Meet the Governors

Mill Water School is a member of the SENtient Trust, a cooperative trust comprising of a group of special schools in Devon. The Governing Body provides strategic leadership and creates robust accountability, oversight and assurance for the educational and financial performance of the school. It has three core functions:

    • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. This involves setting the school’s overall strategic framework, including its vision and strategic priorities. It also includes responsibility for setting and modelling its culture, values and ethos.
    • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff. Mill Water Governors are the ultimate employer of school staff.
    • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

If you would like to know more about the Governing Body, or become involved in its work, please contact the Clerk to the Governors.

Parent Governor Vacancy

Please scroll down to view the member profiles of our Governing Body...

Paul Charlton - Chair of Governors
Paul spent his business career working in a variety of senior roles for a UK based International Insurance Company, including a spell setting up a new business in Singapore. Having worked away from Devon and recently retired he is keen to spend some time lending his wide range of skills and business experience in supporting local causes. Living in Sidmouth and having been introduced to the work of Mill Water school by one of his daughters, he can think of no better cause.

He loves to travel, is interested in the arts and books - he’s a member of a local book group, practices yoga, enjoys walking and golf.

Cherie White
My name is Cherie White, a Headteacher with over 20 years experience in the special school sector. I am a careful thinker, never rushing to make changes without strategic consideration. I am very pleased to be a Governor at Mill Water School, being part of the team.

Sarah Pickering
Sarah is our Headteacher and also sits on the Governing Body. She is committed to continuing our school improvement and to seeing the school provide the best possible outcomes for pupils.

Away from school Sarah enjoys spending time with her family. She is an experienced musician, who loves to watch a show and has been known to get up on stage herself.

Pene Duffelen
I live very close to Mill Water School in East Budleigh and am dedicated to the local community. I have been a small business owner, running fitness and well-being classes to support people suffering from mental health issues, and I have a passion for art and the outdoors. I very much look forward to supporting Mill Water over the coming years. 

Debbie Knowles
Debbie was elected as a Parent Governor in July 2019. She has a child in the senior part of the school.

Maggie Carter - Safeguarding Governor
Maggie is a Local Authority Governor. She worked for Scomis, part of Devon County Council that deals with IT services for schools, but previously worked for Children’s and Young People’s services in Plymouth. She has many years of experience working with and for young people. She started her career as a special needs teacher.

Maggie enjoys Pilates – exercising lying down! She also likes cooking and eating with friends.

Andrew Gardner – Vice Chair of Governors
Andrew was a Parent Governor from September 2014 until July 2019. He has since been co-opted onto the board and currently serves as a Vice Chair of Governors. Andrew has demonstrated his commitment to improving outcomes for all pupils over his time as a Governor. Having originally studied engineering, he is now involved in business; developing, marketing and selling medical products worldwide.

Andrew has a smallholding that he runs, helped by his son, who was a pupil at the school, breeding sheep and keeping chickens.

Andrew Maker
Andrew is a class teacher and middle leader who sits on the Governing Body as a staff governor. Andrew is keen to develop the school further, making it the best it can be and provide the best possible outcomes for pupils.

Away from school Andrew enjoys spending time with his family. Andrew is passionate about sport and will play Football, Racketball and Golf with varying degrees of success.

Jason Scholey
Jason was a Parent Governor, with a son in the school, he is now a co-opted Governor. He has over 20 years experience working within Government in a range of roles including project management, product development, user research and marketing. He now leads a team responsible for a portfolio of products sold worldwide to support the safety of international shipping. He is a Chartered Marketer, recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and is keen to use his experience to help the school grow. Outside work, Jason enjoys kayaking and spending time at the beach with his family.