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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




Term of Office

Andrew Boakes Chair Co-opt 31/10/20 - 30/10/24
Katie Brockleurst   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
Marie Hodgson    Co-opt  22/03/21 - 21/03/25
Claire Lanni   Parent  19/10/20 - 18/20/24
Heidi Nash   Co-opt 02/07/19 - 01/07/23

Governors who Served in the Year 20/21





Richard Kelly   LEA 26/02/2018 - 21/07/21

Governors who Served in the Year 19/20





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 pupils time at Almond Hill.

Louise Barham
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.  

Marie Hodgson
I have been teaching for 8 years and have the pleasure of working at the feeder Infants' school, Letchmore Infants' and Nursery School.   I am currently a Year 2 class teacher and work closely with the Almond Hill team to support our children with their transition to junior school.
Prior to my career in education, I completed the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualifications and worked within finance for Hertfordshire County Council.  
I am passionate about supporting each and every child to fulfil their potential and nurture their talents and interests.  As such, I am delighted to take on the role of governor at Almond Hill and support the school in their drive to provide the very best education for all children.


Instrument of Government

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



Governors in post

Staff Governors  2
Parent  2
Co-opt  6
Associates 1



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
  • Marie Hodgson
  • Claire Lanni
  • Katie Brocklehurst. 

Link Governor Roles

Child Protection Michelle Finch
Safeguarding  Andrew Boakes
Child Looked After Michelle Finch
Maths TBC  (Helen Joannou)
Pupil Premium Emma Fordham 
Reading  TBC
SEND Sarah Dobbs and Stephen Fuller  (Shahnaz Birchall)
Premises Andrew Boakes (Lee Browne)
Transition  TBC (Letchmore Infant’s governors)
Well Being  Heidi Nash 
Curriculum  TBC

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: