Meet the Governors
Mary Saunders OBE
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
Parent Governor Kim Anderson, now living in Gloucestershire, returned to the UK after living overseas for many years so that her daughter could attend National Star as a day student. From Hong Kong she brings experience as a parent plus a background in setting up and running a support network for families of young people with disabilities including supporting Special Employment Needs. As an active member of the Parent Support Forum Kim is looking forward to communicating between the college and other parents.
Kim is known for her creativity and solutions-driven approach. When not supporting her daughter to make the most of her life, and time at National Star, Kim enjoys staying fit, yoga, hiking, reading and travel.
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 retired 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.
Chief Executive of Boccia England Chris Ratcliffe is an experienced disabled leader with a successful track record in inspiring and leading teams to deliver outstanding results. A strategic thinker, Chris has held director level posts at a number of leading national disability charities as well as holding the position of Chief Officer at The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS).
Chris has been deaf since birth and attended a special school where he believes this experience gave him the necessary skills, self-belief and confidence leading to his achievements to date. Having grown up in nearby Woodmancote, Chris visited National Star as a teenager and was inspired from this experience where he has continued to follow the success of the organisation over the years. Through his experience of working in the disability sector Chris is keen to share the benefit of his knowlwedge to ensure that the organisation continues to enable young disabled people to realise their potential through their experience as students and residents.
As a former sportsman who competed at international level in deaf Rugby, Water Polo and Swimming, Chris now enjoys coaching at his local rugby club.
Nikki Richardson has extensive knowledge of multi-disciplinary working, safeguarding and quality improvement having held Executive roles in the NHS including responsibility for the delivery of services to people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. As a Non Executive, she led on holding the NHS Trust she worked with to account for the quality and safety of their service provision. Now, as Chair of Healthwatch Gloucestershire she has a role in ensuring local people are able to express their views about health and social care locally. She has had a long standing interest in National Star and was keen to be part of the team to further develop much needed services to individuals to help them maximise their opportunities and lead rich and rewarding lives.
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.