline Rowley Vice Chair of LGC (Parent Governor) Joined: 02/04/2015

After completing my PhD in mechanical engineering I have spent 10 years working in the nuclear industry performing hazard assessments on nuclear facilities, ensuring the safety of the workforce and the public.

My daughter, Nia, joined the school in February 2015 and I became a Parent Governor in April 2015. My motivation is to help the school with the amazing work they do to maximise the potential of every pupil. I will be working hard to ensure that all the pupils get the best possible opportunities to succeed and really enjoy being at school.

I am link governor for science at The Russett School.

Currently I have no financial business related involvement with the Trust.

Photograph of Rebecca Gussow
Rebecca Gussow Staff Governor Joined: 17/01/2014

I came to The Russett School 19 years ago as a supply teaching assistant and I've never left.

I worked part time whilst my daughters were little and as they became more independent I was able to take on a permanent full time teaching assistant role.

I have worked in all areas of The Russett School and I currently work in Room 9.

I became a member of the governing body in Jan 2014.

Photograph of Jane Bowyer
Jane Bowyer Co-opted Governor Joined: 01/09/2016

I am a co-opted Governor since September 2016. My involvement with the Russett School stems from my friend’s daughter being a pupil here. I could really see the difference that the Russett made to Emily and started to become involved with the school. Initially this was arranging a couple of gardening days a year with colleagues from work, but this then led to becoming a Governor.
I currently work for Barclays (since 2000) but have worked in various different roles prior to this - as both a PA and a sales rep so bring varied skills to the LGC.
Currently I have no financial business related involvement with the Trust.

Photograph of Rebecca Dyson
Rebecca Dyson Parent Governor Joined: 10/02/2017

My son Ben started at the Russett School in September 2016. Since Ben joined the school I have seen the quality of education he has received and the effect it has had on his development. I am keen to become more involved in the school and help support the excellent work that they do. For this reason I have volunteered to be parent Governor.
Currently I have no financial business related involvement with the Trust.

Photograph of Cheryl Booth
Cheryl Booth Co-opted Governor Joined: 26/01/2017

My professional qualifications include: Bachelor of Education with Honours, Master of Education and the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-Ordination. I have worked in education for 28 years - as a mainstream teacher, college lecturer for early years, a Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCo) and more recently I began my own business, offering music and movement classes for 0-4 years called Rucks of Fun - Musical Merriment!

I moved to Weaverham when I married my husband Mike in 1993 and we have a daughter Rebekah and a son Joshua. We are members at St Mary's Church, Weaverham and I enjoy supporting the morning worship, playing my flute. My other interests include: crafting, music and going to the theatre.

As an educator, my philosophy is to provide a safe, caring, stimulating and happy environment in which children will develop educationally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. I endeavour to ensure that every child will have equal opportunities to achieve their full potential, experience success and develop confidence and a positive self-image. I am dedicated to the development of the ‘whole child’ into a fulfilled and responsible member of society.

My aim is to find a way for every child to ‘sparkle.’

Business and Pecuniary Interest: Director and Shareholder of Ruck Limited, which incorporates Rucks to Eat. Owner of Rucks Fun - Musical Merriment.

Photograph of Gillian Latham
Gillian Latham Co-Opted Joined: 27/04/2018

I am currently working for an organisation that is owned and governed by the Cheshire West and Chester that is contracted for the provision of residential and day services for adults with a learning disability.

I also have a role in licenced ministry in the local Ecumenical church (Anglican and Methodist) at St Mary's in Weaverham so I have a strong local link within the community which brings me into contact with lots of different groups.

One of my very keen interests is a Coffee Shop style drop in run for adults with a learning disability which we run out of The Lighthouse, the church hall.

Photograph of Ms J Cameron
Ms J Cameron Co-Opted Joined: 14/03/2019