Meet The Governors

Angela Sandhal

Angela is a practising solicitor at Atherton Godfrey Solicitors where she specialises in all aspects of public law. She has a particular interest in education law and has acted for clients in cases raising issues of wider public importance including in the areas of school transport, equality assessments and in fitness to practise disputes concerning medical and other students. Her work has been recognised by one of the UK’s leading legal directories for the last few years, where she is currently ranked as an education lawyer.

Having also practiced for many years in the area of special educational needs law including acting for parents in cases before the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal for children with complex needs, Angela came into contact with PACES and was inspired by the school’s educational philosophy and unique provision and its positive impact on the outcomes for children and their families.

Since taking up a position on the board, Angela has taken a keen interest in the compliance and regulatory aspects of the school and she was later elected Chair of Governors through which she will continue the work of striving for excellence in all aspects of the school’s leadership and governance.

Angela’s other experience of governance includes serving on a number of different work related committees throughout her career to date including more recently as an officer of the Doncaster and District Law Society.

Away from work, Angela’s interests include travel, tennis tournaments and gardening.

Appointed as a Paces School Governor on 26th July 2016.

Elected Chair of Governors on 5th December 2016.


Wally Hirst

Wally is a retired Independent Management Consultant who became a Trustee and Governor in 2006 to make a difference to the lives of our children and young people through education. His business experience has proven invaluable as a Trustee of Paces Sheffield.

Appointed as a Paces school Governor on 13th July 2015.

Janet Baker

Janet is a Solicitor and Director in the firm of Switalaskis in Sheffield.  She specialises in Clinical Negligence with a particular focus on cerebral palsy and brain damage resulting from injury at birth.  She is familiar with the challenges that face families on a daily basis and has assisted children and young people and their families to access appropriate educational provision and assessments.  She has a keen interest in this area of work.  For 8 years she was a lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University and visiting lecturer at Leeds & Bradford Universities and continues with an assessor’s role for the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel.  She was previously an examiner for the College of Law, York.

Her experience of supporting charities was as a Trustee on the Regional Board of the RSPCA and she has fulfilled various functions to ensure the effective governance of the charity including fundraising; monitoring and coaching staff; responding to grievances and dealing with disciplinary matters.

Appointed as a Paces school Governor on 26th July 2016.

Charlotte Kukstas

Charlotte received her medical degree at Sheffield University and spent her first two years as a junior doctor working in Scarborough and Hull before coming back to Sheffield to do her GP training. Outside of her work her main interests are cooking and gardening.  Charlotte likes to make the most of having the Peak District on her doorstep and enjoys doing a few cycle rides when the weather is nice.

She has seen the medical issues of children with cerebral palsy and is interested in the educational aspects to help make a difference.

Appointed as a Paces school Governor on 26th July 2016

Karen Hague

COMPANY SECRETARY / OFFICER TO THE BOARD – Along with Norman Perrin, she was one of the founder members of Paces and has been committed to its aims for many years. She is an efficient and effective manager with considerable experience in administration, people management and development and financial planning and management.

Karen’s only child has cerebral palsy following a premature birth.  She supported the early summer schools and development of the Paces charity.

Her work with families was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list when she received an MBE in 2004.

Gabor Fellner

Gabor became Headteacher of Paces School in 2002.  He is a graduate of the world renowned Pető Institute (1976).

He is a qualified Conductor and his qualifications and accreditation is as follows:

Teacher of Biology 1979 – Hungary

Special Needs Qualification 1985 – Hungary Postgraduate Degree in Education 2002 – New Zealand Qualified Teacher Status 2004 – UK Anatomy and Physiology Diploma 2009 – UK.

Gabor has an international reputation and has practised as a conductor in many different settings, serving as Principal at both Residential Schools for children with motor disorders and organisations for young people with learning difficulties.

He is responsible for the day to day management of Paces school, Including overseeing training of newly employed conductors. Gabor is also responsible for the continued professional development of all school staff and the learning programmes provided by the school.

Gabor maintains close links with staff in other mainstream schools who require advice and guidance when working with children with cerebral palsy.  He is also responsible for all training cooperation with external organisations, including such centres of excellence as the Birmingham National Institute of Conductive Education (NICE).

