Sturminster Marshall First School

Grow, Achieve, Inspire, Nurture. SMFS where learning is an adventure.


Below are the profiles of each of the members of the board. Each serves for a term of four years, except the Headteacher, who serves for the entirety of their time in post.



Damien Watt

Chair of Governors / Co-opted

 I am a dad of four children and have been fostering for over 20 years. I have a wide variety of experience both in the public and private sector.  I was chair of governors at a special school in Poole for 10 years and vice chair at another school in Poole for many years. I am passionate about children’s education. I enjoy being part of a team that drives schools forward.

 Nina Charman


 Kathryn Selway



I moved to Sturminster Marshall, from Surrey, in 2019 and my children joined the school in year 1 and year 3 from a much larger primary school.

I've been actively involved in school life at our previous school and this one, helping with reading in class and also acting as Chair for the School Society.

Prior to having my children, I spent 12 years working in a large NHS teaching hospital in London. In between Governor and School Society duties as well as my family life, I enjoy reading, crafting and getting out in the countryside.

 Sharon Bentley

Staff Governor


Gary Plummer 

 LEA Governor


Born in Poole, I have lived locally all my life. After finishing “A” Levels, I started working for a large financial institution locally and then went back to university part time to gain my degree, professional qualifications and finally to obtain a post-graduate qualification in Law.

Although I only started working to earn money for university, I am still with the same company 35 years on, and I am now responsible for various legal, tax and regulatory aspects of the business.


Motivation for Becoming a Governor:    

I love learning….anything!! This coupled to being married to a nursery professional and having in-laws who are teachers or lecturers, just added to my desire to give something back to education. When our family grew and our two boys arrived on the scene, I wanted to help in any way I could.

I honestly believe that local people, working together to improve things for the children can really make a difference. Although my boys are now further along the educational lifecycle, I believe getting the foundation right is the key to future success.


Amy Johnson 




Patsy Barnes



 My name is Patsy Barnes and I joined as a governor in 2019. I am the Manager of Sturminster Marshall Preschool which is situated on the school site. I have a BA in Early Years Studies and hold Early Years Teacher Status. My 2 older children attended the school. 

As a governor I feel I can support the school to work in partnership with both the Preschool and the local community, to underpin the values and ethos of this very important village asset.

 Helen Fookes



I am a retired teacher, having worked in Poole and Bournemouth secondary schools all my working life. In the last few years of my career I was Director of the Wessex Schools Training Partnership (WSTP) which is a school centred teacher training unit (SCITT) for secondary teachers in the Poole area.

I now live on the Wimborne road, on the edge of Lytchett Matravers. This is actually part of the parish of Sturminster Marshall and I have represented this area as a parish councillor on Sturminster Marshall Parish Council since 2016.

I am a community minded person and actively support events in the village including attending St Mary’s Church. During my time as governor, I would like to further promote and develop the links between the school and the village and in particular engage young people, as the future of the character and strength of our community is very much in their hands.