Governing Body

The STAGS Governing Body complement and enhance the leadership at STAGS by providing support and challenge, ensuring that all statutory duties are met, appointing the head Teacher and holding her to account for the impact of the school’s work on improving outcomes for all students.

The Governors bring a wealth of experience from a cross section of the community. They meet throughout the term at Committee level and at Full Governing Body meetings. The Trust Members meet annually.

The recently formed STAGS Academy Trust Governing Body has 17 core members

The Academy Trust Members (‘Trustees’) are the Chair of Governors, 2 Vice Chairs of Governors, Chair of Finance and Head Teacher. These appoint Member Governors who bring relevant experience to the Governing Body and have in addition appointed an Honorary Governor to complete the skill set.


Claire Barnard

Years of service as a Governor: 15 years
Served as Parent Governor, Community Governor, Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Governors

“I graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge in 1983 and I am a qualified teacher. I taught in both the private and state sector, full and part time.  Both of my daughters went to STAGS. More recently, I have focussed on governance and school management, both as a Governor at STAGS and on appeals panels for county school admissions.  I led the governing body through an OFSTED inspection, managed the successful appointment of the current Head Teacher and I bring a wealth of relevant experience as well as a vision for excellence.  I am also involved in a local church with leading Sunday school work and group discussions, have established a local art group, am a member of a book club, enjoy playing instruments in a band, gardening and keeping fit!.”

Bob Foster

Bob Foster

Years of service as a Governor: 12 years
Served on the Estates Committee.  Chaired and served on the Curriculum, Assessments and Standards Committee

“I have spent my entire working life as a teacher in secondary education.  I became an Assistant Headteacher in 1989 and worked in a large multi ethnic mixed comprehensive school in Ealing.  In recent years I have taken the opportunity to work more locally specialising in short term contracts and supply.”

Lesley Ainsworth

Years of service as a Governor:  2 year
Finance,  Premises and Operations Committees

After qualifying as a solicitor in 1981 I specialised in competition law working mainly in London but with spells in Brussels and New York. When I retired from private practice in 2013 I was appointed as a Panel Member of the Competition and Markets Authority.

I was brought up in Lancashire but have lived in St Albans for nearly 30 years. I have two children, one still at secondary school and one at university.

I am also a governor at St Albans School and I run the Junior and Minis kit shop at Old Albanians rugby club.           

Sarah Maguire

Sarah Maguire

Years of service as a Governor: 8 years
Chair of Premises and Operations Committee and serve on the Personnel & Student Wellbeing Committee

“I am 33 years old and have been a Governor of STAGS since February 2008.  I studied for my GCSEs and A Levels at STAGS between 1992 and 1999.  After gaining A Levels I went to Keele University and studied for a degree in Psychology and Business Administration gaining a 2.1 and providing me with an interest in people in business.  This led me to seek a career in the field of Human Resources;  I worked my way up from HR Administrator to HR Manager over 4 years whilst studying at the same time for my CIPD.  I am fully conversant in employment law and thrive on the challenges it presents in the workplace.  I very much enjoy being a Governor of STAGS as I loved being a pupil there and want to give something back and make sure that the school excels in everything it does.” 

Julia Jenkins -photo

Julia Jenkins

Years of service as a Governor:   2 years
Premises and Operations Committee

I am the director and owner of Flagship Wines, an award winning independent wine business in St Albans and have many years experience in the wine trade as a buyer for large companies and also as Marketing Manager for Sainsburys wine department during which time I launched the Sainsbury mail order wine business.

Outside the world of work I am a keen sailor and am membership secretary of Aldenham Sailing Club.

My two sons have both graduated as Civil Engineers in the last few years and are now following their chosen careers. I am delighted to be involved with Stags and feel I can offer girls an insight into a commercial business environment.

David Pearson

David Pearson

Years of service as a Governor: 11 years
Served on the Estates Committee, Curriculum Committee.  Chaired and served on the Finance Committee. Vice Chair on Staffing Committee

“David has enjoyed a 40 year career in business with experience as a senior manager and director in multinational firms, as a Board director of British Plc’s and now in a portfolio career with interest in the public, private and voluntary sectors.  Been a Governor from February 2002 to December 2006 serving on all 4 committees, for 21/2 years as Vice Chairman and for six months as Acting Chairman before stepping down owing to pressure of work. Continued to serve as the School’s first Associate Governor until the present day.”


Professor Amanda Jefferies

Years of service as a Governor: 3 years
Curriculum, Assessment & Standards Committee

‘I graduated with a BA in Modern Languages and  trained and worked originally as a secondary teacher.  I took a career change to pursue an interest in the field of computing, and completed a Masters in Computer Science  as a mature student and later a professional doctorate in Education.  My current role is Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Hertfordshire.  My research focus is in developing digital literacy and exploring the role that technology can play to enhance the learning environment. 

