Governing Body

The Governing Body welcomes you to The Forest School.

As a Governing Body, we are committed to ensuring that The Forest School offers the best all round education for the students entrusted into its care. As Governors, we all take our role very seriously and work hard to progress the school academically, financially and strategically.

Our Governing Body is made up of members with a range of expertise in many different areas; we have parents, staff, business and local community governors on our board.

The recent Ofsted Report praised our pastoral care and the behaviour of our pupils, which we are rightly proud of and given our student body comes from over 50 feeder schools across Berkshire this is an excellent achievement.

Our purpose built 6th Form Centre means we have been able to extend our 6th Form provision to welcome new students from a wide variety of other schools across the area. It was extremely gratifying that the Ofsted Report recognised our sixth form as “good”, praising both the teaching and student support.

Of course, no website can articulate all the educational, sporting and extra-curricular activities that The Forest School provides and we would invite all prospective parents and students to visit the school on the relevant open days, to see for yourself everything that we have to offer.

On behalf of The Forest School Governing Body.

Anna McMenamin
Chair of Governors

If you would like to contact Chair of Governors please email or via The Forest School.




Sonja Allen Staff (Elected)

David Auger


Shirley Austin
Staff (Appointed)

Prue Bray
(H&S Governor and Chair of Disciplinary Committee)


Peter Christmas Appointed
Karyn Close Parent (Elected)
Clare Davis Staff (Elected)
Mary Keenan
(Safeguarding & LAC Governor)
Parent (Elected)
Vanessa Lobato Parent (Elected)

Alison Lovland 
(Vice-Chair of Governors, Access and Inclusion SEND Governor)


Anna McMenamin
(Chair of Governors) 


Ben Roberts
(Pupil Premium)


Richard Sedgwick
(Finance & Audit Committee Chair, Responsible Officer)


Jaquie Blaney

Clerk/Company Secretary

Governors Biographies

David Auger 

Type of Governor: Appointed.

Background: Chartered Surveyor and Trustee of local (people) charity.

What I bring to the Governing Body: Business experience including advising on legal documents and building surveying. I'm also a former student!

Other interests: My wife and family (I have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren), sport, reading and keeping fit.

Shirley Austin 

Type of Governor: Staff (appointed).

Background: Education.  I've worked my way up the scale to leadership but I started in teaching PE.

What I bring to the Governing Body: Wealth of experience, drive and my belief to make every child matter and to ASPIRE.

Other interests: Swimming, football skiing, my three children, health and well being.

Prue Bray 

Type of Governor:  Appointed.

Background: A Forest School Governor since 1999 and Local Councillor representing Winnersh on Wokingham Borough Council since 2000.

What I bring to the Governing Body:  I have lived in Winnersh for 30 years and my son attended The Forest.  I have experience in the community as a resident, councillor, parent and school governor. 

Other interests: Travel.

Peter Christmas

Type of Governor:  Appointed.

Background:  Former Forest pupil (1974 - 1981) 30 years experience in finance and investment management.

What I bring to the Governing Body: I was a Parent Governor at a junior school when my children were younger and I have significant experience working on strategy and interacting with UK Fund Boards.

Other interests:  Walking in the country with Diane our beagle and watching football with my two grown-up sons.


Karyn Close

Type of Governor: Parent (elected).

Background:  Former solicitor specialising in environmental law and commercial contracts, currently studying horticulture with a view to a second career in horticulture.

What I bring to the Governing Body:  A wealth of business focused legal experience and a parent's view as the mother of 3 boys at The Forest.

Interests:  Our mad Otter Hound, gardening and book group discussions.

Clare Davis Type of Governor: Staff elected.

Background: I have been teaching for 30 years. My first five years were spent at a mixed comprehensive school in Wells, Somerset. I have been at The Forest School for 25 years and in that time I have been Head of Department, in charge of the Socrates program and whole school Gifted and Talented Coordinator. Now, I am a part time teacher in charge of Key Stage 5 Geography and Travel and Tourism. 

What I bring to the governing Body: As well as teaching here, both my sons have attended the school. I feel I have a good overview on how the school works both as a teacher and a parent.

Other interests: We have a beagle called Charlie, who is very wilful - we spend time as a family looking after him.  I love being around friends and family when I am not work.

Mary Keenan

Type of Governor:  Parent (elected).

Background:  Operational management and education.

What I bring to the Governing Body:  Strategic management experience in the private sector plus 12 years in education with a particular focus on safeguarding and working with young people who struggle in a mainstream environment.

Other interests: My family, cricket (sadly, not playing - I am the Welfare Officer for a local club) and all things theatre!

Vanessa Lobato

Type of Governor:  Parent (elected).

Background: Business owner working in child development. Former marketing specialist with experience in internal and external marketing and communications and PR. Community volunteer. 

What I bring to the Governing Body:  A parent’s view with two Forest boys. Marketing and communications expertise. Experience of working with parents and children, volunteering in schools, charity and community work. Passion for education and an inquisitive and questioning mind.

Other interests:  My football mad family, overly friendly cockapoo, reading, cinema, music and travel. 

Alison Lovland

Type of Governor:  Appointed.

Background:  I have been a school governor for a few years now.  Previously as a parent and co-opted governor for Lambs Lane Primary School, and a parent governor at The Forest School until my son left in July 2020.  I was delighted to be asked to remain on the governing body as an appointed governor and also elected to Vice-Chair.

What I bring to the Governing Body: I became a governor to provide support to the school giving me the opportunity to be involved in the strategic decisions and future direction of the school.

Other interests:

Anna McMenamin

Type of Governor:  Appointed.

Background:  Higher Education, Training and Degree Apprenticeships.

What I bring to the Governing Body:  20 years of experience in education and training.

Other interests:  Travel, personal development and reading.

Ben Roberts

Type of Governor:  Appointed.

Background:  Education and Financial Services.  I was employed at The Forest School for 13 years, and an elected staff governor for the past 18 months, leaving in July 2020 to further my teaching career.  I was delighted to be asked to remain on the governing body as an appointed governor and sustain my link with The Forest.

What I bring to the Governing Body:  Educational experience at all levels and a background in project management.

Other interests:  Travel, all things geography, and an enthusiasm for the wider world.

Richard Sedgwick

Type of Governor:  Appointed.

Background:  Chartered Accountant; Head of Finance for several medium sized companies and charities.

What I bring to the Governing Body:  Finance and financial systems experience.

Other interests:  Motor cycling; scuba diving; socialising, especially over a curry!






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WBC GS Governing Body Details Sept20 05th Feb 2021 Download
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