The Village Academy

The Village Academy
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About our Members and Trustees

Revd. Steve Lillicrap - Member and Foundation Trustee
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 through that involvement became a Foundation Director of The Village Academy when it was formed. I believe in schools providing the best education for all our children and it is for that reason I am a Director of the Academy. Having seen my children go through their schooling, I now have the privilege of watching my grandchildren experience their schools.

James McBeath - Member 
I live in Sittingbourne with my family. My son and daughter attend Milstead and Frinsted C of E Primary School. I was originally a parent governor for the Milstead Governing Body in 2010, which I later chaired and became a Director of the Academy in 2011 until 2015. With a background of 15 years in public sector sales and procurement, I have helped support best value projects within the Academy. In the last three years, the Academy has developed significantly and I am proud to be involved in an organisation that is genuinely focussed on providing the best education for its children. 

Petra Bensted - Chair of Trustees
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.

Mark Pearmain - Member, Trustee and Chair of Milstead & Frinsted Academy Council

Bruce McGlashan - Member and Trustee

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 part of the Strategy Committee.

Martin Swainson - Member and Trustee

Damaris Gardiner - Foundation trustee and Vice Chair of Trustees.
I am a Trustee  appointed to The Village Academy by Canterbury Diocese with 21 years experience as a school Governor and Trustee. 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. In my role as trustee, my key interests are promoting the Christian ethos of our Church of England Schools and a community ethos in our other schools. I am Chair of the Curriculum Sub-Committee in which we support and challenge pupil progress across the Academy by visiting all schools on a termly basis, observing lessons, monitoring interventions and reviewing termly results. I am pleased as vice chair to support the chair and be a part of a very strong team of Village Academy Trustees.

Ian Fidge - Trustee and Principal of The Village Academy

Emma Campbell - Staff Trustee 

Carrie Gilbody - Trustee

Dawn Smith - Trustee and Chair of Dymchurch Academy Council