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The Trust Board

Philip Vander Gucht

Chair of Trust

For the final eleven years of my business career I worked for a large international corporation based in London. I was responsible for the acquisition and expansion of several smaller companies located in Europe and South Africa. Analysing those companies strengths and weaknesses enabled me to put into place strategies for personnel development, for financial stability and for product and market growth. Working in Cape Town for the last five years, building a strong team and transforming an average company into a highly successful operation was the most satisfying part of my career. I hope many of the skills I have developed may be brought to The Galaxy Trust.


In my earlier career I was an English teacher working abroad for ten years. I had the benefit of experiencing the wonderful cultures of Japan, Abu Dhabi and France.


I am married with two adult children. Josephine is a successful musician, singer and songwriter, performing all over the world and William is a teacher having just returned from four years in Madrid and then Medellin in Columbia. We are an International family.

Hannah Delany


Hannah works in the Human Resource arena, specialising in Talent Management and Workforce Planning. Dartford has been home for the last 8 years and she has two children at West Hill Primary School. Hannah has a firm commitment to the role of the Governor believing that the Primary school years are the most important in a child’s education and ultimately shapes their future.

David Taffs


Occupational background.  32 years as a Public Sector Accountant and Manager, 6 years as Public Sector Consultant, now retired.


Special Interest area. Looked After Children


About me. My aim is to ensure that all our children get the best education that we can provide and that what we provide is the best. I have been associated with Oakfield for many years. My wife taught in the old Infant School for 20 years and I became a Governor there about twelve years ago.

I have remained a Governor through the amalgamation of Infant and Junior schools and the creation of the Federation with Temple Hill.

I am currently Chair of the Resources Committee and  take a particular  interest in Looked After Children, having previously taken governor lead on NQT support and Early Years at different times. We have three grown up daughters who all still live in Wilmington. All our four grandchildren are currently at Oakfield.



Juli Dosad


Occupational background.

I am an experienced practitioner and accomplished illustrator and graphic recorder. I work creatively with young people, whole communities, organisations and individual teams, to deliver specific and targeted outcomes, using creative and participatory approaches.


Special Interest area.

I have taken a special interest in Pay and Personnel


About me.

I love spending time with my family and am married with four children, three of which are now grown up and have moved away to lead full lives of their own. I love spending my time on creative projects and

I am committed to ensuring,through my work, that communities and individuals are given opportunities to exert real influence over shaping their future, improving services and creating positive change.

I feel privileged to be a Trustee and am passionate about empowering children and young people through education so that they are able to make positive changes for themselves and make real positive contributions to their wider community too.


Ayotola Tiamiyu


Occupational background: Chartered Accountant and Internal Auditor in a FTSE 100 Bank.


Special Interest Area: Equality and Community


About Me:I have 2 daughters, one in Year 4 and another in Nursery in Dartford. My aim is to work with the Federation and support the schools in creating an enabling environment for the children to be inspired and support them to maximize their potential. I believe every child in the community deserves a champion and I will like to work with the School Management to achieve this vision.

I am currently a member of the Resource committee which works with the school management to optimise the use of available resources.

Noel Lake


Occupational background. 

Teacher and headteacher in a neighbouring borough with 38 years experience. Presently a  part time tutor with the University of Greenwich and formerly worked for the Institute of Education facilitating the training of aspiring school leaders.

I trained as an educational psychologist and have also reported on Ofsted inspections..

My aim is to ensure that the children in the Trust get an education of real quality, where they learn facts, skills and how to think and reason independently. I want them to be positive, socially responsible and fun loving!


Victoria Stretton 

Occupational background. I  hold a First Class degree in Professional Practice (Musical Theatre Education) at Middlesex University, and I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Currently I am Programme Leader for BA ( Hons ) Musical Theatre Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

 I have varied  experience within education and training, with particular interests in curriculum development, timetable management and leadership. I  have worked across a range of educational sectors  with children from 3 years old through to adults and young professionals.

Special Interest area.

The most able and those with a particular gift or talent.

