The Forest Academy

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About Us  »  Governance

Governing Body

The Forest Academy is part of the Barnsley Primary Partnership, which came into being in the autumn of 2016. It brings together the three primary schools Forest Academy, Oakhill Academy and Oakwell Rise Academy, which are all members of the Wellspring Academy Trust. 

The Trust has put in place a single governing body for the Partnership, replacing the three former governing bodies. 
Our role has three key parts:


•      in consultation with the Trust, we decide the vision, ethos and strategic direction of each of the three schools;

•      we hold the Executive Principal and her senior staff to account for the educational performance of the schools and their  pupils;

•      we oversee the financial performance of each of the three schools and make sure that money is well spent.


There are currently 12 governors, details of whom are set out below.  They have a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experience which they bring to this important role, and meet at least every half term to look at all aspects of the life and work of the schools.  Many of the governors are linked with specific aspects of the life of the schools, about which they make regular reports to the governing body.

We work closely with the Executive Principal, who is supported by two Principals and other staff, and is responsible for the day to day running of the schools.  She is accountable to governors for how she does this, and frequently reports to us. 

All our work as governors has one simple aim: to make sure that our schools provide the highest standard of education and care for all our pupils, so that they have the best possible life chances. 

Meet the Team


Michael Sanderson- Chair of Governors

Michael has served on various governing bodies in Barnsley, and helped form the Barnsley Governors Association. He is a  National Leader of Governance. Having trained as a statistician, Michael worked for nearly 40 years in local government, in a  wide range of roles. He links with Sam Bailey, Executive Principal in relation to Leadership and Management.

Sam Bailey-  Ex-officio Governor  (Executive Principal)

Sam has led very significant change management programmes in order to secure success and has had a very significant impact in all of her schools. Sam is Executive Principal of the three schools which make up the Barnsley Primary Partnership, namely The Forest Academy, Oakhill Primary Academy and Oakwell Rise Primary Academy.

Rachael Burgin-  Staff Governor

Rachael is a teacher in the Year 4  (Maple) class at Oakhill Primary Academy with further interests in ICT and performing arts. Her governor responsibility is to bring a staff perspective to the governing body.

Jenny Davis- Trust Appointed

Jenny is a staff governor and links with both Keren Harben for Commissioned Services and Mick Tinch for Safeguarding. She works at Springwell as Borough Services Manager and has extensive experience in the field of Behaviour and Attendance and has previously worked on the senior leadership team for BMBC’s Education Welfare Service.   


Nicola Davis- Parent Governor

Fiona Kouble-  Trust Appointed 

Adele Ledger-  Staff Governor


Chris Parkes- Trust Appointed 

Chris is a Chartered Educational Psychologist with over 20 years experience  of working with schools   in Barnsley to support families, pupils and staff in the area of Special Educational Needs.

Chris also has considerable experience as a governor and her responsibility in the Academy is Key Pupil  Groups. Her link in school is  Helen Clowery.

Gareth Stewart- Trust Appointed 

Gareth is the Enterprise Coordinator at Barnsley College and he has worked in education since qualifying as a teacher in 2009.  His governor responsibility in the academy is Standards and Achievement and he links with Sam Golia, Jo Gibbons and Jess Jenkins.  Some of the areas they cover are progress, standards, achievement data, progress monitoring, key benchmark years and nationally reported standards.


Mark Wilson- Ex-officio Governor (Trust CEO)

Mark has an outstanding track record of success and innovation in schools. He has led schools as Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in West and South Yorkshire and in South London. Mark has a compelling vision for education and believes that success is possible in any context, given the right management, systems and organisation.


If you are looking for information regarding joining the Governing Body or if you wish to request Local Governing Body minutes, or require any other info about the role of a Governor, please contact the Clerk to the Governing Body on 01226 720741 or emailing

Please address all correspondence to the Chair of Governors:

Mr Michael Sanderson
Wellspring Academy Trust
Digital Media Centre
County Way, Barnsley 
South Yorkshire
S70 2JW