Article 3

The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.

Article 3

The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.


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.

Matt Maiden
Chair of Governors

Fiona Hyett
Vice Chair of Governors

Lesley Mantle
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.

Joy Larder

I have been a governor here at Oakwood for over 20 years, initially as a Parent Governor,(in the days when it was Oakwood Junior School), and later as Support Staff Governor.

I have worked at Oakwood as a Teaching Assistant and now as Emotional Literacy Support Assistant for 21 years. As a governor, I have been involved in the appointments of several headteachers over the years, but although head teachers may come and go, the ethos of the school has remained the same. I count it a privilege to work in such a happy, caring environment with such wonderful children and staff! 

Fiona Hyett

Hello! My name is Fiona and I am delighted to be a governor at Oakwood Primary School. I live in Southampton and am a parent with two children aged 5 and 19. I am Deputy Director of Nursing and bring from this a variety of skills to my governor role. 

I am keen to ensure that all children in school have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in a stimulating learning environment. 


Joe Crook

Hello. My name is Joe and I am a director of a local organisation, Testlands Multisports Coaching. 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

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 ‘Achieving Excellence Together’ 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 Parent Chair HT Performance Management
Quality of Education
Leadership & Management 
10/10/2017 10/09/2021 None declared
Fiona Hyett  Co-Opted Vice Chair Performance Management
Health & Safety
Behaviours and Attitudes
30/11/2017 29/11/2021 None declared
Ben Hammond Co-Opted 12/03/2020 11/03/2024 None declared
Joe Crook Co-Opted Quality of Education
Leadership & Management
09/01/2019 30/08/2023 TMC Sports Employee
Joy Larder Staff Behaviours & Attitudes
Personal Development
01/01/2018 31/12/2022 School Employee
Rachel Gander Parent 06/03/2020 05/03/2024 None declared
Vacancy Co-Opted
Vacancy Co-Opted






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.