Local Governing Body



The Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls



Retired in 2015 after 37 Years with Ford Motor Company and Visteon holding various jobs in procurement and logistics within both companies. Paul was promoted to buyer and then Purchasing Manager, responsible for Facilities Management across 15 European sites with a $2bn budget. Paul was elected as a Parent Governor of Frances Bardsley School for Girls in 2004 and was co-opted as a Governor in 2008.  Paul served on the Finance and Facilities, Curriculum Welfare and Pay and Personnel committees and was elected chair of Curriculum and Welfare committee in 2010 and have served continuously since.  Paul has participated in several project committees during the period for building projects such as the sixth form centre and the new Library and has participated and chaired additional committees for staff disciplinary appeals as required.  Paul is the Secretary of the Romford Youth tenpin bowling club based at City Limits and he is a qualified tenpin bowling coach participating in national and county events annually.



Paul was initially elected as a Parent Governor in 2006 and continued in this role when he was co-opted onto the Governing Body once his daughter had left the sixth form.   Paul has worked in the public sector for the past 23 years.  



Anna qualified as a general nurse in 1995 and gained a BA (Hons) in 1998. Anna has worked at King George Hospital since 1997 and as a clinical nurse specialist in endocrinology for over 15 years.  Anna also works as a part time practice manager for a medical clinic.

Anna has served 4 years as a Parent Governor for Southwood Primary in Dagenham until 2012 when in 2014 she became a Parent Governor at Frances Bardsley Academy.



Denise has been a parent governor of FBA since November 2013 and was a parent governor for Wykeham Primary School prior to this.  Denise has spent approximately 30 years working in Financial Services Regulation mainly as a front line supervisor of authorised firms.  She commenced her career at the London Stock Exchange in the Surveillance Department regulating Stockbrokers.  Following the introduction by Parliament of the Financial Services Act in 1987 her role was moved to The Securities Association that later merged with the Association of Futures Brokers and Dealers (becoming the Securities and Futures Authority).  As a result of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 Denise moved across to The Financial Services Authority and following the Financial Services Act 2012 which created a new regulatory framework split between the Bank of England’s prudential arm – the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority Denise moved over to the FCA.  Denise currently manages a team within the Investment Management Department of the Financial Conduct Authority regulating Custodian Banks, Asset Managers and Private Wealth companies and is based in Canary Wharf, London. 



Father Hingley has been a priest in The Church of England for 40 years.  A graduate of St Chad’s College in the University of Durham he completed this Theological Training at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. Having moved around the country experiencing industrial, rural and urban ministry, Father Hingley has been the vicar of St Alban, Protomartyr, Romford for 25 years. 

Father Hingley has been a Governor at Frances Bardsley since 1996 and Chairman of Governors from 2008.  In 2013 the Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls joined The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Education Affiliated Schools Scheme.  He has been a Governor of Squirrels Heath Junior School since 2004.  Until its closure in 2009 Father Hingley as a Governor of The Manor Primary School for 13 years, 10 of which he was Chairman of Governors.

Engaged in the life of the local community and beyond, Father Hingley has been Chaplain to and an Executive Committee member of The Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1996.  He has served as Chaplin to The Mayor of Havering 2012-13.

St Alban’s Romford is a leading major Commissioner of Outstanding Contemporary Ecclesiastical Art holding twenty-three Design Awards. 



Michael holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from London Guildhall University and Practitioner accreditation in Managing Successful Programmes.  Michael was a manager in the Met Police for 31 years until retirement in 2011.  The post included managing teams in specialist areas such as analysing accident claims and injury liabilities to assess accuracy of data on criminal records and arrest and conviction reports.  Michael was a Business Manager for the police in the Borough of Tower Hamlets involving, among other things, budget control, recruitment, promotion, discipline and oversight of the local estate and Michael has experience of chairing various HR related boards.

At a more senior level, he was a Programme Manager on corporate change programmes such as Met Police Modernisation, balancing the demands of local community expectations for safer neighbourhood teams against the more specialist requirements such as anti-terrorism, sexual offences and fraud.  Michael became Director of Business Strategy setting out annual and longer term strategic business plans in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team at the Met, the Metropolitan Police Authority and latterly the Mayor's Office.

Since he retired from the Met in 2011, Michael has joined the Parent Staff Association at Frances Bardsley and chaired this group until he became a Parent Governor in 2014.  As a Governor he has recently been elected Chair of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee and is also the link Governor for attendance.



Tony worked for a major UK clearing bank for 31 years where he gained his ACIB banking Diploma and rose to the position of Senior Business Manager. Tony has experience in analysing business plans and lending propositions and arranging finance for the Bank's business customers. Tony spent 2 years working in the Bank's Major Corporates Team where he was involved in putting in place multi million pound financial packages for major international corporates. During this time Tony also enjoyed a 3 year secondment to the Inter Bank Research Organisation which was a consulting "think tank" funded by all of the UK clearing banks and worked on major projects of interest to the financial industry as a whole covering such areas as the setting up of a debit card payment system and cash availability systems in the UK.