Appointed as a Paces school Governor in July 2008.

Anita Sandhal

Anita works as a teacher in a school in Sheffield and has been involved in Education for many years. She has studied education theory within both her degree and post-graduate studies and takes a keen interest in both educational practice and policy. Anita hopes that her knowledge and experience in the education sector would be an asset to the school and would support the governing body to ensure the school enable all children to excel.

Appointed:  13th July 2016  


Norma served as a Trustee and Governor since 13th July 2015 and resigned on the 9th June 2016.

John Biggin was Paces Chair of Trustees since 13th July 2015 and retired on 28th November 2016.

Spencer Pitfield

For the last ten years Spencer has taught music at Birkdale School in Sheffield.  Before this he taught at the world renowned Purcell School of Music in London. Spencer has a Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield in British Clarinet and Piano music and is married to Gabrielle – they have three children of school age.

Spencer has previously served as a local Councillor for eight years, holding various Portfolio Holder positions and also becoming Deputy Leader of the Council. At the 2005 General Election he contested Sheffield Hallam constituency against Nick Clegg MP.  In 2010 he was the Parliamentary Candidate for the newly formed seat of Penistone & Stocksbridge. In 2016 he was the Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough parliamentary by-election candidate.

Since 2010 Spencer has been the Conservative Party spokesman for Sheffield and South Yorkshire.  In this capacity he makes regular media appearances; BBC Radio 4 World at One, LBC Radio, Sky News, BBC News, BBC Look North, BBC Radio Sheffield. He is a columnist for the Yorkshire Post newspaper and also writes for the online platforms of Conservative Home and Conservative Voice.

A previous Conservative Policy Forum National Director, Spencer is currently the National Director of the Conservative Workers & Trade Unionists (CWTU)

In 2016 he was awarded the OBE by HRH Prince William at Buckingham Palace for political service – here in respect of his work on the Conservative Party’s 2015 General Election manifesto.

Spencer cares passionately about working hard to make a difference for all people. Losing his brother at a young age to kidney cancer was a life changing experience. Between 2007 and 2016 he sat as a Bench Chairman at Sheffield Magistrate’s Court (now on Magistrate supplemental list). In 2015 he was elected as a Sheffield NHS Foundation Trust Governor.

Appointed as Paces school Governor 13th July 2015

Ann Menzies-Blythe

Ann’s career, after Art College in Brighton, was in top flight retail. She then joined The Times, in advertising in London. Headhunted to the Yorkshire Post Newspapers in Yorkshire, successfully building the advertising base. Promoted Ann became Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for generating and building all the revenues. Subsequently, she was asked to join the Scotsman Newspapers, in Edinburgh, as Deputy Managing Director.

There she contributed substantially to bringing the newspapers back in to sustainable profit. Changing tack, Ann became the Director/CEO for a charity in Yorkshire, Wildwood, expanding her knowledge of the Third Sector and Social Enterprise in the community.  Ann set up her own company, which specialised in director development, social enterprise and executive coaching.  She worked with the IoD to bring director training to Directors and Trustees of charities and social enterprises in Yorkshire, a unique project that attracted Government and European funding.  It was her work with charities that brought her into contact with Paces Sheffield.

Currently, she is MD of Diamond Consultancy, and Infinity PR and Events.

Appointed as a Paces school Governor on 13th July 2015.

I am a mum of two children (Benjamin – 4 and Thomas – 1) both with genetic chromosome disorders (both have an extra chromosome 1.42.2 and my eldest also has a duplication of chromosome 5). In both boys this is causing neurological impairments including, Macrocephaly, motor delays and learning delays. In addition to this my eldest has Bilateral Perisylvian Polymicrogyria Syndrome and Worster Drought Syndrome: and my youngest, Bicuspid Aortic Valve and ascending aorta.

I want to give something back to Paces, and to get involved as a Parent Governor, I believe would do this. As parents of disabled children we want the best for them and I will foster a good relationship between the school, the board and parents.

My background is as a HR Advisor (over 10 years experience), where I qualified and attained my CIPD in Human Resources Management shortly before I had Benjamin. I continued to work after having Benjamin but have now given this up following Thomas’ arrival given the extent of both child’s needs.

Appointed as a Paces school Governor on 14th June 2017.