The Village Academy

The Village Academy
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About our Members and Trustees

Bruce McGlashan - Member
I live in Chartham Hatch with my wife and children; my daughter and son have attended Petham Primary since Reception Class. I was a parent governor at Petham until shortly before the school joined The Village Academy, when I became Chair of Governors. When Petham joined the Village Academy in 2013, I became a Trustee and Director. My career is in the fresh produce industry - I have enjoyed working as a non-academic in The Village Academy and helping it evolve into an ambitious organisation. It continues to have the welfare and success of the pupils and staff in its schools at the heart of all it strives for, and I look forward to developing this further through my role as a Member of the Village Academy Governance.

Revd. Steve Lillicrap - Member  I am Rector of the Parish of Kingsdown and Creekside, which includes the villages of Lynsted and Norton. I originally became a community governor of Lynsted & Norton School in 2008, and a Foundation Director of The Village Academy when it was formed until March 2017. I remain a Foundation representative Member of the Academy. I believe in schools providing the best education for all children and it is for that reason I am a Member of the Academy. Having seen my children go through their schooling, I now have the privilege of watching my grandchildren experience their schools in different parts of the country.

Martin Swainson - Member

Petra Bensted - Chair of Trustees (Ex-Officio Member by role)
I live in Selling with my husband and two daughters (the eldest at Simon Langton, the youngest at Selling). I am a Dutch national but have lived and worked in the UK since 1983. I work in market research, which has provided me with a range of skills and business knowledge that I have been able to bring to the governing body. I became a parent governor for the Selling local governing body in 2011 and became a Director of The Village Academy in 2012 and Chair of Trustees in 2014.

Damaris Gardiner - Foundation Trustee and Vice Chair of Trustees (Standards and Data)
I am a Foundation Trustee with over 20 years experience as a School Governor and Trustee, appointed to The Village Academy by Canterbury Diocese. I have seen many changes in education, including the curriculum and funding and have kept up-to-date by attending regular training, provided by outside agencies, online and in house. As Standards Trustee I monitor and challenge the data from all the Village Academy Schools, I meet termly with the Deputy Principals to review, “raise on line”, data, School Improvement Plans, schools’ teaching profiles and other issues related to raising standards. I visit Village Academy schools on a regular basis to familiarize myself with them, support Headteachers and local governing bodies to deliver the best education to our pupils with a focus on problem areas and report to Trustees. As a Foundation Trustee, my key interests are promoting and monitoring the Christian ethos of our Church of England Schools, at Selling and Milstead.

Ian Fidge - CEO, Trustee and Principal of The Village Academy
/ Hayley Spedding (Acting CEO)

Emma Campbell - Staff Trustee (Training and Development)

Carrie Gilbody - Trustee (Finance)

Dawn Smith - Trustee (Health, Safety and Compliance)
I live in Dymchurch, and prior to being appointed a Trustee I was first a governor and then Chair of Governors at the Dymchurch Primary School for 7 years; with both my sons having been pupils there, before moving on to the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone. As a Trustee, I am responsible for ensuring Health, Safety and Compliance across the Trust is effectively managed and supported. I am a Senior Health and Safety Business Partner in one of the largest government departments, where I am responsible for developing and ensuring the effective day to day delivery of all Health and Safety Strategy, Policy and Analysis to its 80,000 staff – I am passionate about making H&S accessible and purposeful to all; and hopefully some of my knowledge and understanding of multi-occupancy H&S management ensures I am able to support and challenge the Trust to deliver its legal obligations successfully.

Temi Bufford - Trustee (Safeguarding)