Meet the team

Mandy Parsons
Head of Service

Mandy joined the service in 2002 from a HR and training background and as an experienced Chair of Governors and governor trainer. She has governed at Primary and Secondary level. She is currently a Director on a Multi Academy Trust Board.

Qualified to post-graduate level and a chartered member of the CIPD, Mandy chairs the South East Governors Coordinators Group and the National Coordinators of Governor Services (NCOGS) organisation. She sits on the Department of Education Advisory Group on Governance alongside other organisation representatives to help shape policy developments. Mandy became Head of Service in 2010.

Sarah Speller
Governor Services Co-ordinator

Sarah has worked for Governor Services since 2011 having previously been employed as a stockbroker, fund manager and archivist. She has been a governor since 2002 and has held all the main governance roles in a variety of boards from both the primary and secondary sectors.

Sarah has a strong track record of improving governance and has successfully supported boards in a variety of challenging situations. Sarah holds the TAP Diploma in Learning and Development, is a qualified assessor, is an associate member of the Association of Education Advisers (AOEA) and holds The Governance Institute’s Certificate in Academy Governance.

Sarah Hicks
Governor Services Co-ordinator

Sarah clerked for multiple governance boards for several years before joining Governor Services in 2009, following a career as a project manager in the defence industry. She currently manages the governor training programme and develops e-learning programmes for the Service.

Sarah is an experienced trainer and holds a diploma in Learning and Development from TAP. She is a qualified assessor and is centre lead for ‘The Accredited Clerk’, a level 3 qualification for clerks to governance boards. She was also part of the team that developed and now delivers ‘The Professional Clerk’, a Department for Education funded development programme for clerks.

Sarah has been a governor for over 10 years, six of these as a chair of governors, and she is currently governing on the board of a large primary school.

Jenny O'Keefe
Governor Services Co-ordinator

Jenny joined Hampshire Governor Services in September 2021. Jenny has over 15 years of experience as a school governor including the main governor roles and 7 years as Chair of Governors.

Jenny is qualified to post-graduate level and, before joining the service, was employed in the banking industry. Jenny’s particular interests include developing teams, communications/training and strengthening processes.

Jenny is enjoying her new role in Hampshire Governor Services and is looking forward to helping to support governance boards.

Jo Pryce-Jones
Governor Services Co-ordinator

Jo has been a school governor since 2004 and has particularly enjoyed serving on boards in schools facing challenging circumstances. She joined Hampshire Governor Services in 2008, following a career in the civil service.

Jo has a keen interest in leadership and in supporting the individual development needs of boards and chairs. She was lead facilitator for the NCTL Chairs of Governors Leadership Development Programme for the SECOGs partnership in South East England for five years, and she now tutors on Hampshire’s Leading Governance programme. Jo has conducted reviews of governance in all categories and phases of schools, and she has successfully supported boards through structural change processes including federation.

Jo is a qualified trainer and facilitator, and she is an associate member of the Association of Education Advisers (AOEA).

Gordon Duff

Gordon joined Hampshire Governor Services in February 2020. He worked for many years in retail management and has served as a school governor since 2007.

Gordon has chaired governing boards across the primary and secondary sectors of education and also several Interim Executive Board's in special schools.

In March 2015, he was appointed as a National Leader of Governance by the NCTL (now the DfE) and in this role he has supported many chairs and governing boards in maintained and academy schools on the south coast

This work has included conducting external reviews of governance, supporting boards through the federation process and working with chairs to assist them with strengthening their board's systems and processes.

Gordon is very much enjoying working within the team at Hampshire Governors Services.

Maureen Bax

Maureen has been a governor, in the primary sector since 1995. During this time she trained various police forces in diversity and managing relationships. She joined the service in 2007 and became a secondary governor in 2013. During this time she has chaired two interim executive boards in both primary and secondary schools.

Both schools were significantly under performing and had been placed in special measures and have now been judged as good.

Maureen has worked in schools closely with senior leaders and governors, improving communication and relationships. She is an accredited TAP trainer and is also accredited to deliver the People Intelligence ‘Co-acting Styles’ training on working as a team. She has coached and mentored many new chairs of governors on how to develop their teams and engage positively with school leaders.

Maureen is an associate member of the Association of Education Advisers and is currently a chair of governors in two large Hampshire secondary schools.

Jana Murray

Jana joined Governors Services in 2022 after a career as a television and video producer. She has been the director of her own video and photography production company since 2006. She has a master’s degree in Creative Writing and manages the communications for Governor Services, including the termly newsletter, advice and support updates and Hampshire Governor magazine.

Jana is a governor in a large federation where she is the safeguarding lead; an area of school improvement she is passionate about. She is an ‘Accredited Clerk’ having previously clerked in maintained schools and academies across Hampshire; a role that developed her knowledge of governance.

Amy Ardern

Amy joined the service in September 2022 after working previously as a project manager at a university and running her own businesses. She has a Bachelor of Nursing degree and is a qualified Prince2 Project Manager and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) practitioner.

She is a current primary school governor and is particularly interested in development of teams and effective communication. Amy has a passion for all things equality, diversity and inclusion related, having previously specialised in this area.