White's Wood Academy Governing Body

Chris Fitzpatrick


Having spent several years in the classroom in primary settings, I made the move to Headship in 2016 when I was initially appointed as Interim Head of White’s Wood Academy before this was made permanent. I have worked primarily in junior school education and bring a drive for continuous improvement, built on consistency and a relentless work ethic to the school and trust. Since being Head of School, the White’s Wood team have navigated two OFSTED inspections, achieving a ‘Good’ grade in July 2022 – one which was earned through honest hard work over a period of several years.

Prior to embarking on a teaching career, I was a tennis coach in Sheffield. This not only helped me to develop my teaching skills, but also gave me a wealth of experience in various settings, including numerous schools, and the opportunity to work with people of all ages.

As part of Tall Oaks Academy Trust, my responsibilities include leading on Assessment, Pupil Premium and Sports Premium as well as ensuring the continual improvement of White’s Wood Academy. These are roles I love and will continue to apply myself fully for the benefit of the children and families that we serve. I also serve as a Governor at East Markham Primary School. This role gives me further insight into the workings of other schools, particularly in a different Local Authority, and has helped me to develop my skills and offer support to a less experienced Head & Leadership team.

Away from work, I have been married to Sarah for 10 years and we have two kind, inquisitive and fun-loving children. Spending time watching them grow and develop is the way that most of my time is spent and there is no alternative I would prefer! We take family holidays when possible and time together, enjoying everything the world has to offer. I have always loved sport, with football, swimming, tennis and, in more recent years, golf being my main interests.

Mrs C Kirk

Link Trustee to LGBs


Responsible for oversight of Local Governing Bodies

Anita Gledhill

Chair / Community Governor


Responsible for Safeguarding

I worked as a logistics and planning manager within the telecoms industry for the best part of twenty years prior to training to become an English teacher. I have been in the teaching profession for seventeen years and I am the English Lead at The Gainsborough Academy where I have worked for six years. I consider myself very fortunate that I love my job.
In order to broaden my horizons in education, as well as serve the community where I work, I became a governor at The Whites Wood Academy a little over a year ago. It has been a pleasure participating in the school’s ‘chatter groups’ and working alongside Mr. Fitzpatrick and the governance team.
Outside of work, I am married with one grown up daughter. I enjoy spending time with family, friends and pets. I enjoy outdoor pursuits -although as I have got older these have become more leisurely and include walking and horse riding.
My daughter is a keen equestrian and works locally, splitting her time between a racing yard and helping a professional show jumper exercise his horses.

Karen Doran

Staff Governor


I began working at White’s Wood Academy in the kitchen cooking and serving food to the children approximately 14 years ago. I soon found that I enjoyed working with the children so much that I decided to become an MSA and, in time, the Senior MSA. It was while I was an MSA that I was asked to work with a child who was struggling with their emotions to give them extra support in school. I enjoyed this role so much and felt I was making a real difference to the child I worked with. I jumped at the chance to train as an Elsa (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant); this is a job I love and which I have been doing ever since.

I support the children at White’s Wood Academy with any emotional struggles they may have in a fun way so that the children feel happy and safe. I am married to Richy and we have a 20 year old daughter who used to attend White’s Wood Academy herself. In my spare time, I love to be in my craft room creating handmade birthday cards and journals. My favourite place to be is near the sea.

I became a Governor around 5 years ago because I believe, as a Governor, I can offer support to White’s Wood Academy in a different way. My passion is White’s Wood Academy – this is where I began my journey over 45 years ago as a pupil and where I hope to be until my working life is over. I believe no matter how good a school is, we can always strive to be better and it is this ethos that will keep us always moving forward at White’s Wood Academy.

Laura Duggin

Community Governor


Responsible for Curriculum & Standards

I am one of the school's community governors, something which I am really proud of. As a Headteacher myself, I am knowledgeable and experienced in matters of teaching, learning and leadership. I am incredibly passionate about education and enjoy working as part of the governing body, supporting the school leadership team. My current role as a Designated Safeguarding Lead in my own school helps me to quality assure the safeguarding systems and procedures followed by school staff. In my home life, I am married and have two young children. We love spending quality time together as a family, planning adventures and exploring new places.

Mrs Kirsty Duncan

Parent Governor


Responsible for Finance

I have worked in the food industry for the past 25 years, predominantly in Technical but more recently as a Regional Sales Manager. I have lived in Gainsborough for my whole life and have 3 previous years' experience on the Governing team at a local infant's school. My son is currently attending Whites Wood Lane in his second year and is flourishing at this wonderful and friendly school. The school prides itself in providing an inclusive, safe and engaging environment for their children and this is something I am proud to be a part of. As a parent governor, I look forward to continuing my support of the school and providing healthy challenge and guidance to the best of my ability.

Jody Mantell

Parent Governor


Responsible for SEND

I have two children aged 11 and 13, both of whom have attended White’s Wood Academy and thrived while they were there. White’s Wood Academy has always been a warm and welcoming environment that champions inclusion and encourages acceptance.
For the last four years, I have been employed by a primary specialist academy as a SEND Administration Officer. This role has given me the opportunity to develop my knowledge and experience in the areas of SEND and safeguarding. I have been a staff governor for the last two years and have enjoyed learning more about the strategic decisions that are made ‘behind the scenes’.
I recently joined the White’s Wood Academy Local Governing Body as a parent governor with responsibility for SEND and hope to use my experience and knowledge to support this wonderful school, it’s staff and pupils.

Kev Burnett

Community Governor


Responsible for Behaviour & Attendance

I am a police response officer for Lincolnshire Police. Prior to this, I was a PCSO for 5 years covering the Gainsborough up-hills area and it was during this time that I worked closely with White’s Wood Academy. I have lived in Gainsborough most of my life and like to get involved with local community projects. I see my role as providing assistance and support where possible to the staff and help them where possible to continue to provide the best possible education for the pupils.

Mrs J Gledhill



Telephone: 077887 33941