Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones
Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones


Stepping Stones Charity

Stepping Stones School is a charity that has provided special needs education in Hindhead for over 12 years, growing successfully year on year.   The school is a focus of many activities in the community hosting clubs and summer activities as well as events for local residents.  The school also works in partnership with a number of local schools, businesses and charities.  

Many local residents also know the school through the Cookie Bar, located in Royal Huts Parade, which is linked to the school as part of a social enterprise scheme. Students gain work experience here and parents regularly volunteer in support of both the school and activities supported by the COINS Foundation in Africa.

The Charity operates the school through a Board of Governors.

Our Funding Foundations

Today the school is supported by two charitable foundations in the following ways:

• COINS own our the Tower Road site and have fully supported the development of the school in these past 12 years.  The founders of the school Larry Sullivan and Sandy Seagrove unable to find the right school for their daughter decided to start their own in 2004 with just 3 students.  Today the COINS Foundation continues to provide support to the school through the development of specialist facilities such as a recording studio and pottery as well as starting the Cookie Bar in 2011.  The Tower Road site was re-furbished in the summer of 2016 to become the Lower School of Stepping Stones.  
• DFN Foundation in 2014 became involved in the school as parents David and Clare Forbes-Nixon looked to support the development of the school that had made such an impact on their son's education.  The foundation purchased the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw,  which is walking distance from both the Tower Road site and the Cookie Bar.  Work was completed in the summer of 2016 and the site opened its doors to students in September.  This site hosts the Upper School and Post 16 provision with the modern facilities required of a varied and challenging curriculum.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors report to both of our funding foundations on the overall work and development of the school and welcome members of each onto the board.  The main role of the governors is to hold the leadership of the school to account acting as a ‘critical friend’.  

"The headteacher and governors have made successful changes to ensure that pupils receive high levels of care and good outcomes.  Consequently, the school meets all the independent school standards."  OFSTED 2016

The board is currently:

• Norman StromsoyChair of Governors, CEO of the DFN Foundation,  Consultant and Ex-headteacher in special needs schools. Norman is a trustee of the Himalayan Youth Foundation.   Appointed August 2015.
• David Forbes-Nixon, Co-Vice Chair and Chair of the Finance & Staffing Committee, parent and founder/trustee of the DFN Foundation.  David is Chairman of the DFN Charitable Foundation.  Appointed June 2014..
• Jo FranklinCo-Vice Chair, Trustee of the COINS Foundation and Commercial Director COINS Group.  Appointed November 2014.
• Anne HayesChair of the Attainment & Curriculum Committee, Head Teacher of Wood End Academy and ex-chair of Stepping Stones Trustees.  Appointed as Trustee (now Governor) November 2010.
• Larry Sullivan, co-founder of Stepping Stones, ex-parent and trustee of Stepping Stones, and founder of the COINS Foundation.  Appointed as Trustee (now Governor) January 1994.
• Tim Armitage, Technical Director COINS.  Appointed November 2014.
• James Dickson, school governor in London, Founder and CEO of Piota (Educational Software) and trustee of the DFN Foundation.  Appointed November 2014.
• Jane Rudlin-Jones, Parent Governor.  Appointed September 2015.
• Staff Governor - currently vacant.

• Ellie Clayden, Doctor, Community Governor.  Appointed September 2016

Gloria Vessey, Barrister and Founder of Advocates for Children, Community Governor.  Appointed October 2016.
The Head Teacher, Melissa Farnham attends the Governing Board Meetings and Anne Edward, Business Manager acts as Clerk to the Board.  

Additional Information 

Governors who have resigned their position on the board in the last 12 months are:

  • Vix Benson, Parent Governor.   Appointed January 2015, Resigned 31/5/16.  Vix remains a parent of the school and is dedicating more time to her family.
  • Sandra Pay, Staff Governor.  Appointed January 2015, Resigned 31/12/17. Sandra is no longer a member of staff at the school.

Governor Attendance 2015/16

Tim Armitage 100 %

Vix Benxon 50%

James Dickson 80%

David Forbes-Nixon 100%

Jo Franklin 50%

Anne Hayes 80%

Sandra Pay 80%

Jane Rudlin-Jones 100%

Norman Stromsoy 89%

Larry Sullivan 86%

Contacting Governors

If you would like to contact the Governing Board please write to:

Mr Norman Stromsoy, Chair of Governors, Stepping Stones School, Tower Road, Hindhead, GU26 6SU