Prae Wood Primary School

Everyone Valued, Everyone Learning

Welcome to the website for Prae Wood Primary School

´╗┐Prae Wood Governing Body

About the Governing Body: We are a team of Governors; volunteers with different backgrounds, experience and skills who support the staff and children at Prae Wood in their educational journey. We play an important role in the strategic management of the school and are accountable for many aspects of the school processes. At Prae Wood we work closely with the Headteacher in a supportive yet challenging role. Our key purpose is to ensure that the vision, management and development of the school enable children to achieve their potential during their time at Prae Wood. The day-to-day running of the school is left to the Headteacher and her team of excellent staff.

We are organised into sub-committees and working parties that address key issues that face the school. The Finance and Resources Committee ensures that finance and resources are managed effectively to maximise the learning opportunities for the children at Prae Wood. The Learning Committee is responsible for monitoring the standards and progress of children’s learning from Nursery through to Year 6. These committees meet regularly to focus on their defined remit. They professionally challenge the school to ensure opportunities at Prae Wood maximise the learning of all pupils. 

We also have two meetings a term as a full Governing Body. One of these is a business meeting and the other has a development focus. The minutes from all these meetings are available from the school office and any correspondence for the Governing Body should be sent to the Governors c/o the school office. If you are interested in volunteering as a Governor, please contact the Headteacher or the Chair of Governors.

For further details regarding the Governing Body, including name, term of office, date of appointment and retirement from office, and the body who appointed them, please click here

Correspondence for the Governing Body can either be sent directly to a Governor or addressed to the school for forwarding: c/o Emma Lad, Clerk to Governors, Prae Wood Primary School Office, King Harry Lane, St Albans AL3 4HZ. Tel:  01727 751930, email:

Who's Who in the Governing Body?

Tony Fitzpatrick (Chair of Governing Body and Parent Governor) I was elected as a parent governor to Prae Wood School in May 2017. I currently have a daughter at the school, she loves going to school and feels very much part of a cohesive school community for which I am very grateful. As a parent I am pleased to be able to give my time to the school. I have been a Secondary School Headteacher in Hertfordshire for a number of years, and have worked in Hertfordshire schools for 20 years. I also work closely with the local authority sitting on a number of committees. I aim to assist the school with my knowledge and skills to support the education of all pupils at Prae Wood. I am an experienced governor, I am currently chair for another governing body.

Declaration of Business Interest: Chair of Governors at Stevenage ESC, Headteacher, Barnwell School, spouse of staff member, Prae Wood School

Fiona Gow (Co-opted Community Governor and Co-Chair Teaching and Learning): I joined Prae Wood as a co-opted Governor in June 2009 and have been a Governor ever since. I have two sons, one of whom attend Prae Wood.  Prior to having my children I worked as an international & employment tax consultant and I aim to bring my financial expertise to the Finance & Resources committee. I also co-chair the Teaching and Learning committee.  I have lived in this area of St Albans for much of my life and the opportunities available to our local children are very important to me.  I am committed to offering all my support in assisting the school meet its goals of providing excellent education and care to the children.

Declaration of Business Interest: Clerk to Governing Body, Wheatfields School

Jenny Sheppard (Headteacher)

Declaration of Business Interest: None

Charles Clarke (Co-opted Governor)

I joined the governing body in October 2020 as a co-opted governor.  As a solicitor at a public sector organisation in London I bring particular expertise in governance but also in projects and property.  I am also Vice Chair of the Compulsory Purchase Association, a large professional membership organisation.  I have a child of primary school age and am committed to ensuring the best outcomes for the children and the school community.

Declaration of Business Interest: None

Duncan Hale (Parent Governor) I am a parent of two children at Prae Wood. I work in finance, where I manage money on behalf of pension funds, investing into infrastructure and real estate.  As someone that manages not only money for others but also a team, my role is focused on ensuring transparency and accountability. I believe I bring expertise and energy to the role; I am passionate about our children’s education.

Declaration of Business Interest: None

Mary Willatt (Co-opted Governor, Safeguarding)

Declaration of Business Interest: Pending

Michelle Charsley (Teaching Staff Governor) I joined the governing body to understand more about, and to take part in, the operation of Prae Wood School outside of the classroom. I aim to bring an 'on the ground' perspective so that staff are represented, as well as to provide a viewpoint,  independent of leadership, on how decisions might impact teaching and learning. I have three children who have all passed through St Albans schools and are now studying at tertiary level. 

Declaration of Business Interest: None

Joyce Field (Non-Teaching Staff Governor): I became a Governor in 2000. I work as a Teaching Assistant in the school, l am very keen on extra sporting opportunities for the children and giving them the opportunity to represent their school.

Declaration of Business Interest: None

King Harry Lane, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4HZ

01727 751930