Tony is currently a manager of the Witness Service at Romford Magistrates' Court where he leads a team responsible for supporting witnesses through the Criminal Justice System with particular emphasis on the process of giving evidence at a criminal trial

Tony joined the Governing Body of FBA 20 years ago, initially as a parent governor and then a community governor and subsequently a partnership governor. He has been a member of several working parties including a small group tasked with looking at a PFI project to merge the 2 previous school sites onto the one site that the Academy currently occupies.

Tony currently sits on a number of the Academy's sub-committees including Finance and Facilities which he chaired for a number of years before taking on the role of chair of the Pay & Personnel Committee  



Katherine studied Art and Design at Kingston University and has a Degree in Illustration and Design. She then worked in the magazine industry for 10 years as an Art Editor. After volunteering in a primary school as an Art specialist, she trained at Middlesex University and obtained a Post Graduate Degree in Art and Design.

Katherine taught for 12 years as an Art Teacher and in that time became involved in running environmental projects and charity work. In 2001 Katherine went to Ecuador and stayed in the rainforest on a foundation reserve to study plants and how the indigenous people live. After this experience she decided to study plants with the Society of Botanical Art and obtained a Diploma in Botanical studies. This qualification gave her the opportunity to work on commissions for Epping Forest and stage her first solo show. Katherine has exhibited her work in Westminster Central Hall with the Society of Botanical Artists and also teaches watercolours at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education.


Katherine is currently working at Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls, where she enjoys working on special projects and developing her Charity work. She is currently preparing for her second solo show in Loughton in 2017. 


Benhurst Primary School


Mr Fred Steel

Fred is a Chartered Surveyor and has reached the highest level in his profession, being elected a Fellow of both The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Chartered Institute of Building. He is also a Member of The Institute of Civil Engineers and a Member of The Chartered Management Institute. He has over forty years of experience as a construction professional and manager.

Fred is currently working as a Building Consultant. Prior to this he was employed as Head of Building Services at a London Borough where he worked for over thirty years. During this time a major role was dealing with schools’ new build and major maintenance. 

Fred has extensive experience as a school governor in Havering and has currently served twenty-nine years at Benhurst Primary School (where he attended school as an infant). He also served for over twenty-five years at Parklands Junior School and four years at Hall Mead Secondary School. Fred has been the Chair of Governors at Benhurst for 24 years.

Other positions include being a Vice-President of Upminster Cricket Club and previously as Honorary Construction Officer of The Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford.

Fred has experience of working with young people outside of school and has managed local youth football and cricket teams in the past. Also, outdoor adventure and other events under the umbrella of the National Association of Clubs for Young People.


Mrs Bev Mills

Bev has been a Local Authority governor at Benhurst Primary School since November 2004.

Prior to this Bev worked at Prudential Assurance in a variety of HR and system roles including HR Systems Manager with responsibility for 35 staff and the running and development of all HR and payroll systems for the Prudential UK operation. Following voluntary redundancy, Bev volunteered as a school governor at Benhurst to broaden her experience and share her business skills in an educational establishment.  Bev undertook various projects including the implementation of wrap-around care with the provision of before and after school provision, which included surveying parents and interviewing and engaging the successful suppliers.  Bev is currently a Student Support Manager working at Harris Academy Rainham. She is responsible for all school data, timetabling, pupil reporting and examinations.

In her spare time, she helps run a dancing school in Harold Wood for pupils from 3 to 80!


Mrs Abiola Fakayode

Abiola has been a parent-governor at Benhurst Primary School since 2011 and a co-opted governor since 2015. She is employed at the Department for Education in Westminster and has the responsibility for overseeing Behaviour & Safety along with another governor. Her passion is for children to make progress in life and to contribute positively to our society. Outside of family and work, Abiola's interests are traveling, photography and cookery.


Miss Anna Gray

Anna has been a Governor at Benhurst since December, 2013 and has the responsibility for overseeing Learning & Teaching. Anna has one daughter at Benhurst who is in KS2.

After studying for 4 years at Canterbury Christ Church University (Geography and Education), Anna took a year and half to work and travel around the world. Upon returning home, she worked as a primary school teacher in various schools within Thurrock and then as an Early Years Lead in several Havering schools. After having her daughter, Anna stopped teaching but took a part-time position in a local dance and musical theatre school so she could still remain working with young children.

Anna is passionate about every child receiving the best education and uses her role as a governor to provide this for our children.


Mr Dean Jeffreys

A life-long Havering resident, Dean has a background in education and the not for profit sector and has been a governor at Benhurst since 2009.

