Local Governing Body


The governance of a multi-academy trust differs from those of maintained schools. The White Horse Federation (TWHF) believes that placing statutory responsibilities firmly at its centre, in the remit of the board of trustees, allows the local governing body (LGB) to focus on providing support, overcoming challenges in the delivery of educational excellence, and achieving outstanding outcomes for all pupils.

There are direct channels of communication between the principal and the LBG chair and central services. The clerk to the board of trustees will hold contact details for all members of LGBs within TWHF. However, routine communication for day-to-day school business should come from the chair of that LBG, managed by the school or through an LGb clerk, if such a position is deemed necessary.

The principal and the chair of the LGB are responsible for ensuring the quality and timely distribution of all material needed to keep LGB members well-informed about the school and TWHF. The principal and the chair are also responsible for ensuring the views of the LGB are well communicated to the board of trustees. This can be done via the elected chair’s representative on the board. Senior executives from TWHF will be nominated by the CEO to sit on an LGB. Trustees reserve the right to attend any LGB meeting.

The White Horse Federation has a very clear and shared understanding of what constitutes good and effective governance. Schools within TWHF will be judged to have outstanding governance when members of the LGB:

  • Talk about teaching and learning.
  • Know a great deal about the school and its community.
  • Are ambitious for the school and its community.
  • Ask questions which make colleagues reflect, and that these discussions lead to delivering the very best outcomes for every child and adult within the school community.
  • Maintain strong and effective relationships within TWHF.

In order for the shared model of governance to be effective for TWHF and the schools, it is essential that there is effective communication between the trustee board, the LGBs, chairs groups, principals, the central team, and the executive leadership team.

Current Local Governors

Name Position
Helen Fowler Co-opted Local Governor - Safeguarding (Chair)
Mike Essam Co-opted Local Governor - Early Years
Chris Neal (DSL) Principal
Mariann Rahman Parent Local Governor - English
Donna Walker Parent Local Governor - SEN
Matt Oswin Parent Local Governor - Maths
Kim Sheppard Clerk
Sara Osborne Staff (Teaching) Local Governor
Nikki Tuffnell Staff (Non-teaching) Local Governor

Helen Fowler, Chair of Governors

Hi, I am Helen, I have been a governor at Haydon Wick Primary School for over 20 years! I have 3 children and they have all attended Haydon Wick, 2 are adopted and have SEN needs and my experience of this helps me as a governor to look at school and education from the point of view of other children and parents with these experiences. I have 2 dogs who keep me fit, and generally get me muddy! In between kids and dogs and being a governor, I work as an ISO certifications consultant and Data Protection Officer focusing on Information Security and Quality.

Mike Essam - Co-opted Governor

I'm Mike. I've got two daughters, one a former pupil and one a current pupil at Haydon Wick. I've been very lucky to be a governor for a few years now and I'm proud to be able to support the school with the awesome work that they do, it's a really special place with an amazing staff committed to doing their very best for all the children under their care. I've found it interesting and really rewarding to be able to get much closer to how the school is run. Away from parenting and governor duties I work for an insurance company managing the claims department.

Mariann Rahman, Parent Local Governor

I'm Mariann Rahman. My son is in year one at Haydon Wick Primary School. I currently work as the European Quality Manager for a Chemical company in Swindon. I'm delighted to be a Governor for Haydon Wick Primary and support it as it continues to thrive. Outside of work and spending time with my family & friends, I enjoy outdoor exercise and can often be spotted wearing a collection of colourful leggings"

Donna Walker, Parent Local Governor

Hi, I'm Donna. I have two children currently attending Haydon Wick Primary School. I have worked in a variety of roles within banking and finance over the last 20 years, and I am currently a senior risk underwriter at a building society in Swindon. I am very passionate about supporting children to understand basic banking and finance skills through fun learning to support them in later life. We have a French bulldog called Bruce and a cat called Tilly at home, the cat is definitely the one in charge!! I am excited and honoured to be part of the local governing board where I feel my skills and experience will enable me to support Haydon Wick Primary School on their journey.

Matt Oswin, Parent Local Governor

Hi, my name is Matt and I have a son at Haydon Wick Primary School. I currently work at Innovate UK, where I am a Customer Support Team Leader. I have experience of working in primary schools and believe this will support me in being a Governor. Outside of work, I enjoy reading and most sports, especially ice hockey.

Register of Interests 2022-23 & Attendance 2021-22

Governors have been appointed by the board of trustees and will serve a four-year term.

Name Role Nature Of Interest Date interest was registered Terms of Office
Attendance 2021-22
Helen Fowler Chair, Community Governor,

Co-opted Local Governor - Safeguarding

Company Director 01/09/15 01/09/19 –
6 of 6
Mike Essam Co-opted Local Governor - Early Years Nil N/A 22/10/19 –
5 of 6
Matt Oswin Parent Local Governor
- Math
Child In School


26/01/2023 - 15//01/2027 N/A
Karen Palmer Staff Governor TWHF Employee 01/09/19 01/09/19 –
5 of 6
Craig Richardson Staff Governor Deputy Principal / TWHF Employee 11/07/18 11/07/18 - 10/07/2022 6 of 6
Nikki Tuffnell Staff (Non-teaching) Local Governor TWHF Employee 01/09/23 01/09/24 - 31/09/27 N/A
Mariann Rahman

Parent Local Governor - English

Nil N/A 15//11/2022-
Donna Walker Parent Local Governor - SEN Nil N/A 15//11/2022-
Chris Neal Principal Principal N/A 01/09/2022


Kim Sheppard Clerk TWHF Employee N/A N/A 6 of 6

Previous Governors (resigned within the last 12 months)

  • Gavin Walker - resigned 11/09/22
  • Gemma Glover - resigned 14/11/2022
  • Karen Palmer - resigned 25/07/2023
  • Craig Richardson - resigned 25/07/2023

Governor Vacancies

There is currently one co-opted local governor vacancy.

The White Horse Federation Local Board of Governance

Each school has its own local governing body (LGB). The chair of each LGB will also sit on a collective group of similar chairs, from which one representative will be elected and then co-opted onto the executive board. This process will be repeated every two years, thus affording new chairs the opportunity to be similarly elected.

TWHF executive board has clearly identified the areas of responsibility that they delegate to the LGBs. Although not in any way legally responsible, and not itself accountable for the statutory functions, the LGB has an important role to play in assisting the school to operate effectively in line with the wishes of TWHF executive board as communicated to the LGB.

To learn more, visit The White Horse Federation website.