Benhurst Local Governing Body

Mr Fred Steel

Fred is a Chartered Surveyor and has reached the highest level in his profession, being a Fellow of both The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Chartered Institute of Building. He is also registered as an Incorporated Engineer with the Engineers Registration Board, an Associate Member of The Institute of Civil Engineers and a Member of The Chartered Management Institute. He has over forty years of experience as a construction professional and manager.

Fred is now a Building Consultant however prior to which was employed as Head of Building Services at the London Borough of Redbridge where he worked for over thirty years. His main role was overseeing schools’ major maintenance and new build programmes including the successful completion of two major secondary school expansions costing £36 million and the building of a new primary school costing £9 million. Fred also has experience of housing construction and maintenance working on all types of civic buildings and constribution of large civil engineering projects.

Fred has extensive experience as a school governor in Havering with over 25 years at Benhurst Primary School and Parklands Junior School and four years at Hall Mead Secondary School. Fred has been the Chair of Governors at Benhurst for 23 years.

Other positions include being Honorary Construction Officer of The Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford and Vice-President of Upminster Cricket Club. Fred has experience of working with young people outside of school and has managed local youth football and cricket teams  and events under the umbrella of the National Association of Clubs for Young People.


Mrs Bev Mills

Bev has been a Local Authority governor at Benhurst Primary School since November 2004.

Prior to this Bev worked at Prudential Assurance in a variety of HR and system roles including HR Systems Manager with responsibility for 35 staff and the running and development of all HR and payroll systems for the Prudential UK operation. Following voluntary redundancy, Bev volunteered as a school governor at Benhurst to broaden her experience and also share her business skills in an educational establishment.  Bev undertook various projects including the implementation of wrap-around care with the provision of before and after school provision which included surveying parents and interviewing and engaging the successful suppliers.  Bev began working at Chafford School in Rainham during 2005 running the administration functions in the school including cover, school trips and examination management. Bev is currently a Student Support Manager responsible for all school data, pupil reporting, examinations, work experience and careers.

In her spare time she helps run a dancing school in Harold Wood for pupils from 3 to 80!



Mrs Abiola Fakayode

Abiola has been a parent-governor at Benhurst Primary School since 2011 and a co-opted governor since 2015. She is employed at the Department for Education in Westminister and part of the Pupil Curriculum Committee and the Development and Liaison Governor for Benhurst. Her passion is for children to make progress in life and to contribute to a positive society. Outside of family and work, Abiola's interests are photography and cookery.



Miss Anna Gray

Anna has been a Governor at Benhurst since December, 2013 and supports both sub-committees. Anna has one daughter at Benhurst who is in KS2.

After studying for 4 years at Canterbury Christ Church University (Geography and Education), Anna took a year and half to work and travel around the world. Upon returning home, she worked as a primary school teacher in various schools within Thurrock and then as an Early Years Lead in several Havering schools. After having her daughter, Anna stopped teaching but took a part-time position in a local dance and musical theatre school so she could still remain working with young children.

Anna is passionate about every child receiving the best education and uses her role as a governor to provide this for our children.



Mr Dean Jeffreys

A life-long Havering resident, Dean has a background in education and the not for profit sector and has been a governor at Benhurst since 2009.

Professionally, Dean spent thirteen years working in secondary education, initially as a History Teacher and culminating as Associate Assistant Head. Along the way he held a number of roles including Head of Department, Head of Year, Head of House, Staff Governor and Induction Tutor. At various times he taught History, Geography, RE, Citizenship, PSHE, Sociology and Law.

Dean currently works for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as national Programme Development Manager. He is responsible for charity-wide programme innovation and aspects of strategic development. In addition he is the charity’s national lead for youth justice and am working on the growth and development of DofE within the secure estate.

In his spare time, Dean is a volunteer with The Scout Association and am currently the Regional Commissioner for London. He manages the provision of Scouting to young people aged 6 to 25 across the capital, featuring a membership in excess of 47,000. He is also a member of the YOU London (Youth Organisations Uniformed) Board and a Freeman of the City of London.

Dean is Chairman of Trustees as an Activity Centre in Brentwood, which has over 100 acres of woodland and buildings, offering countless hundreds of residential and daytime activities each year, and operating at a turnover of over £300,000 a year.



Mr David Denchfield

After working in banking for 5 years, David returned to full time education where he completed a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Following this, he undertook a PGCE and began teaching in primary education. David has taught in 6 state schools in two authorities. Whilst working as Deputy Headteacher at Great Berry Primary in Essex, the school was graded Outstanding for the first time and is widely recognised as a lead primary in Basildon. The school also successfully converted to an academy during this time.

Upon completion of the NPQH, David was awarded his first headship at Benhurst Primary. Within his first year of headship, David successfully led the school from Requires Improvement to Good. Four  years on, the school is now firmly working towards Outstanding. In 2014, Benhurst’s excellent work was recognised and the school expanded from 1½ FE to 2FE. Benhurst Primary is now widely known for its forward-thinking ethos and has worked extensively with many local, national and international schools and businesses in its constant drive for excellence. David also held the position of Executive Headteacher for another local school during a period of prolonged absence of the substantive Headteacher. In July 2016, was appointed Director of Primary at The LIFE Education Trust.

David is an active member of the local Cluster group, has been a governor in four schools and holds a position on the Schools’ Funding Forum for Havering and the Headteacher's Reference Group.



Mrs Stella McCarthy

After working in the Legal Profession as a Chartered Legal Executive for 15 years, Stella took a career break to bring up her two children. Whilst on this career break, her children joined Benhurst and Stella volunteered as a parent helper. Stella enjoyed working with the children and soon became a Learning Support Assistant. Quickly, she progressed through various roles from Teaching Assistant to Higher Level Teaching Assistant. Stella then joined the Graduate Teacher Programme at the Institute of Education and achieved Qualified Teacher Status. 

After completion of her NQT year at Benhurst, Stella became a Year Group Leader and took the role of Computing Coordinator. Stella is passionate about computing within the school and helped to lead changes to the hardware and software across the school and were instruemnatl in moving the school from Requires Improvement to Good. Stella is a qualified SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART Certified Education Trainer and has travelled to Madrid and Canada with SMART to take part in training and to act as a mentor to teachers from around the world. Stella leads many international seninars at Benhurst and is a plays a key role in the annual BETT week, leading sessions at Benhurst and the BETT show. This year, Stella has also taken on the additional role of Assistant Head Teacher to cover a maternity absence.



Mrs Andrea Krout

After her degree in Modern Foreign Languages at QMW College, University of London, Andrea joined Essex Police, serving the communities of Brentwood, Epping and Harlow for fifteen years. She then took a career break to raise her children, who were of primary school age. During this time, Andrea volunteered as a parent helper and ran local Girl Guide companies and Brownie packs. 

Andrea worked as an LSA at St Thomas of Canterbury school before trainimng to become a teacher. She joined the Graduate Training Programme at FIPC where she achieved QTS.

After completion of her NQT year, Andrea became MFL co-ordinator and was responsible for re-introducing French to Benhurst. In addition to her MFL responsibilities, Andrea has also qualified as a SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART Certified Education Trainer. For the last three years, Andrea has been responsible for Benhurst attending the Young Voices series of concerts at the O2.

This year, Andrea has taken on the additional responsibility of leading the Benhurst Eco-Committee and is leading the regeneration of the external school environment, as well as being joint coordinator of R.E.