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Our Governors

As a small Independent provision we have a Local Governing Body  consisting of our Chair of Governors, two staff governors, two parent governors and we are currently seeking a sixth member of our governing body. The Local Governing Body will help New Leaf to achieve our mission to become an outstanding provision and will engage with our students, parents, staff and members of the community. Our governors will play a support & challenge role and will seek assurances on behalf of  New Leaf in regard to academic performance and quality of care within our provision. They are responsible for helping the Principal to make decisions that are in the best interests of New Leaf and our students. 

We are currently recruiting for governors, so please contact [email protected]

Karen Nicoll

Appointed 1st September 2020

Attendance for 2020/2021

Chair of Governors 


"I have been a teacher all of my professional life and have over 30 years experience, teaching in both mainstream and Special Educational Needs. Five years ago I founded Forest Lodge in Moira with a belief that all children deserved the right to succeed, despite anxiety, ASD, ADHD or any perplexing or complex condition. New Leaf is about creating the right environment for educational attainment and success but also empowering students to overcome emotional barriers that may be impacting on their functionality. I am looking forward to working with our Local Governing Body to  maintaining and sustaining high levels of achievement and performance and to making staffing and resourcing choices that best enable this to be achieved. It is a real honour to be the Principal of New Leaf and to celebrating the success of so many young people."

Laura Grice

Appointed 29 September 2020

Attendance for 2020/21

Parent Governor

“ I have a background in adult social care, being trained to NVQ Level 2 and have worked across a variety of nursing homes. This has taught me how to celebrate difference in people as the same diagnosis may present differently in every person. I am against labelling people as this can result in a stigma. Being respectful towards others is an important skill as everybody deserves to be treated with respect, kindness and compassion.

Having two sons both with complex needs including ASD, I have been through the educational system twice and know how difficult, challenging and stressful it is for parents trying to get their child to attend a mainstream school. This is especially true just before any diagnosis is made as parents are often in limbo, seeking answers but getting nowhere fast. I am an advisor to many parents who seek my advice and I am hoping to establish an informal support service to help. My role will be in supporting parents within the community and offering an insight from a parent point of view, as anxieties regarding their child can often be dismissed as “all in their head” which is neither helpful or supportive."

Jamie Johnson

Appointed 28 September 2020

Attendance: 2020/2021

Staff Governor

"Having completed my education in 2012 at Granville Sports Academy I went on to complete a Level 3 extended sport course at Stephenson’s College. I led numerous events whilst attending these courses mainly aimed towards SEN Students within the college. I have worked with SEN children at New Leaf (formerly Forest Lodge) 4 years now and I am now working towards a Level 4 qualification in Education and training. I was born in Burton Upon Trent and I grew up in Swadlincote and I still have links with the local community and know the area very well. I have represented Derbyshire at county level in sports and am very proud of our local community. I believe that fitness and getting involved in sport is great for well being and good mental health. I hope to help forge links between New Leaf and the local sporting Community."

Clare Jury

Appointed 29 September 2020

Attendance: 2020/21

Parent Governor

"I have a background of 20 years working in administration, having worked for a decade in an administrator role at Autoclenz Limited (React Decontamination Division). This job entailed taking calls, offering customer support, being involved in customer liaison and being responsible for data input using a range of office programmes.

 I am happy to offer guidance relating to the operation of effective administration systems and to help promote efficient office practices.

I have a son who attends New Leaf and who has thrived in this environment. I am an advocate that not every child can attend mainstream and that smaller provisions can sometimes unlock the potential that is held back due to anxiety and other complex issues. Having watched my own son struggle with the demands of mainstream school, I believe that I can offer a valuable parent perspective on what should be included in an education programme for students with anxiety, or complex needs.

In my spare time I enjoy walking my dog ‘Stitch’ and spending time with my family, especially on holidays together."

    New Leaf

"I have a proven track record as a Business Manager in the retail and security sector. I have been responsible for recruitment, HR, Health and Safety and for managing budgets. I am interested in helping to make New Leaf an outstanding provision and making sure that we recruit exceptional teachers with the right skill set. As a former sportsman, I am a keen footballer and enjoy helping to engage youngsters in creative projects that involve critical skills such as problem solving and creative thinking. I believe that the experiences and interactions you have during your education, contribute to the person you become as an adult. We want our young people to learn the value of a good work ethic, have good communication skills, have aspirations to get good jobs and become fully functional and productive members of their community."

Len Nicoll

Staff Governor

Appointed: 1st September 2020

Attendance 2020/21

Could you be a governor at New Leaf? We are currently recruiting. Please email [email protected]

Governor Code of Conduct

The Local Governing Body in carrying out its role shall aim to adhere to this code of conduct. The governing body will:

1.   Promote the highest standards and ensure that all students fulfil their potential;

2.  Aim to establish an effective, accountable, independent and diverse body that promotes best practice in governance;

3.  Aim to ensure that all governors promote and uphold high standards of conduct, probity and ethics;

4.   Be positive ambassadors for New Leaf

5.   Ensure the development of a dynamic learning community both within and beyond New Leaf and the community it serves.