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All our governors take pride in the work they do at Oakwood!

Governors work as a team. They are responsible for making sure the school provides a good quality education for all pupils.

Governing boards are accountable to parents, the local community and the Local Authority. Appointments are for three or usually for four years. The governing board’s main role is to help raise pupils’ standards of achievement.

The Governing Body:

    • is accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community
    • plans the school’s future direction
    • selects the head teacher
    • makes decisions on the school’s budget and staffing including the performance management policy
    • makes sure the agreed curriculum is well taught
    • decides how the school can encourage pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural development
    • makes sure the school provides for all pupils including those with special needs.

Our governors are at the heart of how Oakwood operates. It’s important they get things right. How they do their job effects the interests of pupils, staff and the reputation of the school in the community. Governors support and challenge the school by gathering views, asking questions and discussing what’s best.


Matt Maiden
Chair of Governors

Rachel Gander
Vice Chair of Governors

Raylene Poppleton

Clerk to Governors

Matt Maiden

I became a school Governor in  October 2017 as I wanted to get more involved in my child’s school and the local community.

My background is in Project Management where I currently work as Head of Programmes and Projects at Ordnance Survey, a role I feel gives me lots of useful attributes to be an effective school governor. 

My other passion is in sport and helping young people. I currently manage a local junior football team and coach junior cricket for my local village cricket club.

Gemma Fawcitt

Hi, I’m Gemma and I am a class teacher here at Oakwood Primary School.  I have been teaching here for about 16 years now, and couldn’t be with a better team here at Oakwood.  I am looking forward to learning my new role as staff governor, and working alongside our school governing body.


Peta Holt



Joe Crook

Hello. My name is Joe and I am a co-founder of Testlands – A local charity focussed on improving health, wellbeing and childcare services across the city. 

Oakwood has been an instrumental part of my life, both personally and professionally, having been an ex pupil (leaving in 2003) and also working at the school since 2011 to present. My passion will always be improving opportunities for young people and improving the community and these will go hand in hand with the Oakwood values!

It is an honour to be asked to be a governor of the school that has always been a part of me and I cannot wait to help make the school a better place with the rest of the team.

Ben Hammond

Abbie Foss

Amy Ryan



Maria Whitmarsh

I started working at Oakwood Junior School in 2005, first as a Year Leader and then as Deputy Headteacher.

I have seen many changes at the school, most notably the conversion to a Primary school in 2014.  The school’s ethos of ‘Respect, Believe, Achieve’ is something that, as Headteacher, I am proud to promote in all aspects of school life.



Rachel Gander

Rachel Gander, Governor

I was delighted to be elected school governor in March 2020. With two children at Oakwood I wanted to take more of an active role in ensuring all children have access to the best possible education and help support the school in continuing to provide a positive and fulfilling environment.

Being involved in school life is very important to me and I really enjoy going into school on a regular basis to help the children with their reading.

As Tourism Marketing Manager for Visit Winchester I’m responsible for the strategic development of the destination. I manage the budget, generate income streams and manage a small team. I’m looking forward to using the skills and knowledge I have developed throughout my career in my role as governor.

James Blyth


I started as a Governor at Oakwood in March 2020. I spent my early career developing and managing outdoor education programmes and when the opportunity to become a Governor at Oakwood became available I felt inspired to volunteer.

I am a Project Manager at Ordnance Survey; a role that provides a range of skills relevant to the role of a Governor.

Outside of work I am Dad to my 3 year old son, I love adventure and travel and I volunteer with an environmental youth charity in my home town of Andover.

Governor Roles and Responsibilities




Name Type Offices Additional Responsibilities Start End Register of Interests
Maria Whitmarsh Headteacher Headteacher   09/01/2019   School Employee
Matt Maiden LA Chair HT Performance Management
01/05/2024 30/04/2028 None declared
Rachel Gander Trust Vice Chair Special Educational Needs and Disabilities  English/DT/Maths 12/03/2024 11/03/2028 None declared
Ben Hammond Co-Opted   Safeguarding                                             RE/PE 12/03/2024 11/03/2028 None declared
Joe Crook Co-Opted   History/Art/Music 01/02/2023 31/01/2027 Testlands Employee
Gemma Fawcitt Staff   EYFS link 01/04/2021 31/03/2025 School Employee
James Blyth Associate   Health and Safety      Finance Committee 12/03/2024 11/03/2028 None declared
Amy Ryan Parent     14/06/2024 13/06/2028 None declared
Abbie Foss Parent     14/06/2024 13/06/2028 None declared
Peta Holt Trust     01/07/2024 30/06/2028 None declared






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