Our Governors

Felicia Hughes – Chair

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.

Ewan Graham – Vice Chair

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.

Kelly Hawker – Headteacher

I am the Headteacher at Cherry Garden School and am totally committed to ensuring pupils have an amazing education which supports all aspects of their holistic development. I have a broad and varied background in teaching and supporting pupils with complex learning differences across the early years and primary phase. This includes working in a number of settings and schools, plus working for local authorities supporting learning within a broader context. I have experience of being a school governor and highly value and welcome the strategic support to drive school improvement.
My family are all originally from Southwark and my favourite food is pie, mash with lots of liquor!

Simon Wright – Staff Governor

I have been a teacher at Cherry Garden School since 2016, having moved to London from Preston. I have a degree in Primary Education and I trained to teach with the intention of working with children with special needs. I am particularly passionate about the teaching of Physical Development to our children and to supplement this, I am a trainer for the MOVE Programme.

At the weekends I like to play football, or failing that, watch it on TV! Working with such an awesome team of children and adults at Cherry Garden is great fun and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the school’s development over the coming months and years.


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.

Ruth Harris – Parent Governor 

My youngest son started at Cherry Garden in 2019. He benefits so much from the amazing teaching and school community that I was inspired to become a parent-governor to give something back. Professionally I’ve worked with disabled children, families and schools for 15 years as a speech and language therapist. I work now in a Learning Disability CAMHS team in another borough, which increases my insight into the issues faced by disabled children and families, in addition to my own experiences. As well as supporting Cherry Garden to continue their fantastic work, I hope to speak up for families on the governing board. Parents are welcome to contact me via the office. Yoga helps me to relax 🙂

Phionah Kesaasi – Parent Governor

I am pleased to join the Governing team at Cherry Garden School. I wanted to offer my advocacy and communications experience of working with vulnerable communities.

I have over 8 years’ experience working within the Ugandan government where for 5 years I worked as a public affairs assistant for the President of Uganda before moving on to working as a communications officer for the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. I have been involved in pilot projects for the elderly and children under the social protection department where I was in charge of advocating for grants to be given out to the most vulnerable groups in society. My duties included preparing budgets, invoices, organising information packs for meetings and training purposes, and public information campaigns. Working in collaboration with my fellow governors, I would like to support Cherry Garden School continue to attain high quality standard. I have a B.A degree in Communications and a Masters in Peace and Security Studies from Makerere University in Uganda. I am a mother of two boys; my eldest attends Cherry Garden School.

Heidi Ahlborn – Parent Governor

My child began attending Cherry Garden in September 2021 and I am a new parent to the school.  

I am passionate about a child centred approach to learning and development which is evident in my child’s school journey with Cherry. 

 I was inspired to become a parent governor to actively support the school as it continues to develop and grow, and also to support the many school families.  Professionally, I am a Chartered Accountant with experience working in risk and compliance roles within financial services firms in Canada, Ireland and the UK.  

I enjoy creative arts, baking and the occasional round of MarioKart.

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!

Roy Mincroff

I strongly believe that every child with special needs is entitled to the best education appropriate for that child. Each child should be enabled to achieve their full potential in every respect and it is the duty of the state to ensure that this is available.

As a Governor of Cherry Garden School for approximately 24 years including previously serving as a Chair of the Governing Body, I consider it my role to further these aims to the full in whatever way possible in collaboration with the staff at Cherry Garden School and the parents/carers of each child.

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.

Governor Documentation