Governor Pen Pictures
Brandles Governor Pen Pictures
Mrs Patricia Furness
Chair of Governors.
Elected Chair of Governors- 2014.
Conflict of interest: occasional consultancy for HFL.
I have been involved in education since 1970; taught across all age ranges and in a wide variety of education settings including penal education, becoming head of education in a young offenders’ prison before going into inspection as full time inspector. Since retirement I have become much involved in governance, both within the school and on a behalf of HFL as an external reviewer of governance and occasional trainer. I enjoy the strategic focus offered by being a governor, while retaining the opportunity to observe the impact of such strategic action on the staff and boys of Brandles themselves.
Mr Alec Thomas
Date joined Brandles’ Governors: September 2017
I serve on the FGB and the Finance and Personnel committee.
I am a Masters Psychology graduate currently working as a Teaching Assistant in the Learning Development Department of a main stream secondary school. Before that I worked as an Inclusion Assistant in the Additional Learning Support Department at a College. In both my roles I have worked with SEN students which I have found enormously rewarding. These roles have given me a great appreciation for the challenges facing both SEN students and the staff who teach and support them. I hope to bring this experience into my role as Governor in order to help support the staff and students at Brandles.
Date joined Brandles’ Governors: 2011
Chair of Finance and Personnel Committee
I joined the governing body at Brandles as a co-opted governor in June2011. I have been elected chair of the Finance and Personnel Curriculum Committee and am the Safeguarding link governor. Another key aspect of my role is to link with the site manager for asset management and H&S audits. I am a Hertfordshire strategic leader of governance and a governor at another school in Buntingford. I am married with 4 grown up children, a Buntingford resident and grandfather of children in the Hertfordshire school system. Before my retirement I spent 35 years in the Prison Service, ending my career as a prison governor with the management of over 400 staff, numerous contracts, rehabilitation programmes and a significant budget, not to mention an interesting clientele who would rather have been somewhere else. I hope to bring my experience of managing people from all walks of life and in complex situations to my role at Brandles.
Date joined Brandles’ Governors: January 2018
I joined the governing body of Brandles at the beginning of 2018 as a co-opted Governor. I’m recently retired having spent 35 years working in the Pharmaceuticals / Biotechnology industry for GlaxoSmithKline plc, Astellas Pharma Inc. and Gilead Sciences Inc. where I held senior Sales, Marketing and IT roles at operating company, regional and world-wide level. In addition to my core functional skills I also have extensive experience of program and project management, financial planning and management, performance measurement and management and have a BSc. (Hons) in Biochemistry. I was keen to join the governing body as I have been inspired by what Brandles seeks to achieve and believe I can bring valuable knowledge and experience.
Date joined Brandles’ Governors: November 2017
I joined the governing body of Brandles in November 2017 as a parent governor and serve on the FGB and the Finance Personnel Committee. I am a teaching assistant at a local secondary school, working directly with children with SEN in the classroom and have also recently completed an MSc in Psychology. I began working in education relatively recently and joined the Brandles Governing board in order to gain a more holistic understanding of the education system. From my previous career, I have 15 years’ experience in marketing, communication and digital project management in the private sector. I am looking forward to bringing some of these wider skills, as well as my experience in SEN, to my role as governor. As a TA and as a parent myself, I have become very aware of the challenges of providing the best education for each individual child. Therefore, I am also greatly motivated by the opportunity to make my own contribution to the amazing work that Brandles does in this respect.
I joined the governing body of Brandles in February 2018. I have over five years’ experience working in roles across universities and students’ unions, and I believe this allows me to bring a unique insight into the role of governor. Currently I work as the Student Experience and Operations Manager in the careers service at the London School of Economics (LSE).
I am also a former trustee of a charity and governor of a HE provider. Personally, I believe in – and want to – help students influence and shape their own education. In my view, this is how we best guarantee the quality of the time they spend learning.