Governor Profiles

Cannon Thomas Woodhouse – Ex Officio

Upon his appointment as Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes in 2014, Thomas became a Foundation Governor of St Osmund’s Middle School Academy.  In 2015 he was elected Chair of the Governing Body and from 2016 has served as Co-Chair.  St Osmund’s church link in Dorchester is with St Mary’s Church on Edward Road and Thomas often officiates at school services held in the church, as well as regularly leading Collective Worship in school.  As well as serving on the governing body’s Strategic Committee, a meeting that draws together the school’s senior management and chairs of governing body sub-committees, Thomas is also the Link Governor with the Art Department.  Thomas is one of the four Members – the body who appoint Foundation Governors and uphold the Christian ethos of St Osmund’s School.  Thomas has served as a school governor since 1998, working in school and community primary, secondary and middle school, in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset.

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Lesley Bainbridge – Chair of Governors

I am a retired teacher with 38 years of primary teaching experience, 20 of which were in leadership. I was particularly fortunate to have worked the last years of my career on the leadership team at St Osmund’s under Ron Jenkinson.

I have extensive experience in leading teams, school development, marking primary external assessments (SATs) as well as taking children on a wide range of residential experiences.

I am married with two adult children and four grandchildren. I volunteer locally and spend my leisure time travelling, indulging in a range of creative activities as well as supporting the work at St Osmund’s.

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Moira Farley – Foundation Governor and Vice-Chair.

I am a Foundation Governor and was appointed in October 2017.  I am currently Vice Chair of Governors and serve on the Finance, Buildings & Staffing sub-committee.  Having worked for an oil company previously, I am very keen on health and safety and make regular visits to school in this capacity.  I am the subject link governor for KS3 English.

Prior to my retirement I ran the UK Schools Programme for BP, this involved training staff to go into to schools to run activities, offer work experience and short apprenticeships to students and to liaise with educational institutions of all kinds.  I have been a governor at a number of schools and was in fact one of the first ever parent governors when my youngest son was 7 years old.

I believe that education is one of the most important things any parent or school can offer a child and find St. Osmund’s an exciting and inspiring place to be at the moment as changes are made.

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Emily White – Foundation Governor

Since becoming a governor at St. Osmund’s for the first time in November 2018, I have been spending my time visiting the school, attending training and generally immersing myself in governor and school life.

I have recently become the chair of the Finance, Staffing and Buildings committee and hope to use some of my past experience in running my own business to this role.

I am a stay at home Mum to two small children, not yet at school age.

I am originally from Dorchester and went to school here.  In my working life prior to starting a family I have worked in Hospitality, Office management and Bookkeeping as well as running my own B&B for 5 years.

I believe strongly in Dorchester as a community and believe that that culture starts early, in schools.

I am very much enjoying being part of a team that is pushing forward with change to enhance and improve St. Osmund’s for every child.

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Jon Nugent – Foundation Governor

I have been a Foundation Governor since November 2016 and have sat on the Building and Finance Committee and currently sit on the Quality of Education sub-committee.  I am the subject link governor for Religious Education and French and take an interest in Assemblies and observe how the school honours its Christian ethos and Church of England link.

I am a husband, father of 5 children and a Specialist Paramedic working locally for the NHS in Urgent Care and Emergency Services.  As a family we moved from London in 2005 and have been living in Dorchester since then.  All of our children have attended or still attend St Osmund’s Middle School and all have loved their time here.

It is my hope, as part of this governing body, to support and celebrate the work of all the staff here in providing excellent education and opportunities to the youth of our community entrusted into our care.

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Nikki Fowler – Parent Governor

I was voted onto the Governing Body of St Osmund’s Middle School as a Parent Governor in May 2018 and have spent my first year in the role undertaking training and being in school to understand how I can best contribute to this role during such an important period.  My son is currently in year 7.

I have worked for Dorset County Council for the past 25 years, recently being appointed as the manager of the Financial Assessment Team in Adult & Community Services. The team undertakes financial assessments for people who need care services and as well as helping those who are entitled to assistance I also have a duty to consider the financial management of taxpayers’ money.  My role also involves protecting vulnerable adults who may be being financially abused and being their voice when they may no longer be able to make their own voices heard.

I believe that this background puts me in a position where I can now speak on behalf of the parents and pupils, but also to have an understanding of the financial requirements of the business and how to make best use of the resources available and am currently on the Finance & Buildings committee.

Despite the current Ofsted rating my son has been extremely happy at St Osmund’s and I have seen first-hand over the past 6 months the commitment from the Senior Leadership Team, the staff and the Governing body to make the improvements required of us all and am confident that this will be achieved.

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Julia Benson – Foundation Governor

I have been a foundation governor at St.Osmund’s since October 2017 and I sit on the Welfare Committee.

My daughter will start in year 5 in September 2019 and I want to be able to contribute and be involved in her education.

I have worked in publishing for the last 19 years and volunteer in the local community.

I enjoy the cinema, eating out, cooking, reading and walking our Westie!

I am currently the governor linked to Pupil Premium and enjoy my involvement in this role and want to play a part in seeing the school become what all of our children deserve it to be.

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Alex Gannon – Foundation Governor

I am a parent and a governor at St Osmund’s School, I was previously a governor at Dorchester Middle School.

I have a background in Engineering and IT working for a number of large multinational organisations in various sectors from nuclear power, aerospace to banking and finance.

I made a late career change and qualified as a teacher of Computer Science and ICT, teaching at the Thomas Hardye School on a part time basis since 2011. I also work part time as an IT consultant and project manager.

I strongly believe that a high quality education should be available to every child, not just those who can afford it.

I am the chair of the Quality of Education Committee.

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Annabel Lane – Teacher Governor

Hello! My name is Annabel and I feel privileged to be able to say I have been a Year 5 tutor at St Osmund’s since 2016. Having completed a Law degree at Cardiff University, I pursued teaching as I had so enjoyed working abroad with young people and my time volunteering in schools. Whilst carrying out my Primary PGCE teacher training with the University of Exeter, I was lucky enough to complete my final placement here at St Osmund’s. Even as a trainee, I immediately felt welcomed and treated like I was a part of the “Ossie’s” family, so I felt very fortunate when I became a fully-fledged member of the teaching staff!

I joined the governing body in October 2017 because I was keen to have a broader view of how our school works from more than just the perspective of a teacher. Not only do I now have a far greater appreciation for the considerable work, thought and skill that goes into delivering a balanced budget, I also recognise the vital role that governors have in supporting the school to be the best environment it can for all our pupils. I am pleased to play a small part in ensuring that all our students can progress and flourish here.