Professionally, Dean spent thirteen years working in secondary education, initially as a History Teacher and culminating as Associate Assistant Head. Along the way he held a number of roles including Head of Department, Head of Year, Head of House, Staff Governor and Induction Tutor. At various times he taught History, Geography, RE, Citizenship, PSHE, Sociology and Law.

Dean currently works for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as national Programme Development Manager. He is responsible for charity-wide programme innovation and aspects of strategic development. In addition he is the charity’s national lead for youth justice and am working on the growth and development of DofE within the secure estate.

In his spare time, Dean is a volunteer with The Scout Association and am currently the Regional Commissioner for London. He manages the provision of Scouting to young people aged 6 to 25 across the capital, featuring a membership in excess of 47,000. He is also a member of the YOU London (Youth Organisations Uniformed) Board and a Freeman of the City of London.

Dean is Chairman of Trustees as an Activity Centre in Brentwood, which has over 100 acres of woodland and buildings, offering countless hundreds of residential and daytime activities each year, and operating at a turnover of over £300,000 a year.


Mr David Denchfield

After working in banking for 5 years, David returned to full time education where he completed a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Following this, he undertook a PGCE and began teaching in primary education. David has taught in 6 state schools in two authorities. Whilst working as Deputy Headteacher at Great Berry Primary in Essex, the school was graded Outstanding for the first time and is widely recognised as a lead primary in Basildon. The school also successfully converted to an academy during this time.

Upon completion of the NPQH, David was awarded his first headship at Benhurst Primary. Within his first year of headship, David successfully led the school from Requires Improvement to Good. Five years on, the school is now firmly working towards Outstanding. In 2014, Benhurst’s excellent work was recognised and the school expanded from 1½ FE to 2FE. Benhurst Primary is now widely known for its forward-thinking ethos and has worked extensively with many local, national and international schools and businesses in its constant drive for excellence. David also held the position of Executive Headteacher for another local school during a period of prolonged absence of the substantive Headteacher. In July 2016, he was appointed Director of Primary at The LIFE Education Trust.

David is an active member of the local Cluster group, has been a governor in four schools and holds a position on the Schools’ Funding Forum for Havering, the Head teacher’s Reference Group and is a member if the Strategic Board of the Billericay SCITT.


Mrs Stella McCarthy

After working in the Legal Profession as a Chartered Legal Executive for 15 years, Stella took a career break to bring up her two children. Whilst on this career break, her children joined Benhurst and Stella volunteered as a parent helper. Stella enjoyed working with the children and soon became a Learning Support Assistant. Quickly, she progressed through various roles from Teaching Assistant to Higher Level Teaching Assistant. Stella then joined the Graduate Teacher Programme at the Institute of Education and achieved Qualified Teacher Status. 

After completion of her NQT year at Benhurst, Stella became a Year Group Leader and took the role of Computing Coordinator. Stella is passionate about computing within the school and helped to lead changes to the hardware and software across the school and were instrumental in moving the school from Requires Improvement to Good. Stella is a qualified SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART Certified Education Trainer and has travelled to Madrid and Canada with SMART to take part in training and to act as a mentor to teachers from around the world. Stella leads many international seminars at Benhurst and is a plays a key role in the annual BETT week, leading sessions at Benhurst and the BETT show. This year, Stella has also taken on the additional role of Assistant Head Teacher to cover a maternity absence.


Mr Kevin Cooper

Kevin is a new Governor at Benhurst and has two children in KS2.

Following an education in Havering, Kevin obtained a Masters Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (Hons) at University College London, specialising in the development of high-speed diamond semi-conductors and the application of Ultra-High Frequency Military Radar. He then won a role with Marconi/BAE Systems on a fast-track development programme, and went on to spend 6 years in management positions within UK Defence.

Kevin is now a management consultant with over seventeen years experience of managing challenging programmes and projects in complex environments.  His assignments have included high-profile roles in project and programme management; programme controls; risk management; scheme sponsorship; change management; contract management and procurement for clients including Virgin Trains, Thameslink, Crossrail and High Speed 2.

Kevin is a full member of both the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Association for Project Management (APM), and has passed both the Association for Project Management Professional and Practitioner Qualifications.

In his spare time, Kevin is a Group Scout Leader, managing the provision of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts with a local Scout Group.  


Mrs Claire Watkins

Claire has been a Parent Governor at Benhurst since September 2017, linked within the Safeguarding area of the school. Claire has one son at Benhurst who is in KS1, and a younger child currently attending pre-school.

Following experience as an employability tutor, and after studying for 3 years at University (Education Studies), Claire went on to become a certified Workplace Apprenticeship Assessor within the Higher Education sector, working across the Havering Borough and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, and more recently has progressed into the management of Quality Assurance of the Apprenticeship and Adult Learning provisions. 

Claire is currently working towards her Early Years Educator qualification, and is committed to the quality of education of children of all ages.