To the school Governing Body I will contribute another positive example of a role model for girls’ education, with a particular interest in the STEM subjects. I am a trained mentor/coach for the university, line manager and previously had responsibility for overseeing  a research project budget.


Paul Snook

Years of service as a Governor: 8 years
Chair of the Curriculum, Assessment & Standards Committee.  Serve on the Personnel and Student Wellbeing Committee and the Governing Body

Paul is a qualified teacher with 17 years experience in a variety of secondary schools. For the past 20 years he has worked as a consultant in the education sector supporting a number of Department for Education initiatives ranging from developing effective use of ICT in schools to building leadership capacity.
Paul currently divides his time between working in education and property development

Paul Webster

Paul Webster

Years of service as a Governor: 20 years
Chair of the Finance Committee

“My name is Paul Webster and I have been a Governor at STAGS since 1996.   During the whole of my term of office I have also chaired the Finance and Marketing Committee.  My experience as a School Governor started some five years prior to this date when I became a Governor of my children’s primary school, Oakwood School in St Albans, a position I still hold.   My motivation for putting myself forward for the position of Governor was to bring a more commercial view, which was required with the advent of Local Management of Schools.

By profession I am a Chartered Accountant and a partner with Mercer & Hole a local firm based in St Albans.  My responsibilities within the practice not only includes normal professional work dealing with clients but also that of being one of the Managing Partners of the practice responsible for managing 150 members of staff over three separate locations.

My connection with STAGS goes back many years initially with my sister attending the school in the days when it was a grammar school.  Subsequent to this my three daughters have all attended STAGS and as a parent I have always valued the contribution of the school made to their development.

As an employer of graduates and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Education and Training committee I have a vested interest in ensuring that the students coming out of schools and universities are the right quality and aptitude to take their place in the business world and society generally.

In addition to the above I am also a keen golfer, ornithologist and aviculturist.   I am also a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.”

Helen Coleman

Years of service as a Governor:   4 years
Finance and Curriculum, Assessment & Standards

“I was born and brought up in West Yorkshire but moved south and now live in St Albans.  I am married with one daughter who attends STAGS.

In my working life, I am a part-time primary school teacher and tutor.  I have previous experience on a primary school governing body, where I was vice-chair.

In my spare time I enjoy cooking, playing the piano, reading and Nordic walking.” 


Jo Copley

Years of service as a Governor:  5 years
Chair of the Personnel & Student Wellbeing Committee

“I qualified as a solicitor in London in 1989.  Transferred to St Albans in 1991 and set up my own practice in 1993.  I specialise in employment law acting for employers and employees and am the director of a family manufacturing business.  I have played lacrosse for England.   I am the mother of 3 daughters and a son aged between 7 and 22.  I serve on the Personnel and Student Wellbeing Committee which reflects my interest in student and staff welfare as well as  experience in employment issues

Dominic Houlihan - photo

Dominic Houlihan

Years of service as a Governor:  2 years
 Premises and Operations and  Curriculum, Assessment & Standards Committees

I have devoted my life to excellence in education. I have 3 grown up children and my stepdaughter is in Y7. I was a scientist, senior manager and Professor; I started enterprises and was awarded an OBE for bringing children to science. I am the product of a good education from a low- income family. I am now retired and would aim to devote myself to the role of parent governor for all the children of STAGS.

Yolanda Rugg

Years of service as a Governor:  1 year
Premises and Operations Committee and Finance Committee

I head up the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, a privately run membership organisation, accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce. In addition to our core areas of membership services, events and International trade, we run a Young Chamber programme, which seeks to bridge the gap between employment and education, offering business engaging activities, such as career s fairs, and interactive activities, particularly around STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to improve employability skills and outcomes for school leavers.   I am an ambassador for National Apprenticeship Service, and am passionate about helping young people reach their full potential. I am also a trustee at SLL, a charitable trust, which delivers a wide range of leisure and health and wellbeing services across schools and communities.

I have launched forums around Women in leadership, property and Construction, and sustainability so am pleased to sit on the Property and Finance sub groups as a parent Governor.

Rachel Kenningham - photo

Rachael Kenningham

Years of service as a Governor:  New Governor
Personnel and Student Wellbeing Committee and Curriculum, Assessment & Standards Committee

I applied to become Governor at STAGS because to my mind, there is little more important than getting education and schooling right for as many children as possible.  STAGS is preparing our girls to thrive in an increasingly competitive world, as well as teaching them how to live together respectfully. I want to do my best to support STAGS in this important work. 

I am the daughter of two teachers who instilled in me the importance of education from a young age. Watching them in their work, I understood early on that teaching is a hard and noble profession which deserves our utmost respect.   For these reasons, I am delighted to be able to play a role in supporting the team at STAGS. 

I graduated with an Honours Degree in French from the University of Birmingham in 1993.  Since then, I have worked in government and politics both in Brussels for the EU and at Westminster.  

I will be the Governing Body’s representative for Modern Foreign Languages and Government and Politics and will serve on two committees- Curriculum, Assessment and Standards and Personnel and Student Wellbeing.

Alan Westcott photo

Alan Westcott

 Years of service as a Governor:  New Governor
Personnel and Student Wellbeing Committee and Premises and Operations Committee

 I have worked in retail all my working life. I am a professional and expert in this field and I have found this to be very rewarding. 

I have worked and been involved with all levels through to Board level. I spent 25 years with M&S, mostly in Head Office in various management roles, Head of Store Presentation, Special Projects for the Board and developing a European business across 7 countries, defining new trading and presentation policies as well as challenging local markets. Redesigning new equipment and store interiors. Finally as Head of Visual Retail for the menswear business, designing and developing new trading standards, from equipment and environment design to merchandising presentation and layout for innovative new brands. 

I ran my own Mentoring Consultancy for Retail for 12 years and during this time worked with both the London College of Fashion and the Marangoni Italian School of Fashion. At the London College of Fashion I was an Industry Advisor and I was involved as an External Assessor when the college was introducing and developing 2 new courses to BA standard.  I have lectured and taught at both of these. 

I worked for 5 years with Worldskills International (UK) part of the Apprenticeship Programme for the Government. This is a worldwide skills competition targeted at young people from 16 to 22 years of age, it is a bi-annual competition and it involves over 50 countries demonstrating and competing in 48 varying skills. I wrote the competition content and the competition rules for a new skill and this has now been adopted as a World Standard. I have acted as both Chief Expert and Head Judge. 

Working with young people has been an enriching experience over the years, stimulating and watching them develop to their full potential has been hugely rewarding. Trading off your own experiences and knowledge and seeing them capitalise on this by watching them develop has to be one of the best things you can experience. 

My work has always been about looking at the future and the future brings with it change!

Being an energetic motivator has always allowed me to be a confident networker and communicator, this has helped me to bring about change. 

I believe having enthusiastic leadership qualities has enabled me to deliver change and challenge in everything I do and I would like to use all these skills to support STAGS and the governors. Young people reaching their full potential is important to me and leadership, direction and accountability is the support that they deserve.

Other factors should also be about integrity and common sense as well as intellectual support. 

I am passionate about what I do and will always try to make a difference in everything I take on board. 

I now work with a select group of clients that interest me, I am Chair of my local residents association and I am a volunteer with Hertfordshire Police with their Drive Safe programme.  I am a keen golfer and traveller  

Liz Kilborn

Years of service as a Governor:  2 years
Personnel and Student Wellbeing Committee

My husband, my two sons and I have lived in St Albans for over 25 years.  I joined STAGS back in 2006 as a part time member of the Educational Support Staff (ESS), during which time I have experienced different roles and departments within the school. I am now the HR and Personnel Manager, but with other members of the ESS I am still involved in Admissions and Marketing.  My roles have afforded me the opportunity to be part of the STAGS community where all staff work hard to enrich the lives of the students.  I am proud of STAGS success and the attitude to always strive for improvement.

Paul Kershaw

Years of service as a Governor:  1 year
Finance Committee and Personnel and Student Wellbeing Committee

After completing an MA in Creative and Transactional Writing and an interval of vocation in video-games development, I have been a teacher of English in schools located in Japan, the Middle East and the UK. I have been at St Albans Girls’ School since 2011 where I have been involved in leading the curriculum in English and Media; Coordinated the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, Library Resource Centre and Literacy; convoyed expeditions to Morocco, India and Borneo and enjoyed being involved in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities

Paula Randerson

Years of service as a Governor:  2 years
Premises and Operations Committee

I am originally from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, where my much loved family continue to live. I have worked in the Modern Foreign Languages Faculty at STAGS for the last eight year and am currently Curriculum Leader for Keystage 4 Spanish. I do believe we offer something ‘special’ at STAGS not just on the outstanding academic or extracurricular front. It’s a sense of community where each person has their own valued place and develops a knowledge of what is expected of them in the world.  It is a privilege to represent our hard working staff on the governing body and I hope my contribution will help STAGS to endure and improve.