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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Governing Body

The local Governing Body of St Albans Girls' School complements and enhances the Leadership Team at St Albans Girls' School by providing support and challenge, ensuring that all statutory duties are met, and holding them to account to ensure 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 Local Governing Body meetings. The Trust Members meet annually.

St Albans Girls' School is a member of ATLAS Multi Academy Trust and the Governing Body consists of:

  • The Executive Headteacher and Head of School

  • Up to 8 Governors appointed by the Trust Board

  • Up to 3 elected Staff Governors (elected by staff)

  • Up to 5 elected Parent Governors (elected by parents)

  • Up to 3 Co-opted Governors

Our Chair of Governors is Claire Barnard.

The Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding is Vicky Pearlman. 

The Full Governing Body meets at least five times a year with subcommittees termly as follows:

  • Curriculum, Assessment & Standards (CASCOM)
  • Personnel & Wellbeing (PSW)
  • Operations and Risk Working Group


Margaret Chapman

Executive Headteacher
I began my teaching career in 1988 in north London, becoming Head of Geography and leading assessment in two schools, introducing a range of measures to track student performance and raise standards, prior to my appointment as Deputy Head of The Priory School in Hitchin. 

We introduced the raising boys’ achievement programme and having successfully written Specialism bids in 2003, the school profile and outcomes gained considerable strength, culminating in an Ofsted Good Rating. During this time I began school improvement work with the London Challenge and within the Local Authority which I continue to do today.

I have been Headteacher at St Albans Girls’ School since 2010 and following an Outstanding judgement in January 2013, I led the team to further raise standards and challenge underperformance.  Appointed as a National Leader in Education and National Pupil Premium Assessor, myself and my team have supported a number of schools to raise standards. SEND provision is devolved within Hertfordshire and I lead the Higher Needs allocation for the St Albans and Harpenden areas for all young people aged 0-25. In addition, I am Governor at a Local PRU Academy as well as being a Board Member of the local Teaching School’s Alliance and Education Advisor with the DFE. Most recently, I have become Executive Headteacher of ATLAS Multi Academy Trust.

Paul Kershaw 

Head of School

After teaching in Japan and the Middle East, I started teaching at St Albans Girls’ School in 2011. During my time at the school, I have taken on a number of positions, including Deputy Headteacher, Head of Key Stage 4 and Head of English. In 2023, I became Head of School and I continue to lead School Improvement for ATLAS Multi-Academy Trust. In addition, I was staff governor at STAGS from 2015 to 2019. My committed passion for both the school community and the learning ethos at STAGS is evidenced by my commitment and enthusiasm to ensure that all learners are inspired to thrive.
Our governing body is a dynamic group with a shared interest in seeing STAGS succeed at every level and have the skills and enthusiasm to ensure this.

Claire Barnard 

Chair of Governors: Operations & Risk Working Group
Appointed: 22 May 2001
Term of Office: 1 July 2022 - 30 June 2026
Service: Parent Governor, Community Governor, Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Governors
Subject Link: Media & Film, Performing Arts - Music, Drama & Dance

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 teaching in Sunday School and leading adult group discussions, have established a local art group, am a member of a book club and enjoy playing instruments in a band, gardening and keeping fit!


Chris Curtis

Trust Appointed Governor: Chair of Curriculum, Assessment & Standards, Operations & Risk Working Group
Appointed: 25 September 2018
Term of Office: 11 November 2022 - 10 November 2026

Subject Link: History & Politics incl AAHT Teaching & Learning, SENCO

I am a Parent Governor, with a daughter in Year 12.

I graduated from Aston University in 1994, and have spent the subsequent 28 years working for Network Rail, holding a variety of posts in projects and operations, located across the country. In my current role I chair a board responsible for the implementation of new timetables across the rail industry.

I have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and have a passion for developing and mentoring young people who are pursuing careers in construction and engineering. I will bring my experience in this area to help encourage the students at STAGS to consider further studies and careers in these areas, where there are a wide range of exciting opportunities.

I also have an autistic daughter, and consequently an interest in education provision for those with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Alun Davies 

Trust Appointed Governor: Personnel & Student Wellbeing, Operations & Risk Working Group
Appointed: 25 September 2019
Term of Office: 25 September 2023 - 24 September 2027
Subject Link: Maths incl AAHT Data & Assessment, PE

I was born in Brazil and attended private school there until the age of ten before returning to the UK where I went through the state school and university system in the UK.  I studied sports science and maths at Loughborough University graduating in 1995. I then passed professional accounting qualifications and worked for large financial services firms in London, Zurich and New York.

