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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)
• 4 governors appointed by the Trust
• 3 governors appointed by the AGB
• The Headteacher – Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher

Chair of the AGB Contact Form

    The Chair of the AGB can also be contacted by phoning the school office 01923 672280.

    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.

    Dean Tearle – Vice Chair of the AGB,

    I have a 20 year career working in leisure management with a strong operational background. I am currently a senior leader for a spinal cord injury charity and have a wealth of experience working in health and safety, disability and inclusion. As well as being a member of the Orchard AGB I am a trustee at St Luke’s Church, Watford. All three of my children have attended Orchard, and it’s great to be able to give something back to a place that has nurtured them so well. In my spare time I enjoy running, fundraising for charity and DJing at parties.

    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.

    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. 

    Jonny Spector – Executive Headteacher

    I joined the school as Executive Headteacher in September 2023. I have worked in Primary schools for the last 25 years, most recently as Headteacher in Barnet. I am passionate about developing wonderful schools with happy children and giving the children the best possible chance to succeed in their learning. After obtaining my Law Degree, I went on to qualify as a teacher and gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a Master’s in Education. Having completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship, I am now completed the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership.

    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. Spector 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.

    Vacant – Support Staff Governor

    Patrick Durkan –

    I applied to be a governor at Orchard in late 2021. I had no direct connection to the school but I wanted to continue my family’s engagement with primary education and to support my local community. My parents, now retired, were both support workers at the primary school I attended. My mother was a bursar and classroom support assistant. My father was a caretaker (senior site services manager) and I would often deputise for him. It was at these moments I got to see firsthand the inner workings of a primary school. I know better than most people what it takes to run a school. Schools are complex organisations that are key to their communities and require support from the community to thrive.

    I no longer live in the area but continue to support Orchard by donating my time, skills & experiences and an objective mind to the board of governors.

    Sushil Kular –

    I am currently a HR Business Partner working for a large hospitality company in Hertfordshire. I have worked in HR for 20 years working with people at all levels in the business from Senior Executive to employees and have a wealth of knowledge in budgeting, policy, employment law and project management. I enjoy being part of team who thrives on collaborating with others and was delighted to join as a Parent Governor and being able to work with fellow Governors as well as the School. I now have an opportunity to give something back to not only my local school but one where both my children currently attend, Orchard Primary School has always shone out from the rest of the schools in the local area for the way it is ran, its diversity and inclusion and this is something that is very close to my heart. 

    Summary of Governors’ Details

    Governor NameGovernor CategoryTerm of office start dateTerm of office end dateRolesDeclarations of InterestAGB Meetings attended 2021-22
    Alec ThomasAppointed by the Trustees27/01/2026/01/24Chair of AGB, PSHE / RSENone5/5
    Appointed by the TrusteesVice-Chair, Curriculum
    Appointed by the TrusteesSEND Governor
    Jonny SpectorEx Officio (Headteacher)  Executive Headteacher at Alban Wood Primary School and Nursery
    Germaine MatthewsNon-Teaching Staff01/10/2230/09/26Finance GroupWork for WGGS on a self employed basis5/5
    Dean TearleParent15/05/202314/05/2027Trustee of St Luke’s C of E Church
    Sushil KularParent15/05/202315/05/2027
    Bradley WilliamsTeaching Staff01/10/2230/09/2026CurriculumMarried to a member of staff5/5
    Associate GovernorPremises, Health and Safety Governor
    Melanie BarnesAppointed by the AGB01/10/2030/09/24Safeguarding GovernorCasual MSA at Orchard5/5
    Antony ParkerAppointed by the AGB09/12/1908/12/23Finance GovernorNone5/5
    Eno AdeogunAppointed by the Trustees28/09/202027/09/2024Pupil Premium and PE/Sports PremiumNone5/5
    Patrick DurkanAppointed by the AGB06/12/202105/12/2025
    Governors LEFT (in the last year)Governor CategoryTerm of office start dateTerm of office end date Roles
    Emevke ClarkParent17/03/1901/11/2022Reading
    Phillip MillerVice Chair6/12/2131/8/23Curriculum
    Gwion WilliamsAppointed by Trustees1/12/2231/8/23SEND
    Paul SuttonEx Officio (Headteacher)8/9/0831/8/23Executive Headteacher
    Warren BrownAssociate Governor1/12/2231/8/23Premises, Health and Safety
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