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.
Mrs Natasha Parkhouse
Date joined Brandles’ Governors: 18 September 2016
Vice Chair of Governing Board
Committees – Finance & Personnel Committee
My background in business and finance. I worked for Ford Financial for 10 years, during which I held various managerial roles and have experience in: audit, global project management, budgeting, HR/performance management and training. Currently, I work part time as Business Manager for my husbands business and am also an Invigilator for North Herts College. My son is in year 5 at junior school and my daughter is in year 8 at secondary school.
In 2012, I first became a parent governor as I felt passionately that every child/student/young adult has the right to receive a high standard of education which will enable them to reach their full potential and flourish. As a governor at a junior school I have covered a wide range of aspects in governance; SEN governor, Pupil Premium Link governor, the governor development and training co-ordinator, as well as vice chair and chair of the governing board. In September, I was asked to become a SLOG-Strategic Leader of Governance. I have also become a mentor for children at my sons junior school. Having only joined the Brandles governing board in September, I hope to utilise my experience and knowledge across various link roles and will update my pen portrait with this information very soon.
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: 1 September 2016
Local Authority Governor, with Mick Furness, linked governor for safeguarding and also governor linked to PE.
Amongst other things, I’ve been a teacher and headteacher and worked for Hertfordshire County Council as an Education Adviser. Most recently, I was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and a government adviser on teacher training. My family moved to Letchworth in 2012 and, when I retired in 2014, I wanted to use my time by contributing to the local community. Given my background, I thought that one of the ways I could do this was by becoming a school governor. From my personal and professional experience, I know the powerful impact education has on future lives and am keen to do all I can to ensure to help the pupils of Brandles make the very best of their education at the school and make a successful transition into further education, training or employment.
Date joined Brandles’ Governors: September 2016
Committees: Link governor for Finance and Personnel Committee
Brief background: I have a background in learning, leadership and organisational development and currently work in this field for a Letchworth based not-for-profit organisation. I have lived in Letchworth Garden City for less than a year but have lived in Hertfordshire for more than five. I have two children attending local schools. I would like to be more involved in the activities of the local community which is why I asked to join the governing board. I am especially interested in the creation of high performing, empowering cultures that enable both staff and students to release their potential achieving higher than expected outcomes. I am a link governor for Finance and Personnel and I believe my skills in personal, team and organisational development will be valuable in supporting my role in monitoring the outcomes for pupils and in helping to set the strategic direction of the school.
Associate Governor 2016
Currently I serve as an Associate Member on the FGB for Brandles, having been both Chair and vice chair. I am also one of the Governance Officers at Herts for Learning, the local schools’ company and chair of governors of a primary school in Stevenage. For the past three years I have been a National Leader of Governance using my expertise within health, education and social care to provide wider support for governing bodies. I am particularly interested in vulnerable children and those with special needs.
I became a parent governor at Brandles in 2016 and have a son who is currently in year 10 who has Autism. I experienced many challenges at school in my own childhood and know the journey that I have been on and want to ensure our boys get the very best support and educational opportunities whilst at Brandles so that they can realise their true potential and go on to have fulfilling lives. I understand from a parents perspective how life is and the challenges that we and our boys face on a daily basis. Qualifications are important but I also feel the skills our boys develop in school will enable them to be better prepared for life now in modern Britain. I became a governor to demonstrate to the Brandles boys that nothing is impossible, that when things haven’t gone right, you can make something of your life and learn from mistakes and overcome challenges that are readily faced and turn these into opportunities. I am also keen to work and develop our strategies for parental engagement at Brandles so look forward to meeting you at future coffee mornings.
My working life began with YTS but then I joined the Territorial Army where I trained to CMT3 level as TA medical personnel, from there I transferred skills to work as a civilian in admin in the regular army. Since then, I have held various roles in local companies in both managerial/supervisory roles. In more recent years I worked in a supervisory position in the care profession. Since having children I now work part time at a local stables, this is a role that I am passionate about and am finding training horses very rewarding.