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Governors

Opportunity to Support the School

We have a great team of governors who work closely with staff to maintain high standards at our school and to shape future developments. We are currently looking to recruit new governors to bring new skills, interests and ideas to our team. You do not need any qualifications to be a governor, just an interest in education and the ability to give some of your time. If you think there is a possibility you would be interested, please come and talk to Mrs Fordham to find out more about the role without making any commitments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Governing Body

Current Governors

Name

Responsibility

Category 

Term of Office

Andrew Boakes Chair Co-opt 31/10/20 - 30/10/24
Katie Brocklehurst   Co-opt 10/01/21 - 09/01/25
Diane Cawthorn   Associate (staff) 31/10/20 - 30/10/24
Louise Barham   Staff 14/12/20 - 13/12/24
Sarah Dobbs Vice Chair Parent 15/01/19 - 14/01/23
Michelle Finch   Co-opt 22/11/17 - 21/11/21
Emma Fordham Headteacher Staff 01/01/21
31/10/16 - 30/10/20 (in Deputy Head role)
Stephen Fuller    Co-opt 20/05/21 - 19/05/25
Deborah Furness   Co-opt 28/01/19 - 27/01/23
Claire Lanni   Parent  19/10/20 - 18/20/24
Lisa Leonard    Co-opt 08/12/21 - 07/12/25
Heidi Nash   Co-opt 02/07/19 - 01/07/23

Governors who Served in the Year 20/21

Name

Responsibility

Category

Term

Richard Kelly   LEA 26/02/2018 - 21/07/21
Marie Hodgson   Co-opt  22/03/21 - 21/03/25

Governors who Served in the Year 19/20

Name

Responsibility

Category

Term

Kenneth Darlington   Parent 15/01/19 - 24/09/20
Kelly Broderick   Co-opt 27/06/19 - 11/03/20
Kim McDowall   Co-opt 27/06/19 - 07/02/20
Judith Lovelock    Staff 31/10/16 - 18/12/20
Helen Smith   Co-opt 26/02/18 - 12/01/21

Governor Biographies

Andrew Boakes RIBA
Co-opt (Chair of Governors)
I have lived and worked locally for over 30 years joining the Governing Board of The Barclay School in 1987 and serving or 30 years. In 2017 I was delighted to become Chair of Governors at Almond Hill School. In 2013 I completed the “Chair of Governors Leadership Development Programme” from the National Collage of Teaching and Leadership and have continued to keep myself up to to-date with various “Herts for Learning” training, including Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment, and Effective Governance. As a Chartered Architect, I have worked in both in the UK and The Middle East and lead my own local Architects practice and Development Company. I have an interest in international affairs joining The United Nations Association UK as a schoolboy. I have been a member for over 40 years and am currently a National Board Trustee and Chair of Members National Conference. My hobbies include theatre, music, and art and of
course architecture and I am enthusiastic amateur gardener. I am passionate about finding ways for our school to introduce all pupils to a multitude of opportunities. Children who are exposed to different cultures, traditions, and activities help to shape their viewpoint of the wider world around them. All of these experiences help to develop a child's interests, build self-esteem and shape the course of their academic, professional, and personal life and to give them the fullest opportunities to grow and develop.

Sarah Dobbs
Parent (Vice Chair)
My name is Sarah Dobbs. I am a mum of two at Almond Hill and am currently the Associate Governor. I work as a Personal Assistant to three Directors at Herts for Learning, the largest school company in the UK and leading provider of school improvement, business support products and services for schools nationally. I have a degree in Television Production from Middlesex University and have worked across the Television, Corporate, and Education Industries

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.

Michelle Finch
Staff Governor
I become a staff governor in 2017 whilst working as a TA within the school. I was also employed as a cover supervisor working across the whole school. I have had 2 children go through Almond Hill and my youngest daughter is now in year 6.

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 education for 13 years, mainly in Secondary School Finance but more recently with HR and Administration. I have 2 sons, Charlie (16) and Harry (11). Both boys have attended Almond Hill Junior School. I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about Primary education. It is lovely to see the students happy in their environment and discovering how hard the school works towards making every student’s experience unique and positive. 

Katie Brocklehurst
Co-opt Governor (Deputy Headteacher)
I am the newly appointed Deputy Head at Almond Hill and am excited about what the future holds within the Almond Hill community. During my career, I have worked in schools in London, Luton and Hertfordshire. Children are our future; I feel privileged to work with them each day. My aim is to support young people to reach thier full potential, while feeling safe and secure.

Claire Lanni
Parent Governor
My name is Claire and I am a mum to three children, one of whom is in Year 5 and two others at the feeder infant school, Letchmore Infant & Nursery School. 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 school governors. I have a keen interest in all children’s education and hope by being an active member of the governing body, I can offer my skills to further enhance pupil's time at Almond Hill.

Louise Barham
Staff
I have worked at Almond Hill Junior School for the past 6 years from my NQT year up until now. Over the years, I have taught a variety of children at our school and have spent the last two years in charge of EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners as well as being the school’s Mental Health lead. I believe that everyone who is part of our school community should feel safe and happy so being on the governing body allows me to have a wide view of mental health and the wellbeing of staff, children, parents and the community.  

Lisa Leonard 
Co-opt 
I am a mum to a son who is currently in year 3.  I am a self-employed bookkeeper and freelance accountancy tutor. My employment history has been varied from implementing accountancy software to teaching in higher education colleges.  The primary education sector is extremely new to me but something I am keen to learn more about.  I hope that my skills, experience, and thirst for knowledge will benefit the school and its pupils

Instrument of Government

Staff Governors  2
LEA 1
Parent  2
Co-opt  7
Associates no limit if skills are needed by governing body

TOTAL

12

Governors in post

Staff Governors  2
LEA 0
Parent  2
Co-opt  7
Associates 1

TOTAL

12

Vacancies: Co-opted and Parent Governors

Copies of full governing body minutes are available from the Almond Hill Junior School office.  Attendance at governing body meetings is minuted in these documents.

Governors are appointed following a meeting with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors.  Recommendation is then made to the full governing body and a request for them to approve the appointment.

Governor Committees 

Resources Committee

  • Heidi Nash (chair)
  • Diane Cawthorn*
  • Andrew Boakes
  • Debbie Furness

*Associates do not have voting rights on committees to which they have been appointed. 

Curriculum and Pupil Focus Committee

  • Sarah Dobbs (chair)
  • Stephen Fuller
  • Claire Lanni
  • Katie Brocklehurst. 

Link Governor Roles

Child Protection Michelle Finch
Safeguarding  Andrew Boakes
Child Looked After Michelle Finch
Pupil Premium Claire Lanni
SEND Stephen Fuller  (Shahnaz Birchall)
Premises and Health and Safety Andrew Boakes (Lee Browne)
Transition  Michelle Finch (Letchmore Infants' governors)
Well Being  Andrew Boakes
PE  Sarah Dobbs
ECO Andrew Bokaes

Additional Information  

Governor Declarations

Relevant business and financial interests including:

  • governance roles in other educational institutions
  • any material interests arising from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives)

Governor Meeting Attendance 

Attendance record at governing body and committee meetings over the last academic year: