Meet the Governors

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Meet the Governors

Chris Purdy2

Name: Mrs Chris Purdy
Governor category: Co-opted (Appointed by Board)
Responsibilities: Chair of Governors
Committee: Personnel & Wellbeing
Term of office:  16/01/2019 – 15/01/2023
Attendance for 2020-2021: 100%

I became a Co-opted Governor after retiring from Paediatric Physiotherapy. I spent over 21 years of my career based at Linwood School and am delighted to continue to be involved in the life of the school and to serve the school community in this rewarding role. My governor areas of interest are the Alma Curriculum and the Continuous Professional Development of the staff.

Laura Yuratich

Name: Mrs Laura Ekelund
Governor category: Parent (Elected)
Responsibilities: Vice Chair of Governors
Committee: Personnel & Wellbeing
Term of office: 23/06/2017 – 22/06/2021
Attendance for 2020-2021: 88%

I am a mum to three boys. My son, Olly, has autism and attends Springwood Campus. The school has made such an incredible difference to him that I was keen to become more involved. I am a mental health nurse by profession and work as a team manager in the NHS.

Martin Vowles crop

Name: Mr Martin Vowles
Governor category: Co-opted (Appointed by Board)
Responsibilities: Chair of Personnel & Wellbeing committee
Committee: Personnel & Wellbeing
Term of office: 16/01/2019 – 15/01/2023
Attendance for 2020-2021: 88%

I have been a Co-opted Governor since 2005 and Vice-Chair of Governors since October 2007. I was Business Development Director of a local provider of independent careers guidance for young people and adults for 9 years until 2017. I now work on a freelance basis to provide support to companies in business development, funding applications and partnership working. I am also a non-executive Board Member with a local training provider of courses and supported internships for young people and adults. I am married with three daughters in their twenties.

Gemma Talbot
Executive Headteacher

Name: Mrs Gemma Talbot
Governor category: Headteacher
Responsibilities: Executive Headteacher
Term of office: 24/03/2021 – 31/08/2021

I have been working in education since leaving education myself in 2000. I have been fortunate to work in a range of schools across the South of England. I have worked in various roles including teaching assistant, teacher and leadership roles. I have always had a passion for seeing other people be happy, achieve and thrive. I am thrilled to be the Executive Headteacher of Linwood School and to be a part of this diverse, amazing community.

Keith Baigent

Name: Mr Keith Baigent
Governor category: Co-opted (Appointed by Board)
Committee: Finance & Asset Management
Term of office:  16/01/2019 – 15/01/2023
Attendance for 2020-2021: 88%

My daughter currently attends Linwood Campus and I have wanted to take a more active involvement in something that plays a large part of her life. I am a qualified accountant and over the years have worked for a number of businesses in a variety of industries including the not-for-profit and charities sectors.

Lorna Booth

Name: Mrs Lorna Booth
Governor category: Parent (Elected)
Committee: Learning & Achievement
Term of office: 11/10/2018 – 10/10/2022
Attendance for 2020-2021: 88%

I am a mother of three amazing children; two sons and a daughter. Both my sons attend Linwood School. I have been in the Child Care and Education industry for over 25 years and never have I met such a dedicated, caring and positive school as Linwood. Every individual is encouraged, cared for, nurtured and inspired to grow as an individual who reaches their full potential.

Mark Davey

Name: Mr Mark Davey
Governor category: Parent (Elected Unopposed)
Responsibilities: Chair of Finance & Asset Management committee
Committee: as above
Term of office: 4/11/2020 – 3/11/2024
Attendance for 2020-2021: 100%

I am father to twin girls, one of who attends Linwood Campus. I have always had a passion for education and hope I will be able to use my wide range of experience to help guide the school in its mission to provide excellence. I have worked in project management on multi-million pound projects, and also in Children’s Social Care for some years working with some of the most vulnerable children in society. Currently I am a full-time carer for my daughter.

Jo King

Name: Mrs Jo King
Governor category: Co-opted (Appointed by Board)
Responsibilities: Chair of Learning & Achievement committee
Committee: Learning & Achievement
Term of office: 01/12/2020 – 30/11/2024
Attendance for 2020-2021: 100%

I started teaching at Linwood in April 1989, having previously taught in two special schools in the London area. As a class teacher at Linwood, I worked with many groups of children across the school. From 2007, I worked at developing communication as part of my role as Total Communication Leader. In April 2017, I became Assistant Headteacher and Learning Leader for the Alma Curriculum and retired in summer 2021.

Judith Knight

Name: Miss Judith Knight
Governor category: Staff (Elected)
Committee: Learning & Achievement
Term of office: 3/10/2018 – 2/10/2022
Attendance for 2020-2021: 50%

I have worked at Linwood School for the past 11 years and they have been some of the happiest of my life. I started working here as a Teaching Assistant and then moved into the Administration Department. Working through a variety of roles, I am now the Estates and Projects Manager for the School. I am honoured to be elected as Staff Governor and will endeavour to bring enthusiasm and commitment to the role.

Sonia Colton

Name: Mrs Sonia Colton
Governor category: Local Authority (Appointed by LA)
Committee: Learning & Achievement
Term of office: 02/10/2021 – 01/10/2025

As a local authority officer, I have worked closely with Linwood School up to my retirement in November 2014. As Principal Education Officer (SEND) with both Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council, I managed the SEND assessment process for individual children and young people aged 0 – 25 and determined their educational provision and placements in mainstream and specialist schools. Through my work alongside the Executive Headteachers at Linwood and the other local authority special schools, I had significant responsibility for ensuring that there was sufficient local SEND provision to meet the changing needs of children and young people with the most severe and complex needs. A teacher by profession and a member of the local community, I am committed to continuing my support for the outstanding work of Linwood School.


Name: Mrs Ruth Martin
Responsibilities: Clerk to the Governors


I have been an Administration Officer and Clerk to the Governors at Linwood since 2000.

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