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Governance and Academy Council

Hilltop School
Nexus Multi-Academy Trust

As an academy, the Academy Council of Hilltop School has delegated powers from the ​Nexus Multi Academy Trust Board of Directors, which are outlined in the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation 

The Chief Executive Officer and Officers of the Trust act as advisors to the Academy Council and attend most meetings.

Meet the Nexus Multi Academy Trust Team

Each member has their own biography information to tell you more about them and additional important documentation.

Click here: Meet The Team

Hilltop School Academy Council was constituted on 1st June 2016 and the following
structure of Governance is now in place:

The total membership shall be not less than 7 and not more than 12.
The membership shall comprise:

•  the Chair who is elected by the Trust Board of Directors;
•  the Headteacher;
•  no fewer than 2 elected Parent Governors;
•  two elected Members of Staff, one Teaching, one Non-Teaching;
•  the remaining Governors are appointed by the Academy Council.
Governors can be Parents or Members of Staff but the number of Staff Governors (inc Headteacher)
must not exceed one-third of the total number of Governors.

 How are Governors chosen?

There are different categories of Governors: Parent Governors, Staff Governors and Governors.
Parent Governors are elected by current parents when a vacancy becomes available.
Staff Governors, are representatives of the teaching or support staff and are elected by the eligible staff when a
vacancy becomes available. 
All Governors are appointed by the Academy Council.  ​
They are selected to provide skills and experience which Governors feel are required.
The Chair of the Academy Council is appointed by the Nexus Multi Academy Trust Board of Directors.
All Governors initially serve for a period of four years.
At the end of the four years, they can stand for re-election or be re-appointed.
Governors are free to resign before the end of their four-year term if they so wish.


Members Of The Hilltop Academy Council

Paula Williams - Chair, Safeguarding & T&L Link Governor  Interests & Attendance Data

Sharon Biggin - Finance Link Governor   Interests & Attendance Data

Rob Mulvey - Headteacher  Interests & Attendance Data

​Sandra Rosado - Parent Governor & T&L Link Governor  Interests & Attendance Data

Ruth Milburn - Wellbeing & Behaviour Link Governor  Interests & Attendance Data

Gaynor Higham - Staff Governor (Support Staff)  Interests & Attendance Data

Cathryn Tansey - Parent Governor & T&L Link Governor  Interests & Attendance Data 

Fiona Featherstone - Governor  Interests & Attendance Data

Rebecca Turnbull - Co Opted Governor Interests & Attendance Data


​Christopher Spowage - Staff Governor (Teacher)  Interests & Attendance Data


Paula Williams - Governor (Hilltop Chair of Governors)

Paula Williams – Governor (Hilltop Chair of Governors)
Paula has worked within inclusion and special educational needs for over 30 years including as a mainstream teacher and a specialist teacher. Her most recent roles have been in the strategic leadership of local authority SEND services and provision and she brings a wealth of experience to support the work of the governing body. Paula is highly committed to children and young people with additional needs becoming successful and happy adults leading successful and happy lives.

Sharon Biggin - Finance Governor

Sharon Biggin - Finance Governor
Sharon has worked with young people and within communities for the last 30 years in youth centres and as part of a detached team in different areas of Rotherham.
Part of her role is encouraging participation of young people in projects and activities, offering new experiences and empowering young people to grow into confident members of the community in which they live.
 She has developed a range of positive links and partnerships within the community and has attended the Youth Taskforce Conference to give a presentation around partnership work as a part of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team. 
Sharon currently works with young people to build their confidence, self-esteem and social skills in different areas of Rotherham. 

Rob Mulvey (Headteacher)

Rob Mulvey - Headteacher
Rob Mulvey has worked in education for 29 years. 10 years in Secondary Mainstream schools and the last 19 years in three Special Needs Schools. Rob was the Deputy Head at Hilltop between 2013 and 2019 and has recently returned to the school this time as Headteacher after three years working as a Head in Derbyshire.
Hilltop School holds a particularly special place in Rob’s heart and he is delighted to have returned.
The school is continually expanding and changing and with the support of the Senior Leadership Team, teachers and support staff he is certain that things will continue to improve and thrive.
Rob feels that it is a privilege to work in the field of Special Educational Needs and is continually amazed and inspired by the resilience and determination of the students he encounters.
Rob also believes that for everyone a healthy work life balance is important in ensuring that one’s emotional and physical well-being is promoted and supported.
Outside of school Rob enjoys attending live music gigs with his husband Zak, walking in the Peak District, spending time with their greyhound Alan and meeting friends and family socially.
​Rob is a keen cook and loves nothing more than reading recipes, planning dinner parties and sharing meals round the dining table.
​He has recently joined a community choir and although does not profess to have the greatest Tenor singing voice he believes in the words of the Mama’s and the Papa’s “You gotta make your own kind of music, sing your own special song”.

Ruth Milburn (Governor)

Ruth Milburn – Governor​
Ruth is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with significant experience working with children with a range of Speech, Language and Communication needs between the ages of 1-18. Prior to training as a Speech and Language Therapist Ruth worked as a Learning Support Assistant for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
​Having worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for the NHS in both London and Yorkshire, Ruth currently runs a small private practice.

