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 Local Authority Governor) 

I was elected as a parent governor to Prae Wood School in may 2017 when I had 3 daughters attending the school. I now serve as a Local Authority Governor. I have been a Secondary School Headteacher in Hertfordshire for many years and have worked in Hertfordshire schools for 25 years. I also work closely with Hertfordshire County Council, having been seconded to work on education-related strategies. I always 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 and I currently serve on three other governing bodies.

Declaration of Business Interest: Headteacher, Barnwell School; Governor Nexus Foundation, The Rivers Education Support Centre, Falconer School; spouse of staff member, Prae Wood School

Jenny Sheppard (Headteacher)

Declaration of Business Interest: Governor at Strathwell Infant and Nursery School; parent of staff member

Krupa Bhalsod (Parent Governor)

I was delighted to join the governing body in January 2022. I have three daughters, currently at Prae Wood, who absolutely love the school and are thriving in the environment. I enjoy supporting their learning and development at home in fun and innovative ways, and I hope to apply some of these skills to my new governor role. I aim to work with the governing body team to continue to ensure Prae Wood remains a fantastic learning environment and am pleased to bring my experience to the team. As an Acute Medical doctor in a busy London trust, I am committed to service and quality improvement. I thoroughly enjoy teaching medical students and junior doctors and enjoy being able to see teaching from a different perspective. I am committed to supporting Prae Wood in remaining an excellent nurturing environment for children to grow and learn. 

Declaration of Business Interest: None

Richard Boyce (Co-opted Governor) 

I am a teacher at St Albans Girls' School. I understand and recognise the dedication and enthusiasm in teachers for developing and delivering a rich and varied curriculum allowing all pupils to reach their potential. I support the whole school community in its vision and ethos and bring my experience of teaching, learning and governance to Prae Wood school.

Declaration of Business Interest: Governor at Malvern Way school. Teacher, St Albans Girls' School

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

Joyce Field (Co-opted 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

Fiona Harper (Co-opted Governor)

I joined the governing body as a co-opted governor in September 2022. I have 3 children who all attended local schools (Skyswood primary, Verulam and St Albans Girls' School). Whilst my children were at Skyswood I became a parent governor and held several committee posts including chair of governors. I am a senior science technician ot STAGS and have been a support staff governor for the last 4 years. I hope to use my knowledge and experience to assist the whole school community in its vision and ethos.

Declaration of Business interest: Senior science technician, St. Albans Girls’ school.

Maria Morris (Parent Governor) 

I was delighted to be elected to the role of parent governor in October 2021. I  have two sons at Prae Wood Primary School who love going to school and have both flourished in all areas since joining. I feel lucky to be able to support teaching and learning and our school community by continuing to drive the school’s values and ethos and maximising the high standards already in place. Since joining the teaching profession through Teach First Programme, I have held the roles of Head of English, staff governor and Assistant Principal in charge of teaching and learning in London schools. My passion lies with raising literacy levels and helping students reach their true potential, irrespective of starting point and background. I have worked across primary and secondary schools and with local authorities to support primary to secondary transition. 

Declaration of Business Interest: Magic Link Handwriting Teacher in St Albans and Harpenden

Tom Pugh (Teacher Governor)

In 2016, I joined Prae Wood as a teaching assistant in Year 6. The following year, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to complete my Initial Teacher Training at Prae Wood and in 2018, I qualified as a Primary Teacher. Since then, I have had the privilege of teaching in Year 5 and now in Year 6. I love working with our older children and helping to facilitate their transition to secondary school. As well as working in Year 6, I am part of the team leading Maths across the school and have just completed a National Professional Qualification in Leading Teaching. When the position of Teacher Governor came up in September 2022, I jumped at the opportunity to take on this new role and look forward to seeing how I can continue to support the school in its development. 

Declaration of Business Interest: None

Mary Willatt (Co-opted Governor, Safeguarding)

I joined the Governing Body as a co-opted Governor in September 2019. Having studied music and geography while gaining my teaching qualifications, my entire teaching career was then spent in Hertfordshire schools. I retired after 23 years as Headteacher of a Church of England Primary School in the north of the county in 2014. Prior to that I was Deputy Head at Prae Wood. I am very pleased to be involved again with this school and to be able to support the vision of the Headteacher and staff as they develop a positive and exciting learning environment for the pupils. In my spare time I am a volunteer in Girlguiding, running a Guide unit in Potters Bar where I live, and I am learning to play the euphonium.

Declaration of Business Interest: Governor at Mandeville School in St Albans

Governor Meeting Attendance

Governors attend a number of meetings over the course of each academic year including Full Governing Body meetings as well as Finance and Resources and Teaching and Learning Committee meetings. For a summary of attendance, please click below: