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Gail Crees - Chair of Governors

Term of post: 15/01/2019  -  15/01/2023

I chose to be a governor at Sky College as I heard of the good work that was being done there. I'm not sure I expected to be Chair...but so far it's been a privilege. My experiences in education mean that I have a good understanding of the challenges that face both students and staff. I have been in school since I was five (a long time ago!). As a teacher I have worked in four schools in three countries. I moved to Somerset to be Deputy Head in Chard and a few years later moved to Taunton as a Head Teacher. I was seconded to Somerset County Council to establish the Virtual School for vulnerable students. Finally, I was the Executive Head Teacher of a Pupil Referral Unit. I am now happily retired, enjoying travelling and spending time with my three grown up children.


Kevin Wilkins - Vice Chair & Finance Governor

Term of post: 14/01/2019  -  15/01/2023

I was encouraged to take on the role of School Governor by a friend and joined Sky in 2014. It was not a difficult decision to sign up, having met Richard and his high quality team.

I was born in Somerset but have spent over 30 years working in the city of London. It is the experience and knowledge I gained in finance and management that I hope to bring to the benefit of the College. I retired in 2012 but still hold a Non Executive Directorship so hopefully I can keep up with the current trends.

I have travelled widely for business and pleasure but currently I am enjoying renovating an old farm in the beautiful Quantocks when not playing sport or watching it.


Richard Berry - Head Teacher

In 28 years working in eduction I have worked in five different schools in both Somerset and Bristol. Initially starting as a PE teacher, I have taught a variety of subjects. The majority of my teaching career has been in mainstream settings but I was Head Teacher at a SEBD provision for 85 students in Bristol before moving to Sky College. I believe that all the students at Sky College should aim high; having a Statement of Special Education Needs should be no barrier to them in achieving their potential. The staff and I will, at all times, endeavour to get the boys to achieve and aspire for their futures in preparation for their life beyond Sky College.

Andrew Biggs - Staff Governor

Term of post: 16/04/2018 - 15/04/2022

Eilleen Tipper - LA & Safeguarding Governor

Term of post: 18/01/2019  -  19/01/2023

I am a former teacher and teacher trainer with a particular interest in children with Special Educational Needs.I am currently a member of the SEN&D Strategy Board implementing the new reforms and work with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group on CAMHS development to improve the emotional health and wellbeing of all children in Somerset.I am also a Trustee of CHYPPS (Children and Young People’s Partnership in Somerset). Our members run a range of activities across the county including youth clubs.

I am at present the link governor for the boarding house which supports students who need additional time in school to benefit their learning. I am committed to the idea that children and young people who have a difficult start to their school career and develop mental health issues can be helped to turn their lives round and become successful in adulthood. For me that is Sky’s core purpose and being a Governor is a privilege. 


Simeone Cracknell - Co-opted Governor

Term of post: 11/12/2017 - 10/12/2021

I have lived locally to Taunton all my life and worked in construction, initially employed and then self-employed, as a carpenter/builder specialising in wood-burning stove installations.  In September 2017 I was asked to become Pastor of Canon Street Church in Taunton and having completed the relevant training in previous years, was pleased to accept!  I am happily married to Carryn and we have 3 lovely children!  I enjoy many outdoor pursuits such as swimming and kayaking, but also enjoy reading, making music, and watching the English rugby team beat everyone else!

Virginia Roberts


Term of post: 12 November 2018 - 11 November 2022 

I am passionate about empowering children and young people to achieve their full potential by providing a stimulating and engaging learning environment, within which they feel safe and can thrive. Hence, I jumped at the chance of becoming a governor at Sky College. I have two grown up sons and have lived in Somerset with my husband since 1983. When I’m not working, I enjoy gardening, cooking and going for long walks with my dog.

 For the past five years I have been a freelance improvement adviser to local authority children’s services, primarily social care and SEND. Working with Directors of Children’s services and their management teams across the country, I act as a critical friend, holding up a mirror to the organization to help leaders understand how well they are performing and where they need to focus their improvement efforts.

