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The Academy Governing Board (AGB)

In general terms the Governors  act as “critical friends” of the Headteacher and staff through looking at how the school is progressing. The AGB is responsible for: ensuring the school’s money is well spent; making sure procedures are in place to ensure effective teaching and learning; examining the educational outcomes the school achieves; resolving grievances; overseeing the implementation of annual school development plans; and ensuring we regularly review how we are doing and how we could do better.


The Academy Governing Board consists of:
• 2 parent governors (elected by the Orchard parents)
• 2 staff governors (elected by the Orchard staff)
• 3 governors appointed by the Trust
• 3 governors appointed by the AGB
• The Headteacher – Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher

Governor Pen Portraits

Alec Thomas – Chair of the AGB

Originally from Scotland, I have lived in Watford for 50 years and became an Orchard governor approximately 25 years ago while my son and daughter attended the school. I am now retired, after a career in both the public and private sectors which had recruitment and training as main themes. I have always been impressed by the Orchard team’s willingness to innovate, and have enjoyed supporting the Head and his colleagues bring about improvements, both in organisational terms eg enlarging the school, becoming an academy, and joining the Agora multi-academy trust, and also in how they deliver learning to the children.

Phil Miller – Vice Chair of the AGB

I became a governor at Orchard in December 2017. From the very first time I visited the school as a prospective parent, I was impressed by the energetic, caring environment of the school and its desire to help children develop into well-rounded young people; I knew instantly that it was where I wanted my children to go to school. As a teacher and a senior leader at a senior school, I have a particular interest in the curriculum and in teaching and learning. I’m one of two governors here at Orchard who support Mr Sutton, Mr Williams and their team on academic matters, particularly in developing, improving and implementing the curriculum. I also help ensure that Orchard is compliant with GDPR regulations.

Melanie Barnes – Safeguarding Governor

Originally from Yorkshire I moved to Watford 35 years ago. I became a governor at Orchard 18 years ago when both of my daughters attended the school. I had an interest in education and wanted to learn more about how a school runs. Over the years I have subject link roles in Science and Maths because I am from a Science background. Currently I am the Link Governor for Safeguarding and Attendence. I work closely with the business manager, Germaine Matthews and the deputy head, Bradley Williams with this role. I also have a part time job at the school as a MSA, which means I know many staff and pupils at the school and see how the school runs at lunchtime.

Emevke Clark

I have been a teacher for over twenty years in a variety of schools and have two daughters, both of whom attend Orchard. I was born in the Soviet Union in the far west of what is now Ukraine. My family are ethnic Hungarians. In addition to English, I speak Hungarian, Russian and Ukrainian. I have lived in Watford since moving to the United Kingdom in 2006. I have been a Parent Governor at Orchard since Spring 2019. My work as a Governor is to support the School in making sure the children at Orchard are healthy, confident and happy, learning to become well-rounded individuals who make good choices in life.

Paul Sutton – Executive Headteacher

Mr Sutton

I am 47, married with 2 children  – both at secondary school.  I have been a teacher for 26 years, worked in 7 schools, 3 local authorities and 1 multi academy trust. I have been a headteacher for the last 12 years. When not working,  I taxi my children to swimming training sessions as they both swim for a local swimming club – I support them in this by being a trained licensed official.  When I have spare time I try to keep fit by running, playing badminton and swimming.  I also enjoy playing the piano and do this in church about once a month.  

Bradley Williams – Teacher Governor

Mr Williams

I became a governor at Orchard when I took up the role of Deputy Head in April 2009. Since then I have been an associate governor and a teacher governor, which I am currently. Where my roles as an employee of Orchard and being a teacher governor meet is mainly centred around the curriculum. I oversee the whole school curriculum as Deputy Head but also work with the governors of Orchard to know what Orchard’s curriculum is and the ways we want to improve it. I support Mr. Sutton with whole school decisions and work with the governors to implement these. Being a teacher governor means that I represent all teachers at Orchard, ensuring their views are heard by the governors.

Summary of Governors’ Details

Governor NameGovernor CategoryTerm of office start dateTerm of office end dateRolesDeclarations of InterestAGB Meetings attended 2019-20
Alec ThomasAppointed by the Trustees27/01/2026/01/24Chair of AGBNone5/5
Philip MillerParent10/12/1709/12/21Vice-Chair, Curriculum Development – AIPNone5/5
Gwion WilliamsAppointed by the Trustees01/12/1830/11/22SEND GovernorNone4/5
Paul SuttonEx Officio (Headteacher)08/09/08  Executive Headteacher at Alban Wood Primary School and Nursery5/5
Germaine MatthewsNon-Teaching Staff01/10/1830/09/22Finance GroupWork for WGGS on a self employed basis4/5
Neil ChakrabartiAppointed by the AGB14/12/1713/12/21Finance GroupNone3/5
Emevke ClarkParent17/03/1916/03/23Reading – AIPNone5/5
Bradley WilliamsTeaching Staff01/10/1830/09/2022Curriculum Development – AIPMarried to a member of staff5/5
Warren BrownAppointed by the Trustees01/12/1830/11/22Premises, Health and Safety GovernorChair of Watford Youth Football Club5/5
Melanie BarnesAppointed by the AGB01/10/1630/09/20Safeguarding & Attendance GovernorCasual MSA at Orchard5/5
Antony ParkerAppointed by the AGB09/12/1908/12/23Pupil Premium and PE/Sports PremiumParker VA Services – Self Employed Management Consultancy  4/4
Governors LEFTin the last year      
Simon McFallAppointed by the Trustees30/11/1509/12/19Finance GroupMarried to a member of staff5/6 
John RobbAppointed by the AGB09/09/1831/08/19Finance Group, GDPR GovernorCasual Caretaker at Alban Wood Primary School and Nursery6/6 
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