Cherry Garden School41 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 5BB

In This Section
Our Governors

The governors provide a strategic role in moving the school forward. They are involved in the life of the school and act as a 'critical friend' in all aspects of the school's performance.

Their vision is to provide excellence in all that we do to achieve the best outcome for the children.

The governing body meets once a term at the school; additional meetings are occasionally held where important matters need to be considered promptly. Approved minutes of governing body meetings, excluding any confidential items, are available upon request at the school. Each governor is a member of one of the two committee groups: Curriculum, Progress & Community; or Resources (which includes finance, premises & staffing). The committees meet each term.

Governors are allocated to a class and a subject area. They visit the school by individual arrangement with the relevant staff to see their class in action and to meet with the subject leader.

The governing body is a member of the Southwark Governors' Association, which meets termly at the Southwark Council offices, and the National Governors' Association ( Both are excellent sources of information.

Governors can receive free training as part of their induction and, subsequently, on a range of topics through the school's contract with Southwark School Governor Support and Development Services (, which also provides clerking for our full governors' meetings.

We are always interested to hear from prospective governors.

The Chair of Governors or any individual governor can be contacted via the school, either by email at, or by telephone on 020 7237 4050.

Dr Margaret MortonChair
Teresa Neary Headteacher
Roy MincoffCo-opted Governor & Safeguarding Link
Apo Cagrici Co-opted Governor
Olanike Akintaro Co-opted Governor
Rachel Jones Co-opted Governor
Laura HutchinsonCo-opted Governor
Ewan GrahamCo-opted Governor
Felicia HughesCo-opted Governor
Samantha Hemmings Parent Governor
Laura Dixon Parent Governor
Maureen BoyleClerk to the Governors


Dr Margaret Morton



I am a community governor at the school.
My background: I am retired but previously worked in Southwark for just over twenty years as a community paediatrician specialising in childhood disability. I feel that my work has given me an understanding of the challenges that the children at Cherry Garden School can face and of the services that they might require. I was involved in neuro-developmental follow-up studies locally and nationally and this has been very helpful when looking at the school’s reports on pupil progress.

With six grandchildren living in Southwark, four in primary schools and two fast approaching school age, I have a personal interest in primary education here and a lot of useful hands-on experience!


Teresa Neary          


I have been Headteacher at Cherry Garden School for approximately 18 years. I have a degree in 'Special Needs'. While working as a full-time teacher I completed a part-time Masters degree in ‘Early Years Education’ at the Froebel Institute in Roehampton College.

As a head teacher I value the importance of working collaboratively with my colleagues in mainstream education. I am a member of the schools forum representing special schools in Southwark. I am currently the vice chair of the Special School Headteachers group.

I trained as a ‘School Improvement Partner’ to support other special schools in 2008. I have been a practising OFSTED Inspector for 2 years.

My three main hobbies are scuba diving, kung fu and yoga. They certainly all keep me on my toes and are a great way to switch off from the multi-tasking role of a Headteacher. I continue to thrive on the diversity of every day at Cherry Garden working with such a great staff team and inspiring children.

Olanike Akintaro

Olanike Akintaro 

Parent Governor

My primary reason for being a governor at Cherry Garden is to give back quality time and make a positive contribution to the school. 

My first degree is in special education and I have a masters degree in public administration from an overseas university. 

I have enjoyed working alongside other governors and have learnt a lot.

Rachel Jones

Co-opted Governor

I am a co-opted governor at the school.  

I live locally and I am passionate about education and hope to be able to use my professional experience to support Cherry Garden.

By background I am a qualified chartered accountant but I now specialise in finance and operations, within the technology sector. I feel that my work gives me insight into the logistical and financial challenges of running a school and my financial background helps me support the resource committee with it's financial planning activities. I am also a parent myself and want to support the local educational network as much as I can.    

Felicia Hughes

Co-opted Governor

I live very near the new Cherry Garden school and have enjoyed watching it being built and am delighted that it’s now up and running. I have recently retired from teaching, mostly in special schools. For the last 10 years I was deputy head teacher of a special secondary school in Lewisham. I believe passionately in all children having access to high quality, stimulating education, and am delighted to be a governor at Cherry Garden school to support this. 

Apo Cagirici            

Co-opted Governor

It was a pleasure and a privilege to become a governor at Cherry Garden when I was invited to join the governing body as a Community Governor in February 2010. It has been a very enjoyable experience and a learning curve for me since then. I am currently a member of the Curriculum, Family and Community Committee.

Although my academic background is in engineering, I have pursued a different career and spent most of my working life in the public sector. I joined the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) in 1987 and then transferred to Southwark Council in 1990 when ILEA was abolished. I worked as an Education Welfare Officer for about twelve years in Southwark. I am currently the Schools' Safeguarding Coordinator in the Council’s Children's & Adults' Services, working closely with all the schools in Southwark. I hope that my background and experience in education has enabled me to contribute to the efforts of the whole school community to make Cherry Garden an excellent school for the children and their families. 

 Laura Dixon

Parent Governor


I am a parent Governor, my son (9) is in Elephant class and I have a daughter who is 7.  I love films, art and cats. We have two cats, a tortoiseshell and a ginger tabby called Tesla.  He is named after a great scientist because my other passion is Neuroscience.  I have been studying psychology and then Neuroscience at Goldsmiths in New Cross.  I learnt a lot about Neuro developmental Disorders and I am currently involved in a Research Study looking at Developmental Dyspraxia in adults.   Cherry Garden supports learning for those with SEN and I hope I can provide support for that process wherever I can and also learn a bit about how they achieve such a high quality of teaching and sense of community. 



 Ewan Graham

Co-Opted Governor


I am a co-opted governor at the school and an Associate Director at Hawkins\Brown Architects; I was involved in the design and delivery of the new school building on Bellenden Road and was delighted to be asked if I would consider becoming a co-opted governor. I live in Peckham Rye and cycle passed Cherry Garden almost every day and take real pride in my association with the school. I’m interested in building bridges in the local community and helping to ensure the pupils at Cherry Garden can make the very most of their new building. When not in the studio you will most likely find me outdoors, cycling, running or training for a variety of charity challenges. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of play, frequent physical exercise and independent exploration for learning.

Samantha Hemmings

Parent Governor

Hi my name is Samantha and I am one of the Parent Governors for Cherry Garden School.

My child has just entered his 3rd year with the 'Cherry Gang’ My background has always been working with the vulnerable in many different fields.

I have a BA(Hons) in Childhood and Youth Studies and I’m currently working towards my 2nd Degree.

My intention is to work with special needs children in the future once I have finished all my studies.





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