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!
Sabrina Prempeh – Staff Governor
As someone who has worked in education for more than 10 years I am ecstatic to be a member of the governing board of such a dynamic and nurturing school. As a member of staff, I often witness first-hand the hard work that the dedicated staff put in to ensure that all pupils gain the best possible education and care whilst at Cherry Garden School and as staff governor I feel that I’m a good position to represent staff and bring a staff viewpoint and perspective to the governing body.
Within my personal life, I’m a governor & trustee of my local church for over 6 years and have lived in the South East London area my whole life. I am a mother and I enjoy holidays abroad, reading, trips to the cinema and eating out.
I am a co-opted Governor at the School and joined the Governing Body in 2017 because I am a passionate believer in the power of education. My Dad was a teacher, so I grew up talking about it! I was looking for a school I could make a contribution to locally and found Cherry Garden. I’m so glad I did – it’s such a special, inspiring place and I’m always so impressed by the atmosphere in the school whenever I visit.
In my work life, I am the Head of PR for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that cares for six historic visitor attractions, including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace. My team look after press, social media and filming across the six sites. It’s a very varied job and although I don’t work with schools myself directly, the charity does a look of work with schools, which I feel very proud of. In my spare time, I’m often to be found on a busman’s holiday, visiting historic places and museums!
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.
Heidi Ahlborn – Parent Governor
My child began attending Cherry Garden in September 2021. 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!
Jane Thomas – Community Governor
I have worked as a Nurse in the NHS for 40 years with a break in service after I had my own four children. Whilst they were in primary school I worked at a Special Needs secondary School in Lewisham as an LSA. I started my NHS career on an adult male surgical ward then progressed to being a Midwife for around 6 years, I was a mainstream School Nurse in Southwark and Lambeth for 10 years, and more recently the Children’s Complex Needs Continence Clinical Nurse Specialist for Lambeth and Southwark. I very much look forward to my fortnightly visits to Cherry Garden, it has such a lovely happy atmosphere and reminds me so much of my time in Lewisham.
I was encouraged to join the board of Governors by Kelly who I have met in my capacity as the schools continence nurse, and Felicia who I worked with many years ago in Lewisham. I was delighted to be encouraged, being in the twilight years of my career it feels that I will continue to have a voice have something to offer.
When I am not working you will mostly find me running, I am one of the run directors for Junior parkrun in Bromley and feel very passionately about encouraging everyone, young, old and in between to enjoy the great outdoors and to be as active as they can be. I am also a very crazy cat lady and am one of those sad people with thousands of photos on their mobile phone of my three cats.
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.
I worked for many years in public sector finance settings including the ILEA and NHS, then more recently as a university finance manager and eventually school bursar. Along the way, I gained an accounting qualification and a degree in Psychology. My association with Cherry Garden began many years ago, after I became an independent financial consultant working with LB Southwark schools.
I have always been impressed by the close-knit and dedicated team at Cherry Garden, and their achievements with the pupils. I believe all children deserve access to high-quality education which is suitable for their abilities and needs. The new school building, too, is a lovely environment for pupils and staff alike. When I retired recently, Kelly asked whether I’d consider becoming a governor and I was happy to have the chance to continue supporting the school. I feel that working in Southwark education for nearly 20 years has given me a good grounding in the issues facing schools today.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, walking and gardening, as well as exploring new places and discovering the local history.