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Community Participation Group


Our School Community Participation Group (CPG) plays a pivotal role in enhancing the educational experience and overall well-being and governance of students, parents, and staff within our school community. 

Our CPG is guided by a key objective of governance aimed at enriching the educational journey of our students and strengthening the bonds within our school community.

By working collaboratively, we are not only enhancing the educational experience but also nurturing a thriving and cohesive school community. Together, we are building a school environment where every student feels supported, motivated, and inspired to achieve their full potential.

Our CPG members are:

Karen Deeny - Link Trustee

With a background in speech and language therapy, I have over 40 years’ experience in health, social care and education as a clinician, senior leader, researcher, author, coach and mentor. I have an enduring passion for working collaboratively to improve people’s experiences and opportunities.

Since 1997 I have worked in the facilitation of change and improvement with a strong focus on positive and strengths based leadership. Quality assurance, innovation, and transformation are key elements of my extensive work leading local, regional and national programmes in the NHS. My work to involve patients and the public in service development and redesign has been conducted both in the UK and internationally.

A fellow of the RSA and ILM qualified executive coach and mentor, I now work independently with statutory, voluntary and social enterprise organisations. I have a PhD in healthcare improvement and have held honorary research and visiting lecturer roles with the Universities of Birmingham and Worcester. 

Yvonne Hughes - Community member 

"I am very pleased to become a member of your Community Participation Group.  I felt quite honoured to be asked to become a member of the CPG, as my experience in education, special needs and safeguarding stands me in good stead for supporting your school.  As a retired former SENDCo/Inclusion Coordinator/teacher for a primary school in Plymouth and also part of the Senior Leadership Team, I worked alongside the Head teacher and Deputy Head and was also one of the Safeguarding Leads for the school.  I have over twenty years experience in primary school education and special needs.  Prior to obtaining my BA and PGCE which were obtained during a break from a previous career in social care, I was approached to become a special needs governor in a city centre primary school. It was this experience that led me into education and my interest in special needs. 

Although now retired with my husband; I lead a very busy life with interests such as walking, reading, gardening and catching up with family and friends.  I have two grown up daughters who both work for the NHS, and I am expecting my first grand child very soon which is all very exciting. 

I look forward to meeting and working with more of you as time progresses and working with you all."

Stacey Edwards - parent

I am a full time mum to my two children and a trustee at my daughter’s nursery. I chose to be a member of the CPG because I want to be involved with my son’s school journey and understand the ins and outs of his school life. 

Carolyn Cookson - parent

I am a mum to four children ranging from 11 to 33 years, three of who have additional needs.  My eldest didn't get diagnosed until he was 25 and we went through this life thinking he was the naughty child. Now I understand the reasons he acted as he did. Fenton had a very tricky start to his education, but we discovered Courtlands which saved us as a family and Fenton was finally able to be himself which felt amazing.

I have a history of working with children and have worked in several nurseries from childcare worker to deputy manager.  I have an NVQ Level 3 in Childcare and Education. I had to give up my job when Fenton was permanently excluded from mainstream and I've never returned to work. I am still currently a stay at home mum but seriously thinking of getting back into the workplace. I'm keen to continue to be part of the Courtlands family to watch the progression and growth of future pupils.  It was the best place for my boy and I would like to be part of making it even better for future pupils.

Sarah Gray - parent

I am Mum to four lovely girls, the youngest being Rosie, who attends Courtlands School. Rosie attends as she has Prader Willi Syndrome. I want to be involved with the CPG so I can have a better understanding of what happens at school, the thinking behind strategies, and the continuing developments of the school to benefit our children. I like the fact it is a great way of being included and has an open line of communication. This is very important to me as I don’t take or pick up Rosie from School. I am a full time Mum, and part-time Health Care Assistant/Quality of Life assistant in a Dementia specialist care home.

If you wish to join our Community Participation Group and are able to commit to three meetings a year and three school visits a year, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone on 01752 776848 or email: