The governor’s role is to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school, by monitoring the activities of the school to ensure that the children receive the best possible education in a safe and stimulating learning environment.
We are fortunate to have so many active and committed governors, many of whom have been connected to the school for many years. As you can see, the governors come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring a diverse range of talents and experience to the school and we rely on these skills to ensure that the governors fulfil their function. We are also very fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented staff of teachers and teaching assistants and the governors work in close partnership with the staff. If you have any questions, queries or comments about the work of the governors please do not hesitate to get in touch. We very much value feedback from parents about their experience and views of the school.
If you would like more details regarding appointments and resignations of governors, please refer to The Propeller Academy Trust website, financial statement:
You are able to make contact with the Governors by contacting the office
Sam Shepherd - Chair of Governors
I have more than 15 years experience of working in the public sector in roles which cover a wide range of corporate services and functions. This includes corporate planning, grant management, equalities and inclusion, scrutiny, partnership working and liaison with elected representatives, voluntary and community organisations and parish councils. I began my public sector career by completing a doctorate on evidence based policy making. I have worked for a Fire and Rescue Service, the NHS, central government agencies and different types of local authorities.
Alongside my formal professional skills, I have had training in psychotherapy and am passionate about emotional and mental wellbeing. As a Mum of two children; I have an enormous interest in supporting Kingfisher School to continue its holistic and tailored education of our young people. It is an honour to be part of the Kingfisher School community, where everyone is valued, supported and celebrated.
Fernando Nodal - Vice Chair of Governors
I am a Lecturer in Medicine at St Hilda's College, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Neuroscientist with an interest in neural plasticity associated and learning. After completing my doctorate in Spain and having worked in different laboratories in France and Switzerland, I arrived at Oxford at the beginning of the millennium to make it my hometown and raise my family.
I became a member of Kingfisher's Governing Body in 2017 and since then I have seen not only how our school has expanded and improved its facilities, but more importantly, how much our dedicated teaching and support staff is creating a unique space for learning in which our pupils are thriving. It is a pleasure to walk through the school in my visits and be greeted warmly by staff and pupils. Although every classroom is different all share the same happy and busy atmosphere when each moment is an opportunity for learning. I feel privileged to form part of the Kingfisher's community and contribute to its success, especially to that of our pupils. Please get in contact through the School Office if you want to raise any issue or make a suggestion to the Governing Body.
Cynthia Bartlett - Governor
I am a retired Headteacher of a Secondary School. During my career in teaching I was a governor at three secondary schools and a primary school before taking up the post of a Community Governor at Kingfisher School.
I work as a senior examiner for one of the Examining Boards and have edited GCSE textbooks and other resources for Oxford University Press.
I have always had a particular interest in children with special educational needs and am delighted to be a Governor at Kingfisher School. I live in Abingdon and am a member of Trinity Church.
Matthew Hill - Governor
I am a Chartered Accountant, with eight years experience. Three of those years have been spent working for an international supplier of technology and resources to the education sector.
With a growing interest and passion for education throughout this time, and seeing the real challenges faced by schools, becoming a school governor was something I felt strongly about.
I joined the Kingfisher Governing Body during the Summer of 2019, and it has been fantastic to be part of a school. The school continues to improve and go from strength to strength. It is a great privilege to be involved, helping the brilliant teaching and support staff, to make a real difference and contribution to the success of the pupils.
I grew up in Abingdon and learnt to swim at Kingfisher School, so it is a pleasure to now be serving as a governor. My free time is spent, playing football for my local team, and many sports in between.
Sarah Adair - Governor
Rachael Long - Staff Governor
I am the teacher of Orange Class in the Core Pathway and have been at Kingfisher since September 2019. Having spent 25 years teaching in mainstream I made the transition to Special School provision to use my skills to support young learners with an EHCP.
In my spare time I enjoy all kinds of dancing, most recently ballroom. I have two grown up boys who have flown the nest and pursuing their own careers.
I was keen to take up the role of teacher governor as I understand the value of representing my colleagues on the Governing Body. In this role, I am able to support the other Governors to understand more about our school, the curriculum and how the Pathways work in practice.
Tess Whitehead - Staff Governor
I am mum to 4 children and nanna to 5 beautiful grandsons and I live local to school. I am a TA based in Eagle class and have been at the school for 3 years. I am joint PSHE lead and deliver lessons on Relationships, Sex Education and Zones of Regulations. I am currently training to be an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) to help support emotional well-being. I am passionate about Kingfisher School and helping our learners feel valued and gaining independence to become wonderful adults in the community.
Carol Bousahla - Parent Governor
I am a mum of two wonderful boys and Rhys has attended Kingfisher School since February 2019.
I live locally to the school and joined the Kingfisher Local Governing Body in October 2020, having served on a committee at a local playgroup. I have worked in the finance service industry for over 25 years.
As a family we enjoy many different sports, including walking and cycling.
I wanted to join the Local Governing Body, to be able to support parents in getting their voice heard. I feel confident that I can bridge the gap between schools and families.