The Friesland Governing Body is a group of people totally committed to Friesland School, its future and holding the Headteacher and Leadership Team of the school to account. We are fortunate to have a very experienced Governing Body that comprises of individuals with different business backgrounds and a variety of skills and attributes. The Full Governing Body of the school meets six times in the course of the school year as do its two sub-committees: Resource and Strategy. 

Martin Garnett 

Chair of Governors & Co-opted Governor 

I was first elected as a parent Governor in 2002, shortly after my son started at Friesland School, but have continued as a co-opted governor since he left school. I am an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham, where I teach and carry out research. In particular, my familiarity with data is of great assistance in analysing and understanding the information about pupil progress which is such a key part of a governor’s role today. I am proud to have seen the continuing development of Friesland school over these years and its continuing role in the local community. 

Danuta Foster 

Co-opted Governor 

I was a local authority governor at Friesland School from 2012 and was co-opted in September 2018. I have always worked in education both in England and abroad. My final role at a large comprehensive school in South Derbyshire comprised time as both Head of Mathematics and Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for data and assessment. 

Upon retirement, I was determined, in addition to travelling, walking, reading and spending time with grandchildren, to maintain my links with education and to contribute to the local community. Hence, my role as a school governor since September 2012 and being a member of the South Derbyshire bench from 2010 to 2019. Both roles I found stimulating and challenging. 

Challenges in education still remain for each and every youngster to achieve their full potential and I am proud of my continuing involvement in trying to achieve that goal. 

Mark O’Neill 

Co-opted Governor 

I have been involved with Friesland School since 2005 having had four children attend the school. Having attained a BSc (Hons) Combined Science plus an MBA higher degree, I am currently a project manager for an engineering company in Derby, having previously managed operations for large corporations in the UK. 

More recently I have served for over 12 years as a Parish Councillor in the Borough of Erewash.  I am also one of the trustees of the Risley Educational Foundation Trust.  

Sharon Mendes 

Parent Governor 

I have two children at Friesland School and third child at a local primary school. Currently employed in the banking sector, I have previously worked in training and development and spent a short time teaching in FE whilst studying for a PGCE. I am actively involved in Friesland’s PTA and have spent time as a parent volunteer in my child’s primary school. 

Marie Ford 

Parent Governor 

I have two daughters currently at Friesland and another daughter and son at Firfield Primary School. At weekends I enjoy watching the Moto GP. My professional background is secretarial and I now assist with my husband’s company. I am an active PTA member and enjoy the social side this brings. I am keen to contribute towards the continued success and improvement of Friesland, so as students can reach their potential. 

Sally Edgar 

Parent Governor 

My name is Sally Edgar, I have 3 children – 2 of which are currently at Friesland School, and one that has finished her GCSE and moved onto college.  I currently work in a secondary school supporting deaf students, so I feel I will be able to bring both a parent and teaching perspective to this role. I feel being an active member in the community is important, as I am also a member of the Friesland PTA and involved with Breaston in Bloom. 

Elaine Lester 

Co-opted Governor 

As an experienced governor at my children’s primary school, I volunteered to join Friesland’s governing body in September 2020 when both my girls became students. I am a primary school teacher myself and currently work part time at a local primary school. I find this immensely rewarding, as working with groups as small as 6-8 children, I’m able to give them constant feedback on their work and see their confidence flourish in a short space of time. My main motivation as governor is to support Friesland’s dedicated staff in delivering the best educational experience possible to every pupil. 

Kerry Ireland 

Co-opted Governor 

I was co-opted in June 2019. I have two children attending Friesland SchooI and a local primary school. Having spent the first part of my career in financial services, I am now self employed as a business coach and trainer, delivering professional training, coaching and consultancy to businesses and individuals in the East Midlands. 

Craig Patterson 


My name is Craig Patterson and I am the headteacher here at Friesland School. I have been at Friesland since 2005, playing an active role with the Governing body since 2008, culminating in my current role as Head. 

Hayley York 

Staff Governor 

I have worked at Friesland School for over 11 years and over this time my job has really developed. I support the Performing Arts Department and recently co-directed the Lower School Show; Matilda. I co-ordinate many of the trips at Friesland and overseas the rewards trips and our activities week that takes place at the end of the Summer Term. A big part of my role now is Transition Liaison and I spend a lot of my time out at the local feeder schools delivering performing arts workshops. I am also the mentoring coordinator and therefore work closely with the pastoral team. 

Mat Puddy 

Staff Governor 

I am a Teacher/Governor at Friesland School and alongside being a Governor at a previous school, have been teaching within secondary education for nearly 30 years, in the South East, South West and the East Midlands. 

Governors meeting dates 2021-22

Governors declaration of interests 2021-22

The governors can be contacted via Sarah Hand, Clerk to the Governors – phone 01623 259639 or email