About me.
I am passionate about education at all levels, and am committed to the development of learning environments that allow all children to reach their full potential, and encourage the pursuit of excellence, whilst developing confidence, passion and embracement of all aspects of school life.
I currently have three children at Oakfield in years 1, 4 and 6.

I am  a member of the Learning and Development committee which works with the school management to create the best conditions for learning and progress within the community.

Adrian Denny

Adrian lives in the Dartford area and is married with three children. After graduating from Durham University with an honours degree in law, Adrian qualified as a solicitor and has spent the last 20 years working in the city. He has a very strong interest and passion for education as a means of inspiring children to rise to the best of their abilities and make the very best use of their inherent natural talents. He has been actively involved in recruitment and mentoring programmes as well holding various senior managerial positions.




Vicki Dennis

Vicki grew up and still lives in Dartford meaning that she has a comprehensive understanding of the local community.  Her working role has meant that she has spent 10 years in North Kent working closely with partner agencies such as Health, Children Services and Police.  She has two children at West Hill Primary School and is committed to working with the Governing Body and the school to ensure there is robust challenge, creating a healthier partnership.



Tom Whelan

Occupational background

A Chartered Management Accountant who qualified in 2007, I’ve spent 15 years working at all levels of financial processing, reporting and management. I’m now commercial manager for City and Guilds, helping them as a registered charity make money to make a difference.


Special Interests

Ensuring children get the most out of the resources provided for them.


About me

My work life has given me lots of experience in working efficiently and ensuring a company gets a fair and equitable deal. I’m keen to use that to improve the education and experience of children in the local area. I have two children currently at West Hill school and enjoy spending time with them and friends whenever possible. I help organise a local football team and manage my sons age group. After playing football all my life and getting the great physical and social benefits a team sport brings, I strongly believe in giving kids every opportunity to play, enjoy, learn and improve while making friends and forging a team.


Akua Agyepong

I am senior Policy Officer with over 15 years professional experience in the field of Equality, Inclusion and Diversity.

I attended Keele University and graduated with an honours degree in Politics and Law and has an MSc in Public Sector Management from Warwick University.

I have worked in a range of roles in the field of Equality and Human Rights, including an internship with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), then gained a place on the National Graduate Development Programme, which led on to a range of roles in service delivery and policy development.

I am particularly interested in the implementation of equality and inclusion practice, with a focus on ensuring that they make a difference to the outcomes of individuals, groups and communities.

Garry Ratcliffe

Type of Trustee: Co-opted


Occupational background: Executive Headteacher, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Accounting Officer (AO)


About me: I am delighted to continue my role as Executive Headteacher of Oakfield Primary Academy and Temple Hill Primary Academy - now part of The Galaxy Trust.  As I begin my ninth year as Executive Head of Oakfield and my fifth year as Executive Head of Temple Hill, I continue to be incredibly proud of our pupils and the many achievements they make on a daily basis whilst studying at our schools.


Many of you will already know that I have a very special family myself…  Myself and my partner have four children – three of them with complex health and learning needs.  They are an immense joy but I have to confess that our fourth child who others would call “mainstream” is the hardest work of all!  We have adopted our children and so I feel I have a good understanding of issues faced by children living in care or who have been adopted, as well as children with special educational needs.


I am currently Chair of The Kent Association of Headteachers, North Board, which places me in a good position to promote the excellent work of our schools. I look forward to another exciting year at Oakfield!

Dawn Funge

Before retiring, I worked at Oakfield Community Primary School for 20 years. I started on a years’
temporary contract to cover in the Nursery and 20 years later I was still there! During my time at
Oakfield I held the posts of SENCO, Deputy Head and for the last 4 years as Head of School.
My passion is to ensure that we provide a good quality education that meets the individual needs
of every child. I was honoured to be asked to join the Trustees of the Galaxy Trust and hope that
my experience and enthusiasm will make a positive contribution to the Galaxy Trust.
I am married with 3 grown up children and 5 grandchildren. Since retiring I have kept busy
working for my husband’s construction company as office manager. I also enjoy spending time
with my children and grandchildren.

Anne Malling
Clerk to the trustees