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Gill Cocklin, Chair of Governors, is a recently retired primary school Headteacher who worked for 26 years at the same school within RBWM. She was one of the first Headteacher in the country to lead a successful federation and also led a Children’s Centre based within her school. She became a LA appointed governor in September 2017 specifically requesting to serve on the Nursery Federation governing body. Early Years has always been her passion believing that high quality early education is the right of every child and holds the key to success in later life. Gill is also a safeguarding governor for the Nursery Federation of schools.


Eddie Neighbour initially joined as a parent governor at Maidenhead Nursery School in September 2018.  He has one son, who currently attends the school.  He qualified as a teacher in 1996 and is currently the Co-CEO of Pioneer Educational Trust, made up of a Primary, a Middle and a Secondary School in the Slough/Windsor area.  He is a very strong advocate of free play based learning in EYFS and thinks it is very important that children are exposed to a wide variety of experiences from an early age.

karen freeland

Karen Freeland has been a Governor at Maidenhead Nursery School, and then the Federation, since 2010 (when her daughter attended MNS), and strongly believes in the importance of learning through play and outstanding early years education provision as a vital foundation for future learning. Her specific governor responsibilities include SEND and maintaining Federation policies. By profession Karen is an editor of biology and other text books, with a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Biomedical Science. She is a volunteer at Maidenhead Nursery School and a gymnastics judge. 

Daniel Merlo  

Daniel Merlo became a parent governor at the Federation in 2021 as his eldest son attends Cookham Nursery. Daniel passionately believes in the importance of early years education as a crucial springboard to a child's positive relationship and engagement with learning throughout school and beyond. As a parent governor Daniel provides support and challenge to the Federation at both the full governor meetings and as Chair of the Staffing Committee. Daniel is a solicitor and offers the governing body his professional experience in advising on the proper administration of public bodies.

 hannah boelrijk

Hannah Boelrijk has been a governor since September 2017 when her youngest son attended The Lawns Nursery. Working as a part time Reception teacher at St Ethelberts Catholic Primary School, Hannah has a keen interest in child development and the learning process. She appreciates the importance placed on playbased learning in the early years, where there is a strong emphasis in providing a rich environment for children to develop a love of learning.

 karen drayton

Karen Drayton has a strong commitment to lifelong education in the local community. After a career in Human Resources she has completed her PGCE and works as a lecturer. Karen joined the governing body with an emphasis on staffing and development. After seeing what a fantastic experience both her daughters had during their time at nursery and the love for learning this gave them Karen enjoys the ongoing support her role can provide.

 Jill o'donovan

Jill O'Donovan initially joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2014, she has also worked as the School Business Manager for the Federation and is Chair of the Finance and Resource Committee and is Health and Safety Governor.  Jill was born in Canada where she trained as a Chartered Accountant, and lived in New Zealand for a time before settling in the UK.  Her three sons do their bit to keep her sharp, and when she is not working in the nurseries or on other projects, she is an avid reader and traveller, preferably together.

Jamyong Ahn

Jamyong Ahn joined as a governor in 2021 as her daughter attends the Lawns nursery.  Jamyong was born in South Korea and moved to UK for a Master’s degree in Economics.  She is a qualified accountant and previously worked as a finance director for a SME advertising company.  Jamyong firmly believes the love of learning through play in the early years will provide strong platform to the lifelong learning journey in the future.  The hopes to support the Finance and Resource Committee with her professional experience as well as improving the diversity of the full governing body.