We have currently have 1 vacancy

Would you be interested in becoming a member of our Management Committee – a governor of Malden Oaks?


We are keen to ensure that the base of experience on our small, friendly Management Committee (governing body) is as broad as possible, and we warmly welcome members who bring new insights. We are currently looking to appoint one or two people to join us.

Malden Oaks is a complex organisation for its size, and we shall value your skills and interests, whether drawn from your career, from voluntary activities or other experience. Above all we’re looking for enquiring minds ready to challenge and to support the school and perhaps in due course to take one of the leadership roles on the Committee.

If you’d like to find out more before putting in an application, the Committee’s Chair, Robert Green, would be happy to have a word on the phone.

To apply, please email a note (up to 800 words or two sides) setting out the reasons you’d be interested in joining us; the skills or attributes you think you’d bring; experience you think would be relevant; and other main points from your CV.

Closing date: 27 February 2021.

Email your application (or request for a preliminary chat) to Laura Dandy, Business Manager:


Our school

Malden Oaks is a small school maintained by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. We offer ‘alternative provision’ for up to 120 Kingston and Richmond students aged 11-16 (and a small number aged 16+) who have found it difficult to access mainstream education. Some are with us for one or two years, others for only a term or two.

We have three sites in Kingston and Richmond – Ham, Surbiton and Hampton Hill – and provide the following services to students and schools in both boroughs (except where stated):

  1. as a pupil referral unit (PRU), we educate students who are directed to alternative provision by a state school or who are permanently excluded from school;
  2. special educational needs (SEN): we provide education on site for 18 Kingston students with an Education, Health and Care Plan relating to social, emotional or mental health issues; and respite education for other SEN students (on site or in other locations including the student’s home);
  3. medical tuition service: for students who are unable to attend school due to ill health of a physical and/or emotional nature, and delivered at home or in other venues;
  4. Malden Oaks Outreach Team (MOOT): one day a week programmes at a number of activity venues for KS2, KS3 and KS4 students at risk of disengagement from mainstream school. Also under the MOOT umbrella we run networks and training for teachers in mainstream schools.

We are committed to a broad curriculum with a wide range of GCSE subjects to allow students to develop their interests, plus an extensive and inspiring outdoor and activity programme. We ensure a safe, supportive and stimulating environment where students are encouraged to have high expectations and to take responsibility for their learning and their school community. Supporting our students in developing positive relationships, self-confidence, resilience, creativity and British values is crucial to our ethos.

We don’t measure success solely by our academic results (though these are nationally outstanding among alternative providers) but by a range of other measures including the views of our past and present students and their parents/carers.


Our vision

  1. To be a centre of excellence in provision for students who have experienced difficulties in mainstream school, helping them to re-engage with education.
  2. To provide a broad, balanced and exciting curriculum which replicates the best of the opportunities available in mainstream schools, combined with bespoke and targeted support.
  3. To achieve excellent outcomes through high expectations and quality first teaching, delivered by qualified specialist staff.
  4. To prepare all students for a fulfilled and productive adulthood, so that they can make a positive contribution to their families, communities and wider society.
  5. To place the needs and voices of students, parents/carers and the local family of schools at the centre of everything we do.

Please look at the video on our home page where students talk about Malden Oaks in their own words.


Management Committee

The Management Committee of a pupil referral unit corresponds to the Governing Body of a mainstream or special school, and has almost identical statutory functions. While the Headteacher (Samantha Axbey) has executive responsibility for the school and its day-to-day operation, the Management Committee, currently chaired by Robert Green, is responsible for:

  1. ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. monitoring and holding the executive to account for educational performance and management of staff;
  3. overseeing financial performance: the school’s budget for 2020-21 is some £2.9m.

Our Management Committee has 12 members: the Headteacher and an elected member of the school staff; three senior teachers from partner mainstream schools in Kingston and Richmond; and seven lay members, one of whom represents parents.

The Management Committee holds four ordinary meetings a year – usually from 5-7pm – and one longer ‘awayday’ for strategic planning. In current circumstances meetings have been held virtually, though normally they take place on one of the school sites. Dates are canvassed well in advance, and all members are expected to make every effort to attend. But it’s not all work – we do try to find occasions to socialise!

Members are also appointed to at least one sub-committee. Two of these – Finance, Personnel & Premises and Headteacher’s Performance Review – meet two or three times a year. Two further sub-committees – Teaching & Achievement and Behaviour, Safety & Welfare – do not currently meet, but through email and in other ways operate virtually; they take responsibility for ensuring that their areas receive adequate scrutiny at Management Committee, leading the questions and advising on relevant school policies as they come forward for approval.

In addition, each member is allocated a ‘link’ role associated with a particular aspect of the school’s provision, with one or more partners on the school staff. The aim is to learn about this provision in some depth, exploring issues as necessary and ensuring that Management Committee discussions draw on this informed understanding. Normally link visits take place on school premises, but during lockdown discussions are being held by telephone.


Appointment process

There will be an informal and friendly online interview with three members of the Management Committee: Jill Braun, Vice-Chair; Claude Green, Chair of Finance, Personnel and Premises Sub-Committee; and Samantha Axbey, Headteacher. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask about Malden Oaks and the work of Management Committee. A successful applicant will be invited to attend the next meeting of Management Committee, following which the Committee will formally confirm the appointment.

The Committee’s Clerk will arrange induction materials and events for a new member, who will also be encouraged to attend training for new governors provided by Achieving for Children, the education provider for Kingston and Richmond.

Important: At present, appointment to the Management Committee is normally for a period of four years, renewable for a second term. However, we have established a close relationship with the Auriga Academy Trust (AAT), a small academy trust comprising special schools in Richmond upon Thames. We shall shortly submit to the Department for Education an application for Malden Oaks to become an academy as part of AAT from April 2022. If that application is successful, Malden Oaks will retain its own separate governing body as an academy within AAT. Our expectation is therefore that any new member appointed to the current Malden Oaks Management Committee would in principle be willing to continue as a member of the school’s new governing body.

February 2021