Governing Body Structure Updated January 2018

The chart below explains how Governance works within the Preston Hedge’s Academy Trust. The document below explains the role, responsibilities and job description of a member of the Local Governing Body.


Governing Body Summary Document

The document below explains how we work alongside the Preston Hedge’s Academy Trust Board



Governing Body visit into school February 2018

Governors visited school in February to complete a learning walk focusing on the afternoon curriculum, our priority around Early Years and our Values systems.

Governors went into each classroom to look at afternoon provision and the engagement of children. They then scrutinised the effectiveness of actions taken to improve Year R, linked to our priority. Finally they reviewed the Values system with Mrs Coles, once again linked to our improvement priorities.

Governors who attended completed monitoring forms and these will be scrutinised at the FGB in March.


Governing Body visit into school January 2018

To follow up on our school priorities our Governors visited school in January to scrutinise the improvements we had made to Year R and to review the progress we had made in developing our School Values.

During the afternoon visit the Governors also completed a learning walk with Mrs Lang, our Curriculum Leader,  to evaluate the strengths of our afternoon curriculum. This presented our Governors with the opportunity to reflect on pupil engagement in lessons.

After the visits Governors complete a monitoring evaluation which is then discussed at the next Local Governing Body Meeting.

Governing Body visit into school November 2017

In response to SPaG as a school priority, governors joined a SPaG learning walk in order to observe the environment and delivery of the subject discretely within its daily 15 minute sessions.

The governors visited the participating classes with Mrs Coles and Miss Philpott, where they observed the high pace and interactivity across all of the sessions, before discussing the school’s recent SPaG data with Mr Watson.

The overall response from the governors was that the lessons had consistently high levels of engagement and that the children showed great enthusiasm for the subject.


Governing Body visit into school September 2017

Members of our Local Governing Body visited school in the third week of term to look at how how our children and staff had settled into the new term. They also met with school leaders amd reflected on how our children were engaged in their learning.



Our Local Governing Body- Pen Portraits – Updated October 2017

Neal PrescottChair Of The Local Governing Body

I have been a Governor for 7 years, and whilst my two boys have long since left, I still feel I have a strong link to the school. Having been a member then Chair of the Friends of Preston Hedges, I move across to the Governing body and have been chair since 2013.

My time as a governor has seen much change at the school, we became an Academy, and are now looking at other ways to make our school stronger and more successful. These are really exciting times, and I love the challenge of dealing with a changing educational environment, whilst helping to maintain a great learning environment for our fabulous pupils.

My background is in Construction/Civil Engineering, and I have specialised in building efficiency, and quality management.  This has been of use at school, particularly as much of my experience has been related to school design and construction.


Whilst there have been many high points, and we are very proud of our record with Ofsted, the things which really give me a ‘buzz’ are more subtle.  Seeing our children performing Shakespeare at the Royal and Derngate, watching parents’ joy at their first Nativity, or seeing the fantastic work displayed around the school all keep me motivated and happy to give time working with the Head and other staff


Sarah Saunders – Vice Chair of The Local Governing Body

I sit on the Standards Committee; this reflects my interest in the range of subjects that the children learn and aligns well with my professional background which is in purchasing.  I worked for many years in the automotive industry and am now self employed and working in the construction industry.  My experience includes managing suppliers, contracts, budgets and costs and I also have experience in project management and accounts.

In my spare time, I enjoy watching my two boys play football and also enjoy music, keeping fit and spending time with family and friends.

I enjoy being a governor and try and get into school as much as I can.  I try to support staff and parents in providing the best opportunities for all children at the school and their making school life enjoyable and challenging.



Rachel Denton

I was elected to the Governing Body as a Parent Governor, in November 2014. I have two children attending the school, and have always been impressed with how the school is run. I volunteered to help ensure that it continues to offer our children such a good quality education. As a governor, I sit on the Curriculum Committee and am the Vice Chair of the Safeguarding, Welfare and Behaviour Committee.

After graduation, I worked for the Royal National Institute of Blind People for fourteen years as a Braillist and Volunteer Co-ordinator. I edited print books for brailling and co-ordinated the volunteer workforce to braille them. I was responsible for final checking their work, giving constructive and tactful feedback. I recruited and trained volunteers, arranging regional meetings around the country and facilitating training sessions. When my son started school I could no longer balance my commute to work with the school run, so I became a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working more with print books. As such, I have a very good eye for detail, and am organised and disciplined in managing my time and meeting deadlines.

I also work part-time as an infant aquatics instructor, teaching water confidence and swimming skills to children and their parents.  My negotiating skills are now honed against toddlers, who really don’t want to follow my lesson plan or give back the watering can.


Carl Dillow

I have two sons, 1 in year 1 and one in his last year if preschool.  I have lived in the area since I was very young, and Wootton specifically since 2006.  I became a member of the governing body in 2016 as I wanted to contribute to the school and do my bit for its success.

