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: 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.
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.