Benhurst Local Governing Body
Mr Fred Steel
Fred is a Chartered Surveyor and has reached the highest level in his profession, being elected a Fellow of both The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Chartered Institute of Building. He is also a Member of The Institute of Civil Engineers and a Member of The Chartered Management Institute. He has over forty years’ experience as a construction professional and manager.
Fred is currently working as Major Works Manager for a local London Borough. Prior to this he was employed as Head of Building Services at another London Borough where he worked for over thirty years. During this time a major part of his role was dealing with schools’ new build and major maintenance.
Fred has extensive experience as a school governor in Havering and has currently served thirty-one years at Benhurst Primary School (where he attended school as an infant). He also served for over twenty-five years at Parklands Junior School and four years at Hall Mead Secondary School. Fred was Chair of Governors at Benhurst for twenty-five years before stepping down from this role in 2018.
Other positions include being a Vice-President of Upminster Cricket Club and previously as Honorary Construction Officer of The Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford.
Fred has experience of working with young people outside of school and has managed local youth football and cricket teams in the past. Also, outdoor adventure and other 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 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 is currently a Student Support Manager working at Harris Academy Rainham. She is responsible for all school data, timetabling, pupil reporting and examinations.
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 Westminster and has the responsibility for overseeing Behaviour & Safety along with another governor.
Her passion is for children to make progress in life and to contribute positively to our society. Outside of family and work, Abiola’s interests are traveling, photography and cookery.
Miss Anna Gray
Anna has been a Governor at Benhurst since 2013, and Vice Chair since 2018. During this time Anna has sat on many of the committees and working parties for various aspects of school life. Anna has one daughter who left Benhurst Primary School in July 2019 to move to a language specialist boarding school in Bishops Stortford.
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 full-time class teaching but has taken several roles on a part-time basis. These have included working in an advisory capacity to schools in Havering to improve their Early Years, working on an early speech and language intervention programme and working with children from 3-18 who attend a local dance and musical theatre school. Currently, Anna works for the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Team at Thurrock Council.
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. He became Chair of Governors in 2018.
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 UK charity Living Streets as Director of Local Impact. He is part of the senior management team and responsible for a team of over 70 staff who in turn deliver all of the charities funded programmes and projects across the UK. In addition, he is the charity’s national lead for Safeguarding.
In his spare time, Dean is a volunteer with The Scout Association and was for five years the Regional Commissioner for London, managing 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 Freeman of the City of London.
Dean was also previously Chair 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.
Ms Alice Larkman
Alice has always had a passion for working with children and studied Education Studies at university. Her career took a different turn following her undergraduate degree, when she became a journalist at BBC News, but that enthusiasm to work with children remained and she ran a youth group for young people with SEND in her spare time. Seeking to fulfil her desire to teach she decided to apply to retrain as a teacher, after 6 years of journalism, and she has never looked back.
After completing her PGCE and securing her first teaching position in Hackney she proceeded to further her love of learning and enlisted on a Masters degree in Education. This led her to the role of SENCo and on to further education where she completed the NASENCo award before leading Inclusion across the school. She has continued to demonstrate a love of learning with most recently achieving the NPQH qualification, whilst taking a school from Good to Outstanding. Alice joined Benhurst Primary School in September 2021, as Headteacher.
Mrs Foluke Sangobowale
Foluke was appointed to the Local Governing board in 2018 and is the link Governor for Finance.
She is married and has 3 children who all attended Benhurst school. Foluke briefly worked in the Banking industry but has now worked in the Social Housing sector for 20 years and has extensive experience of dealing with specialist and complex Housing legal and management matters.
Foluke currently works as the Head of Housing Service at one of the largest G15 Housing Associations in London.
Foluke has a Law degree, other postgraduate qualifications in Law, Risk, Governance, Compliance and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Foluke is also a qualified Company Secretary and a member of the GERN (Governance, Ethics, Remuneration and Nominations) committee of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Foluke is an author of two books who also has the experience of working with young people, preparing them for entry into selective independent and Grammar schools. She is particularly passionate about developing children’s literacy skills especially through reading.
Mr Chowdury Sultan
Chowdhury takes a keen interest in education and he is a parent of a pupil at Benhurst.
Chowdhury is a Barrister by profession and a practising member of the Bar Council of England & Wales. He has experience across the areas of family, immigration, crime and civil litigation. Chowdhury’s experience in criminal and public law allows him to give practical advice and solutions in complex cases.
Chowdhury studied law at university and obtained LL.B in 2006. He was elected as the Vice President of the University’s Students’ Union where he served two terms that required him to represent students and meeting senior academics. He was called to the Bar in 2009 from the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. He completed LL.M in ADR before going to work with the United Nations at their Headquarters in New York. He worked in the Administrative Law Unit preparing cases for the UN Dispute Tribunal.
Chowdhury has experience dealing with a range of private law matters including matters involving child Arrangements Orders and Prohibited Steps Order. He represents individuals at court proceedings around the country. . Chowdhury has knowledge of financial matters and he regularly appears in financial proceedings. Chowdhury is instructed on behalf of Claimants and Defendants in a range of matters including road traffic accidents, contractual and credit hire cases.
Chowdhury is an Agent Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service and appears for both Prosecution and defence. Chowdhury also appears in the Crown, Magistrates and Youth courts for trials, bail hearings, sentencing, traffic trial and extradition hearings. He has good knowledge of asylum, human rights and deportation law.