Our Governors

James Gaisford

Looking to help out in the local community, James became a governor at Somerset Studio School at the start of 2020. The global pandemic struck at the same time and so James was virtually introduced to governorship through online meetings, and aside from an initial interview, didn't get to experience SSS first-hand for his first 18 months as a governor. Fast forward to today and James enjoys the strong relationships he has formed with fellow governors and staff at SSS in his role as vice chair and overseeing ICT, Technology as well as equality and inclusion. When not being a governor, James enjoys running, gardening, being creative, being a good flat white and spending time with his family. 

Paul Bergin

Chair of Governors

Paul has over 10 years experience in school governance having served previously at primary and secondary before taking on the role of Chair of Governors at Somerset Studio School.   The position was and still is challenging yet rewarding in that we have created a brand-new governing body.  Paul is a postgraduate scientist, and turned accountant for a local area employer.  He is a family man with two university-aged children, enjoying European city breaks, watching rugby, cooking and gardening. 

Simon Wheeler

Trust Appointed Governor

I became a Governor in 2020 and had zero experience in the education sector and school governance prior to this. I was encouraged to take on the role having voiced some opinions at school forums. It has been a learning experience to understand the demands that the school has to deal with, and a real insight to see how focussed the staff are on the education and well-being of the students.


My professional background is in renewable energy development and from this I have some insight into the workplace environment and requirements of the science, technology and engineering sectors.

Samantha Drew

Community Governor

I’m Sam and I am Community Governor at Somerset Studio School. 

I am parent to an adult and teenage son both past and present students of SSS and a pre school daughter. I grew up locally and attended local schools as have my own children and I have worked in the community within heath and  social care services for the last 14 years supporting adults and youths with disabilities, additional needs, mental heath problems and advocating for the most vulnerable in our society.

I have a passion for education and currently work as a school secretary  with a  professional and personal interest in SEND, mental heath and wellbeing with a commitment to reducing barriers to learning so that every child and young person can achieve. 

I enjoy traveling, culture, history and music festivals and spending time with my family. 

Caroline Weale

Staff Governor

I joined the then Mendip Studio School in September 2022 after 11 years as a childminder and whilst I loved being my own boss and working in the early years sector I was ready for a new challenge.  Since joining the team in the role of Intervention Manager I have expanded my skill set rapidly and have am grateful to be making a difference to the young people in our school.

I have always been, and will continue to be, passionate about achieving the best possible outcomes for children and being part of the school's fantastic pastoral team has honed these new skills and I have loved being here every day making that difference.

My passions include Spending time with family & Listening and watching live music.