Elmfield School


Our Governing Body includes representatives from staff and parents, community and Local Authority. 

As well as attending full Governors' Meetings, each Governor also serves on one of our two committees: Finance and Resources (F&R) or Curriculum, Progress and Community (CPC).

All the Governors have a clear understanding of the education of deaf children and are united in their determination to ensure the best possible outcome for every child attending Elmfield School.

If you are interested in joining the Elmfield School Governing Body or have any other queries, please contact Anne Alderman the Clerk to the Governors, with your details at the school address listed on the Contact Us page.

Please find below short bios about our governors:

Kate Persaud – Head

Kate was appointed as permanent head teacher with effect from September 2022. She has extensive experience in school leadership and school governance.

Deborah Crossan - Parent Governor and Chair of Governors

Deborah is mum to three children, one of whom is a pupil at Elmfield Primary. She has 20 years experience working within the NHS, the majority of which has been in mental health services. More recently she has moved into the Public Health sector.

John Waldron - Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair

John has spent much of his professional life as an architect working with schools on the design of new buildings. He has a particular interest in the way in which the school environment can contribute to the well-being of pupils and support teaching and learning.

Marcella Wyatt – Clerk to Governors


Matt Nichol - Co-opted Governor and Chair of CQI Committee

Matt is the Safeguarding and Children in Care Governor at Elmfield School. Matt is a social worker; his favourite food is lasagne and he is an avid Star Wars fan!

Suzanne Hetherington - Co-opted Governor and Chair of Finance Committee

Suzanne has 15 years experience in industry, with a broad range of commercial and communication skills. Currently working in the NHS in Bristol, Suzanne is the mother of two children.

Caroline O’Brien - Co-opted Governor

Caroline has brought up three children, two of whom are deaf. Her youngest son attended Elmfield School from 2004 to 2017.  Caroline is a HLTA employed by Elmfield School.

Sally Irlam – Associate Governor

Sally is a speech & language therapist; she has worked with deaf children for over 40 years in every education setting and at all ages. Her interests include horses and odd-looking hens.

Kate Tait – Associate Governor

Kate has been working in deaf education as a Qualified Teacher of the Deaf for over 20 years in a number of roles including teacher, Communication Support Worker and Assistant Head and Deputy Head. She is passionate about educating deaf children in a Sign-bilingual setting.

Michael Dennington – Associate Governor

Michael has been working in deaf education for 15 years in a number of roles including CSW, science teacher and Assistant Head. He is passionate about the use of BSL in deaf education.

Adam Barber - Local Authority Governor

Adam was the Headteacher of Henleaze Junior School, with over 25 years' experience of primary education in London and Bristol. Prior to becoming a primary school teacher, he worked for ten years as an architect. He is passionate about educational inclusion, equality of aspiration and opportunity, and creating inspirational learning environments.

Lisa Cole - Parent Governor

Lisa has twin girls, one of whom attends Elmfield. She enjoys baking, cooking and nature.

Rachel Payne - Staff Governor

Rachel works in primary and currently teaches a mixed Years 4and 5 class.

Dr Rob Wilks - Co-opted Governor

Rob is a Senior Lecturer in Law at UWE Bristol and a father to three children, one of whom is at Elmfield Secondary.  He is a non-practising solicitor specialising in employment law and is research active in equality and discrimination law, deaf education and Deaf Legal Theory.

Anna Jones - Co-opted Governor

Anna has two children and has worked in education for over 20 years. She is a primary school teacher and was previously a Bristol City Councillor and Bristol’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills. She is particular interested in agencies working together to ensure the best education for all children in the city. 

Mark Gill - 

Mark is a deaf BSL user, he has three kids all of whom are fluent in sign language. He worked for National Deaf Children's Society for over 20 years both in a voluntary and paid capacity. He also worked in various capacities within schools such as Mary Hare, Elmfield and Oasis Academy New Oak. He now works at Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a Community Development Officer. In his (not so) spare time, he manages Bristol City Deaf football team.

Governor Attendance




 Governors Pecuniary Personal Interests




Please click here for term duration information about our governors.