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)
• 4 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, PSHE / SRE Link Governor
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, Curriculum link Governor
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 – Reading Link Governor
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.
Anthony Parker – Finance Governor
Originally from Australia, I have been resident in the UK for a number of years, and live with my wife in North Watford. I am a Commercial Accountant with over 25 years Business experience, and bring to the AGB a diverse range of commercial and finance experience, including in my current role working in Central Government. Consequently I pay particular attention to the school’s finances.Outside of work I am a keen cyclist and am active in a range of community activities.
Eno Adeogun – Pupil Premium and Sports Premium Governor
I knew I wanted to become a governor at Orchard when I stepped inside the impressive building for the first time as a prospective parent. Now that my son is a pupil, it’s great to see the hard work that occurs behind the scenes to keep the school running as smoothly as it does. I grew up in Barnet but have over the last decade worked as a journalist in London, New York, and Lagos, and recently joined a government department’s press team. My particular role as a governor involves using my analysis skills to examine our use of the Pupil Premium and other dedicated funds we receive from government.
Neil Chakrabarti – Finance Governor
I am a finance professional who has mainly worked in the healthcare sector in both the public (NHS) and private sector settings, with most of my recent appointments being in the turnaround of financially challenged businesses, strategic restructuring and other change management initiatives. I became a governor when my daughter joined the school back in 2013 to get a better understanding of the school and to increase my knowledge of the education sector. I also have a son who still attends and enjoys life at the school. Being a governor at the Orchard has been extremely insightful and rewarding, having joined at a time of significant change including large capital projects to develop the Orchard into a two-form entry school and going through the academisation process. In my spare time I enjoy outdoor activities/sport and playing the violin/guitar with my family.
Gwion Williams – SEND Governor
I first became a Governor at The Orchard Primary in 2014 when my son was in Reception. Over the years, there have been many changes at Orchard, but the ethos of the school has remained the same and it has been a privilege to be part of the AGB. I have been working in special educational needs fore the last 10 years at a secondary school in north London. I am the Autism Co-ordinator and specialise in mentoring and supporting students on the spectrum from Y7 to Y13. I am also a child protection officer and co-ordinate the Teaching Assistants support on a day to day basis. As SEND Governor, I have been able to support the SENCO in implementing changes at Orchard to ensure that the most vulnerable have an equal opportunity to learn in the school.
Paul Sutton – Executive Headteacher
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
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.
Germaine Matthews – Support Staff Governor
I joined Orchard in July 15 when I hit the ground running managing the TUPE process for the school breakfast club. As the School Business Manager at Orchard, my role includes Finance, Risk Management and many other areas that are not curriculum such as Medical, First Aid, Premises, HR. I qualified in Business and Risk externally and through the Schools Business Management route. Prior to joining Orchard, I supported an area of schools with purchasing of larger contracts and set up the Business side of a family support service run by schools. As a Support Staff Governor, I link into Finance, GDPR, Safeguarding and Contracts supporting with best value and Capital projects. I also keep a number of the School Operational Policies up to date in line with Government legislation. In my spare time I am a mum to two grown up children and self-employed in the field of Travel and Events.
Summary of Governors’ Details
|Governor Name||Governor Category||Term of office start date||Term of office end date||Roles||Declarations of Interest||AGB Meetings attended 2019-20|
|Alec Thomas||Appointed by the Trustees||27/01/20||26/01/24||Chair of AGB, PSHE / RSE||None||5/5|
|Philip Miller||Parent||10/12/17||09/12/21||Vice-Chair, Curriculum||None||5/5|
|Gwion Williams||Appointed by the Trustees||01/12/18||30/11/22||SEND Governor||None||4/5|
|Paul Sutton||Ex Officio (Headteacher)||08/09/08||Executive Headteacher at Alban Wood Primary School and Nursery||5/5|
|Germaine Matthews||Non-Teaching Staff||01/10/18||30/09/22||Finance Group||Work for WGGS on a self employed basis||4/5|
|Neil Chakrabarti||Appointed by the AGB||14/12/17||13/12/21||Finance Governor||None||3/5|
|Bradley Williams||Teaching Staff||01/10/18||30/09/2022||Curriculum||Married to a member of staff||5/5|
|Warren Brown||Appointed by the Trustees||01/12/18||30/11/22||Premises, Health and Safety Governor||None||5/5|
|Melanie Barnes||Appointed by the AGB||01/10/16||30/09/20||Safeguarding Governor||Casual MSA at Orchard||5/5|
|Antony Parker||Appointed by the AGB||09/12/19||08/12/23||Finance Governor||None||4/4|
|Eno Adeogun||Appointed by the Trustees||28/09/2020||27/09/2024||Pupil Premium and PE/Sports Premium||None|
|Governors LEFT||in the last year|
|Simon McFall||Appointed by the Trustees||30/11/15||09/12/19||Finance Group||Married to a member of staff||5/6|
|John Robb||Appointed by the AGB||09/09/18||31/08/19||Finance Group, GDPR Governor||Casual Caretaker at Alban Wood Primary School and Nursery||6/6|