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I would like to welcome you to the website of Farney Close School.

As the Chair of Governors, I feel privileged to lead – alongside the Vice-Chair – a dedicated board of governors and directors who bring valuable opinions and expertise in business, education, adolescent counselling, care and safeguarding. Together we oversee the school’s development strategy, aims, objectives and goals following governance, legal and regulatory requirements.

We are all excited to work closely with Sara Hack, the school’s Principal, and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members to drive the school forward during these exciting – and sometimes challenging – times.

As the Chair of Governors, it is important to me that the Board – myself included – are not only holding the SLT and employees of the school to account but also supporting them to ensure that our provision offers a quality service. As part of this process, we all make regular visits to the school, monitoring our designated areas of responsibility and taking time to speak with staff members, children, and young people to gather their views.

All of the excellent work that happens at Farney Close School would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of all the people who work at the school. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your work and the positive impact you have on the lives of the children and young people that attend our school.

I would also like to thank the parents and carers of our pupils for their support and let you know that if you ever need to make contact, we are all here for you. Finally, I would like to thank the children and young people because without pupils there is no school and without your co-operation, we cannot help you to succeed.

If you would like to contact me, please get in touch via the school.

Carole Johns

Company Management

The board of Directors/Governors is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of  the school, developing the school’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

(Place your mouse over underlined names for more information)

Directors and Governors

  • Carole Johns – Chair with Safeguarding responsibilities. Carole has worked with children and young people in several residential special schools for children with SEMH in a number of roles including Head of Care and as a Family Inclusion & Safeguarding Manager. Carole was elected as Chair of Governors in September 2021 after three years on the board. She continues to be passionate about Child Protection and Safeguarding.
  • Nicki Bartholomew (Vice Chair) I have a BA (QTS) in English and have taught across the age ranges, I took early retirement from my job as Deputy Head  at a local independent school but really missed teaching and being involved with teachers, pupils and the educational world. Consequently I became a tutor for children who were finding areas of the curriculum and school life a bit of a challenge. This only fills a small amount of time compared to teaching, so when a friend suggested that I might enjoy being a school governor that seemed the be the answer. Farney Close school impressed me with its ethos, inclusivity and broad and varied curriculum and shares many of my own personal teaching philosophies.
  • Sue DeaneSue Deane first became involved with the School nearly 20 years’ ago as a member of the Employment Team of Farney’s long-standing legal advisers. During that time she advised on all HR related matters. Sue sat as a magistrate in Brighton for over 20 years and gained valuable experience in chairing courts and meetings.


  • Sara Hack – PrincipalI have worked at Farney Close since 1982. Initially I worked on the care team, trained as a Social Worker at the end of the 90s and was promoted to Head of Care. In April 2019 I gained the position of Principal which was previously referred to as the Head. I truly believe in what Farney offers the young people that attend the school. Our ethos of “supporting each young person to become the best possible version of themselves” is embedded into my practice as is ensuring that all young people and staff are Safeguarded whilst in our care.
  • Cathy o’Connor – Staff Governor

Governors Areas of focus:

Area of focus Link Governor
Quality of Education Nicki Bartholomew
Behaviour & Attitudes Sue Deane
Personal Development & Post 16 Provision Cathy O’Connor

Leadership & Management

(Including Safeguarding and HR)

Carole Johns/Nicki Bartholmew/Sue Deane
Quality of Residential Care Carole Johns

National Minimum Standards, Std 3 Independent Visitor: Adrian Carver


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