The Village Academy

The Village Academy is a group of town, city and village schools that have joined together to provide the very best education for the children in our care and where we believe that education is very much a matter of the individual.

Visit Site


Local Governance at Petham

Petham has an Academy Council, which comprises of the Headteacher, and a number of Academy Council members. The role of the Academy Council is to challenge and support the Headteacher and to encourage the continuing development and improvement of the school. The Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.

Meet our Academy Council members

Simon Crooks -Chair of Council, Parent elected, Standards member

I have been a Council member for almost two years starting with Health & Safety and moving more recently on to Standards. I chair the Council meetings which serve to review the performance of the school and to provide challenge and support to the headteacher. I am a solicitor at a regional firm and also serve on the advisory board to a private school.

Babiche Deysel - Headteacher

I have been involved in education for over 20 years now. I hold a Masters Degree in Pedagogics from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, the country where I grew up. Before moving to England, I taught at private schools in Zimbabwe and Botswana. In Botswana I was in charge of the primary school.

I have been part of the Village Academy for six years, teaching and fulfilling a deputy role at both Lynsted & Norton and Selling School. I became the Headteacher at Petham in September 2016. 

I am passionate about providing every child with the best opportunities so that they can achieve to their fullest potential and I am proud to lead such a small but hard working and dedicated team of staff, who enable our children to experience wonderful and varied learning opportunities. We all work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcomes for our children.

Belinda Metcalfe - Staff representative, Assessment and website compliance 

I have been teaching for 18 years.  I first joined Petham in October 2016, initially teaching in Early Years and then moving to Year 1/2 and acting SENCo in September 2017.  I have been a Governor in the Academy since April 2015.

I am passionate about teaching and supporting each child to reach their potential in a supportive, caring and stimulating environment. 

Assessment has always been an area of interest to me whether this be results from formal testing in KS2, teacher assessments in KS1, EYFS data, in year progress or long term predictions!  As the website compliance Governor, I am also working alongside Mrs Deysel and all staff to provide an informative, interesting and compliant website which reflects our happy and exciting village school.   

Gill Hunter - Council appointed, Vulnerable pupils member

I am Gill Hunter and have been a Petham Council Member since September 2015. I am a Senior Research Fellow within the Law School, Birkbeck, University of London.

I have had two children go through Petham School and am very pleased to continue to support the Headteacher, staff and fellow council members at Petham in making this local village school a happy and excellent place to learn.

Jo Allen - Safeguarding member

I have been a Petham Council Member since September, 2015, responsible for safeguarding. I have had my four children and two of my grandchildren pass through Petham School and am very happy to be part of this team, aiming to ensure the safety of all children and staff in school.  I am an Intervention Tutor at St. Anselm’s School and a co-church warden at Petham Church, taking a weekly assembly at Petham School.

Saundre Hughes - Council appointed, Finance member

Vicky Osborne - Parent elected, EYFS member

I am Vicky Osborne, a parent Council member. I currently have one child at the school and I am responsible for monitoring EYFS and pupil voice. I am pleased to have the chance to work with fellow Council members and staff members to support the school. 

Luke Sullivan - Council appointed, Health and Safety member

I am Luke Sullivan and am a parent with one child in the school. I am a Senior Store Manager at Three and qualified in Plumbing and Heating (C&G equivalent). My area of responsibility is Health and Safety and I want to help the Headteacher and the school to achieve goals. 


Quote "Be kind in every action"​.

Attendance Record Petham Academy Council 2016/17

Register of business interests 2016/17

Strategic management

As an Academy Trust, our Articles of Association determine our Governance Structure.

For a full list of our Governance membership, please click HERE

For a full list if attendance at Governance meetings, please click HERE

Members and Trustees

The Members ensure we abide by our Articles of Association.

•Rev Stephen Lillicrap*
•Bruce McGlashan
•Martin Swainson
• Petra Bensted (Ex-Officio by role)

The Trustees add a strategic layer of governance across the whole Academy.

•Petra Bensted (Chair)
•Damaris Gardiner* (Vice Chair, Standards and Data)
•Hayley Spedding (Acting Academy Director)
•Carrie Gilbody (Finance and Audit)
•Temi Bufford (Safeguarding)
•Dawn Smith (Health, Safety and Compliance)

* Appointed by the Diocese