Biographies of the Governing Body

Kate Worden - Chair of Governors Co-opted Governor


I first knew of Woodfield in 2000, when I was involved through my work in helping to set up the After School Club. I stayed involved for a while and was asked on several occasions to become a Governor. I was persuaded in 2006 and haven't looked back since! I have learnt a huge amount about so many things to do with Woodfield and realise what an amazing team I am privileged to be a part of. I have been Chair of Governors since 2009. In my day job, I work with children, young people, families and schools to improve school attendance in the local area. I have two small people, and always seem to be busy!


Gill Waceba – Headteacher


I became Headteacher at Woodfield School in September 2012 having taught pupils with severe and complex learning difficulties in Hertfordshire special schools for 26 years. I first started teaching as a teacher of a Post 16 group at Breakspeare School in Abbots Langley, where I stayed for 12 years. Having moved through various positions of responsibility at the school, I then moved on to being Deputy Head at Lakeside School in Welwyn Garden City, where I stayed for 14 years before moving on to Woodfield. During my time working in Hertfordshire I have also completed a one day a week secondment for a year with the Local Authority Assessment Team. My work with the Assessment Team involved me in supporting special schools across the county to develop further their Assessment policies and practices. I have also led local and national workshops and presentations on the theme of assessment for learning. I am a keen supporter of sport for disabled people and have thoroughly enjoyed being involved in developing sporting opportunities for the pupils I have been working with over the years.


Ian Burgess - Staff Governor


I have been fortunate to be in a career which I have enjoyed for over 20 years. During my time I have worked in a number of settings which have shaped my outlook on education. Woodfield has become my home for the past 11 years or so and I have learned so much from the pupils, staff, families, carers and other professionals. My life is immeasurably richer. Whilst I have a focus on autism and behaviour, I am intrigued by all who I am in contact with and am mindful of the fact that Woodfield has to meet the needs of all. I see being a governor another way of giving something back to the school and all involved. I represent staff and try very hard to give their view points when the situation arises.


Anthony Clarke– Local Authority Governor


I came to know Woodfield School in summer 2014 after meeting with Gill to explore the opportunity for Woodfield pupils to engage in practical, vocational learning. I was immediately taken with the school due to the hugely positive atmosphere generated by staff and pupils alike, I was therefore extremely honoured when asked to become a Governor. My career background has been predominantly focused on business development and employer and school engagement within private training providers and FE Colleges. I will strive to use the links I have with business to create opportunities for pupils to gain greater experience and knowledge of the world of work. I have been happily married to my wife Emily since 2008 and am proud father to Elena-Carolyne who is three years old. Away from work and family I am very keen on all sports; particularly football, cricket and golf.


Vanessa Gregory - Co-opted Governor


I originally started working at Woodfield as a nusery nurse in 1995. I worked in Post 16 then in class 1 and 2. I left the school in 2001 to work for the pre school advisory service for autism. My job was to work with the children and their families, to help and support them from diagnosis to transition into school. In 2008 I returned to Woodfield to class 1. At Woodfield I have continued my work with parents, helping them run a very successful weekly coffee morning and I do outreach work in others schools when needed. I have 4 boys, 3 grown up and a 12 yr old. I was a parent governor at my youngest son's previous primary school and I am looking forward to getting to know more about things that happen behind the scenes to make a successful school like Woodfield!


Richard Hill– Co-opted Governor


I have been involved with special education in Hertfordshire for over 35 years. I was Headteacher of Colnbrook Special School in Hertfordshire for 20 years (from September 1995 to August 2015). Prior to this, I was Deputy Headteacher at Woodfield School for 8 years. I qualified as an accredited Ofsted inspector in 2003 and have been involved in the inspection of a significant number of special schools, across the country, over the 12 years. I am now a Hertfordshire School Improvement Partner, working with 7 special schools. In addition, I support an outstanding all age special school in Milton Keynes. I am an active member of the National Association of Headteachers, representing Special Schools on the Hertfordshire branch committee. I hold a certificate in counselling and am a trained mentor/coach, working with a number of newly appointed special school Headteachers. I am married with 2 children and live in Harpenden.


Paul Lines - Parent Governor


I have been a parent governor since November 2009, my son has attended Woodfield school since January 2008. He really enjoys going to Woodfield, and he is really happy there. I also have a daughter who is attending nursery at the moment .She starts mainstream school this September, I am married to Jane and we live in St Albans. I work for a fire protection company as a Service Manager I am based at home, where I look after a team of engineers. My job is very varied but interesting; I travel around quite a bit.


Suzannah Goodchild – Parent Governor


My name is Suzannah Goodchild and our son Freddie joined Woodfield in September 2016 as his transition into secondary and we have all received a really warm and wonderful welcome from everybody into the school and school life.

I currently am a member of the WASP committee and After School Club committee at Woodfield, as well as being on the PTA at my other children's school. I work part time as a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, lecturing to medical students from the perspective of a service user, the parent of a child with complex health needs and an 'Expert by Experience’. I also do voluntary work with Age UK, Herts Society for the Blind, Together for Short Lives, Transitions UK (a charity helping disadvantaged youngsters into work after education), Watford General Carers Group, Disability Snow UK and sit as a trustee on the panel of a holiday play scheme for severely disabled children. When not lecturing or working for one of these charities, our five children keep me busy the rest of the time!

I am a Parent Governor to make a positive and committed contribution to the school. I believe the skills I have developed as a lecturer together with my insight as a parent would enable me to support the school in continuing to provide an excellent education and fully inclusive environment for all the children and their families.


Liz Stanley – Parent Governor


My name is Liz Stanley and my son, Nathan, is currently in Class Two and has been at Woodfield for nearly two years. During that time I have been an active member of WASPs and have attended many events at the school. I believe that Woodfield School has not only had a profoundly positive effect on my son’s learning but has supported us as a family to a high degree.

I currently work for a Charity that supports families of children with additional needs and disabilities. I support parents through the process of applying for, or transferring to the new Education, Health and Care Plan. I find this work very rewarding and have worked all over Hertfordshire and with a number of different professionals. I have a good understanding of the processes and different areas of the SEN provision in Herts.

I have extended this knowledge by setting up a Parent Support Group for those with children with additional needs that meets once a month. I am also a member and Admin of a number of online support groups where parents can ask questions, discuss issues, get suggestions or even just have a rant! I am also a Committee member of the Royal British Legion Woman’s Section in Croxley Green and used to be the Treasurer.

I am a Parent Governor because I am passionate about Woodfield School and want to be able to support the school and present the Parent viewpoint when it comes to making decisions about the future of the school.