I have previously been a governor in Islington and have an interest in supporting children from challenged backgrounds. I moved to St Albans with my wife in 2011, and we now have four young children.

I currently work for a management consultancy where we specialise in data analytics projects in both the public and private sectors.

Keelin Keogh

 Staff Governor: Personnel & Student Wellbeing
Appointed: 23 September 2019
Term of Office: 23 September 2023 - 22 September 2027

I am an experienced teacher with a passion for improvement. I see creating opportunities for cross curricular as a lens through which to reinforce and embolden our world class teaching and learning at STAGS.  My English, Film and Media subject area allows me to monitor and focus on social and emotional skills in learning.  As a link governor for Primary I would like to track Literacy and achievement for an eleven year learning journey whilst continuing to promote work / life balance.

Amy Fotheringham

Staff Governor: Curriculum, Assessment & Standards
Appointed: 23 September 2019
Term of Office: 23 September 2023 - 22 September 2027

Over the last five years at STAGS, I have been able to implement and instil my love of learning and learning styles through my overseeing of Science and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme as well as enrichment opportunities like the expeditions to Norway and South America. Through Staff Governance, I will now also be able to review and promote practice and procedures across the school - keeping wellbeing at the centre of all that we do at STAGS.

Vanessa Harris

Parent Governor: Personnel & Student Wellbeing, Operations & Risk Working Group
Appointed: 26 November 2020
Term of Office: 13 January 2021 - 12 January 2025
Subject Link: Art, Design & Technology, Education Support Staff

With daughters in Year 7 and Year 10, I will be a STAGS parent for several years.  I’ve worked as in-house construction legal counsel for a large development company for 18 years, and co-manage the legal team. As a result, I have interviewed and supervised many graduates, summer students and apprentices. I am a volunteer “Career Champion”, promoting  employability skills of school children with a focus on raising career   aspirations by broadening their understanding of the world of work

Arif Devji 

Parent Governor: Curriculum, Assessment & Standards
Appointed: 18 November 2021
Term of Office: 18 November 2021 - 17 November 2025
Subject Link: Psychology, & Post 16T&L Lead, REP

I was born in Uganda and attended the Aga Khan School in Kampala. Coming to the UK in 1972, I have worked mainly in the pharmaceutical sector, leading teams based in the USA, UK, and Europe and recently I have started working as a Programme Manager in Local Government for two Councils in Hertfordshire with additional responsibility for Equality and Inclusion.

Graduating in Leadership and Professional Development from Hertfordshire University, and with my daughter in Year 10, I am delighted to join the governing body and hope to make important contributions to this high achieving and diverse school.

Suzanne D'Souza

Parent Governor: Curriculum, Assessment & Standards
Appointed: 18 November 2021
Term of Office: 18 November 2021 - 17 November 2025
Subject Link: Science, KS5 Student Personal & Academic Development, Equality Diversity and Inclusion 

I graduated with a BSc in Combined Science and then went on to do an MSc in Psychology. For the last 18 years I have worked for as a Process Improvement Consultant, specialising in supply chain and logistics. I analyse how organisations can be more efficient, and then set up and run projects to make the changes.

I have a daughter who started at STAGS in 2021, and I became a Parent Governor the same year. I am passionate about STAGS being the best school it can be and about helping girls to achieve their full potential. Having worked in the pharmaceutical and medical research industries for many years I have a particular interest in the STEM subjects.

Vicky Pearlman

Trust Appointed Governor: Personnel & Student Wellbeing
Appointed: 7 October 2021
Term of Office: 7 October 2021 - 6 October 2025
Subject Link: Careers, Safeguarding (DSL), Pastoral Lead, Prevent, CLA/PCLA, Mental Health Lead 

Designated Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding

I joined STAGS’ Governing Body in October 2021, having previously served as a Governor at Bernards Heath Infants for eight years, five of them as Chair. At STAGS, I have a particular interest in support for disadvantaged children and pupil premium. I have a daughter in Year 7.

I trained as a social worker and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Applied Social Science (DipSW) and an MA in Social Policy.

In my working life, I am a policy development specialist and social justice campaigner. I currently lead programmes to improve stability, standards and affordability in London’s private rented sector for the Mayor of London, at the Greater London Authority. Over the past twenty years, I have lead projects at Shelter, Citizens Advice, Catch 22 and Carers UK, to develop policy across a wide range of arears including housing and homelessness, disability, older people, looked after children and carers, and influence Government and other policy makers to make change happen.

I am also an Associate Governor at Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School.

