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Meet the Governors

Chair of Governors

Throughout her career, Mary Saunders OBE has been committed to ensuring the best possible provision and opportunities for children and young people with special educational needs. A former headteacher with extensive experience of working in specialist schools in Gloucestershire, Mary in 2011 undertook work as an Ofsted inspector alongside her practitioner role. In 2003, she was awarded an OBE for services to special education. She was appointed Chair of National Star College’s Board of Governors in 2011 having previously been a co-opted member of the former Education and Student Welfare Committee

Deputy Chair of Governors

Margaret Sheather has been a Governor at National Star for more than 10 years, having previously been a member of the Education and Student Welfare Committee. As a former Director of Social Services / Group Director Community & Adult Care at Gloucestershire County Council she has extensive experience to support National Star in achieving its mission and goals. Margaret is also a school governor and when not volunteering is an active member of the Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral.


Margaret Goldie worked in the public sector throughout her career, initially within the NHS but primarily within local authorities. As Director of Social Services for West Berkshire Council, a post she held for 13 years, she oversaw services for both adults and children, as well as schools and housing. Margaret now works part-time as a psychodynamic therapist, both in private practice and in the voluntary sector in Swindon.


Robert Haymon-Collins is a marketing and communications director with particular experience in digital technology. He believes that education transforms lives and that technology can transform education. Committed to coaching leadership approaches that inspire and motivate individuals and teams to be the best they can be, Robert sees this philosophy in action daily at National Star.


Andrea Lewis has extensive experience supporting young people with disabilities leaving school and making decisions about life choices including college and work. She was Head of Student Services in a large FE college, responsible for providing support to disabled students and lead manager for Equality and Diversity. She managed the RNIB education and employment service in London and the South East and was Policy Director at Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities. She is an advocate for ensuring the voices of young people with disabilities are heard and is link Governor with the National Star Advisory Board.


Jane Matheson is a Governor and a member of the Risk and Assurance Committee, she has considerable experience of the public sector having worked for local government and at a special school. She worked for the Audit Commission for many years reviewing client performance and improvement. Jane’s son was a day student at National Star for four years, leaving in 2019. She knows what it’s like to be a carer and navigating complex systems to try and get the best for your young person.


GP Lara Rowlands has a daughter with cerebral palsy, bringing experience as a parent as well as a background of medical experience. She is an active member of the Parent Support Forum and enjoys communicating between the college and other parents.

Lara qualified as a GP before moving to London. She has worked in international research focusing on osteoporosis, women’s health and gastroenterology. She now works as a locum GP in the NHS and for Nuffield Health. Outside work, Lara enjoys singing, tennis and running.

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