I work as Head of Consulting for a global IT company where, on top of the IT, I manage forecasts, budgets, management board reports, recruitment, and performance management.  I have also spent a great deal of time developing my team and helping them achieve their career goals.  This experience has aligned well with the finance and HR committee where I am now a member.

Outside of work I also coach at a Junior Badminton club, so I have experience of working with young people and safeguarding.


David Hughes

I have lived in Wootton for over ten years and volunteered as a Governor three years ago in order to take a more active role, giving something back to support the ongoing success of the school. I have two daughters at the school who both experienced a very positive start to their school-lives and I wanted to help ensure that others enjoy a similar experience.

I qualified as a chartered accountant early in my career, however have had a variety of roles and experiences since, including defining and implementing business strategy, and providing financial and operational consultancy for smaller business partners.

In my role as Governor I aim to share these skills with the Governing Body and School Leadership Team for the benefit of the school, the pupils, parents and staff.  I currently chair the FHSR (Finance, Health & Safety & Resources) committee.


Helen Kendall

I have just joined the Governing Body as a Community Governor. I have a daughter at the school in year 3 and have been part of the friends committee since she started in reception.

I have been working at a secondary school for 15 years now and have been involved in many areas of the school including Reception, PA to the Business Manager when the school was going through a complete rebuild and working on the website. In my role now I work in Student Services where I am involved with the children and their safeguarding. I also assist the attendance team and work with parents on a day to day basis. I really enjoy my job and find working in a school very rewarding.

I am passionate about school life, children and parents and would like to dedicate my time to helping at Preston Hedge’s wherever it is necessary. I am so impressed with the work that takes place at the school I am keen the help and assist as much as I can.

I am looking forward to my journey as a Governor and I hope I will be able to support the school in continuing to make it outstanding.



David Nyamatore

Coming from a family that is keen on education I have always been interested in learning and picking up various life skills, whether that is in a classroom environment or through practical experience. This is something that I already see in my daughter who is now in Year One at Preston Hedges, and I am looking forward to the opportunity of giving back and supporting all the students at PH (including its sister schools) to be fully equipped in becoming the best they can be in life.

I work as a Specialist Lawyer for a large financial institution and with each deal that I’m involved with I’m driven by the desire to ensure there is a commercial benefit whilst also managing the legal risk. Easier said than done sometimes!

Finally, I’m very interested in sports, tennis/football/golf/athletics. If I’m not playing one of these I’ll probably be following one closely somewhere


Esther Stephenson

I joined Preston Hedges as a Parent Governor in February 2011. I am a parent of two boys, Blake in Year 2 and Travis in Year 5.  I enjoy life drawing, textiles, visiting historic buildings and spending time outdoors with my family, especially supporting the boys with their local football teams.

My background is in education and I have been a Leading Teacher of Art, Design and Technology at a school in Milton Keynes for the last fifteen years. I am very passionate about education and how the creative arts and problem solving is a vital part of the development of a child.

I have been the Chair of the Safeguarding, Behaviour and Wellbeing Committee for the last three years. As part of my role I have the privilege to spend time in school talking to the children and staff to improve my knowledge as a governor. I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of Year 1 last year on their Diwali day and holding the community photography competition in the summer, which was fantastic!


Simon Swaffer

I’m proud to be able to say I’m a parent of a child who goes to Preston Hedges and am very keen to see the school continue to thrive and develop. I am an enthusiastic, well-motivated individual who would support and challenge constructively to help the school wherever possible.

I have a daughter in year 3 and a son who we hope will be starting in 2018, therefore I will be in a position to be willing and able to invest my time and commitment over a long period. I am an experienced  financial consultant working for the UK’s largest Mutual insurer, in which everything we do is built on the foundations of Independent Governance and client outcomes (in this case the children, teachers and school). My day to day role includes managing client relationships, presentations to employers and consultancy on pension and investment  options. I believe I have gained valuable experience and knowledge as a result of sitting on corporate employee representative committees as well as using management, mentoring and situational leadership skills as part of my everyday work. I feel these skills and attributes would be both useful and beneficial to the role of parent governor for the school.

In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit, taking part in triathlons and am happy to encourage my children and others to lead a happy and active lifestyle.


Mark Watling

This is my first year as a Community Governor at Preston Hedges and I’m sitting on the Standards Committee. I have 2 children at the school, and seeing the fantastic start they have made at the school to their education and learning, I’m keen to contribute to the continued success of the school for all children and ensure that we provide opportunities and maximise potential for all, including the teaching team.


As a Technology and Change Director at a Global Bank, I lead and manage teams through significant change whilst implementing strategies to improve and maintain quality whilst balancing costs and risk. I believe these skills will help me contribute to the governing board, school and children.


I have lived in Wootton fields for 15 years, and socially I can be found on the golf course or running around Wootton Fields
















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