Gordon Spitz 

Parent Governor: Curriculum, Assessment & Standards
Appointed: 12 October 2022
Term of Office: 12 October 2022 - 11 October 2026
Subject Link: English & Literacy, Geography

In addition to being the parent of a STAGS pupil, I am Head of English at Immanuel College and have worked in education for 30 years. I am a confident communicator and skilled listener who wants to support the STAGS community to help secure the best possible outcomes for all students. My skill set includes academic standards, curricular and extracurricular provision, inclusion and diversity, and conflict resolution. I enjoy music, cooking, the outdoors and (unsurprisingly) I own too many books.

Sandy Sahota

Co-opted Governor: Personnel & Student Wellbeing 
Appointed: 25 November 2022

Term of Office: 25 November 2022 - 24 November 2026
Subject Link: KS5 Student Personal & Academic Development, Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Sociology 

I see school as a place for cultivating young minds, enabling both educational and personal growth.  As Co-Chair of Embrace, a network focusing on diversity, I want to continue the work being done at the school to create an inclusive environment for those from all backgrounds and abilities, encouraging empathy, inclusivity, and highlighting the value of listening to those marginalised.  I am keen to support the school, both students and dedicated staff, in maintaining its high reputation for success.

Patrick Gill

Co-opted Governor: Operations & Risk Working Group
Appointed: 25 November 2022
Term of Office: 25 November 2022 - 24 November 2026 
Subject Link: Personal Development - Pupil Premium, Anti-Bullying, PSHE, Online Safety, Sustainability Lead

I have lived in St Albans for 30 years and am a Chartered Engineer, Chatered Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and Member of the Energy Institute. I have extensive experience in the field of Property Management and Development having developed and managed 3.5 million square feet over 35 years.  I am the Construction Director for a large property company, and joint owner of 6 hotels in the West Country.  I would very much like to bring my experience to the benefit of the school.

Kamru Miah 

Trust Appointed Governor: Curriculum, Assessment & Standards
Appointed: 25 November 2022
Term of Office: 25 November 2022 - 24 November 2026
Subject Link: Computing, KS3 & KS4 Student Personal & Academic Development 

My family and I have lived in Harpenden for more than 10 years having previously been in London for most of my life. We currently have our eldest daughter at STAGS with our younger daughter to follow in a few years. Our daughter has, and continues to enjoy and flourish at the school. STAGS has an excellent reputation both locally and regionally, the care, passion and dedication of the teachers and support staff is amazing, and the main reason we chose to send our daughter to STAGS.

I am also currently a Parent-Governor at a Primary School in Harpenden and supported the school through their Ofsted Inspection in October 2021. I became a governor to help the school to continue to strive for excellence for our children, and to think strategically about the impact that changes in technology and society will have on the school, and how best to take advantage of those opportunities. I hope to bring that experience and perspective to help STAGS continue to strive and maintain its high standards. I hope to be able to add value to the Governing Board and help our school continue to be a place where our daughters can thrive and build wonderful lifelong memories. 

Lucy Phipps

Trust Appointed Governor: Personnel & Student Wellbeing
Appointed: 25 November 2022
Term of Office: 25 November 2022 - 24 November 2026
Subject Link: Business & Economics, Languages (MFL): French/Spanish; EAL

Having completed my secondary education at STAGS, I’m really excited to be re-joining the school community and seeing all the changes that have taken place since I left all those years ago!
I finished Year 13 in 2008 and went straight to university studying Spanish and Italian at Manchester Metropolitan University for 4 years, which included a year abroad split between Spain and Italy. After graduation, I then went to study for my Masters in International Business at the University of Liverpool.
After completing my studies I was successful in obtaining a place on the Network Rail Graduate Scheme which is where I have been ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to work in a range of roles during my time at Network Rail so far including frontline operations, the Crossrail project, a national electrification software development and rollout programme, and more recently within Track and Signalling engineering.
I love the breadth of experience going to work for a major STEM organisation has offered me, and although not having followed a traditional path in line with what I studied at both A-Level and undergraduate level, I strongly believe my time at STAGS had a major impact on the direction I’ve taken and wanting to break the mould in working as a Senior Leader within a male-dominated engineering company!
I’m really looking forward to bringing the skills and experience I’ve gained in my adult life back to the school and helping to shape its future direction and growth.

Clair Younghusband Francis

Staff Governor: Operations & Risk Working Group
Appointed: 5 July 2022
Term of Office: 5 July 2022 - 4 July 2026

I have worked at STAGS as an ADT Technician since 2019.

After completing a Fine Art degree I have continued to work as a professional artist, producing work for private and corporate commissions.

As a staff governor I am committed to making an effective contribution to the governing body, and looking forward to representing our support staff.


Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



(To request a paper copy, please contact our Administration Department)

01727 853134