 Prior to freelancing, I worked for Somerset County Council for 18 years, latterly supporting improvements to children’s social care and maintaining inspection readiness. From 1996 to 2012, most of my work centred around schools and included liaison with headteachers and their SLTs regarding the services provided by the local authority and working with them to develop new services; leading an inclusion strategy; and managing parental complaints. My work provided the opportunity for me to visit all the schools in Somerset and I feel privileged to have worked particularly closely with PRUs and Special Schools.

 I am honoured to have been asked to become a governor at Sky College and look forward to getting to know the staff and students over the coming months.

George Allen

 Term of post - 28 January 2019 - 27 January 2023

A Chartered Building Surveyor, with over 40 years experience in the construction industry covering a wide range of projects for a diverse client database both in the Public and Private sectors, in the UK and Europe.  Management experience including single projects from inception to completion, managing project teams, in house departments, divisional responsibility to equity partners, managing own business, providing project and construction management, building and quantity surveying, CDM and architectural services.

George is a Fellow of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and has an impressive profile of qualifications including recently obtaining a Post graduate Diploma in Advanced Energy and Environmental Studies.

George has agreed to support us as our Link Governor for Premises and Health and Safety and we are delighted to have the benefit of his extensive knowledge and experience.

Are you interested in becoming a parent governor?

We are looking for parents to join our governing body. Your input on issues such as finance, site management and curriculum development will help to influence and improve school performance. Free training is available to develop skills and boost self-confidence.

Interested? Contact us on 01823275569 or at

To find out more about becoming a school governor, visit


Term of post: 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017
I joined the Governing Body in January 2014 as Staff Governor.  As Business Manager and a member of SLT I work closely with the Governing Body to ensure we are providing the best possible provision for our young people.  My association with Sky College began at the beginning of our journey of improvement where I worked as Business Manager for an educational consultancy supporting schools across the country.  In 2013 I was offered a role working directly for Sky College and am delighted to be part of the team at Sky, supporting our young people to overcome their barriers to learning and be the very best they can be.  


Previous Governor - Mike Turner

Term of post: 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2018

I am now retired after 38 years in education as a Head of Department (Mathematics,), Deputy Head and Headteacher. For the last ten years of my career, I worked in Special Educational Needs in Somerset, latterly as Head of SEN for Somerset LEA. I was the LEA link to The Priory (Sky College's previous name) and led the LEA process leading to  the partnership with Lilac Sky Schools. I have been a governor for four years, and am delighted to see Sky College moving forward towards 'Outstanding' under the current Headteacher.

My experience in schools and as an LEA Officer enables me to bring a professional view to the governors work, from an independent perspective. This governing body is the strongest group I have worked with in the ten plus years I had been involved with the school.

PREVIOUS GOVERNOR - Andrew Winiarczyk

 Term of post: 14/03/2016 - 13/03/2020

Previous Governor - Rebecca Wells

Rebecca Wells - Parent Governor & Link Governor to Mullen House

Term of post: 28/09/2015 to 27/01/2017


Tamsin Allen - Governor

Term of post: 01/01/2015 - 1/11/2018

Cristina Cure E Couto - Link Governor for Teaching & Learning

Term of post: 01/01/2015 - 1/11/2018
I have been a Governor at Sky College since September 2014 (time flies when you're having fun!). I decided to become a governor as I have worked in the Education industry for more than six years and consequently have become passionate about education and ensuring our children  have the best start in life. I felt that my experience could be an asset to a school so decided to volunteer as a governor and was lucky to be invited to join Sky's committee. In my personal time, I enjoy walking and try to go every weekend with my partner (soon to be husband) exploring the beautiful countryside the South West has to offer. I also love dancing and currently do Modern Jive and West Coast Swing 2/3 times a week.

Dr Helen Wells - Parent Governor

Term of post: 11/12/2017 - 1/11/18