Sandra Rosado (Parent Governor)

Sandra Rosado - Parent Governor
Sandra works for the Telecommunications company O2 Telefonica as a 2nd  Line technical Guru.
She is the proud mom of two, one which is a pupil at Hilltop School. Her studies were in Curative Psychopedagogy and although she hasn't used much professional it now really helps her a lot when she works with her son on his development. She would love to use that knowledge to work with the school on teaching and learning development. 
​She is also passionate about new technology and considers herself, proudly, a bit of a geek although she is a firm believer that technology has it's time and place and it can be useful  but shouldn't never rule our way of life.

Gaynor Higham -  Staff Governor (Support staff)

Gaynor Higham - Staff Governor (Support Staff)
Before joining Hilltop School, Gaynor worked in the legal sector for 16 years as a Qualified Criminal Law Legal Representative spending her days being the voice of others, putting forward their views and making representations on their behalf. Following this Gaynor joined the Hilltop Team in 2015 being part of the administration team dealing in confidential HR and payroll.
Gaynor is also the parent of a child with special educational needs at Hilltop School and has watched him thrive with the guidance and expertise of excellent staff, therefore knowing first-hand their worth. She understands the relentless effort that goes into caring for our students and although rewarding can be stressful at times and I recognise staff may need an outlet to discuss those challenges
​Gaynor is looking forward to working with the board of governor at Hilltop. She is enthusiastic and passionate to gather feedback from colleagues and act as a conduit between staff and the governing body.

Cathryn Tansey (Parent Governor and T&L Link Governor)

Cathryn Tansey - Parent Governor & T&L Link Governor
​​Cathryn has worked in Community based services, supporting vulnerable adults since 2003,currently part of the management team for one of our organisation services.
This supports adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Condition, Acquired Brain Injury and Learning Disabilities.
As a team we are enthusiastic about promoting independence within the community and social inclusion for our service users.
I am hoping that my work experience and experience of being a parent of a child attending Hilltop school,
​will help with my role within the governing body.

Zara Skidmore - Staff Governor (Teacher)

Zara Skidmore - Staff Governor (Teacher)

Zara joined the Hilltop team in 2021 and is currently an Early Years Teacher. She trained to teach at Trinity and All Saints University in Leeds, where she graduated with BA Hons in Education with Sports Studies and QTS. Prior to joining Hilltop, Zara worked in mainstream Primaries. Her last post was as a SENDCo and Nursery teacher. Special needs education has always been a passion throughout her training and teaching career. There has always been a genuine interest in Hilltop as her Auntie attended here, along with one of her close friends from Primary School. Working at our school as a teacher, she feels it is a great privilege to be part of our family's journey through education. 

Outside of school, Zara lives with her husband Nick, and 2 children, Sam and Eliza. Zara has recently joined an amateur dramatic society with her son and starred together in their first ever pantomime. This has been something Zara has wanted to do for a long time. Watch this space Hollywood! On weekends and holidays, she can be found in mums taxi taking the children from one activity to another.

Fiona Featherstone (Community Governor)

Fiona Featherstone - Community Governor
Fiona has nearly 40 years of experience working in Careers, Connexions and SEN in Rotherham. Originally set up Parent Partnership in 1994 and also managed the Connexions service.
Fiona retired in 2021 from being a manager in the EHC Team. She is looking forward to bringing her own experience to challenge and support the school to do the best for children, families and staff.
Enjoys working with people, is a good listener and is excited to be part of the Hilltop team.

Rebecca Turnbull (Co-Opted Governor)

Rebecca Turnbull - Co opted Governor 

Rebecca has taught across all key stages for over 25 years, in Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley and Kirklees.
The vast majority of her work has been in special schools or other alternative provisions.
​Her passion is treating every child as an individual, responding to their needs and interests and making learning as fun as possible in a nurturing, compassionate environment. 
Rebecca taught at Hilltop for a year and loved it. She knows that Hilltop is a very special community and says she has never worked anywhere as child focused and where staff are  determined to do the best for each child.   She was really sad to leave, but wanted to reduce her daily commute on the M1 and M18 and has moved onto another special school in Sheffield.  Being a Hilltop Governor means she can stay in touch with all the fabulous staff, children and parents and work hard to  help Hilltop continue to move forward and develop.  
Out of school time, Rebecca loves to swim (including outdoors, the colder the better), read and is involved in a local community development group.


How can I contact the school governors?

​The Chair of Governors can be contacted via the School office.
You can also contact Clerking Services about any aspect of school governance at this address

Previous Governors




Chris Spowage - Staff Governor (Teacher)
Chris is a lower key stage 2 class teacher and has been with Hilltop School for 4 years.
​Prior to commencing a PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University in 2015 he completed a BA Honours Degree at Manchester University where he studied Professional Stage Practice, graduating in 2010. He loves to bring his theatrical background into the classroom to come up with creative ways to engage and intrigue the pupils. Chris is Science co-ordinator and Intermediate TeamTeach trainer at Hilltop School.
​This is his first experience of being on a Governing Panel as Teacher-Link Governor.
                                                                October 2023


Useful Information

Further useful governance information can be found on the Nexus Trust website.
Please click here to locate documents such as the Governance Handbook, Glossary of Terms and the
​Scheme of Delegation.

Updated 10/1/2022