The GovernING Body


  • Katherine Thomas

    I have spent most of my career working in the food industry, focussed on developing a continuous improvement approach to business. I am currently a business improvement consultant who helps leadership teams deliver the systems, capability and culture to perform more effectively and efficiently. I am also an executive coach and this involves helping people to be the best possible version of themselves and encouraging a growth mind set. Outside of work, I love to spend my time walking in the surrounding countryside with my husband and energetic Labrador dog. I am also very lucky to have outdoor space where I grow vegetables and cultivate a beautiful garden. Being outside and enjoying nature is very important to me and the incorporation of outdoor experiences at Forest Way is one of the things that draws me to the school.

  • James Shanley

    I have joined the governing body as a Community Governor, having retired from the Ministry of Justice after 34 years. I am delighted to be involved with such an outstanding school, where each day I witness a great deal of professionalism from committed staff and such enthusiasm from the pupils. I have been a foster carer for 18 years. All of my children attend the school. When I have some free time Wendy, my wife and I tend to go cycling and I am always being told off for fixing bikes in the kitchen. I have over 30 years’ experience of working with people with special educational needs and disabilities.

  • Roy Cafferty

    I retired from HSBC Bank in 2011 after working for them for 41 years. At the time of my retirement I was a Senior Commercial Manager based at Grove Park in Leicester. I am married with 3 grown up children and 5 grandchildren. I also Chair the Leicestershire Board of Young Enterprise, a national charity aimed at providing young people with the opportunity to experience the world business. I am also a member of Bradgate Rotary Club and have been involved in arranging for the sponsorship of a number of individuals to attend the Calvert Trust, a residential outward bound centre in the Lake District.  It was through this connection that I was introduced to Forest Way School.  I was subsequently asked if I would consider joining the Governing Body and I look forward to helping the teachers and staff continue the excellent work that they do.

  • Julie Watkinson

    I joined the governing body, as a parent governor in January 2015.  I have been a foster carer for children with special needs for 19 years.  Most children are long term and one child in my care attends Forest Way.  I will always do my best to listen to pupils, parents and carers.  I cannot speak highly enough of the school and the hard work that all members of staff do to make Forest Way a safe and happy environment.

  • Gail Seaton

    I have recently taken over as Headteacher, after working at Forest Way for over 10 years. I feel very privileged to be taking on this role, working with such a supportive and committed team of staff and Governors. I have worked in education for over 20 years, this includes experience in mainstream primary and secondary schools as well as an international school. I have 2 daughters who are both away at University. In my spare time I enjoy swimming and cycling.

  • Maxwell Radley

    I have over 25 years advisory experience within Financial Services. I work for the Nationwide Building Society and I cover the Coalville, Ashby and Swadlincote branches. Nationwide strongly encourages us to help local charities with many community projects and this forms a major part of Nationwide’s philosophy of building a stronger society. I am married with two children one of which attends Forest Way. My interests are spending quality time with my family and supporting my children’s out of school activities. I enjoy cooking, gardening and also, as I am a qualified pilot, I enjoy flying whenever I am able.

  • Karen Harrup

    I am currently a deputy head at another Special School in Leicestershire. My role as a deputy is extremely varied and I although I work on whole school strategic developments, my main role is ensuring the smooth day to day running of a satellite school and everything that goes with this. Prior to working in the Special Needs Sector I worked as a drama teacher in a main stream secondary college. I was there for 12 years and went from being a teacher to being on the Senior Leadership Team. I am passionate about wanting the best for our young people and constantly review and refine my own practice in order to support outcomes for all students are met through and engaging curriculum.

    I am experienced at delivering CPD to staff and enjoy motivating them to learn and to improve their own skills and knowledge. I continue to use my drama and music skills to support learning and have been extremely proactive during lockdown to utilise social media and online platforms to ensure that ALL students have had access to a range of positive learning experiences. I am looking forward to being able to put my skills to use in a new and different environment. I am currently a member of the resources and finance committee in my current role as deputy head but am looking forward to extending this and working as a Trustee rather than a member of staff in the school. I will look forward to being able to be a supportive trustee and also one that can challenge and drive forward improvement in the school.


  • Nick Parmar

    I have been involved in secondary education for 33 years since qualifying as a physics teacher. The vast majority of that time was spent working in the Leicestershire upper school system, initially in Loughborough followed by 16 years as a senior leader as Bosworth Academy, Desford.

    I would like to think that my contributions helped the school attain Outstanding status in 2017, the only Leicestershire upper school to do so after the upheaval of phase-change reorganisation.

    My leadership responsibilities changed over the years from pastoral to progress to curriculum design, implementation and staffing. I always sought to inspire and support developing leaders until opting for early retirement in 2019

    After a short spell of property development, and initially as a favour, I returned to education as an ordinary classroom-based physics teacher in the private sector.  I am really enjoying re-living the joy of directly teaching and inspiring young people into the pleasures of discovery and learning, the reason why I entered the profession in the first place.

    I will bring a perspective and experience to the Member role that would, I believe, compliment that of other members and trustees

  • Mark Snow

    I started as a community governor at Forest Way School in 2016.  I work in the head office of a bank in Leicestershire and organised community days for bank staff to Forest Way in 2014 and 2015.  Having seen the school and met some of the children, I wanted to help and do more.  I am delighted to now be in a position to do so and bring my business skills to help.  I am married and have 3 children who are at varying stages of flying the nest, which means more time on dog walking and trying to play football.

  • Mark Kirton

    I work locally as a project manager for an international company and it was through arranging community support over a couple of years at the school that I was approached to become a "member". Previously I was a parent/governor for a large Leicester primary school for 8 years. I am delighted to have been invited to become a "member" of the school. This role is about having separation and independence from the Trustees, with an impartial oversight on how they are managing the school and plans for the future – to the benefit of the children and parents/carers. Rugby grabs my attention and I do try and have a run about every now and again, even though I’m not as fast as I used to be.