Meet the Governors

Our governing body is made up of the following members...

Neil Dawson

Neil has been a Governor of the Pears Family School since it first opened in September 2014. Neil is the school’s SEND link governor and attends the Finance as well as the Achievement and Wellbeing Sub-Committees. Neil is the Co-founder of the school and Vice-chair, as well as a teacher, mediator and Consultant Family Psychotherapist.

Having worked for over thirty years co-running a specialist Family Education Centre in a CAMHS setting in Westminster, it was clear to Neil that a different sort of Alternative Provision school was needed to offer fresh hope for the very many children and young people being excluded from schools and not receiving adequate help or support. Away from school, Neil enjoys walking, birdwatching and generally being outdoors in beautiful nature settings.

John Cape

John has been a Governor for 3 years and Chair of Governors since November 2019 and is a member of both the Achievement and Wellbeing Committee and Finance, Premises and HR Committees. While relatively new to school governance, John was previously a trustee of two children and young people’s charities. For 30 years John was a clinical psychologist and professional head of psychology and psychotherapy in the NHS in Camden and Islington.

Since retiring from the NHS, John organises and teaches on courses in psychology at University College London. John enjoys spending time with my family and friends, swimming and walks in the country and films. John has lived in the Borough of Islington since 1980 and loves the diversity of London having grown up in different countries as a child and young person.

Jaime Smith

Jaime joined the school in July 2021 as a Curriculum Link Governor. Jaime has over 20 years of experience in the education sector starting her career as a secondary school teacher in London. Under Jaime’s direction the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools programme was established at the Anna Freud Centre and the Schools in Mind network set up, which now has over 32,000 education professional members.

Jaime has overseen the delivery of three national DfE funded programmes including the Link Programme, Education for Wellbeing and Peer Support for children and young people’s mental health. In June 2021 Jaime was awarded an MBE for services to education in the Queens birthday honours. Jaime has two children so most of her free time is spent with them. Jaime also enjoys travelling, going to the theatre, and is trying to be a better cook!

Michael Annan

Michael was first appointed in September 2021 as a Governor on the Achievement and Wellbeing Committee and is the link Governor for Behaviour and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). Michael is also very keen to support work in the school on equality, diversity and inclusion. Michael is a qualified Primary School Teacher, Educational Psychologist and Family Therapist and currently works at King’s College London leading on the Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision. Michael was keen to be a Governor after receiving training in Multi-Family Therapy and having witnessed first-hand the impact the approach can have on children and families.

Michael is also keen to share his experience and expertise to support the ongoing development of the School and the Community it serves. Outside of work, he enjoys most sports including cycling, swimming and basketball and supports a local football team.

Ros Bismead

Ros has been a Governor since the 2014 and supported the setting-up of Pears Family School.   She is a member of the HR, Finance and Premises Committee.  She is Chief Operating Officer of the Anna Freud Centre and has over thirty years experience in the voluntary sector in fundraising and management roles.   Ros is proud to be involved with the School and to help support its vision and values. Ros enjoys reading, running, film, family and friends and grand-parenthood.

Pierre Gosselin

Pierre has been a Governor since 2014 and chairs the Finance Premises and HR Committee. He is also the Health and Safety link Governor. Pierre  is a School Business Manager and before that role he used to be Senior Accountant for school in a local authority education department.

Pierre  enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, reading, music, motorcycling and sailing.

Lake Gledhill

Lake has been a school Governor since September 2019, and is currently chairing the Achievement and Wellbeing Committee, as well as being the PHSE link. Lake has worked in child protection for over 20 years, mostly within the family court as an independent voice for the child. Lake managed the Central London service of family court advisors in public law proceedings. Lake recently joined a Local Authority to manage their pre-court and court proceedings service.  The ethos of the school sits well with Lake’s values as a professional. In Lake’s spare time, they are in a band and enjoy gigging; running; and being outside in nature.

Andy Thompson

Andy became a Governor in 2020 and sits on the Finance, Premises and HR Committees. After leaving the University of Brighton in 2010, Andy became a freelance session drummer for many acts and toured the UK and Europe for 7 years. Andy then became a TA at an SEMH school and qualified as a teacher in his time there.

Andy joined the Pears Family School as a teacher in 2018 and now holds the position as Curriculum Lead for PSHE and Wellbeing. Andy is a keen musician and still plays from time to time. He also loves football and golf and plays regularly.

James Bennett

James is a Governor on the Achievement and Wellbeing Committee. James is a qualified Teacher who holds a BA Hons QTS in Physical Education and is an Assistant Headteacher at the Pears Family School.

During his career, James has been fortunate to hold the following positions after completing university at the age of 21; Class Teacher, Head of Physical Education, Head of Sixth Form, Behaviour Lead and MAPA Instructor. Outside of school, James enjoys the gym, travelling and plays for a football club.

Peggy Ray

Peggy has been a Governor at the school since 2014 and is the link Governor for safeguarding as well as being a member of the Achievement and Welfare Committee. Peggy has been a family solicitor specialising in child protection cases since 1985. From Peggy’s involvement with many children in her work who have not been afforded the best opportunities, she was excited and motivated to become a Governor at the Pears Family School since it was founded.

Peggy is proud to be associated and involved with the school, noting the innovative approach taken at the school has led to many children being able to make the most of their potential. Peggy also enjoys travel, reading, gardening and walking her energetic dog!

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