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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.

Andrew Clarke - Governor

I'm new to Kingfisher School as a Governor, having joined in the Autumn of 2018. I am an Architect by profession with over twenty years of experience working in the development of school schemes, with Local Education Authorities. Projects have ranged from Nurseries through to Secondary School and sixth forms, including a particular expertise in special needs provision, both in new build and refurbishment. I have spent the majority of my career working in private practice in Oxfordshire with a number of schools completed for Oxfordshire County Council, but overall projects have stretched into London and as far as Kent. I've been responsible for architectural commissions from inception through all design stages to completion, acting as lead consultant for integrated multi-discipline teams, managing client interface and coordinating stakeholder involvement. I have recently joined OCC becoming an expert client and looking at new school developments in the county.

Free time is spent with my wife and children. I have been married for 18 years. I have twins, Ellie and Joshua who are at primary school and my youngest, Jemma, who has started reception. I attend St Ebbes Church in Oxford.

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.

Eleanor Jackson - Governor

I joined the Kingfisher governing body in late 2019 and it’s been a privilege to get to know this remarkable school and its staff.  My work in educational publishing provides me with an insight into the schools landscape; being a governor gives me the opportunity to develop this interest whilst contributing to the local community. 

For the past ten years, I’ve worked at Oxford University Press, initially editing and commissioning books for the legal profession.  Since 2014, I’ve worked in OUP’s International Education business, producing print and digital resources for learners around the world, across a range of subjects and learning stages.  I currently manage a team of editorial staff, alongside schedule and budget management for our portfolio. 

Outside work (and to be honest sometimes inside work) I love to sing and am a member of two choirs.  I am also a keen amateur gardener.   I live in a village outside Oxford with my husband and our cat, Pepper.   

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 Board 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.

Rachael Long - Staff Governor


Liza Eccles - Staff Governor

I have been a teaching assistant at Kingfisher school since September 2003. I have lived in Abingdon for over 30 years, moving here when I got married. I have twin boys and went back to work when they went to senior school. They both now have children of their own which keeps me busy.

I have always had an interest in children with special needs and enjoy working with children of all ages. I loved helping with the refurbishment of the soft play and light room a few years ago and now seeing the children learn and enjoy these rooms is a joy in itself.

 Kingfisher is a great school and I love working here. So I joined the governors to try and help the school in any way I can.

Carol Bousahla - Parent Governor


Ashley Stokes - Parent Governor