Meet Our Governors

In accordance with the Kite Academy Trust's governance structure as defined in its Articles of Association, Fernhill Primary Academy has a local advisory body, known as an Academy Council. The Academy Council is formed of Governors who volunteer their time to ensure the very best outcomes for all children at the academy and bring a breadth of experience and skills.

An Academy Council is constituted as follows:

1 Academy Head
1 Staff Governor
2 Parent Governors
4 Local Community Governors

The Academy Head is automatically a Governor by virtue of their position. Two Parent Governors are elected by parents of the academy and the Staff Governor is elected by employees of the academy. Local Community Governors are co-opted as necessary to provide the skills and experience needed by the Academy Council. In addition, the Academy Council may appoint other persons as Associate Academy Council Members to address any specifically identified skill gaps or to support any particular challenges that they may be facing. With the exception of the Academy Head, Governors serve a four year term and are eligible for re-appointment (subject to an election where necessary for Staff and Parent Governors). The positions of Chair and Vice-Chair are elected, and Portfolio Holders nominated, by the Governors on an annual basis.

The Academy Council meets a minimum of four times during the academic year. The primary purpose of the meetings is to review and discuss the Portfolio Monitoring Reports, identify any areas of risk to be reported to the Trust Board, and consider the medium and long-term strategic development of the academy.

The role of the Academy Council is:

• To ensure that the academy provides the highest possible level of education for all children;
• To ensure the safety and welfare of children and staff;
• To both support and act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Academy Head;
• To ensure that the leadership of the academy have high expectations for all children, including those with special needs;
• To ensure the curriculum is ambitious with appropriate breadth for all children in the academy;
• To ensure the Academy Improvement Plan delivers improvement;
• To ensure risk is both managed and reported to the Trust Board;
• To monitor the operation of the academy and to challenge constructively as needed
• To ensure that the academy has effective and appropriate systems and procedures in place;
• To monitor the designated Portfolios and review, discuss and report the findings
• To be accountable to stakeholders (Board of Trustees, parents, pupils, staff and local community)

Governors work in collaboration with the Academy Head and staff to monitor five specific areas (Portfolios) of the academy - Safeguarding, Achievement, Curriculum, Community and Finance. The responsibility for monitoring each Portfolio is allocated to one Governor and, through agreed monitoring activities, the Portfolio Holder gains evidence at first hand of what happens in that area of the academy. Monitoring mainly involves talking to children and staff, visiting classrooms to see learning in action, and examining children’s work books and other documentary material. Governors also take the opportunity to talk with families at Parents’ Evenings. The current COVID-19 restrictions mean that Governors are not able to visit the academy during the school day, however they continue to monitor by remote means (email, phone, virtual meetings).

Across the Trust, Academy Council Governors are invited to represent Portfolio Holders at Trust Board Committee meetings and work in collaboration with other Academy Councils to support the improvement, development and success of each academy in the Kite Academy Trust. Training opportunities for Governors are provided by the Kite Academy Trust.


For statutory Governor information and meeting attendance for the 2019-2020 academic year, please click here.

For information regarding the governance structure of the Kite Academy Trust, please click here.

For statutory information and reports relating to the Kite Academy Trust, please click here.

Minutes of Academy Council meetings are available on request. Please contact the Academy Head in the first instance.

For any other information, or if you would be interested in becoming a Governor, please contact

Our Academy Council Governors:

Barbara Pretty

Barbara Pretty (Chair)

I graduated from Leeds University with a BA Honours in History and Community Studies.  I then went into Publishing and have a varied editorial background – I have worked on commercial and technical publications, a major defence project for the European Commission, and have researched and written Health and Safety booklets.  Currently I am a Senior Editor for a local academic publisher.  My strengths include project management and adhering to tight timescales, as well as copy-editing and proofreading.

I have been involved with local school governing bodies since 1998.  I have been attached to Fernhill Primary Academy since 2004, first as Clerk, and then as Chair to four Headteachers.  I am currently Chair, supporting Ms Slater, her staff and the Academy Council.  I have also been on the Hampshire Pool for Clerks to Governing Bodies, and have clerked at five local infant/primary schools, including Fernhill Primary Academy.

My hobbies include dancing with Fleet Morris, singing with Fleet Rock Choir, going to the gym, theatre, cinema, walking and reading.  I also enjoy supporting Fulham Football Club.

Mark Chegwidden

Mark Chegwidden


I am a member of your Academy Council with responsibility for the Achievement portfolio.  That means that I work closely with Nicky Slater and the senior team to monitor and review the academy's achievement across all subjects with a particular focus on English and Mathematics.
These days I live in Yateley but I was born and raised in Cornwall hence the strange surname!  I have recently retired from a career in IT and, in my newly discovered spare time, I am enjoying keeping fit and walking several long distance footpaths including the South Downs Way and the Thames Path.

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Jill Christian


Ray Pretty

Ray Pretty


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Hendrik de Villiers


Helen Griffiths

Helen Griffiths


Rashida Nasir

Rashida Nasir


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