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Respect all — Always try hard — Make safe and healthy choices — Enjoy life

To advance the education, care and wellbeing of the pupils at the schools, to advance the education of other members of the community.

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Governor Profiles

FIONA BOWIE,  Chair of Governors

I have been a part of the Governing Board at Southbrook since December 2021. Over the summer of 2023, I took on the role of Chair. Prior to Southbrook, I governed and then chaired a board for 7 years.

My background is in Fine Art and Pilates. I have taught workshops in and out of schools, taught enrichment art classes in Primary schools, also abroad. I continue to practice in both. Other than that, I enjoy trail running, walking and climbing with my family and dogs, lambing our Portland sheep, swimming in cold water, and meeting the staff and students at Southbrook…!

 I hope my experience and interest as a governor will help improve and develop the students lives here at Southbrook, and as importantly, for the life after Southbrook


NICOLA YOUNANI, Parent Governor

I am an adoptive mum of 3 children, all with additional needs.  One attends Southbrook School, one is at an independent specialist special needs school and one is currently in mainstream education.

I am very passionate about all children being in a school that can meet their needs and that school is able to access everything needed to support this.

Having had to do a lot of fighting for my children’s education, I’ve had to think of ‘out the box’ solutions in order to support their education. This is what I hope to bring to the board of governors in supporting Southbrook School’s teachers, staff and students.


AMY WILLS, Staff Governor

I initially trained in Outdoor Education at Haven Banks OEC in the city. In the following 10 years I taught children and adults around the world. I specialise in water sports, predominantly kayaking and windsurfing, but I also delivered a range of land sports including skiing and climbing. A highlight of this was working with the British Sailing Team in preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

Upon returning to the UK, I began working in the SEND classroom whilst studying a BA Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, making links between the Outdoor Learning and SEND. I undertook my postgraduate teaching qualification through the Torbay Teaching School Alliance before beginning work as a class teacher in a Special School for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties and on the Autistic Spectrum.

I began working at Southbrook in September 2020, and I hope to be able to share my experience and skills to contribute to help shape Southbrook into providing a highly personalised education journey for each of our young people.

Outside of school I have been involved with GirlGuiding UK for 30 years, and I am currently the lead volunteer of a successful Brownie unit. I have been lucky enough through GirlGuiding UK to be involved with several global education initiatives, most memorably in Thailand, Borneo, Japan and India.

I am also an enabler for Torbay Children's Services working at the Torbay Special Needs Playscheme, predominantly working with young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

I live in Torbay with my husband and in my spare time I love travelling, being outside, spending time in the gym and being creative.


MICHELLE HEWALD, Co-opted Governor

Employed at Exeter College and joined the governing body in September 2022.


SIMON WINWARD, Ex Officio Governor

Simon has been the substantive Headteacher of Southbrook School since October 2022, serving as Interim Headteacher for 8 months before this. He has experience in mainstream primary and secondary schools, and has over 10 years experience in special schools, working with young people with moderate, severe and multiple learning difficulties. During his career he has been a leader of subjects including Art, PSHE and accreditation in two other Devon special schools. He is also a Specialist Leader of Education with South West Specialist Teaching Alliance, and has taken part in a number of outreach projects to support young people with Special Educational Needs. He is passionate about putting young people at the centre, ensuring that change and innovation is driven by both their needs and aspirations, and ensuring that they get the very best educational experience possible.


RICHARD BETTS, Co-opted Governor

After spending many years working for banks, high street retailers and aerospace component manufacturers, I left corporate life recently to spend more time at home and run my own property rental business.

Originally from Buckinghamshire and graduating from Coventry University with a Third World Geography and Politics degree, I have spent a great deal of my time living and working abroad – the highlight being 8 years living in Sri Lanka.

I returned to live in West Dorset in 2010, have raised 2 daughters and served as a governor of a primary school between 2012-2016. An avid football fan I enjoy cooking and look forward to lending my expertise to the school wherever I can.