Freeland CE Primary School

'Great things come from small beginnings: 'Branch out, Fly High'

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Welcome to our school characterised by the Christian Values of Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion and Love

'Great things come from small beginnings: 'Branch out, Fly High'

Meet the Governors

Freeland School Governing Body 

Matthew Coolin, Chair of Governors, 

I have lived in West Oxfordshire since 2014 and have two children, one of whom attends the school. I joined the governing body in September 2019, becoming Vice-Chair and Chair of the Performance and Standards Committee in July 2020 and Chair of Governors in July 2021.  I am the Governor for the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) and Whistleblowing, as well as being the link governor for English and Science curriculum areas.  Away from Freeland, I have worked in secondary education since 2008 and am currently Head of English at Abingdon School.


Sophie Dawes, Vice-Chair of Governors & Parent Governor


Sarah Nickelson, Executive Headteacher

I have been the Head Teacher at Freeland School since April 2016.  I am very proud of our school community and enjoy working with the children, parents, staff, governors and local community to give the children at this school the best start to their education.  


Penny McCarthy, Head of School

I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Freeland School for the last five years and more recently in my role as Head of School.  Teaching was something that I wanted to do from being a very small child and after qualifying nearly 30 years ago I taught in schools in London before moving to Oxfordshire in 2001.  I taught in Oxford City before coming to Freeland School.  My role is exciting because it is different everyday.  Our dedicated and dynamic team are a pleasure to lead and I look forward to working with staff, governors and the wider community to continue to develop the school over the coming years.

Outside of school, I love spending time with family and friends, walking my sausage dog called Alfie and singing in a choir.





Caroline Taylor, Director Appointed Governor.
I have been a governor of Freeland Primary School for several years and am chair of the Resources Committee. I have very much enjoyed seeing the school grow and develop over my time here, particularly  the increasing involvement of governors in the school community.
I am an artist and designer, have lived in Freeland for nearly 20 years and am involved in many village groups, including running Freeland Art Club.
I have a husband, 2 sons, a dog and 3 cats!


Don Nash, Clerk

Jane Lench, Staff Governor

I have been a teaching assistant at school since 2004 and have experience of working in all of the year groups; I currently work in Year 2.

I moved to Freeland in 1999 and have two grown up daughters, both of whom attended Freeland and Bartholomew Schools.

Alice Harden, Foundation Governor

We have been Freeland residents since 2014 and our family has since grown to include 2 children, one of whom is now old enough to attend Freeland School. We love being part of a village with such an active, welcoming and generous community. I am now serving a second four-year term as governor at Freeland school having joined the board in January 2015.

I enjoy being able to support and challenge the school on many aspects of school life so that it improves for pupils and staff. I love to see and hear first-hand the passion the teachers have to develop the character and raise the achievements of their pupils.

As a foundation governor I share particular responsibilities with Janet Faulkner for the Christian nature of the school; and am link governor for foundation stage. I am also currently the clerk for the performance and standards committee. Our family are part of the church congregation that meets at Hanborough Manor School.


Vicky Mann, Parent Governor

I moved to West Oxfordshire in 2015 and feel very fortunate to raise my family in such a warm and welcoming community.  My two eldest children attend Freeland School and my youngest is due to join the pre-school in the not-too-distant future.

I am new to the Governing Body, having joined as a Parent Governor in October 2021.

I have worked in a range of commercial, not-for-profit and public sector settings, including both primary and secondary education, and look forward to using my experience to contribute toward the growing success of the school and its pupils.

Nick Dawson, Parent Governor

I became a parent governor in December 2019 a few months after my oldest daughter joined Reception. She is now in Year 2 with her younger sister in Year 1.  I have been working in education for some years now and am currently the Deputy Head at Oxford High Preparatory School. I am delighted to be part of the governing body at Freeland and I hope I can contribute to the high standards of the school and be supportive to the dedicated staff. 


Business Interests

Charity trustees' and members' names