Skip to content ↓

Governor's Biographies

Here you will find information about our governors.

Emma Fordham 
Staff Governor (Headteacher)
Having been the Deputy Headteacher at the school for 15 years, I am delighted to now hold the post of Headteacher.  I have worked in several other schools both in Hertfordshire and beyond and was also a governor in my last post. I am committed to education as the vehicle through which all children can make positive choices about their own lives. Being on the governing body enables me to share this passion with others who are also determined about providing the best education to meet the needs of all our children. We are always interested in engaging new and different governors to help us achieve this aim. 

Diane Cawthorn
Associate (School Business Manager)
I have worked at Almond Hill for 14 years working both in the classroom as a teaching assistant and in the office. I have been the school business manager for the past 6 years. My background prior to working in school was as a legal secretary. I have a long-standing knowledge of the school having been a pupil here myself and both of my daughters attended the school. I am responsible for day to day management of the school office and the financial management of the school. I was the clerk to the governing body for 10 years and have been a governor for the past six years.

Heidi Nash
Co Opt Governor
I have been a primary school governor for the past 4 years in a local Stevenage school. Both of my children were in primary school at the time. I felt that I wanted to contribute to the community and get a better understanding of the education sector. I have since become a School Business Manager in a pupil referral unit where I also sit on the governing board. I believe that the knowledge and experience gained both within my professional and governing roles will help me to support Almond Hill and their community. I very much look forward to the challenges ahead.

Debbie Furness
Co-Opt Governor
I have worked in finance in the Education sector for the past 17 years. I am currently a Specialist Finance Business Partner at HfL Education. I support many schools with setting their annual budget, followed by monitoring their accounts throughout the year to provide a full understanding of their financial position. I have 2 sons that have both attend Almond Hill in previous years. I really enjoy supporting the school to ensure students are happy in their environment, whilst also challenging the school to makes sure they are providing the best education possible. This year, as well as being part of the full governing board, I am the SEND governor, on the Finance and Personnel committee and part of the Safeguarding working party.

Claire Lanni
Hi my name is Claire and I am a mum to three children, 7, 9 and 13. My eldest finished at Almond Hill in 2022 and I currently have a son in Year 3 and a daughter in Year 5. I have been a school governor at Almond Hill since October 2020 and have more recently taken on the role of Co-Chair, together with Stephen. I currently work two part time jobs to work around being a busy mum, both of which are related to education and one specifically to do with school governors. I have a keen interest in children’s education and hope by being an active member of the governing body I can further enhance the education for those children at Almond Hill.

Lisa Leonard 
Co-opt Governor
I am a mum to a son who is currently in year 5 and have been a governor at Almond Hill since September 2021.  I have worked in various roles within finance for many years and now work as a freelance bookkeeper and accountancy tutor.  I decided to become a governor as primary education is a sector, I know very little about and I wanted to learn more.  I’ve found the role of governor to be a rewarding one and have enjoyed being involved within the school itself.  Although my speciality is finance, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with other key areas too.  I look forward to continuing to support the on-going improvement of Almond Hill. 

Lydia Andrews
Co-opt Governor
I have been a teacher for over 7 years and have spent 4 of those at Almond Hill, having taught in London previously. I'm interested in school improvement especially curriculum development and I enjoy reading about this in my spare time as well as reading children's books and baking. I'm currently in charge of PSHE, RE and school council at Almond Hill and I am excited to join the governors to further help improve our school for the children that attend it. 

Kanwal Rizvi
I am a medical writer and educator and have over twenty years of experience in life sciences in academia and industry. I am deeply interested in working with the school towards the goal of improving outcomes and developing both character skills and knowledge in our students. My aim is to assist the school and the governors on the school improvement plan, with a focus on writing and comprehension skills because this is where I can offer my best to our children and teachers and because I think comprehension and communication are critical skills for our children’s future. 

I am honoured to be a part of this team and looking forward to working together. 

Stephen Fuller
I have been a teacher for 19 years, along with being a senior leader within a secondary school and in alternative provision for excluded students. Within these roles I have supported a significant number of students and home from a pastoral perspective and now currently support schools in providing education that meets students needs and to allow them to move to their next steps.  I have also previously served on Governors of a Pupil Referral Unit. I have 2 children with additional needs one in a mainstream primary school and one who attends specialist provision.  I want to support the school by sharing my knowledge, experience and commitment to inclusive education, to ensure that all children can realise their full potential.

Ian Panton
I've worked at Airbus in Stevenage since 2007 and have lived in the Old Town for 9 years now. I got involved with the governing board at Letchmore Infants in 2020 as I wanted to contribute something to the local school. I have a particular interest in the STEM subjects from my background in engineering.

I have enjoyed my time as a governor there and have been truly amazed with the level of work that goes on behind the scenes. I was nominated health and safety governor, was involved in the resources committee (until it was combined into the full governing board) governor, and recently took on PE/sports premium. However, I felt the time was right to follow my kids to become a parent governor at Almond Hill.